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That big LCD screen on the back of your camera is a great photographic aid: you can use it to review your images in Live View mode; you can actually use it as a viewfinder. But there are some things to understand about it. It is not an accurate way of assessing tone or color in your image. So if you're trying to figure out if something is over- or underexposed, just looking at that image on the back of your viewfinder is not the way to do it. Similarly, if you're trying to decide if colors are accurate or if you have got a level of saturation that you like, still don't want to go with the LCD.
One thing to understand is that the camera might be brightening up the image that it puts to the LCD to make it easier to view in brighter light, and that can cause a shift in tone and color. So we never use the LCD as a really accurate way of assessing anything other than composition. Now, you can change the brightness of the LCD, and this is a good thing to do if you find yourself in direct sunlight and your screen looks washed out; brightening it up can make a big difference. Similarly, if you're shooting in a dark room, a performance or a museum or something like that, you may want to turn the brightness down.
Now they are some tools that make the LCD screen a little more useful for judging both tone and color, and you can learn about those by studying your histogram. For now, here's how you can change the brightness. You can change the brightness of the LCD screen on the back of the D800. Go into your menu, into the Setup menu--that's the one with the wrench--and scroll down to Monitor brightness. You can see my Monitor is set to +5. That is not the default value. To make this more legible for you, for the video, I've gone ahead and dialed that up to +5.
If I come in here, I've got a couple of options. I can set it to Auto and you should have immediately seen it dimmed there. This is the camera sensing the ambient light and trying to choose a setting that's appropriate. What's nice about Auto is that as you move into a darker setting, the screen will automatically dim; as you move into bright sunlight, it should automatically brighten up. Typically, in the brighter lighting you want a brighter display, and in darker lighting you want a little dimmer so it doesn't blind you. You can also just go right in here to Manual and dial this up or down from -5 to +5.
That's a little dim, so I'm going to put that back up where it was. So Auto is probably the best way to go, but if you're finding that in your particular circumstance you need a change, then just go ahead and do a manual adjustment. Adjusting the Monitor brightness is also a way of conserving battery if you find that your battery is running low and you still need to get some shots out.
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