Monday, June 28, 2010

D700 Camera Settings

Thought I would post this on a seperate blog ... because it is popular, and to make it easy to find.

1) "My" Nikon D700 camera settings (which I have posted before, fyi)
This is "evolving" but here you go:

* First: and most importantly I put ALL my favorite D700 camera "Menu" items on the ... "My menu" , menu (did I say that correct?) ...
this stops me from having to dig deep into the confusing list of menu items (so, now I have no clue where they are in the real menus lol)
* I LIST them in my must used order ... currently

* Second: and very important for me ... I tweak/customize some of the wheels and buttons to work better for "me". I will START with that, because it is the most used tweak on a shoot.

1) f9 reverse rotation = ON: so the comp wheels work in the right direction, * Change main/sub = ON ... both these changes helps me in my most used mode "A" Aperture priority ... allows me to change the Aperture with the BACK wheel ( I like changing the Aperture while my finger is on the shutter ) , and EV comp with a press of the EV button and BACK wheel. OR I can EV comp with the Front wheel (with no EV button press ... needs a b4 change)
* Menus and playback = ON
2) f2 Multi selector center Button : one of my most used feature ... * Shooting Mode = Reset to bring back my AF point to the Center quickly , * Playback Mode = Zoom so on a "automatic" Review on the LCD after each shot , I can quickly / easily Zoom in to 100 % aprox on the shot , this also keeps it in Review mode , and not shut off. (of course you need to Turn ON "Image Review" in the Playback Menu as well)
* another Big Trick in this menu is to set Playback mode>Zoom on/off>MEDIOUM MAGNIFICATION (which is about 100%) ... you can also in playback with this center button zoom trick , roll thru your shots at this zoom , cool when you want to compare two seq. shots.
3) f4 Photo info/playback ... Info at Up/Down , and Playback Left/Right ... in Photo Playback this allows me to quickly scroll thru my Fav Info OR go back and forth on my images.
4) Relates to above : in the Playback Menu ... "Display mode" ... I have Focus point, Highlights checked ... "my" most used playback modes. note: I can still scroll thru and see a histogram, but because the Histogram is generated from the imbeded JPG (in the RAW file) , and that I ONLY shoot RAW ... the Histogram is only slightly useable ... Highlight Blinkys more useful imho in the RAW digital age, where you can push to the Right.
5) Have the Focus mode selector switch to S (single shot) , and the top left dial to CL (set at 5fps) ... caution: whenever you take the D700/D3 out of your bag , check this Focus mode selector - You will thank me latter. This switch moves sometimes.
6) Metering Selector to "3D color Matrix II" ... fancy for Matrix ... and adjust all my comps with that in mind. The D700 Matrix Metering is very consistent and predictable ... and that is the most you can ask for. I will put myself down as Loving it, so I use it all (most ) of the time. Well, whenever I can. :)
7) AF area mode selector : Dynamic Area AF ... Very Fast AF/Accurate, and great in Low Light. I am super happy with the AF on the D700 and the new f2.8 lens.
8) d4 CL mode shooting speed 5fps (CL is my default setting) (CH is 8fps) ... If, you are the Focus and recompose type ... this will create problems for you, because after each shot in CL the D700 does re-focus , so your AF point needs to be above your subject.
9) e1 Flash sync speed 1/320s (Auto FP) ... so anything above 1/250 is auto HSS Flash
10) f1 switch : both , so on a right move of the light switch BOTH the back LCD and the top lights up , so I can do a quick check on the settings via a large 3" LCD
11) f11 No memory card = Lock ... no memory card , no shooting ... note: default is unlock (not a good thing)
12) f12 Reverse indicators to - 0 + ... logical for me
13) a1 AF-C priority selection : Release + Focus
14) b4 Easy exposure compensation = ON ... this let's me comp the EV in A using the front wheel (this in combo with my other settings)
15) in the Set Up Menu , LCD Brightness set to -2 ... this will give you a more True Brightness of your shot on the LCD ... listed this last , but is very important imho ... you might have to play with this for your own Monitor and PP (Post Processing) style.

Now, on to my Favorite "MY MENU" choices: (IF, you leave it on My Menu ... the Menu button quickly goes back to it. "My Menu" on the D700 has eliminated my need to ever go into the regular menus :)

1) e3 Flash ctrl for built-in Flash ... Which actually has the controls for Flash Commander Mode CLS , Love it, Use it. I am a strobist CLS kind of guy :)
2) ISO sensitivity settings ... auto ISO is a great feature , but you just have to be careful with it. I probably change this the most ... with my default at ... base iso200 top end iso6400 (being that on a D700 the "Unity Gain ISO" is iso6400 the hint is the dial setting, even though "in camera" it can go higher ... anything else can be pushed processed from a RAW file in Post, with the same results) ...
* and the shutter at what I can handhold "specific" for the Shoot/Lens. This is best when the conditions are changing fast. Shadow and Bright as you turn.
I also must note: "whenever" Lighting conditions are tricky ... say, almost anytime after the Sun actually sets ... I Turn Auto ISO OFF , and set the iso manually (most of the time, anywhy)
3) e2 Flash shutter speed ... my default is 1/30 but that changes.
4) a8 AF point selection ... when speed in selection is important I use 11 point
5) a3 Dynamic AF area ... 9 pr 21 depending on things around target
6) a5 AF activation .. I need this then I want to lock a AF in MF ... then I turn AF-ON only. Something I do often.
7) a9 Built-in AF assist illuminator ... so I can quickly turn off and ON
8) c3 Self-Timer delay ... let's me set the sec ... can use this instead of a remote shutter
9) Active D-Lighting ... allows me to turn Off an ON ... because it does affect how you expose in A mode , and therefore underexposes the RAW file (and can create a slightly more noisy file). (I shoot RAW) ... but, even in RAW D-Lighting ON shows you better (via the imbedded JPG) what can be done with the RAW file, and fyi LR v2.6 at default DNG LR import is very close to the D-Lighting JPG but less noisy imho.
10) Focus tracking with lock-on ... this is for AF-C shooting if you need to change
11) Long exp. NR
12) Multiple exposure
* I also have Shooting Menu and Custom setting BANK listed ... but, have not really used this much yet.

*** So, there it is ... IF, you have any improvements, to MY Nikon settings ... or something I left out , that would be important to use ... let me know. email:
and I will update this blog.

Hope this helps,
Ross Hamamura /

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