There are plenty of ways to customize your camera. And this time, I’m not talking about adding bling to it. This is something far more useful, and intended for Nikon shooters.
Steve Perry goes through seven Nikon tricks for customizing the controls. They work on most Nikon cameras, and they will make your shooting faster, more efficient and more enjoyable.
Steve points out that these tricks may not work on all Nikon cameras. As I was writing this article, I tried all of these on my Nikon D7000, so I’ll share if it works for this model or not.
1. Quickly zoom in to check focus
Press the multi selector center button to zoom into the captured image 100%. This makes checking for sharpness much quicker, and the setup is pretty quick as well:
Go to Custom Settings Menu > Controls > choose either Multi selector center button or OK button > go to Playback mode and press that > select Zoom on/off > choose 1:1 (100%) magnification. Click OK, and you’re done. Now when you press the OK or center button after you take the shoot, the camera will zoom it to 100%.
This particular setting doesn’t work on Nikon D7000, because you can only use the OK button to highlight the active focus point or select the center focus point.
2. Quickly zoom to 100% in live view
This is related to the previous trick, and it’s useful if you use live view often. Here again, you can use the center or OK button to zoom in 100% in live view to check focus:
Go to Custom Settings Menu > Controls > choose either Multi selector center button or OK button > go to Live view and press that > select Zoom on/off > choose 1:1 (100%) magnification, click OK and you’re all set.
Since it’s connected to the previous one, it also doesn’t work on Nikon D7000.
3. Fast image review
You don’t need to be jealous of the Canon shooters for using the command dial to scroll through the images quickly. Nikon has that option as well, and you can set it up on your camera. You can use the command dial on the back of the camera to scroll through one image at a time, or the one on the front to scroll through ten images at the time:
Go to Custom Settings Menu > Controls > Customize command dials > Menus and playback > choose ON or ON (Image review excluded). Confirm it with the OK button and scroll away.
Note that with the ON (Image review excluded) option you can only scroll through the pictures when you press the Playback button, and not when the camera offers a preview of the photo you’ve just taken. With just choosing ON, you can scroll through the images whenever you like.
Another important note is that, on some cameras, back command dial will scroll through the photos one by one, and the front one will switch between different display modes. This happens with my camera, and I find it even better than scrolling ten after ten images. Oh, and I guess you can conclude – it works for D7000.
4. Fast card format
Formatting a memory card on a Nikon really requires you to dive deep into the menu. If you want to do it quicker, here’s the way:
Do you have the two buttons with red label “Format” next to them? Press and hold those two simultaneously until “For” appears on the top LCD screen. Now repeat the press and hold procedure, and the camera will format your memory card.
But there’s one more trick if there are two cards in the camera. Press and hold the “Format” buttons until “For” appears. Then use the back command dial to switch between the two memory cards. When the one you want to format appears on the screen, press and hold the “Format” buttons again and that’s it.
Nikon D7000 has the “Format” label next to the Delete button and Exposure metering button, so you can format the card this way.
5. Temporarily disable flash
When you have a speedlight attached, you may not need it all the way through the shoot. Instead of switching it on and off all the time, you can program the Function or Preview button to temporarily disable flash when you press and hold it while you shoot. The settings can vary with different cameras, but here’s how it works for most of them:
Go to Custom Settings Menu > Controls > Assign preview button > select Press from the resolving menu > select and press the Flash off.
This one also works for Nikon D7000.
For Nikon D5 and D500 users, it goes like this:
Go to Custom Settings Menu > Controls > Custom Control Assignment > select Pv or Fn1 from the left-hand column > find the Flash Disable/Enable option, select it and press OK.
6. Use the movie record button to change ISO
If you need to change the ISO quickly, you can program your movie record button to do it. It’s worth noting that, if your camera has a separate ISO button, this option will not be available. But if you don’t have it, here’s how to set the record button for the quick ISO change:
Go to Custom Settings Menu > Controls > Assign movie record button > select Press + command dials > choose ISO from the resolving menu.
When you set this up, you’ll be able to press and hold the record button and scroll with the main command dial on the back of the camera to switch between the ISO values quickly. If you scroll with the command dial on the front, you can change between regular and Auto ISO.
As for Nikon D7000, it has an ISO button assigned to the Zoom out button, so this doesn’t work.
7. Store AF points by orientation
This function looks really cool, and frankly – I had no idea this existed. It remembers where the AF points were when you held the camera in the vertical orientation, and where they were when it was orientated horizontally. It will return the focus points into those positions each time you rotate the camera.
This option doesn’t only switch between the focal points in different orientations, but you can also choose different AF area modes for horizontal and vertical shooting.
Go to Custom Settings Menu > Autofocus > Store by orientation > choose either Focus point or Focus point and AF-area mode. Note that on mid-range cameras there’s only “on” or “off” because focus point is the only option.
When you customize this setting, the camera will remember the last focus point you had when you held it in horizontal or vertical position. Of course, you can always change it, and the camera will memorize the new one. And if you shoot Nikon D7000, I’m gonna have to disappoint you – you can’t set this up.
There are tons of buttons and controls on DSLRs, and there’s always something new to find out. So I hope you discovered new stuff from this tutorial and that you’ll use them to make your Nikon perfectly fast, handy and tailored for you.
[The 7 Best Nikon Tricks Ever! | Steve Perry]