Cus­tomis­ing

Set­ting up your cam­era to re­flect how you like to take photographs takes a bit of time, but it’s worth the ef­fort in the long run…

NPhoto - - Special Feature -

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Save cus­tom set­tings

Dif­fer­ent Nikon D-SLRs of­fer dif­fer­ent de­grees of cus­tomi­sa­tion. The D3000-se­ries cam­eras are de­signed for novices – the op­tions are limited and con­fined to the Setup menu. The D5000-se­ries cam­eras add a Cus­tom Set­ting menu, the D7000 in­tro­duces ‘sav­able’ C1 and C2 set­tings, and Nikon’s Pro D-SLRs have four set­tings ‘banks’.

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Cre­ate your own menu

Fed up of con­stantly trawl­ing through the menus to find the op­tion you want? All but the most ba­sic Nikon D-SLRs have a cus­tomis­able ‘My menu’ screen where you can add the menu items you use most of­ten. And if you don’t know what th­ese are, you can swap this menu to ‘Re­cent Items’ in­stead to see the op­tions you last used.

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No com­ment(s)

You can add an im­age com­ment (via the Setup menu) to your images to pro­vide you with im­age in­for­ma­tion and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion (such as the lo­ca­tion or sub­ject’s name). How­ever, this is not one of the stan­dard ‘IPTC’ fields used by pro­grams like Adobe Bridge or Light­room, so it won’t nec­es­sar­ily show up on your com­puter in non-Nikon soft­ware.

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Check your bat­tery age

Cam­era bat­ter­ies do wear out even­tu­ally – you can’t just keep recharg­ing them for ever. But on some Nikons you can find out the ‘age’ of your bat­tery (0-4) us­ing the Bat­tery Info com­mand in the Setup menu – a score of 0 is good, while 4 means your bat­tery is at or near the end of its life, so it’s prob­a­bly time to get a new one.

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Up date firmware

Your cam­era’s func­tions are con­trolled by an in­ter­nal pro­ces­sor and pro­grammed-in ‘firmware’ – it’s like the op­er­at­ing sys­tem on a com­puter. Pe­ri­od­i­cally, Nikon re­leases firmware up­dates to fix bugs or add fea­tures. Up­dates and in­struc­tions can be found on the Nikon web­site in the Ser­vices & Support downloads sec­tion.

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Shoot with­out a mem­ory card

With all th­ese con­fig­u­ra­tion ad­just­ments you’re go­ing to want to check how your cam­era works with­out filling up your mem­ory card with test shots. Nor­mally, your Nikon won’t fire if there’s no mem­ory card, but if you change the Slot empty re­lease lock set­ting (Setup or Cus­tom Set­tings menu), you can shoot as many ‘blanks’ as you like!

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