Tips & Tricks

X1D Bracketing for HDR Images

The bracketing function provides an automatic series of cap­tures; one at the standard exposure setting (Manual or Auto) and the others with pre-determined deviations from the standard exposure. This is particularly useful for images con­taining a very wide tonal range, for example. Mount the X1D on a tripod to ensure all captures are sharp with no camera shake.

Here’s how to set this function for a typical HDR capture:

1. Press the Camera icon on the Touch Display.  The Camera Settings Menu appears. Scroll down and select Bracketing. (figure 1)

2. From the Bracketing menu, set the options to your requirements (Figure 2).

3. Check the “Active” option to enable the bracketing function

4. From the “Amount” option select the step difference between each capture. You can choose from 1/3, 1/2, 1, 2 or 3 stops.

5. From the “Frames” option select how many frames you wish to capture in the sequence: 2, 3, 5, 7 or 9.

6. If you are shooting in Manual mode, you will need to select from the “Parameter in M” option whether the Shutter Speed or Aperture will be changed by the sequence.

7. The “Sequence” option allows you to choose the order that the captures will be made in. The default is normal, over and under (0, +, -), but you can select a different order if preferred (+, 0, -) or (-, 0, +).

8. The final option available “When Finished” sets the camera operation when the sequence is finished. The options are to stay in the bracketing mode or to exit to standard shooting.

9. Press the Menu/Exit button to return to the main menu.

10. The bracketing sequence you programed will now show on the control screen (Figure 3).
Press the shutter release to start it.

11. The display will show you the selected number of exposures, the step amount selected and how many exposures are remaining (Figure 4). To interrupt the sequence, press the “X” button.

Using a Crop Mode in Live View

The X1D & H6D camera systems allow the user to overlay the Live View display with cropping guides in a variety of ratios. The crop is written into the file data and will show in Phocus when the image is imported. The crop can be removed or modified if required.

The options you can choose from are:

No Crop (645), 1:1 (6x6) , 7:6 (6x7) , 5:4 (4x5) , 11:8,5 (Letter) , 297:210 (A4)

3:2 (6x9) , 3:2 Crop (24x36), 16:9 (Screen) , 2:1 (6x12) , 65:24 (XPan)

Here is an example of the Live View display with a 6x6 crop overlay applied (see figure 1)

A good tip is to program a button to "Crop Mode Next" or "Crop Mode Previous". This allows a quick selection of the crop format.

To program a custom button to allow simple access and selection of a crop overlay, follow these steps:

Press the Camera icon on the Touch Display. The Camera Settings Menu appears.

Select the Custom Buttons option. (Figure 2)

The Custom Buttons dialogue window opens. (Figure 3)

Select which button you wish to assign to the crop selection. For this example, we will use the DOF Preview (STOP DOWN on the H6D).

From the displayed option list, select “Crop Mode Next”.

Press the menu button to return to the main display.

To access the crop overlays, start the Live View Display and then press the button you assigned to the crop cycle. The display will change to show a 1:1 (6x6) overlay. Further presses will cycle through the crop options. A long press on this programmed button will return to "No Crop".

Calibrating Spirit Level

When using the Spirit Level function, it is possible to set a custom level position, for example aligning storing a custom shooting angle.

Align the camera carefully both horizontally and vertically to your requirements.

Press the General Settings icon on the Main Menu display. The General Settings Menu appears. (see figure 1)

Select the Spirit Level item.

Press the icon in the top left corner. (This may be a Factory or User Icon.) (Figure 2)

The Spirit Level dialogue appears. (Figure 3)

Ensure the User icon is selected and then press Calibrate to store this custom level.

The two white circles are now moved to their centre position. When in this centre position, they turn green. (Figure 4)

Press the Menu button to return to the main display.


To return to the factory calibration at any time, return to the Spirit Level dialogue screen and select the Factory icon.


Use Profiles to enable quick camera configuration

The H6D series allows you to store camera configuration profiles that quickly set camera parameters to your favourite settings. Configuring them is extremely simple.

Firstly, set up the camera the way you like to work for a given shooting style e.g Landscape using the spirit level, manual focus or Portrait shooting with True Focus linked to the shutter and continuous drive enabled.

Next, press the General Settings icon on the Sensor Unit display. The General Settings Menu appears

Press the Profiles Menu option. The Profiles main screen appears.

Selecting a profile gives you the option to recall settings or save current settings to any of the seven Profiles.

Select a Profile location other than default and press Save; this will copy the current camera settings into this profile.

Repeat this series of steps for other setups ensuring you choose a different profile each time.


To use the set profiles, simply give a short press on the on/off button. This will bring up the profiles main screen.

Select your chosen profile and press load.

The stored camera settings are loaded, and you are ready to shoot.



One of the latest features of the H6D is the ability to use Focus Peaking when using manual focus.

To launch this useful feature, follow the instructions below:

 1. Press the Camera icon on the Sensor Unit display. The Camera Settings Menu appears.

2. Press the Live View Settings Menu

3. Ensure the MF ASSIST item is set to Focus Peaking. If not, select Focus Peaking from the drop-down menu.

4. Click the START button to launch Live View. The mirror will raise, and the live view image will be displayed on the rear screen.

5. Initially, the image may be out of focus.

6. Turn the focus ring on the lens. As the image comes into focus, the areas that are sharp and in focus will be covered by colored lines.

7. Continue to adjust the focus until the area you want to be sharp in the final image is covered with the colored line.

8. Press the shutter button to capture the image.

H System

Battery handling

All lithium batteries (like the type used in the H System) have an internal "Fuel Gauge" which has information on the charge left available.

Any lithium battery can, on occasion, need to be reset to ensure that the fuel gauge is displaying the correct level of charge. This is a very simple process in the H System and described below.

Monitoring Battery Life

On H3D, H4D and H5D Systems the exact level of battery charge can be shown by pressing and holding the Illumination / Battery status button as shown in Fig.1. H6D systems have the charge level displayed on the rear and grip displays (Fig 2).

Remaining charge is shown in 5% increments. When the battery level is close to exhaustion, the H System will show a low battery warning on the grip and rear display.

Figure 1: Finding exact battery charge level on H3D, H4D, H5D Systems

Figure 2: Charge level on on H6D Systems

Resetting the H System Battery

If the battery duration appears to be suffering, it is possible that the fuel gauge, as described earlier, will need to be reset. It is very important that these steps are only carried out after the battery has been fully charged, as the gauge will be reset to 100% regardless of the current battery level. 

  1. Fully charge the H System battery overnight.
  2. Remove the lens, viewfinder and any battery from the H camera body.
  3. Press and hold down both the Flash and Menu buttons on H3D, H4D and H5D cameras, as shown in Fig.3. To reset the battery on H6D cameras, press the WB and the menu/ video button (see Fig 4)
  4. Attach the H System battery, making sure to keep the above to buttons held.
  5. A series of beeps will be heard, indicating the battery has been reset.
  6. Replace any Lens and Viewfinder.

Figure 3: Press and hold down Flash and Menu buttons on H3D, H4D and H5D Systems to reset the battery

Figure 4: Press WB and Menu/Video buttons on H6D Systems to reset the battery

X System

Custom White Balance

When shooting in difficult or mixed lighting situations, it can be useful to set your camera’s white balance from a test chart or neutral coloured object in the scene being captured.

This is very simply achieved in the following way:

  • Capture an image from the scene. It should contain something that is neutral in colour. E.g. a Grey Card.
  • Select the White balance tool located in the camera settings menu (see figure 1)

Figure 1: White balance tool 
  • The last capture is shown together with an overlay (see Figure 2). To select another image, turn the front Scroll Wheel or swipe left/right on the display.

Figure 2
  • Find the part of the image that should be neutral. Move the Colour Picker Tool and position the small square over that area by touching the rear display anywhere inside the picker tool circle and sliding (see Figure 3).
  • The top row shows the image name and Colour Temperature/Tint values for the location of the movable Colour Picker Tool. 
  • When you are happy with the selected area, release your finger; the Temperature and Tint values are updated in the top row to show the new values for the selected area.
  • Press SET to save the new value for all exposures until you reset the value or select a standard preset.
  • To exit without saving, press EXIT.

Figure 3
  • The White Balance Mode is changed to Manual and colour temperature is shown on the Control Screen (see Figure 4).


The colour temperature of the current image does not change.

If the area used to take a reading is too bright or too dark, Temp and Tint values will be empty. The same applies if the area is far from colour neutral.

Figure 4