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There’s a Lot to Explore!
Our workshop in Santa Barbara is happening in July 2015, so let’s have a quick look at key topics that we are going to explore in our session. As a delegate, it’s your choice to pick the topics that interest you the most.
Less is more
Typically, a kit zoom lens is a good start, but feel free to bring the zoom lenses or primes that you feel most comfortable with.
Make sure to bring equipment that you are already familiar with. It’s very important that you know your camera, its menus and its buttons. I expect you to know where to locate specific function on your camera. Our workshops are about how to best use such functions, not how to find them. Make sure that all your cameras and lenses are equipped with the latest firmware version. In July, we will of course already work with Firmware 4 and cover the new autofocus system of the X-T1 and X-T10.
Fuji X Secrets isn’t a recap of the user’s manual. Our regular workshops are based on the assumption that you have read the manual and know your camera’s functions. You can download current manuals from the Web (PDF): Click here to access Fuji’s manuals to X-series cameras and lenses.
Batteries, Memory Cards and Accessories
Attending Fuji X Secrets means that you will be playing with your camera a lot. This will drain your battery (even if you don’t take a single shot), so make sure to bring a sufficient amount of fully charged batteries. Also bring you own empty(!) memory card. We highly recommend really fast SD cards like the SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-I card with 95 MB/s read/write speed. X-T1 users should consider an even faster UHS-II card. We shoot in FINE+RAW mode, meaning there are tougher memory requirements than JPEG-only shooters may be used to. Our workshops also cover useful accessories (like handgrips) and we often talk about different sensor cleaning methods.
Lenses and Flash Units
We’ll cover specifics of Fujifilm’s line of XC and XF lenses, including benefits and quirks of the built-in image stabilizer (OIS). We are going to compare optical and digital distortion correction and have a look at which method is employed by which lens. We will cover the Lens Modulation Optimizer (LMO), and we’ll learn how different RAW converters interpret lens correction metadata. We look at automatic and manual flash modes and how to independently control the exposure of the flash portion and the surrounding light portion of an image. We may also talk about adapted lenses and how they are different from native options.
We cover useful basic camera settings and their pros and cons, and we try to find common settings for our workshop in order to get results we can more easily compare. We can have a look at shortcuts to quickly access frequently used functions, and we have a look at the Quick menu and custom settings. For example, what does „BASE“ actually mean and how is it to be used? And what’s the actual meaning of those red dots?
We learn about exposure metering and how the three different metering methods work in different ways. We experience Face Detection as an exposure metering method and contemplate the consequences. We define ISO in a way that avoids the use of the word „sensitivity“. We learn about ISOless sensors and how to use them to extend dynamic range in the digital lightroom. We have a detailed look at the DR function zu extend dynamic range and look at how the DR function affects RAW and JPEG files. We can also compare Fuji’s DR function with similar functions in other camera models (Sony, Nikon) in order to find essential differences. We learn how to use the DR function to extend DR, to achieve high-key effects, to beautify faces in harsh light and to employ it as a protection against overexposure. We learn how to use the DR function as RAW and/or JPEG shooters and how to use it to better frame and expose difficult subjects.
Wie introduce the different autofocus systems of your camera: CDAF, PDAF and Hybrid AF, and we look at the differences between the systems and their pros and cons. We also discuss different autofocus modes and how/where to apply them best. What’s the optimal AF frame size? Why shouldn’t I use „focus and reframe“? How/when do I use the new Zone Focus and Wide/Tracking modes? We’ll have a look at things that can make our life easier when the lighting or contrast are poor and the autofocus has a hard time locking onto our target. We discuss the famous „autofocus trick“, aka „shutter mash technique“. We learn how to shoot moving targets, even with CDAF-only, even with older cameras like the X-E1. We have a look at predictive autofocus: What is it, how can we use it? We explain zone focussing, hyperfocal distance, focus traps and how to use all this in manual focus mode. We have a look at focussing aids such as the magnifier tool, focus peaking and the DOF/distance scales. And how does the new AF+MF work?
White Balance and JPEG Settings
We clarify the term „white balance“ as a JPEG settings and have a look at other settings that can be applied after the fact using the camera’s built-in RAW converter. We perform custom white balance adjustments and have a look at workflow considerations. For example: Do we really have to settle on specific JPEG settings in advance, or can we just apply them after the fact, whenever we want? We also have a look at specific JPEG settings for contrast, color, sharpening, noise reduction and, of course, film simulations. We can also discuss different color gamuts such as sRGB and AdobeRGB. We find out how we can use the built-in RAW converter to generate better JPEGs.
RAW Converter Comparison
We compare RAW processing methods that use the built-in and external RAW converters. We discuss how well Fuji-specific features (such as film simulation modes, the DR function or lens correction metadata) are supported by different converter options. We have a look at properties that are unique to X-Trans and Bayer sensors and what those differences practically mean.