Looking through your camera’s electronic viewfinder shows you exactly what a photo is going to look like, thanks to its ability to preview exposure, color, and depth-of-field.
One of the great things about shooting with a mirrorless X Series camera is the ability to shoot with an electronic viewfinder or LCD touchscreen. In contrast to an optical viewfinder, electronic finders let you preview exactly what you are going to shoot, from brightness and white balance to color and dynamic range. This means fewer surprises when you come to review your pictures, and more creativity when you’re shooting.
Let’s take a look at what you can preview through your X Series camera’s EVF (and on its screen), and how to make the most of it.
Perhaps the most fundamental thing your EVF can show you is how bright or dark your picture is going to be. When you’re shooting in an automatic (P, SR+ Auto) or semi-automatic (A or S) shooting mode, this can show you whether the metering system has got things right or is being confused by tricky lighting. You can also see the effect of applying any exposure compensation to brighten or darken the image.
When shooting in manual mode (M), you’ll see the brightness that the selected shutter speed, aperture, and ISO would give you. It’s a good way to judge the correct exposure, though you should always look at the ± scale on the left side of the display, too.
If you don’t want to preview the exposure while shooting in manual mode, you can turn this off via the camera’s menu system:
- Press MENU OK and scroll down to the CUSTOM SETTINGS tab.
- Choose DISPLAY SETTINGS or SCREEN SET-UP and PREVIEW EXP./WB IN MANUAL MODE.
- Choose OFF to see the scene at the proper brightness, regardless of settings.
It’s often useful to turn off exposure preview in manual mode when you’re working with flash in the studio. The ambient conditions are often pretty dark, so the chosen shutter speed aperture and ISO may not let you see anything if the camera is previewing at that exposure.
The view through the EVF (or on the LCD screen) also previews the effect of the current white balance setting. If you’re using auto white balance (AWB), then this will be set by the camera. If you’re using one of the white balance presets, or a custom white balance, then this will be what is previewed.
As with exposure, the white balance preview in manual exposure mode can be turned off via the same PREVIEW EXP./WB IN MANUAL MODE menu option.
When you look through your camera’s EVF, you are looking at the scene through the lens’s widest aperture. This is to ensure maximum focusing speed and accuracy by letting in lots of light. But when you half press the shutter release button, the lens stops down to the aperture that will be used for the shot and depth-of-field can be previewed.
You should see which parts of the scene look sharp and which look blurred. If you struggle, you can magnify the view to 100% by pressing in your camera’s rear command dial.
Color and Contrast
The viewfinder and touchscreen also show how saturated colors will be, and how much detail will be visible in shadows and highlights. This is governed by factors like the Film Simulation mode in use, the dynamic range setting, and factors such as any highlight and shadow adjustments that may have been applied. The effect of all of these adjustments can be previewed by your camera as you shoot.
Your Next Steps
- CHALLENGE The next time you go out with your camera, try adjusting settings while looking through its viewfinder (or on its viewscreen) so that the picture you take is exactly what you expect. Post your results to social media with the hashtag #MyFujifilmLegacy. You can also submit your work here for a chance to be featured on our social media channels.