Shooting with the Nikon D800
Illustration by Petra Stefankova

Inserting media cards and a battery


Shooting with the Nikon D800

with Ben Long

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Video: Inserting media cards and a battery

Your camera needs power and it needs a place to store images. It gets its power usually from a rechargeable battery, and it stores its images on a removable media card. The battery in your D800 can be recharged with the included charger; just snap the battery into the battery cradle and plug it into the wall. When it's charging the light will show red, and when it's fully charged you will see a solid green light. Now, note that this charger will work in other countries as long as you have the appropriate plug adapter.
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  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
    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
    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
    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
    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. 20m 2s
    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
    5. File naming
      1m 21s
    6. Creating a file number sequence
      2m 43s
    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
    2. Using the Focus Priority feature
      2m 15s
    3. Using the AF Activation feature
      1m 34s
    4. Controlling the number of focus points
    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

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Watch the Online Video Course Shooting with the Nikon D800
5h 4m Beginner Nov 08, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, photographer and author Ben Long details the features, controls, and options in the Nikon D800 digital SLR. The course begins with an overview of what a digital SLR is and a tour of the camera's basic components. Ben then discusses the camera's basic operation: changing lenses, navigating the menus, shooting in automatic mode, reviewing and managing photos on the camera's LCD screen, and transferring photos to a computer.

Next, the course introduces more advanced exposure options: program mode, exposure compensation, ISO adjustments, and more. After Ben briefly defines each option, he shows how to adjust it using the camera's controls.

Ben also discusses white balance options, advanced metering and autofocus controls, flash, live view, and video shooting. The course ends with a chapter on maintenance, including sensor- and camera-cleaning and care tips.

Topics include:
  • What is a DSLR?
  • Attaching lenses
  • Powering up and down
  • Formatting the media card
  • Holding the camera
  • Shooting in the Auto and Program modes
  • Changing the ISO
  • Controlling autofocus and white balance
  • Using a self-timer
  • Working with the exposure control options
  • Activating Live View
  • Shooting video
Ben Long

Inserting media cards and a battery

Your camera needs power and it needs a place to store images. It gets its power usually from a rechargeable battery, and it stores its images on a removable media card. The battery in your D800 can be recharged with the included charger; just snap the battery into the battery cradle and plug it into the wall. When it's charging the light will show red, and when it's fully charged you will see a solid green light. Now, note that this charger will work in other countries as long as you have the appropriate plug adapter.

The charging light will flicker very quickly if you're using the charger outside of its prescribed temperature range, and you'll find those ranges on page 23 of your manual. Now, these batteries are very forgiving in their charging habits; unlike old rechargeables, you don't have to drain them completely before recharging. Don't hesitate to top them off before you go out on a long shooting trip. From time to time, though, it is a good idea to drain the battery completely and then give it a solid charge. It takes about 2 1/2 hours to fully charge the battery at room temperature.

If you store the battery in the camera, it will slowly drain. The camera triples a little bit of power out of the battery, so for long-term storage, it's a good idea to remove the battery. The battery meter on the camera has five different levels. When you get down to a single bar, then you should recharge the battery. If that single bar starts blinking, the camera will cease to shoot. You can see a detailed chart of estimated battery life on page 439 of your manual. Battery life will vary depending on what else you're doing with the camera, so reviewing lots of shots, using lots of lenses equipped with vibration reduction, shooting lots of video, these things will all cause your battery to drain faster.

Over time, your battery will wear out. If you notice that it's dying sooner than it used to, then it is a good chance that it's time to get a new battery. Fortunately, your camera has a built-in facility for judging the battery's capacity, and you can learn about that on page 332 of your manual. Your camera also need some media to store its images on. The D800 has two media slots: one that takes compact flash cards and the second that takes secured digital cards. Which you should use is determined by what types of cards you have, but it's important to note that there are some differences.

To insert the battery into the bottom of the camera, just slide this level forward and the battery door comes open. The battery only fits in the right way, and it's got this little arrow right here to indicate which direction goes in first. So, slip it under that orange thing and push until it clicks, and then you can close the door. To get the battery out, just open the door and pull this orange thing out of the way and the battery pops out. Now I can pull it out, put in another one, or recharge this one and put it back in later.

This is also where you'll attach an AC adapter if you'd rather run off of the wall rather than battery. The card slots are located over here on the right side of the camera, behind this door. To get it open, you just push it outward, and it's spring-loaded so it should just pop open. You can see, you've got two card slots here: the CompactFlash slot and the SD, or Secure Digital slot. CompactFlash cards only go in the right way. You just push them in until they stop and when they do, this button will pop out.

That's actually how you get the card out: you push on it and then you pull the card out. So those go right in there. You of course also have a Secure Digital slot, SD cards. They also only go in the right way. You put the notched edge up and the contacts to the right, and push it until it clicks. There is no release lever; instead, to get an SD card out, you just push on it and it pops out, and then you can pull it out. Notice that SD cards have a little locking switch on them.

If I move that down, the card is now locked, and so I can't write anymore data to it. This is a good way of ensuring that you don't erase a card that you've already shot on. If you're dealing with multiple cards while you're out shooting, just lock each one as you pull it out of the camera and you won't have to worry about trying to figure which ones you've used and which ones you haven't used. I'm going to put that back in there. To close the door, I'm just going to fold it shut and pull it backwards, and now I've got media cards. The CompactFlash slot supports all type 1 and type 3 CF cards, including UDMA cards.

How fast a card you need depends on what you want to do with the card. If you're going to shoot video, then you need a CompactFlash card that can transfer data at either 10 or 30 megabytes per second, depending on which video format you're going to use, and you'll learn more about video formats later. If you want to shoot video to an SD card, then you need a card that can manage at least 6 or 20 megabytes per second, depending on video format. That means you need an SD card that's at least class 6 or better. Now, for stills, there's no minimum speed that you need, but a faster card will have advantages.

When you shoot an image the camera immediately dumps it into an internal buffer to free up the camera for more shooting. The buffer is then dumped to the card as fast as the card will allow. If the buffer fills up completely, then the camera will cease to shoot until some buffer space becomes available. A faster card means that the buffer can clear out faster, which translates into faster shooting times. If you tend to shoot subject matter such as performances or sports where you need to be able to shoot lots of images in quick succession, then a faster card will really pay off.

If you don't tend to shoot lots of pictures in quick succession, then a super speedy card won't be so critical. Faster cards are more expensive, so if you do a little of both types of shooting, then you might want to speedy card for times when you need fast shooting, but invest in less expensive slower cards for your other work. On page 434 of your manual, you'll find a list of Nikon-approved memory cards. Now you can use other brands of cards. These are just ones that Nikon has tested with the D800. When the camera is riding out an image, it will flash the activity light that sits next to the battery door. Don't remove a card while that light is flashing.

In addition to trashing the image, it can actually damage the card, or even your camera. Now the D800 has some cool options for controlling what types of images get stored on each card, and we'll explore those in more detail later.

There are currently no FAQs about Shooting with the Nikon D800.

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