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Set Up the Camera for Optimal Performance

Out of the box, the X100S is a powerful camera, and a full battery will likely see you through 300–450 shots before a recharge or a new battery needs to be inserted. To get the most use out of the camera, you can tweak a couple of settings to increase battery life and performance.

First, setting the Auto Power Off feature to two minutes forces the camera to shut down when it hasn't been used for two minutes or more, saving unnecessary battery loss. (The default Auto Power Off setting is "Never.") To reawaken the camera when it has gone to sleep, simply press the shutter button halfway.

I also turn on the High Performance option as soon as I power up a new X100S. The High Performance option configures the camera for quicker startup and focus times. This setting has a marginal impact on battery life, but the advantages of having the High Performance capabilities outweigh the battery recharge issues.

Get Your Image Quality Correct

Your shiny new X100S offers a number of possible image settings that you can adjust according to your needs and post-processing preferences. By default, the camera is set up to create JPEG files, but you can set it to create RAW files, or even create JPEG and RAW files at the same time.

RAW files are left unprocessed by the camera. They offer greater flexibility when editing, but straight out of the camera the RAW files don't look very good. If you really want to make your RAW files look great, you will need to "process" them first, using image-editing software.

Shooting in RAW+JPEG does exactly as the name suggests—the camera records both a JPEG file and a RAW file. The advantage of this option is that you have the JPEG file for quick editing and printing if the exposure is good, and the RAW file if the exposure is not so great and needs a little tweaking.

Most people using the X100S will likely shoot JPEG images, The X100S has two quality settings for the JPEG format: Fine and Normal. I use only the Fine option, because it offers the most latitude when editing and printing the image files.

You can also choose the default image size from a variety of image sizes and aspect ratios. Pictures with an aspect ratio of 3:2 have the same proportions as 35 mm film, so usually I choose the Large (L) 3:2 size setting.

Get Your Exposure Mode Right

To get the best response out of your X100S and ensure that you can take full creative control of its features, you'll need to understand camera basics such as ISO (sensitivity to light), shutter speed, and aperture.

Shutter speed controls the length of time that the shutter over the lens remains open, usually measured in fractions of a second (1/200 of a second, for example). The aperture refers to the opening of the lens blades. It's usually called an f-stop (f/2.8, for example). The combination of ISO, shutter speed, and aperture is what defines the exposure, and they're closely connected: Adjusting one setting affects the others.

The X100S offers several exposure modes, each offering various levels of control over the shutter speed and aperture: Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Manual, Bulb, and Time.

Choose Your Autofocus Mode and Focus Point

The Fujifilm X100S is an advanced camera, and its focusing speed is a marked improvement over that of its predecessor, the X100. In the X100S, 49 focus points are available when using the electronic viewfinder, and the optical viewfinder offers 25 focus points. Despite having an "autofocus" (AF) setting, the X100S doesn't have any "automatic" focusing modes, so you're not at risk of the camera making a false assumption about the subject on which you're trying to focus. So how do you determine which autofocus mode to use? The X100S offers two autofocus options, which you can select using the focus mode selector (a small switch on the side of the camera body): You can choose either AF-S (single shot) or AF-C (continuous).

This camera also offers a third focus option, manual focus (MF). In this mode, you control the focus by manually rotating the focus ring on the lens. This feature is appropriate when you need to shoot very quickly, or when autofocus isn't a possibility. (When the camera cannot make focus, the focus box appears red in the electronic viewfinder.)

Once you have selected your AF mode, it's time to decide on your focus point—the point on which the camera will attempt to achieve focus. When starting out with your new camera, you should select the central focus point, as this is generally the most reactive point and eases framing of the subject.

Finally, you're good to go!

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