About Thomas Fitzgerald

Thomas is a professional fine art photographer and writer specialising in photography related instructional books as well as travel writing and street photography. 

How I shoot with my X-Pro 2

How I shoot with my X-Pro 2

Recently someone asked me how I went about taking certain shots, and I thought it would make an interesting article. I was also in the process of writing something similar for my upcoming Fuji Jpeg book, and so, what follows is an early excerpt from that (it may well change before I’m finished) on how I go about shooting with my X-Pro 2.

When I’m out shooting with my X-Pro 2, I generally shoot a specific way. This is my general purpose setup, and I use this approach most of the time. While this is specific to my X-Pro 2, it should be applicable to most of Fuji’s cameras. As I said, this is my general purpose, every day walking around setup, but If I’m shooting specific things like landscapes, I will change how I shoot, but this is the way I work most of the time.


I set my camera up in the following way. Most of these settings can be accessed from the Q menu but some will require going into the actual menu.

  • Film Simulation: Provia
  • Highlight: -1
  • Shadow: + 1
  • Shutter: MS
  • NR: -4
  • Sharpness: -2
  • Whitebalance: Daylight (when outdoors)
  • Perfomance: High
  • ISO: Auto
  • Max Sensitivity: 3200
  • Default Sensitivity: 200
  • Min Shutter Speed: 1/250

I also have the histogram turned on so that it’s always visible, and I keep the rule of thirds grid on, to help with framing. I usually keep the autofocus point set to its smallest size. I normally keep metering on matrix (or whatever the Fuji terminology is) although occasionally I’ll switch to spot metering for specific tasks.

When shooting I almost always use Aperture Priority mode, and I will change the aperture depending on the scene and what I’m trying to achieve. I almost always use the EVF over the OVF (I sometimes just use the rear screen too) and I like to keep my thumb on the exposure compensation wheel. When taking a shot I will judge whether or not it needs exposure compensation based on what I’m seeing in the EVF and the histogram. With my thumb on the wheel it’s easy to quickly turn the compensation wheel, and after a while this becomes second nature too.

I try to get the exposure as accurate as possible in the camera, but I pay particular attention to avoid clipping the highlights. Unfortunately, Fuji cameras don’t have clipping warning (unless it’s looking at me somewhere in the menus) so I use the histogram to judge instead.

The EVF Effect

One of the things to be careful of when shooting with an EVF, is to be aware of what I call the EVF effect. This is where the brightness levels of the EVF trick you into under or overexposing an image. This is surprisingly easy to do. Sometimes the way the live view image is displayed in the EVF can make you think that the image is darker or lighter than it will actually turn out, because of the brightness of the EVF. When you take the shot, or even reviewing it, it can sometimes look fine, but when you get back to your computer you realise that it is too dar or too bright.

The best way to counter this is to use the histogram at all time. When shooting, it’s wise to glance at the histogram to make sure it matches what your’e seeing in the viewfinder. That way if the histogram is showing a lot of dark areas but your viewfinder image looks too bright, you can compensate. This requires a bit of practice and experience, and after a while it will become second nature to you, bet even then, every now and again, this still tricks me up.


Tripod Shooting

When shooting on a Tripod, whether it’s landscape, cityscapes or long exposure images, I shoot a little differently. I’ll generally set the ISO to its lowest native of 200. You can set it to an artificially lowered 100, but this can affect the dynamic range so I don’t generally do that. I will use the self timer to delay the shot so that I don’t introduce shake. Sometimes, I might to switch to electronic shutter too, for extra stability, although this isn’t really necessary. The one frustrating thing about this approach is that it when the camera goes to sleep it will cancel the self timer, so you have to be careful to reset it each time.

I will also frequently shoot bracketed when shooting on a tripod. It’s useful to have the extra exposures just to cover yourself, and you also have the option to use HDR if you want to. Bracket shooting is so fast on the X-Pro 2 that you don’t really loose much (apart from space) so there’s no harm in doing it. Of course, this is just my opinion.

That’s it for now. I hope you have found this useful. I have also started posting draft excerpts of the book to Patreon Members, so if you’re subscribed to me on Patreon, on the $5 tier, you can get to see the book as it progresses, and give feedback too. (Medium tier members will also get the finished book for free).

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You can also show support by buying something from my from my Digital Download Store where I have Lightroom Presets, and e-books available for download. If you're a Fuji X-Trans shooter and Lightroom user, check out my guide to post processing X-Trans files in Lightroom. I also have a guides for processing X-Trans files in Capture One and Iridient Developer. For Sony Alpha shooters I have a new guide with tips on how to get the best from processing your A6000 Images in Lightroom.

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