Image Quality Settings
So if you hit the menu button, and you go to the left, and you go up and down, you want to get yourself to the image quality, which is the top item in the menu. And we've already talked about this. This was in the quick menu. This is concerning JPEG images. We have large, medium, and small. And then we have the aspect ratios. Most people are gonna want to be in the 3:2 aspect ratio, because that is the ratio of the sensor itself. And you'll probably want to be in the large, unless you very specifically know you do not need the large. And so large 3:2 is gonna be our standard setting under image size. Next up is image quality. We did talk about this before. It was in the quick menu. This is where you get to choose RAW or JPEG. For many people, the JPEGs are perfectly good out of this camera. But many people like to have access to the RAWs, the original information from the camera. If you recall earlier, one of the reasons that I like to shoot RAW plus JPEG is that when you shoot JPEGs, ...
you get that 100% magnification where you can go in and check sharpness. The RAWs have an embedded lower res JPEG for use in the camera, which have a lower magnification in the play back. And so I like using that simply for that play back option. Now as we go through this, you'll notice my recommendations on the right hand side of the menu, and the ones that are for the more advanced users in red. And it's just that we come across certain types of menu settings where I'll think, yeah, this is pretty good for most people. But somebody who is a little bit more advanced is gonna prefer a little bit different setting that might have more manual settings. Or something else might be a little bit different about it. So anything is red is for a little bit more advanced user. And you will see that on the PDF handout that comes with the class as well. Next up is RAW recording. Not too many cameras have this. And this is the uncompressed option or the lossless compressed. This intrigued me quite a bit, so I needed to go out and shoot a test sample and see okay, what's the difference between uncompressed and lossless compressed when I shoot an image in the detail of the image. Because we're kind of looking for sharpness. We're looking for noise, highlights, shadow areas. Now an uncompressed image is gonna be about 50 megabytes in size. The lossless compressed will be about half the size. Now I've examined these images very, very closely, and I could not find any significant difference between these, which means that when they say lossless compressed, there really is no loss of quality. And so I wanted to try it again, and I went into the studio. Gonna shoot my standard little subject that's got some highlights, it has some shadows, it has some details. Do you see any quality difference between this? And I look back and forth, and I could pick out a few little differences, but I couldn't really say that they were better or worse. So this lossless compressed image sure seems like the smart way to go because it's half the file size. And so I wanted to run it through a really hardcore test. And this is where I overexposed the image by four stops. Yes, this picture is slightly overexposed. I then corrected for it in post-production. And I'm gonna magnify it, and compare the two options between uncompressed and lossless compressed. And I was hoping that I might see some difference in the highlight areas that I could recover, and I really didn't see any notable difference between them. And then I decided to underexpose by four stops, run it through the same test, magnify it, and compare it. And then of course correct for it in post-production. Am I gonna see any difference in the shadow areas? Is there more noise? Is there better detail? And once again I can see a few little differences here and there, but nothing conclusively about one being better or worse. And it's notably smaller in file size. And so I would say stick with lossless compressed because it's the same image quality at half the file size. You're gonna get more images on a memory card, more images on your hard drives. Now why do they have uncompressed versus lossless compressed? Apparently there are a few post-production software programs out there that don't work well with the lossless compressed file that Fuji uses. So the uncompressed that I was using, I was using in Adobe Lightroom, and it seems to work with it totally fine. So if you do use kind of a smaller post-production system out there, you may want to check to see that your lossless ones are similar quality to the uncompressed ones. But I think for the great majority of us, that lossless compressed is gonna save a lot of space. And as the name says, it's not losing any data. It's not any less quality. So good option there. Next up is film simulation. We went through this before. Actually we went through it twice before. So this is the JPEG only look of your images. Normally you're gonna probably want to leave it on provia for standard, but play around as you will with it. The grain effect. We have an option of off, weak, and strong. So I wanted to take a look at what this looks like. And I decided to shoot black and white on this one. We're gonna crop in. We're gonna look at a small area with it turned off, with it weak, and with it strong. And you can clearly see that weak and strong are pretty good names for those. And so this is meant to emulate film grain. And so some people like this. People tend to like it more if they shoot black and white, because it kind of has that traditional black and white look to it. And it's basically a personal preference. I'm the type of person who probably would leave it off and add that in in post production software so that I could have more control over just weak or strong. I could have it very strong, or moderately weak, or something like that. And so normally you're probably gonna want to leave that off and turn it on from time to time if you specifically want it. Dynamic range. And just as a side note here, you're gonna see this JPEG only sign popping up a lot in the image quality section, and that's because a lot of these controls are for JPEGs only. Not gonna have any final impact on your RAW image. And so this is of course where the camera is protecting the highlight information. There are a number of people who shoot in situations that are very contrast-y, and by setting the camera to ISO and using the DR400 option, it's going to keep their highlights very well protected when shooting JPEGs. White balance we've talked about a couple of times before, but there's another setting in here so that you can-- Basically the reason it's here and in so many other places, and the reason so many features are in two or three places is they put it in the menu system so that you can reprogram another button on the camera. For instance, it's currently programmed to the right hand button on the back. If you want to reprogram it to the top or the front button, you'll be able to reprogram it, or get access to it here. Highlight tones. We saw this in the quick menu. This is controlling how intense the highlights are. You can go +4 for more intense, kind of blown out highlights. And the opposite of that, of course, is shadow tones. If you wanted to see more into the shadows you would do minus shadows. And if you wanted your shadows to be really, really dark, you would do a +4. We have color, which is basically just the saturation of your image, if you want it more or less saturated. More you would go to plus, less you would go to minus. The sharpness, we saw some examples of this back in the quick menu when we looked at sharpness there. How much sharpening do you want the camera to do to your images. In general, for somebody who doesn't mind doing a little bit of work later on, I would leave this either on zero or something to the minus side because you will be able to sharpen according to your needs and to the needs of that particular photo. Having it done here just gives you nine options, whereas if you do it in post-production software it will give you many more options. But it's faster here. And so you can either choose faster or better, depending on what fits with your workflow. Noise reduction. This is for the high ISOs. And once again, set according to your needs, but zero is a good starting point here. Long exposure noise reduction. Okay, this one is a little different than the one we've talked about before. What's happening here is when you do a long exposure, let's say a 30 second exposure, the camera will then take another 30 second dark photo without opening the shutter, to see what the amount of noise is supposed to be. And what happens is your camera is kind of dead in the water for 30 seconds. It's just processing information, and it's applying a correction to that image that you shot-- In JPEG. This has no effect on RAW, of course. I remember this happening to me on my first digital camera. I'm like, what's the camera doing? And on this camera, I wanted to see is it worth it. Because you're taking up 30 seconds of my time, and I can't shoot photos. Is the processing worth it. And so I did a little test. Went in the studio. Turned on just one light. Did a 30 second exposure. And I took two photos: ane with noise reduction turned off, and one with it turned on. And I looked closely at the results. And I'm hard pressed to see any difference at all. I don't know that that noise reduction is doing any good. It might under a different circumstance, or maybe if I went for an even longer exposure. 30 seconds is the longest time that you can do with the specific shutter speeds. You'd have to go into a bulb mode. And so it just doesn't appear to be doing any good. I compared it then to a RAW image to see what a RAW image looks like. Frankly I would probably start with the RAW image, but even if I'm going with the JPEG, I don't know this is something I would use. You may need to do a test to see if you're doing something where it has more of an impact. But it's taking up time that you could be out shooting. And so if you don't see any results that are positive from it, then I would turn it off, which is what I'm gonna do with my camera. Lens modulation optimizer. Okay, so this is kind of interesting. Hate to break it to you, but Fuji's lenses are not perfect. I know. Calm down, sit down. All lenses are not perfect. And Fuji knows where their lenses have some inefficiencies. Like for instance, all lenses when you stop it down to too small of an aperture you get a little loss of sharpness called diffraction. And with this turned on, at least on the JPEG images, the camera will go in and it will sharpen those areas up a little bit more to make it look good. And so there's a few things that it will fix up. It's gonna improve the definition by adjusting for diffraction or a slight loss of focus at the edge, because sometimes lenses are not as sharp on the edges. It will do this for the JPEGs. It's a very minor, minor-- It was even too small for me to show you. Very minor difference. It doesn't seem like it's really hurting anything to turn on. It does not work in RAWs. However you can shoot with a RAW, and then you can have this turned on later if you want to process a JPEG to turn this on. Some lenses might have a bigger impact than others. You might want to test this out a little bit on your lenses, but I think you're perfectly safe leaving this turned on all the time. Next up is color space. sRGB is where standard JPEGs are set at. And if all you're gonna do is post photos on the Internet, you're totally fine with sRGB. If you have hopes of printing your images or doing more with them longterm in the future, you'd want to set this to Adobe RGB. The RAW images that you shoot are always in Adobe RGB, which is a larger color gamut to choose from. I think for a basic user, sRGB is probably gonna be fine. But for the more advanced user, printing and working in adjusting images in a variety of software programs afterwards, Adobe RGB just gives you a slightly larger color space to work in. Pixel mapping is something that I hope you don't need to use. If you have any bright or blown out pixels that are just like this bright dot when you get your pictures back, the camera can scan the sensor to see if there's a problem. And I don't know exactly how it fixes it, but it does fix the problem of those blown out pixels. So hopefully you will never need to use this. Working on to our third page. Select custom setting. This is where you get to select custom settings one through seven. And that is closely related to the next one, which is edit and save a custom setting in here. I wanted to show you a little bit about what this is all about, and then go ahead and do a little demo here for you. Got the camera turned on. Diving into the image quality. And I am going to dive down to the very bottom where it is edit/save custom setting. Before I even get to this, I want to show you a little secret. We are at the very bottom. We are at like the 16th item in the image quality. And so if you go from auto focus to image quality-- Well we were just here. If I turn the camera off. I turn the camera on. I go to hit the menu. Come on. Hit the menu. We're back up here at the top, and I've gotta go down 16 times to get there. There is a shortcut. If I go down to auto focus/manual focus and I go up one, I jump from the top of that menu to the bottom of the IQ menu. And so if you know you need to get to something on the bottom menu, go to the next menu, and then go up from there. We came here to talk about edit/save custom settings. If you go to the right here, you can edit and save these different options in the Q menu. If you remember, you can control what's in the Q menu by going in to the Q button and holding that down and selecting what the different options are in there. We'll see that also in the set up menu. But what I like to do in here is I have the first one setup as just straight up, simple photography. But on some of these further deeper ones I like to go in and make them a black and white option. Actually here, what I want to do is I want to go change the film simulation to standard monochrome. And where's my standard monochrome? Black and white. Right here. I'm gonna set that. I don't want to set any color filters on that. And so I want to do the grain effect? Not on this one, because this is a pretty basic black and white. I'll come down the highlights, and I wanna make it a little bit more contrast-y, so I'm gonna hit a +1. I'll come down to the shadow tones and I'm gonna make that a -1. And sharpness, I'm gonna bump that up just a little bit to +1. And then I'm basically gonna say that that's okay. So I'm gonna go back to the left. And it's gonna save this as a new Custom 4 setting, and I'm gonna say okay. Now I'm gonna come down to Custom 5. And now I'm gonna kind of whack things out bit more. In this case I'm gonna go to the ACROS and I'm gonna choose the red filter on this one. I got this already at +4. That's perfect. I want this super contrast-y. And extra sharpness. I'm gonna go up to three on this one. I'm pretty good there, so I'm gonna save that in. So I have just customized four and five. So if I go into the Q menu and I select number four... You can actually see all these settings that I have put in here. So let me go ahead and do a test shot between these two. We're just fully automatic right now, basic picture taking. Focus in the center. Gonna change it to number five. Come on. There we go. And so let's play these images back. There is my super contrast-y one, and my less contrast-y black and white one. So if you like to shoot black and white, I could see setting up these custom settings to do all sorts of different things. Now, if you remember, we go into the Q menu, hold it down for two seconds. And we can take away these things in here. So for instance, something that I'm not gonna change is the color. I'm not gonna change the saturation of it. So I'm gonna press the okay button, and I'm gonna choose something else to put in here. Maybe I access the manual focus assist. And I'll hit okay. So now I have manual focus assist in there. And so now I get to change what I have in here. Maybe I come down here and I never change the brightness of the LCD, and I just can't think of anything else to use in here. I can press none, and I can completely take that out. So if you want to, you could take almost everything out of here so that there's only just a couple of items in there. I've taken those out. And so now going back into the menu system under edit/save custom menu I can go in here and I can start choosing these options about what I want in there. Because you're limited as to all that you can put in there, it seems to be best suited towards different film types and looks to images. Like you can't put in formatting the memory card. That's just not an option in there. But take a look at the options that are available and adjust it to your own custom settings. Because this is one of the great ways you can make quick changes without diving too far into the menu system.