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Nikon Z7 & Z6 Fast Start

Lesson 12 of 15

Menu Functions: Movie Settings


Nikon Z7 & Z6 Fast Start

Lesson 12 of 15

Menu Functions: Movie Settings


Lesson Info

Menu Functions: Movie Settings

Okay, it's time to dive in to the video section of the menu here, so everything in this tab is gonna deal with shooting video, which means some people are gonna completely tune out, 'cause they don't shoot video, but for other people, it's why they came here so that's what it's all about. All right, so just like the last menu, we're gonna start off with a reset option so if you wanna reset everything back to the default, you can do so right here. You can change the file names that you are recording your video clips as. If you wanna change the letters to your business name or your initials or something like that so you can identify those later on, you can enter that keyboard information here. You can choose to shoot in the FX or the DK area. Most of the time, you're probably gonna wanna get into the FX, but if you do want some free telephoto, you can put it into the DX, and so if you're shooting birds or sports that are a long ways off and you don't have a long enough lens, you can stil...

l get great-quality video and there is no degradation to the video to going to DX, because there are more than enough pixels in the DX area. They're having to compress either one of these down to make the video file, so you're not gonna lose resolution. This is a freebee for you, folks. A free telephoto if you need it. This is the most important setting in the movie shooting menu. It's the frame size and frame rate. We talked a little bit about this before, but if you wanna shoot 4K footage, which is fantastic for sharpness and detail, and resolution, but it's a big file and it's gonna require computers that process information, have a lot of memory and a lot of storage on them, and it's a bit overkill for basic, simple videos in which case you could use the HD, which is the 1920 by 1080. There are many different frame rates according to what sort of project you're working on. 30 frames per second is the standard for basic video. Movie quality, this is in essence the compression of the video signal. For basic simple video, you're probably gonna be fine at normal. It's gonna reduce the size of the file, and it's gonna be fine for basic keepsake. If you're just recording something fun you did and you wanna remember it, this basic video, it's gonna be fine. If you're working more on a high-end production, you probably wanna have it at the higher end so that you are retaining as much information as possible from the signal. Movie types, we have two different movie files, MOVs and MP4s. Most people are shooting on MOVs these days, but if you need to change it, it is available. You're gonna have separate ISO settings for still photography and video so I'm not gonna spend a lot of time in here, 'cause it's the same type of information we talked about for stills, but it's selective for shooting video. It's pretty much all the same options. You can choose the maximum sensitivity that's available. You can choose whether you're shooting in Auto ISO, which can be quite helpful in manual 'cause when you're shooting video, you typically have a fixed shutter speed, you have a fixed aperture, and then ISO or gain is really the only other system for controlling your light gathering ability, so that could be something you wanna try. And ISO sensitivity when you're in the manual mode, where do you like it to be? Generally you want it as low as possible, but this is where it's gonna be when you flip the camera into the manual mode. If it's not right, you can adjust it as need be from there. Next up, we have white balance. It'll go into the same white balance options as we have in the still section, with the exception of the fact that the first one is the same as the photo setting, so you can try to keep them linked up so that they're the same, so that when you adjust one, the other one changes, or you can keep them distinctly different for shooting under different types of lighting and environment. Next page is picture control, and this is a bit more important here than it was with still photographs, and that is because when you are shooting video, at least at this time, you're not shooting raw video that you can infinitely adjust colors later on. You're a little bit limited by the contrast and colors that you shoot, and so one system that Nikon designed specifically for video is the flat profile which has a very narrow contrast range, you might say, where it's dark in the highlights, it's light in the shadows, and so this is something that you would color grade and adjust contrast later on after the fact in some sort of post-production software for the video. You will also have all of the creative picture controls, so if you wanna have a real funky look to your video, you can play around with these. Managing picture control is once again gonna allow you to go in and customize a picture control to one that you like with the contrast levels and saturation, brightness levels that you like and you can save them and you can then name them and keep them as presets that you go and select on an as-needed basis. And so we're not gonna spend a lot of time in here 'cause it's the same as it was in photo, but I think it's a little bit more important here in video because you're not able to shoot in raw with video and getting that right in the field is a little bit more important. We have the active D-lighting again, which is gonna raise those shadows and hold those highlights back. Might be a little bit more important to activate that here than in stills. We have High ISO noise reduction. Once again, that's gonna reduce the noise when you're shooting at high ISOs like 6,400, 12,800 and so forth. Vignette control is gonna clear up the darkness of the corners when you're shooting with fast aperture lenses or any lens that's shot wide open. It's a bit of a personal style on this one as to whether you like that or not. Diffraction compensation is going to compensate when your lens closes down to really small apertures, and so if you're down at F16, F22, 32 and so forth, it's gonna add a little bit of sharpness back so that it doesn't look like it's lost that sharpness of the diffraction. Flicker reduction deals with working under flickering lights. It's gonna set the signal and so the video on the viewfinder and in the back of the camera is gonna be easy for you to see and it will not flicker and so it's a pleasant viewing experience for you. We have a metering option, depending on how you like to meter. Most of the time, matrix metering will do just fine in this case. Focus mode, little different options here than when shooting stills, and so in this mode, single is gonna focus on a subject and then stop. In this case, we have a new one called full-time auto focus, and this means when you turn this on, surprisingly it's gonna focus full-time, all the time. So whether you're pressing down on the shutter release or not, it's gonna be focusing and trying to adjust. Now for the, shall we say, Mom and Pop on the weekend shooting a simple video, it's kind of nice because as Junior comes closer, it focuses on them and when they run off, it changes for the distance. But for the person who's more serious about shooting, they wanna have more direct control over when it focuses, how fast it focuses, and exactly where it goes. And so the more advanced user is probably gonna wanna be manually focusing. Now the other option is continuous focus, and the difference between continuous and full-time is very subtle. In continuous, it will focus full time but you need to be pressing down on the shutter release of the camera. So if you wanna focus only when you're pressing down, then you would do continuous. You can choose which area you are focusing in, so it depends a little bit on the style of shooting and how quickly you wanna adjust and how precise you wanna be. So vibration reduction, you can set it differently. Some people want it on here but not on in the photo mode and vice versa, and so you can set it independent control compared to photo. Electronic VR is kind of interesting 'cause what it does is it crops in just a little bit so that you're not losing too much wide angle, but it electronically stabilizes your image on top of the stabilization of the censor, and so if you're doing something like a walk and talk, and you know there's a lot of hand movement, you don't have another gimbal device for the camera, you could turn on the normal vibration reduction as well as the electronic vibration reduction and it might improve that a little bit. Now it also might lower the quality a little bit so you're gonna have to make a judgment call as to whether it's worth it. So it might be worth a test, but under the most jarring of conditions, it's a way to stabilize it a little bit more. The camera has a built-in microphone which is fine for simple video and audio, but if you wanna get much better quality video, you need better audio to go along with it, so you'll probably wanna go manual, hook in an extra microphone, but if you do wanna go in and tweak the levels in here, you can go in and manually adjust the levels of the built-in microphone. The attenuator will reduce the mic gain in loud environments so if you're gonna be, say at a fireworks show, those explosions are gonna really cause a distortion with the sound, so if you set this on, it might take care of that a little bit better. Normally, you wouldn't wanna leave it turned on. Frequency response, and so you could set this so it's more particularly suited for vocal sounds. You might wanna do your own tests to see if it sounds right for you. Most of the time, the wide range is gonna be fine and will be good for most general situations. Wind noise reduction. One of the worst things you can do is shoot video and record audio in a windy environment. The wind buffeting the side of the camera sounds horrible and if that is a problem and you don't have any other external devices, this is something that you'd wanna turn on, but only turn it on under those windy conditions and it will muffle those loud buffeting sounds. If you're gonna be monitoring your sound with headphones, you can adjust the volume level so that it's appropriate for your ears in here. Timecode is for people who are shooting video that is gonna be edited and often worked with other cameras that are also shooting video at the same time. Not always but most often. And so this is gonna head us into a sub menu where we can change a number of different ways that this timecode is recorded, and so you can turn it on or off or you can have it synced with the HDMI external recorder that you might have plugged in. There are two different types of methods, there's a free run where it's just a clock that's running all the time and then they can match up different clocks from different cameras to synchronize things, or you can have it on record run, which tells you how long you've been recording, so it only counts when you are recording, not the times in between. The timecode origin, you can reset this back to zero, you can have it matched up with the current clock, or you can manually set a time in there as you want yourself. Drop frame, this adjusts the timecode labeling of a frame set to match other devices if needed, and so you're not actually dropping any frames or losing any frames. It's just adjusting the timecode because standard video is shot at 29.97 frames a second and when it plays back at 30 frames a second, there's a little discrepancy when you get far enough into it. And that completes our video section with the Z 7 and Z 6.

Class Description


  • Easily navigate the controls, menus, modes, and settings on the Z6 and Z7
  • Shoot with confidence in full manual mode
  • Utilize advanced features like focus stacking
  • Use the 4k film options for incredible video performance
  • Adjust camera settings to shoot in challenging situations, such as low light
  • Master the autofocus system and different autofocus modes
  • Understand the camera's strengths and limitations
  • Choose the right lenses and accessories for the Z series cameras


The Nikon Z6 and Z7 wrap several advanced features in a compact mirrorless system -- but as first generation full-frame cameras, there's no precedent to get a jump start on exactly where all those features are. Covering both the Nikon Z7 and Nikon Z6 with nearly identical control schemes, this Fast Start class quickly brings you up to speed on using Nikon's new full frame mirrorless cameras. These mirrorless digital cameras offer 4K UHD video recording, superb in-body image stabilization, and excellent low light capabilities. But the Nikon’s long list of features is just money wasted if you don’t actually know how to find them and put them to use.

Skip the floundering through menus and join photographer John Greengo exploring the camera’s many features, from customizing the camera to understanding subject-tracking focus. Locate the controls, find hidden features, and put the camera's advanced features to use, whether you are new to interchangeable lens cameras or have shot Nikon DSLRs for years.

This class is designed for photographers using either the Nikon Z7 or Nikon Z6, from those just pulling it out of the box to photographers that just haven’t found all the camera’s features yet. The class can also serve as an in-depth look if you’re not yet sure if the Nikon Z6 or Z7 is the best camera for you. The Nikon camera class covers the camera from the exterior controls to the menu.

What's packed in this Nikon camera Fast Start? Learn the vital information in less time than it takes to analyze the menu -- and have more fun doing it too.


  • New Nikon Z6 or Z7 camera owners
  • Nikon DSLR shooters moving to the mirrorless system
  • Photographers considering buying the Z6 or Z7
  • Photographers, from beginners to advanced
  • Videographers and vloggers


With more than 50 classes exploring the features of interchangeable lens cameras across half a dozen brands, John Greengo is one of CreativeLive's top instructors. His class list includes Fast Starts for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, and Panasonic, as well as classes covering photography basics and beyond. Shooting his first Nikon in the 1980s, the award-winning photographer is intimately familiar with the ins and outs of different cameras and different camera brands. When he's not teaching, he's building on his three decades of experience as a travel and landscape photographer.


  1. Class Introduction

    Get acquainted with Nikon's new full-frame mirrorless cameras. In the first lesson, see what's so different about the Z series, look at lenses and the FTZ adapter, and gain an overview of the class.

  2. Photo Basics

    In this lesson, John explains several basics for photographers picking up an interchangeable lens camera for the first time before diving into the controls on the Z6 and Z7. Quickly learn basics -- or gain a refresher -- on aperture, shutter speed, and image sensors. Then, get acquainted with the physical controls on the camera body.

  3. Exposure Control

    Dive into the different exposure modes on the Z6 and Z7. Locate where the essential exposure details are inside the electronic viewfinder or EVF. Learn to shoot in aperture priority, shutter priority and full manual mode, as well as digging into unique options like bulb.

  4. Camera Controls: Top Deck

    Continue the tour of the camera at the top. Find the ISO controls, including understanding the high ISO limits and turning auto ISO on and off. Dive into ISO performance and how the image quality stacks up between the Z6 and Z7 from the base ISOs and ISO 100 to high ISOs. Learn to adjust exposure compensation, record a video, and understand the top control panel.

  5. Camera Controls: Back Side Control

    At the back of the camera, explore the electronic viewfinder and tilting LCD screen with Live View, learn to read the different symbols, and customize the settings displayed on the EVF. Then, work with the physical controls at the rear of the camera.

  6. Camera Controls: Back Side Control Continued

    Continue exploring the back of the camera. Dive into the different options in the quick menu or "i" menu. Adjust colors and contrast with camera picture controls for JPEG images. Set the compression for shooting in RAW, link with Wi-Fi and SnapBridge, turn on continuous shooting with burst mode and more using the quick menu.

  7. Left Side & Right Side, Bottom and Front

    Move to the sides, front and bottom of the camera. Locate the different ports, XQD memory card slot, and other features. Dig into the different accessories for the camera, from microphones to battery grips, and learn the limitations of the EN-EL15b battery life and the differences between XQD cards and CFexpress. Finally, take a look at the full-frame sensors and the difference between the higher-resolution Z7 and the faster Z6.

  8. Lenses

    The Z series is compatible with F-mount lenses (and DX lenses cropped) using the FTZ adapter -- but the cameras also launched with its own new Z-mount lenses. Learn the controls that are located on the Nikkor Z lenses themselves instead of the camera and the new Z lenses available so far, like the Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S and Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8.

  9. Menu Functions: Image Quality

    Decipher the menu on the Z6 and Z7, starting with the playback and photo shooting menus. Customize your camera's playback displays, organize files, and choose the image quality such as 12-bit or 14-bit RAW. See real-world examples of what the different image quality settings look like.

  10. Menu Functions: Shooting Settings

    After setting the image quality, work through the different available shooting settings located in the menu system like white balance, flicker reduction, metering, flash controls, and other advanced controls.

  11. Menu Functions: Focus Settings

    Tackle focus stacking using the built-in focus shift shooting feature on the Z6 and Z7. Then, choose between the mechanical and silent shutter and learn the pros and cons of each.

  12. Menu Functions: Movie Settings

    Ready to capture video with the Z6 or Z7? Learn the ins and outs of the different video settings, from video quality to slow motion frame rates and white balance. Master the difference between AF-C and Full-Time Autofocus.

  13. Menu Functions: Set Up

    Inside the custom setting menu, the Z6 and Z7 allow you to customize the camera for your shooting style. Work through the different available options, beginning with the phase detection autofocus options.

  14. Menu Functions: Playback Menu

    Fine-tune the way the camera works with the setup menu. Pick up advanced tools like AF fine tune, recording N-Log with HDMI output external recording equipment and more, along with basics like setting the time stamp.

  15. Camera Operations

    Finish navigating the camera menu with a quick overview of the retouch menu with in-camera RAW processing. Then, make the most frequently used settings easy to find by building a custom My Menu. Finally, go through a pre-shoot checklist for prepping the camera and note suggested settings for different scenarios.


Edward Luczak

I love all of John Greengo's classes. Now he is a Canon man but he gives the Nikons a fair review and his lessons on them are excellent. I have the Z6 and I picked up a several pointers I had not run across yet, so this course has paid for itself already. The only negative I have, and hopefully this is because the course was streaming, but the camera focus was off when the video was zoomed into the Z camera. John may need to give the creative live camera operators a lesson on focusing. Great informative course at an excellent price.


Thank you very much, John! I've been using Z 6 for 18 months, so far, and now I've got Z 6 II as well and your training about these cameras is just an excellent job. Of course I've been following you in other trainings as well, like "Photography Fundamentals" (or something like that) and I've got some of your books too, all excellent, but with this Z 6/7 training have been useful to learn some new things and to remember others already forgotten. Thanks a lot!.

Lynn Fisher

Loved the class. Just bought the Z6ii (waiting for it to ship) , so this is a great introduction. Would greatly appreciate it if John could add one more chapter to this class - Tell us about the Z6ii and Z7ii updates. It seems Nikon has addressed a lot of the concerns (particularly 2 card slots), so it might be very helpful for folks trying to decide on which camera to buy. Thanks!!!