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Working with the image area

From: Shooting with the Nikon D800

Video: Working with the image area

Your D800 has an image sensor that's the same size as a piece of 35-millimeter film. This is actually one of the advantages that it has over other SLRs. Most of Nikon's other SLRs have a sensor that's the size of a piece of APS film, which is a little bit smaller than 35-millimeter film. Now, a lens projects a circular image onto the camera's focal plane, so depending on the size of your sensor, you'll end up cropping a different size rectangle out of that circle. Nikon FX lenses are engineered to project a circle that's big enough to cover the D800's 35-millimeter-size sensor.

Working with the image area

Your D800 has an image sensor that's the same size as a piece of 35-millimeter film. This is actually one of the advantages that it has over other SLRs. Most of Nikon's other SLRs have a sensor that's the size of a piece of APS film, which is a little bit smaller than 35-millimeter film. Now, a lens projects a circular image onto the camera's focal plane, so depending on the size of your sensor, you'll end up cropping a different size rectangle out of that circle. Nikon FX lenses are engineered to project a circle that's big enough to cover the D800's 35-millimeter-size sensor.

Nikon DX lenses are engineered to project a circle that's only big enough to cover an APS-size sensor. Now, the advantage of DX lenses is that they can be made physically smaller and lighter. The disadvantage to DX size sensors is that you can't get depth of field that's as shallow when you're shooting with a smaller sensor. Also, a given focal length on a DX lens will have a narrower field of view than the same focal length on an FX lens. This is because the DX sensor is cropping a smaller rectangle out of the circle that the lens is projecting.

Now, your D800 can use either FX or DX lenses. By default, when you attach a DX lens, the camera will automatically crop a smaller area out of the center of the image. It will show you guidelines in the viewfinder that show the exact area that's being cropped. However, when you're using an FX lens, you can still opt to choose a DX crop. When you do, the field of view of your lens will narrow. To figure out how much, multiply your focal length by 1.5.

For example, if you put a 50-millimeter FX lens on your camera and then set the camera to DX mode, you'll have the field of view of a 75 millimeter lens. That's 50 x 1.5. The advantage of switching to DX mode when using an FX lens is that it lets you frame with a tighter field of view. The disadvantage is that you're cropping out many of the pixels that that big 35-millimeter-size sensor has. Personally, I would just shoot it full size and crop later in my image editor, as this would give me more options for how to use the image.

You can control all of this stuff with the Image Area command on the D800, which also offers a couple of other options. If you come into your menu system and go in the Shooting menu, down to Image area, which is, using my scrollbar, down a little ways, so this a few items down, you get a few different options here. By default, the camera sets to Auto DX crop, meaning if you put a DX lens on this camera, the camera will automatically adjust itself to work with that lens. And what it's going to do is it's going to crop out just the center part of the image sensor.

If you look through the viewfinder, you'll actually see guidelines that show you which part of your field of view will actually be captured, everything outside of the inside box is going to be lost. It's kind of amazing to see just how much bigger that FX sensor is than the DX sensor. So this is what is giving you a smaller field of view. Now, I've got an FX lens on my camera right now. But if I want, I can choose to take a DX crop. So, when I choose this, I will still see my smaller viewfinder, and any focal length that I have set on this lens will effectively be multiplied by 1.5 to get the equivalent field of view.

I can also set to a 1.2x multiplier, or I can set to this 5:4 aspect ratio, which is going to get me a slightly narrower field of view. All of these will show me the effect of field of view in my viewfinder, and they are a way of shooting a pre-cropped image. If I'm shooting JPEG files, only the cropped area will be saved. If I'm shooting raw files--I am processing with Nikon image processing software-- then the raw files will automatically be cropped when I convert them.

This doesn't get you anything that you cannot do shooting in full FX mode and using a Crop tool on your image later. It's simply a way of pre-visualizing what a smaller crop would be if for some reason you need to match the field of view of this camera to a DX camera.

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This video is part of

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

107 video lessons · 13132 viewers

Ben Long
Author

 
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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
      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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