After two weeks of my previously described low-frills camera setup I think I am ready to stop thinking about it at all.

To recap, it’s:

  • The Pro Neg Standard film simulation
  • Dynamic Range set to “200.”
  • Highlight tone bumped up a little
  • Shadow tone bumped down a little
  • Color bumped up a notch
  • A stripped down, 8-slot Q menu that covers operational details

For walking around it gives me a fairly neutral view: Colors are “real” but vibrant, shadows are easier to see into. It seems likely I am reacting less to the mood that film simulations and extreme tone settings would introduce. It also keeps me out of the settings and in the viewfinder. Looking back, it makes the X-Pro3’s “distraction-free” conceit a little funny: Don’t give people a 16-option menu to fiddle with and they won’t get distracted, but can still enjoy the quick feedback of a rear LCD and fast access to things they might want to change but don’t have buttons for.

For post, it gives me a mostly neutral image that doesn’t have anything weird going on with the colors. That makes the impact of each Lightroom choice – especially profiles – a little more clear. Shooting at DR200 instead of 100 gives me some leeway with shadow and highlight recovery. It’s possible to stumble into that sort of flat HDR look, but it’s also completely in my hands.

It’s also completely amenable to my very generic “punch this up a little” import preset, which sets a few things to about 75% of where I usually end up. That makes it a little easier to triage and saves me a little twiddling once I’ve got a set to work with.

As someone who can complicate things quite a bit, I’m happy having a setup that is less complicated and less fiddly. There’s no “how’re my settings?” when I grab the camera and go out the door. I just grab it, go shoot, and then enjoy the interprative or reconceptual work in a comfortable chair at home.