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The D800 offers an incredible amount of customization possibility. A lot of these controls on the outside can be reworked, reprogrammed with different functions. You can really tailor the camera to work exactly the way that you would like it to. You get to all of these customization options through the Custom Setting Menu, down here Section f, Controls. I'm not going to go through all of these. I've just pulled out some that I think are particularly cool that you ought to take a look at. You can find detailed instructions on all of them starting on page 309 of your manual.
The first option up here is the light switch. Up here on the top of the camera of course I've got my off and on switch, and if I continue to rotate it in this direction, by default I get to this light, which is a little spring-loaded affair that turns on, normally, the light behind the status display. If I want, I can reprogram that to turn on the light and pop up the info display. So that can be an easy shortcut to getting information that you might want to see when you're working in low light. This lights up the status display. Turning on the info display gives you information that you may not be able to read off of other parts of the camera.
Back into the f section, we get to f2, Multi selector center button. That's this control right here, and this lets me reprogram it in a couple of different ways. In Shooting mode, by default, pressing it resets the focus point to the very center. If I want, I can change that to highlight the active focus point so that it's easier to see. In Playback mode, pressing the center button toggles between a Thumbnail View and Full Frame Playback. If I want, I can change that to turning histograms on, zooming on and off, or choosing a different card slot and folder.
Finally, in Live View, by default it works just like it does in Shooting mode. It gives me the option to reset to the centermost focus point. I can change that to a Zoom control or I can deactivate it altogether. A really critical customization here on the front of the camera is the Function button. I can give this an incredible range of options. Here's a picture of the Function button. So I can select any of these things. There's a big mess of them here. It's really worth digging through here. There are a lot of cool things.
In fact, there are some features that you can't get any other way, such as a bracketing burst, which allows me to press the Shutter button once and get an entire burst of autobracketed images. Moving on, again in the f section, I get to f5. This works just like the Assign Function button, but it works with the Preview button, which is the one just above it. If you find you don't do a lot of auto bracketing, you may want to come down here and reassign the Bracketing button. You can take it off of auto bracketing and make it a multiple exposure or an HDR button.
So if you tend to use those more than bracketing, that might be more useful for you, especially since HDR includes a bracketing feature built into it. Of course you spend a lot of time turning the two command dials; why not change those into something else? Actually there are some useful things here. You can reverse their rotation. If you are coming from an older camera where a positive rotation was to the left rather than to the right, you can reverse that. The other really cool feature here is you can swap them if you want. You can make this the main dial and this the subcommand dial.
Finally, many of these same buttons can be programmed with different functions when you're in Movie mode. If I come down here to the g category, you'll see that you've got commands for assigning the Function button, Preview button, Exposure Lock, and the Shutter button to work differently when you are shooting movies rather than when you are shooting still images. It's really worth digging through both sets of these controls. You can really change the feel of the camera and make sure that commands you need ready access to are right under your fingertips, and that the fingertips work the way you expect them to, rolling in one direction or another, as makes sense to you.
So dig into the Custom Settings Menu: the f category and the g category.
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