Custom Setting Menu
Next major grouping here is custom setting menu. And so this is where we get to tweak a lot of the fine tuned controls on the camera. There's a lot of these items that we're gonna adjust and we're not going to come back to. We're gonna set them once and just be done with it on the camera. There's very few items in here that we need to come back to on a regular basis. One thing to note is if you're kind of wondering what items have I changed, and what have I not changed, that is with the asterisk symbol right by the letter. If you see an asterisk symbol, that means that has been changed to something. Something other than it's standard setting in there. So first item in here is resetting the custom settings. And so if you bought this camera used, if you've been playing around with your own camera and you think you may have made some funny settings on it, you can go ahead and just reset it fresh right now and we can start factory fresh. Alright, first grouping- a, deals with auto focus. W...
hen you have the camera in the continuous focus option, what's the most important thing? Releasing the shutter or getting the picture in focus. Obviously having a picture in focus is very important, but for a sports photographer it's more important to be able to release the shutter. And so in this case, release is the standard choice which I recommend keeping it at. It's possible that you may have some pictures that are not perfectly in focus, but at least you'll be able to shoot them exactly when the moment of action is at its best. Now this is just the reverse philosophy when it comes to single focus. So when you are focusing on a stationary subject, you want it to be in focus. And in this case the camera will not fire focus, it will not fire a picture, until the camera is in focus. And this is the standard set up on most cameras. Most people are pretty fine with this setup. But if you do want to adjust it, we do have the option in both cases here. Focus tracking with lock-on. As you are tracking a subject that is moving, how much do you want the camera to be able to track that subject versus a new subject that might come in and interfere with it. And so if you really want it to stick with that subject, you might want to bump this to four or five. If you want it to go that new subject, you might want it to go to two or one. And this really depends on the type of subjects that you are shooting and the type of sports. Whether you want it switching to that new subject or sticking on the established one that you have. The number of focusing points. The camera has 51, but for some people it's too many. They want to be able to change from one point to the next more quickly. And so you can change it from 51 to 11, just so that you can jump from left to right side a little bit more quickly. Store points by orientation is kind of cool because when you select the right hand side of the frame to focus, but then you turn the camera vertically it's no longer on the right hand side of the frame, it's on the top of the frame. If you want to set this to "on", you can have two different memorized positions and when you change the camera from vertical to horizontal, you can choose and change where those focusing points are depending on how you're holding the camera. And so I found this to be very helpful so that I could get similar compositions with horizontal and vertical images. Would not work well if you're shooting straight up or straight down, 'cause the camera has a hard time determining whether those are verticals or horizontals. AF activation deals with the focusing of the shutter release. And so some people people prefer to use the AE-L button in the back of the camera for focusing. If you turn this off, you'll be focusing with the shutter release button. If you turn it on, you'll need to focus with the AE-L button on the back of the camera when you've programmed it to do so, which we will get to later on in the custom settings here. And so the average user can just leave this turned off but if you want to go with the AF on option, it's something that a lot of more advanced photographers really like on their camera. Focusing point wrap-around makes it easier to go from one side of the focusing options to the other. And so if you're all the way to the right and you want to go to the left side, you'd have to hit the left hand button quite a few times. Or you could go to the right once and it would wrap around the back all the way over to the left. And so it just makes it a little bit quicker getting from one point to the next. A8 focus point options leads us into a sub-menu. Focus point illumination. Under normal lighting conditions, you will see your focusing points in black, but when it gets dark, you'll see them in red and the camera will automatically switch back and forth according to how bright it is. If you want to have them turned on in red all the time, you can leave this turned on. If you want to have them in black all the time, you would turn them off. When you have the camera in the manual focus mode, do you want to be able to see those focusing points? They are actually doing some good in the manual focus mode. If you recall, when you're looking through the viewfinder, there's a line of information and at the far left of that line of information, is a it's kind of a pale green dot. And that's telling you that you're in focus and it's in focus with whatever focusing points you have selected. And so if you like to use that electronic aid for focusing you probably want to leave this turned on. If you don't use that and you want to clean up all the clutter, you can turn all of these off. The built-in AF-assist illuminator will turn on under low light conditions. It's like a flashlight and it works with subjects that are very close to you. But it has limited range, and so it's not really good and it can be a little irritating or disruptive to people around you. And so it's something that I would generally turn off, because if you know where to point the focusing brackets on your screen, you should be able to pick up focusing even under the lowest light conditions. Our next category is dealing with metering and exposure. First up here is ISO sensitivity step value. So when you change the ISO, how big of steps are you going in, third stops or half stops? Most people use third stops, it's kind of the standard on cameras these days. But if you want to go to half stops, maybe to match another device that works in half stops, that option is available for you. The exposure value steps for exposure control. So if we're changing shutter speeds and apertures, you can do those in third stops or half stops. As I say the standard is third stops most people prefer to have it there. Easy exposure compensation. This will deal with how easy is it to do exposure compensation. Currently on this camera what you do is you can press down on that button and turn it and turn the dial on the camera you turn it off. If you turn it on, it will allow you to do exposure compensation by simply turning the dial. So if you're in aperture priority or shutter priority, you would just turn that free dial and it would change exposure compensation. For some people, it's a little too easy of changing the compensation. But for those of you who do like to change it on a regular basis, turning this on is gonna simplify it, 'cause there's one less button to press. Matrix metering has an option of turning face detection on or off and it seems like turning it on is generally been a good thing for getting proper exposures. And so it's using that color information and that very sophisticated metering system and adding that in there so that you're getting a little bit better information when it comes to the exposure. Center-weighted metering can be customized. How big of circle do you want the camera to look at in order to read the light? You can make it a little bit more concentrated or a little bit larger and more average in it's sense. And so you could choose different options in here, not too many people use center-weighted metering and so this is a feature that is not changed very often on these cameras. Fine-tune optimal exposure allows you to adjust the exposure of your images much of the same way that exposure compensation works, but in this case it's not gonna give you any indication on the displays of the camera. This would be best for people who find that all of their images are of consistently over or under exposed by a very small amount. So you can go in here and change it 1/6 of a stop so you can be very, very precise about the amount of change that you're making. Hopefully you never need to do this and in most cases, you will never need to do this. And so you can go in and do this for each of the different metering options available in the camera. You can increase it or decrease it by a stop. As I say, most people will never need to do this. Which is why they give you a pretty dire warning in here about doing it.
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- 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.