Shooting with the Nikon D800
Illustration by Petra Stefankova

Working with image playback


Shooting with the Nikon D800

with Ben Long

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Video: Working with image playback

Your camera has a big collection of image playback features. You've already seen how it displays an image immediately after you shoot. But of course you can also go in and browse all the pictures that are stored on your media card. To enter Playback mode, you just hit the Play button right here. That takes me back to the last image that I shot. I can see here that this is the image number 24 of 24, so I know exactly how many images are in this folder. I get some other data displayed here. I can see that this image is stored on CompactFlash card in this folder with the file name.
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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

Working with image playback

Your camera has a big collection of image playback features. You've already seen how it displays an image immediately after you shoot. But of course you can also go in and browse all the pictures that are stored on your media card. To enter Playback mode, you just hit the Play button right here. That takes me back to the last image that I shot. I can see here that this is the image number 24 of 24, so I know exactly how many images are in this folder. I get some other data displayed here. I can see that this image is stored on CompactFlash card in this folder with the file name.

It's a raw image with these pixel dimensions. It was recorded on this date and time, using an FX lens. I can navigate the images on the card using the multicontroller: just left and right to go forward and backward or in this case backward and forward. I can also zoom out by pressing the Zoom Out button, and right next to that there's a little checkerboard indicating that pressing that takes me to a thumbnail grid. And I can actually go out quite a ways here and see a good number of images all at once on one screen.

Not only does it display these, I can navigate these, and when I pick a particular image I can then zoom into it using the Plus button. And that zooms me right back into that image and then I can navigate from there. Continuing to press the Plus button zooms me into the image, giving me a chance to try to check focus. When I'm zoomed in, this little box shows me a navigation control that I can pan around using the multicontroller. So I can look at a very specific area of the image, and when I'm done, zoom right back out to normal display.

There are other pages of metadata that you can display, but to do that, you need to activate them. And I do that here from the Playback menu, from the item Playback Display Options. You can see by default nothing is turned on. It's only showing basic playback information. I can activate these things, as many or as few of them as I want. I'm going to turn them all on, including None. This sounds confusing. Why would I activate None? I think you will see it why in a moment. I'm going to turn on all these things. When I've got them all configured, I need to hit the Done button at the top of the page to make them stick.

Now I'll go back into Playback mode. First thing is, I see now that it's showing me the focus point that the camera used when I was focusing. This is actually a pretty handy thing to have at your disposal. There are a lot of reasons that an image might be soft, that you might have had a slow shutter speed and so the image might suffer from handheld shake. You might have very shallow depth of field, so one part of the image may be out of focus. Or you may not have been paying to your Autofocus system. It may have chosen a bad focus point, or you may have accidentally bumped the focus point selector.

So being able to go in and see exactly where it focuses is a good way to diagnose problem when an image is out of focus. It's your chance to find out if you're chance to find out if you're using your Autofocus system properly, or if you merely have a slow shutter speed or something else. If I hit the up and down arrow buttons here, I cycle through those other pages. Here's that None page that I selected. It gives me just a clean view of my image. Here's a page that gives me a lot more data. I get a small thumbnail. I see the Metering mode I was using, the Shooting mode I was in, shutter speed aperture, ISO, the focal length of my lens.

I can see if I had any exposure compensation or flash exposure compensation dialed in, what my white balance is, my color space, where the image is stored, which media card. And I see a histogram. If you're not familiar with the histogram, if you don't understand why this is valuable, check out my Foundations of Photography: Exposure course. It will walk you through everything you need to know about histograms. The short of it is this histogram display gives you an extremely reliable way to assess the exposure of your image. You can't really judge exposure simply by looking at the image on the back of the screen, because the image on the back of the screen is not very accurate for a lot of things.

The camera amps up the brightness and sometimes the saturation of the image that it puts on the screen to make it more visible in bright light. So you really can't tell much about exposure from simply looking at it here. It's great to have a histogram and know how to use it. Continuing on, here is some more data, just more settings, noise reduction, active D-Lighting HDR, Vignette Control, retouching, any comments that have been tagged on the image. Still more of those similar types of things, and more, and then finally, a three-channel histogram, which is a great way of identifying color casts in an image.

And then this lets me see if any highlights in the image are overexposed. So this is flashing to indicate that overexposed highlights will be flashing in my image preview here. I don't have any; if I did, they would be flashing pixels. I can even go in and examine individual color channels for overexposed highlights, by pressing and holding the Zoom Out button and then using my left and right buttons, you can see that now the red channel is flashing, then green, then blue. What's nice about this option is if I see that only one or two channels are overexposed, then I know that I can probably recover those in my raw converter, because in a raw file, you can often recover overexposed highlights--or usually recover overexposed highlights--if only one or two channels are overexposed.

Finally, I'm back to my first display. Now those were a lot of pages of information, more than I'll normally need. So I'm going to go back into Playback Display Options and turn some other stuff off. I don't actually care about the shooting data. That's not stuff that I really am going to look at very often. I think I've killed the overview also. But I want to highlight an RGB options, and I like being able to turn all the data off once and for all. I tend to only turn on focus point when I'm confused about focus, so I'm going to turn that back of, go back to Done.

And now when I go to Playback, I have this basic screen. If I can get no metadata. And I've got my histogram displays. Notice that those options stick. Whatever screen I leave off on, that's the screen I will come back to, the view that I will come back to when I next come into Playback mode. So if you want quick access to a histogram, you can just pull that up and know that any time you go into Playback mode that's what you will have. By default, images in Playback mode stay up for 10 seconds.

If you don't do anything to the camera in that 10 seconds, then the display shuts off. You can change that, if you like. You go in here to the menu > Custom Settings > C category Timers/AE lock. You can scroll down here to Monitor off delay. You can see that for Playback mode, it defaults to 10 seconds. I can make that 4 seconds, 20 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes, 10 minutes. I can really buy myself a lot of time to review. Now bear in mind, that's going to drain your battery faster if you lengthen this review time.

It means that if you accidentally bump the Playback button while you're walking around, the screen could come up and stay on for a long time. And when the screen is on, that's also going to cause the camera to heat up, which can cause it to cease to function after a point, if it's a very hot day. So there are many other options that you have in Playback mode, and we're going to look at those in future movies.

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

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