Nikon® D5 Fast Start

Lesson 5/34 - Exposure Modes


Nikon® D5 Fast Start


Lesson Info

Exposure Modes

Alright, the first part we're gonna talk about the top deck of the camera. We've talked about the On/Off already, shutter life of 400, so that should last you quite a while. If you flip that On/Off a little bit all the way over to the edge, it's gonna light up the LCD panel on the top of the camera, which is your control panel, we're not gonna go through all the details of that. I will mention that in the bottom right-hand corner is the remaining shots. If you have more than 1,000 shots, it's gonna say for instance, 2.1k, which means you have about 2100 or more shots. This will depend on a number of factors, and it will go down as you continue to shoot photos. And then once you get down below 1,000, it'll start back up again at 999. One of the things that kinda cool about this camera, is that when you flip it over to the lamp position, not only will that light up the top LCD, it'll light up the buttons on the back of the camera. So anyone who is working with their camera under low ligh...

t conditions will be able to find the Playback and the Menu, and the rest of the buttons on the back of the camera. And so, take your camera into a dark closet and play with the lamp feature, and take a look at these if you haven't noticed it so far. So on the Shutter Release, it is a two-stage device. By pressing halfway down, you're waking the camera up, you're activating the meter, and you're activating the focusing system. One of the things we'll talk quite a bit about in this class is the option for back button focusing. And if you wanna get in, and you wanna do it right now, we'll I'm gonna provide you with a shortcut to do that here, and throughout several places in the class, I'll be telling you how to dive into the Menu, and where to go to make these sorts of changes. And so when you see one of these little shortcuts with the arrows, that's just for all you people who like to jump ahead and get things set right now, before waiting for the Menu section part of the class. So, if you wanna go into back button focusing, go into Custom Setting Menu letter number A8, and look for AF activation. And you can turn off the auto focus of your shutter release. That way the AF On button on the back of the camera is the only way that your camera will focus. And when you press down on the Shutter Release, the lens will not adjust focus at all. And so we'll talk more about this as we go through the rest of the class. Alrighty, for Exposure Control, one of the first things that you wanna set up in any situation is the ISO. And so, Nikon has moved the ISO button, it used to be over on the left side of the camera, so for people who've been using Nikon for many years, you're gonna have to kinda readjust how you do things. This is how it's been done on Cannon, as well as some other manufactures for quite a while, and it's a welcome change for a lot of people because it's just gonna be a little bit easier to change in many situations. So we have the standard settings of 100 through 102,400, we'll just call that 100k, and we also have the option of going down to 50. The downside of going down to 50 is that you have less dynamic range in your images. And so if you're really desperate for a lower ISO, you're trying to either shoot shallower depth of field, or perhaps you are trying to get a longer shutter speed, you can use that as an option, but by default, 100 should be the standard setting that most of you are gonna wanna have, and then going up from there as needs arise. We do have five different Hi settings that go all the way up to 3.2 million. Now I do like to throw my cameras through a little bit of a test, so let's go ahead and just run it through an ISO test. So I'm just in the studio with some hot lights, shooting my little subject. And I wanted to shoot it at all the different ISOs, and you may or may not have a good view of your screen, but I have a gigantic 80 inch screen here that I'm gonna get up nice and close to. And 100, 200, 400, 800 are all looking just fantastic. There's only the slightest bit of noise that I'm starting to notice at ISO 1600, and then it starts ramping up 32, 64, but I gotta admit, even at 12,800 it's looking pretty clean. But 6400 is definitely looking very, very good. It's one of the cleanest cameras I've ever seen at 6400, and so I would not hesitate if I need to, to go up to that. But that falloff point starts happening at about ISO 1600. Now as we get to the really high settings, you can definitely see image quality dropping off here. And I've always thought Nikon running the numbers up to 3. million is just a way for them just to say that they have higher numbers. But I finally heard a really good reason as to why Nikon goes up to 3.2 million. It's not for artistic purposes, alright? Think about scientific purposes. Criminal investigations, somebody in a laboratory who is trying to record just the faintest light possible. And so, as I say, it's not for pretty pictures, it's just simply like for evidence that something actually happened. And so I think most Photographers are not even gonna want to go into any of the high settings. You're probably not, it's just not a lot of situations that you would need over 100,000 in your ISO. Because it definitely starts getting to be a lot, a lot of grain there. Alright? So you can do your own test, come up with your own judgements. But you're gonna press down on the ISO button, while your finger is down you're gonna turn the back dial on the camera to change your ISO. Now you do need to change positioning quite a bit to make the change on the front of the camera. And so if you press down on the ISO and you turn on the front of the camera, you can turn the Auto ISO feature on and off. Now if you want to go in and customize the way the Auto ISO works, and we're gonna talk more about this when we get to it in the Menu section, you can really customize the Auto ISO so that it really behaves in a way that meets your specific needs. Now let me just do a quick little demo on my camera here, I just wanna show you because some people have a really hard time and they grab the camera very strange. And so for changing the ISO, obviously you're just gonna use your index finger, and then you'll just turn the back dial of the camera right here. To change it on the front, some people kinda change here, and then they come around with this hand, or they're trying to change it, I think it's just easier to reach your thumb up there... Let's see if I can get my camera back here so you can see it a little better. So, index finger back dial, or bring your thumb forward, press it down on this, and then use your index finger in the front. Now you might find a system that works better for you, but this is the one that works well for me. And so, that changing it from Auto ISO is a little bit awkward, but that's not something that a lot of Photographers are doing back and forth a lot. But that's the way I find, the easiest way to change it. Alright, so that is the ISO. Next up under Exposure Control comes our Exposure Modes. So the mode button is over on the left, we're gonna press that and turn the main command dial on the back of the camera, and we're gonna get to four different letters. We're gonna start with P, which stands for Program, and this is where the camera will set shutter speeds and apertures for you. And if you want to see what those shutter speeds are, you'll see them either in the top deck of the LCD, or if you look in the view finder, you'll see your shutter speeds as the first number on the left, and then your F stop, or your aperture as the number right after it. So you will see what the camera is gonna do. So I want to do a little demo here for you, so let me... And so what I'm gonna do, and I'm gonna be doing this quite a bit in this class, so that you can see what is going on in the camera. So I'm gonna hit this Info button down here, and that's gonna give us the information in the back of the camera. It's a little different here than it is in the view finder, but you can generally see what shutter speed and what aperture we're at. So we're at the program mode right now, and I do actually wanna get my camera out of Auto ISO right now, for reasons that you'll find out here in a moment. And I'm gonna change my ISO to just to make things very easy to work with. And so, if I move my camera around, you can see the shutter speeds and apertures changing according to what it sees in the view finder. And so, if I want to change these numbers I can do that by turning the back dial. Now, Nikon has an interesting quirk, that I have not been able to get a definitive answer on. So you can see that I can change these numbers. Now watch what happens when I continue past the edge, so we're gonna go all the way down to 2.8, and I'm gonna go one, two, three, four, five clicks. Now it's the widest aperture that this can go to, but now I'm gonna try to go back one, nothing happens, two, nothing happens, nothing happens, nothing happens, nothing happens, nothing happens, okay there. Finally things are working. And so we go all the way to the end, and we can keep going, and we're like lost over the edge. And so somebody might have their camera going, "It's not working, it's not working." And I go, "Well just keep turning it a bunch in one direction." And so if I go all the way past the edge, I'm kinda lost over the edge and I gotta keep coming back. I suppose, let's go all the way to the edge. There's a limit to how, see it's not even doing anything here. So I gotta come back, and I suppose one thing you could do, is you could just turn the camera off, turn the camera on, hit the Info button so we can see what's going on, and that should reset it as well. And so I don't know why Nikon lets you go over the edge and get lost over there. But the other thing you'll notice, is the star comes up next to P. And that means that you have shifted the program away from the default setting on it. So that is the program mode on the camera. And so, turning the back dial engages the flexible program, you'll see the asterisk comes up, which simply means that you have changed it from the default setting. Next up is Shutter Priority. So I'm gonna change my camera to shutter priority here. And so shutter priority is really nice when you know that you need a specific shutter speed to accomplish a certain task. And so an eagle coming in to the river, you're gonna need a good fast shutter speed, so 1,000th of a second would do a good job at that, and so that would be a good reason for choosing shutter priority. Or perhaps you wanna do a slow shutter speed to blur the motion of some scarves that are blowing in the wind, and so this is an example of a one second shutter. So the shutter priority has a little bit of a problem, it's not a problem with Nikon, it's just one of these things that I don't particularly like about shutter priority. And so let me show you on the back of the camera, here. I'm gonna hit the Info button so that I can, you can see exactly what we're looking at here. And so I'm turning the back dial to change my shutter. And if I wanna set a shutter speed of say a 60th of a second, right there. And I got some props over here, I go ahead and take a photo, actually I may need to focus on these, and I'll play it back so you can see it. But we have some props over here, some old Nikon cameras, and so that was our shutter speed for that situation. If we want a little bit faster shutter speed, we can go faster or we can go slower. The problem with shutter priority in my opinion, is that you can easily exceed the limits of the camera. For instance, if I want to set a really fast shutter speed in here, you will see that at a thousandth of a second the aperture is blinking, which means it's not wide enough, the camera needs a faster aperture. You'll also notice, on the back of the camera you'll also notice in the view finder is that the exposure indicator is indicating how much underexposed that particular shot's gonna be. So if I shoot this at one two-thousandth of a second, I can see that I'm gonna be a little bit more than two stops underexposed, and that photo is gonna be resulting very, very dark. But if you are not paying attention to that blinking, or that exposure, you're just gonna set a faster shutter speed thinking everything is gonna be fine until you check your photographs. Now you can do this on the slow end of the scale as well. And so if you're gonna shoot with shutter priority, there's two things I would recommend. Number one, be very careful about paying attention to what your camera is saying to you, because it's gonna give you a warning. And two, if you really wanna use shutter priority, I think Auto ISO might be a good thing to employ at that time. I'm not usually a big fan of Auto ISO, but with shutter priority it prevents you from making those sorts of mistakes. And so, just a couple little tips on shooting with shutter priority. Alright, moving along the way, getting up to Aperture Priority, which is one of my favorite modes for general photography. And so in aperture priority, you select the aperture that is gonna work for you. And when I'm selecting apertures, I'm also looking at shutter speeds, to see what shutter speed. And with f/22 I'm probably gonna end up with a pretty slow shutter speed, which is why I might wanna use a tripod, as I did in this particular situation, which was in Morocco. Or you might wanna be shooting with a very shallow depth of field. And I'll be making sure that my shutter speeds, which are most likely gonna be very easily hand-holdable, in these cases when you want very, very shallow depth of field. And so, aperture priority is a great mode to be in, when you're shooting a wide variety of situations. And so, if you are a press Photographer, if you are a Wedding Photographer and you're shooting in very fast moving situations, aperture priority would be a great way to go. Just kinda moving that aperture back and forth from shallow to greater depth of field. And keeping an eye on the shutter speed, to make sure that it's appropriate for the situations that you're in, and you're working with. Now the modes that we've just talked about, aperture, shutter priority, and program, also allow you to use the little plus/minus button up on the top of the camera, which is the exposure compensation button. And what this button does, is it allows you to shoot pictures that are either overexposed or underexposed, because the situation warrants it because of the lighting situation. So we can go from minus five stops, to plus five stops. And we will do this by pressing down on the plus/minus button, turning the main command dial, and we'll see an exposure indicator or a value, depending on which screen or view finder we're looking at. This would be plus one, if we go to the minus side it's gonna be over to the left, by the minus, might say minus two like this, and that's gonna indicate that it's gonna be darker than that average of 18% gray. And so this is something that you generally wanna keep set at zero, until you are specifically wanting to make this change. Now I find these most helpful in program, shutter, and aperture priority, but with Nikon cameras and very few other brands of cameras, you can use it in manual. But in manual, it's not changing your exposure. It is just fooling the light meter. In fact, let's do a little experiment live demo, here, wasn't planning on this, but this is I think an interesting little note to see. So if we're looking at the back of the camera, I've moved my camera already into Manual, and let's just say that I wanna have an aperture of f/4. So I'm gonna change my aperture to f/4, and I don't care what my shutter speed is, because we're on a tripod here, and I'm just gonna turn my shutter speed dial until this light meter is at zero. Okay, so right here the correct shutter speed aperture is 1/200 f/4. I'm gonna shoot a picture, I'm gonna play it back for you. We're getting proper exposure. Okay, so now, if i go in and I set my plus/minus, let's go plus one, alright? So I set it to plus one. My exposure compensation is set to plus one, and I take the same photo, I play that photo back, that is exactly the same brightness as the previous photo, picture eight, picture nine. Same brightness, nothing changed. What changed is the light meter went down to minus one. Which kind of is fooling me into thinking, oh I better change, let's say the shutter speed, back here to one one-hundredth of a second. Now my light meter is evened out. And I take this photo, which is a stop brighter. And that's because I set my exposure compensation to plus one, it's kinda forcing me and guiding me into shooting a brighter exposure. So you can use it with manual exposure, it's not doing anything other than moving the light meter to help fool you or guide you to the exposure that you may want. And so, that is the exposure compensation on the camera. And you will see this in the view finder over on the right-hand side, unlike all the lower-end Nikons, which has the light meter on the bottom of the view finder. This one is gonna be off to the right-hand side. So if this is your first professional Nikon camera, you're gonna kinda have to get used to looking over to the right-hand side where that is dedicated. Alright, next up is full-on Manual, which is one of my favorite ways to shoot. And I like it because I like consistent results, and so it's gonna work very much in the way that we just demoed for you. And so this is great for situations that have either tricky lighting, or in situations that you can get a test exposure in to make sure that you're getting the right exposure. Something like this might be very difficult in shutter or aperture priority, because there's kind of an unusual mix of very bright and dark objects. And so anytime you want consistent results, I really like using manual exposure. Now when you get into manual exposure, you'll be able to set the shutter speeds yourself. And you'll have everything from one eight-thousandth of a second, down to 30 full seconds, and then you get to something called bulb. So what bulb is, is it's a long time exposure, and it's a long as you leave your finger down on the shutter release. So when you press down, the shutter opens up and it stays open as long as your finger is pressing down either on the shutter release, or on a cable release plugged into the camera. And so if you wanna do a two minute exposure, get ready to hold down that button for two minutes. And when you're done, it closes the exposure. And so this is kind of nice for doing something like photographing lightening. If you open up the shutter and you wait for the lightening bolt, and when it's done you release it. Next up, you might see a couple of dashes, or you might see the word time, depending on which display you're looking at, and this is also a long time exposure that's closely related, but slightly different. The difference here is it takes one press to get it started, and then you don't have to leave your finger on the button. You can just wait. You can use your stopwatch, or you can just decide when you're done, you go back, and you press the button again. So it's once to start, and once to stop it. And so two very, very closely related ways of dealing with it. And then if you dial far enough, you'll get to x250. Now this is the maximum flash synchronization speed, and there are certain people who work in the studios, or work a lot with flash, and they just kinda wanna dial it in all the way to the end of the dials so that it doesn't get bumped around quite as easily, and locks it in at one two-fiftieth of a second. Now you could set your camera at the normal one two-fiftieth, and it's gonna do exactly the same thing. And so it's just kind of a long time tradition, and it comes from the days when Nikon had an actual shutter speed dial, and it was all the way at the end. And I think that even in some of the cameras, it would lock at two-fiftieth of a second, which was kind of interesting. In fact, I am gonna grab my Nikon F4 camera, which was one of my all time favorite cameras, and if we can do a close-up on this. We have the old traditional shutter speed dial on this. And it's got an X setting right here, and that X is also 250, and it locks in. So you can see how we could change shutter speeds, but it locked in at 250. So if you were in the studio, there was no way that that was getting bounced around. And so, sorry to bring up archaic information for you, but you know, there's a history to Nikon. And they've been around for so long, that it's nice to know some of those little historical facts if you own a Nikon camera. Alright, moving on. So bulb exposure, in this case I was in Rome, and I wanted as many car tail lights as possible in the photo, and there just wasn't enough traffic late at night for a 30 second exposure to get a lot of tail head lights, so I did a two minute bulb exposure in this case to get lots of headlights in there. And so that might be one of the reasons why you wanna use bulb or a time exposure on the camera. And that'll be available once again, in the manual 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.