In this video, learn how the viewfinder works and what options you have on the X-T2.
- As you have probably already discovered you can use this view mode button to cycle the viewfinder between a few different modes. There's LCD only, which activates the rear LCD screen and leaves it on all the time. I use this mode if I'm working on a tripod or tilting the screen out to hold the camera over my head or low to the ground. For most of my shooting though I don't use the LCD screen as a viewfinder because I prefer to block out the world and look through the electronic viewfinder. I also think it's easier to hold the camera steady when you've got the camera up to your face and are looking through the EVF.
So if you press the view mode button again you'll switch to EVF, or electronic viewfinder, with eye sensor. So this is the eye sensor right down here, right below the viewfinder. In this mode the camera keeps the rear LCD off but activates the electronic viewfinder when you raise the camera to your eye. This is where I leave the camera because I prefer shooting with the EVF and I like it to be off when I'm not looking through so my battery will last longer. If I press the button again I come to eye sensor mode which activates the LCD screen but switches to the EVF when I raise the camera to my eye.
I suppose there might be a time when this is useful but I've never encountered it personally. Finally, another press takes me to EVF only mode which kills the LCD screen and activates the electronic viewfinder but leaves it on all the time. I find this as a great mode for draining your battery very quickly. Other than that, I don't really know what it's for. Unfortunately there's no way to customize this view mode button to remove the modes that you never use. But I found that with time I've learned exactly how many button presses are required to get from LCD mode to EVF with eye sensor and back again.
So I actually find it really easy and quick to use to switch this between the modes that I want. Opposite this button, Is the diopter control. This allows you to dial in some optical correction to the viewfinder. If you wear glasses with a light prescription you may be able to dial in enough correction that you don't need to wear your glasses while you're shooting. If you're like me and you can't see the end of your nose without your glasses then the diopter control won't do you any good because it won't allow you to dial in enough correction. However, note that if you ever look through the electronic viewfinder and find that it's out of focus, and by that I mean that the status display at the bottom is out of focus, not just the image, then your problem might be that the diopter control has gotten bumped.
Now unfortunately the dial doesn't have any kind of mark to indicate where the correct default position is so you'll have to look through the viewfinder and turn the diopter until the status display sharpens up. Remember, if the image is out of focus it may just be that the camera's not focused. You're looking at those numbers at the bottom of the screen to determine focus of the diopter. On the back of the camera is a button labeled disp back. When you're in the menu system this button is used to go back up to a previous menu level, that's what the back is for. When you're shooting this button let's you change the information that's displayed on the LCD or in the electronic viewfinder.
Now as you've probably already discovered there are three different options for what you can display on the rear LCD screen. You can have no data at all, you can have a screen that doesn't show the viewfinder but instead presents a status display of all of the camera's current settings, or you can have a viewfinder display with some settings overlaid. If you're using the electronic viewfinder then the disp back button let's you configure the size of the image that's shown in the EVF. So in normal mode you'll find some black padding around the edges of the screen, while full mode will enlarge the display to fill the entire viewfinder.
This is actually how I like to use it. If you find that the full image is so big that you have to move your head or your eyes to see the edges of the frame when you're looking through the viewfinder then you might want to switch it back to the normal view which can make it easier to see the entire image in a glance. You can change what status items are displayed in the viewfinder. Activate the rear LCD and then press the disp back button until you have the viewfinder showing with some status information like we have here, press the menu button, then scroll down to the setup menu, that's the little wrench right here.
Now if I just start scrolling down with the joystick or the D pad controls here it's going to take me awhile to get through everything and down to that little wrench. If I scroll to the left I can then quickly jump all the way down to here. From that setup menu choose screen setup and then scroll all the way to the bottom to disp custom setting. From here you can choose what items you want to see on the LCD screen. You can simply check and uncheck the things on this list.
Most of these are turned on by default. I for sure would recommend turning on the histogram, I also really like having the level. The rest of this you probably just want to play with and see what you like and what you don't like. You'll find easy definitions of all of these things in the manual. When you're done just press the back button to back your way back out of the menu system and then half press the shutter button or press okay to leave the menu altogether. There's no way to have a separate custom LCD setup for the rear screen and the EVF but I've never found that to be a problem.
You can though have the LCD screen in one display mode while the EVF shows it's usual custom display. One thing I really like about the electronic viewfinder is that like the LCD it shows an accurate view of the exposure, contrast, white balance, and when I half press the shutter button it even shows the depth of field in my image. Once you're used to this it can be really hard to go back to the optical viewfinder on an SLR. The accurate view of the X-T2's viewfinder means that you can immediately see if a shadow has under exposed to complete black or if the highlight is over exposed to complete white.
If you've got the histogram display turned on you can easily see how much over or under exposure you have and correct for it with exposure compensation. When you're working in manual mode though you have the option to throw out this accurate display and instead show a bright live-view mode regardless of your current exposure settings. To activate this feature go back to the setup menu, again that's the wrench, into screen setup, and down to preview exposure / white balance in manual mode.
If you switch that on you'll see accurate white balance and a really nice, bright image. If I'm working in a dark studio because I'm lighting my scene with strobes this will give me a much better view of the scene and make it easier for me to compose. Now as you might expect, the histogram won't be accurate in that mode because it will be a histogram of the brightened image. So be sure to switch this feature off when you return to normal shooting, and remember that this only affects manual mode. No matter what mode you're shooting in if light levels get too low then the accuracy of the screens exposure simulation will wane.
This is because the camera can't simulate the amount of light that it's going to gather when you're doing a long exposure. For those instances you'll need to just take a shot and review it to judge exposure. Now your eye can see a much broader range of tones than the camera can with its bigger dynamic range your eye can see detail, and dark shadows, and bright highlights at the same time. When you're framing through an optical viewfinder you're viewing the scene with your eye's full dynamic range. So if there's a detail in a shadow area that you want to compose around you'll probably still be able to see it even when you're looking through the optical viewfinder of an SLR.
An electronic viewfinder or a live-view screen is limited to the dynamic range of the camera's sensor. So there might be times when you spot something in the real world with your eye and then look through the electronic viewfinder and find that that thing that you had noticed is lost in shadow. If that was an element that you wanted to build a composition around that can be confusing. So, to help with this, Fuji has added a natural live-view mode which is meant to simulate the full dynamic range of your eye. You'll find this control also in the setup menu, also under screen setting down here in preview pic effect.
This defaults to on. If you set it to off you'll get a live-view image that is not adjusted to appear like the final image. I like this feature, I leave it on. I find that it makes it much easier for me to pre-visualize shots. It does mean though that from time to time I will lose the ability to see details in dark shadows. But in those instances, if I need to see within those shadows I'll just temporarily dial in some positive exposure compensation until the image is bright enough for me to see the shadowy detail that I want, then I'll frame my shot, reset my exposure to where I want it.
I find that much easier than digging into these menus to turn this one particular feature on and off. The quality of the viewfinder in this current generation of mirrorless cameras is the key component that makes them useful. For me, previous mirrorless cameras weren't worth using because their viewfinders where such a compromise. The XT-2 has a great viewfinder so it's worth fiddling with these few little tweaks and options to get it configured the way that works best for you.
- Choosing between the X-T1 and X-T2
- Using controls including the ISO dial, focus locks, and exposure locks
- Choosing third-stop shutter fields
- Changing depth of field
- Using the autofocus mode
- Exploring face and eye detection
- Understanding JPEG quality
- Customizing menus and buttons
- Working with lenses and accessories