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Nikon D500 Fast Start

Lesson 28 of 31

Setup Menu

John Greengo

Nikon D500 Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

28. Setup Menu

Lesson Info

Setup Menu

Final big menu in here is the setup menu. Formatting the memory cards, something very important when you buy new cards or you're putting new cards in your camera. It is deleting the photos, all the file directories, ghost folders, everything on the card. It does delete the photos, folks, so be careful, you don't want to format a card that has important photos on it. And so we have our XQD slot on top and the SD card slot on the bottom. You can select which card slot you want to format. Language for the menu system, obvious, pretty easy there. Date and time, you can go in and set all the different settings as far as the date goes. This is something that gets added to the metadata of your photographs and can be very handy for reconstructing when you shot certain photographs and what was happening when. The brightness of the monitor can be adjusted. Usually I would leave this at zero. I sometimes raise it up brighter if I'm trying to show people photographs out in bright sunlight, it's ju...

st not bright enough to compete with the sunlight on its own. If the color gets tweaked a little bit and you don't think it has a neutral color on the LCD, the pictures are fine, but the LCD is a little bit off, you can go into the monitor color balance and you can adjust the color as needed. The virtual horizon is pretty interesting. We took a look at this earlier. It's kind of the pilot's point of view of tilting this forward and back, side to side. And to be honest with you, this is a really awkward place for it to be, because it's buried in the menu system. And the idea is that you would use this feature and assign it to a custom button, and so that you could activate it with a one button press. Information display, normally this is left in Auto and this is where the back display switches between light on dark or dark on light depending on how bright the ambient light is around the camera. If you found that you preferred one or the other, you could select it and put it in Manual and choose either one. AF fine-tune, we dealt a little bit earlier with the automated fine-tuning of the camera, where it would look at live view, focusing, and then it would set up the auto-focusing system in it. If you wanted to do it yourself, you would need to go through the following process. Well, and this is because when you focus on a subject, the camera is estimating where you need to focus on, and it's possible that if there is a little bit of deviance in the lens or the sensor or the camera in some way, you could front focus or you could focus behind your subject in back focus. And what you need to do is you need to do a test. You need to have a subject to focus on, and then you need to see if you're focused in front of or behind that subject with some sort of measuring device. And there are devices that you can buy that'll do this for you or at least help you with it, like this LensAlign, which is a very good system that's got a target to focus and then you can see whether you're focusing in front or behind the subject. If you want to do this on the cheap, you can use a yardstick and a ruler like I do. And I'm gonna focus on the ruler and then I'm gonna check the yardstick to see if I focused in front of or behind that subject. And here's what it looked like when I shot with the test lens. And there'll be settings that you can adjust your lens to, from minus 20 to plus 20. And in this particular case, when the camera and lens were set at zero, I was front focusing by just a hair, just a hair, and so in this case I probably set the camera to plus maybe three or so, so that the camera would adjust focus back a little bit to get perfect focus. And so this is something that might need to be done if you shoot with fast lenses, especially telephoto fast lenses. And so not something that I recommend the faint of heart get in there and do, but if you know your equipment well, you'd wanna go in and do this, and you would want to check each of your lenses and you can save values for individual lenses. And you will see with this little zero mark here, this'll go up to plus 20 and down to minus 20 as to whether you need to front focus or back focus the lens. Default setting is at zero, and then you can have, actually, saved values that you might need to go back to or change from one lens to the next. And so something that most people aren't gonna get too into unless they have those large, fast lenses. You can hook up the older lenses with this camera, but they don't supply any information about what focal length and what aperture lens they are in the metadata. And so if you're gonna hook up a classic lens, I think this is the 58 1.2 lens, and you want it to say, hey, I'm shooting with a 58 1.2 lens and have that inserted into the metadata, you could go in here and give that lens a particular number, and then you could tell it the focal length and the maximum aperture and that information would be added to the metadata that you could check in Lightroom, Photoshop, or other photo programs. When you turn the camera on and off, it automatically cleans the image sensor, but if you wanna get in and do it yourself this is where you can get in and do it. One option is just having it clean now, where it just goes through that motion sensor to clean that sensor off. And then we have cleaning, you can choose to have it clean up at startup, shutdown, or both, and so whatever's convenient for you. I usually have it at shutdown, because when I'm doing it at startup that's usually right when I want to use the camera and take a photo, so I usually just press down on the shutter release halfway and I interrupt the process and it never gets done. And so if I do it at shutdown, it always does it after the camera shuts down. Now if you wanna do the cleaning yourself, there is two steps, first step everybody should be comfortable with, and that is just simply the air blower. And so if you get one of these little rocket blowers, you take the lens off, you put the camera in the lock mirror up for cleaning mode, and you hold the camera upside down and you blow air in on the sensor hoping to knock off any dust that might be on there. It's pretty safe, pretty easy to do. Now the second step is for people who are not faint of heart, don't mind working with little tiny objects. And so in this case you're using a swab and liquid, and there are a variety of cleaning systems out there, this is the one that I prefer. You put a couple of drops of alcohol on that swab, and then you swab the deck, cleaning the surface, sweeping it clean of any sort of dust or particles that have adhered to the sensor itself. And you'll notice this when you start shooting photos and there are black spots in the same spot in every single photograph, and you'll notice 'em more clearly when you shoot at f16 and 22, 'cause you're getting lots of depth of field that'll show that more clearly. You could shoot in a test image to show all the dust on your sensor. Now, in order to fix this up, you do need to use Nikon's NXD software. And so the idea is, if your photo looks like this, you've got a major sensor problem. The idea is that you would photograph a white sheet of paper which would clearly show you where all the problems are, and then the software would go in and clone out that data in that Nikon software later on, and so you do have to work with the Nikon software in order to do that, but it is a last digit, a last-ditch way of saving photographs if you're in a place that you can't clean your sensor. If you wanted to add a comment to a photograph, let's say your traveling and you said, hey, I'll email you this photo, what's your email? You could have 'em type the email straight into the camera. Now, unfortunately, the camera doesn't have a touchscreen that works on this keypad here, so it's a little bit more cumbersome, exactly, to get in here and add the data, but it can be added. So copyright information, I think this is really cool, because if your camera was, well, there's a number of reasons. The main reason this is here is so that when you shoot photos, your name is attached to your photos from the moment of origination. And so if you were to submit your photo to a photo contest or a magazine or something like that and they wanted to know who took this photo, that information is attached to the image originally. But I like it for security reasons. If you were to lose your camera or have it stolen, and somebody says, is this your camera? Is it really your camera? Prove it's your camera. You could say, I've put my name in that camera, and so that might help you identify a subject that was lost or stolen. There's a good chance that the thugs who steal cameras are not watching this class right now. They're probably not paying to watch how to use this class. And so it's just a good way to prove it's yours. So IPTC is the International Press Telecommunication Council and this is a way of adding a whole bunch of data to your photograph. And so, I'm not gonna go into the exact specifics of saving all this stuff, but there is a whole bunch of things that you can save in here. So if you were gonna be going to the Olympics, and you knew that all of your photos had rights that went to your magazine that you were working for, and it was this specific Olympics and it was this event and you wanted all of that information attributed to those photos because you're gonna be uploading those photos and sending them out immediately, you have all this data that you're putting in ahead of time. And you can have different groups of this data that you're saving, maybe different events that you're gonna go shoot. And you can have all of this information in there automatically attached to all the photographs as you shoot them. Now most people who shoot with this camera are never gonna touch this, but there's a few people who work for magazines and newspapers or maybe just working for themselves who really wanna keep themselves organized on what they're shooting, it's a way for them to set this information up ahead of time. Oh, the ever popular Beep has a sub-menu of its own now. And so first up is the volume of the beep, and so when your camera focuses, it gives this little chirp-chirp sound, and it's kinda cute and fun for the first three shots and then it gets a little irritating, and when you get a whole group of photographers together, it gets very annoying, it's like a bunch of cellphones going off. And so I like being discreet with the camera and not making a lot of noise, and so I recommend turning this off so you don't disturb subjects and other people around you. If you wanted to just change the pitch of it a little bit, down a little bit, you can adjust the pitch of it as well. But generally, just turn that one off. So the camera has touchscreen controls on the back, and you can go in and you can tweak with those a little bit. If you just want to disable them, you don't use the touchscreen, you don't like it, you don't want it to work, you can just completely turn it off. And if you recall earlier, the way that I was flipping past my photos was in kind of the reverse fashion. It kind of depends on which way you want to flip your finger back and forth in going forwards and backwards, and so you can adjust this, left to right, or right to left. But I think most people are gonna wanna leave those touch controls on. HDMI controls the output of the camera through the HDI port on the camera, HDMI port, excuse me. And so the resolution for the screen that you're gonna be going to, if you're gonna be using that for an external video recorder, like you're gonna record the uncompressed 4k image out of the camera, you're gonna wanna go in here and select that 2160 progressive. If you're just going out to a TV, you'd probably just leave it at Auto so that the two devices would work out what it needs to do. There is an advanced section in here which goes into another sub-menu, and we're gonna pass by a lot of this pretty quickly in here. And so you can choose the output range if necessary. The display size, and this is mostly for people who are gonna be using external recorders. Do you wanna be able to see that on-screen information or not? Do you just wanna record the pure video from it? And so are you using a dual monitor? And so folks who are very into shooting video will have one of those dual monitors that you can go in and adjust here. And that's all in the advanced section of the HDMI. And alright, location data. So if you are using the GPS unit, do you want it to add in particular amounts of data to the metadata of your photographs? And so that only applies if you are using that GPS unit. If you are using that WR 10 remote which uses that special little remote that plugs into the 10 pen remote on the camera, you can go in and you can tweak with that and assign that function button a particular control. So the airplane mode, so this is gonna turn off all the Wi-Fi signals. And if you don't plan on using the Wi-Fi, if you don't plan on using the SnapBridge on this, I would turn the airplane mode on. It's just gonna conserve battery power and you're gonna get more shots out of it. And so I would say just leave it in this mode most of the time, unless you are specifically hooking your camera up via Wi-Fi. So, unfortunately in this class, I'm trying to do this class and get this class out there so people can work with the camera right away, but the SnapBridge connection that this camera has has not been fully ironed out, you might say. Not all the programs are out there so everyone can take advantage of this at the time of the recording of this class. But you can use this camera to use a SnapBridge connection system, and so let's just talk about that for just a moment. And so this is an always-on connection between your camera and a smart device that is very efficient in power use. And there's a number of things that you can have your camera do by essentially having Wi-Fi connection all the time. So you can synchronize photos, so as soon as you shoot a photo, it's on your phone, so you can upload it instantly. You can add geotag information that's coming from your phone and going back down to your camera. You can download new firmware, so if Nikon updates the firmware, it'll automatically go through your phone right to your camera. Now be mindful, your camera's gotta have that Wi-Fi system turned on and it's constantly communicating, and that's gonna wear down your battery power a little bit. You can register your camera with Nikon. You can do a clock update, so when you travel to a new timezone, it goes through your phone, figures out where you're at, and automatically updates it. Now, there is this kind of two-sided coin of the SnapBridge technology, which is very efficient in power so it's not using a lot of battery power, but it's using battery power, and so if battery power is really important to you, you may just wanna turn this all off. And so this is a direction that I'm guessing that Nikon is gonna be going in future models. And so they're gonna probably add in more and more features about your camera essentially now having a cellular connection, almost. Now when they actually put a microphone on here so that we can have a phone conversation through our camera, that'll be the next step on it. And so then we can have a variety of settings in here, you're gonna see, for connecting up to a smart phone, whether we wanna set passwords, when do we want it to start, do we want it to automatically connect, do we want to send automatically, to send photos automatically to our phone or only when we request it to send over? And so it really depends on how you work with the camera.

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.