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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.
One of the great things about the D800 is that you can customize it to an incredible degree, from changing button and dial behaviors to locking features so that you can't accidentally alter them. You can reconfigure the D800 to work exactly the way that feels right to you. In this chapter we are going to look at several methods for fine-tuning and tweaking the controls on your camera, and we are going to start with something called menu banks. You can store all of these settings that you've made to the shooting menu in one of four different memory banks.
By default the very first item on your shooting menu is Shooting menu bank, and it's set to A. If I want, I can change to a different bank and now make changes to the shooting menu here. If I go back to bank A, my settings from that bank will be restored. In other words, I can keep four different copies of my shooting menu settings. I can also do the same thing down here in my custom settings menu. I've got four different banks for custom settings. Now, at first, this seems like a really useful feature.
Unfortunately, it's a deeply flawed, in a couple different ways. First of all, while these banks store everything from the shooting menu and the custom settings menu, they don't store any of the controls that you set on the outside of the camera. For example, they don't store these shooting modes that you're in or your release mode or your bracketing mode or your focus or metering modes. So you can't actually store the complete configuration of the camera. Also, if you've prebuilt some settings in, say, bank B and you switch to those, because you like this configuration for a particular type of shooting and then you change something here, it's automatically changed in bank B.
In other words, it's very easy to screw up settings that you've made in a particular bank, so you need to be very disciplined about how you use these. So what can you use these for? Well, perhaps you routinely go out to shoot images specifically for the web. You know that they're never going to be used in print and you want to minimize your postproduction time. So you could create a shooting bank that specifies, say, sRGB color space and a smaller image size and certain JPEG compression settings, and since that's JPEG shooting, maybe you want to rely on the D800's picture styles to get a certain look.
So you would have a shooting bank specifically designed for web shooting. You could then create a second bank that was designed for higher-quality print shooting. So full-size, raw shooting, Adobe RGB color space, and any other utility functions that you would like. Again, the trick is to remember that if you ever alter a setting with any of those banks selected, you will change those stored settings, so you need to be very careful once you've set them up to be sure that you don't overwrite any of the settings later. Note that each of these banks starts with the same original default settings, the default factory settings for your camera.
Now, you can improve shooting banks a little bit by coming down here and turning Extended menu banks to on. It normally defaults to off. With Extended menu banks on then the camera will store your exposure mode, your shutter speed, and your aperture in the information recorded with each bank so that you can at least come in to a bank with a preset aperture or shutter speed setting. You still don't get modes, release modes, and many other functions that you might normally want to sock away. At the end of this chapter, you will see how to save and load all of the settings in the camera, so once you've configured your menu banks, you may want to write about the media card so that you can restore them later if you accidentally alter them.
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