Setup Menu


Nikon® D3400 Fast Start


Lesson Info

Setup Menu

These are a lot of the controls that you're only gonna have to set once. We're gonna want to get it right. And then we're gonna move on. But there's a lot of little customizations that we can do in here to get the camera to be just the way we want it to. So first off if you have a camera that you want to make sure that you get reset back to the factory standards, this is where you can do it. Next up is formatting the memory card. And this is important anytime you buy a new memory card. If you have a friend that had a Sony camera, and they said, "Here, you want one of my old memory cards?" And, they gave it to you. You'd wanna put it in your camera and format the memory card. What it does is it deletes all the photos. Deletes the file directory. And any other junk or stuff that might be on that memory card. And so do that any time you get a new memory card. And it establishes a clean line of communication between the camera and the card itself. As a regular practice I like to format my ...

cards every time I have downloaded my images and I have backed them up and I know that they're in two different spots, then I'll put the cards back in the camera and I'll reformat them before I go out on my next shoot. I like to go out on new shoots with empty memory cards. So, this gets a little interesting here. To be honest with you, I look and study and teach a lot of different classes on cameras and this is the only camera that has this feature. All cameras have dates in them. But this is the only camera that I know of that puts the date on the photo like the old days where you'd go to the photo lab and they would put the date, they would imprint the date on the photos itself. And so, this is literally on the image itself. And so you have to be really sure that you want it on your image itself. And so it can put a date. It can put the date and time. And I wanted to show you a little bit more closely this date counter on here. So let me go ahead and get my camera set over so I can show you. Let me go ahead and get into the menu system here. Let me navigate down to the setup menu and the date stamp. So I'm gonna go right to navigate into this. And there is a date counter in here. And I'm gonna go right on this. And I can choose date and then display options. So on choose date, I can do one of two different things. I can choose a date in the past. Or I can choose a date into the future. And let's just choose January 1st, 2010. And we'll do another one January 1st, 2017. So on January, 2010, we're gonna say that, you know, maybe my son was born on that day. Or my dog was born on that day. Or, I can come down here under display options and I can choose either the number of days, years and days, years, months, and days. I'm gonna go with number of days just to see what this looks like. And so now, if I was to take a photo, and I'll just take a quick photo here, and we come back and we don't care what this photo looks like, ah wait, did I, let me make sure that I had this. I did not do it right. I had it turned off. And so I gotta hit this date and counter to turn it on. Okay. So let me try this photo again. And so if I play back this image, did I, let me, I might have made a mistake again. It's still off. Why is it still off? Choose date. I choose the date. Display options. I'm gonna say that. Okay. Okay. So I think it's gonna work now. Let me try this again. Okay. Now you see that date down there. So let me go ahead and play back this image. Get rid of the rest of the information. And so now you can see this date down here. And let me zoom in. And go down here into the bottom. And you can see that it has been 2,503 days since January 1st, 2010. And so, if I wanna know how old, or like, if I was working on a construction project or something else, I could do that. And maybe I'm gonna count down the days. Let me go back. Let's see. Now I'm gonna do date counter. Display options. We'll do how long, where is this? Nope. I made a mistake. We wanna choose the date. I'm gonna come down to, this is next year at the recording of this class. This is in the future. This is probably in the past for a lot of you. But I'm gonna choose display options. And so I'm gonna take a photo now. How many days 'til January 1st? Let's zoom in. Move down to the bottom here. Over to the right. And so there's 54 days until the start of next year. And so if you want to do a count up timer or count down time it's got days, hours, and so forth in there. But, you gotta remember, that that is gonna be imprinting on your photograph. And so this is something that you would normally leave turned off. And you would only turn on when you know you specifically want it. And you can yes, you can turn it on on just the photos you want. And then turn it off the rest of the time. So kind of interesting. Don't know that I want it. But it's interesting. Next up is time zone and date. Heads into a sub-menu. And this is of course where you're gonna choose which time zone you are in. And you'll be able to select the time and date in there. And then, you can also sync it with you phone. And we're gonna get into this wireless section here upcoming, not too long. And it can pull the time off of your phone. That way as you go from time zone to time zone if you're traveling, or throughout daylight savings time, it can automatically pick up on those changes. And you don't have to jump in and change them yourself. And so normally I leave this turned off. But if you are using the wireless system in your camera a lot you can turn this on. It doesn't use too much battery power. You also have different date formats depending on how you like to use it, depending on where you live. Different people have different standards. And then rather than changing the clock every time daylight savings, daylight saving time comes around, you can turn it on and off just with an on off switch right here. Which is a little bit quicker and easier than going through and changing the hour of the day. And so, that's our time zone and date. Next up, language. Obviously chooses what language the menu is. The monitor brightness determines how bright the monitor is in the back of the camera. And so I like to leave this right in the middle. In theory you could save battery power by turning this down. But this is how a lot of us judge the quality of our photographs, and whether they're too bright or too dark. And so I think leaving this in the middle is the smartest choice. Info display format. So we're gonna head into another little sub-menu here. And, when your camera is in the auto-scene or effects modes, you can choose what style the display on the back of the camera looks like. And so this is all cosmetic folks. Just, you know, what do you want it to look like. Has no impact on the images themselves. And then if you were to be in the more manual settings, how do you want the displays to look like? And, I do like the graphic. And so if you're learning photography, and you're still trying to figure out the aperture. What is an open aperture? What is a small aperture? This can be very, very helpful. But once you get to learn that I kind of just prefer the classic look. I like the nice big numbers that are easy to see. You don't need to put your glasses on to see them. And so, your choice. Choose which one you like. Next up is the auto info display. When do you want that to come on? And so, if you have it turned on, it will turn on any time you press lightly on the shutter. And I think this is really handy, 'cause that's usually when you're waking the camera up. You wanna look and see what information's going on. What your shutter speed is. What your aperture is. You can have it activated. If you turn it off, you have to press the info button to turn it on and off. It won't come on by pressing the shutter. And so it kind of depends on how you like to work with the camera and how often you want it to be visible. Auto off timers. And so I mentioned that, the camera wants to go to sleep on a regular basis. And that's to conserve battery power. Which makes sense. But if you're working with the camera and you think it's going to sleep a little too quickly you could set this on long, or you could go to custom, and in custom, let me bring that one up, you can go through and you can specifically designate certain parts of the menu system, or the display system, stay on longer than others. And so, if you're playing back images and you want them to stay on longer for some reason, you can go in and individually control that. Most people are gonna be fine leaving this at normal. But if you did wanna be very conservative on battery power, you could set this to short. In the self-timer, we have four different delays. The two and five seconds are generally designed for people shooting from a tripod. They wanna trigger the shutter release. And then let the vibrations settle out. And have the camera shoot a photo. 10 or 20 seconds would be if you want to get in the photo yourself in many cases. You could also choose the number of shots. So if you're gonna do a group shot for instance, you could set a 10 or 20 second delay for you to get into the picture yourself. And when I do group shots, I usually take four pictures. 'Cause I usually figure nobody's gonna blink four times in a row perfectly timed with the camera. And I'll have enough information there so it shoots one photo and then it shoots a number of them right afterwards. All right. Next. If you have the remote, the camera needs to be on, and needs to be sending and turned on to receive a signal from the ML-L3. How long do you want to have your camera remain on and sensitive to this remote? Obviously leaving it on longer is gonna waste a little bit more battery power. But it may be necessary depending on what type of work you are doing with your camera. And so that's only gonna play an affect with that remote. So if you need to clean the sensor on this camera, the camera does not have an automatic sensor cleaner like a lot of cameras do. You may need to go in and manually clean the sensor. And there's two steps. And I would say, pretty much everyone can handle step one. And some people might wanna go to step two. But not everyone's gonna feel comfortable there. Step one is getting one of these air blowers. You take the lens off. You put the camera in the mirror lockup for cleaning. And so you activate it here by pressing start. And the mirror goes up. The shutter unit goes up. And you basally squeeze this air bottle. And you're gonna blow air, hopefully knocking off any dust that might be laying on the sensor. Now if that doesn't work, the next step is either to turn it into a repair facility to have it professionally cleaned. Or you can use a swab and liquid system. And there's some other dry systems as well that you would go in. And the idea is that you are going to sweep the sensor clean and you are gonna sweep that dust off the sensor. Not something that everybody is gonna wanna do. Not something I recommend for everybody. But if you have careful hands and don't mind doing it yourself, there are tools available that you can safely do this without damaging your camera. You can also shoot a dust off reference photo. And this is gonna be for use with Nikon software. If you have a lot of dust on your photograph, and you don't have any way of cleaning it right then and there, you can shoot a photo of a blank sheet of paper, or something all white, shoot it like at F so you can really see the depth of field at every spec possible. And this would be a very dirty sensor. And then you could use that information with the Nikon software to clone out all of the problems on your images after the fact. And so this is something that very few people use 'cause you have to use the Nikon software in order to do it. And you would have to use the Nikon NX-D software. And so you'd have to be shooting that with the RAW images in order to fix that. You can go in and add comments to individual photographs. And so if you're in an unusual location and you wanna write down what that is, if you were to take a photograph while you were traveling and somebody said, could you email that to me? Well, what's your email address? Well, you could input it into the camera. Well the camera does not have a touchscreen and so it's a little bit laborious to input the text here. But it can be done. And so it is there and it is available if you wanna do that. This one's kind of neat. This is copyright information. This is good for what it's actually intended for. So if you are shooting photos this adds your name, if you wanna add your name or anything else, your company's name, into the data, the metadata of every photograph that you shoot. And so as you download your images that name or that title or that information goes along with all of the photos that you shoot. And I think this is kind of handy for security reasons. If you put your name in there or your email address if you're camera gets lost of stolen and somebody goes through the menu system, they'll be able to see this in here. And so, if it was at the police department and it had your name on it, that would be at least a little bit of proof that proves that it's your camera. And my guess is that most thugs who would steal a camera are probably not gonna be diving this far into the menu system. And so I would say put your name in there. Or maybe a way to contact you through an email system if your camera is lost and somebody wants to be honest and return your camera. The beep system is a little chirping noise that will let you know that your camera is focused properly. And this is kind of handy when you first get one of these cameras and you start learning how the focusing system works. But it can get a little annoying to the subjects you're shooting or other photographers or other people around. And so it's something that I recommend turning off because there's many other different ways to tell that it's in focus. In the viewfinder for instance, there's the green dot on the far left of the screen that comes on when you are solidly in focus. And so you can get that information without being a nuisance and making a spectacle of yourself when you're out shooting. Flicker reduction will control flicker that sometimes happens around florescent lights when you're using the LCD on the back of the camera. And normally auto will take care of it and it'll figure out where the flickering problem is and adjust frequencies so that you don't have a problem. If for some reason it's not doing it, you can manually jump in and do it yourself. But it's likely never necessary. Buttons leads us into a sub-menu which allows us to customize some of the buttons on the camera. And so the function button, I mentioned this before, can be reprogrammed to do one of four different features. I think the most valuable one is changing the ISO sensitivity. But you can choose which one of these four features you like to change on a regular basis. And this is one of those buttons that you would press in, and turn the dial on the back of the camera in order to change that particular function. And so, one of the complaints about this camera I've seen in some of the reviews is that it doesn't have a way to directly control the ISO. And it certainly does. You just need to dive in here, and assign it, and make sure that it's assigned the way that you want it to work. Another button that you can customize is the auto-exposure lock and auto-focus lock button on the back of the camera. Normally it will lock the exposure or lock the focus on it. But if you want it to only lock the exposure, that would be the second choice, you can do it either by pressing and holding the button, or in the hold position, you press it in, and it just holds it there for you, and then you would press it once again to release it. The bottom option, the AF on, is interesting because that enables back button focusing. So you can use your thumb to focus rather than the shutter release itself. Now on its own, that doesn't do much. All right. It's gonna come into effect when we get to our next mode here, which is, well actually, one or two modes, next one down. Next one is shutter release button, auto-exposure lock. When you press down on the shutter release, do you want it to lock the exposure? Most people don't. But other people have a different system that they like to work. And they wanna lock the exposure, for instance, in program, shutter priority, and aperture priority, press halfway down, and it locks the exposure right there. If you do wanna do back button focusing, this is the other part of the equation, the AF activation. Do you want to have the shutter release button control focusing or not? And so if you wanted to do back button focusing, you would turn off the AF activation, and you would turn the AF on button on the AEL button on the back of the camera. And so you're just switching which button activates the focusing. Now it's not something I recommend for a brand new user to this camera. But for somebody who is wanting more specific control about how their camera focuses, and when they can shoot the photo, and those aspects of it, you might wanna take a look into back button focusing because it's something that almost all professional photographers are using. I'd say probably about 80% of them are using that system because they like to have that individual control of when to focus and when to shoot the photo. So some nice little customization there in the buttons mode. Rangefinder mode. Kind of an unusual mode here. So, normally we have our light meter. But we can have it control, or at least help guide us, in focusing. So if you are one of those photographers that likes to manually focus, and you would like a little bit of digital assistance, you can turn this feature, this rangefinder feature on and it will tell you which direction to turn the lens and then it will give you a little indicator that lets you know that you are properly focused on your subject. Most people aren't gonna wanna use this. But if you do like manual focusing, it's a neat little trick. Most of the time, I would imagine people using this camera are gonna be totally satisfied with the auto-focus system. It's a very good system. But there are cases where some people like to manually focus. And if you wanna get in and manually focus with the auto-focus ring on this camera you can do so by turning this on. And when you turn this on, what will happen is that you can focus by pressing halfway down on the shutter release, or the back button if you have that one activated. And then, after you have it halfway down, and it focuses and it stops, you can reach up and grab the focusing ring and turn it as necessary. And so, this may play a little bit differently depending on different lenses that you get on the camera. But at least the one that it is currently coming supplied with it works in that manner. It is as I say, different lenses are gonna work a little bit differently. Especially older Nikon lenses. When you shoot photos on the camera it creates files on the memory card. And those files have a numbering system that counts from one to 10,000. And the normal system is for this camera to just count up to 10,000 and then start over again. And that's a perfectly good system. If you wanted to manually reset it, you could. But most people are not gonna want to mess with this. On your memory card it does store these files in folders. And if you want you can create and select different folders. So for instance, if you only had one memory card, but you had photos for business purposes and personal photos, and you wanted to keep them separate because you're doing slide shows and various other things, you don't wanna get 'em mixed up, you could create different folders and have those images go to those different folders and have them separated at least digitally on one memory card. Most people don't deal with it. But it is possible. The naming of those files begins with a DSC designation. I believe it's digital system camera. Or something like that. And if you wanna go in and change those letters to your initials for instance, you can go in and change those letters. Long term, most serious photographers end up changing the file names of their cameras. And so it's not the biggest issue to change 'em. But if you did want to kind of change your settings so that they look a little bit different, they're a little bit easier to track or identify, you can do so in here by going in and choosing three different letters. HDMI is gonna get us into, lead us into another little sub-menu. And so HDMI is where we are plugging our camera into a TV or a monitor of some sort. And you can adjust the output resolution. Normally you're gonna leave it in auto. And the camera and the TV will work it out. And it's gonna work out just fine. But if for some reason something's not connecting up with the right resolution, you can force it to be output in one particular setting. Device control allows you to control navigation of the slideshow through the TV remote. Even though the images are on your camera the remote is basically sending a signal back through the HDMI to tell them to go to the next image. And so if you're doing manual slideshows in that manner that might allow things to work a little bit more easily. Location data allows data from your phone or tablet to be downloaded to the camera. That's connected up, you'd have to be connected up with Bluetooth, which we're getting to very quickly here. And so it would allow that position to be downloaded and added to all the data. You could also just simply check your position, your GPS coordinates for instance, in your camera. But it's basically sending that information through your phone. This camera has a number of wireless connections, it's the Bluetooth connection that we're gonna be getting onto in our next topic here. And if you are on an airplane, they tell you to put your devices into the airplane mode. They want to turn off all the signals being sent out from the camera. And so if you are on an airplane, you could just simply enable this and that way you could still use the camera on the airplane. But this is something that I would normally enable unless you are specifically wanting to use the Bluetooth of this camera. The reason for that is that this does use up battery power. It's gonna use it up here, and then on your phone as well if it's communicating back and forth. Now if you're gonna use it, great, use it. But, if you are thinking, ah, I'm not sure if I'm gonna use it, just turn it off until you get to the point that you are actually going to use it.

Class Description

The Nikon D3400 camera is the perfect DSLR if you're looking to move up from taking pictures on your smartphone. This class will give you an in-depth instruction on how to make this transition easily so that you can capture high quality images. John will guide you through the features, menus, and buttons on your camera, giving you the confidence you need to take pictures like a pro. You’ll learn how to:

  • Use the D3400's AF precise focus system, even during high-speed shooting and low-light situations
  • Link your D3400 to your smartphone using Nikon's new Snapbridge system
  • Create time-lapse videos, ultra-smooth slow motion sequences and more
If you've just purchased this camera, or are thinking about buying it, this in-depth class will help everyone from amateurs to professionals love the new NIkon D3400 camera.


Tuan Hoang

John Greengo is a great instructor. He is indeed an expert. 1) Great voice ( clear tone) 2) Extremely friendly look ( must be a humble person) 3) Is indeed an expert ( know what he's talking about) 4) Have a passion teaching the secrets ( some instructors tend to hold back the information but not John) 5) And many more...


Great course to help an amateur get familiar with this camera. As a first time DSLR owner, and new to photography in general, there are settings and abilities of this camera that I find to be intimidating at times because they are over my head as a newbie. John explained settings and buttons in a way that cleared up some confusion left from reading the camera manual. I highly recommend this class to every owner of a D3400! John is a great instructor and I look forward to watching more videos of his.

Gloria Vázquez

Great class. I'm new to photography and I just got the Nikon D3400. Just to look at the manual made me anxious so I decided to buy this class and I don't regret it. I've learned a lot about the camera and about basic photography. John is an excellent instructor. I'm planning to take his class Fundamentals of Photography next. Thank you!