#1. "RE: Custom Settings and Shooting Menu Banks (D800)" In response to Reply # 0 Mon 03-Dec-12 07:08 PM by MotoMannequin
Livermore, CA, US
It's just a way of organizing the camera settings, and you use both every time you shoot. I agree it took me a long time to get any idea at all the rationale behind the groupings, and I think the ultimate truth is that it's a haphazard grouping at best.
Off the top of my head, I'd say the shooting menu controls things that affect generating the image, like exposure and converting raw data to viewable jpeg, i.e. ISO settings and Picture Control. The custom settings control how the camera works i.e. what button does what. That doesn't however paint a complete picture and I'm sure anyone could poke plenty of holes in those generalizations.
My approach is that I don't differentiate between them, and always use shooting bank A with custom settings bank A, B with B, etc. and this is how it shakes out for my kind of shooting: A = Landscape B = Wildlife C = Shapshot/Street D = Movies
This is plenty of customization for me, and I don't feel the need to cross bank A with B or C or D.
edited to add: I put the Shooting bank selection and the Custom settings bank selection together in the custom menu so I can easily change selection of both without a lot of menu diving. It would be nice to have a setting which automatically tied them together.
I intend to study my settings someday, but Larry's comments about generalizing the two might offer a methodology to begin to differentiate or optimize in a better way.
Meanwhile what I suggest is keep ALL of your important variables also in MyMenu so that you can keep track of where they are at currently. I.e. things that you change from time to time and that you need to keep an eye on. For me that includes things like Picture Control, ADL, NR, Focus tracking with Lock On, WB, Movie settings, and especially Auto-ISO settings which is always my top setting and instantly recalled by pressing the function button.
#6. "RE: Custom Settings and Shooting Menu Banks (D800)" In response to Reply # 5
The one addition I have to the lists above is "waiter mode". This is the automated mode you use when you need to hand the camera to a waiter or family member for a quick snap. I use the AF-On approach for focus, and its much easier to use the custom bank to change the camera to the shutter release to focus and automated settings for WB, ISO, and focus. Jason O'Dell refers to this as "mother-in-law mode".
#7. "RE: Custom Settings and Shooting Menu Banks (D800)" In response to Reply # 0
On my D200 / D300 I did as most others have reported, matching A,B,C and D definitions on both banks. Mine were set up for General, Macro/tripod, Landscape and Wildlife/action because those are my main interests. I found I was frequently making adjustments to my 4 groups in both banks of settings to compensate for day to day variations in shooting conditions.
When I got the D800 I decided to think a bit more deeply about the reasons for Nikon's design team splitting the settings into two banks. My reasoning was this : Four groups of settings (A,B,C,D) give you 4 different virtual cameras in one. If you could find independent intentions for each of the 2 banks of four, you get a matrix of 16 virtual cameras. (for the non-mathematical people any of the 4 groups in Custom Settings Bank, paired with any of the 4 groups in Shooting Menu gives up to 16 unique combinations) This must have been the intention of the designers - to maximise flexibility - so it stands to reason that they would have grouped all the available choices into logically independent groups.
Looking at lists of the settings you can see this is actually the case.
The Custom Settings Menu relates mostly to things you do with the light that enters your lens, physical camera controls and choices that you make in preparation for the photograph (i.e. before the shutter opens) such as : - method of acquiring focus for different types of subjects - exposure and metering - timers - release mode, mirror delays etc. - flash
Shooting Menu consists largely of choices relating to the processing of image data captured by the sensor during and after exposure, such as : - colour profiles (picture profiles) - ISO sensitivity - Noise reduction - D lighting - White balance - Distortion control and Vignetting - File naming, image quality
Consequently I am experimenting now with banks set up as described below : Custom Setting Menu : A = General Purpose Handheld B = Landscapes C = Wildlife / Action D = Macro
Shooting Menu : A = Normal, Good Light (limited Auto ISO range to maximise IQ) B = Low light, Handheld ( allows high ISO settings, forces faster shutter speed, enables D-lighting to bring out shadow detail, disables LENR) C = Low light, Tripod ( restricts ISO, allows long SS, enables LENR) D = HDR (Just for fun, HDR with Vivid picture profile, high contrast and sharpening)
These settings allow me to match prevailing lighting conditions to any of my favourite shooting genres by making just 2 menu choices before I start shooting. After that, virtually all further adjustments made during shooting are done with the physical controls (buttons and dials).
I am still fine tuning the Auto ISO settings in particular. I hate ISO noise and I also hate the hassle of applying NR in PP - so rather avoid getting noise in the first place.
#10. "RE: Custom Settings and Shooting Menu Banks (D800)" In response to Reply # 0 Wed 12-Dec-12 03:35 AM by jamesvoortman
Two further comments :
1) The really important settings are the ones that cannot be changed in post processing. I only shoot RAW and I post-process using Capture NX2 so things like picture profile, WB and ADL can be changed after the fact, you dont have to gett hem right in the bank setup. LENR, HINR and ISO settings must be selected before pressing the button. If you post-process in Lightroom or Photoshop, be aware that the raw file converter (ACR or others) may not interpret special Nikon features like picture profiles, ADL or custom WB settings, and it may not allow you to change them afterwards so these settings would then also become important in your bank setup. Also, if you shoot jpeg, then WB, ADL etc cannot be changed afterwards and more attention to these settings is required during shooting.
2) Debatable but I find that I want the picture profile settings in custom settings menu and the flash options in Shooting Menu. This way the CSM group could be aligned more closely to subject types and the Shooting menu more closely to lighting/shooting conditions.
#11. "RE: Custom Settings and Shooting Menu Banks (D800)" In response to Reply # 7
Consequently I am experimenting now with banks set up as >described below : >Custom Setting Menu : >A = General Purpose Handheld >B = Landscapes >C = Wildlife / Action >D = Macro > >Shooting Menu : >A = Normal, Good Light (limited Auto ISO range to maximise >IQ) >B = Low light, Handheld ( allows high ISO settings, forces >faster shutter speed, enables D-lighting to bring out shadow >detail, disables LENR) >C = Low light, Tripod ( restricts ISO, allows long SS, enables >LENR) >D = HDR (Just for fun, HDR with Vivid picture profile, high >contrast and sharpening)
Thanks for this post. I wonder whether you would be prepared to post some of the details of each of the "Banks". This would help me (& probably others) a great deal. BTW what does LENR mean? Thanks. Alan
#14. "RE: Custom Settings and Shooting Menu Banks (D800)" In response to Reply # 13
>They stand for Long Exposure Noise Reduction and >High ISO Noise Reduction respectively.
Long exposure noise reduction only kicks in for exposures longer than 30sec I think. It basically takes a 2nd exposure of the same length but with the shutter closed. This gathers noise data from the sensor which can be "subtracted" from the original exposure to eliminate noise caused by pixel variations (which have various causes).
High ISO noise reduction is a default Noise reduction that kicks in for ISO values above 1600 (iirc) even if you set NR to OFF. If shooting in bright light it is not necessary - and lengthens file write times - so turn it off if not needed
In bright light shooting conditions you will get high contrast so Active D lighting (aka ADL) may be a good idea but HINR and LENR and various other bad light settings can be disabled....and so on
I will try to compile a listing of my settings using the settings spreadsheet and post it here but I give no guarantee to its effectiveness. Not sure how to post a spreadsheet here - will try to find out.
If you want to figure it out for yourself then I suggest create a table in a spreadhseet or word processor with 6 columns. column 1 = list all the settings in Shooting Menu Bank Column 2 = make notes about how each one works - the manual provides limited info, you may find one of the specialist books on D800 useful. Column 3 = tick if useful for good light handheld - note preferred settings where a range is available Column 4 = tick if good for low light handheld........and notes Column 5 = tick if good for low light on support (tripod)...notes Column 6 = tick if good for (choose a purpose independent of the others above)
Similar table for Custom Setting Menu
Column 3 = A, Col 4 = B , Col 5 = C, Col 6 = D
You'll figure out a system that works for you - then enjoy testing and fine tuning it.
#16. "RE: Custom Settings and Shooting Menu Banks (D800)" In response to Reply # 14
Long Exposure Noise Reduction turned on activates at exposures of 1 second and longer. The default should be ON because this cannot be easily duplicated in post. The main reason for turning it OFF is cycle time because it subtracts an exposure of equal time to the original exposure. This setting has changed from activating at 8 seconds to 1 second over the last few camera generations with smaller pixels.
Active D Lighting adds value if you shoot JPEGs or process with Nikon software or other programs that recognize the camera settings. ADL does two things - it applies a curve to recover shadows and protect highlights, and it may apply an exposure adjustment. I found in testing the curve is tough to replicate in post, and it can be turned off or changed to a higher level in post with Nikon Capture. The exposure adjustment is baked in and the amount depends on the ADL setting. ADL Low has no adjustment and is harmless. ADL Medium, High ,and Extra High reduce exposure by 0.3 stops for each increment up to a full stop. With Lightroom or other programs that do not honor the camera settings, ADL just adjusts exposure (unless you choose Low). My setting is normally to set it on Low or Off because it does not adjust exposure and retains the ability to make changes in post. And of course, these settings do affect the histogram and embedded JPEG.
High ISO noise reduction can largely be replaced in post with more control so I generally leave it off. High ISO NR softens the image - sometimes more than desired.