Quick Start Guide FUJIFILM X-S20

Congratulations on your new FUJIFILM X-S20! This quick start guide introduces your camera’s features and functions, and will help you get more creative with your photography


Features Common to All X Series Cameras

The MENU OK button is used to access deeper levels of camera functionality beyond what is offered by function buttons, dials, and switches.

Note: On FUJIFILM X-S20, MENU OK options will change whether you’re in stills mode or movie mode – this is also applicable to the Q MENU options.

  • Named menu tabs are what you use to change capture settings. Press the left button on the Selector pad to scroll by tab (so you don’t have to scroll through every function to get to the next page), and press the right button on the Selector pad to access the desired feature, then MENU OK to select.
  • The wrench icon indicates SET UP and features settings including Power Management, Button/Dial Setting and Screen Set-Up. Choose DISP. CUSTOM SETTING from the SCREEN SET-UP menu to select what information shows on the EVF/LCD.
  • Finally, the MY menu is a customized menu that you create based on your most frequently accessed menu items. Add and rank to move them in any order you like and remove them under USER SETTING in the SET UP menu.

The DRIVE settings give you access to high-speed burst modes, bracketing, single frame, Advanced Filters, and more. On X-S20, Drive functions are set using the button located beneath the Fn-D dial.

The photometry/metering setting determines how the camera meters exposure. On X-S20, select it by pressing MENU OK > SHOOTING SETTING > PHOTOMETRY. This can also be assigned to the Q MENU or a FUNCTION BUTTON, which will be explained later.

Note: When the FACE/EYE DETECTION SETTING is turned on, choosing different PHOTOMETRY types will be disabled.

The AE-L button allows you to lock exposure in a scene, then recompose while maintaining the exposure. Auto Exposure Lock is also linked to shutter button pressing, but can be unlinked in the Menu OK > SETUP > BUTTON DIAL SETTINGS.

The AF ON button initiates autofocus in all FOCUS MODES including AF-S, AF-C, and Manual. Autofocus will still be attached to the SHUTTER button, but can be removed by MENU OK > SET UP > BUTTON DIAL SETTINGS > SHUTTER AF > AF-S or AF-C. This will remove AF from the shutter button when turned off and can be isolated to AF-S, AF-C, or both.

By default, the Fn button to the right of the viewfinder allows you to select white balance options that match your light source. You can also customize to create your own shade of white or select a specific kelvin value, which is a measure of the color temperature of light.

The DISP BACK button allows you to select how you’d like information displayed on the LCD and/or EVF. You can customize the information being displayed in SET UP > SCREEN SET-UP > DISP. CUSTOM SETTING.

Personalizing your camera

Many aspects of X-S20 can be customized to suit your preferences, such as controls, displays, and shooting modes.

Controls, swipes, and dials

Customize the behavior of the camera’s controls and touchscreen swipe gestures.

  • In shooting mode, press and hold the DISP BACK button to go straight to the FUNCTION (Fn) SETTING customization screen.
  • Scroll through the various options, scrolling right to change the default behavior of each button or swipe.
  • Those functions controlled by gestures on the touchscreen will require TOUCH FUNCTION to be enabled. To do this, press MENU/OK, go to the SET UP menu, access the BUTTON/DIAL SETTING menu, then select TOUCH SCREEN SETTING. Ensure TOUCH SCREEN SETTING and T-Fn TOUCH FUNCTION are both set to ON.

Customizing EVF and LCD information

The information you see when you compose a scene can be changed so that only the data you need is shown.

  • Press MENU OK, scroll down to the SET UP menu and access SCREEN SET-UP.
  • Scroll through and choose the items you’d like to see in the viewfinder and on the camera screen.

Customizing the Q Menu

The Q Menu gives you information at a glance and quick access to camera settings. You can also change what’s on the Q Menu screen to suit your way of working.

  • Hold down the Q button for a couple of seconds; the customization screen will appear.
  • Choose the menu item location you want to customize and press MENU OK.
  • Find the function you’d like to appear in this menu location and press MENU OK.
  • Repeat the above steps for each menu location you want to change. Press DISP BACK to finish.

When using X-S20 in Movie mode, the Q Menu has a different layout, but can still be customized in the same way.

Customizing Film Simulation modes

You’ve probably discovered your camera’s Film Simulation modes by now, but did you know you can customize these to your own tastes?

  • Hit the Q button to display the Q Menu.
  • Adjust highlights, shadows and color saturation with the H Tone, S Tone and Color options.

You can save these new settings as a custom preset for instant recall. Further look adjustments, focusing modes, file size, and more, will also be saved.

  • Press MENU OK, navigate to the IMAGE QUALITY SETTING menu and choose EDIT/SAVE CUSTOM SETTING.
  • Choose a custom preset slot and scroll right.
  • Press OK, scroll right on the preset slot once again, then select EDIT/CHECK.
  • Select SAVE CURRENT SETTINGS. The camera will ask you to choose OK to confirm changes.To load your preset, simply turn X-S20’s mode dial to the Custom number you assigned.

To load your preset, simply turn X-S20’s mode dial to the Custom number you assigned.

Focusing modes

Focus point place and size

The size of the active focusing area used by X-S20 can be changed in size and moved around the frame. In the camera’s Q Menu, you’ll find the AF MODE. Using the touchscreen and/or the rear command dial, choose from Single Point (highly selective), Zone (for erratically moving subjects) and Wide/Tracking (uses the whole frame and includes Subject Detection modes).

In the AF/MF SETTING menu, AF MODE can also be set to All. The latter allows you to scroll through all modes while changing the position of the active focusing area as described below.

To move the active point or zone, or change its size while on the shooting screen:

  • Move the Focus Lever in any direction to activate the active point
  • Move the Focus Lever to shift the focus point/area up, down, left, or right.
  • Rotate the front or rear command dial to change the size of the focus point/area.
  • Press MENU OK or half-press the shutter release button.Did you know that pressing the DISP/BACK button while you’re adjusting the focus point moves it back to the center of the frame?

Switch on Subject Detection

X-S20 includes several advanced Subject Detection modes. These can be activated from the Q Menu and AF/MF SETTING menu. Subject Detection can be set to ANIMAL, BIRD, AUTOMOBILE, MOTORCYCLE & BIKE, AIRPLANE and TRAIN.

To choose a mode, highlight the Subject Detection icon in the Q Menu and use the rear command dial to cycle through the options. Alternatively, in the AF/MF SETTING menu, choose SUBJECT DETECTION SETTING, scroll right, pick SUBJECT DETECTION ON and scroll right again, then choose the specific mode. Press MENU OK to select the mode you want.

Custom AF-C modes

The way X-S20 tracks and focuses on moving objects depends on the kind of focusing behavior specified in continuous AF-C mode.

  • Put the camera in AF-C mode using the Q Menu, then press MENU OK and navigate to the AF/MF SETTING menu.
  • Choose AF-C CUSTOM SETTINGS, then choose preset 1-5 based on the action you’re shooting.
  • Or try setting number 6 to specify your own focusing behavior.

Making the most of manual focus

When you’re focusing manually, X-S20 offers all kinds of focusing aids to help you nail critical sharpness.

  • Put the camera in M focus mode using the Q Menu, then press MENU OK and navigate to the AF/MF SETTING menu.
  • Scroll down to MF ASSIST and choose from DIGITAL SPLIT IMAGE, DIGITAL MICROPRISM or FOCUS PEAK HIGHLIGHT. In DIGITAL SPLIT IMAGE you can specify COLOR or MONOCHROME, and in FOCUS PEAK HIGHLIGHT you can choose a color and intensity that shows up best against the subject.

Switch on FOCUS CHECK from the AF/MF SETTING menu and the camera will enlarge a central portion of the scene when you begin to focus manually.

Switch on AF+MF from the AF/MF SETTING menu and you’ll be able to focus manually just by turning the lens focus barrel in AF-S or AF-C – no change of focus mode necessary.

AUTO & Vlog modes

X-S20 introduces two new modes, designed to help you create in simpler ways than ever. Both are located on the top-plate Drive dial, for easy access.

AUTO mode

To set X-S20 to AUTO mode, turn the Drive dial to AUTO. This mode uses advanced scene recognition to select the optimal exposure and white-balance settings. It also automatically detects and tracks subjects using deep-learning AI-based autofocus – negating the need to adjust dedicated Subject Detection settings, as outlined above.

Vlog mode

To enter Vlog mode, turn the Drive dial to Vlog. Tap the Vlog icon on the right of X-S20’s LCD to bring up a menu of six essential functions, then efficiently make your selections using the touchscreen.

  • SELF-TIMER: Sets a countdown of 3, 5, or 10 seconds before recording begins.
  • FACE/EYE DETECTION SETTING: Offers face, eye, and left- or right-eye priority autofocus.
  • PRODUCT PRIORITY MODE: Pulls focus from a subject’s face to any item held closer to the lens.
  • IS MODE: Select between OFF, IBIS/OIS, and IBIS/OIS + DIS. Differences are outlined below.
  • HIGH SPEED REC: Increases frame rate up to 240fps, for slow-motion playback.
  • BACKGROUND DEFOCUS MODE: Creates a cinematic, shallow depth-of-field behind a foreground subject.

Using in-body image stabilization (IS) for stills and video

X-S20 uses an in-body image stabilization (IS) system, which helps to keep images sharp, especially when shooting handheld at slower shutter speeds. It can be used with any lens, including those with an Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) mode of its own.

You can set the IS system to be on all the time (CONTINUOUS or CONTINUOUS+MOTION), to be on only when focusing, or when an exposure is taken (SHOOTING ONLY or SHOOTING+MOTION), or off entirely. The latter is useful if you don’t need IS: for instance, when working in very bright light, with the camera on a tripod, or when using creative techniques like intentional camera movement.

If you’re working with an OIS lens, the OIS mode must be set to ON for these settings to be available.

To do it, press MENU OK and navigate to the SHOOTING SETTING menu. Select IS MODE and scroll right to choose the option you require.

Using IS for video

In Movie mode, there are separate controls for X-S20’s in-body image stabilization. You’ll find these in the MOVIE SETTING menu.

Locate IS MODE and scroll right to choose the best option for you. IBIS/OIS uses the sensor-shift mechanism in X-S20’s body, and any optical stabilization in the lens attached. If you pick IBIS/OIS + DIS, you’ll also get digital stabilization which adds further steadiness, but will crop the footage very slightly. Choose OFF when IS is not required.

IS MODE BOOST is designed to further improve the smoothness of footage. Choose ON when shooting handheld from a static position, and OFF when panning with the subject.

Shooting video

Picking the right settings

To access X-S20’s movie functions, first select the Movie option on the top-plate Drive dial. Press MENU OK and note that the camera’s menu system has switched to a movie-specific layout. Next, choose a combination of resolution/frame rate from the MOVIE SETTING > MOVIE MODE menu.

  •  6.2K (4160p) resolution offers the highest quality on X-S20 and this is available up to 29.97p.
  • There are also 4K DCI (2160p) and 4K (2160p) modes at up 59.94p.
  • Full HD (1080p) resolution is a good compromise between quality and storage size.
  • When it comes to frame rates, 24p, 25p or 30p are fine for most normal applications. 24p is sometimes favored by creative filmmakers for its Hollywood look and feel.
  • Footage shot at frame rates of 59.94p or 50p can capture motion more smoothly. Plus, when played back at normal speeds (30fps or 25fps) during editing, it delivers silky-smooth slow motion.

Did you know that 25p and 50p frame rates are best for European countries, while 30p and 59.94p are more suited to the US? This is because of the different frequencies of mains electricity in these territories, which can cause lights to flicker slightly at 50Hz or 60Hz, respectively.

Exposure settings for cinematic video

Here’s a set of standard settings you can use in manual (M) shooting mode that will create great-looking, cinematic-style video.

  • Choose a frame rate – 24fps is a standard used in the movie industry and has a very top-end look and feel.
  • Select a shutter speed that is roughly double the frame rate you’re using, so that each frame is exposed for 50% of the time. So, if you’re shooting at 24fps, pick a shutter speed of 1/48 sec.
  • Select the aperture you need for the required depth-of-field.
  • Adjust the camera’s ISO sensitivity to get the proper exposure.

How to shoot slow-motion video

If you want to access slow-motion video settings, you’ll find them under HIGH SPEED REC in the MOVIE SETTING menu. Here you can select Full HD (1080p) resolution at frame rates up to 240p.

But remember, your shutter speed will need to increase with the frame rate, so a 120p setting needs 1/240 sec and a 240p setting needs 1/480 sec.

You can also select the playback rate to change the rate of movement. For instance, using a 240p frame rate at a playback speed of 24p gives 10x slow motion.

Continuous focusing with video

Switch to AF-C using the AF/MF SETTING menu, then set AF MODE to MULTI and X-S20 will adjust focusing as you film, tracking people around the frame if the Face/Eye Detection mode is switched on. You can turn this on from the AF/MF SETTING using the FACE/EYE DETECTION SETTING menu.

In Movie mode, you can also use the Subject Detection modes, which are also found in the AF/MF SETTING menu.

If you need more precision, set the AF MODE to AREA, which allows you to change the focusing point location and size in the same way as stills photography.


To protect highlights and allow video to be color graded during editing, videographers often shoot very low-contrast footage with muted colors. You can do this in several ways on X-S20. Here are three:

  • Set ETERNA as the Film Simulation to recreate the look of this classic FUJIFILM emulsion, used widely in the film industry. Go to the IMAGE QUALITY SETTING menu, choose FILM SIMULATION and then pick ETERNA.
  • Set F-Log RECORDING to ON (you’ll find this in the MOVIE SETTING menu). F-Log produces flat-looking footage straight from the camera, which can be color graded with very good results in post-production. F-Log2 provides even more dynamic range than original F-Log. The choice can be made depending on the requirements of a scene.
  • Set HDMI OUTPUT SETTING to one of two RAW OUTPUT SETTING modes, designed for ATOMOS and Blackmagic external monitor-recorders.

Connecting to your smart device

X-S20 can communicate wirelessly with your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, so you can transfer pictures to your device, where they can be edited and shared with friends and followers online. You can also use your smart device to shoot remotely, controlling the camera via a remote live view, and even view a record of your experiences.

Linking to the camera for the first time

  • Install the free FUJIFILM XApp on your iOS or Android device.
  • Open XApp and select Pairing a new camera, then follow the initial instructions on the screen.
  • Please wait until pairing is completed.
  • Return to your camera and press MENU OK, then navigate to the NETWORK/USB SETTING. Select Bluetooth/SMARTPHONE SETTING, then PAIRING REGISTRATION. Your smart device will recognize the camera. Press Register on the device, followed by MENU OK on the camera.

Transferring images to your device

  • Open FUJIFILM XApp and select Image Acquisition/Photography.
  • Tap the small circle in the top-left corner of each image you wish to transfer. A green check mark will appear in each.
  • With all your desired images selected, tap Transfer the selected images. The process will automatically proceed.

Remote shooting and control

  • Open XApp, tap the Image Acquisition/Photography icon, then select the camera icon at the top of XApp’s display.
  • Your smart device replaces the camera’s LCD. You’ll see a view that emulates the camera display, including a live image.
  • Tap the image to change your focal point. Select S.S., F, and ISO icons to adjust exposure settings. Press the Film Simulation or WB icons to control the in-camera look.