Monday, September 21, 2015

Learning the Nikon D810 - My Menu Settings

D810's "My Menu"
I've been using my new Nikon D810 almost exclusively for shooting birds with my 200-400mm f4 lens so far. Clearly, it's good for so much more in addition.
So, I've decided to figure out how to use all of the functions, and how to remember which are important to think of regularly as I change shooting conditions.
Among the features are Shooting and Custom Setting "Banks." These allow you to save settings for different applications and quickly switch between them. The big problem (unbelievable, really), is that if you're in a bank and change a setting, it remains changed, even after you turn off the camera. Basically they really only represent whatever your settings were last in that bank! Yes, you can get around this, if you can remember to reload settings each and every time you shoot. This requires not only a good memory, but also that you use the same memory card (where the settings are stored) every time, and don't format it. Not so useful.
A better option is to use "My Menu." This feature allows you to identify up to 20 settings from the menu system, which you want quick access to at any time. I went through every menu and selected which features I think I'll need regularly. Here they are:
  1. ISO sensitivity settings
  2. e3 Flash contrl for built-in flash
  3. e4 Exposure comp. for flash
  4. Image quality
  5. Battery info
  6. NEF (RAW) recording
  7. Manage Picture Control
  8. d13 Battery order
  9. d5 Electronic front-curtain shutter
  10. d4 Exposure delay mode
  11. c4 Monitor off delay
  12. c3 Self-timer
  13. c2 Standby timer
  14. b6 Center-weighted area
  15. a8 Number of focus points
  16. a4 AF activation
  17. a1 AF-C priority selection
  18. Long exposure NR
That still leaves two more features, should I decide to add them.
These are by and far the features that I'll use most. By having them in My Menu, I will only have to find them in a list of 18, rather than searching through the entire menu system when I need them. Win.
So, while I may not use the settings banks, My Menu will be key for my use of the D810.