Custom Setting Menu


Nikon® D5600 Fast Start


Lesson Info

Custom Setting Menu

Time to dive into the custom settings menu and so here's a lot of things in here that if you're new to photography and you go through this, you're gonna think that photographers are very picky and you would be right about that, there's a lot of things that we like to adjust. Now here in the custom menu, if you adjust a setting, there's gonna be a little asterisk that's gonna come up beside that little setting in there and so if you see an asterisk, that means that you've changed it from its normal default. Not that there's anything wrong with that, perfectly fine, but just as a little reminder what you have changed. So we have a number of different little subgroups within this custom setting group. We'll start off with the auto-focus setting. First option in here is AFC priority selection. So when the camera is in auto-focus continuous, so for action and sports-type photography, what's more important, focus or release? Because anytime the camera is shooting a subject that's moving, the...

re is a balance between making sure the focus is correct and allowing the camera to actually shoot the photo. You can imagine if it was too fussy about perfect focus, it would never be good enough and you would never be able to shoot a photo. And so in this case, the normal mode is to leave it in the release mode, which means that from time to time, you will end up without a focused picture. But your camera will be able to shoot on a fairly rapid pace whenever you press down on the shutter release. People who are into sports photography prefer this system than the focus system because having it set to focus priority, camera tends up being a little bit too fussy and won't actually even shoot a photo because it wasn't able to get perfect focus. And in many cases in sports photography, while perfect focus is the most desirable option, having focus that's 99% there is often good enough in many situations and so that's why this one is set to release. Number of focusing points. The camera has 39 focusing points but you can choose fewer if you don't really need all of them and you wanna save some button pressing moving from one side to the other. And so if you wanna reduce it down to 11, you can. So most people leave that on 39, I believe. If you recall in the front of the camera, there's that little light that shoots out a little beam so that your camera can focus. This can be helpful in situations that are dark and your subject is very close up, within a couple of meters in front of the camera. For things that are very far away, it's not gonna do any good at all, it's gonna be terrible if you're a private detective sitting in a car on a darkened street, it's gonna light up when it's dark out there and it's gonna let everyone know you're trying to shoot photos and so for discreet purposes, trying to just tone your camera down and everything on your camera, I like to have the most discreet camera possible, have it quiet without any lights, no buzzing sounds, and so I like turning this off 'cause it just rarely ever helps out unless something is very very close to the camera. Rangefinder option, this is a very unique option. So in the camera, if you like to manually focus, if you turn the rangefinder system on, the camera will show you where the exposure indicator would normally be, whether you need to turn the focus ring to the left or turn it to the right in order to achieve proper focus and then when you do get correct focus, it gives you two little indicators down there below. Now this does not work in manual exposure because in manual exposure, you are using that exposure indicator to figure out what the correct exposure is. So if you wanna shoot in manual focus and manual exposure, you're not gonna be able to use this, you're gonna have to choose which one of those two you wanna use in manual. But it is an interesting option for anybody who does like to manually focus, or even if you have a lens that will only manually focus on it. Manual focus ring in AF mode allows you to override the auto-focus by turning this ring and so if you are the type of person who wants to auto-focus but then do a little manual touch-up on it, then you can turn this ring on the lens. If you don't ever wanna do that, then you can leave this turned off. Next group deals with metering and exposure. First up is b1, EV steps for exposure control, so exposure value steps when you are, for the exposure system. So normally, cameras are set to third stop exposure readings, if you wanted to change it to half steps, you could. Sometimes there's external devices like meters or lights that are in half stops that you may wanna sync your camera up with, but most times, most people prefer thirds 'cause it's a nice, small increment that allows you a very small adjustment from one image to the next if you're trying to change exposures. The ISO display. So one of the things that I don't like about a Nikon camera, and if it feels like I'm picking on Nikon, I am not, there are lots of things I don't like about all cameras out there. I like having an ISO display in the viewfinder, so when I look through the viewfinder, I like to know what ISO the camera is set at. And this camera does not, by default, show you what the ISO is, it shows you what your remaining images are, and then when you press down on the shutter release, it shows you the number of images that it can shoot to the buffer. But if you turn this on, so you can do it here, if you turn this on, it's gonna show you what your ISO is. And it will not show you the remaining images, if you press down on the shutter release, it will show you the buffer amount and so the question is, what is more important, ISO or remaining images? And if you have a large memory card with 999 plus images on it, chances are that ISO is gonna be more important to you and so I think that's very important for anyone is setting manual exposure settings on the camera so if you do that a lot, you're probably gonna wanna turn this feature on. The next group of features deals with timers and the auto exposure lock on the back of the camera. First up, the shutter release button auto exposure lock. When you press halfway down on the shutter release, the camera activates the metering system. Now do you want it to also lock the metering system in so that if you move the camera from side to side, it locks in whatever reading that you had for shutter speeds or apertures, depending on what mode you're in. And most people don't usually leave this engaged but some people like it, which is why the option is here in the custom menus. Auto off timers. I mentioned before that the screen on the back of the camera goes dark after a few seconds and sometimes it's a little bit on the short side and so if you want more time to check out your exposure settings and looking at the various information on the back of the camera, you can either set this to long, if you want a little bit more time, if you wanna save a little bit of battery power, you can put it on short, or you can go into custom, there's gonna be an arrow to the right and you can go in and customize individual aspects about what type of timers are on longer or shorter. Most people, it's not a big deal but it's one of those things that if you don't like the way the camera works, adjust it to make it right for you. The self-timer, I mentioned before the camera has a self-timer but it has several different options in there. The first of the two different options is how long it is between the time you press the button and the time the picture is being taken. Two seconds and five seconds can be really good when the camera is on a tripod and you want to trigger the camera without a cable release but you want the vibrations to settle out. 10 and 20 seconds is great if you need a little bit more time to get in the picture yourself. If you are using the self-timer, how many shots do you want it to use? If you want it to use more than one, you can go in and set a higher number here. As I mentioned before, if you're gonna do a group shot where you are gonna be in the group, I think a 10 and 20 second timer with three, four, five, six shots would probably be a good idea so that you have a number to choose from and that everybody's looking good in one of those shots. Group d, dealing with shooting and display. The exposure/delay mode on this one, let me check my notes, this one is very similar to the self-timer. What this does is it delays the firing of the shutter about one second after the shutter release is triggered and so if you were gonna be using a cable release and you wanted just an extra delay, if you're gonna be using a mirror lock-up mode, it'd be helpful to put it in that mode so that you could delay the shutter release just a little bit so there's less vibration. Might be useful if you were using high magnification photography like macro photography or hooking this up to a telescope and any sort of vibration might cause a blur in your image and so it just gives you a little bit of extra delay. The file number sequence. The camera has its own file numbering system that it's gonna automatically reset to number one after you format a card. If you don't like this filing number system, you can reset it, you can have it turned off so that it doesn't reset at all and so it depends on if you're particular about the numbering system of your images that you are getting off the camera. This allows you to tweak it. I mentioned before that the camera's viewfinder has a grid that can be turned on and off. This is where it can be turned on and off in here and so it is buried a little bit in here, but as I mentioned before, this is a feature that you can program to the LCD screen function button so you can just touch the screen on the back of the camera to turn this on. If you have a second feature that we'll get to in a little bit, if you have that turned on as well, but if you like it on all the time, you can turn it on right here. Date stamp. So if you want, you can have the date on your image itself here, now I don't recommend this in most cases 'cause you can't take it off and the date is on the metadata of all the images that you shoot with. And so you can put the date, you can put the date and time but very interestingly is the date counter so I want to take a look at the date counter on the camera, so I'm gonna dive into the menu system here and we are on d4 so I'm gonna come down to group d and d4, date stamp, and if we go into counter, we'll see there's an arrow to the right, I'm gonna go to the right and you can choose a date or you can have display options, I wanna choose a date and there are three dates in here and this would be very, what this is designed for, it's designed for your kids, so what Nikon is subtly saying to you is don't have more than three kids. I don't know what that means but that's what they say. So let's go in here to number one and I am gonna hit okay, well actually no, I wanna go in here and I wanna adjust this and let's say I had a child who was born in the year on January 1st, okay? And so that's their birth date and I'm gonna hit okay and the display option is, can be the number of days, years and days, years, months, and days, let's go with years and days, let's just see what that looks like. And so now if I was to shoot a picture and have that turned on, I don't know, let's see, did I actually turn that feature on or did I just select it? I do have it turned on now, so I'm gonna take a photo and I'm gonna put this in live view 'cause I wanna place that dark area right down here. Shoot a photo, play back this photo, change the display, am I live, I'm still live, there we are, play back, display display display, and I think you can see it, if you look down here on the bottom right hand corner, it is right down here. So we have our date today that we are recording and we have, so if I had a kid who was born in 2000, they would be 17 years old and 157 days. And so you could have that as months and days and so basically you can have someone's age imprinted on your photographs right there when you take it and you would just have to select which one of those three dates that you wanna have in there and so kind of an interesting option, I don't know of any other camera that has that so it's just cool to have something that nobody else has there as an option. Okay. Reverse indicators. One of the things I've noticed in this camera and I think I did mention it earlier in this class is that the way you turn the dial is a little different. Now one of the things about Nikon cameras is that in the past, about five years ago, Nikon had the plus, the positive exposure on the left and the minus on the right. And that's a little unconventional, most people would assume that the negative is on the left and the positive is on the right side of the zero. And so if you wanna reverse this camera to the old system so let's say you had an old Nikon d which I think had that reverse display in there and you wanted this camera to match your old camera, you could do that. And that would be the only reasonable reason that I can think of why you would want to engage in this. But normally you're gonna wanna leave it on the standard setting, which has the minus and then the zero and then the plus, reading from left to right. Next group deals with bracketing and flash. So flash control for built-in flash. The main option is TTL, stands for through the lens flash, the camera fires as much flash power as it thinks it needs, according to the light gathering and the test flash and how far away your subject is and the reflectivity and it does a pretty good job most of the time, but if you're somebody who really likes to get in there and do things yourself, you can do so with a manual exposure flash and then you can go in there and dive in and control how much power that you're shooting out. But for basic photography, it's gonna be the TTL setting that's gonna make sense for most users. Auto bracketing set. So we talked about bracketing before in the information display on the back of the camera and here's where you get to choose how do you want to bracket in your camera. Most people are gonna undoubtedly choose the auto exposure bracketing, it's the most common system and thing that you would wanna correct for is shooting different exposures to make sure that you're getting the best possible exposure. White balance bracketing is not gonna really do or active dynamic lighting bracketing is not gonna do you any good if you're shooting raw because if raw, you have full control over those features later on, so auto exposure bracketing is undoubtedly gonna be the most popular choice here. Under controls, you can assign the function button. So if you recall, that little function button currently controls the ISO, which is a really, really good option to have in there. But if you don't change the ISO that much or you change something else more often, maybe white balance or you turn the WiFi system on and off, you can reprogram that button to do any one of those 10 options there, so choose whatever you would most appreciate having a single button control for doing and then make that setting adjustment. Assigning the AE-L/AF-L button. So attention back-button focus lovers. This is where you can change your camera to the AF on option for this button on the back of the camera and so if you like to use that button, this is where you would program it as AF on. There's also a number of other options, depending on how you want the camera to focus lock or exposure lock. You can have it do both simultaneously, you can have it do one or the other, there's also a hold option for exposure and what that hold means is that it's no longer a button you have to press and hold, it's a button that you just press once, it locks on, and then you can press it again and turn it off. And so most cases, most people don't even need to fuss with this at all, but as I say, for those of you who do like back button focusing, which is somebody like me, I would probably put this on AF on, it's a nice option to have. Alright, assign touch function. So you can use the LCD panel on the back of the camera as an additional function button and you can go in here and choose one of these different areas to change the particular feature that you have in there and so there's some interesting options. Now, the LCD will activate a little differently depending on whether it's open and flipped around or whether it's pushed into the camera. Because a lot of people will use an eye that has their face covering up part of the screen, only the right part of the screen will be active as a touch area. And so it's not the left side, it's just the right side, but if it's opened all the way, it's the entire area so that if you were wanting to move your focusing point around, you could flip the screen out and use your left thumb over there, moving the focusing point around while you're taking pictures with your right hand. And so this will only work when the screen is black, it does not work when it's showing any information on it. And in my testing of it, I can't really do much demo here because what you're gonna see is in the viewfinder difference and so I encourage you to play around with this. I have found it to be a little bit on the inconsistent side in the sense that I have a feature, something turned on, it's supposed to work by just touching the LCD and I touch it and I touch it and I touch it and I touch it and then it works, and so I don't think anything's wrong with the camera, I just think that the screen may not be as sensitive as it needs to be for turning that on in all cases and so give it a try for something that you occasionally change from time to time. Once again, be aware for anybody who uses your left eye that your nose might be hitting the screen and might be turning that feature on and off and so you may not wanna use it if that's the case. So interesting option, very few cameras have a touchscreen that are used in this manner, so like to see those options. Reversing the dial operation, this is where I was talking about the dial and the exposure indicator seem to work in the opposite direction. And what it does is it really comes down to, are you associating the back of the dial with the dial or the front of the dial that you're not touching? And so I associate the back of the dial with the camera and so I think a lot of people would be better off if they go into f4, check off the option between shutter speed and aperture, and what that's gonna do is when you're changing shutter speeds and apertures with that dial, it's gonna reverse the way that that dial works and it will seem more at sync with the exposure indicator in the camera itself. And so if you ever do manual exposure, I think that just helps logically get you to the right exposure a little bit more quickly.

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