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Nikon D500 Fast Start

Lesson 11 of 31

Back of Camera: Live View

John Greengo

Nikon D500 Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

11. Back of Camera: Live View

Lesson Info

Back of Camera: Live View

Okay, this is a big one here. All right, so the Live View / Movie switch down on the bottom of the camera will allow you to work with the camera in a couple of different ways. Let's go ahead and talk about these various modes. First up is Live View. So by rotating the collar over to the camera, and then pressing the Live View button, the mirror goes up, light goes into the sensor, the camera feeds that information to the LCD on the back of the camera, so that you can see what the lens is pointed at. Now, when you are in this mode, you can press the info button, and you can press it repeatedly to go through various different options, and tell you what, let's just do a quick little demo here in class. So I am gonna make sure that my camera is in the camera mode up here, and I'm gonna hit Live View, so that we get a live view of what's going on. And let's get a little zoom in here, so we don't have quite as much widescreen. And next up, hit the info, and I've just lost a line of informati...

on on the top. I have a little grid pattern so I can see if I have that table in my horizon aligned properly. We have a live histogram here. Like, oh, okay, I think I need to bump up the exposure on this a little bit. And so that looks like a better exposure on this particular scene right there. Hit the info button again. And if we have any pilots in the crowd here, you're gonna love this. Look at this. See the level. We can see if we have pointed our camera up, or down, and if we want to get it perfectly level, we get it right here in the middle, and we try to get that green line right about there. And so there, it's perfectly level. And so this just helped you get the camera exactly level in the left, right, forward, back motion. And if you don't want that in there ruining your composition, you just hit the info button again. We get that top line of information, which we may or may not need. We can press the info button again to get rid of that, and now we have very little in the way of obscuring our composition on there. And so that's all with the info button. The next button is the i button, and this allows us a shortcut to a variety of features that we might want to get to. And you know, changing the image area. The one that I want to go to that's really unique. I don't know if anyone else that has this other than Nikon is a split screen display zoom. So what it's gonna do is it's gonna zoom in, go to a split screen, and it's another way of making sure that you have a very very level scene in front of you. And so we clearly have a scene that is unlevel in front of us. And so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna hit the center button to go in, and what it is done is it's looking at the left and the right side of the frame to see if I have got this level or not. So it's kind of like the old split screen focusing, but this is for leveling, and so if I level it up right about there, looks pretty good. And then I hit the OK button, or I can actually. Actually I can move around any of these sides and I can reposition these if I want to and see. I gotta hit the lock button down here if I want to go to the other side, it looks like. And now I can move this one around if I need to. And so let me hit the lock side again, and I can move the whole thing around. And depending on how wide your scene is you'll be able to do this, and then let's see, what was my other secret button? I need to hit the i button to get back out of this, and now I'm sure that I've got this level. And so this works really good if you have a wide landscaping you're trying to level up the left side of the scene and the right side of the scene. And so it's a unique way of doing this from a tripod. It doesn't work very well handheld. Works very good from a tripod. And so those extra features are with the i button. And there's a couple of other features that we'll be talking about in there as we go through the rest of the class. Okay, next up we are able to zoom in and we'll be able to do focusing. I'll do a little demo here on this. And so, let me go ahead and just do that right now. All right, so we've got our camera in Live View, and I want to manually focus on our cameras over there. And I want to make sure that they're really really sharp. And so I'm gonna turn my lens into manual focus, and so I can manually focus or unfocus right now. And what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna move my focusing point, and I'm gonna move it over the camera that I want to focus on. And I'm going to zoom in. And zoom in, and now I'm gonna go grab the focusing ring, and I'm gonna move it, and actually I need to look someplace else. Okay, so up here is I see a little, I see this a little bit better for focusing, and I'm gonna focus on this manually. Right about there looks pretty good. And see, that's as close in as I get, and so if I back off now, I am 100% confident that I have focused on that camera properly. And so that's a great way of getting in there and focusing, and I'm gonna try one other little experiment here. I'm gonna put the camera in autofocus, and I'm gonna go and let's just go to another camera. I know there's another one down here somewhere off to the left, okay. And so now, if I press halfway down on this shutter release, I can also focus here and I can really see very carefully if I am properly in focus there. And so, great system if you are working from a tripod to be 100% confident that you have proper focus. Now, the camera can focus here as you've seen here. Let me back this off a little bit. And so we can move the camera around and focus on different subjects. But there is a bit of a problem with the focusing system, so let's go back to the keynote and talk about the focusing system on this camera real quickly when it's in the Live View mode. Not standard mode. Just the Live View mode. So light normally comes in an SLR like this camera and it goes to the mirror and the mirror's an unusual mirror. It is a partially silvered mirror, which means it lets light through the middle portion of the mirror. And this is so that light can get through the mirror, hit a sub mirror, and get reflected down to the autofocusing sensor in the camera. This is how the camera knows what to focus on when you have the camera held up to your eye pointing at various objects. When you put it in Live View, the mirror goes up, light goes in straight into the sensor, and that phase detection autofocus sensor that Nikon has been working on for the last 30 years is now rendered useless, all right? And the only way that it can judge focus is by looking at the contrast of the scene on the sensor itself. And so what's happening is that on the sensor, it's kind of looking, is this contrasting? No it's not. Okay, well, turn the lens a little bit this direction and turn it that direction a little bit. And it tends to be fairly slow in focusing. And so, the worst thing that you could ever do is go try to photograph high-speed sports action in the Live View mode on this camera. Trying to track that action moving back and forth. The camera's autofocus system is not designed for that. That's not the best system for the camera. If you're doing product photography or landscape photography or something that's not moving, that's a great time for using Live View for checking focusing whether it's automatically or manual. Now, there are ways of controlling the focusing system, 'cause it does focus and as much as I say that it's a terrible focusing system, it's terrible in respect to speed. It is fantastic when it comes to accuracy, all right? So it's just not good at tracking movement. So the focusing mode can be controlled with the button over on the left side of the camera by pressing that button in and turning either the back dial or the top dial will change the various functions. One option is single focus, where it focuses and stops. Or a full-time focus, where it's constantly looking for focus wherever you point the camera. By pressing the button and turning the front dial, you will change between face-priority, wide-area, normal area, and a subject tracking mode. And so these are different ways that Nikon can allow you to focus. And let's do a just a quick little demo, so that I can show you what some of these modes look like. So I gotta reach around to the left side of the camera. Let me just give you a peek around over here. It's this autofocus, manual focus button that I'm pressing right here. You barely notice it. It's an unlabeled button, so I'm gonna press in, but I want you to see on the back of the camera what I'm doing. And so let's get that locked in. So when I press this button in, and I turn the back dial, you can see it go between full time and single. So let me, sorry about this. I gotta move the camera a little bit. I want to get an object here in front of me. Let's put this on full-time. And so if I move the camera down here, I'm not pressing any buttons on the camera folks. I'm just gonna move the camera up, and it's just trying to focus on its own. And it's having a hard time there 'cause there is not a lot of contrast. And so if you just want to let the camera do its own thing, you can definitely see how it struggles here and it's a little bit on the slow side. And so what I prefer to do is I prefer to leave this in single which means I will point it where I want it to, and then when I press down halfway on the shutter release is the only time it focuses. You're gonna save a bit of battery power doing that. So the other option is by pressing the front button and turning the front dial. And so we have a face tracking mode which will recognize faces and can track them, and it does a good job at that. I prefer to choose either the normal or the wide area bracket. And so this will give us a very specific target that we can choose. And we can move that target around by using the little control pad on the back of the camera. And if we want to move it over, a little quick there. So we can come down here and we can focus, and you can see it turns green when it's in focus, and there's two different size brackets that we can choose. And then there is a tracking mode, and this is where Nikon uses kind of some of its own mojo, magic mojo, for focus tracking. And you'll see this little indicator down here at the bottom, and that's the center button on the camera, which is right up here. And so let's see if I put this focusing bracket on top of this larger camera, and I press in on this button, if it can track that movement back and forth. So it's following that subject and if I move closer and further, it should be able to do it. So let me go and try this close up. Press the center button again. So now I'm gonna press the center button. And it's tracking that movement. Now I'm gonna have to move the camera here, and I'm gonna move it a little closer. It's tracking it. I'll move the camera a little bit further away, and it's tracking it. And so, it is something that you might want to give a try to. It's one of these things that, it's doing its own intelligent tracking. And now if I want to stop the tracking, I press the center button again and it resets itself. There's some serious photographers who don't like it, because there's a lot of control that you're just handing over to the camera. Here's what the subject looks like, follow it, but there's no real parameters for saying follow it more closely or don't follow it or don't worry about obstructions or anything like that. There is limited control that you have over it. But it may work in some situations. And this is only in Live View. This is not by looking through the viewfinder, all right? So this is the Live View mode. Now we also do have a touchscreen. And so let's do a little touchscreen demo here. We're gonna have a subject in the foreground, subject in the background, little wider angle, okay. So we have touch screen options on this, and I'm gonna turn off this particular mode and just go to, small box right here. And I can touch the screen and let's see, I think I need more information on the screen. There's my little touch symbol up here. So by touching the symbol, we can rotate through three different options. One option is touch is off. So do whatever you want, doesn't do anything. Next option is autofocus on, so I can focus into foreground, and actually this is focusing and shooting photos. And then, press the shutter release to get back to the shooting mode. Focus back there. Take a photo. So that is focus and photo. And the next one is just autofocus. And so I can just autofocus here, and then it stops. Focus over here, and it stops. And so, the touch options are pretty simple. Three different options. Cycle through by simply touching that middle portion right over there. All right, so that is the Live View mode. What else do we got on here? So we do have picture controls, which we can also jump into and adjust those picture controls that we talked about before. And this is a really important one here, the Exposure Simulator / Light Meter. And so let's go ahead and go back to the back of the camera here. And I'm gonna switch the camera over to manual exposure. Now the question is, when I look at the back of the camera, do I want to see what the final picture's gonna look like or do I want to see the best picture possible? And so I'm gonna hit the OK button. So right now, it's the best possible picture. And so no matter where I change my shutter speed or my aperture, see, I can changing my shutter speeds down to three seconds, and it doesn't look any different than it does up at 8000th of a second. And so this could be really convenient if you are working in a studio or with flash equipment, because the flash is gonna fire and that's gonna change the whole exposure. But if I want to get a good idea of what the final photo's gonna look like, you hit the OK button, and it turns on the light meter over on the right-hand side, and it shows you a representation of what the final image is gonna look like. And at 1/8000th of a second in the studio, we're gonna get a super dark photo. And so let's start changing our shutter speed down to something where we can get a normal picture. And so if we said, "You know what, "this looks like a pretty normal picture. "This is where I want to take the photo." Well then, focus, take a photo, and our final photo looks very similar to what our Live View image show. And so this is kinda one of those secret little things. You gotta know the OK button takes you back and forth between these. And so if you are working in the studio, you're gonna definitely want to know about this. Or if you are using flash, because that flash changes everything on the exposure. Kenna, you want to pop in with a question? I do have a question for you John that's relevant to what you are talking about right now, about what you're seeing on the back of your screen when you're photographing. And so the question came from Welee who said, "I shoot raw, so the picture profiles, "picture styles, don't really matter. "But which would be good "to set on the camera while I'm shooting "to kinda best match what I might be shooting? "Or is there something that you recommend?" Right, and so with those picture profiles, maybe let's go to the back of the camera, and see if I can pop up these picture profiles over here. And so we have standard, which is kind of default. That's probably the place to go. Just set it at standard, you're probably fine. Because if you shoot raw, the image that you see on the back of the camera is gonna look a little different as you see just me going through this. You'll see this on here. For instance, I like to shoot black and white from time to time, and I'm able to see on the back of the camera what a black-and-white image is gonna look like. There are some people who don't like the standard, because it's a little too contrasty, and they would prefer to have something that's a little bit more neutral. And so perhaps if you're shooting raw, neutral might be a better choice for you, 'cause it's gonna mimic a little bit more what's gonna be happening there. Now, these can also, well actually there's the flat option, which is very flat. And what happens there is that it kinda lightens up the shadows a little bit, so you can see into the shadows a little bit better. So that would be another possible good option for the raw shooter in there. And we're gonna be able to tweak these, well, I'm not gonna do it right now, but you can tweak 'em to get 'em to look the way that you want 'em to. And so, there will be some customization there, but yeah, I think the neutral or the flat option might be good for a raw shooter, so long as you know that that's kind of a neutralized image that you are getting, and the actual final raw that you tweak in Photoshop or whatever program is gonna probably look a little bit more vibrant, probably more contrasty. Overall, probably look a little bit better. And so if someone doesn't know about cameras, and they look at the back of your camera, "Oh, is that all it looks like?" You know, it'll get better. It'll get better. All right, next up. We talked about our focusing area, so I think we are good on that one. And we talked about moving our focusing area a little bit, so that's how you can move it there. And if you want to reset the focusing point back to the center, that's where that center button often works, and this will work in this mode as well in the regular focusing mode as well. You just want to get it back in the middle, very quick to do there. Out on the front of the camera is a PV button for preview. And if you need to open up the aperture to maximum aperture, you can always press this button and it'll open it up in the Live View mode. All right, so this camera has a brand-new feature called Automated Fine Tune. Now, the problem with SLR cameras, is that the focusing unit is not exactly where the sensor is, and so it's quite possible that the estimation that your camera determines the focusing to be at, is not quite right. And so this is where it requires you to fine tune the focusing by shooting a focusing chart and adjusting each of your lenses in little increments, little tiny one, two, three, up to 20 increments, plus or minus, to tell it to focus towards the front or towards the back. And this is kinda a little bit of a painstaking process that photographers have been going through, and I know when I do it myself, I usually have to allow about an hour of time to go test three or four lenses, 'cause you want to be very precise about how you set things up. This camera will allow you to do it automatedly on its own, and it compares what it sees in Live View versus what it sees in the camera. And so what we're gonna do right now is we are gonna send this camera to an automated fine tune. And what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna use this cube here to focus on, so we have something nice and clear to focus on. And we're gonna go through the steps. So let's talk about what you need to do. First thing you need to do is you need to zoom in on a subject in the Live View mode, and you want to manually focus on that. Now, you do need to have the camera in, this is to be sure that you are focused on it properly, and you know, I'm thinking now that you might be able to autofocus as well. Your focusing system should be on AF-S, AF-C. You want to have your camera in the normal or wide area, not the face tracking or facial recognition one, and you want to have the center frame activated, not one of the frames outside of that. So you are in Live View, and then you're gonna press and hold the video button and the AF mode button and you're gonna do that for three seconds, and it's gonna calibrate your camera. So let's go ahead and give that a try on this camera. And so I am gonna set this lens at 50 mm, which is just a slight telephoto. And I'm gonna put the camera in automatic exposure, just 'cause I don't want to deal with anything else. And I'm gonna give it a little plus exposure. And so you can see that we have a couple of problems. One, we are out of focus. Number two, the center point, the focusing is not in the center. So I'm gonna press the center button to get that in the middle. I'm gonna get that on top of our Rubik's cube right there in the middle. I am going to zoom in as close as I can get, and I'm actually gonna see if I can do this autofocus wise. I'm gonna focus in on that subject, and this is as far as I can zoom in. Let me just double check that. This is as close as I can zoom in, and that does look to be correct. And so we can do this either manually or automatically in the focusing. And I'm gonna flip it over to manual focus just to double check. So it looks pretty good there. I'm gonna flip it back into autofocus. I think it's doing a good job on the autofocus. So now what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna, ooh, that doesn't look good. That's why I want to do it in manual focus (chuckles), if it doesn't jump around on me. And so, I'm gonna going here, be very careful about getting this set as best I can. Now, this will be more important with lenses that have shallower depth of field. This is a 28 to f4 lens, and the aperture's around 35 right now. So it's not supercritical on this lens, but what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna reach around and I'm gonna press that autofocus button and the video button for three seconds. And if all is right in the world, this will work. Okay. So it's giving me a little warning. Is the camera on a tripod, is it steady, is it properly focused? I'm gonna say yes. I'm gonna hit the center button here. And a new value has been added for this particular lens, and I can now press OK. And so that is the system for going through and confirming that the focus is set properly. Now the people that need to do this are people that have lenses that go down to 2. and faster for the most part. If you have noticed that you have consistent focusing problems with your photos, if you're focused in front of your subject or behind your subject, and they're all kind of consistently off like that, this is who needs to do this. Does the average photographer with the average lens need to do this? I would say no. Not unless you have some of those faster lenses. And so if you have the prime lenses like a 514 or 135 f2 or 328, those people are definitely gonna want to do this to really get their cameras and lenses set perfectly, especially portrait photographers, 'cause you want to be able to nail that focus exactly where you want it. When you focus on the eye, you don't want the eyelash in focus. You want the eyeball in focus. And so great little system that makes this much much quicker to do, but you still need to be very careful about how you do it.

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® D500 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 class you'll learn:

  • How to use the D500’s various shooting modes
  • How to use and customize the D500’s menus
  • How to master the 4K video function
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 D500’s settings to work for your style of photography.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Nikon D500 Recommended Settings

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Carl Vanderweyden

John Greengo is the best! I purchased a Nikon D500 and this course around the same time. Because of this camera being so complex, I felt that a course would be beneficial. This course that John teaches is exactly what I needed. His knowledge of this camera as well as photography in general is exceptional. In fact, I own a couple of other courses presented by John and I also bought a couple of his books! I would highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to know the ins-and-outs of this D500! Thanks again John for a great course and your great way of explaining things with clear dialect and great visuals!

M Jo

Wow! What a great class! John is a natural teacher, moving at a good pace and explaining things carefully, never assuming you already know more than you might. I just got my D500 last week and am so pleased to have gone through this entire class. I learned a LOT and took some notes to refer back to. I've also just bought a Z6 and have purchased John's class for that. Can't wait to dive in!!!

Christina Brittain

By The class. John is the gold standard for teaching. He repairs lessons to perfection. He speaks in ways students comprehend all that he presents. Never waste words. Never bores. Always demonstrates his points. I will continue to purchase his classes as they provide the best learning I have found. He is making me a much better photographer, both technically and creatively. You can't make good images if you don't know your gear. Hope he teaches lessons in Portland Oregon one day. I know Pro Photo Supply would sponsor him.