Menu Functions: Image Quality
It's time to dive into the menu, and this is where the PDF is gonna be very handy to have here, so this is the entire menu system and I know this sounds, in some ways, very detailed, we're gonna go through this line-item by line-item, but we're gonna go pretty quickly and it's gonna be pretty simple to get through this. And so we're just gonna go through, talk about what the settings do, what they mean, and where you wanna have them for different types of scenarios. So, get that ready and let's dive in to the menu system. So first off, click the menu button and you'll immediately notice over on the left-hand side a number of tabs and Fuji has pretty logically organized all of their information into these different tabs, we're gonna go through them one by one. One tab that is missing, that is kind of hidden you might say, is the playback menu tab, and we've mentioned this before. You hit playback and then hit the menu button you can get into the secret menu tab that is exclusively for t...
he playback features, so we will do that in this section as well. To navigate around, you'll go up, down, left, right, and you can use the joystick or the controller on the back of the camera. And then if you are in a particular area and you wanna back out of it, you would hit the back button and then that simply escapes you out of there. Or, you could press down on the shutter release, half-way, and that of course escapes you from the menu section as well. Alright, we're going to be starting at the top and working our way down so we are starting with image quality, there are a few pages on this in here. First up, is the image size which is for JPEGs only, not to do with RAW and we talked about this a little bit earlier in the quick menus, so you have large, medium, and small, different aspect ratios. Most of the time, you're probably gonna want to be in the largest one utilizing the full sensor, which is the large 3:2 setting. Next up is image quality, which is where you get to choose between RAW and JPEG. And so FINE and NORMAL are JPEG options and then you have RAW as well as RAW + JPEG, and as you remember in earlier demonstration, when you are shooting with JPEGs, because of the way the Fuji camera does previews, you are able to zoom in a little bit more closely with JPEGs to check out sharpness, detail, focusing accuracy, and so I recommend shooting RAW + JPEG. Now you can either use the normal or the fine, doesn't make that much of a difference. What I end up doing is I end up shooting RAW + JPEG, download all the images, select all the JPEGs, and then throw them away. In some cases, I keep the JPEGs around if I am shooting black and white, and I like the color tones that I have used on the JPEGs, and then I might try to mimic that with RAWs as well. Well, as we go through this, you'll notice that I'm giving you my recommendations of what I think a good setting would be in the camera, but sometimes I have advanced recommendations for people who are a little bit more advanced, want to get a little bit more out of the camera you might say. And so you can pay attention to those onscreen and those are also listed in the PDF as well. Next up, is RAW recording, you have the option of uncompressed, which is a raw image, with no compression done to it, obviously, and then there is a lossless compressed, which means it is compressed, but it's not losing any information. They're figuring out ways to reduce the file size, but not reduce the image quality. I'm always a little dubious when I hear these claims it's 'lossless' but it's making it smaller in size. Clearly something is being lost and so I've wanted to run through my own tests to see what is this actually doing. And so I've sought a number of cases of RAW uncompressed vs lossless compressed, and then I would go and look in a the details to try to judge to see is one sharper, better color, or something, compared to the other and while I can see some differences in some cases, it's pretty rare that I see any significant difference in almost anything. And so, I wanted to try this in a number of cases out in the field, in the studio, and it's just so rare that I can ever see any information difference at all between uncompressed and lossless compressed. And so then I decided to try a little bit more extreme examples, so in this particular case, I have overexposed by four stops, my subjects, so you can clearly see it is completely blown out. I then corrected it in post-production, and compared what a uncompressed vs a lossless compressed and I'm still not seeing really any detail difference here at all. And so then I decided to try the opposite of that, which was to underexpose by four stops, corrected in post-production, and then compare the two options, and once again, not seeing any significant difference between these two. So you gotta ask yourself, for double the file size, what are you getting? So that is why I'm recommending the lossless compressed option here which reduces your file size in half, or more, and doesn't really seem to lose you any significant area. Now the only downside to this lossless compressed that I have seen, and it's only been on sporadic occasions, is that some software systems, if they're not updated, may not be able to read them or it may process them in a little bit longer time frame than the uncompressed, because they have to uncompress this. So as long as your software works with this, I am perfectly fine with this. You may be able to squeeze a little bit more out of the uncompressed, but you're gonna pay a penalty of twice the file size, and that'll be in all the images you store for the rest of your life with it. Next up is film simulation, we talked about this a couple times before, this affects the JPEG images and the look of the images, the color, the contrast, and the saturation. The grain effect is interesting because you can add in a grain effect to your JPEG images. Let's take a look at an example of what this does. So we'll take an image, using it in black and white so you can see it very clearly, turned off, with weak, and strong and it adds in a very film-like look to it. Fuji's very good at this in general so if you do like doing this, Fuji is among the best of the cameras for doing that type of activity. Next up is dynamic range, we've mentioned this one before but once again, this is controlling the dynamic range and reducing it as you shoot with these higher and higher 100, 200, 400 numbers. In order to do this, what the camera needs to do is shoot at ISO 800, or at least you need to have it rated to ISO 800. And what it's doing in this case is generally taking the photo, even though it says it's taking it at ISO 800, it's taking it at a lower ISO and then raising the brightness and making sure that the bright areas are not overexposed. If you are shooting JPEGs and you wanna prevent overexposure, this is a good system, but for most people, it's not really necessary for most types of photography. Dynamic range priority is very similar to the dynamic range, rather than setting a particular setting, you can set it to auto, weak, or strong, and it will set it appropriately for the conditions that you have at hand, it depends on the dynamic range that you are shooting with. And so this is kind of a smart version of the dynamic range, where it will adjust for you. And so if you don't want to be changing it up and down for each setting, you can simply set it here and it adjusts each of those JPEG images by the amount that's appropriate for the type of range that it has. White balance controls the color that you're shooting in, we've talked about this before in the quick menu. Auto is a good setting here, change it to something else when you know you're gonna be shooting under that for a long period of time. Moving to page 2 on image quality settings, we have our highlight tone, and once again, we're going to see a whole bunch of items we saw before in the quick menu. And so this will enable you to increase the brightness of the highlights or decrease the brightness of the highlights, and so this is controlling the contrast. Shadow tone is doing it on the opposite end of the spectrums. A lot of times when I'm shooting black and white, I typically want really strong shadows, so I might do a +2 or a +3 in this particular category when shooting black and whites. Color will change the saturation of it, this is the intensity of the color. And so you can pump that up or pump that down for the color photographs in JPEG. Same thing with sharpness, we control the sharpness by increasing or decreasing this. A lot of times in the black and white I'm pumping this up a little to 2 or 3 in the positive side. Next up is noise reduction, and once again this is for JPEG only, you can reduce it, but if you do too much, if you add this too high it starts marring the edges and the details of your subject. Long exposure noise reduction for JPEG, this can be a little bit of an annoying thing what happens is that if you're in a long exposure like 30 seconds, what the camera will do is that it will do processing of that image for another 30 seconds to try to reduce the noise, and if something's gonna take 30 seconds I wanna know how much work is it doing in this 30 seconds. And so I went and shot a test photo with the camera and did a 30 second exposure, and I did it with and without the noise reduction to see what the difference is before and after. And I didn't really see any difference at all, and I've done a number of tests, with actually a number of different brands of cameras and different camera models and I have seen next to, nearly zero difference between using this processing. And of course, you can always process after the fact too, and this is just kind of wasting 30 seconds of your time when you're out shooting these 30 second exposures. And so this is something that I don't think serves much purpose and I would probably turn it off for most everything for those longer exposures. Lens modulation optimizer, this is where the camera will know the characteristics of the Fuji lens that you have on the camera, and it will make some slight adjustments in the contrast, adjusting for diffraction and any sort of slight loss of focus at the periphery of the lens. And so it compensates for maybe a slightly imperfect lens combinations, and there's no real downside to using this, it does only affect JPEGs, and so this is something that's fine to leave turned on. The color space speaks to the range of colors that you are recording. When you are shooting RAW, you are shooting in what's known as AdobeRGB, it's a larger color gamut. If you're shooting in JPEG and you're just simply doing in-camera shots, and posting online and not doing anything too serious with your photographs, sRGB is fine, but if you want to print or manually work with and process your images, that's when you're probably gonna want to set it to AdobeRGB so that you have a larger color gamut to work with. Pixel mapping is something that I have never used, I hope I never have to use it and hope you never have to use it. If you have hot pixels, a pixel that's burnt out for instance, it will look over the entire sensor to see if there are any pixels that are blown out and it will essentially clone them out on future photos. So, hopefully this is one of those things that you or nobody else needs to use. Selecting custom settings, this is one of those options about changing the look and style to your images, so you could change whether you're shooting in color or black and white, the different color spectrums, you can go in and change the sharpness, and the saturation, and the shadow and the highlight tones to your images and have different custom settings, because maybe when you shoot portraits, you like a certain look. And landscapes will have another different type of look. And so you can set those up here and you can record seven different ones to have in here. And in here is where you get to edit and save these things. And so this might be a good time to do a little demo to show you how to do this. So let me go ahead and get my camera on and we're gonna dive into the menu system, we have a little wifi thing going on here. Let me reset. Okay, so let's take a look at this particular feature, so we are gonna jump to the third page on the IQ and we're gonna do the edit/save custom setting. Alright, so you can see the first one is set at standard and then we have a Velvia, and then a variety of other settings down here, let's go ahead and change the second one so we can go in here, and we can choose to have a different dynamic range. I'm gonna leave that at 100 cause I wanna be able to shoot at ISO 200. Film simulation, let's change this to classic chrome, which is kind of a low saturation. If we want, we can add a weak grain effect onto this. Not adjust white balance. Highlight tone, let's keep that the same, but on the shadow, let's make our shadows a little bit more distinct by going up to +2, actually no, let's take the color and let's reduce the color down even more, to -2, and the sharpness will go up to a + and this is gonna be where we're gonna press save, so we're gonna press the OK button to save these here, and we'll go back. And so now we have this very special custom setting under number 2 here. And if you recall under I think under the Q setting here, we can change this from C1 to C2, so this is our C2 setting here, let me change our display back so that you can see and let me zoom in on our subject here. So, if I was to change this back to, say 1, actually which one did we change, I thought we changed custom chrome, I think we might have changed this one here and so this one here, custom chrome is going to have a little bit more diffused color, so it's a way of adjusting the colors and look of your images and then having the presets for it, so you can have seven different ones, that you can quickly change in between.