Showing posts with label Photography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Photography. Show all posts

Nikon Programmable User Settings U1, U2 and U3 Camera Presets

I’ve had several Nikon cameras with U1, U2 and U3 presets on the top mode dial, but haven’t really used these to often. Guess I’m getting smarter in my old age.

For my wife, I’ve trained her use the Green Auto Mode when she picks up my camera. It’s a fully automatic preset mode that gives a pretty good picture in most situations. It’s simple and you don’t need to understand anything else about the camera.

But for more serious photographers that want to more precisely control an automatic setting, the programmable U modes are a great with to go. What I’ve learned is that these modes can be fast and convenient to have the camera ready to get a great shot 90% of the time. They are also a known starting point every time the camera is turned on or the mode is changed. This is Way better than me trying to fiddle with every control and setting to get the shot.

Here’s what I’m currently using the U1, U2 and U3 Modes for:

U1 is set for things that typically aren’t moving and I want the colors to Pop U2 is set for people that aren’t moving to quickly, casual family shots for example U3 is set for things that move faster, this could be for moving animals or sports

The great thing about the User presets is they return to your settings when the mode is change or if the camera is turned off and then back on. So you can use them for a baseline and make some quick adjustments if the particular shooting situation changes.

I should also note that it works for Camera and Video settings for each User Mode

Now I quickly grab by camera and select User 1, 2 or 3 and I’m ready to shoot! Here are the main differences in my User Settings between the three modes. If I need to tweak something and think that this is really my preference, I’ll change to that User Mode, make the single setting change, then save the User Mode. If you’re not careful with this, you can save a whole bunch of settings to a mode that you didn’t want.

I use these settings in all modes

Mode P > Let the minimum shutter be driven by settings below 

Auto Focus > Continuous 

Fn 1 Button (on front of Nikon Z6 or Z7)) > I set this to be Auto Focus Control so I can easily change it 

Fn 2 Button (on front of Nikon Z6 or Z7) > Set this to My Menu 

Image Quality > JPEG Normal * White 

Balance > A1 Matrix Metering 

Active D-Lighting > Auto 

Vibration Reduction > On (Normal) - this is for Nikon Z series cameras

Here are my User 1 Settings

Picture Control > VIVID 

    Saturation > +3 

    Sharpening > 9

Auto ISO Maximum ISO > 25,600 Auto ISO 

Minimum shutter speed > AUTO (or AUTO Slower with VR)

Here are my User 2 Settings

Picture Control > STANDARD 

    Saturation > +1 

    Sharpening > 9 

Auto ISO Maximum ISO > 25,600 

Auto ISO Minimum shutter speed > 1/125

Here are my User 3 Settings

Picture Control > STANDARD 

    Saturation > +1 

    Sharpening > 9 

Auto ISO Maximum ISO > 25,600 

Auto ISO Minimum shutter speed > 1/500

Backup Camera Settings

Once you have everything set, you can make a back-up of your camera settings and save them to your computer. They can be reinstalled if you need them.

Backup Computer Settings link [LinkL]

Add to this post on some of the settings [LinkL]

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Save your Nikon Camera Settings for Nikon Z6, Z7 and other Nikon Cameras

Did you know you can save your Nikon settings to your computer? Once you have your camera configured the way you like it, make sure you save your settings to the memory card and from there to you computer.

How to Save your Nikon Camera Settings

To save your camera settings, go into your Nikon camera’s Menu Control. Scroll down to the wrench, which is the setup menu. Select Save/Load settings and then Save settings. This will save a copy of your camera settings to a .BIN file which will be in the root directory of your SD card. Remove your memory card from the camera and load it into your computer’s memory card read and save it to your computer hard drive. You should probably keep the file name the same. The Nikon camera’s only like 8 character file names.

You could then completely readjust everything on your camera if you want to test out and save other setups.

How to Load your Nikon Camera Settings

If you want to load saved Nikon camera settings from a saved copy on your computer. First I would format the memory card in the camera you’ll be restoring the settings to. Make sure you saved any photos on the memory card before you format as this deletes all information on the card. Copy the ########.BIN file from your computer to the root directory of the memory card. This is the highest directory, don’t place the file in a subdirectory. Place the memory card in your camera.

Follow the same procedure as above the save the settings, only this time select Load Settings from the Save/Load Menu under the Wrench Setup. The settings will not be loaded to your camera.

I think the mode dial needs to be in M, S, A or P to load or save the settings.

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Picture Preset Modes Vivid vs Standard (Set Picture Control)

Years ago I read articles to shoot everything in raw. Raw gives you 100% of the information from the photo and allows you to ultimately give you the most editing flexibility. While this is still true, I’m tired of spending hours editing every photo I take, most of which are just casual shots of travels or for the family.

I decided to play with picture presets on my Nikon Z6. For Nikon you can find them under the Shooting Menu > Set Picture Control.  I’ve toyed with these before on my other Nikon cameras but typically just shoot everything in Standard.

Nikon gives you the options of:

A - Auto
ST - Standard
NL - Neutral
VI - Vivid
MC - Monochrome
PT - Portrait
LS - Landscape

I’m sure Cannon and Sony have Similar presets for this.

On my Nikon Z6 I set User 1 to be for things and have set Picture Preset to Vivid. I set User 2 to be for people and have that picture preset to Standard. This way I can quickly go between things and people. I have other settings also preset to go with the two types of shooting.

I’ve chosen to use Vivid for things, just makes everything pop. One thing you’ll need to be cautious of is blue sky, it can look real blue and a little unnatural. Here are a couple sample shots:

bird on pond alligator palm trees

I’m hoping these make a difference and reduce the amount of editing I need to do.

Return to User Preset U1 U2 U3 [LinkL]

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