How I configure my Fujifilm X100T for everything I photograph

Me shooting at NW Junior Roller Derby Championships. Photo courtesy of Lydia Brewer Photography.

Now that I have been shooting with my Fujifilm X100T for over a year, I’ve finally settled on camera settings that suit the way I work. What you’ll find below is a fairly detailed list of all of the settings on my X100T with some comments about why I have them set that way.

Unless otherwise noted, these are the settings I use for just about everything I photograph. Portraits, street, landscapes, sports. I tend to favor speed and responsiveness over everything else. I want to be able to adjust settings and take a photo as fast as I can.

General Exposure Settings

I usually shoot in aperture-priority mode with auto-ISO and auto white balance. Basically, I determine the depth of field, and then I let the camera figure out the rest. Sometimes I’ll adjust exposure compensation to brighten or darken the image in challenging lighting.

Fujifilm’s engineers spent a great deal of time tuning the X100T. It’s a pretty smart camera. I think it does a great job most of the time.

Image Size/Quality

I shoot RAW + JPG. Even though I almost always end up working on the RAW file, I like having the JPG as an option for high-resolution playback on the camera LCD and for quick sharing via my iPhone when on-the-go.

I use the Fine JPG option for the highest quality files in case I decide to use them.

Frame size is usually 3:2. I think I may have messed around with 16:9 a few times, but my brain visualizes in 3:2.

Auto-Focus Settings

Focus Area: Largest.
The X100T focuses fastest when the focus area is set to the largest. It’s not as accurate as smaller areas, but I’m more concerned about speed most of the time.

Release/Focus Priority for AF-S: Focus.
This is my default AF mode. I want AF to lock when I half-press the shutter and before I take the photo.

Release/Focus Priority for AF-C: Release.
I don’t use AF-C that often (the X100T isn’t necessarily the best at this), but in the instances that I do use it, I want the camera to take pictures no matter what the AF state is.

Instant AF Setting: AF-S.
This the AF mode to use when back-button focusing, which is pressing the AE/AF button while the camera is set to manual auto-focus.

AF Mode: Area.
I want to select the AF area manually. I don’t want the camera to decide the focus point for me.

Face Detection: On.
I leave face detection on by default. When I want to focus on something else, I just switch to manual focus.

Pre-AF: Off.
Don’t care.

AF Illuminator: Off.
This is annoying at best. The last thing I need is a little light turning on every single time I try to focus.

Corrected AF Frame: On.
This is absolutely necessary when shooting with the optical viewfinder. It basically shows you the parallax offset of the AF frame.

Base Settings

I like to keep my default settings fairly neutral for more natural-looking images. Fuji’s Standard/Provia film simulation looks great on its own, and I can always tweak in post later.

  • Provia film simulation.
  • Auto-ISO: base 200, limit 3200, minimum shutter speed 1/125. (I really wish I could select a faster minimum shutter speed.)
  • Dynamic range 100.
  • Color, sharpness, highlight, shadow all at 0.
  • Noise reduction -2. I like to control NR in post. I’d rather turn it off, but that’s not an option.
  • Auto white balance. It works fine most of the time.

Custom BW Settings

When I want to focus purely on B&W images, I’ll use a custom B&W setting tweaked for more contrast.

  • Monochrome + R film simulation.
  • Auto-ISO: base 200, limit 6400, minimum shutter speed 1/125.
  • Dynamic range 100.
  • Sharpness, highlight, shadow +2. This adds more contrast and punch to the images.
  • Noise reduction -2.
  • Auto white balance.

Function Button Settings

I love that I can customize nearly all of the buttons on the X100T to suit the way I work. Here’s what I have configured for the function buttons:

  • Fn1: ISO.
  • Fn2: Focus point selection.
  • Fn3: Macro.
  • Fn4: White balance.
  • Fn5: Conversion lens.
  • Fn6: ND filter.
  • Fn7: WiFi.

Display Custom Settings

I have the display settings configured almost exactly the same for both optical and electronic viewfinders. This is just a consistency thing for me. Specific items I’ve turned on are as follows:

Framing Guidline.
I like seeing the Rule of Thirds guides (Grid 9) to aid in framing and alignment.

AF Distance Indicator.
I like knowing how far the focus point is. This is especially important with the OVF, because I can tell in an instant if the focus distance is off.

MF Distance Indicator.
In lieu of having a distance scale on the lens (I’m old school that way), I use the digital distance indicator in the viewfinder for zone focusing shots.

Aperture/Shutter Speed/ISO.
Definitely have to know my exposure settings.

Exposure Compensation.
Same as above.

Flash.
Extremely handy to know what flash mode I’m in, especially for OCF work.

White Balance.
Almost as important as exposure information, especially when shooting with the OCF.

Frames Remaining.
I use big SD cards, so I don’t really have to worry about running out of space. This is more like a just-in-case for long weekends.

Battery Level.
Anyone who uses Fujifilm cameras understands the necessity of seeing what your battery level is.

Quick Menu

I admittedly don’t use the Q-menu all that often. I played with various configurations for a few months but found that I only used a few spots on a regular basis. I left all blocks assigned, because I was too lazy to remove them.

  • Top row: Custom Settings, Conversion Lens, Face Detection, AF Mode.
  • 2nd row: White Balance, Film Simulation, Photometry, Self-Timer.
  • 3rd row: ISO, Dynamic Range, MF Assist, ND Filter.
  • Bottom Row: Flash Mode, Flash Compensation, Shutter Type, EVF/LCD Brightness.

Other Shooting Settings

Here are a bunch of other settings that don’t necessarily affect the images so much as the shooting experience. A lot of people don’t touch these settings. I like to understand how everything works and adjust a camera to suit the way I want it to work. I’m picky.

  • Long exposure noise reduction off.
  • MF assist: Peak. I change this frequently from the Q-menu to suit the situation.
  • AE/AF-Lock Mode: On when pressing.
  • AE/AF-Lock Button: AE lock only.
  • Interlock Spot AE and Focus Area: On.
  • Red Eye Removal: Off.
  • Save Original Image: On.
  • Flash Compensation: -2/3. I almost never use the built-in flash. This was the last setting I had when I was playing around.
  • Shutter Type: Mechanical + Electronic. I’ll change this depending on the shooting conditions. Usually, leaving it as M+E is totally fine.
  • Sounds: Off. Digital camera sounds are annoying.

Screen Setup

  • Image Display: Off. I don’t like images popping up on screen after every shot. It’s distracting.
  • Preview Exposure in Manual Mode: On most times. Off when I use OCF.
  • Framing Guidelines: Grid 9.
  • Focus Scale Units: Meters.

Power Management

  • Auto Power Off: 5 minutes.
  • OVF Power Save Mode: Off.
  • High Performance: On.

Accessories

Part of the joy of shooting with the X100T is I don’t need to bring a lot of extra crap with me. Most of time I just carry the camera around my neck and an extra battery or two in my pocket. If I were to carry everything in my bag, here’s what the kit would contain:

  • Henri leather neck strap from Eric Kim.
  • 2 Fujifilm NP-95 batteries. One that came with the camera and another I originally bought as a backup.
  • 2 EforTek batteries that are 1/3 the cost of the branded ones and last almost as long. I found them on Amazon for super cheap.
  • Think Tank Photo DSLR Battery Holder 2 that can hold up to 4 NP-95 batteries.
  • 64 GB SD card.
  • A pair 16 GB SD cards as backups.
  • TCL-X100 tele converter lens.
  • WCL-X100 wide-angle converter lens.

Wrap Up

If you’ve made it this far, congrats on reading yet another article on how to setup an X100T. :)

The bottom line is if you’ve left the camera at its default settings, you’d be just fine. The X100T would work perfectly well as a glorified point-and-shoot.

I originally left most things at factory defaults to get a feel for how the camera worked. It wasn’t until much later that I decided to start customizing everything for my work. And, even then, I only changed a few things at a time to see how they would affect my shooting habits. It’s taken me a year to figure everything out.

I wouldn’t recommend customizing your camera right off the bat. Spend some time using your camera every day to figure out how you work. Pay attention to the things that feel good and the things that don’t. Then open the manual (or search online) and learn what everything does and start tweaking settings to your heart’s content.


Check out my other posts here on Medium and over on my Instagram account for more photos taken with my X100T.