Use dial buttons as cursor keys
It is convenient to navigate through the menus (or through the photos in the view mode) by using main and sub dial button instead of the cursor key. In this mode the main dial button is used to scroll up and down, and the secondary dial button to move left and right.
To set it up use the option f9 - Customize command dials in the menu Custom setting menu. Navigate to the Custom setting menu, choose option f9 and then from the submenu the last option: Menus and playback. Select the option On if you want to use the dial button for menu and in the view mode or On (image review excluded) to use it in the menu only.
In the quick-reference notation:
Menu,,f Controls,,-> f9 - Customize command dials ,, ->Menus and playback, , ->On, Ok
Note that this option does not disable the regular function of the cursor keys. It is an additional way of navigation through the menus and photos.
Lock exposure while pressing the shutter button half-way
I find this option convenient especially in the situations where the image composition needs to be changed after locking the focus. And in 90% cases I want to have the exposure locked as well on the light conditions that were measured during focusing.
To lock exposure by pressing the shutter half way use the option c1-Timers/AE lock from the Custom Setting menu
Menu,,c Timers/AE lock,,->c1 Shutter-release button AE-L ,,->On, Ok
Customize AE-L/AE-F button
If one chooses to use release-shutter button to lock the focus and exposure, the AE-L/AE-F button can be used for different purposes. There are several options available, under the menu f6 - Assign AE-L/AE-F button.
There are two ways (mutually exclusive) of using the customized AE-L/AE-F button: choose the option by pressing the button (AE-L/AF-L button press) or choose the option by pressing the button and dialing the command dial buttons (AE-L/AF-L + command dials). Describing all options is actually something for the manual. I have found one option particularly interesting, namely the option called Bracketing burst. If the shutter-release button is pressed while the AE-F/AE-L button is pressed in single-frame release mode, the camera will shoot the number of photos specified in the bracketing program. Normally one need to press the shutter-release button multiple times to take all bracketed photos. Bracketing burst is convenient in combination with autofocus auto-mode. The focus and exposure settings will not change while taking the images in such activated series.
To customize AE-L/AE-F button for Bracketing burst use the following sequence:
Menu,,f Controls,,-> f6 - Assign AE-L/AE-F button ,, ->AE-L/AE-F button press, , ->Bracketing burst, Ok
Next time I will present the first version of the D800/D800E cheat sheet with the things already described and couple of new.