Skip to main content

Nikon D7500 Fast Start

Lesson 3 of 26

Basic Camera Controls

John Greengo

Nikon D7500 Fast Start

John Greengo

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

3. Basic Camera Controls

Lesson Info

Basic Camera Controls

Alright, Camera Control Section. In here, we are going to be going through all the external controls on the camera, all the buttons and dials, figuring out what they do. Let's go ahead and get started with some of the basic controls that we're gonna use, wherever we are on the camera, it seems. Turning the camera on and off, automatically turns on an Image Sensor cleaning device, and so it tries to keep the sensor clean by using a little ultrasonic shake sensor, to keep the dust knocked off. It is possible that you will get dust on the sensor eventually, and if you want to clean it off, I'll have more instructions in the later half of this class about how you can manually do that yourself. You could always hire a company, or you know, send it off for repair to have it cleaned, but a lot of people can do it themselves. The Main Command Dial on a Nikon camera is the thumb dial on the back of the camera. And so that's kind of the main go-to dial when you want to make a change on the camer...

a. Upper-end cameras from Nikon, like this one, will have a Sub-command dial out on the front of the camera, so you have two dials that you can access, you know, pretty much at the same time, and those will be used for changing shutter speeds, apertures, and potentially making other changes throughout the menu or focusing system, and so they're two dials that you're going to be using on a regular basis. In the back of the camera, we have the Multi Selector, a little up/down, left/right mouse navigation device. And this is something that we'll use, most likely in the Menu system. We'll also use it for selecting different focusing points, as well as a few other things that you'll see as we go through the class. And so it's something that we'll be using quite a bit in the operation of the camera. First off, let's take a look at the top of the camera. We have our Shutter Release for taking photos. When we press half way down, it activates the Metering system. It starts the Autofocus system. It wakes the camera up, if the camera was asleep, and if you were in a different mode, say if you were buried in the menu somewhere, looking up some particular feature, and you just want to shoot a photo, press half way down, it's gonna exit you out of that menu system, get you right into the shooting mode. So anytime you want to shoot a photo, just press half way down, and it readies the entire system. You want to take a picture, press all the way down and you will fire a photo, but get very used to that half way position on it. Now, some people don't like the fact that it focuses when you press half way down. They would prefer to have a second button, like a back button, activating that focus. And if you do want to have that system set up on your camera, there's a couple of changes that you need to make, and the first change is that you need to turn off the Autofocus on the Shutter Release. And in order to do that, you need to go into your Custom Setting Menu. And you're gonna see these shortcuts throughout the class. I like to let you go in and make these changes as we are walking through the camera. Now, we will eventually get to these, and talk to these fully as we go through the Menu System, but I know some of you like to jump ahead and make adjustments to your camera right now, so this is how you would do it. You'd go into the Custom Setting Menu, the A Autofocus section, and go to AF activation, and turn that off. And just to show you how those shortcuts work, I'd like to go ahead and show that to you right here and right now. And so, let me get my camera set up so you guys can see what's going on. And so right now, my camera is set up so that the Shutter Release activates the Focusing system and it will focus back and forth, and what I'm going to do is, I'm going to dive into the Menu system, and we have different tabs that we'll talk more about as we get towards the menu, but we're gonna go down here, to the Custom Setting Menu, go over to Autofocus, and come down to A6, AF activation. Right now it's turned on, I'm gonna hit the, I'm just going to go to the right, 'cause that's how we kinda enter stuff here. And so, the Shutter Release button, up here on top, AF-On only, we can turn it off there, and so the only way to get Autofocus, would be by turning on Autofocus on this back button here. So we've only gone through half the steps to do back button focus, but now, pressing the Shutter Release up in front doesn't require focusing. And even if I put my hand in front of the camera, it still takes photos. But for now, I'm gonna turn that back on, 'cause I just want simple, basic operation. And so now, the shutter does do AF on, right here. So, that's how the shortcuts will work throughout the class. You're gonna see a bunch of those as we move forward. I like to let you jump ahead and make those changes right away. If you rotate the collar of the on/off, you will turn on the light for the LCD on the top of the camera, the control panel up there. Inside there, I'm not going to go through all the details there, but there's Shutter Speed, Aperture, all your important exposure information, number of photos you have left, the Metering system and so forth. And so it's a great way of checking how your camera is set up. We'll see that information of the back of the camera, and you'll see virtually everything there, as you look through the viewfinder as well. So it's just an additional, nice control, for checking out how your camera is set.

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 D7500 with this complete step-by-step walk-through 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 finer nuances of the 51-point AF system for sports portraits and more
  • Customize the deep menu to fit your specific needs

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 D7500’s settings to work for your style of photography.


Thomas Sielaff

Great, great course. Could not be any clearer on what to know, what to do, and in all, making understanding my camera a fun thing! Well, well, worth that cost. A steal really!!


Helps you master the camera controls very quickly. I'm glad I took the course. Without it, I'm sure it would have taken me years to know and use the full power of this camera. Great Course. Highly recommend.

Roy Shenfield

This is a great course! I recently bought a D7500 and was somewhat stymied by the large number of different possible settings and the several hundred page user manual and menu guide. This course covers the vast majority of what I need to know and in a reasonable amount of detail. I especially liked the material on menus as he went through most of them in detail. Additionally all the slides shown in the course are available in pdf as well as several pages detailing the authors recommended settings. I highly recommend, especially given the $24.00 special offering for this.