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Nikon D500 Fast Start

Lesson 21 of 31

ISO: Photo Shooting Menu

John Greengo

Nikon D500 Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

21. ISO: Photo Shooting Menu

Lesson Info

ISO: Photo Shooting Menu

The ISO sensitivity settings we saw there's a button on the top of your camera, but this allows us to really get into a sub menu and really have fine tuned control over it, okay once again, ISO 100 is the best setting there is a Lo 1 setting that has less dynamic range but allows you to change the sensitivity of the sensor goes up to 51000 and then we go into the Hi settings. We saw the results of shooting at different ISOs in the first section of the class so ISO is where you wanna start off with. Then we get into the Auto ISO sensitivity control. The first one is simply an On/Off. Do you wanna use Auto ISO or not. Normally I would say you'd want to keep it turned off but then you wanna be able to turn it on and remember you can turn it on by pressing the ISO button and turning the front dial of the camera. Then we get into the controls of how the auto ISO works. The first option, serious option in here, is what is the maximum sensitivity what is the highest ISO that you want the cam...

era to go to. And I think for a lot of people around 6, will be a reasonable number that should allow you to work under very low light conditions, and still have a workable image to use with that that isn't too overwhelmed by noise. You can have a separate setting when you are using flash as to what your maximum ISO is so maybe you know, if I have flash, I only need to go up to ISO and so if you're gonna be using flash with that separate setting. And then we get to the really interesting one. This is the minimum shutter speed. And so if you are using your camera and it's in auto ISO, at what point do you want the ISO to start bumping things up, 'cause it'll start bumping the ISO up as your shutter speed gets lower and lower. Whether it's manually or automatically. And so if you have it in a program mode and it its a 60th of a second, or it's at a 60th and then it goes down to a 30th, it might wanna bump the ISO up at that point. And so this is where we have some fine tune controls over the ISO, we have what's called an Auto setting on here so let's imagine we're in aperture priority, our aperture is at 5.6, the camera is gonna be selecting shutter speeds according to the level of light, and the camera is also gonna be selecting ISO because we currently have it in this Auto ISO mode. So which one does the camera use and where does it use it. So let's say the situation is moderately bright and we need a 60th of a second. If the situation gets brighter, the camera will use a faster shutter speed. That's the preferred system so that it can keep the ISO at 100. Now as the light gets darker, the shutter speeds will move down to a specific number. Right now it's at a 60th of a second and with the Auto setting on the camera what it does is it looks at what lens you have on the camera and with a 50 mm lens, it would go one over the reciprocal of that lens, so one over or about one 60th of a second. If you had a 200 mm lens, it would probably start changing at 250 at one 250th of a second. So now as it gets darker rather than changing shutter speeds, it starts bumping up the ISO. And so what you get to determine is at what shutter speed do you want the ISO to start moving up? You can either choose a specific shutter speed or you can choose one that works with the lens you have on your camera, and where it's currently zoomed to. Which is a really nice system, by setting that auto ISO right in the middle between slower and faster. So that that break point where it switches from changing shutter speeds to changing ISOs works for each different lens that you have. And so as I said before if you wanna just choose a number you can just choose a number that you feel you can hand hold and pick that number but the one that a lot of people are gonna like is the auto option and then when they go into that, you're gonna get this little sub menu and if you set it in the middle it does one over the focal length of the lens if you set your lens at 50 it's gonna choose roughly one 60th of a second. But if you're really good at hand holding at slow shutter speeds, you can bump this little arrow this little yellow arrow, down to the slower side and it will use either one stop or two stops slower or one or two stops faster. If you have a big telephoto lens and you just know you need a fast than ever shutter speed you can move this up to the faster side. And so this is just a great way of fine tuning the control of the auto ISO and when you do this I feel a little less guilty about using auto ISO because I'm having some really manual input as to its control. (clearing throat) White balance is feature we've talked about before we also have it in here, we have the auto setting and then once again once you get into the auto setting we have auto zero, one and two, depending on how strict you want the auto white balance to correct under tungsten lighting, and so do you wanna let it have just a tiny bit of warmth or a fair bit of warmth, or do you wanna keep it absolutely pure white. And I think if you want a very natural look, auto one will work for most people. If you wanna go in and tweak any of these you can go in and tweak with them, we saw how you can do this directly on the camera but you can do it in here as well. Now one of the other items that I mentioned in light balance was a preset white balance. And the idea is that you would photograph, for instance, a white sheet of paper, which in this case looks very orange because it's illuminated by a tungsten lamp. You would then go to the select PRE in this white balance setting, and you would select a destination you can have up to six favorites or presets where you have your camera specially tuned to different types of white balance and you would select an image that you shot of that piece of paper and then you would click okay and then it would lock it into that particular setting and you can come back to that. So if you had a white balance setting for your office and your kitchen and your rec room you can have different colors all set so that when you go into those environments, you quickly select d one through six and your camera is perfectly color balanced for those types of lights. Set Picture Control. So we talked a little bit about this before and this is where the camera is gonna have a different contrast and color look to specific images. But you'll notice anytime you see an arrow you ears should perk up, like oh, there's more stuff there alright so you see that arrow, when you go to the right that enables you to get into this fine tune control where you can go in and tweak with this. And so, let's go ahead and do this on camera as an example so let's make sure my camera is in the right mode, and so we are in the shooting mode we're down a little bit into Set Picture Control. So I have this selected I'll go to the right and if I wanted to take an image and I wanted to tweak with it, for instance let's say I wanted to shoot monochrome. I can shoot monochrome but I can go in here and I can tweak some of the controls. Now some of these are turned off because I've turned it onto black and white. But I can control the sharpening effect, that you can see right up here, clarity effect which is another version of sharpening that's a slightly different way of controlling the same information. I can choose to have more contrast or less contrast and each of these can be tuned in a different way. We can actually choose different types of colors to work with as well in the toning situation. And then whenever we get it tweak the way we want it to we can hit the OK button. And so now we have a customized version here and so if you don't like the way, let's just say you shoot with Neutral, 'cause you shoot RAW images we had a question on that earlier. You can go in here, and you can come in and you can say you know what, I wanna take the sharpening down a little bit down to zero 'cause it's normally at two or I wanna take the brightness and I wanna brighten it or change the contrast. And so if you're not happy with the JPEGs you're getting out of the camera, it's right there for you to change if you wanna adjust it so just be aware of your JPEGs and see if there's any differences you want. Maybe you need to go in here and do some test shots. Play around with some of the settings to see how they work with your types of photography. (clearing throat) so you can go in and you can create different styles and then you can give them names and you can save 'em here under Manage Picture Control. Color Space is the range of colors that you are recording when you shoot with a RAW image, you are getting the Adobe RGB color space. When you shoot with JPEG, to start with, you get sRGB, and I recommend changing that to Adobe RGB, just so that you get the widest gamete of colors, and if you wanna print your photographs you definitely wanna have the widest gamete of colors recorded in the photograph as possible. Active D-Lighting. So I think now, I guess picture controls falls into that category, but we're gonna start entering into a lot of different controls, that tweak, with the JPEG image. So the picture controls that we just talked about a moment ago, they don't do anything to RAW images but they do adjust JPEGs, here is something else that adjusts JPEGs and so if you only shoot RAW, this doesn't matter, doesn't matter where this is at, but if you shoot JPEGs, and I think we're all gonna shoot JPEGs at some time. And so you should probably have things set the best way they can. So Active D-Lighting, D stands for Dynamic Range. And you can have the camera go in, and adjust your image to improve the dynamic range of your photographs and so in this case, the shadows are a bit dark and so you can have the camera automatically go in and just lighten up the shadows ever so slightly. And if you want the camera to automatically go in and do this, you can turn this on and you can turn it on at various different levels. And one of the most common things that people do these days on their photographs is they lighten up the shadows and so this would solve that problem from going in and doing that all the time. However that's not what we do all the time. And so sometimes we like to have nice strong contrast in our photographs and we don't want weak shadows that have been lightened up. So it really depends on a photo to photo basis. And so this is something that I tend to wanna leave turned off, this is something I think is better controlled in Photoshop or Lightroom or something else. Long exposure noise reduction. So if you were to shoot a 15 second exposure that takes 15 seconds, and then if you were to have long exposure noise reduction turned on, what happens is the camera goes through processing for 15 seconds, and I remember having this turned on on my very first digital camera, and I was like, what's it doing, why is it taking so long, I wanna shoot a photo, what's going on, and then finally it would free up and I could shoot another photo. And so the question is, is this 15 seconds of processing time worth its wait, because I would rather be shooting. And so I wanted to run the camera through a little noise reduction test and I just ran it through my normal test I did an eight second exposure, I did a 30 second exposure I examined it with the largest magnifying glass I could find and I can see like no difference at all in the noise reduction that the camera is using for long exposure noise reduction. Now granted I just tried it on a couple of very simple noise reduction problems that I had you might wanna test it yourself to see if it has any impact on the types of shooting that you do, but I would say, most people are just gonna leave this turned off, if you don't ever wanna deal with noise reduction or post processing your images, I can see leaving it turned on, but I think for most of the users this is something that you're gonna want to turn off it just delays shooting when you're out in the field to no real benefit afterwards. Also in the noise reduction category but this time with higher ISOs and so when you shoot at a high ISO you're gonna get noise, the camera has a built in system for reducing the noise, let's take a look at how good a job it does, this is at ISO 3200, we can turn it off, we have normal, low, and high. And I can definitely see that the camera is reducing the noise here and so, the problem with setting this on a high is it does clean up a lot of the noise but it starts marring the details and the sharpness of the photograph and so a lot of people will not wanna set this on the high setting, because we're losing a little bit of edge detail, and so a normal setting is not bad. You could of course always just take your JPEG image or your RAW image, and do noise reduction in post production yourself and if you're even moderately talented or educated on this particular subject, you're probably gonna be able to outdo what the camera does, because the camera has a very simplistic system for reducing noise, and if you're able to look at the image you can really fine tune it for that specific image. Let's look at this at 12,800. And so you can see the noise reduction job that it does is quite good, but I would be a little bit hesitant about setting it to that high setting 'cause we are losing a little bit of sharpness, but if you wanna adjust it yourself, you can take it and just turn it off and adjust it later yourself, if you really wanna have the ultimate control on it. Let's throw one more step at it, 51,200, and so you can see a lot of noise on this one it's turned off, and so using the normal setting is pretty good. High is a little high in my mind, and once again you'll get better results doing it yourself. And let's just go to the extreme, 200,000. It's not the highest setting but it's pretty high and if you wanna do it yourself, once again, you're gonna be able to get a much better result from it. And so this is another one of those ones where I think the moderately serious photographer is gonna wanna leave it turned off and they're gonna deal with it on their own later. Vignette control, so this is a darkening of the corners. And so if you shoot with a wide open lens, let's say like an 86 1.4, or 51.4 and you shoot it at 1.4, it's likely to be a little bit darker in the corners than it is in the middle of the frame, this is called vignetting. Nikon knows how much vignetting their lenses have it can automatically go in and brighten up those pixels that are in the corner. And this seems like a pretty good thing and it is a good thing when you have a continuous sky like this photo has from left to right but the fact of the matter is that a lot of people like vignetting on their photographs especially in people photography. Drawing the eye more towards the center of the photograph and darkening the corners. And so this is a natural effect that a lot of photographers like, and many more serious photographers just like shooting with lenses as they are, the natural ability of the lenses, which is why they might wanna leave this turned off. If you find this inconvenient and you don't like going in and fixing it later, that's a good time to leave it on normal. Lenses should be perfect but they're not. Many lenses especially wide angle lenses will have a little bit of distortion to 'em and Nikon knows how much distortion their lenses have on them. So take a look at this image and you will see the curved horizon, and it's not because the Earth is round because we all know the Earth is flat, everything is perfectly flat, but if we go to the next image we can see what a corrected image is in this case. And so Nikon knows how much their lenses are curved they can automatically fix it for you and we typically don't like, kind of rounded, flat horizons like this. And so this is something that once again, it's only going to fix images in JPEG but you might as well have it turned on, it's something that most of us fix anyway in our photos in post production. Flicker reduction, alright, so, I've come around folks, I'm a flip flopper, my opinion on this has evolved over years folks. At one point I was of the mindset that I don't want the camera to fix any sort of flicker reduction, let me know if there's a problem and I will then make a decision at that time if I want to address that issue or not. But my mind is changed now I think Flicker reduction should be turned on all the time so let's take a look at example so I was in an area that was illuminated by this lamp here and this lamp is a flickering lamp you can't see with your own eyes but when we go from our first to our fourth image you'll be able to see the brightness change so, let me go back and forth kind of quickly here and just keep an eye on the light and the brightness of this image and you can probably quickly see that these are of different brightnesses, and these were all shot with manual settings on ISO manual shutter speed, manual aperture. All of these should be identical, but the light is changing in its brightness during this time so let's go on and turn the flicker reduction on. What the camera is doing now is it's watching the lamp and if you can imagine the lamp's brightness on a curve scale, it's watching its peaks, its lows, its highs, and it does this hundreds of times a second and the camera says well let's time the photo at the peak of the curve so that they're all relatively consistent. so now let's look at the four images with flicker reduction turned on, and while they are not exactly the same, they are really close, you can see just a little bit there a little bit of a brightness difference between two and three. And it's much much more simple. So if you were to shoot photos in a basketball gymnasium or gymnastics inside, something like that, this is gonna solve a lot of exposure problems for you and it will just do it automatically. The potential downside to leaving this turned on is that it might slow up your frames per second. But it's only gonna do so ever so minor and so if you can tolerate going from 10 frames a second to nine and a half frames per second, you're probably gonna be fine leaving this turned on. And so my theory is it's just leave this on, let it do its job in the background. So in here we have the option do you want this turned on or off this is where we're gonna turn it on. Second option is do you want the indicator in the view finder to tell you that there's a flicker problem, well under my old philosophy yes tell me that it's on and then I'll go turn it on when and where I want it too, but now, just leave it turned off, if it's doing its job in the background, it's just gonna do things for you. Now there might be reasons for going for something different than this but I think that's gonna work for most people using this camera, great system, gonna solve a lot of exposure problems in tricky lighting situations. Bracketing is where we shoot a series of photos that are slightly different from one another. The main reason people do this is to shoot a series of photos of different exposure which is auto exposure, and this you can use this for flash as well. You can do it for white balance and active d-light as well. Most people are gonna be choosing to use this to setup for auto exposure and this is just where we shot that series of photos there is the bracketing button on the side of the camera that you have direct access to for those controls. The camera has the opportunity for shooting multiple exposures so we got a sub menu that we're gonna dive into here and you can choose the multiple exposure mode and these are just like one little thing that you're gonna do double exposure or you on a double exposure mode where you're on a kick that everything you wanna do is multiple exposures, so you can either choose a series or a single photo when you're using this. You can choose how many shots that you wanna use and so you can go in here and select the number of shots I believe you can go up to nine shots on this and then there's an overlay mode where you can do add, average, lighten or darken and this is gonna affect how one image is laid on top of the other. One of the options that you'll have in here is being able to change the exposure. Now for someone who's new to doing multiple exposures and you kind of want some help from the camera, you might wanna set this as average, that way every time you take a photo, the camera kind of averages out the brightness for you. If you know exactly what you're doing in multiple exposure mode you'll set it onto add, because you might have photos at different exposure values and you want one more powerful than the other so you're gonna set a different exposure so that they're at different brightnesses. So it kinda depends on how serious you are into this and there's some others in there that I haven't played with that I don't do a lot of multiple exposures. It's one of those more artsy creative modes that some people really like in the cameras and so, it's a good way to have fun in the camera. Alright scrolling down, next up we have HDR photography. And so HDR, high dynamic range, is where the camera shoots multiple photos in order to accommodate various brightness levels, so if you're in an area that is both dark and bright, and you wanna try to combine all that into a photograph, this is one way to accomplish it. So I want to do a little test, and let's go to those test right here. And so this is a tricky situation, I'm in a tunnel, and so it's obviously very dark in the tunnel and it's very bright outside on a bright sunny day. Now you can set the HDR settings to a variety of settings. So here's what it looks like with a 1 EV bracket so I believe here in this case it's shooting three photos one a stop darker and one a stop higher and then combining all of them into a JPEG image. We can expand it by two, we can expand it by three, we also have a sub control for the smoothing we have a low smoothing, normal smoothing and high smoothing and it's how it controls that information for the light area to the dark area, and whenever I see tweaks on a JPEG image, I'm always in the background asking myself, what if I just shot a RAW image and I tweaked with it myself. Well if you go into a RAW image, relatively contrasting in this situation, I'm not adjusting the RAW image to make it look good I'm just trying to rescue as much information here and so I'm able to get a lot of that highlight information and so comparing some of these images, your straight JPEG image is gonna blow out the highlights here, notice the road out there, these are some brownout highlights. The 2EV high smoothing and the 3EV has recovered that highlight information, but if I want even more information I should jut simply shoot RAW. And so you're much better off, I think, just shooting RAW, rather than trying to do HDR in camera. And I think if you really wanna do HDR right you shoot a bracketed series and you use a separate program like Photomatix. I think it's relatively limited, what this camera does in itself but if you wanna do it in there, it does have the option in here. Once again you can turn it on for a single group of shots, or leave it on for kind of continuous shooting. Normally it'll be left off of course. There is different exposures, one two and three different EV levels that you can be shooting. It doesn't do a lot of good to shoot on one so most people I think are gonna be on either two or three auto means it will fluctuate up and down according to what it thinks it needs. And then it has a smoothing option on how much it smooths out the data from the highlights to the shadows and you can play around with these different settings to get the exact settings that you like and so this is kind of the boundaries between the brightness on each of the HDR photos. Normally it'd be left OFF. Next up is the interval timer shooting. And this is great for anyone who wants to make a short time lapse movie. This is where you're gonna shoot a bunch of shots, generally in the hundreds of shots, and then you'll take those resulting shots and you'll put them into a short video. This one I was using a slider, which is how I'm getting the movement from right to left, another one is using shutters about 10 seconds apart now I am doing a little pullback on this and this is something that I did in a post production video software and so there's a lot of fun time lapses that you can do out here and in the camera here you're gonna be able to program 'em about when it starts, how long the interval is between one image and the next how many images you're going to shoot and so this is the sub menu for interval timer shooting. You can choose the start time, do you wanna choose now or a particular time of day in the future. How big of interval do you want between each shot a lot of these time lapses that I've done in the past are anywhere from one second to one minute. How many times do you want it to shoot a photo at each interval now most of the times this is gonna be just one shot. Normally you don't want it to shoot two shots every time it stops to take a photo but if you needed it to you could. There is an exposure smoothing and so this is going to try to bridge the gap, when the camera is changing with brightness. If you can think of a situation, where light's getting slowly darker, and your camera is adjusting the shutter speeds and it moves down what increments does it move in, third stops, and if you wanted to get something a little bit finer than that, you can turn this smoothing on and it's gonna smooth out those jumps around in the lighting because the problem with a still camera like this versus an actual true video camera is this jumps in relatively big jumps at the third stop where as the video cameras have a little bit more fine tune control over that. And so that's our interval timer, which is normally left Off of course.

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.