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Nikon D850 Fast Start

Lesson 19 of 19

Camera Operation


Nikon D850 Fast Start

Lesson 19 of 19

Camera Operation


Lesson Info

Camera Operation

Alright, for the final section of this class called Camera Operation, we wanna talk about kinda the final overall thoughts for using this camera out in the field. So when you go out on a shoot, what do you wanna think about? Well, you wanna have a charged battery for sure, probably an extra one as well. Make sure that you got some memory cards that are formatted and ready to go. Make sure that you got your image quality set the way that you want it to be. And go through the menu system and see if there's been something kind of funny that you were playing with last night perhaps on the Menu System. You had it set up for Night Time Photography and now you're be shooting at sunrise. So just make sure those menu settings are the same. If you're heading out on a big trip or a big job, shoot a few test shots of a white sheet of paper or a white wall or white ceiling. Make sure that you don't have too much dust on there. Shoot those pictures that have and examine them for little black spots ...

on there and if they are, it's a lot easier to clean your camera at home or in your home city than it is probably on the road. Now as you go through setting the camera, obviously there are lots and lots of controls but there's a few controls that you're gonna use on a regular basis. These are the ones that are on the outside controls of the camera, the buttons and dials out there. One's controlling the Exposure, the Shutter Speed, the Aperture, Exposure Compensation and so forth. On the back of the camera, we're gonna have our drive setting we're gonna access a lot. And then our Focus spot and it's a little hidden but it's very easy to get to and so we'll be changing our Focus Area and Focus Mode with that. Now the settings that it seems that most photographers are changing on a regular basis are settings like these. Things dealing with Exposure and Focus and maybe a couple of other things. So here is how I would set the camera up for a really simple operation. This may be even if you're giving the camera to a friend to shoot photographs with. Alright, Program Mode. It's gonna set Shutter Speeds and Apertures so you don't need to worry about that. If you set it in Auto ISO, not my favorite, but if you set it there, it's just gonna keep things very simple and it's probably very safe for basic picture taking. Make sure the Exposure Compensation is at zero unless you specifically need it. Auto White Balance will cover most all situations quite well. The Focus Mode in Single if you are not shooting Action Photography so you're shooting Basic Photography, Single Focus will work just fine. For the AF-Area Mode, Auto-area is looking at 153 focusing points. It takes whatever is closest to the camera. It's a little indiscriminate but it does pick up very, very easily when you're using the entire area. For the Release Mode, you probably just wanna shoot one photo at a time in this case for Simple Mode. This is I think the easiest way to have the camera set up as far as a Point-and-shoot Mode. If you would like to do Landscape Photography, you're talking about subjects that are not moving around a lot, subjects that you want a bit more depth of field and hopefully you're working from a tripod. In this case, I prefer to be in Manual Exposure so I get consistent exposures from one to the next. So I like Manual. First thing I'm gonna set here is a low ISO of 64. Unless I need something faster in Shutter Speeds, I'm gonna keep this at ISO and I'm gonna set my Aperture with the Aperture closed down to get more depth of field. It depends on the situation but 8, 11, 16, and sometimes 22 or 32. Shutter Speed doesn't matter if there's not a lotta things moving around in the frame and so I'll just use a slower Shutter Speed and if I'm on a tripod, it doesn't matter how slow it goes. Whit Balance at Auto is probably fine but if it's not looking right, I'll change it over to Sunny, Cloudy or whatever's most appropriate. My subject's not moving around so I'll be AF-S, sometimes I'll be in Manual. For the AF-Area mode, I wanna be very precise about where I'm focusing and so in that case, Single is the best option. For the Release Mode, you could be in Single with a cable release or you be using the Mirror Up option. You could also be using the Exposure Delay option which is in the Menu system and so that's a good way to set it up for a Landscape shot. If you were doing Portrait Photography with the D850, here's what I would think would be a good set up. I wanna get consistent shots from picture to picture so I'm gonna be in Manual. Shoot a few test shots to see what works out right. I might be wanting to shoot with really shallow depth of field so 1.4, 2, 2.8, something in that range. I'm gonna wanna make sure that I have a Shutter Speed fast enough to stop the action of my subject moving around and me holding the camera. 125th of a second would be good. I'm gonna want the lowest ISO I can, I may bump it up a little bit if necessary but I will try to keep it pretty low. Auto White Balance unless it needs to be changed. If my subject is not moving around too much, AF-S so I can recompose the picture very easily. I wanna be very exacting about my subject's face and their eyes being in focus and so the Single point makes the most sense here. And Single Release Mode is probably gonna be fine in most situations. If they're moving around a lot, you could change it over to one of the continuous options. The camera can shoot quite quickly. Seven frames and even up to nine frames per second with this camera with the right accessories. So the camera does quite well at Action along with that 153 point focusing system. When shooting Action, I once again like to be in Manual so that I get consistent photos from picture to picture. In this case, the Shutter Speed is very important. You wanna get a faster Shutter Speed for stopping the action. In this case, those lenses that go down to 2. and faster will be very handy. And in almost all situations, you're gonna need an ISO above ISO so ISO 400 is very common for Action Photography. Higher numbers will be needed under lower light conditions. Auto White Balance should be fine in most situations and one of the most important setting changes is the Focus Mode to Continuous. Now where your AF-Area Mode should be depends on how erratic the motion is of the subject you're shooting. I like the Dynamic 25-point area. It's kind of a medium sized block that I can keep on a subject that's moving around a fair bit. You may need a bigger one. You might be able to do it with the smaller one but I think that 25-point one is a very good choice. And finally, I would probably be in the Continuous High speed. You could use the Low speed but the High speed is kinda nice getting that seven frames a second on there and so that's how I would set the camera up for Action Photography. Alright let's end this with one last, General Photography. When you don't know when your next shot, maybe it's travel photography, maybe you just don't know what your next picture's gonna be, where would I set it? Well here's where I like a little bit of automation to help me out to speed the process along. If I put it in Aperture Priority, the camera will be ready to go very quickly with getting a decent exposure. I'll set a middle Aperture around f/5.6. I do like to tend to leave the ISO fairly low unless I know I'm gonna need something different than that and so if I do go into a low light environment, I'd bump it up to 100, 200, 400, depends on the situation but in general, I wanna leave it at as the default position. In this case with Aperture Priority, you need to pay attention to Exposure Compensation and so make sure it's set at zero unless you are intending it to be for some place else. White Balance at Auto, change it if necessary. Most of the time, you're not shooting Action and so Single mode is gonna be fine. If you are Continuous a lot, you could make that adjustment here. The AF-Area Mode, where you wanna be choosing to focus, the Single point allows you to be very precise about what you're focusing on and a Single Release Mode will get you one shot each time you press the Shutter Release which is usually fine for General Photography. So there you go folks. That is the Nikon D850 and you are now an expert in the camera because you've got your camera fully figured out hopefully with all of our features. So thanks a lot for tuning in to the class. I hope you have a lot of fun with your camera. It's definitely a fantastic camera that should give you many, many years of great service. Now if by chance you get another camera in the future or you have another camera you would like a class on, I do have plenty of other classes on lots of other cameras out there and so if you want a complete guide to a class that really goes through everything, well there's a good chance that if that is an interchangeable lens camera, I've probably got a class on it and you can find all those classes here at CreativeLive. I do have a wide variety of other classes as well. General Photography classes short and long depending on how much information you want. I have other classes like Nature and Landscape Photography and I do also have specific lens classes. I do have a Nikon lens class which is a great companion class to this camera class so if you really wanna know about lenses, the Nikon lens class is probably the next best class if you liked this one. And I would love to connect up with you, you can check out my website which is I'm also active on Facebook and Instagram and so you can connect up with me there. Follow, subscribe and do all those sorts of things. I'm posting photos and stories and videos on a regular basis so come please check that out. So there you go folks. That is your Nikon D850. Thanks a lot for that and enjoy your camera and see you next time on the next class here at CreativeLive.

Class Description


  • Capture images expertly with the Nikon D850
  • Set up a custom menu on the Nikon D850
  • Find the best lenses to pair with the Nikon D850
  • Uncover hidden features on the Nikon D850
  • Shoot movies with the Nikon D850
  • Edit in-camera and share with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth using Snapbridge
  • Use shortcuts to format the SD card instead of digging in the menu


Great design is invisible.

The Nikon D850 ($3,300 body-only) is one of the best full-frame cameras on the market, mixing a high-resolution sensor with a speedy burst mode. But the D850 is so feature-packed, you may not know even half the features right out of the box. From the new multi-selector tool to setting up the Wi-Fi, the D850 has a steeper learning curve than entry-level cameras. Sure, you could spend days going through the entire 360+ page manual -- or you could spend a few hours with some hands-on experience lead by a professional photographer.

In this class, you'll learn how to control the Nikon D850, from the physical controls to the settings inside the menu. While watching the class, you'll be able to create your own custom menu and get the camera set to your shooting style. You'll learn valuable time-saving shortcuts and uncover features you didn't realize the camera had.

John's straightforward teaching style is easy to follow along with and fun to watch. Ditch the manual drawings and learn from live demonstrations, including questions from students like you.


  • Photographers new to the Nikon D850
  • Self-taught photographers that haven't yet uncovered all the D850 has to offer
  • Photographers on the fence about whether to buy the D850 or another camera

MATERIALS USED: Nikon D850, Nikkor Lenses, SD Card


John Greengo has spent the better part of three decades building a photography career -- and using all different kinds of digital cameras. His experience has lead him to teach others how to best maximize the camera they have. John has taught classes on Nikon DSLRs like the Nikon D810, Nikon D7200, Nikon D7500, Nikon D3500, Nikon D5600, Nikon D500, Nikon D750, and several others. His CreativeLive class list also includes classes on DSLRs and mirrorless cameras from Olympus, Sony, Canon, Panasonic, and Fujifilm.

Along with teaching, John works as a travel and landscape photographer, a passion that has won him several awards. His work allows him to shoot around the globe at several "bucket list" locations, including Iceland, South America, and Alaska.


  1. Class Introduction

    Meet the instructor and get a glimpse at what's up next with this short introduction to this Nikon camera class, along with picking up a few basic photography tips.

  2. Basic Camera Controls

    Jump into the dials and buttons on the Nikon D850 with this initial introduction to the basic camera controls. Learn the general overview of the camera's control scheme, including the new multi-selector.

  3. Top of Camera

    Continue exploring the camera's different controls with an in-depth look at the top of the camera, from using the shutter release to using back-button AF. Learn how to adjust essential exposure settings like ISO, aperture, and shutter speed.

  4. Back of Camera

    At the back of the Nikon D850 DSLR camera, find the custom setting menu, bracketing options, and white balance. Learn continuous shooting modes. Figure out how to use that new multi-selector tool in this lesson.

  5. Live View Menu

    The LCD screen at the back of the camera body can be used as live view mode or in movie mode, depending on what you want to shoot. Learn the difference between these two modes and how to adjust the different viewing options.

  6. Movie Mode Menu

    Switching gears to the movie mode on the LCD, walk through the different controls for shooting video on the full-frame Nikon D850. Learn different shortcuts, as well as tips like silently adjusting the aperture while recording video.

  7. Left & Right Sides of Camera

    Moving around to the sides of the camera, find essential settings like bracketing and AF modes. Dive into autofocusing essentials, then learn the camera's different port options.

  8. Bottom of Camera

    Take a quick look at the bottom of the camera, where you'll find the serial number, the tripod socket, and the battery access. Learn how to look at your camera's battery life, and why you may not want to use older batteries on the camera.

  9. Front of Camera

    At the front of the Nikon D850 rests a customizable function button, as well as the depth of field preview. Uncover the hidden flash sync and ten-pin ports at the front of the camera.

  10. Lens Options

    Dive into Nikon's excellent Nikkor lens options, including recommendations specific to the D850 camera body. Learn how to recognize a compatible full-frame lens compared to a DX-format lens that will crop your photos to the APS-C format. Recognize Nikon's shorthand for lens features, like the VR (vibration reduction) to designate a VR lens.

  11. Playback Menu

    Move from the camera controls to the menu system inside the D850. Get an overview of the entire menu and menu navigation, then dig into the options for the playback menu.

  12. Photo Shooting Menu

    Inside the photo shooting menu, learn how to save settings, how to save your images to the SD card and XQD card, how to shoot RAW and more. Decipher the different shooting options and set the D850 up to your shooting style.

  13. Movie Menu

    Uncover the movie options inside the sub-menu catering specifically to video. Change your aspect ratio, shoot at 4K, shoot slo-mo, or adjust the video file format in this menu.

  14. Custom Setting Menu Part 1

    Customize your D850 to your own shooting style using the custom shooting menu. Learn how to create a custom shooting menu and how to add easier access to the most frequently-adjusted settings.

  15. Custom Setting Menu Part 2

    Continuing the look at the custom setting menu, learn how to re-program the Nikon D850's physical controls. Create a custom scheme on the D850 based on how you shoot.

  16. Setup Menu

    Inside the setup menu, learn how to format your cards as well as one-and-done essentials like timezone and language. Allow the camera's clock to sync to a smartphone using Bluetooth to avoid resetting the clock for travel or Daylight Savings.

  17. Retouch Menu

    Edit your photos before they leave the camera with the retouch menu. Learn how to convert a RAW file to an edited JPEG without a computer.

  18. My Menu

    Create menu shortcut options with the My Menu tool, which allows you to see specific menu options immediately, the first time you open the menu option. This is a great way to save the most frequently-accessed settings, like image quality and Bluetooth.

  19. Camera Operation

    Gain some final tips on using the Nikon D850 while out shooting, including a shooting checklist. Learn how to check the camera for dust on the sensor. Set the D850 up for several different types of shots.


a Creativelive Student

Excellent class. Very fast paced which I loved. I have had my D850 for a few months and thought I had it all figured out. I learned some awesome tips and tricks that I am eager to start using. Thanks John:-)

Francis Sullivan

82 yrs old. Been an avid photographers since 5 yrs old. Read and listened to all types of photo teachers. Greengo is the best of all. Every so called photographer can still learn from a master on the D850. Fantastic camera and fantastic teacher.

Alger Libby

I am only three lessons in, but already I know that this is exactly what I'm looking for, and exactly what I need. The content of the lectures AND the visuals are top-notch and deliver precisely what the course says it is: FAST START. I am a graduate of our local college's digital photography program, which I studied with an entry-level Canon. Moving to the top-of-the-line Nikon was a giant leap for me, and one I could not do without this help. Sure, there are many, many, many more things to learn, but to put this camera in my hands and help me to understand its fundamental operations is a great gift, and I am grateful. Well done!