" Q " ing Up To Be First In Line

on March 24, 2016

Do you " Q "? I didn't for a long time but now I do - and my photographic experience has been vastly improved.

I'm not referring to the somewhat magical Leica Q camera - the Typ 116 fixed-lens camera. It is in a class all its own as far as elegant engineering, but as I only have counterfeit printing plates for $ 7.00 and $ 8.00 bills I probably can't afford one. It takes me all my time just to pass enough to buy petrol and tins of sardines. Perhaps if I can forge Lotto tickets I might get one...

Until then I will stick with my faithful Fujifilm cameras and make use of the " Q " systems built into them. The Fujifilm Q buttons provide an instant summary on the LCD screen of the current settings of the camera and allow me to make spot changes without having to dodge into the menu pages.

Thankfully as well, The Fujifilm designers have made the symbols for the various settings in that menu easy to understand - I do not need a graphics textbook to figure out what the stick figure of a little man holding up a burning Russian submarine means in photographic terms. ( In real life it means they are no smarter in Archangelsk than ever they were, but that is another story...).

I am also helped by the fact that the Fujifilm ' Q " menu is instantly editable - I can select the things that I really need to be there and leave the lesser-used ones further down in the system. I've made several changes from the factory defaults based on my preferences; I have access to the photometry and the flash compensation in the cameras that have built-in flashes and I've ordered in a quick adjustment for the LCD brightness when I need to work out in the sun.

It's not that menus are anathema - it is just that the more things you can set to your own preference and then leave alone, the faster you can work. The same goes for the function keys. I sat there for an hour figuring out which finger I wanted to do which thing and when I had tested out the configuration, dialled it into all the camera bodies. Now when I put one down and pick up another I can slip the safety off in the dark, as it were, and shoot away instantly.

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