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Auto Iso on Fujifilm X-T2

I saw a comment made by one of the prominent YouTube reviewer about the Fujifilm X-T2 auto Iso options. On a list of Pros and Cons they listed the 3 Auto Iso options as a Con, stating that it was unnecessarily complicated. Hm… Whatever do they mean? Offering users 3 options rather than just one was unnecessary and cumbersome. They should just give us one option to make it better. I thought of a scene from Amadeus between Mozart and the Emperor: “…this opera has too many notes. Just cut a few and it will be perfect… ”

Why would anyone complain about too many options? It’s not like we are forced to choose iso every time we press the shutter. We set the options once and they stay set until such time that we want to change it, which could just as easily be never.

Fujifilm X-t2Fuji has given users 3 separate and adjustable Iso settings where we can change the range and the minimum shutter speed. What’s wrong with that? If someone doesn’t want to make use of that feature, they can just configure one option and never change it. I am sure that there are dozens of settings most users never even change once, but they can, if they want to. That is the point.

I for one am actually quite happy with those 3 separate and configurable Iso options. In fact I like this so much, I assign the AE-L button on the body to get me straight there. I never use Auto Exposure Lock button so had no issue with it at all. What this setting gives me is what I was missing from my Canon 5Dmk3. The custom settings on the main dial. I had C1 configured for my standard portraits and C2 was for action shots. This was perfect for family photography. I could take family portraits using C1, but if one of the kids got up and decided to run towards me, as they often did, I could quickly change to C2 and shoot at a higher shutter speed to freeze the action.

The different Iso options give me just that. My first Iso is set to minimum shutter of 1/100s. Perfect for most portraits. The second Iso is set to minimum shutter speed of 1/320s, and it takes literally half a second to change that and even set the AF to continuous. I think it’s brilliant for that.

Fujifilm X-T2 has mechanical dials for Aperture, Shutter Speed and Iso, so complete control by a custom setting is not possible, but this gets me close to what I had in my Canon and it’s been working pretty well. I operate all my settings thru the viewfinder and the AE-L button is very easy to get to. I press that, flick the joystick down a notch and my shutter jumps to 1/320 minimum which gets most of the running shots perfectly sharp. This is  really useful and while I can see that not everyone wants to apply that functionality in their workflow, why complain about having that option? It’s just silly.

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1 reply
  1. Jade
    Jade says:

    Thanks for the great article Jay. I realise that it’s over three years old by now, but as far as I can see, auto ISO and minimum shutter speed hasn’t changed in the newer Fuji bodies/firmware. While I agree that more choice is always better (especially in a camera designed for enthusiasts/pros and not beginners), I’d go so far as to say that three auto ISO settings (per custom settings group) isn’t enough to cover all needs of a generalist photographer.

    After considerable thought, I’ve put together some recommendations for improving the minimum shutter speed implementation (you can read about it here: https://medium.com/@jade.steffensen_34722/fixing-fujifilm-shutter-speed-e123fd471d66?source=friends_link&sk=ea18a2be29cd734f2a644d31688dccca ). The main change I’d like to see is to be able to control the minimum shutter speed via the dial, but having the auto minimum shutter speed setting take into account OIS is also key. As someone who obviously knows the ins and outs of the auto ISO settings on Fuji bodies, I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts on these ideas!


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