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Nikon Z7 & Z6 Fast Start

Lesson 13 of 15

Menu Functions: Set Up


Nikon Z7 & Z6 Fast Start

Lesson 13 of 15

Menu Functions: Set Up


Lesson Info

Menu Functions: Set Up

I suppose we should mention the Nikon Nikon thing. I get people who are screaming all caps at me. Why does he keep saying Nikon? And that's because in the United States Nikon USA advertises and says Nikon, but in other countries they call it Nikon and it's just different pronunciations. It's not that one is right and one is wrong. It's just different pronunciations around this world. And so, that's where that comes from. Okay, we are in the menu system and it is time to dive back in and this time we are getting into the custom settings menu. And this in general are little tweaks about the way the camera works to make it work right for you in any particular situation. Now this is broken into a number of sub categories. So they're pretty logically ordered and we're going to go through all of these. One of the things to note is that when you see the little asterisk by the letter and number of a particular feature, that means that you have changed it from its default setting. This doesn't ...

mean that that is wrong, it's just to help you identify that you've made an adjustment from what the standard default system is. The first option here is to reset the custom settings. So if you wanna put it back to the factory standards, you can do so here very easily. The first grouping that we're going into is subjects dealing with auto focus on the camera. So normally when the camera is in the continuous focusing mode, the camera is in a release priority mode which means that when it comes down to the decision of whether they should spend more time focusing or just take the photo and get it out of the way. The camera is gonna prioritize getting the photo which means you might get some action photographs that are slightly out of focus. In some cases it's so small you'll never even notice it but it's a generally good system that most sports photographers. If you want more photos in focus you can put it to the focus priority, but it's gonna slow down the motor drive and the rate that you can shoot image is quite a bit. And so, I would first leave it on release and see if it does a good job for you. Next is the same type of priority option but with AF-S. And so in this case when you're in the single continuous mode, do you wanna be able to shoot a photo only when the camera confirms it's in focus or whenever you want to press the button? The safety here is for most people to leave it in the focus mode. That way the camera needs to be in the focus mode before you can actually press down on the shutter. If you have your camera in back button focusing this feature doesn't count. It doesn't matter because focus is no longer linked to the shutter release on the camera. Next up is focused tracking with lock-on. So as your camera is tracking a subject and following its movement, it wants to know how long should it stay tracked on that subject before it switches to another one. And so, if you can imagine having a subject that you are tracking towards you, and somebody else comes in interferes between you and that subject, do you want it to switch over to that original subject or try to stay on the original one. And it really depends on the type of photography that you're doing. And so, if you are into something like any sort of race where you just want the leader of the race in focus, you probably want it to adjust very quickly for whoever is closest to the camera. There are many sports that have a lot of interfering obstacles that will come between you and your subject. With tennis for instance the person's hand and racket as they come across the front of the body, you don't want the camera to refocus on the racket and not on the person. And so you want them to dismiss that just momentary blockage in there. Butterfly swimming a lot of times water comes out in front of the runner or the swimmers and you don't want the camera to refocus on the water that's being splashed out in front of the swimmer. And that's going to be true of a lot of field sports and so you may need to adjust this depending on the types of sports and action that you are photographing. Leaving it at three, to start with is a good place just to see how it does for you. Adjust as you need later on. A4 auto area auto focus face detection. So the face detection will only work in auto area. So that's the large area. So you have be in that area and then you have to turn this feature on if you want that particular automatic face tracking. And some people love face tracking, some people are not so hot on it. I think it tends to work best when you have a single subject in the frame. In that case it can be very good. And remember, there will be an eye AF coming soon in firmware that is yet to be released but it might possibly be turned on and off in this area or at this setting, I'm not sure. Focus points used, one of the options is you can use all the focus points or every other focus point. Now this might seem kind of strange, but I actually recommend for a lot of people using every other point because there is more than enough points whether you have a Z6 or Z and using every point gets a little bit fiddly unless you are in real need of that type of precision. And so, if you use every other point, there is just gonna be less clicking back and forth with that joystick to get the point in an area close to where you want it. If you do want to be very very precise about things you can leave it in all points, but I think for a lot of people using it in half-point will speed up operation in the field and still get you a very precise location. Storing points by orientation is a neat feature. Normally this is turned off and when you have the right side of the frame selected in horizontal and then you turn your camera vertically, it's now going to be in the top part of the frame which not be may not be what you intended compositionally at all. And so, you can separate these two so that when the camera is turned you can have a unique set of focusing points whether it's in horizontal or vertical. And so you can switch back and forth between horizontal and vertical and the points stay relatively in the same spot. And so, I think this is a great feature that most people will enjoy and is good for compositional reasons. Next up, this is the back button focusing trick. If you want back button focusing turn this feature off. When it's on, you're gonna focus and shoot a photo with the shutter release on the camera. If you turn it off, you're going to need to use the AF button on the back of the camera. So if you want back button AF, just simply turn this feature off. Limit the AF area mode selection. We have six different areas that are optimal or are available for focusing. If you never use one of these, you don't like going past it, you're never going to use it. You can uncheck that box and you don't have to look at it and have it as an option. Initially, I would leave them all selected to figure out which ones you like to use and works for your type of photography. A9, focus point wrap-around, another one I like. There are a lot of focusing points and there can be a lot of clicking to get from one side of the frame to the other and wrapping around allows you to go from the right all the way over to the left in one click. And so, this is kind of a nice option here and so I think this is best left on. Focus point options. All right, so let's go into a little bit of a sub-menu in here. Manual focus modes, so when you are manually focusing do you wanna have a focus point visible to see. And you're asking why do I need to see where it would auto focus when I'm in manual focus. Well, because that auto focus point will turn green when you have correctly manually focused. It's a little bit of a focus aid which I think is kind of nice for manual focusing. Dynamic-area AF assist, simply shows you those little eight points around the main point that you are focusing that. It is also looking for information. If it doesn't get good information in the main box. And so, it just simply shows you where the camera is focusing I think a little bit more clearly. Next up is low-light AF and what happens here is under low-light situations, the aperture opens up temporarily in order to let in more light so that your camera can focus. It doesn't seem to have any effect in normal and bright light situations. And so, this seems to be a good system for focusing under low-light. All right, one of the things about when I shoot photographs at least I don't like being a nuisance to other people and other photographers that I'm working around. No, it's just kind of a little personal cork that I have. And having that light turned on, can be irritating. I remember one time I was working with a tour group and we were photographing some dancers and I was trying to get pictures of the dancers but somebody else had a camera that had a light that was shining on one of the dancers of a particular color and then I was photographing their light. And so I asked them if they wanted mind turning their light off because it was interfering everybody else shooting. And the other thing about this light is it's really annoying to any sort of portrait subject right in front of the photograph. It's a very bright light that's generally not necessary and it's only good for a very limited distance. The time to leave it on is if you are photographing things that are pretty close to the camera, that it's extremely low light and you really really need it in order to help it focus. And so, technically kind of interesting and cool but personally it's kind of annoying for other people to deal with. All right, manual focus ring in AF. Now I think this is the one. Let me just double check my camera real quick. That if you go check your camera right now, see if your camera has this particular feature and this is the mystery A13. I was wondering about this, because I read about this in the instruction manual and then I went into my camera. My camera goes to A12 and doesn't have an A13. So I don't have an A 13 in my camera, but and I don't know why they did this if you have on the right lens and I tried on the new 24-72 eight lens, then it gives you this option. I would think that they would normally just gray it out but this is the mystery option you have to have the right lens for and what it is for is for using manual focus ring in AF. And so, this is for lenses I believe that have control rings and manual focus rings. And so, you're going to need one of those lenses that has that. So you're probably not gonna see this in a good number of lenses but you'll only see it in select few. And it allows you to use the manual focus ring while the camera is in autofocus. Small little feature and it's little cork that wasn't really fully explained and I don't know why they left it out of the menu rather than just having it grayed out. All right, the next grouping here is dealing with metering and exposure. So the first one in here, is how fine-tuned do you want your exposure levels. And so, third step or half step. Third step is kind of where most people have their camera set at, but there are certain devices light meters or lights that deal in half stops that might be easier to work in that way for some people. But most people are gonna leave it in third stops. Easy exposure compensation. I mentioned this at the beginning of the class. The exposure compensation dial must be pressed while you are turning the dial on the back of the camera. If you would prefer just to turn the dial, well you can turn this feature on. And you can also have it automatically reset so that they exposure compensation resets when you turn the camera on and off. And so, if you turn this on all you have to do is just turn the dial and you're changing an exposure compensation very quickly and easily but for some people it might be a little too quick and too easy. Next up, the center weighted area can be changed from 12 millimeter circle in the middle of the frame to kind of an even area over the whole area. If you're the type of person that's really very fussy about your metering options, then this is one way to play with it. Next up is fine-tune optimal exposure. So if you think the meter in your camera is a little bit off, like your camera shoots everything a little bit on the bright side, you could go in here and you can basically recalibrate all the meter options. And I'm not going to go through all of them here, but for instance if you go into matrix metering, you can fine-tune this up and down, I believe they do it by one six stops or so. And you can make your meter go a little bit lighter and a little bit darker. And it gives you this very serious warning in here because it's not going to show you this information with exposure compensation or anything else. It's kinda like using exposure compensations but it's resetting the meter more from a core level. I had a camera one time that the meter seemed to drift on it after a number of years of use. And everything was just kinda hot and I needed bring everything down a third of a stop. Well, this is a way to go in and kind of recalibrate it at the core level. Our next grouping deals with timers and the auto exposure lock. So first up, is the shutter-release auto exposure locks. So when you press halfway down on the shutter-release, does it lock the exposure? And I normally like this because I sometimes will do a focus lock in recompose but I also like the exposure meter to lock as well in case I need the meter to lock in a situation where I'm in aperture priority for instance. And so this is a bit of a personal preference. Next up is self timer. And so in here we have the delay on the timer. I use two seconds a lot when I'm working from a tripod. If I have a group it might be 10 or 20 seconds depending on the situation. The number of shots usually I'm just setting this to one, but as I said before if you're doing a group shot I would set it to four or five. That way you have a number of shots to work with without having to come back to the camera to reset up the timer. You can also adjust the interval between the shots on an as-needed basis if you are doing those group shots for instance with several shots. Power off delay, how quickly do you want the camera to power down? In some cases, it's nice to have it power down really quickly. It's gonna conserve battery power then, but other times it's annoying 'cause you're working with the camera and you're looking at something and you're thinking about it and then it disappears on you. And so, you might want to leave it on longer. And so, it depends a little bit on what you're doing. First off, when you're playing back images, ten seconds is fine for most people longer or shorter as necessary. When you're working with the menus, you have different options. If you're reviewing an image. Now the main image review option is back in the playback menu. Whether you wanna have an image come up after you've taken the picture or not, that is done in the playback menu. How long it stays up is handled here. And so, generally it's just a short bit of time to confirm that you got the photo that you wanted. The standby timer. And so, when you press the shutter release halfway down on the camera, the camera is in a standby mode which means everything's been powered up, it's activated, it's just ready to go just waiting for you to press down on the shutter-release and then after about 30 seconds and as normal, it kinda powers down into a sleep cycle. And how quickly do you want it to go into that sleep cycle. And so, once again it's a matter of convenience versus battery power. Our next category is dealing with shooting modes and displays. First up is the continuous low shooting mode. So when you were shooting in the low speed mode, do you want to adjust it and it can be anywhere from one to five frames. And I choose whatever number is appropriate for how many shots you're trying to get off. Sometimes there's certain events that happen on a certain repetition scale like somebody walking and you'll find that one frame rate as opposed to another frame rate it gets you the right mix of images that you're looking for. This is a safety setting on the camera. In case you are to put the camera in your camera bag and something kind of went up against the shutter-release button and the camera just started firing photos, you can imagine packing your camera away on the airplane, putting it in the overhead bed and having the shutter fire for the entire time that you're in the air. And so, this limits it to how many shots it will shoot. And so, you can set it to 200 or something else if you want shorter than that. Sync release modes, there are ways of synchronizing this camera with remote cameras and the sync with the sync mode is going to sync with a master camera. And so whenever the master camera fires, all the other cameras fire at the same time. And that's probably the best option. The no sync, means all the cameras fire as soon as they can as soon as they get the signal, they might different than one another 'cause one's on a long cable or something and they shoot very quickly, but they're not all linked together. And anytime, you're syncing a group of cameras you're usually wanting them to fire at exactly the same time. Exposure delay mode. This is kind of like the two-second self timer. In some cases the two-second self timer is inconvenient or not available to work with. And so you can set an exposure delay, it's a bit of a technical setting if you were working in a scientific environment and you didn't want the camera to move during its shutter-release you could have it set up for a specific time delay usually to avoid vibration, but sometimes for other reasons. Front curtain shutter. This is something I spoke about before, but once again let's talk about our normal mechanical shutter uses two sets of shutter blades. They are normally open. The first one closes, the sensor gets ready, it opens, this is your exposure. Sometimes there's a little bit of vibration because of how quickly it opened and then the second curtain comes in and ends the exposure. Because that might, that first curtain might cause a vibration, there is a front-curtain shutter which electronically turns the pixels on and then uses the second mechanical shutter to turn off the exposure. And it does so with some limitations. You don't normally want to leave it in this mode, the time to put it in this mode is maybe when you're shooting with a telephoto lens, a macro lens off of a tripod and you're concerned about just subtle small little vibrations in the camera. Not something that most people are gonna use a lot of the time, but can be very handy for those macro photographers out there. As I mentioned, there are some limitations as to what other things can be used when it comes to shutter speeds and ISO. So don't leave it on all the time. D6, limit the selectable image area. We talked about the different cropping areas that are available. If you never want to use these or there's one or two that you just don't use, you can uncheck the boxes or the ones that you don't want to cycle through when you go in to choose those options. The file number sequence is the naming of the files and this is normally on a 10000 counter that goes up to 10000 and then starts again back down at zero. If you want you can reset it. If you put it to off, it resets every time you format the card. Normally, I would just leave this turned on. Apply setting to live view. So when you are looking through the camera do you want to see the best possible view, that sounds pretty good or do you wanna see something that mimics what your final image is gonna look like. That sounds even better. And so, in most cases we wanna see what the final image is going to look like. The main exception for this is perhaps if you're using flash photography, then you might want to see an optimized image and then you'll let the camera figure out the rest of the part because you don't wanna see too dark of image if you're setting a fast shutter speed for flash for instance. And so, in this case I would normally just leave it turned on, so that it mimics exactly what you're gonna get in the final image because that's one of the main benefits of the modern camera is that you can actually see what your final results are even before you've shot them. There is a framing grid. I talked about this earlier in the viewfinder. If you like this for compositional reasons, architectural, photography, landscape, horizons it can be handy. Peeking highlights. All right, so this is a way of determining where your zone of focus is. with a mirrorless camera. It does not have the same resolution as an SLR. And so, it's harder to determine exactly where you're focused at in some cases. And so this is a little tricky way that it will show you with the shimmering highlights of where the camera is focused at. And so, you can very clearly see the zone of sharp focus as we move it back and forth on our subjects here. And so, it can be very very easy, it's probably the easiest way to tell where the zone of focus is without enlarging the image in any way. Now, normally you're probably not going to leave this turned on if you're using autofocus. This is something you're gonna use only if you're using manual focus. You can choose different sensitivity levels and then you'll be able to adjust the color, probably wanna have a color that's the opposite of what's in the frame right then and there. And this is not available with the feature we haven't talked about yet which is high light display and so, we'll get into that in an upcoming section. So one little just note on peaking highlights. This is a good mode but not a fantastic mode. And the problem with this mode is that it shows you the zone of focus but it's not so clear as to the exact point of focus. And so, if you're focusing on somebody's eye and their whole face is kind of shimmering in those highlights, you can't really see where exactly the focus point is set. So with very shallow depth-of-field lenses, if you want to be very precise, this is not the best system in the world to use. You'll find that there's a fair bit of slop back and forth in the focusing when you are using this. It's better to determine a general zone than a specific point. Next up, view all in continuous mode. I don't think this says a good title to it, it sounds confusing. And so, when you have the camera in the continuous shooting mode and you're shooting lots of photos very quickly, in the low and the high setting as you're looking through the viewfinder, there is a live view of what you're looking at. So if let's say there's a car driving down the street and you're trying to track it, you get to see where that car actually is between the photographs. When you put it in the continuous high extended where the cameras can get up to between nine and 12 frames a second. What happens there is rather than showing you a live view, it just shows you the last photo that it took which means the tracking of that subject will be a little bit more difficult. And of course this is a little bit confusing then as to whether you should use the high or the extended high if you're trying to get a critical moment and it depends on how important it is following that subject in the frame. If you really want to follow the subject in the frame, don't use that extended high setting but if you wanna see it at all, you wanna leave this turned on. If you turn it off there is no display during burst shooting And I turn this on and what happened as soon as you start shooting, it doesn't do anything in the viewfinder It doesn't show you anything. I don't know who this is for, I don't know why it's on the camera, I suppose it could save a little bit of horse power and battery on the camera, when you're shooting. If you're not looking through the camera, that might be a good reason as in a remote camera case but most of the time you're just gonna leave this turned on. Our next grouping dealing with bracketing and flash. The flash sync speed is the top shutter speed that you can use flash. You should normally just leave that at 1/200th of a second. The next is the flash shutter speed which is kind of the minimum shutter speed that your camera wants to use when using flash. If you are good at hand holding the camera, you can select a slower shutter speed, if you feel comfortable hand holding the camera at those slower shutter speeds in the program mode and the aperture priority mode. All right, expose your compensation for flash. So if you have a flash attached to the camera and you press down on the exposure compensation button on a camera, do you want that exposure compensation button to control the flash and the camera or just the camera itself. That's what this is asking here. And so, the more advanced user would say background only where it's only controlling the ambient exposure of the background and have the flash control the rest of the exposure. If you're not as familiar with flash, you might put this on entire frame so that both flash and the camera is affected all at the same time. Auto ISO control when in flash and so this is kind of the same thing. Do you want the ISO and the flash linked or separated? For simplicity you might want to have them linked and that would be subject and background if you're a little bit more advanced and you're want it to control each segment individually have it as subject only. The camera has a modeling flash and you can turn this on as a special feature when you have a flash attached. And it's like a very fast disco light. It's very annoying to have it pointed at you but it can be very helpful in trying to figure out where shadows are. If you were photographing a subject and you wanted to see where the shadows laid, you could have a button programmed to this feature, press down on this button and for about one to two seconds the light fires a whole bunch of flashes right in a row, it almost makes for a continuous light so that you can see where the shadow is gonna lay. And it seems to be fine. It's only going to come into effect when you have a flash on you have a button programmed to do that particular feature and you are pressing that button at the time. The auto bracketing mode will deal with how it is set when it's in the manual mode whether you want to have flash or flash and other control set. So once again only gonna be with the flash. The bracketing and order, I'd mentioned this before when we talked about bracketing. When I shot the bracketing example in the class, we shot the normal exposure first and then the dark photos and then the light photos. Most photographers who do a lot of bracketing, find this a little confusing if they bracket a lot and you look at a whole grid of images shot with this it's hard to tell where one begins and one ends. And so it's a little bit easier if you shoot the under metered and over option so that it always goes from darkest to lightest throughout the series. Next up, we're on to the control section. We have alluded to this through many places in the earlier parts of the class. You can go into the customized I menu and reorganize this. All right, so let's do a little demo on here and so let's get the camera in position for the demo. And we're gonna go in and customize our i-menu. And so if we look at our i-menu, it's got these standard options in here. And tell you what I'm gonna do is I am going to set my camera to manual exposure and make things darker so that we can see the screen a little bit better. So I'm gonna go into menu and we're gonna come down to the controls and we're gonna customize the i-menu. Now the first thing that I would customize in here is well, I don't have a flash on this camera and doesn't have a flash. So this is not a very useful mode until you put a flash on. So let's put something else in this mode. So I'm going to hit Okay and now I'm gonna have a long list of other features that I can put in on that place. And so, let's choose something else. Let's just choose image area, okay? So if we wanna choose image area, now it's there. Suppose you don't use Wi-Fi very often. Well, you come in here and find out something that you do use on a regular basis. And see if there's anything interesting and here bracketing is a pretty good one. Let's add bracketing in there. And so, now you can have bracketing. And you can essentially move these around. So you just go to whatever one that you don't find real useful and have it be something more useful or maybe you don't like the setup and you just want to reorganize things. I like to have exposure options near each other and focus options near each other, drive options near each other and this way you can customize it. I think you can also put in nothing and let me see. If you can put in nothing. Now it looks like you got to put in something. You can't choose nothing, you got to choose something to choose whatever you feel is important that you wanna get to on a regular basis. Remember that's your shortcut menu. So anytime you want to get to something quickly, it should either have a button that you can press on the outside or perhaps be right in there. Next up, is the custom control assignment. So the camera has a bunch of buttons and dials and you can organize it to work in many different ways. And so, let's go ahead and demo this as well. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna dive in to our control menu. This time we're going into F2. And in this case, you'll see that as we go around it's gonna show you all around the camera where that button is. And so, there's a lot of different things that we can program and one of the things that's kind of interesting is so the manual focus ring on this lens can be reprogrammed. So let's choose aperture on here. So now and I'm in manual aperture. So if I turn the focus ring on the camera, it's controlling the aperture. And it's silent. Now I don't know that this is how I really wanna control apertures but this is how apertures used to be controlled manually on Nikon cameras. And so if you wanted to mimic that style, you could do that here. So additional lenses may have focus rings and control rings, so you don't have to give up your focus ring in order to do that. There's a lot of other buttons on the camera that you may want to reprogram as well. I'm gonna set this back to manual and autofocus. And so, there's some other neat features that you can go in here. There's one in particular I want to show you and let's see where I'm gonna reprogram one of the buttons on the front, top button on the front. So I'm gonna reprogram this, instead of doing white balance, most of these topics in here that they have are things that we have talked about or will talk about throughout this entire class. But there is at least one in here that is totally unique and I wanna see if I can find it. And it deals with leveling the camera. I should have memorized where this was. It gives you a good chance to see all these things in here. And so, I'm wondering, I wonder if I might have, it might be a part of the i-menu and so I'm gonna go try that one. So let's see. All right, here we go. So split screen displays it. So this is not a custom button but this is part of the eye menu. So this is something that we haven't talked about and we won't talk about other than right here So this is an option that we can put into i-menu. And so, when you press the i button you can engage this. And so, what it does is it magnifies the image so that we can see the left and right part of the frame. And I'm gonna bring these a little bit closer together so that we can see a little bit more closely what's going on So I'm bringing the left one more towards the center. I'm going to press okay, and bring the right one a little bit closer to the center. And it's a little bit dark because I am in manual exposure. So let's lighten this up, so we can see things a little bit more clearly. I'm gonna go in a little bit more. Let's go back and turn this feature on. So now if you look at the shelf, let's adjust these a little bit more. So now we can see. And this is a way of determining whether you have the correct horizon line. And so, what we're looking at is we're looking at boxes on the left and the right side. And as we get perfectly aligned, you can see where that lines up, right about there is about perfect. And so, it tells you if you're tipping the camera left or right and you can adjust this for the horizon. And I haven't found any other camera, any other feature that will get you as level of a horizon as this, if you have a straight line in front of you. And so, you can adjust these settings wherever you have a good line. We don't have a great horizon line here in the room. So I am gonna to request that from my producer. If we could have a better horizon line, if we could look out onto the Elliott Bay from here I would really like the doors to open up. But it's a great way of determining left and right on the camera. And so, it's a feature that isn't turned on in any other way and so that is a part of the i-menu that is controlled by the F controls, the F1 customize and then an F2 you get to customize all the other buttons on the camera as we've mentioned. And so, great ways of customizing the camera for your specific needs. Next up, is the OK button on the back of the camera. It can be controlled in many different ways. It gets its own little submenu. In the shooting mode, I like select center focusing points. So when you press the OK button, it automatically sends the focusing point back to the center You can have it zoom in if you want to check focus manually or automatically or you can have it do nothing if you want in the shooting mode. When you're in the playback mode, it's great to have this zoom in, so that you can check sharpness, but there's a few other options that you can turn on as well You want to utilize all the buttons on the camera so long as they're not causing a problem. Shutter speeds and apertures. If you wanna lock these in you can. So you can individually choose to lock the shutter speed or lock the aperture. Now why would you want to do this. Well, imagine you are using a camera in a remote location and you are wanting to lock down specific settings in the camera. It's gonna be mounted in a basketball arena, it's gonna be locked off you're gonna have the same lighting for the entire event. You can just lock in those settings so any sort of bump on the camera is not gonna change those settings on you. It's not real common I'll give you that, but it is handy for some people in some situations. Next up, is the command dial. The main command dial on the back , the sub command dial on the front. There's a lot of kind of specific things that you do with these that can be adjusted according to your needs. All right, so you can reverse the rotation of this and this may seem like an inconsequential. Now who cares it's not a big deal. This is really important folks. You want to check off the box for shutter speed and aperture and that is because when you look through the viewfinder, the way that you turn the dial and the way the exposure indicator works in the viewfinder is the opposite of the way most people think. Now it depends on how you think and whether you associate the front of the dial or the back of the dial with the direction that the exposure is going on the indicator. But trust me for most of you out there you wanna check off shutter speed aperture it's gonna make things a lot more intuitive when you're wanting to overexpose, underexpose and fix things with the meter. Next up, is changing the main and the sub, the back and the front dials. If you want them to do the reverse of what they normally do because the back one normally does shutter speeds and the front one normally does apertures, you don't like it swap it around. And so, if you want to swap it around you can choose to do it in the exposure setting or you can do it in the auto focus setting because when you change autofocus, remember I think the lower button on the front is your autofocus button, that'll allow you to change between the area and the mode. And if I just correctly in front, pressing on that lower front button and turning the front dial changes the area and turning the back dial changes the mode. I don't particularly like that because I'm more likely to change the area and that's just a hard reach with my fingers on that. So I could see why you might wanna change it if it's uncomfortable for you to work it on the camera. Going through the menus and playback, you can choose to use these dials or not. I think they're good ways of accessing information in a different way. When you are playing back images, when you turn the front dial, it'll jump by a series of 10 frames. If you wanna change that to 50 or one of the other options that'll allow you to quickly navigate and find the types of images that you are looking for. And so, set this as you like. All right, the exposure compensation button and the ISO button require you to press and hold that button while you are turning the dial on the back of the camera to change that particular feature. And that's a good safety protocol so that you don't accidentally change those features which can have a pretty big impact on a lot of different photos. And so, it's probably best to leave this in no or off. If you do wanna turn it on, what happens is you press the button and then you kind of have an out amount of time, actually quite a bit of time to go ahead and make that adjustment as need be. And so, if you want a little bit more time, less button complexity and making those changes you could turn it to on. For some strange reason Nikon cameras had reversed indicators about five years ago in their cameras. They have the... Normal cameras most all cameras in the world have the minus part of the exposure on the left and the plus on the right, but for some reason Nikon just wanted to be different than everybody and they reversed it and then they saw the error of their ways and then they've reversed it back. And so, they allow you to match this camera with some older cameras that kinda have the reverse setup. Our next little section deals with the movie settings. Once again the camera has two very different settings, one for stills and one for movies. And so, if you wanna customize the i-menu for features that are more relevant to shooting video, you can do that in here. They already have it set up by default with a lot of video features that you probably are gonna want in there. If you want to reorganize them or add other things in, you're free to do free to do that in here. We also have a number of custom control assignments that are also separated from the still section on using the camera. So if you shoot the camera in video a lot, there's gonna be a lot of ways that the camera can act differently depending on how you set it up. And so, this is gonna be real good for anybody who shoots video on a regular basis. The OK button will have different functions once again in here. And so selecting the center focus point is pretty good, but there are other options for instance if you want to record movies you can do it from a button on the back of the camera. The AF speed. Now when auto focus is applied to shooting video, it's a little different than in still photography 'cause in still photography generally we just want it to focus as fast as possible on our subject. But when you're recording video of everything that the lens is seeing, sometimes going faster isn't better. It looks a little jumpy, it moves around in the way that you don't like if you're shooting video. And so, sometimes you want to slow it down, sometimes you want it a little bit faster. And so, you can go in here and you can adjust how slow and how fast you have it. Sometimes for video it's nice to have a relatively slow movement from one subject to the next. You can also choose when to apply this. Do you want to have it always applied because sometimes if it focuses really slowly and then you stop recording and you set up on your next subject, you don't want it to focus slowly on that subject, you just want it to focus at a normal speed until you start recording. And so, you can choose whether you want it applied in those situations. Similar to some of the tracking we talked about before. How much does your camera stay locked on to a particular subject. And so, how sticky is it staying with your primary subject. And this is gonna depend a lot on the type of video that you shoot. High light displays. All right, so this is gonna show you where you are getting overexposure. And so, as I change my exposure it's gonna show us the pixels that are overexposed and this is a warning, it's also known as our zebras. And so, this is just a great way of telling if we have an overexposed image which can be really hard to rectify in video at this time, because we're not shooting raw. It's a compressed video, it's limited, what we can do to correct for that in post-production. And so, if you see too much of the image with those little zebras, you probably want to adjust the exposure. And so, we have two different patterns depending on if you are favoring your zebras going left or favoring your zebras going right. I guess there's one other camera that has that option but subtleties. Then you can also choose how quickly and easily this threshold is reached and these highlights are shown to you . And that will depend on how you're handling exposures and what you're doing in post-production as well. And so, as I mentioned before you're not able to use that and the focus peaking at the same time. You kind of have to choose one as the critical one to watch Okay, folks we're into our last big menu which is the setup menu. First item in here is formatting the memory card. This is something that you want to do on a regular basis. It's something you wanna do when you first get a memory card It's something you wanna do if a friend gives you a card that would be really nice especially considering the expense of these cards. And so, you want to make sure that your camera can communicate properly with it, when you go out and shoot you probably wanna have as empty of a card as possible. So you have as much room and it's just generally healthy for the card to be reformatted on a regular basis. So do that as you can, going out on new shoots, make sure that you get all your images off and stored because when you format you delete all the images on the card. Saving the user settings. Okay, this leads us into the submenu and this goes back to the mode dial on the top of the camera And so you remember U1, U2, U3. So these are three specific settings that you can set for different ways of working with the camera. You set the camera up and then you save it to the settings. So we're gonna do a little demonstration and I'm gonna set the camera up for a number of different options. And so, let's get the camera set up. So option number one is going to be my landscape setting. So I'm gonna be in manual exposure. I'm gonna give us a little bit of depth of field. I'm gonna go, I'll go to 16 on the depth of field in this case. Actually, that's my shutter speeds, my apertures are in front. Let's go to 16. Well, for the lighting in here we'll just put it here at 1/2 second that's fine. I definitely want a low ISO. So I'm gonna go down to ISO because I have a Z7 if it was a six it'd ISO 100. For my focusing point I am going to choose single point and instead of continuous, I'm gonna be in single and then from there I'm gonna turn on my two second self timer. So that seems like a nice landscape setting there. So now I'm going to go into the menu setting and I'm going to save this user setup as one and I'm gonna press Okay. All right, now for you too I'm gonna put in a more generic setting. What I'm going to do is I'm just gonna reset my camera up to aperture priority. I'm gonna change my aperture to 5.6, I'm gonna change my ISO to 400. I'm gonna go in and change my two-second to low speed motor drive and I'm gonna choose a larger focusing area and I'm gonna keep it in single focus there. All right, so now I'm gonna go back in and I'm gonna save this setting as U and I'm gonna call it Okay.

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!!!