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Nikon D500 Fast Start

Lesson 2 of 31

Nikon D500 Overview

John Greengo

Nikon D500 Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

2. Nikon D500 Overview

Lesson Info

Nikon D500 Overview

First off, this camera not only comes with one instruction manual, it comes with comes with two, and they're incredibly large. You can spend a lot of time going through these things and how is it possible for me to explain in five hours what it might take you 20 hours to read through in the instruction manual? It's just not possible. I can't do it, so we're gonna stick to topics that are most important for high image quality. There are some fun things that you can do. There's a lot of wireless options. There's this SnapBridge technology, and we'll talk a bit about it, but we're not gonna spend a lot of time on how to print directly from this camera to a printer or doing slide shows. We're gonna really talk about how to get the camera set up for the best image quality. Now one of the things I have found is that these instruction manuals are huge. In fact they got so big, this is, I think, the first Nikon camera they have split it into two. So you actually have two instruction manuals, w...

hich could take up quite a bit of space in your camera bag. You can download PDF versions of this. I have this on my computer, which can be very handy for different types of access. One of the key things I do is I download the PDF and when I want to look up something, there's a little search bar up on the top. You can just type in that word that you're looking for, like autofocus points, and then it's gonna go just to those pages, so it's a way to scan through those manuals a little a little more quickly. Unfortunately in this class, we don't have time to talk about lighting and composition and all those other things in photography, and if you're wondering why I'm not talking about them, it's because we are dedicated to talking about the Nikon D500 in this class. Other things are very important. I do have other classes and there's other great classes here at Creative Live. I have a three hour basics class. I also have a 27 hour, highly in-depth class if you really wanna get into it. Those are a couple of classes that you could look at if you want more information about lighting, composition and all those other things in photography. We're gonna be dedicated to this particular camera. Nikon is nearing its 10t0 anniversary, so I'm very excited about potential 100th anniversary models that might come out. They started making cameras very early on in the era of modern photography, you might say. This camera has direct lineage back to 1959, the original F. This still has a F mount on it. Granted, the F mount has evolved over the time and it is different and you're not able to take a lens from then and directly put it on here, but ones pretty far back you'll be able to put on. There was a big change in 1986. That's when they introduced autofocus. So you could take any lens back to and seamlessly put it on this camera and have it work very, very well. You can use lenses back to the 1970s and have that work very well, as well, but those will be manual focus lenses. In 1999, they brought out their first fully integrated, full production model digital SLR camera. I remember this one. It came out, it was $5, and had 2.4 megapixels on it. They've grown quite a bit in the time since then. What's new and what's great about this camera? We have an incredible autofocus system with 153 autofocus points. We're gonna talk a lot about that in this class. Expansive, thorough, autofocusing systems any Nikon camera has ever had. Shooting at 10 frames a second, this is gonna be a very popular camera for sports and wildlife photographers. It has a 200 shot buffer which means you can shoot 200 in a row, right away. There's a quick way to get past that and there's a reason why it's and we're gonna talk about that later in this class. It's the first of the Nikon's, that came out the same time as the D5, that offers 4K video. So, there's a number of little implications that come with shooting 4K video. We're gonna talk about that. It's the first of the Nikon cameras to have a SnapBridge connection, which is a wireless connection, with your smartphone, where it will download images automatically and not use a lot of battery power. So that is something that we'll talk a bit about more as we go through the class, as well. The Nikon system is a great system to be into because they have a full range of cameras. They have a full range of lenses and they have a complete flash system. So pretty much anything you wanna do in the world of photography there's a good chance they have a product that's gonna help you in that regard. When it comes to the D500, it is their top of the line crop frame camera, so they kinda have full frame cameras on the left side of the screen, crop frame cameras on the right side of the screen. The D500, kind of an unusual name because it should've been called the D400, those of you that know the history of the camera. The history of this camera, in my mind, runs all the way back to the F100. The film camera. Then they started making digital versions of their film cameras, and we had the 100, the 200, the 300. Then they upgraded the 300s and then it seemed like time stopped and we all waited for a D400, which never, ever came out. There was a huge gap. Look at this. There's a seven year gap, basically, between the D300s and the D500. Now I don't work for Nikon and I'm fully independent. I don't even work for Creative Live. I'm fully independent. I don't know what Nikon was doing. They should've had a D400 out. I think they were concentrating on their full frame sensors and it was one of those products that they kinda passed by for a while. Then they finally decided, you know what? The D300 did really well, 'cause that came out with the Nikon D and they basically took their professional camera and put it into a small body, took out a few of the key professional features and put it into a small camera sized body. They kinda wanted to match that when they came out with the D5s, so you have this D5, D500. Very symmetrical, sounds very nice. That's kind of why it is where it is. I don't know why they waited this long and who knows how long it will be before they have a D... Well, they can't have a D600, 'cause they already have a D so who knows where they're gonna go next. So I think this is gonna be a camera that's gonna be stickin' around for a while. About the care and handling of the camera. You're gonna get a bunch of crazy warnings if you go through the instruction manual. One of my favorite from Nikon is when adjusting the diopter, don't put your finger in your eye. So be very careful of that one folks. You'll poke your eye out. As far as the durability of the camera, it's pretty obvious. Don't do stupid things with the camera, okay? The big question that a lot of people have is about the weather resistance of the camera and the camera does have a number of weather sealing seals around any gasket and opening that it might have. However, it says do not immerse or expose to water. Well, expose to water. That could mean like getting it near a water fountain or a light mist. My guess is that the camera is gonna do pretty good under a moderate rain for a moderate period of time. You drop a drink of water on it, you're probably okay. If it's juice, or something sticky, you're gonna have some problems. You do need to have some reasonable precautions with this. Some of the Nikon lenses have better weather resistance than other lenses, and so that's something that you have to be aware of, as well as how well is the entire package weatherized, in that sense 'cause many lenses are not. So, be aware and be careful of that. It has the same weather sealing as the Nikon D810. It is not quite as weather sealed as the D5, if that helps you kinda figure out where it fits into the game, but it's definitely more than say a D7200 or a D7000 series. The shutter life of the camera, which is one of the ways we rate how long a camera is expected to last. Just for reference, a lot of the old film cameras were rated at 50,000 firings. This camera is rating at 200,000 firings, okay? So it's expected to last quite some time. Some of the pro-end models are upwards of 400,000 firings. There is a range of how long you can expect the shutter to last and that is one of those things that it's an estimated number. You could go well beyond it. Who knows. The other question a lot of people have is about non-Nikon accessories, because Nikon says that the warranty is voided if you use that. So there's all sorts of things that you're gonna attach, insert, or work with this camera, from lenses, flashes, memory cards, batteries, vertical grips, and various connections on the synchronization of the camera. So Nikon makes great lenses. I love Nikon lenses, but you know what? I think Sigma, and Tamron and Tokina all make lenses that are very good that might fit a certain need and budget and really don't see a problem using them. There is a feature or two in the camera that will not work with other brands of lenses. It's a minor issue. We'll talk about it as we get into the menu system. With Nikon batteries, well there's a whole little issue. I gotta thank Tom, one of our people in our audience today for alerting me to some information about the batteries. I went in and I beefed up my information so I'm gonna get you some very clear information about the batteries on this 'cause there's been some recalls and I can very easily say just buck up spend the extra 20 bucks and get the Nikon batteries. I know there's some cheap ones out there, but I would stick with the Nikon batteries. I would stick with the Nikon flashes if you're gonna do an on camera TTL flash. I think the communication and the operation is much easier with them. I don't think there's a compatibility problem with some of the other cheaper flashes. I just don't think that their cheaper prices is worth what you're paying on them. The exception to that rule is if you're gonna hook it up to studio equipment, Nikon doesn't really make studio lights so feel free to hook it up to whatever studio lights you need to get. Nikon vertical grips are really nice. There's some after market ones that are pretty good in value and they're not gonna damage the camera, they just don't have quite a solid of a feel. It varies a little bit as to whether I would stick with Nikon or not. It kinda depends on the product itself. Let's make sure our cameras are ready for today. You can go through this checklist with me. I'm gonna do it myself. I charged the battery last night. It takes about two and a half hours. I gotta lens on my camera. You don't need to have two memory cards. You just need at least one memory card in the camera. I got my camera turned on. Auto Focus. There are often switches on the lens. I'm gonna make sure mine is in auto focus and then on the side of the camera is auto focus, manual focus switch, and you wanna make sure that's in auto focus. We'll talk more about these as we get into the class. We're gonna start really simple. I'm gonna press down on the mode button, turn the back dial til it gets to program and then I'm gonna press my shutter release. Make sure that I can shoot a picture and I just realized that I had gone in and I had played with the camera as setting up for today's class and gotta switch something back on so that I can actually focus. There we go. My cameras working. Hopefully yours is as well. We're ready to get started on the rest of the class.

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

Related Classes


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.