Important Functions of Nikon Cameras

This article will be useful to Nikon Digital SLR owners. Many people already know how to adjust shutter speed, ISO, aperture, but Nikon cameras have very useful functions and settings. Today we will focus on a few basic ones.

Thoughts on setting up Nikon cameras

Thoughts on setting up Nikon cameras


Setting Picture Control Modes

Almost all Nikon DSLR cameras have image management modes. This setting is in Shooting Mode Menu -> Picture Control Mode. Depending on the model, you can select one of the shooting modes in the submenu. Most often it

  • SD - standard
  • NL - Neutral
  • VI - saturated
  • MC - monochrome
  • PT - portrait
  • LS - landscape or native shooting mode.

This is very convenient - with the desired type of shooting you just need to set the appropriate mode and get the image settings for a given plot.

These modes affect sharpness, contrast, brightness, saturation and hue the resulting image. For example, the portrait mode has low sharpness, contrast and brightness in order to correctly convey skin tones. A saturated mode, on the contrary, has saturated colors, great sharpness and contrast.

Here is an example of the same photo in different image management modes. There is an improvement in color saturation:

Standard and Rich snapshot management in action

Standard and Rich snapshot management in action

All sample photos in this article are made on Nikon D90 using a tripod and remote control Nikon ML-L3. Focusing with Live View on Nikon 50mm F1.8D in manual mode. The items are mounted on a studio stand and flash foot. If you look closer, 1 to 1, you can see an improvement in sharpness in VI mode compared to SD

Difference in SD and VI image management modes

Difference in SD and VI image management modes

Important notice! If you shoot in RAW format, then the file is actually recorded in RAW format raw information from the camera’s matrix, but in EXIF cameras record data about the shooting control mode. At the same time, a picture with the established image management mode will be visible on the camera’s display. But when loading into a RAW converter like ADOBE LIGHTROOM, ADOBE Camera RAW these converters will not accept the metadata from the file and you will see naked original RAW picture without overlaying Picture Control. So, shooting in RAW and processing the picture on a computer, you don't have to bother with the selected picture control mode.

But, if you are shooting in JPEG, then the selected mode will greatly affect the photo. I strongly recommend that you always remember about the mode that is set and change it depending on the situation. By the way, when shooting in MC mode - monochrome, BW letters will flash in red in the viewfinder, warning that you are shooting in black and white. And if you shoot in RAW, then on the computer you will be able to see the original color photo, and if you shoot in JPEG, it will already be impossible to restore the color in the photo.


High ISO Noise Reduction

In order to minimize noise at high ISOs, you can, and sometimes need to enable the noise reduction function. Function is in  Shooting Mode Menu -> High ISO Noise Reduction. This feature helps to reduce digital noise and make your photo more attractive. The function also has the name NR (noise reduction) and several intensity values.

Two photos with and without noise reduction

Two photos with and without noise reduction

If you increase the scale, then the difference in image quality will be really visible. See for yourself:

Noise Reduction Function

Noise Reduction Function

Important factor! Shooting in RAW mode does not actually reduce the noise in the image, and the camera, when reviewing the image, shows the RAW image with noise suppressed. If such a RAW image is viewed on a computer with and without noise reduction mode, they will be identical. At first for the article I shot in RAW, but when viewed on a computer, all the photos with or without noise reduction looked the same.

Shooting in JPEG you really get a picture with suppressed noise. But always remember that shumodav is not a panacea, it reduces noise but with the same success reduces the detail of the picture (including its sharpness). For non-commercial purposes and printing, 10 * 15cm can be safely shot in JPEG at super high ISO with noise reduction turned on at maximum power level.


Using Active D-Lighting

This feature expands the Dynamic Range and preserves shadow detail. In short - the function programmatically pulls information from the shadows.

Active D-Lighting in action

Active D-Lighting in action

As you can see for yourselves, dark details became brighter in the pictures and the picture turned out brighter at the same values excerpts and apertures.

Active D-Lighting Function

Active D-Lighting Function

Attention! Although the function takes a picture with a large DD, at the same time there is one trick. Both pictures were taken in manual control of the camera at F2.8 1 \ 4c, but in automatic mode and with Active D-Lighting turned on, the camera tries to underexpose the frame by reducing excerpts or aperture. Also, information from the shadows is extracted by the program method and as a result there is an extra noise in the shadows.


More useful features

Long exposure noise reduction function should reduce noise when shooting at long exposures - but I tested and did not notice any significant change in noise. The test was carried out on shutter speed 30 seconds in RAW and JPEG - the result is almost the same at ISO100 and ISO 400. Therefore, I did not take any sample photos. Caution - Long exposure noise reduction also reduces frame buffer. For example, for Nikon D200 from 21 frames in the buffer, when this function is enabled, it sags up to 11 frames. Similarly, on other cameras. And also, when shooting at slow shutter speeds with this feature turned on, you reduce the speed of the camera. If a excerpt was 10 seconds, then the camera will “think” and process the image for 10 seconds after the picture is taken, and the display will show “work nr”. Personally, sometimes it is very, very inconvenient for me to wait 30 seconds before I can take the next picture, because this function is almost always turned off for me.

Chromatic Aberration Control Function - reduces HA. Distortion Control Function - reduces distortion. Since I have on mine Nikon D40, D80, D90, D200 I don’t have these functions, I can’t describe their work with examples, but in any case they are also very useful when shooting in JPEG.


Conclusions:

All image enhancement functions are mainly software implemented. When shooting in JPEG, they are an indispensable means of improving images, but all of them can equally well be implemented by editing a RAW file. In order for Nikon's RAW file (NEF) to be used with the image control function applied there, you need to use the native Capture NX utility, you will have to do everything yourself in other RAW converters.

Thank you for attention. Arkady Shapoval.

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Comments: 347, on the topic: Important functions of Nikon cameras

  • Tatyana

    Tell me, how to remove from the viewing window a menu that covers the entire screen?

    • Tatyana

      Try pressing the up or down button in photo view mode. This is exactly what works for me.

  • Tanya

    Please tell me: my Nikon duplicates all the frames, and when I photograph one photo comes out, but when I insert the card in my laptop to view the pictures, it turns out that each photograph is 2. (It’s not a laptop, I checked it on different ones),

    • Alina

      Go to the “shooting mode menu”, then the image quality and rearrange the setting either to RAF or to JPEG, you have both.

    • Max

      Here is a fabulous fool: D

  • Vera

    Hello!
    Please tell someone how to solve the problem. I have a Nikon d5200. When switching from automatic to mechanical mode, the screen immediately darkens, especially under light in the photobox or bright daylight. And not to say that nothing is visible at all, but it is also impossible to make out an object normally. At the same time, when you point the camera at the lamp, the screen starts blinking in these places. I played with the settings, it did not help. What else can be done, what are the reasons? Thank you in advance for your help!

    • Denis

      Are you obviously using LiveView? Is mechanical mode M? What is your aperture in M ​​mode?

    • Zonda intelligence

      Nuuuuuuu, Professor!

    • Denis

      For starters, M is manual a not mechanical)))

  • Vera

    Thanks for the answer! Yes “M” is manual mode and yes I use LiveView mode (I have vision problems). I tried to set the diaphragm differently. Today I tried again, showed 4,5. But it's not all about the diaphragm, I think. Because it never happened before. Those. shooting conditions did not change. I work all the time with a photo box, the light is constant there (fluorescent lamps). Everything was fine all the time, but two weeks ago such an "ambush" with the screen began. Also, today there is a shimmer to it all. I switch to the automatic machine, the screen immediately shows normally, but it also began to flicker.

    • Denis

      in general, in the hardware settings there is almost always something like "flicker suppression frequency", look, there should be 50Hz, not 60

  • Vera

    I tried to set the 50Hz result to the same, on the machine it shows light, in the manual mode it is dark dark (((What else could be? Camera defect? ​​Can a software update help?

    • Denis

      last guess is auto ISO off

      • Denis

        although I just looked at my D5100 - ISO does not affect the brightness of LiveView

        • Vera

          In general, I write the answer itself to my question, maybe someone will come in handy. I contacted Nikon support and they helped me. The problem is camera failure. Therefore, the support service pointed out the need 1. to reset the camera (two-button (p. 53 of the user manual), shooting menu (p. 150), user settings (p. 156)) 2. Disconnect the lens and wipe the CPU contacts of the bayonet itself camera and lens.
          The first was enough. Now everything works as usual. Good luck to all!

          • Michael

            Vera! can a support link be? Regards, Mikhail

  • anonym

    Arkady !!! Good evening. The question is this. Do you have a review on Nikon? 1 Setting the low-mode M I have black photos, I haven’t found anything anywhere. Sincerely. Michael

  • anonym

    Arkady !!! Good evening, such a question, is there an overview of the Nikon1 Manual mode (M). I have black pictures, can I somehow configure it? With respect. Michael

    • Oleg

      Maybe a little iso set in low light conditions

      • Michael

        I and with a staffer of 10-30 on M are also very dark. Configured, as Arkady advised, in the review

        • Michael

          Only the flash helps, even in bright light….

  • Dasha

    I have a question. I have a NikonD3400 my photos are bright, I would like to get darker, how can I do this?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      There are many options. The easiest is to select a picture control mode, and in it to lower the brightness (if you do not go into technical details).
      If you approach the issue more seriously, then you need to understand why they are so bright, there can be a million options. Attach a couple to the comment so that readers or I can help you.

  • Michael

    Greetings!

    I bought a Nikon D300 from my hands, I haven't shot it yet, I just adjust it for myself. I got to the settings for "Picture Controls". SD is active, no matter how hard it tries to activate some other NL, VI, MC, nothing happens, it still remains active SD. Maybe you haven't activated some function (button) besides those on the "Selecting Picture Controls" tab?

    • Michael

      Maybe this is because RAV + Dzhipeg is installed in the image quality settings?

      • Michael

        Figured out)

        • Eugene

          Michael, I also bought d300s from my hands. Image size is not active (worth s). Why and how to make active? The mode is set in the manual.

  • Yang

    Hello, please tell me how to set ISO on Nikon d40x? I put iso100 in the settings, but in M ​​mode it is still automatic, and constantly throws out 1600 each, which is why the photos are noisy

    • Arkady Shapoval

      In the menu, disable the auto ISO function and set the desired one.

      • Yang

        Thank you very much, Arkady!

  • Andrei

    Tell me, does it make sense to enable Active D-Lighting if you shoot in RAW, for example, Capture NX-D does not see it, for some reason?

    • DmitryK

      Andrew:
      Capture NX 2 perfectly sees this option on NEFs and moreover allows you to change it, for example, from moderate to enhanced or vice versa. And the result is noticeable.
      By itself, this option is quite useful, IMHO.
      How about NX-D - that's a question… Mb. Not the latest version of NX-D?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Just Capture NX-D should correctly process it. If you heavily pick equal, especially third-party converters, then you need to turn it off. If JPEG, then include as appropriate.

  • Andrei

    You see, this is the situation, I shot it from ADL to auto, opened Capture NX and NX-D, the picture was similar in color to that of a photograph, but still not the same, darker and not so saturated, and the skinton is not so pleasant, in NX- D ADL is set to (unchanged), I start to twist it, and on the setup (extra hight 1) only it turns out about a similar result and still not the same .. and how not to twist this NX-D or the same NX, well it doesn’t work like on the screen fotik .. no one has encountered this? .. questions on calibration and stuff disappear .. everything is configured as it should. Camera D610

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Remove RAW + JPEG, take a look, there is a problem in the converter, or still in the displays of the camera and computer. Up to this point, it makes no sense to look for a problem in the ADL.

    • Valentine

      Arkady writes correctly, the problem may not be in ADL. The most common problem is that Capture NX-D picks up a different monitor profile, so the preview image saved in NEF and the picture when opening NEF in the program are different. For images to match, Capture NX-D must use the default profile that the viewer uses. Without a single profile, working with color correction will be very difficult.

      • Arkady Shapoval

        There may still be problems with the Adobe-RGB / sRGB color space. But do not guess ahead.

        • Valentine

          Yes, and it is also. I saw an indignant user of D800 scolding his faded colors. He looked in nef, it turned out everything was shot in Adobe RGB. Alas, some believe that since the space is wider, then it should be used.

          • Dmitry

            Neither SRGB nor AdobeRGB are affiliated with NEF. They apply only to intracameral JPG. All ditches cover wider color spaces such as PROPHOTO RGB.

            • Arkady Shapoval

              Seriously?

            • Peter Sh.

              Connected. It doesn't matter what file format. All formats, including RAW, are encoded using a specific color space.

            • Valentine

              In the camera, all information is color, so the encoding defines the presentation of this information. And in general, a naked clean rav is useless; what we are working with is the initial data with a set of parameters created for the algorithms for interpreting the image by a camera or converter.

            • Dima

              Raw files have no color profile at all ... It is assigned during conversion

          • DmitryK

            Also so mistaken once.
            AdobeRGB for printing and serious work with color is suitable.
            sRGB for everything else. There is also such a subtle point - if you shoot in sRGB, you need to have a monitor with settings for this color space. Many modern monitors already have this option - just select it, then check for correctness. And you also need the monitor matrix to be not TN. In general, this is already common truth.

            • Valentine

              Easier: if there are no playback devices (monitors, printers) that support Adobe RGB, or if you don’t know exactly what to do with it, select only sRGB in the camera. Otherwise, the wider color gamut of Adobe RGB on devices without their support will not display correctly, with the loss of some colors.

              • Arkady Shapoval

                Adobe RGB, as practice has shown, can play a cruel joke with many.

              • Valentine

                Especially with amateurs. The words “wider color gamut of the Adobe RGB space” are perceived as a picture with the best colors that everyone wants. In fact, we get a picture with incorrect colors on a regular monitor, since it does not support Adobe RGB. Even if it suddenly does, then the final file still needs to be translated into sRGB, otherwise on other monitors or when printing in a regular workshop, there is a high probability of misinterpretation.

  • Matthew

    Good day! I have a d5100 camera and a Soviet industrial 50-2. Of course, the mode of M. I rent only in raw. So, one problem: in the liveview, before shooting, the picture has good sharpness, but after shooting the view is blurred.
    Problem 2: How to make sure that during shooting (and not after) in livewiew mode, the screen displays real raw, rather than lighter or darker.
    Thank you for the answers!

    • Vitaly N

      Perhaps grease. On amateur cameras, after pressing the shutter button in lifeview, it takes quite a long time to take a picture - the mirror goes down, then rises, and only then the shutter is released. Try to take pictures normally. And tpmnets or brighter is an exposure error, you will not see this in lifeview.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Good afternoon.
      The thing is, with the multi-optics (actually in M ​​mode), the exposure of the Live View is automatically adjusted to correctly display what is happening in the frame. In fact, in such a situation, shutter speed and ISO do not match those set. And after the shutter is released, we get the picture that comes out exactly at the set values. On amateur cameras of past generations, there is no way to get rid of this.

      • Matthew

        Thanks. How then to be? The built-in exposure meter does not work with manual lenses. Then I thought, I’ll try the external one, but I don’t have it, but I have iPhone 4, and installed the mylightmeter application. He showed that under my lighting conditions (2 home-made softboxes) at iso 100, the exposure will be 1 | 50 and aperture 7. I set about 8 aperture. The shots are very dark, although the light is quite bright and has a white background. I want to get a small depth of field due to a covered diaphragm. Why 1 \ 50, because I’m shooting a video 25 k.s., and recommend this choice. Although the video turns out to be bright, but this is visible because the device does some kind of hidden exposure compensation and pulls out at the expense of iso. Maybe I’m putting something wrong or measuring it, or this pseudo-exposure meter is not good. I want to optimally configure the device for recording video, but with white there is some kind of trouble, either overexposure, or it is dull.

        • Peter Sh.

          Matvey, there are articles about the use of manual lenses and about the depth of field. Check out for a start.

        • Arkady Shapoval

          The easiest way to do this is by sampling. It takes less than a minute and no additional troubles are needed.

  • Vasya

    Does it make sense to disable all software improvements D90 and then do it all in Lightroom? Then, in theory, will the camera live longer?

    • Denis

      nothing will happen to her

    • Vitaly N

      Do not turn on the monitor near the computer when working on it - it will work longer. The most worn-out part of a camera is the shutter. Do not take pictures - then it will definitely live longer.
      Bullshit is everything. Another thing is that if you still process it in the Republic of Lithuania, then they simply are not needed.

      • Vasya

        I'm talking about the duration of battery life.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      There will only be a larger buffer. This will hardly affect the number of frames per charge.

      • Vasya

        I noticed that at slow shutter speeds without the included enhancements, photos are saved faster.

        • Arkady Shapoval

          This applies to the function of suppressing noise at slow shutter speeds, the noise suppressor itself must work out exactly the same time as the exposure lasted. That is its essence.

  • anonym

    Understood nothing. Generally. It seems that they write explanations of the milking prosecutor's office, and not for users

    • Rodion

      Read the instructions out of the box, there it is more understandable, probably)))

  • Vladimir

    To be honest, I absolutely don’t understand why all these image management modes are needed because even the most ordinary viewer photo (except of course the built-in OS) does everything much better and faster, of course, if we are talking about Jpeg.

  • Harsh peasant

    Nikon D40. All shots, mostly indoors, have a parasitic brown tint. Whatever one may say, the settings in the device itself - in blue, in red, etc., everything is the same, the correct balance at the output does not work. Subsequent fine-tuning in Capture NX or Photoshop improves the results, but the correct WB cannot be achieved. No matter how you set the BB - by temperature, by the gray point, by the black point, by the Kodak map, etc., everything is the same, the brown shade presses. The best option in Capture NX with AutoLevels with subsequent fine-tuning, and still, the plaque remains. Or completely green. But messing around with each shot is too much. On the street it is almost normal, but still, and there is a little, but there is an excess of brown. I look at the photos of other Nikons - like BB is normal. Maybe it's just something wrong in my copy? The device is good, sharp, the colors are good.

  • lawyer

    Thank you, Arkady for your site !!!!!

  • Alexander R

    Tell me if Nikon D90 has date imprinting in the picture and how to enable it ...

    • Arkady Shapoval

      The d90 does not have this function.

      • Victoria

        help please

        • Arkady Shapoval

          Attach to the photo, in which, in your opinion, this ripple is visible

  • Victoria

    Guys, I bought a Nikon D3000 camera, I take a picture and it’s as if it’s a kid, it’s not very high quality, what do I do not know how to properly configure it?

    • anonym

      In what mode? If the rules are on the machine, then can the contrast sharpness be wound?

    • Pokekmon

      Vika, have you completely read the instructions for this camera?
      Nikon has very detailed manuals for cameras. What is cheap and basic, what is expensive, such as D4.

  • Anastasia

    Good day ! I have a Nikon d800, please tell me how to change the color shade on the camera itself (the oven is not about bb)

    • Pokemon

      What is the specific color in the camera?

      • Pokemon

        Any specific (t9 buggy)

  • Saeed

    Hello everyone who can help me. I have a Nikon D7000 camera. And I can’t set up the poles tomorrow. If someone can help. Yes, thanks in advance.

    • anonym

      Machine translate ?

      What the

      >> pillars tomorrow

      ?

  • Ksenia

    Hello, why on Nikon D 80, when using Helios 44m-4, all photos are dark, generally black in the room, somewhat like in good daylight, photos are obtained, although everywhere it hovered that this lens has good aperture
    And the problem is the photos are very noisy? How to set up in A mode so that ordinary street shots are obtained of decent quality on the 18-135 lens

    • Michael

      Because the camera cannot see the lens. Helios is used in M ​​mode and independently select parameters. Photos are noisy means little light - open the aperture, turn on the flash

  • Michael

    Arkady, good evening! I remember that there was an article about setting up Nikon g1, I can't find it ... Can you help me with a link? Sincerely. Michael

    • Michael

      Sorry ... I found it! Do not worry

  • anonym

    Nikon 5100 you need to remove the child’s birthday on the video tell me the settings for the kettle without any troubles

    • Denis

      without troubles will not work. no problem - to the phone

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