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Nikon D850 Fast Start

Lesson 1 of 19

Class Introduction


Nikon D850 Fast Start

Lesson 1 of 19

Class Introduction


Lesson Info

Class Introduction

Hello and welcome everyone to the Nikon D850 Fast Start. My name is John Greengo and in this class, we're gonna be going over all the features, functions, buttons and operation of the Nikon D850. We have a pretty long class here for you, because we got a lot of stuff to go through on this camera. The D850 was introduced not that long ago. And one of the things that's been interesting to me about this camera is that it is one of the most universally loved cameras since it's introduction. It seems like everybody is been just heaping mounds and mounds of praise on this camera and there are very few haters out there of this particular camera. Nikon has really taken a lot of their very best features and put it into one great package. And so if you own this camera, you should be very happy, because you have a very, very capable device. There is a lot of controls on it, there is a lot of features. There is a huge menu system and we're going to be going through all of that in this class. We're...

gonna start off going around talking about all the buttons and the major controls on the outside, second half of the class will be looking at the menu system And that is where the PDF that comes with the purchase of this class will come in handy. This is a downloadable PDF that will have for the class and what this has is the entire menu system on a single page. I'm a very visual person and in order to find something in the menu system, I like looking on a single page like this. And so this will have the entire menu system laid out that's easy for you to see. Along with my recommendations on it. And so when you get the class you get that PDF that comes along with it. Well we have a lot of ground to cover in this class, so let's go ahead and get started. Alright so we're gonna break this class up a little bit. I'm gonna give you a little bit of overview on this camera here at the beginning. We're gonna talk a little about photo basics for anyone that wants to just make sure that they are up to speed on those little things. And most of this class is gonna be on the camera controls section, that's where we're talking about all the buttons and controls on the outside of the camera. The second half of the class is the menu functions and we're gonna be making a walk through of the entire menu system where I'll be telling you what each of the items in the menu system is and my recommendations on where you might want to set it at least to begin with and why you might want to change it for other types of photography. And then at the very end we'll do a little camera operation where I will show you how I would set this camera up for a variety of different types of photography. Now if you have purchased this camera and gone through the instruction manual, you'll know that it is fairly big and has a lot of information in there. This class is not a total supplement for the instruction manual, but my hope is that you'll rarely if ever need the instruction manual after this class. We'll spend four and a half to five hours in this class going through all the information. And it's impossible for me to cover every bit of information that is also in the instruction manual. And what I tend to want to concentrate on in these fast start classes is how to shoot the camera manually, how to get the best image quality out of the camera and I tend not to spend a lot of time on all of the accessories that you can hook up to the camera. You can hook the camera up to a printer there is a lot of remote controls, you can connect it up to computers for downloading and tethering and all those other devices that you can connect to your camera, I'm not gonna be concentrating. I'll be addressing them in a light manner, but I want to concentrate on how to get the best image quality out of this camera and how to really take control over your camera. Now this is a class on this particular camera. It is not a class on photography. And so if you are new to photography, and you want tips and lesson on lighting and composition and shutter speeds and apertures, there are many other good classes for that. I have a couple of classes here at creativelive that are very good in that manner I believe. We have the photography starter kit for somebody who wants a quick class to get them out the door very rapidly. And for those of you who really want to get into the details a bit more and really know everything that there is to know, the fundamentals of photography will take you through a very in depth class. And that's not just on a particular camera, that is going to be applying to all different cameras. And this class we are going to stay concentrated on the features of the Nikon D850. If you are new to Nikon, well welcome to one of the companies that has been around the longest. They've been around for 100 years now. They started off with some simple range finder cameras back in the World War II era. Then things got pretty serious when they went to the SLR system. And that was in 1959. And the Nikon D850 shares an F mount with the 1959 Nikon F. Now the F mount has gone through a number of changes, and I'll talk a little bit about that when we get into the lenses and types of lenses that this camera will accept. 1986 saw a big change where Nikon introduced auto focus. And this camera will work with all of the auto focus lenses back to 1986. And then in 1999 they brought out their first digital camera which had a whopping 2.7 megpixels on it. And that sold for well more money than the D850 sells for. One of the best parts about being a Nikon owner is having the option of so many different camera bodies and lenses and flashes that you can choose from. You are part of a huge collection here and so there's a big ecosystem that you can choose from. So almost no matter where your photography goes, you're gonna find equipment that is going to be supplied by Nikon to fulfill those needs. Now the 850 is an interesting camera, 'cause Nikon's lineup of cameras is kinda changed slightly in the more modern era. This is not technically their flagship camera, the D5 is, but that camera is more of a sports and photo journalist camera. This is the camera that most of the top of the line photographers are going to be using. It's really gonna be one of the best cameras you can choose for landscape photography, portrait, wedding, even travel photography. For sports photography, the D5 is gonna shoot at faster frames per second, but this is the highest resolution camera that Nikon has ever made. Now this is the latest in the lineup of Nikon's full frame cameras, that is kind of a high end full frame camera but not specifically designed for sports or photo-journalism market. And so it builds on the great reputation of the D series and the D810. And so the D850 I think will be very popular camera for many years to come. In the instruction manual, there is a lot of warnings about what not to do with the camera, and I think most of these are pretty obvious. One question that a lot of people have is about the weather resistance. Because Nikon specifically states the camera is rugged and weather-sealed magnesium alloy body. And so they have a lot of weather sealing, which you can see here with all the yellow in these photographs and so they have done quite a bit to keep the camera protected from water, but however, some place else in the instruction manual they say it's not waterproof. And so whatever you do, do not take this underwater without the proper housing and even in very wet, rainy conditions you want to be a little bit cautious about shooting the camera. If you were gonna be out shooting in the rain for a very short period of time, let's say three, five minutes or so, you're probably fine just with the camera as it is. You do need to be careful with lenses, though, because some lenses are weather sealed and some are not. And so one of the way that you'll see is on the back of the lenses there'll be a little rubber gasket around the edge and so make sure your lens is weather sealed if you plan to do that. But if you're gonna need to be out of the rain for a longer period of time, I recommend some sort of weather proof housing, a rain cover, or something like that. For most little light drips and rain, you're probably gonna be fine just as it is, it seems to be very robustly built in that manner. Nikon also warns about using accessories not made by Nikon. And first off, I'm not sponsored by Nikon, I don't work with Nikon directly in any way, and so I get to say whatever I want about them, and yeah they want you to buy Nikon lenses and flashes, and batteries, and all their other accessories, but when it comes to the electronics on this camera, I do favor the Nikons. I prefer the Nikon flashes, just for the ease of communication. If you get into manual flash photography, then I think you can look at anything that's gonna trigger from the flash, but one of the key things is the batteries. There's been a number of manufactures that make after market batteries and they never seem to be as good as Nikon batteries. Sometimes they come in much cheaper, but I think the Nikon batteries are probably a better value and has a very close relationship with the internal workings of the camera. So you're probably safest to stick with the Nikon batteries. Alright let's make sure your camera and my camera is ready for today's class. You will want to charge the battery, it will take about two and a half hours. You can expect to get around 1200 shots, depends a little bit on how you use your camera. Got a lens attached, got a memory card in there and I'm gonna go ahead and make sure my camera is turned on right now. Now the auto-focus is a little bit on the tricky side. There is a switch on the lens which has an "M" or "A" and "MA" option. You want to have it in the "A" side for auto-focus and then there is another switch on the body which you also want to have in autofocus. If either of those is in the full "M" position, then you will be in manual focus on the lens. And so for right now, let's just keep it in auto-focus. On the top of the camera is a mode button, which you can turn down and you can press down and turn the back dial so you can get it over into the program mode, which is a nice simple place to start with here. And let me make sure that my camera is all set up, so now I'm just gonna go ahead and point my camera and take a photo, and yes, my camera is working and hopefully yours is as well. 'Cause we're ready to get into this class. Alright this section on photo basics is probably not necessary for most of the people who own the D850. I'm guessing for a lot of people who own this, this is their second, third, fourth or 10th, 20th camera from Nikon. But for those of you who do just want to cover a few of the quick basics of photography, let's take a look at what we're working with here in the D850. So this is a single lens reflex camera, which means it has a single lens that we get to take on and off. Inside the lens is an aperture unit that we can open and close down to control the amount of light coming in the lens. So these apertures or f/stops as they are known comes in many different sizes and these are all fractions where 1. is gonna be a very large opening and 22 will be a very small opening. And we're gonna open and close this aperture to help control the light as well as controlling the depth of field. As we stop our lens down, we will get more and more depth of field and that is the distance from what the closest thing in focus to the furthest thing in from us in focus. And so as we stop our aperture down here, we're getting more and more depth of field with each of our settings. Most lenses will close down to f/22, some will go beyond it, it's very dependent on the lens itself. Once light gets through the lens, then it comes into the camera and it gets to the reflex portion, which is the mirror in the camera that bounces the light upward to the focusing screen around the prism system and out the viewfinder for you to see. You're gonna get a nice bright, clear, very sharp image view with this camera. It's got one of the largest viewfinders around, so it's gonna give you one of the best views of any SLR on the market. When it comes time to take the photo, the mirror needs to get up and out of the way so light can get back to the image sensor. It then needs to get past the shutter unit and there is two curtains. There's the first curtain and the second curtain, and so what's happening here is the first curtain is blocking light to the sensor until it's ready to capture the image, it then opens up, allows light in for that fraction of a second in most cases, before returning back to its starting position after that mirror returns so that you can see what's going on. Now the shutter speeds are another way of controlling the amount of light after the aperture in the camera, and so there's a variety of shutter speeds for controlling the light as well as controlling the motion stopping ability of any particular photograph. One of the most important elements in any modern camera is the sensor in the camera. This uses a large full frame sensor, which is designed for these largest of the normal cameras you might say. There are cameras that do have larger sensors, but they go into a different realm. And so this is all based off of 35mm film. And so this is what is known as a full frame sensor in today's lingo. There are a number of other sensors. There's other Nikon cameras that use the APS-C system and they'll be slightly different set of lenses that you'll want to work with if you have that crop frame system. And so this is using a large sensor, which is gonna enable you to have very fine detail because there's a lot of megapixels on there and it's also gonna enable you to work under very low light conditions. So this is just some general photo information for you. If you would like to know more about this, I do have a class called the photography starter kit and the fundamentals of photography, if you like to get more into the different types of cameras and lenses and lighting and composition and all of that. You may want to check out those classes which are also available 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:-)


This is a great class with an exceptional instructor, and I learned so much about my new D850 camera! I especially appreciated the opportunity to follow along at a perfect pace with the instructor while being hands-on with my camera. The content was understandable, logical and enjoyable. This is my first class through CreativeLive -- thank you!

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.