100 Nikon DSLR Tips You Need to Know Right Now

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100 Nikon DSLR tips you need to know right nowTired of only knowing what half of the buttons and menu options on your Nikon DSLR actually do? Our friends at NPhoto just concluded their exhaustive series on 100 need-to-know Nikon DSLR tips. Were fairly certain that by the time you read this list you will know your Nikon camera inside and out and many of these camera tips will be relevant for you even if youre loyalty lies with another brand. Have a look and see what you discover about your Nikon DSLR. We think youll be surprised!

You can get great shots with your Nikon DSLR straight out of the box, but your results will be even better once you start taking over the controls and making the shooting decisions yourself with manual white balance, shutter speed, lens aperture and ISO settings. But it doesnt end there. The Shooting menu offers additional options for extending your cameras capabilities, such as Nikons Active D-Lighting mode. And the Setup menu handles important housekeeping tasks, such as firmware updates and how your files are named.

But its in the Custom Setting menu that things get really interesting, because its here that you can tinker with the innermost workings of your camera and configure it in a way that suits your own personal style. There are differences between cameras, of course. The Nikon D3000-series cameras (see our Nikon D3100 tips) dont have a Custom Setting menu, and all their configuration options are merged with the Setup menu. And, not surprisingly, there are options on the professional models, such as the D4 and D800, that arent available on others. Well indicate broadly which cameras have which features as we go along, but you may need to check your own cameras manual to find out for sure, and to get more detailed instructions if required. Our aim is to show just what your Nikon DSLR is capable of, and were willing to bet that its a lot more than you think!

100 Amazing Nikon DSLR Tips: 1-10

1. Exposure bracketing

Estimating the correct exposure can be tricky, especially with a high-key subject like this. With the auto-exposure bracketing function, available on the Nikon D5100 (see our Nikon D5100 tips) and up, the camera takes three shots at three different exposures, so that you can choose the best later. 2. Live View AF points You can use the multi-selector in Live View to move the square AF point marker anywhere in the frame. 3. Live View zoom in You can use the zoom button to fine-tune your manual focus. This works best with the camera on a tripod. 4. Shift AE bracketing with EV compensation

Dark backgrounds play havoc with exposure meters. But you can apply negative EV compensation first and then use the auto-exposure bracketing feature to bracket your exposures around your corrected exposure to cover all the bases. 5. Manual focus The camera can still tell you when the subjects in focus using the Rangefinder feature (in the Setup menu). 6. Centre the AF If youre using single-point autofocus, and youve moved the point away from the centre, just click OK to revert to the centre AF point. 7. DOF preview How much depth of field will you have? Press the depth of field preview button (D90 and up) to get an idea. Bear in mind that the viewfinder image will darken. 8. Quiet mode

Nikons Q mode disables the cameras autofocus beep, and delays the mirror return (the noisy part) for as long as you keep the shutter button pressed down. 9. AF lock switch It can be easy to shift the AF point by mistake, so some Nikon DSLRs (D90 and above) have a focus selector lock on the back to prevent this from happening.

10. Use the Info display If youre standing away from the camera, its hard to see the status panel so press the info button to show the settings on the LCD display.

11. Auto ISO Auto ISO isnt just for novices! Its ideal for travel photography, when youre shooting in a range of different conditions. On a bright day itll automatically choose a low ISO setting, so theres no need to worry about quality.

12. Dont keep switching on and off Youre wasting your time, and your cameras power-management features. Your Nikon DSLR will power down automatically if it hasnt been used for a while. 13. Power-saving Does your Nikon DSLR shut down too quickly? Go to the Settings menu and change the power-off delay time. 14. Built-in spirit level Some Nikon models have a virtual horizon, which can be displayed via the Setup menu or live in the Live View mode. 15. Help!

If you see a ? symbol in the bottom left corner of the LCD display, press the Help (?) button for an on-screen hint.

16. Half pressing the shutter Your Nikon DSLR starts working the moment you half-press the shutter release, fixing the exposure and the focus, but its only when you press it the whole way that it takes the picture. You can use this to reframe your shot without changing the settings, or eliminate shutter lag due to autofocus delay.

17. Eyepiece dioptre Does the viewfinder information look blurred? All Nikon DSLRs have a tiny dioptre setting dial next to the viewfinder eyepiece to allow you to adjust the focus for your own eyesight.

18. Mirror lockup The Lock mirror up command is used for sensor cleaning, but many Nikons (D7000 and up) also have a Mirror Up mode, to reduce shake in tripod shots.

19. VR settings Some Nikon lenses have two VR settings. Stick to the Normal setting, and only use Active if youre being thrown around in the back of a Land Rover, for example.

20. LCD illumination Shooting at night and cant see your status panel? The power switch has an extra spring-loaded detent that activates the LCD backlight for a few seconds.

21. Average metering All Nikon DSLRs offer a centre-weighted metering mode, but what if you want simpler average metering? This is a hidden option on all Nikon pro DSLRs and the D7000 amongst the custom settings for the centre-weighted area size.

22. JPEGs for bursts RAW files are great for ultimate quality, but your camera can save more JPEGs in a burst. On a D3100, say, its the difference between getting six shots and 100 shots! 23. Settings banks Pro Nikon DSLRs let you create sets of custom settings via banks A, B, C and D. 24. Recent Items Need to change a setting youve just made? Theres no need to plod back through the menus because itll be on the Recent Items menu!

25. Reconfigure the AE-L/AF-L button The AE-L/AF-L button locks both the focus and exposure, just like half-pressing the shutter release. So whats the point of that? Well, you can also configure it to lock only the focus or only the exposure, which is much more useful. It can also be used as an AF-On button on cameras that dont have one. 26. AF-On button Professional photographers swear by it; others hardly notice its there. The AF-On button can be configured to take over autofocus activation from the shutter release button. Most pros find this offers a much more instinctive way of working. 27. My menu On Nikons pro DSLRs you can swap the Recent Items menu for your own custom My Menu open the menu and select the Choose tab.

28. D7000 U modes The Nikon D7000 bridges the gap between pro DSLRs and amateur models. It lets you save two lots of custom settings, selected using U1 and U2 on the mode dial. 29. Set the date! Your Nikon embeds the time and date in each image, and you (or your cataloguing software) might need this information one day, so be sure to set it correctly.

30. No card inserted? Its annoying when the shutter wont fire because theres no memory card inserted. Find the Slot Empty Release Lock setting and set it to Enable Release.

Posted on Saturday, December 29th, 2012 at 1:00 am under Photography Tips. Tags: DSLR tips, Nikon, Nikon DSLRs100 Amazing Nikon DSLR Tips: 31-40

31. ISO Hi and Lo Nikon includes Hi and Lo ISO sensitivity values to increase the range of lighting conditions you can shoot in. Theyre called Hi and Lo and only given equivalent ISO numbers because theyre slightly outside the range for accurate ISO calibration.

32.Reverse dial rotation Does the EV compensation always go the wrong way when you turn the command dial? It just doesnt seem right that the exposures reduced when you turn the dial to the right. The answer? Reverse the dial rotation in the Custom Settings menu (not featured on the D3000 series). 33. File numbering To make sure every shot has a unique file number, set the File number sequence option to On. Otherwise, youll end up with duplicate file names on your computer.

34. sRGB vs RGB You can set your Nikon to shoot sRGB, the colour space used by most digital devices, or Adobe RGB, which is better for commercial publishing. Or shoot RAW and choose later! 35. RAW options Basic Nikons shoot 12-bit NEFs, while others shoot higher quality 14-bit NEFs. The pro models offer a choice, so that you can balance image quality against file size.

36. Shake-free shots with the self-timer When youre taking long-exposure night shots or close-ups with the camera on a tripod, you need to avoid jogging it when you press the shutter release. The solutions easy just use the camera self-timer!

37. Free SLR upgrade Periodically, Nikon may issue firmware updates to fix bugs or add new features to your camera. Check the Nikon websites Services & Support section for updates.

38. Embed copyright If you take pictures for a living, youll want to embed copyright information. You can set up a custom copyright message on Nikons pro DSLRs from the D7000 up. 39. Exposure steps Digital SLRs adjust exposure values in 1/3-stop increments, but if you prefer 1/2stops, change the EV Steps in the Custom Settings (not on D3000-series cameras). 40. Noise reduction Long-exposure noise reduction and high-ISO noise reduction are set separately except on the D3000-series.

41. Nikon RAW conve