Backside: Live View & Movie Mode


Nikon® D5600 Fast Start


Lesson Info

Backside: Live View & Movie Mode

We were talking about the top deck and the last little item up there that is kind of visible on the back of the camera is the live view button. So let's kind of move to the back side of the camera now and go into live view. So when you flip this switch to the back this little spring loaded switch here, it activates the live view system. So what it does is, it pops the mirror up and allows the light to come straight into the sensor so you can see it on the back of the camera. So the camera with its flip out screen it allows you to shoot with the camera in some unusual positions, above your head or down really low to the ground and so it's good for a variety of type of reasons. So let's take a closer look at the live view mode cuz there is some different options available here than in, than using the camera in its normal mode. So first thing is, just give that a little flip back. It starts your live view. The first thing to adjust is the info button. Now right up there by the view finder...

, the info button can be pressed in many many different modes and we'll talk about it throughout this class. And it never hurts anything so you can always just hit the info mode and you'll notice as you cycle through, you're gonna get different options. You'll get framing grids, which some people use for compositional reasons. You might use for making sure that you got the horizon correct. There are basic photo indicators with your shutter speed aperture and additional information. Sometimes you don't want anything, you just want to see the image in there. And there is also a special one for movie indicators which is very important. I wanna show you that so let's just do a little demo here on the camera. It doesn't really matter what mode you are in. On the top of the camera, you can have it anywhere. I'm gonna put mine in program mode. That's a nice simple mode. (camera shutter click sound) Put it into live view mode, let me just readjust the positioning of the camera. And so when you hit the info button, it'll just cycle through these different options and you can just choose whatever you want. One that's very important is this one that has the letter box in which is the black frames on the top and the bottom cuz that's basically gonna show you what the camera's gonna the image area that it's gonna use when you're shooting in the movie mode. And we're gonna be talking more about that here in just a moment. But as I say, feel free to choose as much or as little information as you need or want in any, at any given time. So when you do go into live view mode, and the mirror's in the upward position, the camera is operating in a little different manner. And so one of the options is focusing. It's gonna be a little bit different in this case here. And so if you do have a single point activated, you will be able to move it around by using the uh the indicator on the back of the camera. And so you press halfway down to focus, then you can move the focus area around. And you can also zoom in with the plus and the minus button on the back of the camera. Now beyond all of that, we do also have a touchscreen that allows you to use the touch as a focusing option or shooting picture option. So I wanna do a little demo in here but I need a prop on my table. So let me go over and grab one of the cameras. And we'll use this guy right here. I'm gonna see if I can focus on something in the foreground and something in the background so give me a moment while I set this up. And so let's get a little bit wider angle. Okay, I think we're gonna be good right about here. And so we're in live view and if you can see on the back of the camera, the green dot is where the camera is focusing so I can move the camera down to focus on something up close or something farther away. But if I wanna do it by touch, I can simply touch and move the frame around. If I want to move it by using the cross hairs, I can move it around to wherever I want. But obviously, touch is very quick. Now the way it's set up right now is it's focusing but it's not shooting a photo. Let me hit the info button up here. Pull up a little bit more information, and so over here, the touch shutter is turned off. So I'm gonna hit that. And now the touch shutter is on so if I touch something, it's gonna focus and shoot a photo on that. And so that's showing me the photo that I just took. Are we live? Okay, now we're live. And so now if I wanna focus on the foreground, it's gonna do that. And so some people like the touch, some people don't like the touch. And so you can just turn that off back and forth right there. And if you wanted to zoom in, you could use the plus and minus button. So if I wanna see if I, am I really focused on this camera that's close up, I'm gonna press the plus button here and I'm gonna zoom in really close and I can back out if I want. If I wanna press there, it'll focus and shoot on that. If I wanna move the focusing point around, let's move it manually this time. And I'm gonna choose some of the fruit down here. Right in there and then I'm gonna plus zoom in and let's make sure this is in focus. And we shoot a phot of it. And so feel free to play around with that. It's a great way to check out and make sure that you have absolutely got the sharpest focus possible. Like if you have your camera set up on a tripod and you're doing landscape photography, I use this system all the time. It really guarantees that you are in focus when you zoom in, you check it yourself and you shoot that photo in that live view mode. So live view is something that works very good for unusual positioning of the camera, so using this flip screen to get down really low to the ground or to shoot over your head can be very nice. But I also use it when I'm on a tripod. But I don't use it for general photography any time I'm generally just walking around shooting, it's not gonna be as good a system for focusing as I will explain here in just a moment. So a very important button that we're gonna talk a lot about in this class is the i button. This is the information button. And it is essentially a short cut to the menu system. The way that the features on this camera and most of the modern cameras are broken down is I really see them in three different categories. If it's a really important feature, there's probably a button on the outside of the camera. And then there's the menu which is the full list of all the options and all the features in the camera but it can be so big and cluttered it's kinda hard to find things and so a lot of camera companies, including Nikon in this case, has made a short cut menu of the most important features that you're most likely to wanna get into on a regular basis. So if you press the i button, you're gonna be able to go in and tweak and adjust all these different settings by just simply navigating using the up, down, left, right control button on the back of the camera to select what you wanna do. Now we're gonna talk about all of these in due time but here in the live view mode, there is one or two features that are a little bit different than everywhere else in the camera. So I'm gonna focus on those. And the first is the AF area mode. And there is a few different options and so let me talk about, well let me just first show you on the back of the camera. We do have our camera in live view right now. Alright, so there we are in live view. Just give our camera something to focus on up there, there we go. Didn't need to shoot a photo but that's fine. Alright, so in live view mode, we are live, yes we're live, hit the i button and then we're gonna have all of these options in the back. And so I usually just like using the control to go left, right, up and down and navigate. I believe you can also use touch to get in here as well. And so anytime you wanna go back and forth between touch and the actual button, you can do that. And so we're gonna be talking about the AF area mode right in here. And so when you dive in here, there's gonna be four options. And so I wanna go back to the keynote and talk about what those different options are. So let's take a look at what these options are. So the AF area mode. First off, on the left, we have Face-priority auto focus. And this is where it will look for faces over anything else. And it does a really good job of checking those faces. And so you might see either a yellow, red or green box depending on where the focusing is in attempting to lock onto that particular subject. And so if you have multiple faces, it's gonna generally choose the face that is closest to the camera. But it's a good system if you are wanting to get people in focus. There is a Normal-area auto focus which is a relatively small box. If you wanna be very precise about what the camera is focusing on. The Wide-area auto focus is just a slight larger box compared to the Normal-area. And finally there is a Subject-tracking mode. And you'd press the OK button to kind of start and stop that focusing. And this is where the camera is going to try to recognize that subject and it's gonna try to track it back and forth. And so this might make a fun little demonstration. And so I'm gonna put my camera into the tracking mode and I'm going to need to grab a subject and I think I'm gonna grab one of these oranges over here. Cuz that's got a distinctive color and shape to it. I'm gonna give a little bit more wide angle view here. And so the camera is going to try to lock onto a subject and track it. Now what it's doing is it's looking in the box where it's currently set which is up here on this white wall which is very difficult to focus on which is why the camera is not focusing well there. But I'm gonna take the orange and I'm gonna try to put it out here. And we're gonna press down half way on the shutter release. And see if it can track that subject. And it is not tracking it. Let's make sure. I may, let see, I just wanna check, I got this on full, make sure I got this on full time servo, that's good. Oh folks, I made a mistake. And this is a very common mistake in a Nikon camera. Let me show you what I did. As I came over here, and I selected subject tracking, and I didn't really select it. I highlighted it but I didn't hit OK. And I said, okay, let's do this demonstration, and if I go back here, you'll notice it's not in the tracking mode. I need to hit the OK button down here to confirm that that's what I want. Okay, so hopefully that really is the thing that caused the problem. Now you'll see the focusing has these little round circles on it and so now I'm gonna give it something to focus on. And I think I do need to press halfway down. And let's see if it can track. C'mon. And let's track that subject. Okay, so we're gonna try focusing down here. And I am going to turn off this. I don't know if that's causing a problem. And so now, oh it's chasing the orange around. So I think we're getting closer here. Okay, c'mon, focus on this. So folks, as you can see, this is a little bit on the wonky side. C'mon track it. It doesn't seem to want to track this for some reason. I don't know why. It was doing this fine in practice before. And so let's see if I can move this around, I can maybe turn this on. And focus on the orange. (camera shutter releases) Oh when it all goes wrong. (camera shutter release) And so this is why I don't use the tracking mode that much. (camera shutter release) it's gone off on this crazy (laughing) mode up to the left and this, okay. There we go, it's the OK button folks. There's the OK button, I forgot, my fault. It's not the camera's fault. So I'm gonna hit the OK button on the camera. And it locks the orange, there we go folks. Oh, c'mon. C'mon. Get the orange. Lock on. Has it locked on? Okay, it's mostly locked on there. And so it's trying to track that orange around. So now it's dong a pretty good job. If I wanna turn it off, I hit the OK button on the back of the camera. You see folks, there's instructions on the back of the camera and I too forget to read this all the time. Let's follow the orange back and forth. Alright, turn it off. Let's uh, let's grab the camera here. Can it track the camera? Focus. Ooh, it does a pretty good job here. Well, it lost it there. No, lost it. So I gotta turn it off and then I gotta turn it back on but hitting the OK button. And so you can see folks, it's not the most perfect system in the world, but it does work pretty good for subjects that are not moving too quick. So, sorry about making all those mistakes. These things, you forget, I'm, and uh, happens to the best of us. Alright, so that is the subject tracking mode. Now the reason that it has a hard time, well it has a hard time focusing, is that the camera is not really at its best in this mode and let me explain why it's not at its best here. So, normally in the camera, when you're shooting normal photos not in live view mode is what I mean. Is that the camera has a unique mirror. It's a partially silvered mirror, which means that it lets light through the mirror. So as you are looking through the view finder, there's a little bit of that light that gets through the back of the mirror onto a secondary mirror down to the auto focus module of the camera. Nikon has been working for the past 30 plus years on a auto focus system that is extremely fast and very accurate. And it works very very well in normal photography. When you put the camera in the live view mode, the mirror goes up, the shutter opens up, light goes into the sensor. And the AF sensor is no longer doing any good in the camera at all. And so now it's just using the contrast on the sensor of the image and it's trying to judge whether it's contrast, cuz that means it's in focus. If it's not contrast, that means it needs to adjust the lens but it doesn't know how far to adjust the lens. And so Nikon cameras are one of the slowest cameras when they are in the movie or in the live view mode for focusing on subjects. And so if you go back to the modes here, the different modes that are available for focusing. The tracking mode and the face priority mode are pretty quick about subjects moving from left to right, side to side across the frame. But as far as approaching the camera and moving away from the camera, it's a little bit on the slow side on focusing. And so if you're focusing on somebody walking, I think that's gonna be fine. It's gonna be able to keep up with that. But it's not gonna be able to keep up with fast action photography. And so live view is really good for certain types of shooting, it's not good for action and sports photography because of that focusing. Also because the shutter needs to be opening and closing more, the camera is very slow when moving from mode to mode. So back, we're still in live view, talking about some of the option in the i button. One other area to take a look at is the focusing mode. And so I did pop in here and take a look. So let's take a look at some of the options that we have in here. And so focusing mode in live view is a little different than it is in normal photography. We will have AF-S which is a single focus option where it focuses on a subject and it stays there. AF-F is a full time continuous focusing where the camera is constantly looking for sharpest focus. And MF is for manual focus. And so usually you're either gonna be in AF-S or AF-F and the AF-F is not real fast on that. And so the way that you change this of course is back here in the i button. Let's do a little demo with this and we'll do a little subject tracking speed to see how fast it is. And so you press the i button on the back of the camera. And you can change this to single F and MF right here. And so in single, a reason for doing that is if you wanna lock focus on a subject. Let's leave it at AF-S so hit OK to confirm that that's what I want. And then I can focus on a subject. And then I can move it out of the frame and it's sharp even though, let's zoom in a little bit here. So I'm focusing on the camera and then I can shoot a picture with it way off (camera shutter release) the edge right there. So in this case, let's go back and change it to AF-F. And I'm gonna leave it on subject tracking. I think I got this mastered now. And so now what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna hold the camera out in front and lock it on and so it's trying to focus, it's trying to focus. There we go, it got it. And if I move it back, that's the slowness I'm talking about folks. It's not super quick. There it went pretty quick. And so any sort of subject that moves forward and back quickly, the system is not quick enough to keep something like this totally in focus. It tries to keep up and depending on the contrast level it may or may not. So let's try something more basic, just like my hand. Can it track my hand? And so it's a little bit laggy in this. And so it's not the best for action photography, but as I say, if it's not moving too quick it's something that can work pretty good. So experiment, see how well it does for what you're doing. But it's a nice feature to have for the situations that are appropriate for it. Alright, so if you are in the live view mode and you wanna record movies, all you need to do is hit the red button on the top of the camera to start recording. Now one thing to note is on the back of the camera what you see under normal live view operations is your normal aspect ratio of 1:1.5. The movie recording frame is a wider aspect though it's not technically wider but it is narrower so you get less on the top and less on the bottom. So that's why you get those bars added when you automatically press, or when you press the movie record button, you'll automatically get those black bars in there. But there was that one info display screen that allowed you to see a preview of those bars in there. Now as I say, we'll continue to talk more about the movies. There is in the shooting menu, there's a whole section on movie settings. We will be getting to that later on in the class in the movie section. There's gonna be one section in the camera controls for setting those movie specific settings. So let's talk a little bit more about some of the movie options in here. When you play back a movie, the controls on the back of the camera change quite a bit in order to help you record a movies. And so you'll hit the OK button in the middle to play. You can go forward and back. You can also pause it and do slow motion and then you can simply stop and exit the movie as well. The plus and minus, very creatively, now become the volume up and volume down. If you wanna jump 10 seconds forward or 10 seconds backward, you can do so by turning the main dial on the camera. And the i button are short cut to the menus will allow us to go in and choose a to trim the beginning and the end of your video. So like if you had the camera and it was shaking a little bit at the beginning you can cut that out of the final video. And you can also save a selected frame from that video which is a demo we'll do here in a little bit. So that is the live view button. Anytime you wanna see on the back of the camera, what's going or what's coming through the lens.

Class Description

We know what it’s like to dive right into taking pictures with your new camera. But trying to understand the manual can be a frustrating experience. Get the most out of your new Nikon D5600 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 Fast Start class, you’ll learn:

  • Learn the best autofocus options for both standard and live view shooting
  • Link your D5600 to your smartphone using Nikon's new Snapbridge system
  • Customize the camera in the menu system to fit your style of photography

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 D5600's settings to work for your style of photography.


Steve Weinstein

I thought this class was excellent in that John Greengo showed me the essentials of my new Nikon D5600. I learned all about the menus, the settings and the relationship between shutter, aperture and ISO. Highly recommended.

Kyosa Canuck

I find these interesting and very informative just for the featiures. I would like to see one on the slightly older Sony a77. Note, too, Mr Greengo that this manufacturer is, as I have been many times corrected, Neekaan and not Nighkawn.

ronald james

I have had the D5600 for some 5 months and purchased a few instruction books on the camera but just an hour with the lesson and I have learnt far more in a short time than I thought possible - John Greengo is the man