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Exploring the viewfinder display

From: Shooting with the Nikon D800

Video: Exploring the viewfinder display

As we've discussed, one of the great advantages of an SLR is that you actually look through the same lens that exposes the image sensor. This gives you a very accurate viewfinder and allows you to have a very bright clear viewfinder. The viewfinder eyepiece is surrounded by a cover, and it happens to be removable, which allows you easier access for cleaning, and gives you the option to swap in other covers and accessories. To remove it, you close the viewfinder here, with this lever, and then you just unscrew it. It's rubberized so you can get a good grip on it, and it's got pretty deep thread, so it might take a moment to get it all the way off.

Exploring the viewfinder display

As we've discussed, one of the great advantages of an SLR is that you actually look through the same lens that exposes the image sensor. This gives you a very accurate viewfinder and allows you to have a very bright clear viewfinder. The viewfinder eyepiece is surrounded by a cover, and it happens to be removable, which allows you easier access for cleaning, and gives you the option to swap in other covers and accessories. To remove it, you close the viewfinder here, with this lever, and then you just unscrew it. It's rubberized so you can get a good grip on it, and it's got pretty deep thread, so it might take a moment to get it all the way off.

So now I can clean both sides of these, or if I want, I can put on a different viewfinder cover. I can get some that have more magnification. I could put on a right angle viewfinder. It can be useful if you shoot a macro or up a lot; if you're an astral photographer, that can be really handy. To get it back on, you need to be careful, because the threads are pretty small. It can be difficult to get them started. So what I would recommend is turn the camera up on end like this, and then you can really just set it on there flat. And once it takes-- if you can get it to take--you can see, this is a very easy process. There we go.

Then I can just screw it back down and then open the cover there. Next to the viewfinder is the diopter control. If you wear glasses, you might be able to adjust the diopter to compensate for your prescription, which will allow you to shoot without your glasses. Now I say "might" because if your eyes are bad enough then you won't to be able to adjust it far enough to correct back to full sharpness in the viewfinder. Notice that you can't turn it on its own. It's actually locked, so to turn it, you need to pull it out and then you can adjust it back and forth when you're done, push it back and the lock, this will keep you from accidentally bumping it.

When you look through the viewfinder, you'll see focusing indicators superimposed over your image. These indicators light up when you autofocus to indicate where the auto focus mechanism has chosen to focus. Below the viewfinder are lots of status readouts. Now I'm going to walk through all of these for you. Don't worry about remembering all of them yet, because we'll be revisiting them as we look at each relevant feature. So from left to right, you'll find the focus indicators. The metering mode readout is next, followed by the auto exposure Lock indicator, and the flash value lock icon.

Next is the shutter speed lock icon, which sits right above the flash sync indicator. Shutter speed is next, and this readout does double duty as a focus mode readout when you're changing the focus mode on the camera. The aperture lock indicator is next, which sits right above the aperture stop indicator. The aperture readout is next, followed by the exposure display, and directly above that is the shooting mode indicator. Next, comes the flash compensation indicator, which is just above the battery meter.

The exposure level indicator serves a few functions. In most modes, it shows the amount of exposure compensation that you have dialed in. Each dot represents one stop, and by default the lines between are each a third of a stop. Positive exposure compensation is to the right; negative is to the left. Note that you can actually dial in more than two stops of exposure compensation. When you do, the compensation indicator will scroll off the scale, and a little arrow will appear to indicate that your competition has gone beyond two stops. As you change exposure compensation, the shutter speed and aperture displays will update to indicate the new exposure values that your exposure compensation has defined.

Next, you'll find the auto ISO indicator and then the ISO readout, which is also used to show preset white balance, ADL bracketing, and auto focus area mode. If you're coming directly to the digital world from film, you may wonder why you would care to have a constant display of ISO, but remember, with a digital camera, you can change ISO on every shot, making it a third exposure parameter that you have control over. Next is a counter that shows the number of exposures remaining. When you're shooting, this will switch to showing the number of shots remaining in the camera's buffer.

The buffer can hold more JPEGs than RAWs, so the maximum number will vary depending on which format you're using. This readout is also used to show how much exposure or flash compensation that you dialed in when you're changing either of those functions. Next there is this K, which appears anytime you got more than a thousand exposures remaining on your card. And finally, there's this little lightening bolt which indicates that the flash is ready. Now again, don't worry about remembering all of the stuff right now. Exposure settings are the critical readouts that you need to understand right away. The other status options will become obvious as you activate those specific features.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Shooting with the Nikon D800
Shooting with the Nikon D800

107 video lessons · 13382 viewers

Ben Long
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 9m 28s
    1. Welcome
      2m 16s
    2. What is an SLR?
      5m 18s
    3. Using this course
      1m 54s
  2. 30m 59s
    1. Exploring basic camera anatomy
      6m 34s
    2. Attaching a lens
      3m 28s
    3. Inserting media cards and a battery
      6m 14s
    4. Powering up
      2m 8s
    5. Working with menu navigation and factory defaults
      3m 1s
    6. Setting the date and time
      1m 50s
    7. Setting the language
      1m 20s
    8. Formatting the media card
      2m 15s
    9. Holding the camera
      4m 9s
  3. 26m 35s
    1. What are shooting modes?
      2m 11s
    2. Exploring the viewfinder display
      4m 41s
    3. Using the LCD screen protector
      46s
    4. Autofocus basics
      2m 42s
    5. Metering basics
      1m 31s
    6. Reviewing images
      2m 21s
    7. Working with image playback
      7m 16s
    8. Adjusting beeps and timers
      1m 52s
    9. Changing button behavior
      2m 2s
    10. Using screen tips
      1m 13s
  4. 26m 58s
    1. Exploring Program mode
      50s
    2. Working with exposure compensation
      4m 16s
    3. Changing ISO
      2m 30s
    4. Using auto ISO
      4m 25s
    5. Exploring Flexible Program
      2m 49s
    6. Exploring image format and size
      6m 18s
    7. Setting a virtual horizon
      2m 17s
    8. Setting the color space
      1m 22s
    9. Configuring multiple media cards
      2m 11s
  5. 12m 49s
    1. Exploring focus modes
      2m 6s
    2. Exploring autofocus area modes
      4m 50s
    3. Using focus points
      1m 57s
    4. Using manual focus
      3m 56s
  6. 9m 57s
    1. Using auto white balance
      1m 1s
    2. Working with white balance presets
      3m 8s
    3. Adjusting white balance manually
      5m 48s
  7. 11m 54s
    1. Exploring Continuous mode
      5m 56s
    2. Exploring Quiet mode
      53s
    3. Using the self-timer
      3m 26s
    4. Locking the mirror up
      1m 39s
  8. 34m 40s
    1. Exploring metering modes
      3m 4s
    2. Using the auto exposure lock
      4m 35s
    3. Exploring Aperture Priority mode
      3m 3s
    4. Using depth of field preview
      2m 50s
    5. Exploring Shutter Priority mode
      2m 32s
    6. Working in Manual mode
      2m 40s
    7. Exposure bracketing
      6m 40s
    8. Using Active D-Lighting
      1m 19s
    9. Using the Vignette Control feature
      1m 6s
    10. Using the Auto Distortion Control feature
      58s
    11. Using long exposure noise reduction
      1m 41s
    12. Using high ISO noise reduction
      1m 22s
    13. Using the Bulb setting in Manual mode
      1m 2s
    14. Using the Info button
      1m 48s
  9. 19m 54s
    1. Adjusting LCD brightness
      2m 31s
    2. Protecting and deleting images
      4m 43s
    3. Hiding images
      1m 35s
    4. Toggling the Rotate Tall feature on and off
      50s
    5. File naming
      1m 21s
    6. Creating a file number sequence
      2m 35s
    7. Creating storage folders
      2m 3s
    8. Adding copyright info
      1m 50s
    9. Using in-camera retouching
      2m 26s
  10. 7m 14s
    1. Using the fill flash
      1m 48s
    2. Using Flash mode
      3m 18s
    3. Working with flash exposure compensation
      2m 8s
  11. 22m 25s
    1. Understanding high-dynamic range (HDR)
      5m 38s
    2. Creating multiple exposures
      3m 38s
    3. Using the interval timer
      5m 42s
    4. Shooting time-lapse photography
      1m 19s
    5. Working with the image area
      4m 25s
    6. Using the remote control
      1m 43s
  12. 8m 33s
    1. Defining picture controls
      2m 7s
    2. Selecting a picture control
      1m 38s
    3. Modifying a picture control
      2m 38s
    4. Using the monochrome picture control
      2m 10s
  13. 15m 42s
    1. Activating Live View
      8m 9s
    2. Focusing in Live View
      5m 27s
    3. Reviewing some Live View drawbacks
      2m 6s
  14. 17m 27s
    1. Configuring and activating video
      4m 34s
    2. Focusing and working with exposure
      7m 11s
    3. Using Playback mode
      3m 17s
    4. Customizing movie controls
      2m 25s
  15. 12m 44s
    1. Using menu banks
      3m 31s
    2. Using the My Menu feature
      2m 12s
    3. Customizing controls
      4m 0s
    4. Autofocus fine-tuning
      1m 25s
    5. Saving and loading settings
      1m 36s
  16. 14m 5s
    1. Working with custom settings
      51s
    2. Using the Focus Priority feature
      2m 15s
    3. Using the AF Activation feature
      1m 34s
    4. Controlling the number of focus points
      36s
    5. Using ISO sensitivity step value
      1m 8s
    6. Working with EV steps for exposure control
      1m 7s
    7. Using exposure flash compensation step value
      1m 1s
    8. Turning on easy exposure compensation
      1m 31s
    9. Using Exposure Delay mode
      1m 20s
    10. Using the Assign FN button
      2m 42s
  17. 6m 45s
    1. Camera sensor cleaning
      3m 29s
    2. Exploring operating conditions and temperatures
      1m 57s
    3. Getting firmware updates
      1m 19s
  18. 15m 43s
    1. Exploring focus and composition
      4m 55s
    2. Using an exposure strategy
      6m 50s
    3. Controlling exposure through Program mode
      3m 58s
  19. 22s
    1. Goodbye
      22s

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