The User Settings U1 and U2 are memory locations that semi-permanently save your camera’s configuration, in two separate ways. Let’s discuss how U1 and U2 works in a Nikon D600 or D7000 series DSLR.
If you configure your camera’s internal settings in a particular way and want to save that setup, simply go to the Setup Menu and select Save user settings > Save to U1 (or U2) > Save settings to save your configuration for that specific style of shooting. This is optional, in case you don’t want to use U1 and U2 on the Mode dial. However, it is a very convenient way to configure your camera for specific shooting situations so you can change to them quickly.
For instance, with my D7100, I set user setting U1 as my high-quality setting. I shoot in Aperture priority auto (A) exposure mode, NEF (RAW) Image quality with NEF (RAW) recording settings of Lossless compressed and 14-bit color depth, Adobe RGB Color space, ISO 100, and Neutral Picture Control.
U2 is my party setting. I use Programmed auto (P) exposure mode, JPEG fine Image quality with Size priority in JPEG compression, sRGB Color space, ISO 400 with Auto ISO sensitivity control set to On and Maximum sensitivity set to 1600, and SD Picture Control.
Please notice that, not only am I saving camera menu settings in U1 or U2, but I am also saving an exposure mode (P, S, A, M). A brief examination of the steps used to save a particular camera configuration to one of the User settings (U1 or U2) follows (any of the following steps is optional):
You have saved a user setting and have one more to go. Configure the camera in a completely different way and save it to the other User setting.
The two user settings on the Mode dial allow you to store a lot more than just Shooting Menu items. They can also store a specific configuration for many other settings, such as the Custom settings in the Custom Setting Menu, exposure modes, flash, compensation, metering, AF-area modes, bracketing, and more.
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