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Nikon D850 Fast Start

Lesson 12 of 19

Photo Shooting Menu


Nikon D850 Fast Start

Lesson 12 of 19

Photo Shooting Menu


Lesson Info

Photo Shooting Menu

All right, the second big tab we're gonna get into is the shooting menu, and this is obviously gonna control a lot of your primary shooting functions on the camera. So there's going to be a long list of items that we're going to go through right here, and if you want you can have favorited sets of these, four different sets, A, B, C, and D. And so if you find that the image quality, and the frame size, and a lot of these other features that we have in here, you have them set up for different types of photography: landscape, indoor, outdoor, portrait photography. You can save all of your settings into group A, B, C, and D, and then you can go select the one. That way you do not have to go back into ten different menu settings and keep rechanging them. One of the options with this menu bank is whether you want to turn on the extended photo menu bank, which is gonna include your exposure mode, shutter speed, aperture, and flash information. And so if you want to have everything part of it...

, you can turn on the extended photo menu banks, and that way your camera will act exactly the same way you had it in those extra ways. For recording your images you can create different storage, storage folders. There's a little bit of a sub menu you can get in here. You can first rename the basic menu that all of your images are going into. It's normally as ND850. If you would like to create a different name, you can create a different name and have that as the folder that you're shooting to. You can select by going through and selecting a particular number, and creating folders, and choosing which folder you want to shoot to. You could even just go through a list of folders that are already on that memory card to shoot from. And so if you want to store images in different folders, it definitely gives you a lot of options for doing that. For the file naming of your photographs, they normally come set with the standard DSC, it's a digital camera system, and you would like to change it to your initials, or maybe you want to change it to the so that you know it came from this particular model camera, you can go in here and you can type in whatever three letter code you want, letters or numbers or a combination, to describe what camera this came from that's gonna precede the rest of that file number. If you have both the SD and the XQD card filled you can choose what is the primary card and what is the secondary card. And this will become important when choosing how we are shooting our images to which cards. There's a lot of different options. This is just the first, is what your primary card is. I think for a lot of folks the XQD card, because of its speed that is much faster than the SD card slot, you're gonna probably want to use that as your primary card slot if you have that as a card. Now if you do have two cards in the camera you can record to both cards in a number of different ways. The first option is overflow. So when one card fills up it goes to the next card, whatever that card is. Backup is something that a lot of professional photographers are liking, in which it is storing the exact same information on both cards. Now be reminded, if you're shooting very fast action that you're gonna be limited to the speed of the slower of the two cards, because it's gotta record to both cards at the same time. And so if you have a very slow SD card in there, that's gonna be the one thing that's slowing you up. Finally you can record RAW images to one card and JPEG images to the other card. So this would be a good option for shooting RAW to the XQD, which is a little bit faster, can handle the larger size data, and then to the SD card using JPEGs, going there if you do need both of those at the same time. And so a lot of photographers just like the overflow, that way there's almost never going to be a time when they run out of memory card space. A lot of the pros like the backup when they wanna make sure they've got everything backed up immediately as soon as it's shot. The flash control is gonna be grayed out unless you have a flash on the camera. Now if you do have a flash I'm gonna go through kind of the brief specifications of what's happening here. So there is a sub menu when you get in here. You can have a variety of different modes. TTL stands for through the lens, it's an automated metering system. There are manual options, there are some kind of funky special effects options as well in here. I'm not going to get into all of those, we do not have time for that. But most people with on camera flash are going to use the TTL system. If you want to go into compensation and power up or power down the flash, you can do that here. We also have wireless flash options. So if you're gonna hook up two, three, or more flashes you can do so wirelessly here. Normally you would leave this turned off. Depending on how the previous section is set, in here you can go in to choose different options when it comes to your remote flash. This is a whole class unto itself. I apologize for going through it relatively quickly here, but since the camera doesn't come with a flash, it's really a topic for another class on this. There is some really cool options that you can do. You can put your flashes in different groups, you can control them so that they're firing in manual or TTL modes, or different modes. You can adjust the compensation on them, so you can have a lot of control over your flash without having to go to the flash unit itself to power up, power down, and make all those sorts of changes on it. You can do it right from here in the menu system of the camera. The last item in here is gonna show you what your different flashes that you have hooked up and how they're set with the camera and connected with it. And so all of that is in the flash control sub menu. Last item on the first page here is the image area. This heads us into another sub menu where we're allowed to choose our image area. We saw there was a shortcut button currently on the front of the camera that will do this, but here's where we get to choose what image area we are shooting in. As I mentioned in the viewfinder section, you can shoot in different sized areas. And the reason that you might want to shoot with less than the FX is if you know that you are going to crop it, and you don't even want to record that extra data, because it is data that you will be storing on your memory cards and your hard drives, and if you don't want it, well you can shoot without it. This also helps if you know what the final format is going to be and you want to see it with your own eyes. You'll be able to set it here and see it in the viewfinder yourself. And so that can be really helpful in getting the composition exactly right. Next up is the auto DX crop. If you are to mount a DX lens on your camera, would you like it to automatically crop in so that you do not get dark vignetted corners. Most people would say this is probably a good thing. There might be a few people who want that vignetting for a particular artistic reason. You will get much less than the 45 megapixels that the camera has. If you do choose a different image area you can also choose to mask it rather than just an outline of it. And so this is just going to darken the outside edges of the frame so that you can still see there, but it's maybe a little bit more clear for some people in what they are exactly framing up. And all of that is included in the image area sub menu. Scrolling down, next item is image quality. This is something that we talked about earlier because there is a quality button on the top of the camera so the same thing applies here. Your more serious photographers are probably going to choose RAW. Some people are going to shoot JPEGs some of the time. We also have a TIFF option, which is gonna shoot a very large file. And then we have all the RAW plus JPEG options in there as well depending on what your needs are. Now as we go through the menu system here in class as well as the PDF that is the downloadable version that comes with the class as well, you'll notice that my recommendations are in gray on the right hand side, but sometimes I will have recommendations in red, and that's for a more advanced user. It doesn't mean a professional user, it just means somebody who has maybe a little bit higher manual needs with something. So take a look for those recommendations as we go through the PDF and in the class. Image size is something we looked at before. There was the quality button on the top. When we changed the front dial is changed the image size, but we can also do it here in the menu system. For JPEGs and TIFFs we have our large, medium, and small options. Normally it's gonna be set to large. Same thing is true with the RAWs. And so you can shoot with a medium or small RAW. The reason that you might want to shoot with that is that you want all the exposure information, you want all the color information, you just don't need 45 megapixels of information for a particular topic. Maybe it's a photo that's gonna go in a brochure that's relatively small in size. You can save a lot of space by shooting that small or medium or something more appropriate to that particular need. Normally though you're gonna keep the image size set on large. Next up is NEF or RAW recording, and we're gonna get a little nerdy here, folks. Nikon allows us several different controls that can control the size of the RAW file that is recorded from the camera. And you might be thinking, "Well isn't a RAW a RAW?" No, it's not. There's a lot of things that can go into it. The first thing is how much that information is compressed or not compressed. So we're gonna look at the different compression options, and after that we're gonna be looking at the bit depth. The camera can record at 12-bit and 14-bit, and I've done a number of testing with different Nikon cameras including this one to see how much difference there is between these various different options. Now, just to let you know on file size, the lossless compressed, compressed and uncompressed. The lossless compressed is about 20% to 40% smaller with no effect on image quality. Now the compressed RAW file is going to be 35% to 55% smaller with, as Nikon says, almost no effect on image quality, so it's a minimal impact on image quality. So my first little test is with a 14-bit option set, which means that you have 4.4 billions-- or excuse me, 4.4 trillion colors. And I shot this at uncompressed, lossless compressed, and compressed and saw virtually no difference at all. I then shot in 12-bit, which is 68 billion colors, and saw virtually no difference as well. Now, normally I'm always all for recording in the highest image quality possible, which would say shoot in 14-bit and uncompressed. It's gonna be a 95 megabyte file, and it's going to be very large and cumbersome, and it's going to cause your camera to really kind of chug through that data a little bit more slowly. Between 14-bit and 12-bit, I've done a lot of research myself, I've done a lot of shooting, and I can't see anything significant between the two. There is a small, small difference but I haven't seen that really be enough of an impact on any type of photograph where it was really important. Not trusting myself, I went out on the Internet to go check out what are other people saying. So I've done a lot of Google searches on different photographers who have done very nerdy tests in all sorts of situations, shooting between 14-bit and 12-bit, and it is unquestionable that 14-bit has more information. It's just very questionable as to can we use that information. It doesn't really seem to apply to most photographs, and so I have found that shooting in 12-bit is gonna be virtually identical to shooting to 14-bit in every situation I could find. And just to let you know the extents of my testing, I have shot scenes five stops overexposed, five stops underexposed, returned them in Lightroom, Photoshop, or some other program, trying to see a difference in rescuing shadow information, color information. I just can't see any notable difference at all. So I'm gonna recommend 12-bit over 14-bit. It's just gonna make your camera act a little bit snappier with no real loss of photos. Now when it comes to the different compression options the one that I'm choosing is the lossless compressed because it is a little bit smaller than the uncompressed file-- actually it's quite a bit smaller than the uncompressed file. Now in the compressed file, you'll recall that Nikon said there's almost no effect on image quality, and so there I'm still gonna be picky and say okay, maybe I can't see it too well, but I'm gonna go with the lossless compressed because we're not throwing away information. So I think that is the sweet spot when it comes to the NEF recording. That way you're not gonna be chugging and recording more data that you really can't see or make any use of later on. I think that's the best place to be. So lossless compressed, and then for the RAW bit depth 12-bit I think is gonna work out quite well for most everybody. Next up is your ISO sensitivity settings. We're gonna dive into another sub menu here. First off you can change your ISO setting. You have a button on the outside top of your camera that can do that a little bit more quickly, but you can do it in here as well as a backup. The auto ISO control can be turned on or off here. Now we did have the option on the front by turning the front dial along with the ISO button, but we can do it in here as well. Your more serious photographers are probably not going to be using this. It can come in handy in a variety of tricky lighting situations. If you are using the auto ISO option you can choose what the maximum sensitivity the camera chooses is. Something around 12,800 would make sense in most situations because that's kind of the top end where you're still getting pretty good quality out of the images without a lot of noise, but you can adjust that of course as necessary. You can also have a separate setting what the maximum sensitivity might be when you are using flash. For instance if you are using flash, you're likely to have more light, you may not want the camera to use quite as high an ISO. And then finally you can choose the minimum shutter speed. So if your camera is in a mode where it is choosing the shutter speed, let's say your camera is in aperture priority and you're choosing aperture, how slow of shutter speed do you want the camera to use before it starts going in to change the ISO. So let's take a closer look at the options here. So let's say you're in aperture priority at f/5.6. The camera is gonna set shutter speeds for you so you really don't need to worry about that. And the camera is gonna set ISOs for you because you have that set automatically as well. And let's say that you have a nice, bright, sunny day, middle of the day, well you might be at 1/60 of a second in ISO 100. The camera wants to keep you at ISO because that's where the best image quality is. Now, if it gets brighter and you get more light on your subject, in order to compensate for that increased light the camera is gonna use a faster shutter speed so that you're gonna get the proper exposure. As it gets darker it's gonna use a slower shutter speed. But the question is is at what shutter speed does it stop changing shutter speeds and switch over to start changing the ISO? And that's usually gonna be either a handholding limit for you holding the camera, or some shutter speed limit of the action that you are shooting. And so if you go to a higher ISO and then the light gets brighter again, it's gonna try to get you down to ISO 100. And then if it gets brighter again it's going to go to shutter speeds. And so there's this handoff point where the camera is changing shutter speeds, and then changing ISOs, and where do you want that to be. So here in the minimum shutter speed you can choose one particular shutter speed for that. Let's just say you're shooting handheld and you know that you need 1/60 of a second and that's your primary concern. You can set 1/60 of a second. But the camera has a very smart mode, it's the auto mode, and so let me talk a little bit about the auto minimum shutter speed mode here. This is where the camera will look at the lens you are shooting and will set a reciprocal of the lens in shutter speed, so if you set 1/60 of a second-- or excuse me, if you use a 60 millimeter lens it is going to set 1/60 of a second. But if you are somebody that can really handle the camera at a much slower shutter speed, you can set it down a notch to 1/30, or 1/15 of a second, so one or two stops faster or slower. So if you're doing say travel photography and you're not shooting moving subjects a lot, you're shooting buildings and other things that you see, you might set this to auto slower so that you can get it all the way down to 1/15 of a second. Maybe you have an image stabilized lens or you're just really steady holding the camera. If you're shooting faster action maybe you put it more to the faster side. Depends on exactly what you are doing, but it's a good option that a lot of people have really liked on this camera. Next up is white balance. We did have a white balance button on the top of the camera but we have more controls in here. And so we can go in and select from the many different options for white balance. We also have the sub grouping. So for instance, when you go into auto there's the auto zero, one, and two option. So I did a little test of my own on this shooting with tungsten light to see how white it gets things, and the auto zero was not pure white, it was very close to the one, and the auto two definitely left a lot of the warm light in the subject, and so it depends on how much of that natural warm light you are wanting to have in there. And so I would do a little bit of experimentation on this to see which exact flavoring it is that you like for your work. Under a lot of these different white balance controls, if you see an arrow to the right hand side that means you can dive in and tweak that information a little bit. So let's say you don't like the way anything particularly looks, as far as the colors. You can adjust the color of that particular setting by going into this little color chart and moving up, down, left, and right to get a color that you are happier with. Setting the picture control. There is a button on the back of the camera that enables you to do this, but this once again allows you to have the camera process your images for contrast, color, saturation into different preset standards. I think standard is pretty good, or neutral is pretty good for most of the time. You'll see that vivid is gonna be a little bit more contrast-y, have a little bit more punchy color. This is only gonna be impacted on the JPEG images, it's not necessarily gonna be something that happens on the RAW images. And so let me show you just a little bit on how this works in here. So let's go into the menu system. Gonna navigate over down to the camera into set picture control. And we're down here a little bit, over here. And so I'm gonna go to the right to enter in here. And let's say I kind of like one of the settings. Let's say I kind of like the portrait setting, and I'm gonna go in here. Actually I'm gonna go to the right, I'm gonna go to the right here. I can now go to the portrait setting and I can customize the portrait setting a little bit by coming through and adjusting any one of these factors that I want to adjust. And so if I want a little bit more saturation in the portrait settings, I can set that up a notch. Maybe brightness, contrast, maybe I want my images a little bit more contrast-y. Pump up the clarity, but I want to take the sharpening down a notch. I can set that there, and that's my new customized portrait setting on this. And so if you're not getting the colors and contrast that you'd like out of the camera, you can go in here and adjust it. Now once again, it's doing this on the JPEGs, and those JPEGs are what you look at on the back of the camera. If you shoot RAW, you're gonna get, basically a pretty flat, basic image, kind of the raw material to work with so that you can do maximum amount of editing going forward on that. Manage picture control. So we're gonna dive into a little sub menu here. You can create a lot of your own favorite settings in here, and you can save and rename these according to what you want to do. So let's go ahead and take a look at what this manage picture control is. And so on the back of the camera we'll go down to manage picture control and we can dive into this. And what we can do is we can save and edit any particular thing that we want. So if we want to go in here, let's say we want to go into neutral, and we're going to save this neutral. We're gonna go down to contrast and we're gonna make this really, really flat. And so we can come down here, minus two, and we're gonna go down to the saturation and we're gonna set it down here. Now this is our unused setting right here. We go to the right, we can go in here and we can name this. And so we can call this anything we want. We can go in here and call it, you know, flat1, and then we can delete the rest of these. Let's see if I can do this. Eh, I'm not gonna bother deleting all these. But you can go in and you can customize the name exactly as you want it to look. And then you'll notice down here it says OK when you're finally done and so we're gonna press OK, and it saved those settings. Now you can save a whole bunch of these, and if we want to load these up or save these to a memory card, we can copy to a camera or bring them from one camera to the next. And we can go in here and we can choose-- let's see, where is this-- rename. We can choose from all these different ones and we can rename them. And so if you have different looks to the types of images that you like to shoot, you like to shoot your portraits with a particular look, your landscapes with a particular look, you can do this in here. Once again this is really helpful on JPEGs. Doesn't do so much with RAW images because with RAWs you just get the straight RAW image out of it. All right, next up is our color space. When you are shooting in JPEGs you can choose between sRGB and Adobe RGB. sRGB is what's used on the Internet, for the most part, these days. Adobe RGB has a larger color gamut. If you're gonna be printing photos, manually manipulating them, you probably want the largest color space possible, and so in this I do recommend changing to Adobe RGB. When you shoot RAW you inherently get Adobe RGB as your color space. Active D-lighting. This is one of a number of different areas where the camera will go in and is gonna adjust your image for you, and this is gonna do so by brightening the shadows, and limiting the highlights. And so there are different levels of this setting, low, standard, and high, and what you can see is it's limiting the highlights from being too bright and it's trying to brighten up the shadows so that you can see into the shadow area. Depends on what you're doing with your images. This isn't really anything that you can't do in post production, but if you know how you want it to be ahead of time, you can dial it in here. For most people I would say leave this turned off, but in some situations I think a normal setting is not the worst in the world. Next up is long exposure noise reduction. When you shoot a 30 second exposure, the camera is gonna process that information for another 30 seconds to make sure that that is nice, clean information. Now I've always been skeptical of how good of noise reduction the camera can do inside its own software, and I've also questioned whether it's really necessary because I haven't noticed a lot of noise problems simply on long exposure photos. And so I ran my own test doing a 30 second exposure and then enlarging sections of it, and shooting it once with the noise reduction turned off and once again with the noise reduction turned on, and I see no significant difference. Now this may become a bigger problem if the heat temperature or the ambient temperature was much hotter, but in most cases I have found this simply a waste of 30 seconds of your time. This is something that you can do in post production and it does nothing to RAW images and so I would say turn this off. It's gonna make shooting at night a little bit more quickly and streamlined for you. Next up is high ISO noise reduction. Now when you shoot at higher ISOs you are no doubt going to get more noise in your images. The camera has a way, on JPEG images, to reduce the noise. So if we look at ISO and look at a clip from this you will notice noise when we don't have any noise reduction turned on. There are three different settings depending on how much noise you want to have reduced. When you do have it done to a higher level you are going to be losing some of the detail and edge sharpness that you might get otherwise, and so there is definitely a compromise in having too much noise reduction. I wanted to try it again at 25, so we have much more noise to work with here. And so when you do set that on high it is much cleaner with the noise but we're also losing a lot of sharpness and detail information that we might normally want. And so I would be very careful about setting this on a high setting. Vignette control is gonna deal with darkening of corners. So when you have a lens that has a very bright aperture and you shoot it wide open you will often get darkening of the corners, which means your sky might not be evenly illuminated. And so in these cases, you may want to have it turned on. But I have found that for a lot of people photography I am adding in vignettes later on, and so I'm perfectly happy with a vignette and shooting the way that the lens normally wants to see the world. And so in this case I'm normally thinking about leaving it turned off. Auto distortion control deals with potential problems that some wide angle lenses will have. If you are seeing a bent horizon, that is not correct. The camera can automatically correct for distortion, which is, as I say, most common on wide angle lenses. And since most people don't like distortion in that regard it's probably fine to leave that turned on. Flicker reduction is kind of an interesting new option here. Let's go into a sub menu to talk about this guy here. So the flicker reduction setting can be turned on or off, and this is gonna deal with lights that flicker in their brightness while they are turned on. There's a lot of different types of lights that have a fluctuation that is very rapid that we can't see with our own eyes. And so here's what happens under a flickering light situation. Is that over one second, the light is gonna go up and down in brightness 100 to 120 times, And your camera fires at seven frames a second. So if you're shooting sports, let's saying you're shooting a gymnastic meet indoors under flickering lights, you're gonna find that every picture is a slightly different brightness than the previous picture and it's just gonna kind of go through this wave pattern. And it gets really hard when you're trying to edit your images because some of them are too bright, some of them are too dark, and some of them are okay. You're gonna need to go into individual photos and fix them. Well the camera has an automatic flicker detection system that can determine what the flicker rate is and how to shoot with it. And so what it does when you turn on this flicker reduction system is it just looks for the next peak of the lights and it times the next firing of the shutter with that peak of the light. So not only do you get the peak of the light source, the brightest light possible, you get a very consistent lighting from one image to the next. Now it's possible that you may get less than seven frames a second because there's a little bit of time to process all that information, but it does save a lot of time on the backend making sure that your photos are properly exposed. So I found a situation where there was a fluorescent light that had a bit of a flicker to it. And you'll notice as I go back and forth between these four images that the light is not the same brightness, and I have exactly the same shutter speed and aperture set, it's just that that light flickers a little bit. When I turned on the flicker reduction system it wasn't 100% perfect, but it was a whole lot better than the previous option. And so if you are shooting under a flickering light option, having this flicker reduction turned on is gonna be a lifesaver for some of you out there. And so it's something that I recommend turning on. Now some of you don't want your cameras to be slowed down from shooting seven frames a second in any way. In that case you may want to leave it turned off, and turn the next feature on, and that's the flicker reduction indicator in the viewfinder. And so if you have this feature turned off but the warning turned on, you'll be notified as to when you're getting a flickering problem and then you can choose whether you want to turn the flicker reduction setting on or off. I think for most people it's easier just to leave it turned on and get 6.9 frames a second, or 6.7 frames a second. It's usually a lot better trade off with that than not having to go back to your images and readjust the brightness on all of them. Next up is auto bracketing set, and so in here we can choose the camera to bracket in many different ways, and the most common way is with exposure bracketing where we're taking a series of photos, some lighter and some darker. That's the most practical way, I think, for doing bracketing, but there are other ways. You can do it with just the flash, you can do it with white balance, or you can do it with the active D-lighting. But for most people they are gonna be using this with the auto exposure and potentially the flash system. The camera can also shoot with multiple exposures, so let's take a look at what we can do in here. In here we can turn this off and on. Obviously this is normally turned off. We can do it on with a series of photos, or on with just a single photo session. You can choose a number of images to shoot, from two to 10. You can choose a different overlay mode. Normally the camera would just be additive, it would just keep on adding exposure, but you can let the camera compensate for your exposure system, and so you can use an additive, an average, a bright, or a dark option which is going to give preference to either bright objects or dark objects, and it's gonna have a different impact on whether you have a white background or a black background. Now this multiple exposure technique is not something that I would normally use, but it is something that I did use recently on an eclipse, a full eclipse, and so I shot seven shot series, and they're all individual photos but I had them combined onto one image in final and I was able to get a pretty nice looking image using that multiple exposure and having it all done in the camera, right at the time that I shot it. You can also choose to keep all of your exposures, which I highly recommend. If something goes wrong in the camera, you'll have each individual image to keep from this. If you do this a lot and you know you're just wanting the final one, you can throw the individual ones away, but I recommend keeping them. You can also select images that you've already shot and you can add photos on top of that if you want. So there's a lot of different ways in which to use the multiple exposures. Next up is HDR, high dynamic range, and so this is where you will be shooting a number of photos to put together one single photo. And so this is kind of like the multiple exposure but here we're shooting everything onto one frame. And you can turn this on for a series of photos, or normally it's obviously gonna be left off. The first big control is when the camera shoots different exposures, how different of an exposure do you want it to be: one stop, two stops, or three stops. And so let's give some examples for what this is going to look like. Shooting a JPEG in this high contrast situation, a lot of the highlights on the outside of this tunnel are gonna be blown out. Now we can shoot HDR where it shoots multiple photos one stop of lighting difference, two stops, and three stops and it's able to hold back some of that brightness and it's able to see a little bit better information in the shadow areas. We also have an additional setting that we haven't got to, talked about yet, but there is a smoothing option where it's smoothing the information between the different photographs that we are taking. There's a low, normal, and high smoothing which each has their own look to it. Now, there's a couple different ways of doing HDR. One way is in camera that we're talking about right here. Another option is to shoot individual images and work with a separate software program. And I will have to say that working with a separate software program, it's a little more hassle, a little more time, but it does a much better job than what the camera can do in camera. There's just many, many more controls that you have on these other software programs. In fact, I think you're better off, in most cases, just simply shooting a RAW image on this case and going in and adjusting that image. And so in this case I shot a RAW image, tweaked with the highlights and shadows and I was able to get back all the information that I was able to see in these various HDR modes. And so what I'm looking at is how much of that outside sky got blown out in these different HDR options, and I was able to make more corrections with a single RAW than using the HDR. So it can be a kind of interesting program to play around with, but it doesn't seem to be really quite as effective as using external programs or just shooting in RAW. So we'll have differences on the exposure differential and on the smoothing as well according to what you want it to look like. And the smoothing smooths the boundary between the highlights and the shadows in slightly different ways. Next up is the interval timer shooting, and this can be a very interesting, fun tool to use. In this case you're going to be shooting a series of photographs and assembling them later on in an external program into a finished video. This is a timelapse I shot. It was shot from the motorized slider and so that's why we're getting a little bit of movement there from the side, but it was recorded over about a half hour period of time. When you dive in here first option will be to start, but you'll probably want to get some things setup first. You can choose when you want it to start. Normally you'd just start it right now if you're ready to go, but if you want to start it at a particular time of day you can basically set a countdown timer for it to start. You can choose the interval, and this is one of the most important aspects of timelapse photography, is what's the difference between the shots. Usually it's somewhere between one second and one minute between the shots, but it depends on how you want to compress time. How many shots do you want to shoot? In some cases there are people that want to do a timelapse that actually shoots three photos every 10 seconds, and so here's where you can really add up a lot of shots if necessary. The exposure smoothing will smooth slight differences in brightness between photos when shot in automatic mode. This is something that if you're more experienced in timelapse photography you probably don't want the camera adjusting the brightness for you, you want to shoot things in manual and be very consistent from one shot to the next, because this is all going to come together and if it doesn't look right, it can have flickering. If you do want to use the aperture priority mode, this may be a good option to use. Silent photography uses an electronic shutter so that you're not using the physical shutter when taking the photo. This can actually prolong the life of your camera quite a bit. And so it can makes things much, much easier on the hardware in your camera from that mirror going up and down every time you're taking a photograph. It doesn't work with things that are moving really quickly, it doesn't work with flash photography, so it's not always a solution, but it is a solution for a lot of different types of timelapse work. And then finally down at the bottom it will tell you when it expects the end of the timelapse is gonna be so that you know when you can come back to the camera and get it ready for its next timelapse. And so that is the interval timer shooting, which will result in a lot of individual photographs for you to work with later on. Focus shift shooting is one of the new features that's had a lot of people talking about what you can do with this camera, and so let me explain what it does and then I'll see if I can set it up to do a quick little demonstration here. So the idea in this is that the camera will shoot a photograph and then it will adjust focus and take another photograph, and adjust focus and take another photograph so that you can have a series of photographs taken at different distances from the camera so that you can have infinite depth of field if you need it. And so I set it up for just an example. And obviously if you use a 1.4 lens you're going to get very shallow depth of field, especially if you focus on a foreground subject. Now if I want more things in focus, well the first step I can do is stop the lens down to its maximum aperture of f/22, but you will see that it's not real sharp. I can then move my focusing more toward the middle of the frame, which is where it's smartest if I'm trying to get as much depth of field as possible, but you can see in this case, closing down to f/22 was not enabling me to keep the foreground subject in focus as well as the background subject in focus. And so this is where focus shift shooting came in to save the day. What I did is I set my camera to f/11, good middle aperture, I took 50 photos with a focus step width of one, which I'll talk more about here in a second, and now for my first image here, what my first image looked like is the foreground is in focus but the background is still kind of out of focus. That doesn't matter, we're just looking at what's in focus. And then it shifted focus all the way to the last image where the background was now in focus, and when I combine all of these in a separate program to get one sharp image, I have one image where everything is in focus from the foreground to the background. Now granted, it took 50 photos and working with software to make this happen but there was no other way this was gonna happen, there was no other optical trick I could do to get the foreground and background this sharp other than shooting multiple images. In fact if you want to go back and compare what f/22 looked like, it is much, much, much better than that. So if you do want to do this focus shift option you should be using aperture priority or manual. Don't use the self timer. It does not work on subjects that are moving, so this can be very tricky for you landscape photographers with flowers and trees that are moving in the wind. Need your camera on a tripod. Close the eyepiece blind if you're in aperture priority. The 00" interval option will work up to five frames per second. Typically if you're trying to get the most depth of field you should probably be shooting at pretty middle apertures like f/8 to f/11. And this is something that you will need to use with the newer lenses, the AF-S, the AF-P style lenses. Now when you get in here you're gonna get this sub menu where you can start it all out. You'll choose the number of shots that you can get. There are some people that try to shoot just the number of shots that they need. There are other people that shoot as many shots as they'll possibly ever imagine needing and they'll just end up throwing them away when they get back to the computer. The focus step width is something that is gonna allow you to control how much it changes from one image to the next. And this is a bit of overlap, so how much overlap, how critical is this. And so a focus step width of one is not a particular distance. It has to deal with the focal length, the aperture you have set, and how much it thinks the lens need to move in that regard. And so five is kind of the middle and should do the job in most cases. You might get away at a focus step width of and you'll take a lot less photos. Or you can set it to one or any of the steps in between according to what you feel is necessary. So I think you'll definitely need to experiment with this to find out the sweet spot for what you're doing. If you want to have the camera wait an interval between shooting the next shot you can have it do that either for vibration reasons or for flash recharging reasons you can do that. If you are using one of the automated modes you can do exposure smoothing, and so it tries to smooth out the exposure so that they're not radically different in those different modes. And then we can once again turn on silent photography so that we are not moving that shutter back and forth on here. And then you can actually choose where you are storing these photos. You can choose to put them in a new folder, because sometimes it's a large group of images and you don't want them bulked up with all your other images, and so you can kind of organize these in a separate way. So let's go ahead and do a little demonstration here. And so what we're gonna do is dive into our menu system and let's work our way down to focus shift shooting. And I don't want to start it quite yet because I want to adjust a few things. For the number of shots, let's reduce this number down to something reasonable like 10, and we'll hit OK. Focus step width of five, we're just gonna leave it on five. We don't need to wait any sort of interval. I'm not going to do any exposure smoothing, and I'm not going to use silent photography, and I'm not going to change my folder, and so I'm gonna go up here to start. Now before I do this, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna see if I can position this camera is such a way that you can see the lens, and what I want you to look at is the focusing of the lens right up here. And so what I'm gonna do-- make sure my camera stays steady is-- is I'm gonna start this, so I'm gonna hit start and watch the lens. It's setting up. It's ready to go. (rapid clicking) And so you can see the lens moving there with each picture that it's taking. Let me tell, it does a way better job than you or I could ever do manually moving the focusing on the lens. And so it does this really, really well, so if you are into product photography, architectural photography, and you need lots of depth of field, this is going to be a very, very good solution. If you're a landscape photographer, it's gonna come in handy in some situations, but as I said, be careful with situations where there's a lot of moving subjects. Silent live view photography. So when you are shooting in the live view mode you can use an electronic shutter so there's no physical movement. So let's talk a little bit about how this silent live view photography is going to work. So the normal shutter, we have two shutter units, above and below, but in live view it's normally open so you can see what's going on. When it's time to take a photo it needs to close to prep the sensor for taking a picture. It then opens, and when it opens it causes a little bit of vibration in the camera right when you are shooting. And so that tends to be some of the problem. And then the second shutter comes in and closes. And so there's a lot of physical movement going on when you're shooting a photograph. So the way the silent shutter works is it electronically just turns the pixels on and off for you. Now it does so in kind of a rolling mash and it doesn't do all of them at the same time, and so there is a bit of a problem when you have subjects that are moving in there because they're being scanned on at slightly different times. And so silent live view photography does not work well with action that is moving from side to side or up and down in front of you. For subtle little movements it's not that big a deal, but for objects that are moving quickly it can be a big problem. Because as you can see it can clearly distort your subject. So the silent live view photography, mode one you can get a maximum three frames per second out of it. You can shoot at a wide range of ISOs. Mode two is a special mode where you can shoot at incredibly high frame rates and get still photographs. So you can shoot up to 30 frames per second but they are limited to 3600x or eight megapixel images off of the DX sensor area, and so if you wanted to do some high speed photography you could, but you're very limited in the resolution that you can get from it.

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!