General Nikon camera set up – Les Ludgate

Before you start:

With a new camera you will have a “Quick set up “ page .This will cover basic battery charging and an “Auto” setting to take your first shots on the new camera.

You will need to set your time zone /time/date/ and any copy right name you may wish to use. While you are in the camera Menu make a note of your cameras software version/s as there may be an update available from Nikon Australia.

Format any /all of your CF or SD memory cards IN THE CAMERA. This will create a file on the card and the camera will recognise the photo files taken and saved on the card. ( this may not be necessary on newer cameras but on an older version Nikon some problems occurred if the card was formatted on a computer or not formatted in the camera  first up.)

Basic settings:

Refer to your camera manual and use the “?” button for setting information

In General run through all your menu settings as you will find lots of options to use and don’t forget if you mess up and decide to start again you have a “Two Button” reset function which will return you to “Factory” settings

Set eye piece dioptre to suit your eye. (Beware—when you hand the camera to someone else to take a shot,  they may complain that the picture is blurred)

Set your Histogram /highlights /show focus point & any other setting you may use (3 colour histogram) —The D7000 Nikon may need a copy right name put in to achieve all options.

A simple “Fun Photos” will do the trick or put in your name etc. and it will be recorded in your Exif data.

Look at your camera meter menu   – /+ or +/-    the meter can be reversed if you wish. Also the main and sub command wheels can be reversed if needed.

Choose to change the “ continuous file naming “so that every shot you shoot has a different continuous file number (you will never over write a photo file) if you do this.

Choose a focus pattern that suits you BUT learn how to change to single point focusing. Single point can be moved to several different positions in the frame to suit your shot.A press in the middle of the < > button (while meter is active) will return it to the centre.

Look at the” FN” button default setting. It may not suit you and I set it to” spot metering “ or disable it so it dose nothing. This is your choice.

Learn about “D” lighting/ Noise reduction for long exposures /set your “self timer” to suit you. 2 sec or 5sec for some type of shots and 10 sec’s or more if you want to be in the pic!!

Learn about “White Balance “ and all the variations that are available other than” Auto”and deep in the white balance menu you can find how to change colour casts (useful for sunsets)

There are settings in your auto focus menu where you can change how the focus works in continuous focus .You may find OFF is good while tracking and shooting flying birds.

Some little hints:

On board flash used with a lens hood WILL create a shadow in the bottom of your shot.

Any plus or minus compensation set on the on board flash and left WILL be added to any Nikon flash put on to the hot shoe.

At a party or Bar B Q Set your “self timer” to take two shots as the first will be posed and the second shot will be more relaxed. This may create a fun shot.

Please read the manual and use the Net to get answers to functions that you don’t understand.

There are many more options that you may be using to suit your type or style of photography .In general I hope there may be one or two points to ponder.