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I'm not sure if you've noticed this, but my camera is a little crooked here. It's not really flat. Sometimes it's difficult to tell if you've got your camera level, and for those times the D800 gives you a virtual horizon, a digital level that you can see on your LCD screen. To get to it I go to the menu, and in the Setup menu, it's one of the very last items. Now, I could scroll all the way down here. If I'm at the top of the menu, an easier thing is just to hit the up arrow because the menu's wrap around. That takes me to the very bottom of the menu, as you can see from my scrollbar.
And if I keep coming up here I get two virtual horizons. Now what's cool about this is it's not just a level, it's also a tilt indicator and that's what this middle thing is. I think this will make more sense to you as you see me move the camera around. So as I tilt up and down, this indicator moves up and down; as I tilt side to side, obviously the horizon tilts with me. So I just want to get all of these things level, and you can see that I get green when I am there.
I don't actually get green, but the indicator turns green. I can lock that down. And now I know that I am actually level and perfectly parallel to the ground, assuming the ground is flat. If you like this feature a lot, if you want to use it a lot, you can actually reassign it to have easier access to it. If you go to Custom Setting, F4-- and that's going to be back out here in my Custom settings in the F category-- I can go down here to 4 and assign the level to the function button. That's the one on the front of the camera.
And you'll see here that I've got the virtual horizon. So with the camera configured like this, it's just a single button press to bring up the virtual horizon on my LCD. It's not a greatly granular level. Each one of the little notches here on the tilt is about 5 degrees, so you don't have-- it's a little bit of a blunt instrument. You've got to really do some work to get it perfectly level. But it will let you know when you're there. So this is an easy way, in the field, if you don't have a level with you, to find out if you've got your camera ready to shoot.
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