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Nikon D850 Fast Start

Lesson 5 of 19

Live View Menu


Nikon D850 Fast Start

Lesson 5 of 19

Live View Menu


Lesson Info

Live View Menu

All right, the next big area on this camera is the Live View and Movie mode. And so, this kind of kicks the camera into a whole different mode. So, let's talk about what are the different options once we get in here. So, there was a collar for deciding whether we wanna be in Live View or the Movie mode. And then there is a button to activate it in the middle. And so, we're gonna start off talking about the Live View mode on this which is for taking still photographs and using the back of the camera to view your images. We'll talk about Movie mode here in a minute. So, press in on the Live View button to activate. And what that's going to do is it's gonna lock the mirror up. And it's gonna turn on the LCD on the back of the camera so that you can see what's going on. Now you get to see a Live View of what the lens is recording. By pressing the info button you'll once again be able to navigate or to walk through the different options of different views. So, you might wanna have the virtu...

al horizon on if you're trying to get the horizon level. You can have more information or less information turned on by simply hitting that info button. And so, feel free to find the screen that you like in that case. The OK button is kind of a hidden little button here. And this is an Exposure Simulation button. So, let me show you this button on the camera. I wanna switch my camera into the Manual mode so that I can make specific adjustments with my shutter speed and aperture. Now, you might notice that I'm changing my aperture. Let's zoom in a little bit on our subject here. So, you can see that I'm changing my aperture but this image on the back of the camera is really not changing in brightness. And that's because the camera is adjusting the screen brightness so that I can easily see what I'm shooting at. If I press the OK button, my light meter will turn over here on the right-hand side. And now I can see proper exposure is right around here if I wanna take a photo. And so, in some situations, in most, I prefer to have this turned on so that I can see whether my images are gonna be too light or too dark. Cause this is a real time preview of how bright and how dark your images are. However, this does not work if you are working with flash photography because the flash is gonna fire and the brightness of the subject is gonna be completely different than it is here in the Live View mode. And so, the OK button, although not labeled is a very important button when it comes to the Live View mode. Another little secret button is around the front, the PV, which stands for preview is gonna give you your maximum aperture. As you noticed on the back of the camera as I changed the aperture, it was actually changing the aperture on the lens. It was stopping it down, giving me more depth of field. So, if I wanted to see what it's gonna look like at shallow depth of field, I can reach around to the front and press the PV button on the camera. All right, over on the left side of the camera, we haven't gotten to the left side, but around the left side is your Auto Focus Manual Focus switch. And in the middle of that is a completely unlabeled button that is super important because it controls the focusing system on the camera. By pressing in on that button and turning the back dial on the camera, we can change between Single and Full time focus when we're in the Live View mode. Now, there is different modes we're gonna get to for standard photography, for right now this deals with Live View and Movie mode. So, what's happening here is we have the option of AF-S, which stands for Single-servo Auto Focus. This is where you're gonna focus on a subject and it's gonna lock in and stop focusing. And this is great for subjects that are stationary. If you're subjects are moving around the you wanna be in AF-F. This is Full-time-servo, and the camera can then track subjects and follow them around. Now, I'll have to admit, it doesn't do this in a really, really fast way. And so, it's gonna be able to follow somebody walking, but if they're moving too quickly it may not be able to keep up with them depending on your point of view and the lens and some other variables that you are doing. The other final option, of course, is Manual Focus done by flipping the switch over into Manual Focus. And this is good for landscape photography or any time you wanna take direct control of focusing yourself. Now, by pressing that button and turning the front dial of the camera you can change where you are focusing and a little bit of how you are focusing as well. And so, the front dial has a number of interesting options that we should talk about right now. So, first up with the AF area mode is a face priority. And this is where it looks for faces. It has facial tracking information in here. And if you're focusing and doing people photography, it does a really good job at picking up faces and staying with them as you move from place to place in the frame. And so, for people photography that tends to work out very well. And then we have three different frames depending on what size of frame that we want. We have a Wide-area, which is pretty good for medium-sized subjects. We have our Normal-area frame if you have a little bit smaller area that you wanna pick out to focus. And we have a new Pinpoint Auto Focus we haven't seen in previous Nikons so that we can be very precise about where our camera is focusing. And finally, we have a Subject-tracking Auto Focus. And this is where you can press the OK button to engage and disengage a subject on tracking it. What I've found about the tracking is that this tracks incredibly well left to right. So, if you have a subject that's moving around quite a bit it's gonna be able to track where that subject is. It basically identifies the shape and contrast of that subject and it keeps there. However, Live View mode is not real good at tracking subject moving towards the camera and away from the camera because of the type of focusing system it has. And so, it's good with certain types of movement but not other types of tracking movement. And let me talk a little bit more, let me show you why the camera is not so good at this tracking forward and back movement. Nikon has been working for the last 30 years developing an Auto Focus system. And the way that it works in most situations is that light comes in through the lens, and the mirror is a special mirror that's partially silver. And so, what's happening is light goes through the mirror and then it goes to a sub-mirror and down to the Auto Focus sensor in the camera. And that's a really important sensor. Nikon's been working on it for quite a while. They have one of the best Auto Focusing systems out there when it's in this mode right here. However, when you put your camera in the Live View mode, the mirror needs to get up and out of the way so that light can get back to the image sensor. Now, that Auto Focus sensor is not picking up the information that it normally got. And now the camera is just looking at information off of the sensor. And it's just using contrast to figure out how to focus. And it tends to be not as fast focusing when it's just using contrast detect system. So, Live View is great for a lot of types of photography. It is not great for action and fast moving subjects. And so, it's something that you wanna use very carefully with subjects that are moving around quite a bit. But remember to make these changes, put it in Live View, reach around the left side, press that Auto-Focus button in, and then turn either the front or the back dial to change between the different modes. You can, of course, use Auto Focus by simply pressing down halfway on the shutter release. That'll work just fine. We can move a focusing area around by moving the control pad in the back of the camera. And then we can zoom in and zoom out if we wanna really check sharp focus. We can also get in and do this by going into the info button and making sure that we can turn on our touchscreen controls. And so, let's do a little demo right here. And so, what I wanna do is I'm gonna zoom in on my subject, put my camera into Live View, and I'm gonna play around with Manual Focus right now. I wanna see ... So, I'm gonna make sure that my camera is in Manual Focus. Let's make sure that my camera is in Manual Focus over here. So, I flipped the switch from Auto Focus to Manual Focus. And let's see, are we sharply in focus? And so, I wanna focus on the old darkroom timers. So, I'm gonna move up my focusing point up to the top of the clock. And so, that's gonna be right about here. And now, I'm gonna hit the plus to zoom in. And we can clearly see that we're not in focus. And I'm just gonna adjust the focus manually out in front into where I think it should be. Now, if I want, I can go back, and I'm gonna flip it into Auto Focus right now. Actually, let me unfocus it. There that looks pretty terrible. And now, I can just focus halfway down and it's focusing exactly on what's in that box. And I can move this around if I want. Now, if I wanna go to touchscreen. Let's see if our touchscreen is working. Right now, our touchscreen is working as a shutter firing. And so, what I wanna take a look at here is my touch options. Let's press the info button. And now, I can go over here. So, this is just Auto Focus. It's gonna focus but it's not going to fire. If I come up here, I can press it once again. Now wait, did I get it pressed? Let me try this again. Okay, so now I have turned it off. It's not doing anything. So, you want the touchscreen turned off. You turn it there. Now, it's gonna focus and shoot a photo. (camera clicks) I can choose for it to focus wherever I want. But the main thing here is that you can really zoom in and check sharpness in any particular area you want. If you're on a tripod, this system works out quite well. If you're handheld, doesn't work so well because once you're zoomed in so closely it's hard to hold the camera steady in that regard. All right, let's take a look at the i button again. The i button has a lot of different functions depending on what mode you're in. And so, when you're in the Live View mode it's gonna give you a shortcut to a number of common features that you're gonna wanna to potentially change. I'm not gonna talk about all of these because we're gonna talk about these as we get through the menu system. And these are exactly the same as they're listed in the menu. But there are a few interesting ones that I wanna show you. First one, I wanna talk about is the Split-screen display zoom. This is gonna allow you to level the horizon in a very interesting manner. So, let's do a little demo here. I've got the camera in Live View And let's make sure that this is unlevel right now. So, I'm gonna press the i button. And I'm gonna come down to the Split-screen display which is right here, and I'm gonna hit the center button. And what it's doing is it's magnifying the left part of the frame and the right part of the frame. And I am supposed to turn the camera so that I have a nice continuous line. Now, I can point the camera up or down here. And so you can see right about there looks pretty good to me. And so, I'm gonna hit the i button and turn it back. And you can see now my horizon is very, very level. And the way that I get to that is I just hit the i button and I go in and I select that particular feature. And so, I think that's a really handy one for anyone who wants to get the horizon exactly even. Another one that's kind of interesting is the Peaking level on this. And so, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna go ahead and hit the i button to turn this on. And I'm gonna go in to Peaking, and I'm gonna turn this on high sensitivity so that we see this right now. This is for manual focusing. I'm gonna need to throw the camera back into manual focusing. I can actually see if better if I turn it here, and look at it like all of you. So, on manual focusing I wanna see if my subject is sharply in focus. As I focus from the background to the foreground, you can see that when my subject is in focus it glimmers in red. Now, you can choose different colors, and you can choose different intensities. Right now it's very intense. In fact, it's maybe too intense. So, I'm gonna go in here and let's take it down to one, the more subtle option here. And so, if I wanna focus I can really see when that is coming into focus. Now, personally, I think it's better to go in and magnify your subject. Let's get up here to that clock. Or this camera right here will do. Let me focus back and forth. This is the way that you're gonna know for sure if you magnify in. But having this highlighted area is gonna give you a little extra information that you are focused in the right area. It might make things a little bit more quick to focus as well. We'll go ahead and zoom back out. I think that's a handy feature that some people will find very, very useful. All right, the third option in here that I wanna talk about is the Negative digitizer. This is a new feature I've not seen on any camera before. And this is designed for shooting negatives, and it reverses the image so that you can shoot negatives and get positives straight out of it without any Photoshop work. Now, in order to get this to work, Nikon has come up with an ES-2, which is a new adapter and it allows you to put slides and negatives in here. And this is designed to work with the 60 millimeter macro lens. You may be able to get it to adapt with other lens out there, but that's kind of a system that they've designed with right there. And then you can set this to shoot up either color or black and white images. And I wanna just show you real quickly what this looks like in here because it is kind of unusual. So, I'm gonna go in here. I'm gonna turn off our Peaking cause we probably don't need that right now. And I'm gonna come down here to Negative digitizer and I'm gonna press the center button in here. And you can see color and monochrome images. What we can do is if we're gonna be shooting color images, it's obviously recording a reverse image in tonality. Let's play this image back. And so, here's our reversed image. And so, the first thought was, "Wow, this is really cool. I can go in and I can recopy all of my old negatives." Now, there's a couple little caveats. The main caveat is that you're gonna be shooting JPG-only in this case. You cannot shoot raw. I don't know why. I wish you could shoot in raw and have it reverse the information. I think that would probably be a new type of raw that would be different than the standard NEF cause it's definitely being processed in a different way. And so, I'm gonna get my camera out of there. Cause I don't want it in there on a normal basis. If you are gonna be shooting in the Negative digitizer it's JPG-only. You will be in an Aperture Priority mode. And then you can go in, and you can make some slight adjustments for the brightness on it. And there's a whole bunch of things that don't work right when it's in the Negative digitizer mode. Flash, bracketing, focus shift, and there's a whole bunch of other things in the menu system. So, if you wanted to play a practical joke on somebody who has a D850, put their camera in the Negative digitizer because it's just gonna mess up everything in their photography for the most part. But it's a handy little feature for people that do wanna quickly turn their negatives into some digital images. So, nice little feature to have. All right, another little feature that I think is kind of interesting here is a Spot White Balance. And so, if you're in Live View and you wanna take a reading off a white card or a white wall or something, you can do that in here. And there's kind of a long process to it, so I wanna go through this process real quickly. You have to be in Live View. Then you need to set your White Balance to Pre. You're gonna select options one through six with the front dial. You have to press and hold the White Balance button, and then you'll be able to move a positioning target where you want it to read the light. You'll take the measure with it. And then you'll press the White Balance to finish on it. And so, let's go through this process right now. And let's just leave this up on screen so that I can follow my own steps. And so, I'm gonna back off a little bit and I'm gonna take a measurement off of the wall behind us. Now, we actually have some blue lights on it. So, we're gonna get some funky lighting here. In this case, I need to set my White Balance to Pre. I'm gonna do that by turning the back dial. And you'll see up on the right-hand side of the screen, I'm gonna wait till I get to Pre. There we are. And if I turn the front dial, I can select one through six different presets. So, let's set number six cause this is not my most common setup right here. All right, so now I'm gonna press and hold down the White Balance for a couple of seconds. And now, I can move my spot. I'm gonna move it over here to this white wall over here. I know you can't see that yellow very well but it's over there. And then I'm gonna press the center button. And my data has now been acquired. Now, this wall is very blue, so it's correcting it for yellow. So, it's making everything else look yellow. And then I'm gonna come up and press the White Balance again. So, when I come through my different White Balance options. When I get to preset and preset six, it's designed so that white wall is very, very white. And so, you can do this off of a gray card or a white card or something else like that. If you wanna get really exacting colors that's a great way to do it from Live View. All right, Automated Fine Tune. This is a way of automatically getting your cameras to focus exactly the way they're supposed to. One of the problems with a SLR system is that the focusing system is different than where they actual image sensor is. And so, sometimes there are small little problems and we need to do some fine tune adjustment. And I'll talk about how to do that manually later on in the full menu section. But there's a way of automatically doing it. So, let me just walk you through the steps that you need to go through in order to do this. You should have your camera in Live View, Single focusing, use the center focusing point, and you wanna have an aperture that's wide open. So, as wide open as your lens gets. Then what you ... (stutters) Excuse me. What you wanna do is you wanna zoom in on your subject using that plus button on the back of the camera. This doesn't necessarily mean zoom in with your lens. This means magnify in on the back of the camera. You can focus, either Auto Focus or Manual Focus, just make sure that you are in 100% perfect focus. And then you're gonna press and hold the Video Record button and the AF Mode button for three seconds. And what the camera is gonna do is it's going to see where the Auto Focus sensor would like it to be and where you're actually at, and it's gonna automatically do this, locate this in for you. So, let me run you through this test real quick. I'm gonna need to be in, let's be in Aperture Priority here. I'm gonna do this in Auto Focus, Auto Focus. And I'm gonna put this in Live View. And let me change that White Balance just real quickly to Standard Auto here. And I'm gonna zoom in on this clock. And I'm gonna adjust where I have some really good contrast to focus on. And I'm gonna let the camera focus there. And that just does not look quite right. So, let's move it over here, focus. And now I can see that Set button really clearly. So, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna press in on this button over here on the left-hand side, and the Video Record button for three seconds. One, two, three. Is not available at current focus settings. And so, there is something about my focus settings that I have changed. Let me take a quick look. And I think I know the problem. Let me zoom back out. And I told you what to do, and I didn't follow my own instructions. And that was I need to have the focusing point in the center of the frame. So, I will get this back where it needs to be. I'm gonna zoom in. I'll press halfway down to focus. We've got good sharp focus. I'm gonna press the button on the left-hand side over here, the Focus button, and the Video Record button. One, two, three. Thank you. Before proceeding, fix the camera in place. It's on a tripod. So, we've got that. And it is focused properly. Let's say, "Yes". So, I'm gonna hit the center button here. And so, the new value has been saved for this particular lens which will insure that this lens is focusing properly. I'm gonna hit OK to finish the whole system. And we are done calibrating this lens. And so, there is other ways that you can go in and manually test it but this is the fastest and easiest way. From experts that I hear out in the field using this, this is a quick and easy way to get very close to the right mark. But for some people who are extremely finicky, you may wanna go into the fine tune adjust that I'll talk about later on in the menu system.

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.