8 Jun 2012

Project D800E - the kick-off

After a lot of reading, studying the reviews, speculations, discussions I decided to order Nikon D800E and have it as my primary camera for coming (many) years. I didn't have much hope of getting it knowing how limited is the supply from Japan until now. But my local photo store called me one day with the message that I can pick the camera up. They made my day. Of course after purchase I took the first photos. And the first impression cannot be described other than "Whoo, hoo!" or "Wow!". The bottom line: all the enthusiastic reviews were right and told the truth. For me personally the D800E is a huge step forward since I switched from D80 (yes, it is an awesome camera too). So the new camera brought a lot more quality but also quite some complexity. Which brings me to this project's idea.

The idea

I want to become an expert with respect to usage of my new camera. And it means that sometimes this great piece of technology will require some study and practice. The result of the practice and studies I will post regularly. At the end I'd like to come with a handy 'cheat sheet' for D800E where the most useful settings and options would be grouped for convenient use. And not to end up with 400-pages manual :). Nikon already did it.

The kick-off: basic settings

To start let's have a look at the number of settings that I have adapted immediately just because I am used to it from D80.
Here's what I want:
  1. Setup auto image rotation, 
  2. Enable exposure compensation with the main command dial, 
  3. Select the the direction of the composition indicators,
  4. Show the grid in the viewfinder 

Like other Nikon cameras the menu is divided into 6 sections:
  • PLAYBACK MENU ()
  • SHOOTING MENU ()
  • CUSTOM SETTING MENU ()
  • SETUP MENU ()
  • RETOUCH MENU ()
  • MY MENU ()
Menu can be chosen by pressing the Menu button

Auto image rotation

Go to the SETUP MENU, select the option Auto image rotation (10th from the top), press right arrow on the cursor key, with Up and Down arrows select the On option and press Ok.
In the shortened notation:

Menu, ,, -> Auto image rotation,,->On, Ok


Enable exposure compensation with the main command dial

This option is available as option b4 in the CUSTOM SETTING MENU
Menu, , b Metering/exposure,->Easy exposure compensation,,->OnOk

Select the the direction of the composition indicators

This option is available as option f12 in the CUSTOM SETTING MENU
Menu,,f Controls,,-> Reverse indicators,, (to choose what suits you), Ok

Show grid in the viewfinder

This option is available as d6 in the CUSTOM SETTING MENU
Menu, ,d Shooting/display,,-> Viewfinder grid display,,-> On, Ok

The camera was kinda ready for first shoots:


Next time I'll present a couple of settings of D800 that I find particularly handy.