Backside: I Button Top Row
Alright, the I button is information button. Kind of the common terminology in the photographic industry is the quick menu. This is a shortcut menu to some features that we've already talked about. There's some features that already have button and dials on the top of the camera, but they've included it in this one control panel that has your most critical information. And so, if you wanna, check to make sure that your camera is ready for a shot, hit the I button and then just do a quick scan of these two lines of information, and that should tell you if most of the critical information is where you want it. So, lets take a deep dive into the I button and talk about what we're gonna see in this screen here. On the very top, there's gonna be some general settings, battery information that you might have. Nothing too critical up here in my mind. The next line is exposure information. And so, we've already talked about this. These are the settings that you make with the dials on the top o...
f the camera, shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. Next up is the image quality. And so, this is really important. This is all about choosing RAW or JPEG images. So let's talk about some of the options in here. First up is RAW. RAW is the original information from the sensor, unadulterated, unmanipulated, straight off the sensor. And so this is gonna be good for people who want to get the most information from the sensor. All the exposure information, all the color information. You get a file that's called an NEF file, and this is a Nikon Electronic File, and it can only be read by Nikon software, and software that has figured out how to read it. And so, a company like Adobe makes many different products, like Photoshop and Lightroom that can read the Nikon files. But every time Nikon comes out with a new camera, they have to figure out how that code works for that new camera. These are in all cases 24 megapixels. That's a resolution of 6,000 by 4,000. The file size will vary a little bit, depending on if you're shooting 12-bit or 14-bit, which is something I will talk more about when we get to the menu section. We're gonna then have three options for shooting JPEG's. Fine, normal, and basic. And the difference is the compression size. We do have heavier compression, which makes for smaller file sizes. Now, on top of this, we're gonna have image size, and we're gonna talk about that in a moment, where we can shoot 24 megapixels, or less than that if we want, in the JPEG's. If you are a basic shooter and you weren't too sure about shooting RAW cuz you may not have the right software to look and work with the images, you'd probably wanna be shooting in fine quality JPEG. Now I don't know why, but for some reason, Nikon ships their cameras from the factory with them set to the normal setting, not the fine setting, so I do recommend at least upgrading from norm to fine in the basic JPEG's. The other option is to shoot a combination of RAW and JPEG images. When you shoot a photo here, you're gonna get two files. You're gonna get the original RAW, as well as a smaller JPEG image, which you might be able to find quicker use for. And so, if you need a JPEG image right away, but you also want a RAW, you can set it to that as well. But it will increase the total amount of space that it's taking up on the card, so you're gonna get less images per card. And so, most people are gonna be shooting either RAW or fine quality JPEG for this setting. Alright, next up is image size, and this is if you have chosen to shoot a JPEG, you can come in here and you can choose to shoot a large, medium, or small size JPEG. So, 24 megapixels, 13.5, or 6 megapixels. And the only reason that you should be shooting a small JPEG, is if you know that you absolutely only need a smaller size file out of the camera. And so, if you aren't really sure, it's your family's photos and it's something kind of important, you probably want to set it to the large size. If you're gonna be putting a photograph in an online ad, you're selling your couch and you just want a small picture of your couch to go online, then that's when you might wanna use a small or medium size. If you wanna change the size in camera, and either you don't have a computer, or you don't wanna do it in your computer. Most people usually leave this on large the whole time that they own the camera. Next button is the auto bracketing button. We mentioned this briefly in the viewfinder, cuz it tells you when it's turned on, and there are multiple ways of bracketing. Bracketing is basically where you are shooting a series of shots with something slightly changing cuz you don't know exactly what the best setting should be. So, you shoot a bracket series of photos, and you will choose whichever one seems best when you're done. The most common type of bracketing, is exposure bracketing, where you're adjusting the brightness and the darkness of your image. And so, auto exposure, one stop over, one stop under, is a very common system for shooting three shots with a one stop bracket. Gives you three images, one stop apart. The camera does have two other different ways of bracketing. One is through white balance bracketing. So, if you were shooting with JPEG's, you could have your image warmed up a little bit, or cooled down, which means a little more yellow, or a little bit more blue. I will mention that if you are shooting RAW, you do not need white balance bracketing, because once you have RAW you can adjust white balance after the fact without any damage to the original image. So, that would be just for JPEG images. ADL is a feature called active D-lighting. And this is something that only works with JPEG images. And what it does, is it manipulates the tones in the image, and it tries to lighten up the shadows and make sure the highlights don't get too bright, and can be good for some types of photography, but not others. It really depends on what you're shooting and how much work you're gonna do afterwards. And so, if you want, you can also do that active D-light bracketing. It's not something that I've seen most people doing, but it is one of the options. And if you wanna choose which bracketing does it set, you need to dive into the menu setting under e2, and choose which bracketing option you want of those three. In here, in the I button, is what turns it on and off. In the menu system, you get to choose which one of the bracketings that you want to do. Next feature is HDR, high dynamic range. This is for the JPEG shooters. Let me give you a little demonstration of what this is gonna do here. And so, this uses multiple photos. And so, you have to be very careful about subject movement and your movement, or camera movement, when you are doing this. And so, what it's doing here, is doing very much what we just talked about in the active D-lighting, where it's trying to lighten the shadows and make sure that your highlight areas do not get too bright. The difference between the two, is that this does it with multiple photos. The ADL, the active D-lighting, does it with a single photo and then just manipulates that one photo. And so, this shoots a series of photos, and you're best off shooting this from a tripod, because that way nothing will move during the number of shots that it shoots. Now, on-screen you may notice, I put up the histogram here to show you a little bit more information about what's going on. When it is turned off, you can see there's a big bulk of information that's very dark in this photograph. As we turn this feature on higher and higher, it's trying to pull that information from the far left and the far right side of the histogram, more towards the middle of the information so that there is more pixels that are in the middle exposure than on the extremes of the bright or dark. And so, it can be very good for architectural photography, so that it's not outside the exposure range. So it's a special feature that you would use in certain cases. And so, architectural and landscape photography would be the two most notable places that I would see using this. Next up is active D-lighting. This is where you get to actually just choose active D-lighting. We saw that in the bracketing mode just a moment ago. And so, let's go ahead and take a look at an example of this one. So this is very much like HDR, but it does so with just a single exposure. And you can see on the histogram at the bottom, it's trying to pull information a little bit closer towards the middle. It doesn't wanna have as many areas that are as dark, and it doesn't wanna have as many areas that are as bright. And it does a pretty good job on its own, for those of you who wanna shoot JPEG images. This is only gonna work on JPEG's, it's not gonna work on the RAW images. Now, do you wanna have this turned on or not? That's a big question. I don't know. In general, I like to leave it turned off. I like to just kinda get the straight image out of the camera, because if I wanna lighten the shadows, I can do that, cuz I use a software program. Once I download my images, I have a software program that lets me to adjust it to many more than low, normal, high, extra high. I have a slider where I can adjust it to a hundred different places, and I can adjust it slightly differently for every single image out there. If you don't have a computer, if you don't have that software, you don't have the time or you don't wanna do it, or you don't know how to do it, you can do it in here. You can set it to a specific setting. There is also the auto setting, where the camera will choose. The thing I don't like about that is that if you take three or four pictures in a row, it may change its level between those images, and all those images will have a slightly different look to them. And so, it's an interesting feature that can be very helpful in some situations. Next up is white balance, and this is controlling the color of our images depending on what type of light source we are shooting under. And so, this is working off of a Kelvin scale, which ranges from orange to blue, different Kelvin temperatures. We have different settings, sunlight, cloudy, and shade. These are our natural lighting conditions. The one that is very different is incandescent light. Those are the orange lights that has a very warm feeling. A lot of them in our homes. Fluorescent lights really range quite a bit, depending on the color temperature of that particular fluorescent. There's a lot of different ones out there. This camera allows you to go in and adjust for those different ones there. Flash is very much normal. We do have some other settings in here. And auto, where the camera chooses what is the most appropriate setting. And the camera actually does a very good job. And so, most of the time, I recommend just setting it to auto, cuz the camera looks at everything in the image, looks at the highlight information and tries to make sure that that is white. And if it's not doing a good job, then you can switch it to one of the other settings. The final option is preset manual. And this is where you get to choose where it's gonna be, and you're gonna be doing this by photographing a white object under the light source that you wanna get correct light. And then, you're gonna use that as a reference photo. And so, you do need to dive into the menu, shooting menu, under white balance and preset manual so that you can choose to either shoot an image or go back on another image that you've shot to use that as your reference photo for doing that. I think we're gonna be doing a little demo on that when we get into the shooting menu later on in the class. ISO is the sensitivity of the sensor. And so, the base sensitivity of this sensor is an ISO rating of 100, which means if you wanna get the optimum image quality, the optimum dynamic range of light, you're gonna wanna have it set to 100. But, if you need a faster shutter speed, you're letting in less camera to the light, you're gonna need a higher ISO to compensate for that. And so, in some cases, you do have to shoot at higher ISO's, depending on the light and depending on the action that you're shooting. And so, I always like to do a test with all the cameras, to see how good they are. And so, photograph the subject, and then magnify it so we can get a nice, close look at the detail on this. And so 100, you should get very clean results. Up to 800, it's going to be likely very, very clean. Where it starts to get pretty noisy is up around 12,800, and then 25,600. And so, I generally try to avoid those two highest settings, if image quality is pretty important to you, but the camera does do a really good job up there in the 1,600, 3,200, and 6,400 range. And so, shoot with those if you have to, but as always with ISO's you're trying to keep the number as low as possible as much as the time that you can. You can also change the ISO sensitivity settings in the menu settings. And so, there's gonna be multiple places that you can do this. You can actually do it with a shortcut button on the outside of the camera that we haven't talked about yet. So there's actually three different places that you can jump in and make these changes.