Backside Controls


Nikon® D5 Fast Start


Lesson Info

Backside Controls

Alright, the Menu button. That is gonna lead us into one of the largest menus ever put inside of a camera and we're gonna be dealing with that in the second half of this class. So we're just going to pass by this right now. Next up is a button we talked a little bit about but it actually has three different functions depending on what mode your camera is in. As you're scrolling through the menu system, it's a Help button, which will often give you a little bit more information about what that particular feature is doing. The picture controls, when you're in the normal shooting mode allows you to change the style of JPEGs that you are shooting. This is the contrast, and the color, and the saturation of your particular image. And so, you can go in and you can quickly change it from Standard, to Vivid, to Neutral, to any of these different modes in here that you might want, depending on how you want your JPEGs to come out. Now, as you'll see later on, as we get into the menu system, you c...

an customize any one of these. If you like the vivid one, but it's just a little too vivid for you, you can kinda tone down the saturation on that one, or you like the standard and you want a little bit more saturation. These are simply presets that you could choose but you can tweak them as you will soon see. And then finally, we talked about this before, in the playback mode, you would use this button to protect your images to prevent them from getting deleted. So it does three different things, depending on which mode you are in. We've talked about the zoom in, we'll use this as well, when we get into the Live View mode. The next is another triple threat button, which zooms out and gets us to our Thumbnails and playback modes, and it's also a Flash Control if you have a Nikon flash attached to the camera, In which case, you would use that button and the rear command dial and what that's gonna do is allow you to go through the different flash modes that are available. You can also use the front dial of your camera to control your Flash Compensation. And so, we're not gonna talk too much about it because you may or may not have a flash, but that is a shortcut way to get in and make those control settings, rather than using the buttons on the back your flash, which you will also be able to use to make those same style adjustments. And then we have our good old OK button, which is often used for confirming more important decisions in the camera. Next up, we have a little light that comes on, Local Area Network, your LAN connection. This camera can be hooked up to computers for tethering and if you are working with it and it is connected up, this light will come on to let you know that that connection is working. The Function Button down here is one that you get to program to do almost whatever you want. There is a limited set of features that you can go in and reprogram it for, but you can do that by going into the Custom Setting F and to the Custom Control Assignment and looking at the different options that are available for that particular button. One of the more popular ones is, you could use it to automatically record voice memos without having to pull up that little i button in that Information Menu that we did earlier go in that demo that I just did. We have a second LCD on the back of the camera, along with some direct controls right below it that you'll be able to make further adjustments to the camera. And so, with these buttons, you'll be able to see those changes right above it in that little LCD display on the back of the camera. We talked earlier about the Release Mode, and if you want to use that, you want to have the Release Mode dial on the top of the camera in the Quick Release Mode Selection at the end of that particular rotation selection of options on the top, and then you could use that Back button. For image quality, this is recording the whole JPEG RAW image quality that you are shooting with the camera. Press that, turn the Back button, and you'll be able to change between RAW, TIFF, and any of the other different JPEG options. And so, what you shoot with greatly depends on what you are doing with your photographs. A lot of people who wanna get the maximum quality out of the camera are going to be shooting with the RAW format. That way they're recording all the information and then they're gonna work with a software program to work with their images, and they'll probably end up turning into either TIFFs or JPEGs for use in whatever needs they have. There's a lot of sports photographers who don't want to shoot with RAW, because it ends up being too much data, and it's more data than they actually need, and they're going to shoot with JPEGs because they can shoot faster. The frame rate is the same, but the burst depth is much deeper when you shoot with JPEGs because the file sizes are much much smaller, and so there's a variety of JPEG sizes that you can choose. Most people are going to probably choose the highest quality fine JPEG, just because that's going to be the best JPEG that you can get. There is also a TIFF option, which if somebody wanted a very high quality image out of the camera, but they did not have the RAW converter for this particular format, then you could give them a TIFF image. But for the most part, very few people are using the TIFF images. It's a very bloated, large file size that most people would prefer to just use with RAW, and so many of the programs out there can accept the RAW. That's what they would probably prefer. But if they didn't have that RAW program to read it, then you could use the TIFF as an option, as a very large file. When you do choose JPEGs, the options there are different compression sizes that you can have. You can also choose different file sizes to the JPEGs of a large, medium, and small. Once again this is going to be dictated by how you are using your photographs. Most people are gonna wanna shoot with the largest size, so that they have the most number of megapixels and the most cropping ability with it, but there might be special cases where you are wanting and only needing a small or medium-sized JPEG. Yes, you'll get more images on your memory card, but they will not be as good a quality. And so, most people will will be shooting large and the fine quality with the little star by it, or shooting in RAW with this camera. If you hit the Info button, you'll be able to see right on the back of the camera a little bit more clearly as you are making these changes which options are available. I wanted to throw the camera through my own real simple basic test. And so, went into the studio, shot just my basic little test subject. Yes, small sized JPEGs are very low in quality, but if you need a very small file size, a one megabyte image is very small by today's standards. The little star means its a slightly higher quality, a little bit less compression. Now, you may want to do your own test if you're going to be shooting a lot of information, a lot of pictures with this camera to shoot, to set your camera just high enough that meets all of your needs. You don't want to be shooting with excess data that you don't need. And so, the file sizes of that TIFF, as you can see there, a 64 megabyte file is huge. It's not getting you any more information than the RAW, but it is a little bit more accessible with some sorts of programs. And so, you may want to do, as I say, your own test to make sure that you are shooting just the file size that you need. The White Balance button is controlling the color of the image. Your camera doesn't know what color of lights are illuminating your subjects, and this is where you can tell it what type of lighting situation you are in. And so, this works on the Kelvin scale, which goes from red to blue, and there are three different options for your natural lighting, your sunlight, cloudy, and shade. Artificial lights, the biggest one that's different is incandescent. There is a wide range of fluorescent lights. And so, there's a lot of different options on the types of fluorescence, whether they're cool or warm lights, that you can choose. Of course, Flash should be very, very neutral right around 5,400 degrees Kelvin. Beyond those, we have another set of options. We have a Preset Manual, which allows us to point our camera at something that is neutral in color and take a white balance off of it and set that as the standard. We'll do an example of that when we get into the Live View section of this camera, because there's a neat way of doing that Live View. If you know the Kelvin temperature that you're working with, you know the type of lights that you're working under and you wanna achieve a specific result, you can just simply set the Kelvin number yourself. And a lot of people use Auto White Balance because it's a pretty good general system that you may want to use at any time, and there are actually three different options, a zero, one, and two sub-option on the Auto. And I'll be showing you an example of that when we get into the Menu System, as to the difference between how warm or cool those different options are. So, you can change the White Balance by turning the backside. You can also change Presets for the Preset Manual, I believe there are six different presets that you can have. So if you have six different places that you shoot on a regular basis. Let's say you were a sports photographer at a university. And the basketball gymnasium has a certain type of lighting for basketball and gymnastics. But over in the wrestling arena, they have a different set of lights that have a slightly different color. And over where they play volleyball, well that's a little bit different color. You could have presets one though six, all set up. That is the color balance set for all those different arenas that you go to on a regular basis. And so that could save you a little bit of time and get you better quality results in the long term. And you can see all this, hitting that Info button and changing either the back dial or the front dial. You'll see that right there in the back of the camera. Now, if you notice the little drive button in the White Balance button has a couple of green dots next to them And this is for clearing the settings of the camera. If you want to kind of clear any funky settings that you might have put in there. It is going to change the basic functions of the camera. It does not go into the Custom Functions. And so, what you need to do on this is basically hold them down for three seconds simultaneously, and that'll go through and that'll clear out a lot of those basic functions. The Info button, well, you should be pretty familiar with this. We've been using it quite a bit in class, but it's always nice when you want to see the information nice and big on the back of the camera. We've been using the Main Command Dials quite a bit. And then we have two different AF-ON buttons. One, obviously for horizontal, one for vertical shooting. This is going to activate the focusing system in the camera. And out of the box, it doesn't do you much good because the shutter release also controls focusing. So, you could be focusing with the back button, but when it's time to go shoot a photograph, your camera's going to refocus on whatever it's pointed at at that point. Where it really comes in handy is when you go in into the shutter release button and you turn off the Auto Focus. Or, if you don't like back button focusing, you want this button to do something else, you can reassign this button, not to auto focus, but to do something else completely different. And you can do that, once again, in the Custom Setting Menu. But if you do want to use if for back button focusing, the key thing is you want to go into A in the Custom Setting Menu, and turn off the AF activation of the shutter release. That way when you press down on the shutter release, the camera will take a photo, but it won't focus. If you wanna focus, you press the AF-ON button on the back of the camera. And as I say, this is something that a lot of the more advanced photographers have really gone towards and much prefer over other systems. Next up is our Sub-selector, once again, two of them, one for horizontal shooting and one for vertical shooting. And these are going to be mostly used as a focus joystick for moving our focus point around. But, it is also a button. Not only does it move side to side and up and down, it is a button, and when you press that button, it locks the exposure in. And so, let me do a little live demo here for you. I need to switch my camera into an automatic exposure mode. So I am going to put it in Aperture Priority right now. Let me hit the Info button on the back of the camera. And you can see, as I move the camera around, I'm getting different shutter speeds, and that's because its a different brightness from our background here. But if I said that I wanna lock the exposure in, if I press this in, you'll notice that as I move it around, it no longer moves back and forth. If I release it, it starts adjusting. And so, as a button, just pressing that button, it's an exposure lock button. And this is something that we'll be able to reprogram, But if you want to lock the exposure, you can just hold in on that button, when you want to lock that in. And if you look through the viewfinder, it will light up the AEL to indicate that you have pressed that button in, and it is fully pressed in, and you have locked the exposure. And so there is a visual confirmation in the viewfinder that you've done it as well. Our Multi selector, which we've been using and we'll be using much, much more, and our Center button as well. Be aware that the Lock button locks the Multi selector, the Center button, as well as the Sub-selectors. And so, If you throw that in to the lock, it's gonna kinda lock all of those thing. So if you want to lock your focus point in, you want to make sure that you don't move any of those things around, that lock button does lock all that in. Usually, I leave that unlocked, because I like to be able to make those changes pretty quickly. But if your working in a pretty harried situation, that might be a time to lock it in. Next up, we have our little door that we flip open to get into our memory cards. We have two memory cards that we can use here. They will be identical, left and right, but depending on which camera you have, either the D5-a or the D5-b, you'll be using either the XQD cards or the CF cards. So let's talk for a moment about these two cards. You probably already made your choice, at least some of you. Some of you may still be in the market for this camera, trying to figure out what to do. So here's some information on those two cards. So, the XQD card is a fairly new card right now. And surprisingly, we still don't have real large capacities available, at least at the time of the recording of this class. And so, if you want large cards right now, the CF cards are available in much larger sizes. And I expect to see larger sizes in both of these going in the future, but there does seem to be greater capabilities with the XQD, looking long term into the future. The real difference to go with the XQD is the maximum speed of the cards. The CF cards are really starting to start to kinda top out at the max speed that their expected to get to. So I don't expect them to get much beyond 160 megabytes per second. But the XQD cards are much, much faster, and they'll be able to continue to get faster in the future. And so, for speed reasons, I expect more cameras from Nikon in the future to use the XQD because of this speed option and the size of the files and shooting 4K video. All of that is just easier done with those faster cards. So, the camera does have USB 3.0 port on it for downloading images, but when you wanna get images off of a card, I find it very handy to have a card reader so that you don't have to have the camera around. If you wanna do firmware upgrades, you're gonna need to be able to transfer images to a memory card. And so, having one of these card readers, which costs anywhere from 20 to $40, I think is a worthwhile investment. They work on PCs and Macs a little bit more easily than plugging the camera in. Sometimes there's computers that don't recognize the camera, they don't like being connected to it for some reason, and so these are just a little bit safer and easier, and it's something I recommend to all photographers. Also, with the Memory Cards, when you first get them, you want to reformat them, so that they are set to communicate with your camera. If your buddy who has a Canon camera gives you an old Memory Card, and you want to use it, you would definitely want to reformat it before you put it in here after it having been with another camera. And so, reformatting the Memory Cards is something that you should be doing on a regular basis. So, the card to the left is card slot one, and the one on the right is card slot number two. So if you are just using one, I'd probably use the one on the left. There is a little light next to it that indicates that information is either being written or read from that card. And so that is a really important light to know about, because you don't want to be taking the card in and out of the camera at that time. If you turn the camera off, that's probably not the best thing in the world, but the camera is just gonna stay on till it finishes writing that data. So, just be aware. That's kinda of a warning light that the camera is working and don't disturb it. The i button can be pulled up a number of different times to pull up additional information. It is essentially a shortcut menu to a few items that Nikon has chosen as the most important items that you want to access. Unfortunately, it's not customizable. I wish it was, but it's not. But there are things that we are gonna see as we go through the Menu system. And pay attention to it, see if there's anything in here that you like to come back to on a regular basis, because this will be a shortcut button, as I say, to get to these few individual features. And it's available both in the Shooting Mode, as well as in the Playback Mode, and in the Live View and Movie Modes and those menus do change as you go from mode to mode.

Class Description

We know what it’s like to dive right into taking pictures with your new camera. But dense technical manuals make for a terrible first date. Get the most out of your new Nikon D5 camera with this complete step-by-step walkthrough of the camera’s features. 

Join expert photographer John Greengo for a fast-track introduction, and unlock your camera’s full potential. In this Fast Start class, you’ll learn:

  • How to use the new 53 point AF system
  • How to understand and use the autofocus system for great photos
  • How to incorporate video into your shooting using the 4K advanced video capabilities.
John is a CreativeLive veteran instructor and an experienced photographer. He has extensive experience teaching the technical minutiae that makes any camera an effective tool: aperture, ISO, the Rule of Thirds, and the kinds of lenses you’ll need to suit your camera body. This Fast Start includes a complete breakdown of your camera’s exposure, focus, metering, video and more. John will also explain how to customize the Nikon D5's settings to work for your style of photography.


Michelle Mealing

As usual, John Greengo has provided me with a wealth of information, this time to decide on my next Nikon camera purchase. John has a talent for explaining technical aspects in a simply to understand, yet intelligent, language. I feel very lucky to be able to tap into the knowledge of such experts and thank the day I found out about Creative Live. Unfortunately I had to miss a little part of the live broadcast due to international time differences. I will definitely be watching the class again and again (there's so much content). Thanks John and Creative Live. Looking forward to my next class.

a Creativelive Student

Already set the Fn3 button for Voice Memo - easy peasy thanks to this and so many other "buried" ( in the manual ) treasures. Notwithstanding three years with the D4 and one year with the D5, I am substantially more familiar and comfortable with the available tools / features of this amazing camera, Nikon's D5. Thank you, John, for the relaxed, easy-to-follow yet informative, professional instruction - well done!

Silvio Mayorga

The course is quite comprehensive and helpful. It is a great course. Good guidelines to arrange camera set up.