Having the viewfinder virtual horizon chained to a function button is a waste on the D800. It makes this function button an on/off toggle. I plan to leave it on permanently. So I would like it to be a menu item so I can just leave it on or off. This would free up this function button for something else.
Feel free to leave it as a function button option if you want. As it stands I turn it on and then be careful not to accidentally turn it off again.
I'm still waiting for my D800e but some thoughts on this feature which also exists on my D7000 & D300s:
If you want your Fn button for something else, then you can program it otherwise, so I wouldn't say the VH is "chained" to the Fn button, but I get your point that if you use Fn for something else, then you lose the VH.
I believe the VH uses an area of the viewfinder which is also used to display the exposure meter. Personally, I can't imagine deciding that I permanently want one or the other, so having a handy button that's easy to toggle at the moment I'm snapping a picture handheld is really ideal for me.
My D300s doesn't have a BKT button so I use Fn for BKT and DOF for DOF. Live View is set up to alwasy show the VH when active which is a nice alternative, and closer to what you want, but only handy really for tripod work.
Just as a side note. I shoot mostly architectural images... inside and out. To me, a perfectly level setup is extremely important. I found both the VH in the viewfinder and the one in live view to be inaccurate for my purposes. If I was handholding it might be useful. I have a bubble level in my hot shoe as well as a level on my tripod. Once I set VH using either of the fore-mentioned techniques, I check my bubble level. In almost every case it is still off level. Perhaps I am using it incorrectly... but It's fairly intuitive, so I don't think I am.
Don, I've found the same thing on my D7K, although D300s VH is accurate. It started when I found myself adjusting all D7K images for tilt. Basically I've gone back to using the bubble level in my tripod clamp, except when hand-holding, where I try compensate the VH tilt..
Fri 27-Apr-12 11:00 AM | edited Fri 27-Apr-12 11:03 AM by yunjo
A bubble level will always be more accurate than an electronic level unless the fluid in the bubble level sticks to the inside surface of the material which contains it. I for one enjoy having the VH in the viewfinder and find it accurate enough that I'm not losing much of the image to cropping, if any at all.
>The function button is wasted for me being tied to the >viewfinder virtual horizon as I want it left on all the time.
I agree, I just got mine back from Nikon and found it on (I must have hit FN but don't recall). I reset everything and put in my usual settings and it of course wasn't there, but I was intrigued and looked how to turn it on.
I always use FN for "flash off", it's a very quick way to turn a mounted flash off without taking your eye away. Now I would have to give it up. I don't know why they couldn't have made it a setting that could ALSO be mapped to FN.
I agree with you completely. Even with limited accuracy, having VH in the viewfinder can be pretty handy at times, and I use it. Why Nikon would program it so that the only way to ever turn it on is at the expense of the Fn button is mind-boggling.
Yes, but that's still at the expense of giving up another button. If you want it to be on at all times it would be good to have it as a permanent option. The buttons are best for features that you want the ability to change on the fly . . . which of course some people want for VH, but still it would be good to have the option to leave it on and have it not use up a button. I hope they add this in a firmware update.
> >Yes, but that's still at the expense of giving up another >button. If you want it to be on at all times it would be good >to have it as a permanent option. The buttons are best for >features that you want the ability to change on the fly . . . >which of course some people want for VH, but still it would be >good to have the option to leave it on and have it not use up >a button. I hope they add this in a firmware update.
All very true, but I was addressing the "only FN Button" aspect of the post.
After all, this is not US political ads we are reading here.
Thanks for the catch on this - you are exactly right. My comment should have read "a Fn button" and not "the Fn button." Subtle, but a significant difference. Regardless, I agree with Ric and the others that this should be an option that can be set permanently through the menu system, and not solely at the expense of any one of the programmable buttons. But my comment should have been more accurate.
Gee, we're down to arguing about the buttons on the D800... it must be a pretty good camera, otherwise!
Seriously, though, I don't have a problem with the way you can program the VH to a button, but I can see how it would be nice to have it permanently on.
Of course there are other buttons or functions that could also fall into this category, so it all needs to be a series of trade-offs.
I would hardly consider this a major flaw.
I do think it is a nice improvement that the VH says on once the button is pressed and released, as opposed to the old method of only being on while the button is held down. I also find the VH on my D800e to be accurate. The VH on my D3s is not.
Mick, After rereading my first post, I can see that I may have come across as a whining complainer over a very, very minor detail - which indeed the VH issue is. To be clear, I love my D800 and am continually amazed by what it can do! It is a fantastic camera and I'm proud to own one. For me, the issue of programming VH would fall into the category of "desirable tweaks" to a great product, and not at all a complaint, as it sounded before. Thanks for catching that.