Dade Freeman
Photographer & Trainer
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Top tips for the FujiFilm X-T1


I have had this camera for a few months now and I have to admit - I love it.

It is different to my DSLR and that's part of its charm. That said, there are many new functions to get your head around on the X-T1, so for that reason, I thought I would share a quick tip guide to using this sterling camera. I'm not going to go in to the nuts and bolts or try to sell you on the camera, just point out a few things that have helped me along the way, and share some information you might find useful.

Top Tips for the X-T1

Tip 1

Always use High Performance Mode. To do this simply press MENU  > SETUP 2 > POWER MANAGEMENT > HIGH PERFORMANCE > and select ON.
Be aware that this does use more power but the full featured enhancements are well worth it.

Tip 2

The viewfinder on the Fuji X-T1 is electronic, which makes it a WYSIWYG system. This means that as you change the aperture or shutter speed you see the effect live through the eye piece. If you are working in a studio though I recommend you disable this function, as you are not likely to see anything through the view finder in the dark studio environment. To disable it go to MENU > SET-UP 1 > SCREEN SET-UP > PREVIEW EXP./WB IN MAUNAL MODE > and select OFF. (just remember to turn it back on when shooting outdoors).

Tip 3

The X-T1 offers an array of focussing options. If like me, you tend to move your focal point around, it is probably best to make all four direction buttons, on the D-Pad, become the focus point selector. To do that, press and hold the DISP/BACK button until you enter the Function Setting menu. Now change FN3, FN4, FN5, FN6 to 'Focus Area'. Now you can very quickly move your focal point around.

Tip 4

Use the Focus Assist button (which is a 100% magnifier) to check critical focus. This is also useful when reviewing your image and want to quickly zoom in.

Tip 5

If you are struggling to lock focus, try increasing the size of your focus box. To do this look through the viewfinder or on the LCD screen, press the d-pad and the focal point screen should now pop up.

By rotating the dial on the front or back of the camera, you will see that the AF box gets larger and smaller. I typically have the smaller square in 'S' mode and one smaller than the middle sized square in 'M' mode. I also use Focus Peak Highlight in Manual mode for further control (I set this to red). To enable this - press, hold and release the Focus Assist button, this will cycle through the focussing options.

Tip 6

As you are no doubt aware battery life is precious. And, because I like my camera to be always ready, rather than turning it on and off - consider this option. Press the View Mode button on the side of the EVF until you see EVF Only + Eye Sensor. This will help conserve battery power as the camera only comes to life when it is put to your eye.

Tip 7

PRE-AF leave this switched off. When switched on you will hear you camera constantly hunting for focus. This also drains the battery significantly. 

Tip 8

Buy the fastest SD card you can afford. Two of the best brands currently on the market are the Lexar 32GB 2000x UHS-II and the Sandisk Extreme Pro 32GB UHS-II. There's been a lot of developments with these cards and the front is now covered with lots of information that seems to mean little and creates a lot of confusion. Mainly because these cards operate in the video and the stills world, where each use their own language. To decode this information and help you make the right choice, here is a brief explanation. 

  • SD - Secure Digital / SDHC - Secure Digital High Capacity / SDXC - Secure digital Xtra Capacity.
  • The SDHC (FAT32 a 32bit system) has now been superseded by SDXC (exFAT a 64bit system).
  • 32GB / 64GB is simply the capacity of the card.
  • 150MB/s is the maximum read speed of the card. 
  • 1000x is another way of showing the read speed of the card. 
  • Class 1 indicates that the write speed is 10Mbs. Whereas a Class 3 would indicate a write speed of 30Mbs. The number shown inside of a circle or the latest version, in a U, refers to the video write speed.
  • UHS-I means the card is fast enough to shoot 1080p HD video. Whereas UHS-II means the card is capable of shooting 4K HD video.

Tip 9

If you want to apply the same Film Simulations to your images as you had in camera, but you shoot RAW, don't worry. Simply start Lightroom, import your images, go to Develop > Camera Calibration > and select your chosen Film Profile.  

Tip 10

The dials on the X-T1 can easily knocked and changed. So, before you start clicking, check all those crucial settings one more time.


Dade Freeman is a Brighton photographer creating portraits and fine art images for commercial and personal use.