Z6 (or any camera) thoughts on settings

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by conrad_hoffman, Jan 1, 2020.

  1. Looking for thoughts on what user (bank) settings people typically use. I tend to have settings for events like lunches and parties, eye recog on, auto iso to maybe 6400, priority release, never focus, program exposure as it's about as smart as I am. Then a more thoughtful bank with small area AF(S) and aperture priority. I don't do sports and rarely use AF(C). Maybe I should? Finally, a bank for full manual technical stuff, with fixed low ISO. I've yet to put a huge amount of thought into this, so what settings do others typically use?
  2. With my D300, I've never gotten past bank "A", preferring to change the few things I need to change from situation to situation on the go.
    Erik-Christensen likes this.
  3. Never used banks - never sure what is and is not saved and more over what is and isn't permanent.
    Erik-Christensen likes this.
  4. I'm really surprised that using the settings banks isn't more popular. They seem like a real convenience. I did come across Nikon Z7 Setup and Configuration that's pretty detailed. I'll change a few things to better suit my needs, but he has good logic for what he does.
  5. This is interesting. I may be terrible but I never set everything in such detail for each type of photography. Currently, I just use Manual with Auto ISO, back button focus with dynamic continuous shooting. I set focusing to the fastest level possible (Set A3 to Quick, G4 = +5-Always, G5=High; note these G4 and G5 settings may affect your video focussing to faster than what you would like.) Seems to work for almost everything so far.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
  6. Not terrible at all. To date I've mostly set auto ISO and program mode with great success. The only thing that I need to learn better is the face/eye recognition and dynamic focusing modes. The other thing that took me a while, and some missed shots, was the power saving scheme. I now prioritize the EVF and set the power saving timer to at least 2 minutes, more like 5 or more. Previously the camera was never live at the instant I needed it, even when blipping the shutter frequently.
  7. Not all important settings are saved in banks. Plus I have trouble remembering which bank is which, and they're too easy to write over. I find customized menus more useful, and assigning certain functions to programmable buttons.

    Menus are not particularly self-explanatory. When starting out, go through each item and make sure you understand its function. Consult the manual, especially on-line, interactive versions, and blogs by competent photographers for guidance. Once that is done, you can re-configure your camera in a few minutes, rather than hours.

    Face recognition can be problematic. It will select a face over another object in the foreground. It will also lock on to someone directly facing the camera in preference to the one you want facing sideways (PITA). Turning face recognition off will give preference to the nearest object, including inanimate objects. The best solution may be manual focus, even if it takes longer. These choices are especially important when shooting video.

    In general terms, I default to aperture priority, auto-ISO and AF-S, with a limit of 25600 for ISO. For action, AF-C and shutter priority is better, but still with auto-ISO. Every other setting is icing on the cake.
  8. Do try Manual with auto-iso set to max - define your low ISO preference (e.g., 64 or 100). You will love it 'coz you can now control both speed and aperture and the camera selects the proper ISO beginning with your low-ISO preference up to the max you specified. I am thankful to Nikon for letting me set the MAX ISO to very high. My Olympus EM1 II only allows up to 6400 and it drove me nuts when I had to shoot in a dark environment as I would have to remember to manually turn up the ISO (yes, noise yes, but that was not preventable).

    Oh you can still use Exposure Compensation if you shoot snow or a black cat or both. Just remember to cancel the compensation when you don't need it.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
  9. I do not use Banks much anymore, but when I did use them, I usually had a bank for Landscape shots and a separate bank for Nature shots where the subjects were mostly moving, and a separate bank or banks for flash settings.
  10. This Nikon video explains it pretty well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPJHDSOFD5c.

    You may first need to set AF face/eye detection on (Custom Setting A4 - "Face detection on")

    Dynamic area AF (which I mostly use) is also selected at this I-panel. You

    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
  11. Dynamic Area focus (or "Expandable" focus spot for Sony) gives you more specificity for face recognition. However it is not foolproof, and tends to acquire the target more slowly than wide-area patterns. In any case you have to practice with various focus modes to learn their facts and foibles. Make them fit your shooting style(s).
  12. Now I see why I never needed banks with the D300. It only has a fraction of the possible combinations available in a modern Nikon.
  13. The Z6/Z7 firmware 2.0 upgrade has added eye-detection and improved face recognition. As far as whether to select Single-point AF (or others) or Dynamic area AF (new for Z system) with AFC, think there is no single right answer. If the subject is static, Single-point is a no-brainer. For moving subjects, it depends how well one can track the subject with Dynamic area AF I guess, or Single point may work better in some condition. Btw, whether the Z cameras track better (or worse) than DSLRs such as D500 or D750... is still being debated.
  14. I remember experimenting with user setting memory banks in 2004 or 2005, but since then I have been happy with just one memory bank per camera. Later cameras have recent settings function that I find very usefull.
  15. Does anyone else have favorite Z system (or any Nikon) settings to share in this New Year? I have learned a lot of things from Photo.Net over the years. whether directly or indirectly (such as working on a tip that someone shared, whether intentionally or not).

    For this year, I would like to learn how to shoot video well with a camera. I have never made an effort to do it much. Now that I have a grandson, I would really like to make some credible footage. If you have any tips on how best to achieve this wish, please let me know. I thank you in advance. :)
  16. "P" and exposure compensation.
  17. A big reason I went with the Z6 was because so many people want video and I didn't want to be left out in the cold with still images only. I've only done one so far, but it was pretty decent for a first effort. IMHO, the first thing to do is not forget everything you already know about lighting and composition. I was demonstrating something, so keeping the subject of interest in focus important. Video focus can be a bit sluggish, at least the way I had it set up. I did my shoot in many short scenes and put them together with an editing program. The free OpenShot Video Editor worked well for me. For a grandson, I'm thinking you'll go hand-held, but when possible I greatly prefer a tripod and even a proper video head for smooth motion. I'd practice on a cat or dog! I'm studying the Z6 on a regular basis and seem to learn something new every time.
    Mary Doo likes this.
  18. Thanks. I am also not opposed to learning from the pro - in a workshop or something.

    Try setting G4 to +5-Always, and G5=High. For faster focus with photos, set A3 to Quick, These settings do make a visible difference in focus speed.
  19. Mary, your comment about video reminded me to tell you about an article in Outdoor Photographer, Jan/feb 2020 issue, “filming in the land of 1000 hills.” All of the still pictures in the article were made from 4K video. At the end of the article there is a box that tells you how to set up your camera to get videos with stills that can be made into prints. The author says he processes his videos in Adobe Premiere Pro. Author is Chema Domenech.

    I know next to nothing about video, but I believe the time has come to learn more about it.
    Mary Doo likes this.
  20. Stills from videos? Will there be a need for stills-only cameras in the future? :eek: How awesome! Thanks Joseph.

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