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Fujifilm X-T3 Fast Start

Lesson 12 of 23

Menu Functions: Focus Settings

John Greengo

Fujifilm X-T3 Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

12. Menu Functions: Focus Settings
Configuring focus can be tricky, depending on the lighting and your subject. Thankfully the XT-3 is equipped with settings such as AF-C (auto focus continuous) to track and analyze your subject. John breaks down how to best configure this setting depending on the movement and placement of your subject. Learn how to set your focus area, toggle between auto and manual focus and use focus check.


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1 Class introduction Duration:12:33
2 Photo Basics Duration:04:07
4 Camera Controls: Top Deck Duration:21:14
6 Camera Controls: Back Side Duration:26:44
7 Quick Menu Overview Duration:26:28

Lesson Info

Menu Functions: Focus Settings

We're working our way down to the second tab in the menu system, dealing with auto focus and manual focus. The first option is focused area, and this is normally done by just moving the focusing joystick on the back of the camera. But this allows you to program this to a function button somewhere else on the camera. If you want to go in and change the size of your focusing point by pressing a different function, button the A F mode. This is controlling which area you are focusing, and I think the best option here for most people is going to be the all selection because I demo as a demo earlier in the class, you're able to seamlessly go from the smallest point to the largest just by going up and down and changing the dial, um, back and forth and so you can choose it to single zone and wide. But as I say, if you change it to all, you'll be able to access everything very, very conveniently. A F C custom settings okay for you sports photographers out there. There are many different ways th...

at the camera can be set up for tracking action and the way it focuses, the way it analyzes where the subject is moving, how fast it's moving. Where it's moving throughout, the frame is going to be different from one sport to the next, and getting the camera to focus perfectly on the moving subject is very, very challenging. And so they have set up these five different presets, along with another one that you can go in and customize for different types of action. So each of these has three different parameters. So let me talk about each of these three parameters to help you understand what is actually going on with each one of these. The 1st 1 of these is called tracking sensitivity, and the question that I think you want to ask is, Do you want to track a new subject or the current one that's in the frame? And it depends on what sport and what type of action you are shooting. And so sometimes you're locked on an athlete and you don't want anything else to happen. You just want that athlete to be in focus, but sometimes you're not so much. Focusing on a particular athlete is just who's ever closest to you ever is winning the race, and you want whoever is the nearest towards you. And so think about where your subject is in the focus points. And do you want the camera to jump to this new subject that may have come across the frame You might think about football with a referee crossing in front of you. You don't want it to jump. And so if you want to track a new subject that might be the race leader or finish line, or you don't really care which individual it is, you just want whatever one is in the focus brackets. And then, if you want to track an established subject, that's really good for a lot of field sports, things like tennis, where the racket may come in between you and the subject. Same thing with butterfly swimming, there's a lot of water that kicks out in front. You don't want that water to trigger the autofocus to switch now, as it changes from 123 and four. It's basically an amount of time that something needs to be in the focusing area in order for it to jump to that. And if you said it to one. It's gonna be like, Ah, half a second. And if you said it to four, it's gonna be about a second and 1/2 before the camera will decide. OK, this really is the new subject to focus on, and so you might want to test that, depending on the type of action that you're photographing. All right, the next topic is speed tracking sensitivity, and this deals with how fast a subject is moving towards you or away from you. Does it have a consistent speed, or is it changing in speed? And so, as the subject is coming towards you, the camera is helped by knowing is at a steady speed? Or should it be sampling that information more quickly and making faster adjustments? And so there's a lot of subjects that have a fixed speed. Any sort of race event generally has most of the action happening at the same speed for a sudden starting and stopping once again your field events, things like the long jump or an athlete is completely stationary, and then they get up to top speed, and then when they land in the pit, they're completely stopped again. That's a very big change of motion there. And so it depends on what type of motion you're gonna be shooting as to your setting. The next one is zone area switching, and this has to do with how much your subject is moving side to side, not so much towards and away from you. And so the camera wants to know. When should I start switching, focusing points. If it's towards the center, you can leave it in the center. If it's more towards the outer areas or more erratic in its motion, you might put it more on the front, and so then it will know to track that subject no matter where it goes, or should it kind of stay towards the center where action is normally at. So it once again depends on the type of sports, and you can go into these custom functions and edit, thes and customize them according to your needs and then select them. And one of the things that you could do with the function buttons is you can select one of the function buttons to give you a shortcut right here so that you can quickly change from one to the other storing modes by orientation. I think it's a generally pretty good idea. The problem is, is that if you don't when you switch from horizontal to vertical, the focusing point is probably in a place that you did not intend in its general composition. When you turn this on, you could have the focusing point completely separate, one for vertical and one for horizontal, so that when you switch to vertical, you can have a different focusing point. That kind of mimics the one that you had with horizontal. Next up is a F point display, and this is just simply showing you a bunch of boxes where the focusing points are that the camera is going to use for focusing. It might be a little helpful in knowing you know where the active areas are, but once you get used to them, you probably want to take off that display. I tend to be a person that wants to have as little cluttering the viewfinder as possible on Lee. The most important information should be there so that you can see your subject more clearly focusing points. I love having 425 focusing points, but moving them around does get a bit tedious. And so I think changing it to 117 should still give you plenty of focusing points to get it lined up exactly where you want it in most all cases. So I think it will be a little bit faster and easier if you switch this 2117. Pre auto focus sounds interesting but doesn't work out very well. What it is is that whenever the cameras turned on its auto focusing, you don't need to press down on the shutter release at all. And the theory is, is that when you pick the camera to your eye, the camera is already trying to achieve focus and getting closer to the mark, and it might be just a tad quicker in that situation. But the problem is, is that it's always focusing, even though you may not want it to in some cases, and it's using a bit more battery power. So I think pressing a button lightly to focus is not that much to ask. And so I think for most people you're gonna want to leave. This turned off another item that seems kind of technically cool from one perspective is the A F illuminator. It's basically a little flashlight built into the front of the camera, and the idea here is that if your subject is dark, the camera will shine a light on it, and it will be easier to focus. And that sounds pretty good. The problem is, is that if you're the person that this camera is being pointed at, it's kind of annoying. It's kind of bright. If you're another photographer working around somebody with one of these cameras, and this light keeps shining on the subject, well, that's kind of annoying to the other. Problem with it is, it doesn't work over a very large distance a couple of meters a couple of yards at best. And so I think that if you know how toe point you're focusing frame at things that have contrast, you are likely to not need this in most dark situations. And so this is something it's probably best to turn off. Second page for autofocus Manual focus settings is our face, and I detection and so you can turn this on or off. You can have it in automatic, so it looks for whatever I is closest to you, and you can choose it to set be set for the left eye or the right eye. Now, if you see multiple faces in there, you will probably see multiple boxes over those faces. And so it gets to be a little bit difficult when there are multiple faces. So when it's a solitary face, it tends to work very good and could be very helpful for portrait photography, especially using the I priority so that it focuses on the I because that's what you wanted. Focus for portrait. So I think this is a selective mode that is best used for those targeted portrait situations. A F plus MF means that you can auto focus and then do a little correction touch up. Focus manually after the auto focus has already performed its task. So when you press halfway down the camera will auto focus. You can then physically grab the manual focus ring and make an adjustment if necessary. Nice option to have not a big deal, even if you're not going to use it. Next up is MF assist, and this is gonna lead us into a sub menu. And so these air different options for manually focusing and getting some Elektronik help in Seen what? We're focusing. So I have a few video example Here's for us. So first off standard, if we're gonna adjust the manual focus, you can see we're focusing towards the background, focusing towards the foreground, and we're trying to focus on our happy little face there in the middle, and you can see it pretty easily with the good screen that it has with something called Focus. Check on it magnifies the middle of the frame automatically, and you can see that framing down in the right bottom right hand corner. As to where we're zoomed in at, you can more clearly see where you're focusing, and so this is a really good It's probably the best system for confirming manual focus, and this is just the standard system. Now. One of the things you can do is if you are zoomed in, you can turn the dial in the back of the camera to adjust the focus as faras the magnification of how close you are in on that. In fact, I would like to do a little demo on that right now, so let me get my camera set up and I'm gonna be going into manual focus on this. Yeah, Let's go ahead and get my screen turned on so we can see it. Let's get my right view mode here so that we can see what's going on. You know what? That one will take this one here, zoom in a little bitch, and so we're gonna want to focus on what's in the center of the frame here. And if we are gonna double check which focusing system I'm in. Okay. So I'm gonna turn the manual focus ring, and you can see it focusing, but I can't see it very well. So I'm gonna turn on something called Focus Check, which officially I haven't talked about yet, but I'm gonna talk about in just a moment. So that is turned on. So now you can see immediately when I want to focus, it jumps in, and after a period of time, it will jump back. Or it will jump back when I press down on the shutter release. And so any time I grabbed the focus ring, it will jump in. If I want to turn this ring the control dial in the back. I can magnify in so I can see even more closely when I focus in. And so this could be really handy when we want to jump in and check focus. And so having that focus check on in standard magnification works out really, really well. And so the shortcut is actually on the backed out. If you hold in on this, it will switch between these modes that I'm gonna talk about right now. All right, let's go back to the keynote and show you some of the other options for the manual Focus Assist. Next one is called Digital Split Image. And back in the old days of film cameras, some of you are going to remember some of you have no idea what I'm talking about. There used to be this split image, and what it would do is when a subject was out of focus, it would split it, and your subject would be clearly out of alignment. And you try to get it back in alignment. Well, they've done that digitally. So let me show you what that looks like With this little video here. It might be easier to look at the subject in the background cause you can see the vertical lines get shoved left and right between these different blocks, and I'm gonna go ahead and do a zoom in as well so you can see what's going on and how that subject slightly gets shifted left and right. And so it's just a different way of determining if something is properly, manually focused. And so that's called digital split image. And it could be done in black and white. The monochrome or the color next option is the digital micro prison. So back on those old film cameras, there was another tool, thes micro prisms. And the way they worked is that when a subject was in focus, it looked in focusing. It was pretty clear to see, and when was a little bit out of focus, It seems way out of focus in the digital micro prison, and so the new digital version of this is we focus a little bit out and are happy faces completely blurred out, and so if it looks good in that circular area, it's probably in focus. And so you'll have to see if this is something that you like I'm not as big a fan of this one. I like just the standard magnification, but different strokes for different folks. All right, I think we got one more focus. Peak highlight. All right, This one is good, but for kind of a different reason. So what this does is it shows you the area that is in focus with the shimmering halo highlights around the areas that have strong contrast and our in focus. This is one of the easiest ways to see where focus is your zona Focus. When you are looking at the full image, you can zoom in as well if you want, but it's very easy to see with the full image. And so if you don't want to magnify into your subject because you're working with composition for other reasons, this way is a really good system for judging where the zone of focuses. However, it's not great for determining really, really precise focus. It's more the general zone of focus. And so if you want really precise focus, I would go with standard if you want just a quick reference than I would do the focus peak highlighting. So while this is all in the menu system. The shortcut for it, as I mentioned before, is by pressing in on the rear command dial and holding that end while you are in the manual focus mode. Focus. Check. This allows you to automatically have the camera zoom in. As soon as you start turning the focusing ring, the camera picks up that the focusing ring is being turned in. Assumes that you would like a closer look at your subject and will automatically zoom in. And if you would like to change the magnification, you can turn the command. I'll left and right either for a greater magnification or a lesser magnification. For those of you who like to use the spot meter, you can interlock it with the focusing point that you have chosen, and you can move that focusing point and that spot meter to various places without the frame. And so I think this could be really handy for those of you who use the spot meter Instant a F setting. I mentioned before that when you put the camera in a manual focus mode, the A F L button well really doesn't have any use. If there's no auto focus. And so Fuji's default system is so that that is an auto focus override. And here's where you can choose whether it focuses in single or continuous system. So when you have the camera in manual focus, how do you want that override toe work single or continues? Since most people focus in a single style for average subjects, that would probably be a good choice To start with, the depth of field scale can be set to either pixel based or film based. And this has to do with the fact that most depth of field scales were developed 70 years ago when people were using film that had lower resolution than our sensors do today. And so, if you want to tighten up these standards as faras showing a riel scale of where the depth of field is gonna lay, I'd recommend setting this to the pixel scale release and focus. Priority is gonna lead us into another little sub menu. So with auto focus single and that's that little S C dial on the front of the camera when it set to single in your camera, focuses on a subject and stops it is in what's going on as a focus priority mode, which means the camera has to be in focus to take a photo, and for most of us, this is a good thing. It means the camera will focus, and it wont take a picture. If the camera can focus on it, it could be a little frustrating, but you probably want to make sure that your picture is gonna be in focus. So it makes sense. A F C priority selection deals when the camera is in a continuous focusing system. At what, What's more important, getting the photo or making sure it's and focus? Well, yeah, they're both important. But when you're doing sports photography, getting absolutely technically perfect. Focus is a really hard thing for the camera to achieve, and it will slow down shooting, and it will not get you very many shots. They'll be in focus, but they won't get your very many shots. And for many sports photo photographs, it doesn't matter if the focus is off by 2% which it is in many cases and you want the camera to fire the shutter. And so, in the continuous release, most people leave it in the release priority mode here on the Page three in the auto Focus menu, the first item in here is the touch screen mode, and so this is very important one. This is where you get to turn the touch screen on or off on the camera. Now there are different things that you can set it up to do. You can have it just for touch shooting. You can have it for touch a f so that you can select where the focus point is. And so, if you are holding the camera to your eye, you can just move your thumb and move the focusing point around. If you want, you can set it up to either auto focus or select the area that your auto focusing depending on what I you use. I think if you're right, I'd It works better for this because the screens kind of, uh, out of the way. But for left, I'd people their nose ends up going in the screen and they might want to turn it off, and you can also use this for various other features. But usually you're going to use it when it's in a live view mode and the screens and the images on the back of the camera, and you want to touch focus. It can be very, very handy if you shoot a lot of video with this camera leaving it turned on because you'll be able to access a lot of the video controls in that manner. So if you use a lot of video, I would definitely leave it on.

Class Description


  • Leverage the new viewfinder for live view and playback
  • Understand how to navigate and customize the menus, modes, and settings
  • Know when and how to use the sports mode for subject tracking and fast shutter speeds
  • How to take advantage of the film simulation and grain effect modes
  • Use the 4k film options for incredible video performance with amazing opportunities for color grading in post production


The Fujifilm X-T3 is a mirrorless digital Fujifilm camera, hauling features from the 26.1-megapixel sensor to the 4K video and up to 30 fps shutter. But the Fujifilm’s X-T3 long list of features is just money wasted if you don’t actually know how to find them and put them to use. Skip the floundering through menus and join photographer John Greengo exploring the camera’s many features, from customizing the camera to understanding subject-tracking focus.

This class is designed for photographers using the Fujifilm X-T3, from those just pulling it out of the box to photographers that just haven’t found all the camera’s features yet. The class can also serve as an in-depth look if you’re not yet sure if the Fujifilm X-T3 is the best camera for you.

This Fuji camera class covers the camera from understanding the controls to customizing the menu.

What's packed in this Fujifilm camera Fast Start? Learn the vital information in less time than it takes to analyze the menu -- and have more fun doing it too.


  • Action Photographers
  • Videographers
  • New Fujifilm X-T3 Camera owners


John Greengo has led more than 50 classes covering the in-depth features of several different DSLR camera models and mirrorless options, including Fast Starts for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, and Panasonic. The award-winning photographer is one of the most celebrated CreativeLive instructors, leading classes covering a myriad of topics, including the previous Mark II and Mark III 5D cameras. Greengo has used the 5D series since the first 5D. He's led photographers through the ins and outs of advanced options like the EOS 80D and EOS 7D Mark II to entry-level Canon Rebel cameras like the Rebel T6i and T6.


Justina Tumaite

Thank you it's super helpful. I loved it :)

Eric Geerts

I've been with CL for quite a while and I pretty much got used to (all of) John's top quality classes. Kinda been waiting for this one over the last months. So thanks again, John, for your consistent 5 star quality standard!!

Robert Felice

I loved this class! How much did I love this class? I loved this class and I don't even have an X-T3! I have the Fujifilm X100V, a camera similar enough to the X-T3 that this class easily covered 85% - 90% of the features on my camera. It's also a camera new enough that there isn't much available on how to use it. This class got the job done for me. Well done, John!