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Fujifilm X-T2 Fast Start

Lesson 10 of 37

Backside: Auto Exposure Lock and Focus


Fujifilm X-T2 Fast Start

Lesson 10 of 37

Backside: Auto Exposure Lock and Focus


Lesson Info

Backside: Auto Exposure Lock and Focus

Next up on the camera is the AE-L button, the Auto Exposure Lock button. And what this does is it's gonna lock the exposure in when you have your finger pressed to that particular button. Now right now, the button doesn't do anything, and that is because, and let me go ahead and throw my camera into an exposure mode and let me just show ya real quickly, so I'm gonna throw it into an everything exposure so we're in full program mode, and I'm gonna do a dark exposure, 'cause I don't really care what we're pointed at. I want you to see the screen, and so I just want to make it dark, so we're gonna go minus three stops on this so you can see what's going on. So when I press down halfway, the camera goes into an exposure lock feature where it locks the exposure in no matter what I point the camera at. And to be honest with you, this is not how most cameras work. Some cameras do, some cameras work where the camera is constantly updating the exposure. The camera is currently locked in on the ...

exposure. If you prefer, you can turn that off on the shutter release. In fact, I will turn it off right now, and so I need to go into, I think, the camera settings. We're gonna go through this later, folks, so not to worry too much about this. I think I threw the camera in the... Camera mode. It's down at the bottom if I recall this correctly. I keep going too... Alright, so... I think I may have misplaced it. Focus release priority. Oh, did I... I forgot it's down here in the button setting menu. Shutter AE, Shutter Auto Exposure lock, I'm gonna go ahead and turn this off. And so now, when I press down on the shutter release, the shutter speeds and apertures are changing. It's constantly updating. Now the AE-L button kinda comes into its own so that if I go, "That's the exposure I wanna lock," it's gonna lock it in as long as I leave my finger on that button. And so as it sits right now, it's kind of a wasted button until you turn off the auto exposure lock on the shutter release, or you want to reprogram that to do something else which is, of course, something that you can do. It's really a matter of personal preference on how you like to work. I don't use auto exposure lock very often. In fact, I practically never use it. It is something that you would use in aperture-priority, shutter-priority, or the program modes, locking in for an exposure that's a little bit off 'cause maybe there's an unusual lighting situation that you're working with. And so, lotta people, I think, are gonna wanna reprogram that button to do something else. And if you do wanna reprogram it, you go into the setup menu under the button/dial setting and you can find it, which is what I should've looked at before I dove into the other settings, 'cause I work with a lotta different cameras and things are confusing. Alright, and so if you do want to adjust the way that the button presses, 'cause there are two different ways you can press a button, surprisingly. Did you know that? You can press and hold the button, or you can press it once and it kinda turns that feature on. And so the lock mode controls whether it's a pressing button, or whether it's just automatically locked on. And in order to turn off that feature, you need to go into the button/dial setting under Shutter AE, which is what I went in and turned off. If you want to reprogram it, you go into the button settings, and the AE-L/AF-L button settings and you can reprogram it. And so lots of little reprogramming that we can do in here. Alright, next up, the Rear Command Dial. We've been talking about using this for doing a number of controls, so I just wanted to do a summary of all the things that it does. So you're gonna turn this to do the program shift. We did that earlier. You can do shutter speeds. We haven't gotten to the quick menu settings, but there's gonna be a shortcut menu that we can get to, and we can just kinda navigate over something, turn the back dial and adjust those settings. We're gonna be able to change the focusing frame. We're gonna talk about focusing in an upcoming section. You can zoom in and out on playback. We did that earlier. Now, it's also a button that you can press in. We can zoom in to check the focusing area. And if you wanna use a little shortcut, you can change the way that the manual focusing is done on this camera. So I wanna show you a quick little example on my camera for that. So I'm gonna throw this back into kind of a normal exposure mode here. And so if I wanna check focusing, I can just press in on this button, and I can actually dial in closer, and I can start adjusting focus. Well, actually, it's in auto focus right now, so that doesn't help. And so now I can manually unfocus, and I can see if I'm close up, and press it again to bounce back to the full screen right here. Let me turn off some of these displays here. Now the shortcut is, if you press and hold this button which is a dial, you press and hold in on the back dial for two seconds, we can go to the digital split image, we can go to focus peak highlighting. I got some good displays that I'll share with you in just a moment. Let me got up here on the clock and you can see this. As I focus, it's gonna shimmer in red when I get it in focus. And so that looks like it's pretty much peak focus right there. And so it's a different aid in focusing. And then press it in again. It's standard, which basically means when we go to manually focus, as soon as we turn the focusing ring it jumps in, and then when we press the shutter release halfway down, it'll punch back out on that. And so what we did there, just in review, is we pressed and hold in on the button, and it changes to the next option. I'm gonna leave it in standard for right now. Next up is the Auto Focus Lock button, which is very similar to the Auto Exposure Lock button, and this is locking the focus in. And this is not inherently turned on on your camera, but you can adjust for that in the setup menu if you want; you can control the way it works in the lock mode. Once again, it's either a press button or press-and-hold button, which is the way it normally works, or you can press it and just lock it in with a press, and then you unlock it with another press. And then you can also, you're gonna need to turn off the Shutter AF in the camera, or that's gonna be one of the other controls that you might wanna use with this. And just so, as an example, let me do a little demo on this one. And so I need to have the camera in, if I have it in single focus, what happens is the camera focuses, and that's focused there, it'll focus and it will lock in, and so auto focus lock doesn't make any sense, because by pressing halfway down on the shutter release, it's already locked in. If I move the camera to single, and as I flip the camera around I'm gonna go down to continuous here. Now let me move our focusing point back to the middle and try to focus on something a little bit closer. We don't have a lotta great distances here. Let me grab a prop from the prop table and get something to focus on really close to the screen. Move a few things around. Sorry about this, just gotta adjust a few things. And we're gonna go a little but wider angle. So now we can focus on something close and something far away. And so you can see the camera continually adjusts from forward to back because my finger is halfway down on the shutter release. If I said, "I want you to lock in right there," you can see AE-L comes in here, and even though the focusing point is now on the closer subject, it's not refocusing 'cause maybe I wanna take that photo there, and if I normally press the button here, it would refocus there. And so if I wanna press in and hold that focus, I can move it over and get that photo. And so this AF-L button is mainly gonna come in handy when your camera is in the continuous mode right there. And so there ya go. You can also use this button in the manual mode for focusing. And so this is the simplistic way of doing back button focusing. We actually have two different manners of setting up the camera here. This one is the one that we've been using on Fuji cameras for some time now. When the camera is in a manual focus mode, you would never use the Auto Focus Lock button. And so what they said is, "Well, let's just make that "a shortcut button for back button focusing." And so if you like manually focusing from time to time with a auto focus override, which is what I really like quite a bit of the time, I'll leave it in manual focus, and then I'll just press down on that thumb button when I want to focus. And then when it gets focused on what I want, I release my finger off the button and I can compose however I want, I don't have to press any buttons down, and I shoot the photo. And so it's one of a number a different ways of just controlling the exposure of the camera and separating it from the focusing system. And so, in order to do that, you would need to turn off the Shutter AF in the camera. Next up is a little indicator lamp, and it blinks or shows you a green or orange light depending on what's going on. And so it's just kind of a status of what the camera is doing. Generally, blinking things are a warning, oranger and redder things more of a warning than anything else. But those are what those little lights indicate.

Class Description


  • Capture images on the Fujifilm X-T2 with confidence
  • Set custom controls and menus
  • Master exposure and autofocus with the X-T2
  • Easily set up the camera's Wi-Fi


The Fujifilm X-T2 is one of the best travel cameras on the market, with a large X-Trans CMOS APS-C sensor packed inside a mirrorless compact camera. But that first date with the X-T2 doesn't always go well. Skip the 356-page instruction manual and explore the X-T2's features with expert photographer John Greengo at your side.

Start with basics like setting up the camera and taking the first shot, then dive into advanced topics like using a battery grip and customizing the electronic viewfinder. Learn how to capture an accurate exposure and how to work with the X-T2's AF system. Finally, in an update to the class, find out how to update the firmware and what new features Fujifilm has added since the mirrorless digital camera's launch.

This fast start course gives you everything you need to successfully shoot with the X-T2. Whether you are just picking up the X-T2 for the first time or are self-taught, learn the X-T2 inside and out, including more than a dozen "secret" shortcuts.


  • Photographers just picking up the X-T2 for the first time
  • Self-taught photographers that want to find what they're missing
  • Photographers considering investing in the X-T2

MATERIALS USED: Fujifilm X-T2, lenses and accessories


John Greengo is an award-winning travel and outdoor photographer. Along with his creative work, he's lead dozens of classes on photography basics. He's taught Fast Start classes for dozens of different cameras, including Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Olympus digital cameras as well as Fujifilm cameras. He's lead several classes on X-Series cameras, including the Fujifilm X-T20, Fujifilm X-H1, Fujifilm X-Pro2, Fujifilm X-T1, Fujifilm X-E2, and Fujifilm X-T10. John's straightforward teaching style makes it easy to ditch the boring instruction manual to learn the ins and outs of your camera.


  1. Class Introduction

    Get started with the Fujifilm X-T2 in this short intro lesson. Learn what to expect in the class, and why the X-T2 is such a great little camera.

  2. Camera Overview

    Start exploring the X-T2 in this lesson. Get a quick overview of the Fuji camera history influencing the Fujifilm X series. Learn what the weather-sealed camera can handle, what requires rain gear and how to check for new firmware. Set up the camera to take your first, simple photo.

  3. Photo Basics

    Learn the basics of how the Fujifilm X-T2 works. Understand basics like aperture and shutter speed, as well as essentials like how to hold the camera and why you should understand manual mode.

  4. Top Deck: Overview

    Gain an essential overview of the camera's most essential controls, from powering the camera on and off to navigation through the menu and using the new focus stick.

  5. Top Deck: Exposure Control

    Start deciphering all those controls at the top of the camera, beginning with the exposure adjustments. Learn how to use the ISO, shutter speed and exposure compensation wheels. Without a mode dial, learn how to switch from automated modes to manual modes.

  6. Top Deck: Metering

    Learn how to use the first of several function buttons on the camera with the button set by default to face detection. Gain recommendations for Fujifilm flashes that best pair with the camera, from the bundled flash to more advanced options to slide into that hot shoe slot. Underneath the shutter speed dial, learn how to use the metering controls on the camera and what each setting entails.

  7. Top Deck: Drive Mode

    The drive mode controls, underneath the ISO dial, contains several settings. Learn how to use burst shooting on the X-T2, the perks of the low shooting mode and high shooting mode, and how to shoot at 14 fps. Find the settings for bracketing options, video capture, multiple exposure, advanced filters, and panoramas.

  8. Camera Controls: Viewfinder Display

    The X-T2 has one of the best electronic viewfinders on the market. Find out how to adjust what the viewfinder displays and whether the eye sensor automatically switches between the LCD and viewfinder. Learn how to adjust the back LCD tilt screen horizontally as well as the hidden vertical adjustment.

  9. Backside: Playback

    Take a tour of the X-T2's playback settings. Learn how to view your images with multiple control options, as well as a shortcut to switch from one SD card to the other SD card. Discover how to quickly check the focus right at the focal point.

  10. Backside: Auto Exposure Lock and Focus

    Learn how to use the autoexposure lock -- or how to reprogram the button for an entirely new purpose. See how Fujifilm recognizes two different types of button presses. Discover the many adjustments possible using just the rear control dial -- which doubles as a button.

  11. Backside: Quick Menu Custom Settings

    Fujifilm knows that you're not going to want to dig through the full menu for every adjustment -- and that's where the quick menu or Q menu comes in. Learn how to adjust the 16 different options in the quick menu to your shooting style.

  12. Quick Menu: AF Mode

    Continue exploring the quick menu options with the different settings for the Fujifilm X-T2's autofocus system. Learn how to work with different autofocus modes, as well as essentials like the difference between phase detection and contrast detection autofocus.

  13. Quick Menu: Dynamic Range & White Balance

    If you shoot JPEG, you can adjust the dynamic range of the image to prevent blowing out the highlights. Learn how to adjust the dynamic range, as well as how to quickly access different white balance settings on the X-T2.

  14. Quick Menu: Noise, Image Size, Film Sim & Color

    The X-T2 can automatically adjust noise in JPEGs --- learn how to adjust this feature, and how much noise reduction is too much. Then, work with different image sizes and file types, as well as the film simulation and colors the Fujifilm X Series is known for.

  15. Quick Menu: Self Timer, Face Detection & Flash

    Finish going through the quick menu by going through the settings for the self-timer, face detection, and flash options.

  16. Function Button of Fuji X-T2

    Learn several hidden shortcuts in the X-T2's physical controls in this lesson on the camera's custom function buttons. Discover shortcuts using that new focus stick, and the re-programmable arrow keys, which double as function buttons.

  17. Left & Right Side of Fuji X-T2

    Continue the tour around the X-T2 and take a look at the right and left sides, which houses the camera's ports. Learn what accessories are compatible, as well as essential tips like the fastest way to charge the batteries.

  18. Bottom of Fuji X-T2

    The bottom of the camera houses essentials like the battery compartment and serial number. Gain some tips on getting the most out of the X-T2 battery in this lesson.

  19. Front of Fuji X-T2

    Finish off the tour of the X-T2 body with the front of the camera body, which includes the PC sync port and focus mode switch. Learn about the APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor and how it works.

  20. Fuji Lenses

    With Fujifilm, some of the camera's controls live on the lens and not the camera body. Learn how to use these controls, like the aperture and image stabilization switch, well as what Fuji lenses pair best with this mirrorless camera body, including both prime and zoom lens options. Gain an understanding of what all those lens abbreviations mean, like XC and WR.

  21. Q&A

    Gain additional insight into the camera with common questions from students like you.

  22. Camera Menu Overview

    In the second half of the class, dive into the menu system and learn how to customize your X-T2. Start with an overview of the menu (and the hidden playback menu) to get a jump start on properly setting up the X-T2.

  23. Image Quality Settings

    Dive into the first subcategory in the menu with the image quality settings. Learn the best file settings for the X-T2. Learn what the difference is between lossless compressed and uncompressed RAW files and more image quality settings in this lesson.

  24. Auto Focus and Manual Focus Menus

    Next up, head into the autofocus and manual focus menu. While there are shortcuts and quick menu options for these controls, understanding this menu is helpful for setting up custom control schemes. Dive into Fujifilm's new custom AF-C options, what they are, and where to set them.

  25. Shooting Settings

    The image-related controls that aren't about focus and image quality live inside this menu. Here, follow along with the different options, from bracketing to burst speed. Learn why the fastest burst speed isn't always best because of that electronic shutter.

  26. Flash Mode

    If you have a flash mounted to the X-T2, adjust the different settings inside this menu, from choosing to shoot TTL or manual, to adjusting flash compensation.

  27. Movie Mode

    Find the options for shooting video with the X-T2 inside this menu. Learn video shooting basics like resolution and frame rate, and dive into the X-T2's different video shooting options.

  28. Camera Menu Q&A

    Find answers to the most commonly asked questions about the X-T2 menu, including questions on using the digital camera's Wi-Fi and other features.

  29. Set-Up Menu: Basics

    Dive into a quick overview of how the Set-Up Menu works, from formatting the SD cards to setting the time zone.

  30. Demo: Add Items to My Menu

    Personalizing the X-T2 allows you to set your camera up to your shooting style. In this live demo, see how to set up the My Menu so your most frequently accessed controls are easy to find.

  31. User Setting: Sensor Cleaning and Sounds

    Finish exploring the user setting menu with options for cleaning the sensor. Then, dig into the sound settings.

  32. Screen Set-Up

    Learn how to customize the viewfinder and LCD displays in this menu, from brightness and color to what's displayed on-screen.

  33. Button Dial Setting & Power Management

    In the button and dial settings, learn how to customize the way the physical controls on the camera work, along with customizing the quick menu.

  34. Save Data Set-Up & Connection Setting

    Choose how the images are saved to the SD card in this menu, from adjusting the file names to backing up your photos to the second SD card. Then, head into the Wi-Fi settings menu to adjust the X-T2's connectivity settings.

  35. Playback Menu

    Inside the playback menu, learn how to convert RAW files in camera, delete files, and more tricks for images that you've already shot.

  36. Camera Operation Overview

    Gain some final tips on camera operation in this lesson, including a pre-shot checklist as well as how to check for dust on the sensor. John shares advice on a hierarchy of custom controls and final thoughts for getting the most out of the Fujifilm X-T2.

  37. Firmware Addendum

    In this update to the class, learn how to use the new features made possible by the version 3.21 firmware. Dive into the process for updating the firmware, the firmware history of the camera, and how to use the new features.


John Simpson

I highly recommend this class! Been shooting Nikon for 40+ years and decided to give my Nikon gear to my daughter and go the smaller and lighter Fuji X-T2 for travel. Excellent camera and this course was outstanding in helping me learn how to use the camera. I have watched a number of Nikon oriented instructional videos. This video by John Greengo is the best organized and informative presentation I have ever watched.

Monroe Nevels

We all learn from different methods. I, for one, learn best by watching you while teaching, and being able to work along side you, with my camera in hand, and then follow you. I highly recommend this class if you really want to know how to use your camera. Thank you John for helping me to relive my film days, and integrating into Digital. I now have my Fujo X-T2 programmed and I LOVE IT!

a Creativelive Student

Really appreciate John putting these Fast Start Series together. Went through part of the training waiting on my Fujifilm X-T20 to arrive, which did today. That allowed me to dive into the menu settings and get the camera ready to use. I found that we are on Firmware 3.0, so, I have some updates to get installed. The training was great and informative as always. Don't hesitate to look for his Fast Start for your particular camera, and the in-depth training on Photography Fundamentals. It is well worth your time and money to get this training, especially if you are an amateur like myself, but, thanks to John Greengo I am quickly learning to use my camera in Manual Mode, most of the time.