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Nikon D850 Fast Start

Lesson 16 of 19

Setup Menu


Nikon D850 Fast Start

Lesson 16 of 19

Setup Menu


Lesson Info

Setup Menu

Alright, we are into our last major menu, which is the setup menu, and this is gonna be a lot of stuff that's gonna only need to be addressed once. There's a few exceptions in here, but a lot of these things are just basic setup for the camera. First one though is however, one that you're gonna come back to on a regular basis. And this is, formatting your memory card. You can choose which slot you wanna format. This is gonna get rid of all of the images. It's gonna get rid of all the file directories, the ghost folders, everything on that memory card. And so, you wanna be very careful about formatting. But, it is something that is good to do on a regular basis so that it keeps your card fresh and clean without any residual data from other cameras or from previous shootings. And it's something that I recommend doing on a regular basis on all your memory cards. You can choose different language for the menu system. The time and zone, there's gonna be a sub-menu in here where you can choo...

se your time zone. This is a little bit easier, when you're traveling, to change the time zone than change the dates, and so you'll see this in here. You can change your date and time according to whatever it is where you are. If you are hooking up with a Wi-Fi device, you can have the time from the smart device adjust the time in the camera, which can be quite good if you are doing this on a regular basis, as the camera's clocks do tend to drift, from my observations. The date format, for most people it makes a lot of sense to have the year/month/day so everything stays in a nice chronological order. But if you wanna choose something different, it's available for you. When you're in daylight savings time, you can simply turn that on and off rather than having to re-change the clock forward and back. So, it's just a little bit easier when you gotta jump forward or fall back. The monitor brightness is simply how bright the monitor is. Normally, you're gonna wanna leave it in the middle. If it's really bright outside and you're trying to show somebody photos on the back of the camera, it could be a little tough. You may need to bump-up the brightness in that case. If the color drifts, you can change the color on it. Hopefully you'll never need to change this. There is a virtual horizon that you can turn on. To be honest with you, it's kinda hard to find, buried this deep in the menu system. This is really designed to be a button short cut that you reprogram to one of the buttons on the camera. But this can really help you when you're on a tripod and you're trying to level the tripod. Information display is the information on the back of the camera. You can have black on white or white on black. Automatic will automatically switch back and forth according to how bright it is. As to what it will show you in darker environments, it shows you the darker screen, so that it's not overly bright for your eyes. But if you prefer one or the other, you can choose one of those options. AF fine-tune deals with a subject we talked about earlier which is, on SLRs the focusing system is estimating where to focus your lens to get perfect focus. And the camera is very well calibrated, so that it shouldn't be a problem for the most part. But if you do shoot with very shallow depth-of-field lenses, sometimes they're a little bit off. And so, the problem is, that when you focus on a subject sometimes your camera is going to front focus or back focus, which means, slightly in front or slightly behind your intended point of focus. And if it's doing this on a regular basis, you should adjust the AF fine-tune. Now, in order to do this properly, what you need to do is, you need to be able to focus and measure if your camera has a consistent problem. And so, you need a focusing target with some good contrast on it and then you need something to measure whether you're in focus in front of, or behind, your subject. Now, if you wanna get fancy, you can use one of these Lens Align Mark Two's, or subsequent models, and this will allow you to focus on a target and then see if it's in focus or the background or foreground is in focus. If you wanna try this on your own, you can do it with a yardstick and a ruler and just set them up so that you're focusing on the vertical and then, you're measuring your distance in focus. You take a bunch of photos and see if your camera is front focusing or back focusing. And then you can adjust your camera to tweak the lens a little bit forward or a little bit back, if it's consistently off. And so in this case, at zero, the camera is very close, but not quite perfect and it may need to be put at plus two or plus three, in order to get the proper focus on a regular basis. And so, if you wanna dive in here, which is not something I recommend for most people, but if you do have very fast aperture lenses, like 135 F2, or the 105 1.4, the 85 1.4, 300 two eight, 200 F2, and you shoot wide open, you need to make sure your lens is focusing exactly where it needs to be. And so, your average user probably doesn't need to worry about this. But your more advanced user is probably gonna wanna do some test shots and then go in here and make some adjustments. You can go in and you can have a saved value if you have a particular setting for a lens, you can put that in. You can have a default setting for all lenses. I don't recommend that; that's usually not the best solution, but it can be done. And then you can go through and you can dial through the list of different lenses that you have and any saved values that you have for different lenses. And so, something for the more advanced users with those shallow depth-of-field lenses to use. Non-CPU lens data, so if you are a fan of the older Nikon lenses, of which there are many great lenses, those lenses do not have the electronics to transmit information into the meta data in the camera. So, you pull out your old 50 millimeter 1.2 lens, well that's a great, cool lens, but it's not gonna record that information in the meta data unless you go into this little section on the camera and tell the camera what lens it's shooting with. And so, there's a number of lenses that you can input into the meta data and then, as you switch your lenses, you can go into the menu and tell the camera which lens you're shooting with. It then adds that meta data automatically to that file. And so, that can be really nice for anybody who shoots with a lot of manual lenses and they wanna keep track of what they were shooting with. If you wanna clean the image sensor, there's gonna be a little sub-menu in here. First option is just simply cleaning it now. Which is kinda the same thing as turning the camera off and turning it back on. But you can do it from here in the menu system and it uses that system to knock the dust off the sensor. You can select when the camera does its clean-up. I prefer to start up and shut down, so that it does it as much as possible to some degree. If you want to do the cleaning yourself, you can. It's not for everybody, but step one is pretty easy. And that is, where you get one of these rocket air blowers, put the camera in the mirror lock-up mode, take off the lens, hold the camera upside down so the lens mount is pointed down, so that way, dust falls off the sensor as easily as possible, and blow some air in there. Now, the next step is using some sort of sweep cleaning system. There's a number of different options out there. Kind of, the most intense is the swab and liquid where you put a coupla drops of alcohol liquid on the swab and then sweep across the sensor trying to clean off any dust or gunk that may have got stuck on the top of that sensor. You obviously need to be very careful when you are doing this. If you don't feel comfortable doing this, it's a good time to turn the camera into Nikon or a professional repair facility, to have that done. If you do have dust on your photo, you can shoot a reference photo, out in the field. So, if your photo looks like this, with lots of dust on it, what you do is, you shoot a white piece of paper at F and then you'll see all the dust on your sensor and then, the camera can automatically comb that out and not have a problem in future images. And there's a big if on this, if you use the Nikon software. And so, you do have to use Nikon software in order to process this information in order to do it. If you wanna add in an image comment, you wanna add in a keyword or an email address for a particular photograph, you can add it in here. And now that the camera has a touchscreen on the back of the camera, it makes adding this a whole lot quicker and a whole lot easier. You can input your own information in the copyright information. And so, this is a great place to put in your website or your email contact information, or all rights reserved, or anything that you wanna go onto the meta data of the photograph itself. There's a number of ways that the camera can beep at you. And so, this is something that a lot of people like to turn off, 'cause they don't wanna be distracting to other photographers around them, people around them, their subjects. And so, I recommend turning the beep off in most all situations. It doesn't need to be turned on. If you need confirmation that you're in focus, in the viewfinder, there's a little dot that turns on that lets you know when you're in focus. You can adjust the volume, if you do want to have it turned on. And you can also change the pitch and the sound of it, if you do want to have it turned on. Next up, are the touch controls. As I mentioned, on the back of the camera, if you don't like these, you can adjust them. So in here, you can disable the controls if you want, or have them only available in playback. Next up, is full-frame playback flicks. And so, on the back of the camera, you can flick forward and flick backward. And if you want change the direction for flicks, you can change the direction for flicking forward or flicking backward. And so, just makes going through those images a little bit more quickly, for some people. Alright, next up is the HDMI control on the side of the camera. And so, this is gonna be another little sub-menu of when you are connecting something with the HDMI, how does the camera work. And so, the output resolution is gonna be the first thing. It can normally be in automatic, but if you have a specific device that you are going to, you can set it for that particular device or need. If you are gonna be doing external recording, you can turn that on so that you can record a pure signal coming out of the camera. The advanced will dive into a little bit more advanced section of this HDMI. You can choose an output range where you can choose a different tonal range if you wanted to limit it. You can also change the output display size. You can either have 95% or 100%, depends a little bit on the type of monitor and recording device that you are gonna be using. Do you wanna see the on-screen displays? Is it an on-screen monitor, just so that you have an easier monitor to see? You might want all those displays on. If you're recording on it, you probably wanna have it turned off. Do you want to have a dual monitor, so that the monitor on the back is turned on, as well as this external monitor? Depending on how the monitor is positioned, you may wanna have both on. And that is all within out HDMI controls. Next up is really only gonna be necessary if you have this GPS, GP-1A GPS unit attached to the camera. This is gonna head us into a sub-menu that you can control if you have this device hooked on. And so, you can download your location from a smart device, if you want, into the camera, and that's gonna give you GPS coordinates that you shot at. If you wanna see your current GPS coordinates with that GPS unit attached to the camera, you could see exactly where you are. And the camera needs to be receiving the signal from the GPS, and so you may need to adjust the stand-by timer, to continue getting that signal while you're shooting. There are many different wireless remote control options that you can turn on. It depends on the wireless remote control you have and so, this will vary according to what you are hooking the camera up to. Some of those will have function buttons on them and you can program that function to do a specific function that you want. And so, that can be programmed if you are using those types of remotes. The camera has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, which are signals that are emanating from the camera. And on airplanes and some other places, it's best just to turn this airplane mode on. I like to leave it on all the time, that way it's making sure that there are no extra signals going out from the camera, there is no extra battery usage and I'm getting as much life out of the battery as possible. If I wanna use Wi-Fi, I'm gonna come in here and I'm gonna turn the airplane mode off. But, this really depends on how much you use the Wi-Fi mode. If you're constantly using the Wi-Fi mode, then you wanna leave this turned off. If you don't ever use the Wi-Fi mode, leave this turned on and it's just gonna shut off all those other signals, no matter where they happen to be set. So, if you wanna connect with a phone, tablet, or other smart device, you're gonna come in here to the connect to smart device. And so, there's a whole lot of topics to talk about in here. Alright, so in here, the camera is using a technology called SnapBridge which uses Bluetooth information for sharing information back and forth from the phone to the camera. So, the idea with SnapBridge is that it's an always on, connection. So, as your camera is on and it's shooting, and your phone's on, it can be communicating all sorts of information back and forth. And Bluetooth works over a relatively short range, so you know, for a photographer with a phone in their pocket or their camera bag over their shoulder, it's gonna work out quite fine. IF your phone's in the next room, it's not gonna work out so well. Now, the idea here is that Nikon has designed the system to work a lot of different things. From uploading images to syncing the time and doing updates, firmware updates, clock updates, remote control. There's all sorts of things that you can do with it. Now, the Bluetooth system and this whole SnapBridge, it hasn't got the warmest reception from all the photographers in the world. It's been a little on the iffy side on getting it connected up. So, let me give you, kind of the step-by-step process on how to hook it up to your phone. So the first and most important thing is, you need to download the SnapBridge app to your smart device. From there, on your camera there is a number of things that you need to do. First off, you need to be recording in a mode that records JPEG images, because that's what it's gonna be storing to the smart device. Then you go to where we are right now in the menu system, which is, Connect to Smart Device, and start things up. On your phone, you're gonna need to make sure of a few things. Number one, your Bluetooth is on, 'cause that's how it's communicating back and forth. You're gonna need to open SnapBridge. And when you open that, it's gonna ask you if you wanna pair with a camera. Which is what you want to do. If all goes right, the camera will then say, select the D850, 'cause it recognizes a signal coming from the D850, it'll ask you to confirm that and then pair that, so that they are gonna work together. From then, you can go back to the camera, and at leas the first time around, you're gonna need to press OK a couple of times to go through these windows. It's gonna ask you about download location and whether you wanna sync the clock with it. And then you will be able to shoot photos with it, with the camera, and it will automatically send the photos to your SnapBridge and put it in your photo files. Now, at that point, if you want, on the phone you can go back and you can ask it to do remote photography or you can download selected pictures. Now, this is the slightly awkward thing about SnapBridge, is that SnapBridge is not used for the remote photography or for downloading selected pictures. What it does is, it kicks over to the Wi-Fi system which takes a few seconds to change over, sometimes has problems when it does it. And so, this is the way that it's supposed to work. I wish you the best of luck when you do it. Sometimes things don't work and I have to turn everything off and turn it on, and go through the steps again. I would imagine, at some point, Nikon will address these features in the future, but this is what we are dealt with right now. And when you do get it work, it can be a lot of fun. It can be really easy. One thing to note is that it does use quite a bit of battery power, and so this is not something that you wanna just leave on just for kicks, just for fun. It's something that you're gonna be specifically using for a specific situation. Alright, so when you are in here, you can also choose to turn the password protection on or off. It's probably better to leave this sort of thing turned on. Not good to leave things unprotected in that regard. You can send to smart device automatically; on or off. And so, do you want your camera to automatically be sending photos over? There's some cases where you may want to do that. But, then there's other cases, where you may want to shoot a lot of photos and only send over selected photos. And if you recall back to the playback menu, there was the option to, if I go back here, select to send to smart device. So, you could just select an individual photo and send that one over, even though you're shooting a lot of photos. And that might make a lot more sense for people because it's not gonna be quite as much data going across those lines. As I mentioned before, the camera also uses Wi-Fi for the remote photography. And so, there's gonna be a section in here that's not too important to go into, but there's just some kind of technical stuff on how the Wi-Fi is set up. And so, under Wi-Fi networks, there's an official name for the camera. You can change the name, if you want to. There's the option for having it open or an authentication encryption, which you should probably leave turned on. There's a password, and that's probably a good thing to have in there, but you can turn it off, if you want to. You can also work on different channels and manually choose different channels. If there's a lot of photographers that are all using the same channel, things could be getting mixed up. You can take a look at your current settings to see what your password is, and what your server is, and everything else. Just showing you how things are connected up here under the Wi-Fi system. And then, if you wanna just kinda, restart the whole system and reset it back to the factory default, you can reset it back there as well. So, the Bluetooth technology is something that you can leave turned off, if you want to save battery power. When it is turned on, you can come in here and you'll take a look at the network connection, which you can turn on and off. To start with, you can take a look at the paired devices. So, if you've paired it up with a phone, you'll see that phone listed right here. And then you can tell this whether you want it to send images while it's turned off or not. And so it all depends on how much you're using the Bluetooth system. So, I think this speaks quite loudly to how good the Blue tooth system is. Bluetooth is, kind of a small, very amateurish type system for transmitting images from the camera to an external device. If you wanna do it professionally, you wanna get the WT 7A, which is not a cheap connector. And this has got a much, much better signal for connecting up with networks. And so, if you wanna send on a much more reliable source than the built-in Bluetooth system, which is a little bit amateurish for how professional this camera is, this is a much better professional solution. And so, this is gonna connect up with computer or FTP server for sending across data and it'll be able to do so much more quickly than the built-in Bluetooth Wi-Fi system that the camera has. Alright, camera has some conformity markings of special specifications that it needs. They put that in there now for no big reason. If you do have the MB-D18 grip, you can choose what type of batteries you are using, in there, and this will help the camera work with the electronics because there's slightly different charge coming from the different alkaline, nickel-metal hydride, and the lithium batteries. And so, if you have rechargeable batteries in there, you wanna go in here and set that to the HR-5 setting, if you're using AA rechargeable batteries. If you do have the vertical grip, you can choose to use the camera battery first, or the MB-D18 battery first, depending on how you wanna replace them in the camera. So, you can just choose where the camera is sapping it's power from first. For any time you have a battery, this is a great place to check back with. Because this is gonna allow you to see how good a charge you have on your batteries, how many shots you've taken, how much life you have left on that battery. And so, I'm constantly checking this anytime I'm going out to shoot, to make sure that I have a proper battery charge. If you have forgotten to put a memory card in the camera, do you wan the camera to lock-up and not fire the shutter? I think this is great. That way, if you have forgotten the memory card, you won't even think you're shooting photos. You'll know immediately that something is definitely wrong. The only time to enable this, is if you need to know what the camera sounds like without a memory card in there. Now, if you are lucky enough to have two 850's and you have spent a lot of time setting up one of the 850's, rather than going back and laboriously setting all those settings on the second D-850, you can load all of your settings from this camera, onto your second camera, and perhaps, your third and your fourth and your fifth camera. And so, that's gonna potentially save you some time when you're setting up a large group of cameras that you al want to work in exactly the same way. And finally, if you have not been paying attention for the last couple of hours, and you've been just messin' with the menu system on your camera and you would like to set things back to the factory default settings, you can go in here into reset all settings. It's gonna force you to turn the camera off and back on, but it's gonna reset everything in the camera back to the factory default settings. And so, if you're not sure what was what and something's not working, this is kind of, the last resort to go to, if you do need to reset the entire camera. The firmware version will let you know which version firmware the camera is using. We are currently still on 1.00. Nikon will occasional have updates that fix small bugs in the camera. You'll need to download them from Nikon's website, load them onto a a memory card, then load the memory card into the camera. Come here to the firmware version and the camera will recognize the new firmware on the software and it'll ask about updating that. And so, there's more information at Nikon's website about the exact procedure on that. Nikon doesn't put out a lot of firmware updates, but if there's a notable problem or improvement that they wanna send out there, they will do so. It's no cost to you. All you have to do is go up to the website and download the information, put it on a memory card and upload it to your camera.

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!