Mastering the Nikon D610 (2014)
5. Setup Menu
Twenty-Seven Cents Per Gallon – Jim Hammond (hamjam)
The Setup Menu on the Nikon D610 is a series of settings for basic camera configuration that are not directly related to taking pictures. The menu covers things like Monitor brightness, battery information, firmware version, default language, image sensor cleaning, and many other basic settings.
This is likely the first menu you’ll use when you prepare your new D610. Right away you’ll have to set the time and date, format a memory card, and set the Monitor brightness.
The symbol for the Setup Menu is a wrench. It is about midway down the menu tree on the left (figure 5.1).
Figure 5.1 – Setup Menu
The following is a list of the 22 functions available in the Setup Menu of the D610:
• Format memory card – This function allows you to delete all images from your memory card(s).
• Save user settings – You can configure the camera under the individual user settings U1 and U2 on the Mode dial and save the settings to internal memory. The D610 will remember the settings and use them when you select U1 or U2.
• Reset user settings – If you decide to return one of your user settings (U1 or U2) back to the factory default, this function will do it for you.
• Monitor brightness – Choose the brightness level for the Monitor.
• Clean image sensor – This function allows immediate cleaning of the imaging sensor to remove dust, or you can configure the camera to clean the sensor at startup and shutdown.
• Lock mirror up for cleaning – You can safely lock the mirror up and open the shutter so you can clean the sensor with a brush, blower, or chemicals and swabs.
• Image Dust Off ref photo – You can create a dust off reference photo to help remove a dust spot from images that were accidentally taken with dust on the sensor. You must use the reference photo as a guide in Nikon Capture NX2 software to remove the dust.
• HDMI – You can select various HDMI sync rates for interfacing with an HDTV or monitor.
• Flicker reduction – If you often shoot under fluorescent or mercury-vapor lights while making a movie, this function allows you to choose a frequency that matches the local electrical power supply to reduce flicker.
• Time zone and date – Set the Time zone, Date and time, Date format, and Daylight saving time in your camera.
• Language – Choose the language you would like your camera to use from a list of 28 languages. It will use the chosen language when displaying menus and screens.
• Image comment – Add a comment (up to 36 characters) that embeds itself in the internal metadata of each image. This can help protect you from image theft or simply add pertinent information to each image.
• Auto image rotation – This function adds camera orientation information to each image so it will display correctly on the Monitor and later on your computer monitor.
• Battery info – This function provides information about the battery’s current charge, how many pictures were taken with the battery on the current charge, and the useful life left in the battery before you should dispose of it.
• Copyright information – You can add two items of information, including Artist (36 characters) and Copyright (54 characters). This function is designed for people who use their images commercially. It allows you to embed specific identity information in the picture’s internal metadata.
• Save/load settings – This function allows you to save the current menu configuration of most internal camera settings to a memory card for transfer to a computer. You can back up complex configurations and restore them to the camera when needed.
• GPS – If you own a GPS that can be connected to the Nikon D610—such as the Accessory shoe-mounted Nikon GP-1 or another GPS unit—you can record Latitude, Longitude, Altitude, Heading, and UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) into the metadata of each image.
• Virtual horizon – This function displays a virtual horizon on the Monitor. This display shows tilt to the left or right and forward or backward.
• Non-CPU lens data – This function lets you select from a series of nine non-CPU lenses, such as AI and AI-S Nikkor lenses from the 1970s and 1980s. Each lens is registered within the camera with its own number so you can select it and use it later, when you mount the lens.
• AF fine-tune – You can fine-tune the autofocus for up to 12 of your AF and AF-S lenses. The camera will detect which lens you have mounted and correct for front or back focus, according to your settings.
• Eye-Fi upload – You can use an Eye-Fi Express or Pro wireless SD card to transmit images from your D610 to your home computer and 25 online services (e.g., Flickr). Or you can use Eye-Fi Pro X2 cards to transmit images directly to your Wi-Fi enabled computer using Ad Hoc transfer. You’ll have menu access to enable or disable uploading, along with connectivity information.
• Firmware version – Discover the current firmware version installed in your camera. Firmware is the camera’s operating system software that is embedded on in-camera memory chips. You can upgrade it when Nikon releases new firmware that is specific to your camera.
Let’s examine each of these settings in detail.
Format Memory Card
(User’s Manual – Page 250)
Format memory card allows you to prepare your memory card(s) for use in your camera. This is the best way to prepare the memory card, and it should be done before you use a new one.
Interestingly, formatting a memory card doesn’t actually remove any images from the card. Instead, it removes their entries from the memory card’s file allocation table (FAT) so they can no longer be seen or found by the camera. Therefore, you can use card recovery software to rescue the images if you do not write anything new to the card after you format it. That is a good thing to remember in case you accidentally format a card with images you want to keep.
The D610 has two memory card slots: Slot 1 (top) and Slot 2 (bottom). You have to format each of them separately. There are two ways to format a memory card. First, you can use the Setup Menu > Format memory card function; second, you can use external camera controls. We’ll look at both methods in this section.
Figure 5.2 – Format memory card with Setup Menu screens
Use the following steps to format a memory card:
1. Select Format memory card from the Setup Menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.2, screen 1).
2. Select the card you want to format (figure 5.2, screen 2). You have a choice of Slot 1 or Slot 2. Make your selection and scroll to the right. You’ll need to repeat this action to format the card in the other slot.
3. Select Yes from the final screen with the big red exclamation point and warning that all images will be deleted (figure 5.2, screen 3).
4. Press the OK button to start formatting the card. You’ll see two screens in quick succession. The first will say Formatting memory card. A few seconds later—when the card has been successfully formatted—you’ll briefly see a final screen that says Formatting complete. Then the camera switches back to the first screen of the Setup Menu. The card is now formatted and you can take lots of pictures.
Camera Button Format Method
This is the fastest way to format the memory card, and it is not very difficult. The camera defaults to formatting the card in the primary slot, not the secondary slot. You can select the secondary slot instead, as I’ll describe in the upcoming steps. Figure 5.3 shows the buttons and Control panel screens used to format the card. Notice that these two buttons are marked with the red FORMAT symbol.
Figure 5.3 – Format memory card with camera controls
To format a memory card with external controls, follow these steps:
1. Hold down the Delete/format button and Metering/format button at the same time (figure 5.3, images 1 and 2) until For starts flashing on the Control panel (figure 5.3, image 3, red arrow).
2. While For is still flashing, you can rotate the Main command dial with your thumb to select either Slot 1 or Slot 2. You can see in figure 5.3, image 3, that I selected Slot 1 (the SD card symbol on the far right of the screen has a 1 in it).
3. While For is still flashing on the Control panel, as shown in figure 5.3, image 3 (red arrow), quickly release and instantly re-press the Delete/format button and Metering/format button together. You’ll see the screen change and For will flash where the image count normally appears on theControl panel, which means the format operation is in process. Do not turn your camera off during formatting. When the flashing For changes back to the image count, the format operation is done.
Settings Recommendation: You can repeat the operation for the other slot on the D610 if needed. Both the Setup Menu > Format memory card and the camera button format methods are easy to use. Most people learn to use the button method since it’s so fast. However, I sometimes use theSetup Menu > Format memory card method immediately after I view images on the Monitor for verification of previous transfer to my computer. If it’s safe to format the card, I quickly switch to the Setup Menu to format since I’m already looking at the Monitor. It’s a good idea to learn how to use both methods.
Save User Settings
(User’s Manual – Page 81)
Save user settings allows you to save up to two user settings. Later you can recall those settings by selecting U1 or U2 from the Mode dial. Each user setting can save certain configuration preferences, but they can’t save others. The following lists include items that can and cannot be saved:
Items that can be saved
• Adjustments to one exposure mode (P, S, A, M, or SCENE) per user setting, including aperture (modes A and M), shutter speed (modes S and M), and flexible program mode (mode P*)
• Exposure and flash compensation (+/– EV settings)
• Flash mode (Fill flash, Rear-curtain sync, Slow sync, Red-eye reduction, no flash, etc.)
• Focus point (currently active AF point)
• Metering mode (Matrix meter, Center-weighted area meter, Spot meter)
• Autofocus modes (Single-servo autofocus, Continuous-servo autofocus, Auto-servo, etc.) in both Viewfinder and Live view photography modes
• AF-area modes (Single-point AF, Dynamic-area AF, Auto-area AF, etc.) in both Viewfinder and Live view photography modes
• Bracketing (Exposure, Flash, White balance, Active D-Lighting)
• Shooting Menu (19 of 25 settings can be saved; six settings cannot be saved)
• Custom Setting Menu (all 50 settings)
• Live view photography mode and Movie live view mode settings controlled by the Custom Setting Menu or Shooting Menu (Shooting Menu > Movie settings)
Items that cannot be saved
• Release modes (S, CL, CH, Q, Qc, MUP)
• Storage folder (100ND610)
• File naming (DSC_1234)
• Image area (FX or DX)
• Manage Picture Control settings
• Multiple exposure settings
• Interval timer shooting settings
• Settings on other menus (Playback Menu, Setup Menu, Retouch Menu, My Menu, or Recent Settings menu)
Figure 5.4 – Saving a user setting (U1 or U2)
Now, let’s examine how to save a user setting. Use the following steps to save one of the two user settings (U1 and U2). This must be repeated for each of the settings:
1. Configure your camera’s settings exactly how you want them to be saved for one user setting. Be sure to configure all the items in the Items that can be saved list that you want to save. When you are finished, set the Mode dial to whatever mode you want to use for the user setting (such asP, S, A, M, Auto, or SCENE), then save it. Do not select U1 or U2 on the Mode dial before you save the setting; instead, leave it set to one of the shooting modes.
2. Press the MENU button and select Save user settings from the Setup Menu, then scroll to the right (figure 5.4, screen 1).
3. Choose either Save to U1 or Save to U2 from the menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.4, screen 2).
4. Select Save settings from the menu (figure 5.4, screen 3).
5. Press the OK button to save the selected setting.
Settings Recommendation: Any time you make a modification to the Shooting Menu or Custom Setting Menu that you want to reuse, be sure to save it under one of the user settings. If you are making a temporary change, it isn’t important to save it. The user settings will not change unless you resave them. However, if you want to save a particular configuration for future reuse, just set the camera up the way you want to shoot and save the configuration under one of the user settings. Later, you can retrieve that configuration by simply selecting U1 or U2 on the Mode dial.
Reset User Settings
(User’s Manual – Page 82)
Reset user settings allows you to reset one of the camera’s user settings back to the factory defaults. The two user settings, U1 and U2, are independent of each other and must be reset individually. If you have a preowned D610 it is a good idea to reset both of the user settings. That way, the user settings are fresh and ready to be configured for your styles of shooting. The two choices on the Reset user settings menu are Reset or Cancel.
Figure 5.5 – Resetting a user setting (U1 or U2)
Here’s how to reset one of your camera’s user settings, either U1 or U2. Repeat these steps for each user setting:
1. Select Reset user settings from the Setup Menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.5, screen 1).
2. Select either Reset U1 or Reset U2. Scroll to the right (figure 5.5, screen 2).
3. Choose Reset or Cancel (figure 5.5, screen 3).
4. Press the OK button to lock in your setting. If you chose Reset, the selected user setting will be reset immediately.
Settings Recommendation: If I were to buy a used Nikon D610 I would definitely reset the user settings. That way I could reconfigure the camera to my own styles of shooting. It is a good idea to reset the settings on a new Nikon as well, just in case someone at the factory was fiddling around with the camera for some reason, or just to start fresh.
(User’s Manual – Page 250)
Monitor brightness is more important than many people realize. If the Monitor is too dim, you’ll have trouble seeing your images in bright light. If it is too bright, you might allow some images to be underexposed because they look fine on the Monitor. Even a seriously underexposed image may look okay on a screen that is too bright.
There are two selections under Monitor brightness (figure 5.6):
• Auto – When the monitor is on, the camera senses the ambient light level and adjusts the monitor brightness accordingly. This works the same way as auto brightness on a smart phone or tablet. When the ambient light is bright, the camera will make the monitor brighter, and when the ambient light is dim, the camera will reduce the brightness of the monitor.
• Manual – You must manually select the brightness from five steps below to five steps above zero (-5 to +5). Use the Multi selector to select the brightness you prefer by scrolling up or down.
Figure 5.6 – Auto Monitor brightness level adjustment
Use the following steps to automatically adjust your Monitor brightness:
1. Select Monitor brightness from the Setup Menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.6, screen 1).
2. Choose Auto from the menu (figure 5.6, screen 2).
3. Press the OK Button to select your setting. The camera will now automatically adjust the screen brightness according to the ambient light level.
Next, let’s see how to manually choose a brightness setting. You can select from ten levels of brightness, from –5 to +5.
Use the following steps to manually adjust your camera’s Monitor brightness:
1. Select Monitor brightness from the Setup Menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.6.1, screen 1).
2. Choose Manual from the menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.6.1, screen 2).
3. Use the Multi selector to scroll up or down through the ten values from –5 to +5 (figure 5.6.1, screen 3). You will see the brightness of the Monitor change with each incremented step.
4. Press the OK button when you find the value you like best.
Figure 5.6.1 – Manual Monitor brightness level adjustment
Settings Recommendation: At first I used the Auto setting, but the Monitor always seemed too dim. Set the Monitor brightness to Auto and walk around under various ambient light levels while watching the Monitor brightness change. The Auto setting may work well for you.
If you decide to manually adjust the Monitor brightness, you should adjust it until you can barely make out a distinction between the last two dark bars on the left. That may be the best setting for that particular ambient light level. The camera defaults to 0 (zero), which is right in the middle, yet this setting is about right for most people.
If you choose to set your camera to a level higher than 0, be sure to check the histogram frequently to validate your exposures. Otherwise you may find that your images are slightly underexposed. The bright screen can fool you.
Clean Image Sensor
(User’s Manual – Page 301)
Clean image sensor is Nikon’s helpful answer to dust spots on your images caused by a dirty sensor. Dust is everywhere and will eventually get on your camera’s sensor. In some cases there may be a little dust on the sensor from the factory.
Dust doesn’t really get on the sensor itself because there are filters in front of it, such as the low-pass filter. The D610 cleans the sensor by vibrating the entire sensor unit, which includes the filters in front of the sensor. These high-frequency vibrations will make dust fall off the low-pass filter so you won’t see it as spots on your pictures.
The vibration cleaning method seems to work pretty well. Of course, if any pollen or other sticky dust gets into the camera, the vibration system won’t be able to remove it. Then it may be time for a brush or wet cleaning.
This option allows you to clean the sensor at any time. If you detect a dust spot, or just get nervous because you are in a dusty environment with your D610, you can simply select Clean now, and the camera will execute a cleaning cycle.
Figure 5.7 – Clean now screens
Use the following steps to immediately clean the camera’s sensor:
1. Select Clean image sensor from the Setup Menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.7, screen 1).
2. Select Clean now from the menu and press the OK button (figure 5.7, screen 2).
3. The automatic cleaning process will begin. A screen will appear that says Cleaning image sensor. When the process is complete another screen will appear that says Done. Then the camera switches back to the Setup Menu.
Now, let’s look at how to select a method for regular sensor cleaning.
Clean at Startup/Shutdown
For preventive dust control, many people set their cameras to clean the sensor at startup, shutdown, or both. There are four selections for startup/shutdown cleaning:
• Clean at startup
• Clean at shutdown
• Clean at startup & shutdown
• Cleaning off
These settings are self-explanatory. I find it interesting that I don’t detect any startup or shutdown delay when using the startup/shutdown cleaning modes. I can turn my camera on and immediately take a picture. The cleaning cycle seems to be very brief in this mode.
Figure 5.8 – Clean at startup/shutdown screens
Use the following steps to choose a Clean at startup/shutdown method:
1. Select Clean image sensor from the Setup Menu and then scroll to the right (figure 5.8, screen 1).
2. Choose Clean at startup/shutdown from the menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.8, screen 2).
3. Select one of the four methods shown in figure 5.8, screen 3. I chose Clean at startup & shutdown.
4. Press the OK button to lock in your choice.
Settings Recommendation: Nikon suggests that you hold the camera at the same angle as when you are taking pictures (with the bottom down) when you use these modes to clean the sensor.
I leave my camera set to Clean at startup & shutdown. If I am in a dusty environment, I usually turn my camera off and back on from time to time so it cleans the sensor.
I rarely use the Clean now method but like knowing it’s there when I need it. I suspect that Clean now may have a longer cleaning cycle since it seems to take at least two or three seconds. I don’t detect a several-second delay when I use the Clean at startup & shutdown method. I can shoot immediately when I turn on the camera. Of course, taking a picture may just cancel the startup cleaning.
Lock Mirror Up for Cleaning
(User’s Manual – Page 303)
Lock mirror up for cleaning is for those times when the high-frequency vibration method of cleaning your D610 sensor does not dislodge some stickier-than-normal dust. You may have to clean your sensor more aggressively.
In many cases all that’s needed is to remove the dust with a puff of air from a dust blower. I remember doing this to my Nikon D100 in 2002, and I was afraid I might ruin the shutter if I did it incorrectly. With the D100, I had to hold the shutter open in bulb mode with one hand while I blew off the sensor with the other hand.
The D610 helps out by providing the Lock mirror up for cleaning mode so you can more safely blow a stubborn piece of dust off the low-pass filter. This is much safer because the battery power holds the reflex mirror up and the shutter open, so both your hands are free.
Figure 5.9 – Lock mirror up for cleaning
Use the following steps to select this mode for manual sensor cleaning:
1. Select Lock mirror up for cleaning from the Setup Menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.9, screen 1).
2. Press the OK button on Start (figure 5.9, screen 2).
3. A message will say that as soon as you press the Shutter-release button the camera will raise the mirror and open the shutter (figure 5.9, screen 3).
4. Remove the lens and press the Shutter-release button once. The sensor will now be exposed and ready for cleaning. Be careful not to let new dirt in while the sensor is exposed to air.
5. Clean the sensor by using a blower bulb to blow dust off (figure 5.10), or use proper cleaning fluids and pads (e.g., Eclipse fluid and Pec Pads).
6. Turn the camera off and put the lens back on.
Make sure you have a fresh battery in the camera because that’s what holds the shutter open for cleaning. The battery must have at least a 60 percent charge or the camera won’t start the process. If the battery has less than a 60 percent charge, the Lock mirror up for cleaning selection will be grayed out. If you try to force the issue and use it anyway, the camera will display a window that says, This option is not available at current settings or in the camera’s current state. Use a fresh battery!
Settings Recommendation: You’ll need a good professional sensor-cleaning blower, such as my favorite, the Giotto’s Rocket-air blower, with a long tip for easy insertion (figure 5.10). This deluxe blower pulls air in from an opening in the bulb end of the blower instead of from the red tip of the blower. This prevents you from blowing dust you have removed back onto the low-pass filter. I bought mine from the Nikonians PhotoProShop at this website:
Figure 5.10 – Giotto’s Rocket-air blower
If even an air blower fails to remove stubborn dust or pollen, you will need to either have your sensor professionally cleaned or do it yourself. Nikon says you’ll void your warranty if you touch the low-pass filter in front of the sensor. However, many people wet or brush clean their sensor. I’ve done it myself, although I’ll never admit it! (Oops!) If all of this makes you nervous, then send your camera off to Nikon for approved cleaning, or use a professional service.
Image Dust Off Ref Photo
(User’s Manual – Page 251)
You may go out and do an expensive shoot only to return and find that some dust spots have appeared in the worst possible places in your images. If you immediately create an Image Dust Off ref photo, you can use it to remove the dust spots from your images. Then you can clean the sensor for your next shooting session.
When you use the following instructions to create the Image Dust Off ref photo, you’ll be shooting a blank, unfocused picture of a pure white or gray background. The dust spots in the image will then be readily apparent to Nikon Capture NX2 software. Yes, you must use Nikon’s software to automatically batch-remove dust spots from a large number of images.
When you load the image to be cleaned into Capture NX2, along with the dust-off image, the software will use that image to remove the spots in your production image.
The position and amount of dust on the low-pass filter may change. You should take Image Dust Off ref photos regularly and use one that was taken within one day of the photographs you wish to clean up.
Finding a Subject for the Dust-Off Reference Photo
First, you’ll need to select a featureless subject to make a photograph for the Image Dust Off ref photo. The key is to use an object that has no graininess, such as a bright white or slick plastic card. I tried using plain sheets of white paper held up to a bright window, but the resulting reference photo was unsatisfactory to Capture NX2. It gave me a message that my reference photo was too dusty when I tried to use it.
After some experimentation, I finally settled on three different subjects that seem to work well:
• A slide-viewing light table with the light turned on
• A computer monitor with a blank white word processor document open
• A plain white card in the same bright light in which the subject resides
All these subjects provided enough light and few enough features to satisfy both my camera and Capture NX2. The key is to photograph something fairly bright, but not too bright. You may need to experiment with different subjects if you don’t have a light table or computer.
Figure 5.11 – Image Dust Off ref photo settings
Now, let’s prepare the camera to take the reference photo:
1. Select Image Dust Off ref photo from the Setup Menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.11, screen 1). In addition to Start, there is a Clean sensor and then start selection. Since you want to remove dust on current pictures, don’t clean your sensor first. It might remove the dust bunny that is imprinted on the last 500 images you shot! Clean your sensor after you get a good Image Dust Off ref photo.
2. Choose Start and press the OK button (figure 5.11, screen 2). Afterward, you’ll see the characters rEF in the Viewfinder and on the Control panel. This simply means that the camera is ready to create the image.
Figure 5.11.1 – Image Dust Off ref photo failure
3. When the camera is ready, hold the lens about 4 inches (10 cm) away from the blank subject (figure 5.11, screen 3). The camera will not try to autofocus during the process, which is good because you want the lens at infinity. You are not trying to take a viewable picture; you’re creating an image that shows where the dust is on the sensor. Focus is not important, and neither is minor camera shake. If you try to take the picture and the subject is not bright enough, or if it’s too bright, you will see the screen shown in figure 5.11.1. If you are having problems with too much brightness, use a gray surface instead of a white one. Most of the time this error is caused by insufficient light.
4. If you don’t see the screen in figure 5.11.1 and the shutter fires, you have successfully created an Image Dust Off ref photo. You will find the image shown in figure 5.11.2 on your Monitor. An approximately 5.75 MB file will be created on your memory card, in the current folder, with a file extension of NDF instead of the normal NEF, TIF, or JPG (an example file name is DSC_1234.NDF). This NDF file is basically a picture of the millions of clean pixels on your imaging sensor and a few dirty ones. When displaying the NDF file on the computer or camera Monitor, you will not see an actual picture of the sensor. Instead, you will see a pleasant-looking checkerboard with the labels NDF and Image Dust Off Ref photo (figure 5.11.2).
Figure 5.11.2 – Successful Image Dust Off ref photo
You cannot display the Image Dust Off ref photo on your computer. It will not open in Nikon Capture NX2 or any other graphics program that I tried. It is used only as a reference by Capture NX2 when it’s time to clean images.
Where to Store the Reference Photo
Copy the NDF file from your memory card to the computer folder that contains the images that have dust spots on them. You can now use Nikon Capture NX2 to remove the dust spots from all the images that correspond to the Image Dust Off ref photo. That process is beyond the scope of this book, but there are many good Nikon Capture NX2 books on the market that will explain it well.
White Card Tips
Remember, all your camera needs to create an Image Dust Off ref photo is a good, bright light on the imaging sensor so it can map the dust in an NDF file. If you see the warning screen in figure 5.11.1 that says Exposure settings are not appropriate, change the exposure settings and try again. Shoot another Image Dust Off ref photo with a bright and clean white surface. Put the lens very close to the surface—Nikon recommends less than 4 inches (10 cm)—and make sure it is not in focus. You might even want to manually set the lens to infinity if you are having problems with this. When you find your favorite white or gray surface for Image Dust Off ref photos, keep it safe and use it consistently.
(User’s Manual – Page 205)
HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) allows you to display your images and movies on a high-definition TV or monitor.
If you enable Device control, the camera allows itself to be controlled by an external HDMI device using the HDMI-CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) standard.
You’ll need an HDMI type A to type C cable, which is not included with the camera but is available from many electronics stores. This cable is also known as a mini-HDMI to HDMI A/V HD cable.
Figure 5.12 – HDMI connectors
Figure 5.12 gives you a closeup look at both ends of the cable. The smaller end (mini-HDMI, type C) goes into the HDMI port under the HDMI/USB cover on your camera, and the other end (HDMI, type A) plugs into your HD device. The HDMI setting has two options, Output resolution and Device control, which we’ll discuss next.
You can select one of the following formats for output to your HDMI device:
• Auto (default) – Allows the camera to select the most appropriate format for displaying your image on the currently connected device
• 480p (progressive) – 640 x 480 progressive format
• 576p (progressive) – 720 x 576 progressive format
• 720p (progressive) – 1280 x 720 progressive format
• 1080i (interlaced) – 1920 x 1080 interlaced format
Figure 5.13 – Selecting an HDMI Output resolution
Use the following steps to select an Output resolution:
1. Select HDMI from the Setup Menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.13, screen 1).
2. Choose Output resolution from the menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.13, screen 2).
3. Select one of the five output resolutions (figure 5.13, screen 3).
4. Press the OK button to lock in your selection.
Check the user’s manual for your HDMI device to find its appropriate format, or use Auto.
Select one of the two settings that affect how you will control your HDMI device:
• On – When you connect your camera to a television that supports HDMI-CEC, a simple display will appear on your TV screen. There will be two choices: Play and Slide show. When you see this display you can use your TV remote to control the camera during full-frame playback and slide shows.
• Off – You must use the Multi selector to control the image display on the TV.
Figure 5.14 – Enable or disable Device control for HDMI-CEC
Use the following steps to enable or disable Device control:
1. Select HDMI from the Setup Menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.14, screen 1).
2. Choose Device control from the menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.14, screen 2).
3. Select On or Off from the menu (figure 5.14, screen 3).
4. Press the OK button to lock in your selection.
Settings Recommendation: These modes will be discussed in more detail in the chapter titled Movie Live View. Here we’ve examined only how to select the modes. Leave the HDMI mode set to Auto until you learn more about HDMI. The D610 can interface with both progressive and interlaced devices.
(User’s Manual – Page 252)
Flicker reduction allows you to attempt to match the camera’s recording frequency to that of the local AC power supply so when you use Live view or shoot a movie under fluorescent or mercury-vapor lighting you can minimize flickering.
Figure 5.15 – Selecting Flicker reduction frequencies
Use the following steps to select a setting in hopes of reducing flicker:
1. Select Flicker reduction from the Setup Menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.15, screen 1).
2. Choose Auto, 50 Hz, or 60 Hz from the menu (figure 5.15, screen 2). Auto will always be used for Movie live view playback or recording.
3. Press the OK button to lock in your setting.
Settings Recommendation: This function is somewhat limited since there are really only two flicker settings: 50 Hz and 60 Hz. Auto just selects one of them automatically.
However, it could help to control the flickering that looks like dark horizontal bands moving through the movie. Experiment to see if it helps to switch between the two settings when you detect flicker under fluorescent or mercury-vapor lighting.
Time Zone and Date
(User’s Manual – Page 253)
Time zone and date allows you to configure the Time zone, Date and time, Date format, and Daylight saving time for your camera.
If you haven’t set the time and date you’ll see the word CLOCK flashing on the Control panel. In addition to the main lithium ion (li-ion) battery pack, the camera has a built-in clock battery that is not user replaceable. The built-in battery charges itself from the main camera battery pack. When CLOCK blinks on the Control panel, it can also mean that the internal battery is exhausted and the clock has been reset.
It takes about two days of having a charged battery in the camera to fully charge the separate built-in clock battery. When the clock battery is fully charged, the clock will remain active without a main camera battery for up to two months.
Figure 5.16 shows the Time zone configuration screens. The screen used to set the time zone displays a familiar world map from which you will select the area of the world where you are using the camera.
As an example, New York is in the Eastern Time (ET) zone. I hope you remember your geography lessons! Fortunately, the camera displays some major city names below the time zone map in case you don’t recognize your location.
Figure 5.16 – Time zone settings
Use the following steps to set the Time zone:
1. Select Time zone and date from the Setup Menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.16, screen 1).
2. Choose Time zone from the menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.16, screen 2).
3. To set the Time zone, use the Multi selector to scroll left or right until your location is under the vertical yellow bar or when you see the city nearest you in your time zone marked with a small red dot (figure 5.16, screen 3).
4. Press the OK button to lock in the Time zone.
Date and Time
Figure 5.17 shows the three Date and time configuration screens. The final screen in the series allows you to select the year, month, and day (Y, M, D) and the hour, minute, and second (H, M, S).
Figure 5.17 – Date and time settings
Use the following steps to set the Date and time:
1. Select Time zone and date from the Setup Menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.17, screen 1).
2. Choose Date and time from the menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.17, screen 2).
3. Use the Multi selector to scroll left or right until you’ve selected the value you want to change. Then scroll up or down to change the value. The first set of numbers shown in figure 5.17, screen 3, includes the year, month, and day (Y, M, D). The second set of numbers includes the hour, minute, and second (H, M, S).
4. Press the OK button to lock in the Date and time.
Note: The time setting uses the 24-hour military-style clock. To set the clock to 3 p.m., you would set the H and M settings to 15:00. Please refer to the following 12 – to 24-Hour Time Conversion Chart.
Note: There is no 24:00 (midnight). After 23:59 comes 00:00.
The camera gives you three different ways to format its internal date:
• Y/M/D Year/Month/Day (2011/12/31)
• M/D/Y Month/Day/Year (12/31/2011)
• D/M/Y Day/Month/Year (31/12/2011)
U.S. camera owners will probably use the second setting, which matches the format used in the United States. People in other parts of the world can select their favorite date format from the two additional choices.
Figure 5.18 – Date format settings
Here are the steps to set the Date format:
1. Select Time zone and date from the Setup Menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.18, screen 1).
2. Choose Date format from the menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.18, screen 2).
3. Choose your favorite Date format from the menu (figure 5.18, screen 3). I selected M/D/Y Month/Day/Year.
4. Press the OK button to lock in the Date format.
Daylight Saving Time
Many areas of the world observe daylight saving time. On a specified day in spring of each year, people set their clocks forward by one hour. Then in the fall they set their clocks back, leading to the clever saying, “spring forward, fall back.”
If you live in a part of the world that observes daylight saving time, turn this setting on or off as a reference only. Then adjust the camera’s time to reflect your current time. The function does not automatically adjust the time for you.
Here are the steps to enable or disable the Daylight saving time reference:
1. Select Time zone and date from the Setup Menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.19, screen 1).
2. Choose Daylight saving time and scroll to the right (figure 5.19, screen 2).
3. Figure 5.19, screen 3, shows you the two choices for Daylight saving time: On and Off. If daylight saving time is in effect in your area (spring and summer in most areas of the United States), select On. When daylight saving time ends, you will need to change this setting to Off to adjust the clock back by one hour.
4. Press the OK button to lock in the setting.
Figure 5.19 – Daylight saving time settings
Settings Recommendation: This is a relatively useless function except for helping you remember whether daylight saving time is in effect. When you set the time forward or back on your wristwatch and clocks, you will need to set it for your camera too, otherwise your images will have metadata reflecting a time that is off by one hour for several months of the year.
A reference I found on the support.nikonusa.com website makes this very clear: “Nikon cameras have an option for ’Daylight Saving Time,’ but this will NOT automatically change your camera’s time when Daylight Saving Time changes. This option is used only to reflect the correct time display, (whether you are recognizing Daylight Saving time or not). Nikon users will need to manually correct the camera’s clock and change the Daylight Saving Time setting to recognize the change.”
(User’s Manual – Pages 253, 330)
Language is a function that lets the camera know what language you prefer for the camera’s menus, screens, and messages. Nikon is an international company that sells cameras and lenses around the world. For that reason, the D610 can display its screens and menus in up to 28 languages.
The D610 includes the following languages on its Setup Menu > Language screen (in alphabetic order):
• Chinese (simplified)
• Chinese (traditional)
• Portuguese (Brazil)
• Portuguese (Portugal)
This list of languages does not match the order found in the camera because the list was created for easy reference so you can see if your language is available. You will need to be able to read the language in order to recognize it on the menu (figure 5.20, screen 2).
Figure 5.20 – Language selection
Use the following steps to select your preferred Language:
1. Select Language from the Setup Menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.20, screen 1).
2. Choose your preferred Language from the list shown in figure 5.20, screen 2.
3. Press the OK button to lock in your choice.
Settings Recommendation: The camera should come preconfigured for the main language that is spoken where you live. If you prefer a different one, use this setting to select it.
(User’s Manual – Page 253)
Image comment is a useful setting that allows you to attach a 36-character comment to each image you shoot. The comment is embedded in the picture’s internal metadata and does not show up on the image itself. I include an email address in this field.
In older Nikon cameras, I place a copyright notice in Image comments; however, the Nikon D610 provides Artist and Copyright fields under the Setup Menu > Copyright information selection. We will consider Copyright information in an upcoming section.
Adding your email address allows someone who is interested in your image to contact you instead of claiming it is orphaned and doing whatever they want with it. If you upload your images to a social media site or image sharing site and care about who uses the images, please add your email address or other identifying information, such as a short web address, in the Image comment field.
Figure 5.21 – Attaching an Image comment
Use the following steps to create an Image comment:
1. Select Image comment from the Setup Menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.21, screen 1).
2. Select Input comment from the menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.21, screen 2).
3. In figure 5.21, screen 3, you’ll see a series of symbols, numbers, and letters on top and a rectangle with lines at the bottom. The lines are where you will put the text of the comment you want to attach to the image. There is a blank spot just after the lowercase z, which represents a blank space that you can insert in the line of text. This can be used for separating words. Notice that the lowercase letters follow the uppercase letters.
4. Use the Multi selector to scroll through the numbers and letters to find the characters you want to use.
5. Press the OK button to insert a character. Keep inserting new characters until you have the entire comment typed into the rectangle at the bottom of the screen. I added “firstname.lastname@example.org” to represent your email address.
6. If you make a mistake, hold down the Playback zoom out/thumbnails button while using the Multi selector to move to the position of the error. Press the Delete button and the character will disappear.
7. Press the Playback zoom in button when you are finished entering the comment.
8. The camera will switch back to the screen shown in figure 5.21, screen 4. Put a check mark in the Attach comment check box so the comment will be attached to each image. To check the box, highlight the Attach comment line and scroll to the right, or press the OK button to add the check mark to the box. You’ll see a check mark appear as soon as you scroll to the right (figure 5.21, screen 5).
9. Scroll up to Done and press the OK button to save the new comment (figure 5.21, screen 6).
Settings Recommendation: I add my email address to Image comment because I am worried about image theft. In today’s world, with so little respect for image copyright (everything on the Internet is free, right?), it’s a really good idea to add identity information to the internal metadata of your images so they cannot accidentally become orphaned and revert to the public domain.
Auto Image Rotation
(User’s Manual – Page 254)
Auto image rotation is concerned with how vertical images are displayed on your camera’s Monitor and later on your computer. Horizontal images are not affected by this setting. The camera has a direction-sensing device, so it knows how the camera was oriented when a picture was taken.
Depending on how you have Auto image rotation set, how the Playback Menu > Rotate tall setting is configured, and the direction you hold your camera, the camera will display a vertical image either in a portrait orientation (with the top of the image at the top of the Monitor) or lying on its side in a landscape orientation (with the top of the image to the left or right side of the Monitor). The two selections are as follows:
• On – With Auto image rotation turned On, the camera stores orientation information within each image, primarily so the image will display correctly in computer software. The metadata will indicate whether you were holding the camera horizontally or vertically (hand grip down), or even upside down and vertically (hand grip up). The image will display in the correct orientation on the Monitor only if you have Playback Menu > Rotate tall set to On. Auto image rotation lets the image speak for itself as to orientation, while Rotate tall lets the camera listen to the image and display it in the proper orientation.
• Off – If Auto image rotation is turned Off, the vertical image will be displayed horizontally, on its side, in computer software. The top of the image will be on the left or right depending on how you held the hand grip (up or down) when you took the picture. The camera does not record orientation information in the image metadata. It will display images horizontally, even if you have the Playback Menu > Rotate tall function set to On.
Figure 5.22 – Auto image rotation settings
Use the following steps to set the Auto image rotation function:
1. Select Auto image rotation from the Setup Menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.22, screen 1).
2. Choose On or Off from the menu (figure 5.22, screen 2).
3. Press the OK button to lock in your selection.
If you’re shooting in one of the Continuous frame advance modes (CL or CH), the position of your camera for the first shot sets the direction the images are displayed.
Settings Recommendation: If you want your images to be displayed correctly on your camera Monitor and in your computer, you’ll need to be sure that Auto image rotation is set to On. I always keep mine set that way.
(User’s Manual – Page 255)
The Battery info screens will let you know how much battery charge has been used (Charge), how many images have been taken with this battery since the last charge (No. of shots), and how much life the battery has before it will no longer hold a good charge (Battery age) and should be replaced.
Here are the steps to examine the Battery info:
1. Select Battery info from the Setup Menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.23, screen 1).
2. The next screen is the Battery info screen. It is just for information, so there’s nothing to set (figure 5.23, screen 2).
3. When you’ve finished examining your camera’s Battery info, press the OK button to exit.
Figure 5.23 – Battery info screen
The D610 goes a step further than most cameras. Not only does it inform you of the amount of charge left in your battery, it also lets you know how much life is left. After some period of time, all batteries weaken and won’t hold a full charge. The Battery age meter will tell you when the battery needs to be completely replaced. It shows five stages of battery life, from 0–4, so you’ll be prepared to replace the battery before it gets too old to take many more shots.
Settings Recommendation: It’s important to use Nikon brand batteries in your D610 so they will work properly with the camera. Aftermarket batteries may not charge correctly in the D610 battery charger. In addition, they may not report correct Battery age information. There may be an aftermarket brand that works correctly, but I haven’t found it. Instead, I use the batteries designed by Nikon to work with this camera. I am afraid to trust a camera that costs this much to a cheap aftermarket battery of unknown origin.
Battery Info with an MB-D14 Battery Pack
If you are using the MB-D14 battery pack with an EN-EL15 battery, the Battery info screen will display a split screen. The left side of the screen shows information for the battery in the camera, and the right side shows information for the battery in the MB-D14 battery pack.
(User’s Manual – Page 256)
Copyright information allows you enter Artist and Copyright information. The camera will then write that information into the metadata of each image.
Here are the steps to enter your Artist and Copyright information:
1. Select Copyright information from the Setup Menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.24, screen 1).
2. Select Done from the menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.24, screen 2).
3. Scroll down to Artist then scroll to the right (figure 5.24, screen 3).
4. You’ll now see the Artist screen with all the available characters (figure 5.24, screen 4). Add your name here, to a maximum of 36 characters. Use the Multi selector to scroll around within the characters. Lowercase letters follow uppercase letters. Select a character by pressing the OK button. Correct errors within the text you’ve already entered by holding down the Playback zoom out/thumbnails button and scrolling left or right with the Multi selector. Remove a character that’s already in the name area by scrolling to it and pressing the Delete button. Press the Playback zoom in button when you have entered your name.
5. Now scroll down to the Copyright line on the Copyright information screen, and then scroll to the right (figure 5.24, screen 5).
6. Add your name using the method and controls described in step 4 (figure 5.24, screen 6).
7. Scroll down to the Attach copyright information line (figure 5.24, screen 7). Notice that there is no check mark in the box.
8. Now scroll to the right to place a check mark in the box (figure 5.24, screen 8).
9. Finally, scroll up to Done on the Copyright information screen (figure 5.24, screen 9).
10. Press the OK button to save your Artist and Copyright information.
Figure 5.24 – Copyright information settings
Settings Recommendation: Be sure to add your name in both the Artist and Copyright sections of this function. With so much intellectual property theft going on these days, it’s a good idea to identify each of your images as your own. Otherwise you may post an image on Flickr or Facebook to share with friends and later find it on a billboard along the highway. With the Artist and Copyright information embedded in the image metadata, you will be able to prove that the image is yours and charge the infringer.
Embedding your personal information is not a foolproof way to identify your images since unscrupulous people may steal them and strip the metadata out of them. However, if you do find one of your images on the front page of a magazine, or on someone else’s website, you can at least prove that you took the image and have some legal recourse under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). When you take a picture, you immediately own the copyright to that image. However, you must be able to prove you took it. This is one convenient way to do so.
You’ll have even more power to protect yourself if you register your images with the United States Copyright Office at the following website:
(User’s Manual – Page 257)
Do you have your D610 set up exactly the way you like it? Have you spent hours and hours reading this book and the User’s Manual, or simply exploring menus, and finally have all the settings in place? Are you worried that you might accidentally reset your camera or that it could lose its settings somehow? Well, worry no more!
Save/load settings works a little like the Save user settings function we examined at the beginning of this chapter, except that Save/load settings writes configuration settings to the removable memory card—instead of storing them in the camera’s internal memory (i.e., it doesn’t use U1 or U2)—so you can back them up to your computer.
When you have your camera configured to your liking, or at any time, simply use the Save/load settings function to save the camera configuration to your memory card. It creates a 2 KB file named NCSETUPC.BIN in the root directory of your memory card. You can then save that file to your computer hard drive.
Figure 5.25 – Save/load settings
Here are the steps to save or load the camera settings:
1. Choose Save/load settings from the Setup Menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.25, screen 1).
2. Select Save settings or Load settings from the Save/load settings screen, and then follow one of these easy procedures (figure 5.25, screen 2):
a) Save settings – Select Save settings and press the OK button. Your most important camera settings will be saved to your memory card. Then copy the settings file (NCSETUPA.BIN) to your computer for safekeeping. Warning: You may notice that the Load settings selection on your screen in figure 5.25, screen 2, is grayed out. That simply means there are no saved settings on the card. If Load settings is not grayed out when you get ready to Save settings, be careful—you are about to overwrite previously saved settings that are currently on the memory card. The only time you’ll see Load settings not grayed out is when an NCSETUPA.BIN file already exists on the memory card.
b) Load settings – Insert a memory card with a previously saved NCSETUPA. BIN file on it, select Load settings, and press the OK button. The settings you previously saved will be reloaded into the D610 and will overwrite your current settings without prompting you for permission, so be sure that you are ready to have the settings overwritten. If you change the name of the NCSETUPA.BIN file, the D610 will not be able to reload your settings.
Here is a list of settings that are saved or loaded when you use Save/load settings. It doesn’t save or load every setting in the D610, only the ones listed here:
• Playback display options
• Image review
• After delete
• Rotate tall
• File naming
• Role played by card in Slot 2
• Image quality
• Image size
• Image area
• JPEG compression
• NEF (RAW) recording
• White balance (includes fine-tuning adjustments and presets d-1 to d-4)
• Set Picture Control
• Auto distortion control
• Color space
• Active D-Lighting
• Long exposure NR
• High ISO NR
• ISO sensitivity settings
• Movie settings
• Remote control mode
Custom Setting Menu
• Custom settings (includes all configurable settings)
• Clean image sensor
• Flicker reduction
• Time zone and date (except date and time)
• Image comment
• Auto image rotation
• Copyright information
• Non-CPU lens data
• Eye-Fi upload
My Menu and Recent Settings
• My Menu (includes all items you’ve entered)
• Recent Settings
• Choose tab
Settings Recommendation: The Save/load settings function is a great idea. After I use my new camera for a few days and get it set up just right, I save the settings file to my computer for safekeeping. Later, if I change things extensively and want to reload my original settings, I just put the backed-up settings file on a memory card, pop it into the camera, use Load settings, and I’m back in business.
Note: If you notice a file named NIKON001.DSC in the root directory of a memory card, just ignore it. This is the camera’s index file for that card. You cannot even see this file unless you have your computer set to show system files (a dangerous practice). If you delete the NIKON001.DSC file, the camera will merely reindex all the images and create a new file.
Save User Settings versus Save/Load Settings
Early in the chapter we discussed Save user settings and how you can use it to configure your camera in custom ways and save the customizations under U1 or U2 for quick access on the Mode dial. Now we have another similar-sounding function called Save/load settings. How is it different? Save/load settings does not save the camera’s settings to the camera’s internal memory; instead, it saves them to a removable memory card. By placing the camera’s settings on a memory card, you can back them up to your computer or share them with a friend who has a D610. The Save/load settings function is completely separate from and does not affect the user settings you saved to U1 and U2.
(User’s Manual – Page 175)
Nikon has wisely included the ability to geotag your images with global positioning system (GPS) location data. Now when you shoot a spectacular travel image, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to find that exact spot next year. With the Nikon GP-1 or GP-1A GPS unit (or an aftermarket brand), the D610 will record the following GPS information about your location into the metadata of each image:
• UTC (time)
Using a GPS Unit with Your D610
The GPS unit you choose must be compatible with the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) 0183 version 3.01 ASCII data format.
As shown in figure 5.26, I use a Nikon GP-1 GPS unit on my D610. It’s small, easy to carry and store, and works very well. The GP-1 attaches to the Accessory shoe (you can also mount it on the camera strap with the included GP1-CL1 strap adapter). You can see that the included GP1-CA90 cable is plugged into the GPS connector on the side of the camera (look for the letters GPS on the outside of the lower Accessory terminal cover). I deliberately put the curl in the cable to keep it from sticking out awkwardly. The figure also shows the optional MC-DC2 remote release cable.
Figure 5.26 – Nikon D610 with a Nikon GP-1 GPS unit, GP1- CA90 cable, and MC-DC2 remote release cable
The GP1-CA90 cable that comes with the GP-1 also works with the Nikon D7100 and D90, and it includes a GP1-CA10 cable for Nikon cameras with a 10-pin port on the body, such as the D200, D300, D300S, D700, D2X, D3, D3S, D3X, and D4. You can also get an optional Nikon MC-DC2 remote release cable that plugs directly into the GP-1 for hands-off, vibration-free photography. This cable will fire the shutter through the GPS on any Nikon camera that is compatible with the GP-1 unit.
One thing to note about the Nikon GP-1 GPS unit is that it doesn’t have a built-in digital compass, so it will not report Heading information to the camera.
Preparing the Camera for GPS Use
There are several screens to set up the D610 for GPS use. First, you have to make a decision about the exposure meter when a GPS unit is plugged into the camera. While the GPS unit is mounted (figure 5.27), the camera’s exposure meter must be active to record GPS data to the image. You’ll have to do one of two things:
Figure 5.27 – Nikon GP-1 mounted on the Accessory shoe
• Set the exposure meter to stay on for the entire time that a GPS is plugged in, which, of course, will increase battery drain, but it keeps the GPS locked to the satellites (no seeking time).
• Press the Shutter-release button halfway down to activate the exposure meter before you take the picture. If you press the Shutter-release button quickly and the GPS is not active and locked (indicated by a solid green light), it won’t record GPS data to the image. The meter must be on before the GPS will seek satellites.
Figure 5.28 shows the screens used to set the meter to stay on the entire time the GPS is connected or to shut down after the Custom Setting Menu > c Timers/AE lock > c2 Standby timer expires. You can select either Enable to use the c2 Standby timer or Disable to not use it (the Standby timer is called Auto meter-off in older Nikons). Here’s what each setting does:
• Enable (default) – The meter turns off one minute after the Custom setting c2 Standby timer expires (the default is six seconds). GPS data will be recorded only when the exposure meter is active, so allow some time for the GPS unit to reacquire a satellite signal before taking a picture. This is hard to do when Standby timer is set to Enable. You just about have to stand around with your finger on the Shutter-release button to keep the meter active. I suggest using Disable, described next.
• Disable – The exposure meter stays on the entire time a GPS unit is connected. As long as you have a good GPS signal, you will be able to record GPS data at any time. This is the preferred setting for using the GPS for continuous shooting. It does use extra battery life, so you may want to carry more than one battery if you’re going to shoot all day. Turn the camera off between locations to conserve your battery.
Figure 5.28 – Setting the Standby timer
Here are the steps to configure the Standby timer:
1. Choose GPS from the Setup Menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.28, screen 1).
2. Select Standby timer and scroll to the right (figure 5.28, screen 2).
3. Select Enable or Disable (figure 5.28, screen 3).
4. Press the OK button to lock in the setting.
The Position setting is shown in figure 5.29, screen 2. If your GPS unit is not attached to the camera, the Position selection is grayed out.
Figure 5.29 – GPS Position setting
When a GPS is attached, the screen shown in figure 5.29, screen 3, shows the actual GPS location data that is being detected by the D610. When the camera establishes communication with your GPS unit, three things will happen:
1. Position information appears on the GPS Position screen (figure 5.29, screen 3).
2. A GPS symbol will appear on the Information display (red arrow in figure 5.30). It will blink when it is acquiring a GPS signal lock, and it will stop blinking when at least three global positioning satellites have been acquired.
Figure 5.30 – U1 and U2 user settings
Figure 5.31 – GPS Information display screen (Playback)
3. An additional information screen will be displayed when you use the Playback button to review your images (figure 5.31). You can press up or down with the Multi selector to scroll through the image data screens on the Monitor. One of them will be the screen shown in figure 5.31, which is a picture of the GPS data screen with a dark background so you can see the numbers with no distractions. Normally the information is overlaid on top of an image.
Note: The rear LED light on the Nikon GP-1 will blink red while acquiring satellites, blink green when locked onto two satellites, and shine solid green when locked onto at least three satellites. Allow a few seconds for the GPS to acquire satellites when the camera has been turned off. If you are a great distance from where you last used the GP-1, it may require up to a minute or two to acquire a satellite lock. After the GP-1 has a local satellite lock and you turn the camera off, the GPS unit will reacquire the signal in just a few seconds when the camera is turned back on.
Use GPS to Set Camera Clock
The D610 has a cool feature designed to let the GPS satellite keep your camera’s time accurate. It can query the satellite to set the clock. If you use GPS a lot, you might want to leave this on.
Figure 5.32 – Use GPS to set camera clock
Here are the steps to enable Use GPS to set camera clock:
1. Choose GPS from the Setup Menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.32, screen 1).
2. Select Use GPS to set camera clock and scroll to the right (figure 5.32, screen 2).
3. Select Yes to enable the setting or No to disable it (figure 5.32, screen 3).
4. Press the OK button to save the setting.
Using the GPS
If the GPS icon is flashing on the Control panel and Information display, it means that the GPS is searching for a signal (figure 5.30). If you take a picture with the GPS icon flashing, no GPS data will be recorded. If the GPS icon is not flashing, it means that the D610 is receiving good GPS data and is ready to record data to a picture. If the D610 loses communication with the GPS unit for more than two seconds, the GPS icon will disappear. Make sure the icon is displayed and isn’t flashing red before you take pictures!
If you want the GPS Heading information to be accurate, keep your GPS unit pointing in the same direction as the lens. Some aftermarket GPS units contain a digital compass, unlike the Nikon GP-1. Point the GPS in the direction of your subject and give it enough time to stabilize before you take the picture, or the Heading information will not be accurate. This does not apply to the Nikon GP-1 GPS unit; it records only Latitude, Longitude, Altitude, and UTC time, not the Heading.
Settings Recommendation: Get the Nikon GP-1 GPS unit! It’s easy to use, foolproof, and has all the cables you need for using it with your camera. You can also buy the optional MC-DC2 remote release cable (coiled on the left in figure 5.26). I constantly use the GP-1 when I’m shooting nature images so I can remember where to return in the future. After you start using a GPS unit, you’ll find it hard to stop.
(User’s Manual – Page 258)
Virtual horizon is a function that allows you to level your camera when it’s on a tripod. It’s not for live picture-taking use. All it does is bring up the Virtual horizon indicator on the Monitor.
The Live view and Movie modes have a similar version of the Virtual horizon that you can see through for live usage.
Figure 5.33 – Virtual horizon
Here are the steps to use the Virtual horizon:
1. Choose Virtual horizon from the Setup Menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.33, screen 1).
2. The next screen shows the Virtual horizon indicator. You can use it to level the camera on your tripod (figure 5.33, screen 2). This indicator shows left or right tilts and forward or backward tilts. The Virtual horizon in screen 2 shows that the camera is tilted to the right and the lens is tilted forward (down). The long yellow bar (bottom arrow) represents left and right tilt, and the short yellow bar (top arrow) represents forward and backward tilt. The long bar will turn green and line up with the horizontal crosshair when the camera is level. If the short bar is in the top section of the crosshairs, the lens is tilted forward, and if it’s in the bottom section, the lens is titled backward (up). When the short yellow bar disappears behind the long bar, the camera is level front to back. Experiment with your camera until you understand how the Virtual horizon works.
Settings Recommendation: In addition to Custom setting d2 Viewfinder grid display, I use the Virtual horizon when I initially set my camera up on a tripod for scenic shots. This extra discipline helps me keep the horizon level in my images. Plus, I find it easier to use than a small bubble level that is included on some tripods.
I suggest that you put Virtual horizon in My Menu (see the chapter called My Menu and Recent Settings) so you can find it easily.
Non-CPU Lens Data
(User’s Manual – Page 173)
Non-CPU lens data helps you use older non-CPU Nikkor lenses with your camera. Do you still have several older AI or AI-S Nikkor lenses? I do! The image quality from the older lenses is simply outstanding with the D610 because they match the format of the FX sensor.
Since the D610 is positioned as an advanced camera, it must have the necessary controls to use both auto focus (AF) and manual focus (MF) lenses. Many photographers on a budget use the older MF lenses to obtain professional-level image quality without having to break the bank on expensive lens purchases. You can buy excellent AI and AI-S Nikkor lenses on eBay for US$100–$300 and have image quality that only the most expensive zoom lenses can produce.
Lens manufacturers like Zeiss and Nikkor are still making MF lenses, and because some of them do not have a CPU (electronic chip) that communicates with the camera, it’s important to have a way to let the D610 know something about the lens in use. The Non-CPU lens data function allows you to do exactly that. You can store information for up to nine separate non-CPU lenses in the D610.
Here is a detailed analysis of the Non-CPU lens data screen selections (figure 5.34, screen 2):
• Done – When you have completed the setup of a particular lens, or several lenses, simply scroll to this selection and press the OK button. Your lens data will be saved in the D610. Later, you can put a non-CPU lens on your camera and select it from the list of nine lenses (1–9). You can use external camera controls or the Non-CPU lens data menu to change to your current lens.
• Lens number – Using the Multi selector, you can scroll left or right to select one of your lenses. There are nine lens records available. When you select a Lens number here, the focal length and maximum aperture of that lens will show up in the Focal length and Maximum aperture fields. If you haven’t stored information for a particular Lens number, you’ll see double dashes (– –) in the Focal length and Maximum aperture fields.
• Focal length (mm) – This field contains the focal length in millimeters (mm) of the Lens number in use. You can select focal lengths from 6mm to 4000mm. Hmm, I didn’t know they even made a 4000mm lens. I want one!
• Maximum aperture – This field is for the Maximum aperture of the lens. You can enter an f-stop number from F1.2 to F22. Remember, this is for the maximum aperture only (largest opening or f-stop). When you’ve entered a maximum aperture, the camera can determine the other apertures by your use of the aperture ring on older, non-G lenses (remember those?).
Figure 5.34 – Non-CPU lens data
Use the following steps to configure each of your non-CPU lenses for use with your D610:
1. Select Non-CPU lens data from the Setup Menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.34, screen 1).
2. Scroll down to Lens number and scroll left or right until you find the number you want to use for this particular lens, from 1–9 (figure 5.34, screen 2).
3. Scroll down to Focal length (mm) and scroll left or right to select the focal length (mm) of the lens. If you are configuring a zoom lens, select the widest setting (e.g., on a 24–85mm lens, select 24mm). This works because the meter will adjust for any light falloff that may occur as the lens is zoomed out.
4. Scroll down to Maximum aperture and then scroll left or right to select the maximum aperture of the lens. If you are configuring a variable-aperture zoom lens, select the largest aperture the lens is capable of. This works because the meter will adjust for the variation in the aperture.
5. Scroll to Done and press the OK button to store the setting.
The settings in figure 5.34, screen 2, are for my AI Nikkor 35mm f/2 lens, which I set to the Lens number 1 position. When you’re done entering data for your nine lenses, don’t forget to use the Done selection to save your work! It serves double duty by allowing you to either select a lens or save changes for the current lens. You can use the set of screens in figure 5.34 to either input data for or select an already configured non-CPU lens.
When you have selected a lens for use, the Setup Menu > Non-CPU lens data selection will show the number of the lens you’ve selected. It will be in the format of No. 1 to No. 9. Notice that in figure 5.34, screen 1, you can see the lens selection (No. 1) at the end of the Non-CPU lens data line.
Selecting a Non-CPU Lens with the Non-CPU Lens Data Menu
You can select a non-CPU lens by following these steps:
1. Open the Non-CPU lens data screen (figure 5.34, screen 2).
2. Select a lens by scrolling left or right on the Lens number field (figure 5.35). I selected the No. 2 position, which is my AI Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 lens.
3. Scroll up to the Done selection and press the OK button.
Figure 5.35 – Lens No. 2 selected
Selecting a Non-CPU Lens with External Camera Controls
The D610 allows you to customize the buttons to do things the way you want them to be done. You may have only one or two non-CPU lenses, so it may be sufficient to use the Non-CPU lens data menu to select a lens. However, if you have a large selection of non-CPU lenses, you may wish Nikon had provided more than nine lens selections in the Non-CPU lens data menu.
Since I use several older manual-focus AI Nikkor lenses, I use the assign button functions in the Custom Setting Menu so I can use the camera’s Fn button to select non-CPU lenses on the fly.
Figure 5.36 – Assign Fn button to Non-CPU lens data screens
Here are the steps to assign your camera’s Fn button for this purpose (you could assign the Preview button instead):
1. Notice that we’ve left the Setup Menu briefly and switched to the Custom Setting Menu to make the button assignment.
2. Select f Controls from the Custom Setting Menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.36, screen 1).
3. Highlight Assign Fn button (or Assign preview button if you would prefer to use the Preview button) and scroll to the right (figure 5.36, screen 2).
4. Select Choose non-CPU lens number from the menu (figure 5.36, screen 3).
5. Press the OK button to lock in the assignment.
Now you can choose a non-CPU lens by holding down the Fn button (figure 5.37, image 1) while turning the Main command dial (figure 5.37, image 2) and choosing one of the nine lens selections on the Control panel (figure 5.37, image 3, bottom red arrow). You’ll see n–1 to n–9 scroll by as you rotate the Main command dial. In figure 5.37, image 3, the top red arrow points to the focal length and maximum aperture of the currently selected non-CPU lens. You can see that lens n-1 is selected, which is a 35mm f/2 lens.
This is a really quick way to change the lens selection after you mount a different non-CPU lens.
Figure 5.37 – Using the Fn button and Main command dial to select non-CPU lenses
Settings Recommendation: I like using the Fn button in combination with the Main command dial to select my non-CPU lenses, particularly when I switch non-CPU lenses often. I leave the Preview button assigned to depth of field preview. You cannot assign the AE-L/AF-L button to this function.
(User’s Manual – Page 259)
One thing that really impresses me about the D610 is its ability to be fine-tuned in critical areas like metering and autofocus. With many older cameras, if an AF lens had a back focus problem, you either had to tolerate it or send it off to be fixed by Nikon. Now, with AF fine-tune controls, you can adjust your camera so the lens focuses where you want it to focus.
Nikon has made provisions for keeping a table of up to 12 lenses that you’ve fine-tuned. It recommends that you use the fine-tuning system only if you know what you are doing and only when required. The idea behind fine-tuning is that you can push the focus forward or backward in small increments, with up to 20 increments in each direction.
When the green AF indicator comes on in your Viewfinder and AF fine-tune is enabled for a lens you’ve already configured, the actual focus is moved from its default position forward or backward by the amount you’ve specified. If your lens has a back focus problem and you move the focus a little forward, the problem is solved. There are four selections on the AF fine-tune menu:
• AF fine-tune (On/Off)
• Saved value
• List saved values
Figure 5.38 – Fine-tuning the focus of a lens
Use the following steps to start the process of fine-tuning a lens:
1. Choose AF fine-tune from the Setup Menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.38, screen 1).
2. Select AF fine-tune (On/Off) and scroll to the right (figure 5.38, screen 2).
3. The next four subsections show the screens to configure AF fine-tune. Each of the figures continues where figure 5.38, screen 2, leaves off.
AF Fine-Tune (On/Off)
Figure 5.39 shows the AF fine-tune (On/Off) screen and its selections. The two values you can select are as follows:
• On – This setting turns on the AF fine-tune (On/Off) system. Without this setting enabled, the D610 focuses like a factory-default D610. Set AF fine-tune (On/Off) to On if you are planning to fine-tune a lens now.
• Off – This default setting disables the AF fine-tune (On/Off) system.
Figure 5.39 – Enabling AF fine-tune
With an autofocus lens mounted, Saved value allows you to control the amount of front or back focus you’d like to input for the listed lens. At the top left of figure 5.40, screen 2, just under the words Saved value, you can see the focal length of the lens that is mounted on your camera (24–85mm), the aperture range (F3.5–4.5 VR), and the number assigned to the lens. If you’re configuring a lens for the first time, you’ll see NO. ––. You can fine-tune a maximum of 12 lenses. After you save a lens configuration, a number will appear in place of the dashes (NO. 00 to NO. 99). Remember, you can save values for only 12 lenses, but you can number the lenses from 00 to 99.
Figure 5.40 – Fine-tuning a lens with a Saved value
To the right of the lens information is a scale that runs from +20 on the top to –20 on the bottom. The yellow pointer starts out at 0. You can move this yellow pointer up or down to change the amount of focus fine-tuning you want for this lens. Moving the pointer up on the scale pushes the focal point away from the camera, and moving it down pulls the focal point toward the camera. In figure 5.40, screen 2, I set my 24–85mm lens to +5 front focus. When you are done, press the OK button.
The Default configuration screen looks a lot like the Saved value screen, except no lens information is listed. The Default value will be applied to all AF lenses you mount on your camera. If you are convinced that your particular camera always has a back or front focus problem and you are not able or ready to ship it off to Nikon for repair, you can use the Default value to push the autofocus in one direction or the other until you are satisfied that your camera is focusing the way you’d like. Again, this will affect all autofocus lenses you mount on your camera.
Figure 5.41 – Setting a Default fine-tuning value
As shown in figure 5.41, screen 2, to set a Default value, use the scale that runs from +20 on the top to –20 on the bottom. The yellow pointer starts at 0. You can move this yellow pointer up or down to change the amount of focus fine-tuning you want for all lenses you mount on the camera, if no value already exists in the Saved value for the lens. Moving the pointer up on the scale pushes the focal point away from the camera (front focus), and moving it down pulls the focal point toward the camera (back focus). When you are done, press the OK button.
List Saved Values
Notice in figure 5.42 that there are several screens to configure the list of saved values. List saved values helps you remember which lenses you’ve fine-tuned, with a camera-controlled number from 1–12. From screen 1 it is apparent that my camera has three (of 12) lenses registered for fine-tuning (3/12).
Figure 5.42 – List saved values
The camera also allows you to set an identification number of your choice for each lens numbered from 00–99. Some people use the last two digits of the lens serial number as an identification number for that lens. In figure 5.42, screen 2, you can see a list of lenses with the last two digits of their serial numbers entered as identification numbers (44, 71, and 30). If you do not like this method, simply use whatever two-digit numbers make sense to you.
Notice in figure 5.42, screen 3, that there is a yellow box in the middle after NO. This box is where you set the identification number you want to use for each particular lens. The number in the box scrolls from 00 to 99. Use the Multi selector to scroll up or down until the number of your choice is shown in the box. Press the OK button to connect the identification number to the lens.
Notice at the bottom of figure 5.42, screen 2, that you can delete any of the lenses you have registered. Simply press the Delete button and answer Yes to the screen that pops up asking for permission to delete.
Settings Recommendation: AF fine-tune is good to have! If I buy a new lens and it has focus problems, I don’t keep it. Back it goes to the manufacturer for a replacement. However, if I buy a used lens or have had one long enough that it’s out of warranty and it later develops front or back focus problems, the camera allows me to fine-tune the autofocus for that lens. An advanced camera has these little necessities to keep you out of trouble when you shoot commercially.
(User’s Manual – Page 260)
Eye-Fi upload appears on the Setup Menu of your D610 only when you have an Eye-Fi card inserted.
Eye-Fi makes several SD/SDHC cards with built-in Wi-Fi transmitters. Figure 5.43 shows my Eye-Fi Pro X2 16 GB high-speed Class 10 SDHC card.
Figure 5.43 – Eye-Fi Pro X2 16 GB Wi-Fi card
With an Eye-Fi card inserted into your camera and Eye-Fi software installed on a computer with a wireless network connection, you can take pictures and they are automatically transferred to your computer. You can also simultaneously transfer images to file-sharing and social-media websites like Flickr and Facebook (plus several more).
Most lower-cost Eye-Fi cards require a wireless network to transfer the images. However, Eye-Fi recently came out with a card that will do Ad Hoc transfers, meaning that they don’t need a wireless network connection and will send pictures directly to a computer with wireless capability. In effect, the Eye-Fi card becomes a Wi-Fi transmitter that can communicate directly with a Wi-Fi–enabled computer—without an intervening network.
At the time of this writing, only two cards—the Eye-Fi Pro X2 8 GB and Eye-Fi Pro X2 16 GB—can transfer images directly to a computer without a wireless network. Other cards cost less but require a wireless network to move images.
Eye-Fi designates cards that are capable of Ad Hoc transfer as Pro cards. Current Eye-Fi cards are named Pro X2, Mobile X2, and Connect X2. Older Eye-Fi cards have names like Geo X2 and Explore X2. Only the Pro X2 cards are capable of Ad Hoc file transfers. Since memory card prices are extremely volatile, I’m sure that the capacities and names will change quickly.
Enabling Eye-Fi Uploads on the D610
An Eye-Fi card does not use any more battery life than a normal SD card until you enable Wi-Fi. Unless you are currently shooting images for transfer, I don’t recommend leaving the Eye-Fi upload feature enabled. Why waste battery life where there are no wireless networks? To make it really convenient to access the Eye-Fi upload function—when needed—I simply added it to My Menu. We’ll examine how to do that in the chapter titled My Menu and Recent Settings.
Figure 5.44 – Enabling Eye-Fi upload
Here are the steps to Enable or Disable Eye-Fi upload:
1. Choose Eye-Fi upload from the Setup Menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.44, screen 1).
2. Select which slot you want to enable or disable (Slot 1 or Slot 2). The camera will detect which slot has an Eye-Fi card in it (figure 5.44, screen 2). My D610 has an Eye-Fi card in Slot 1 only, so Slot 2 is grayed out. I suppose you could use an Eye-Fi card in both slots, so Nikon provides the ability to Enable or Disable the card in either slot.
3. Select Enable or Disable from the Eye-Fi upload screen (figure 5.44, screen 3).
4. Press the OK button to lock in the setting.
Note: You can download additional information about using an Eye-Fi card, called Eye-Fi Card Information, from this book’s downloadable resources at these websites:
Settings Recommendation: I wanted to buy a nice Nikon WT-4 wireless transmitter until I saw the price. Whew! I think I’d rather buy that Nikkor lens I have my eye on. Instead, I bought an Eye-Fi card for about one-eighth the price of the WT-4. It doesn’t give me the large wireless range and multiple modes the powerful WT-4 transmitter offers, but I can shoot an event within 50–90 feet of my notebook computer and have reasonably fast, wireless, Ad Hoc file transfer capability.
Since even the low-priced Eye-Fi cards have the ability to use an existing Wi-Fi connection to transfer images through the Internet to a home computer, you could do a photographic walkabout, stop at your favorite café, and use their wireless connection to transfer images to your home computer while you eat. I really like this little Eye-Fi card!
(User’s Manual – Page 260)
Firmware version is a simple informational screen, like the Battery info screen. It informs you which version of the camera’s operating system (firmware) your camera is running. My camera is currently running version c1.00 and L1.009.
Here are the steps to see the Firmware version of your camera:
1. Choose Firmware version from the Setup Menu and scroll to the right (figure 5.45, screen 1).
2. Examine the Firmware version (figure 5.45, screen 2).
3. Select Done and press the OK button.
Figure 5.45 – Viewing the camera’s Firmware version
Upgrading Your Camera’s Firmware
From time to time Nikon releases firmware upgrades for their cameras. You may want to install the upgrades for the D610 because they often fix bugs, speed things up, and even add features to your camera.
When you are ready to upgrade your camera’s firmware, you can go to the downloadable resources websites for this book and download a document called Firmware Upgrade:
Whew! The D610 may seem like a complicated little beast, but that’s what you get when you fold advanced-level functionality into a relatively compact HDDSLR body. For as complex as it is, I’m certainly delighted with it.
Next, we’ll consider how to use the camera’s Retouch Menu to adjust images without using a computer. If you are in the field shooting RAW files and you need a quick JPEG or black-and-white version of a file, the Retouch Menu has you covered.
You can even do things like Red-eye correction, Color balance changes, filtration, cropping, and image resizing—all without touching a computer. Let’s see how!