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Lesson 2 from: Nikon D610/D600 - DSLR Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

2. Buttons

Go on a tour of the Nikon® D610/D600 and get to know the functions and features of this DSLR camera.

Lesson Info


So what we're going to do now is we're basically going to get into the buttons of the camera I don't know I lay out my camera a little bit differently I like to start visually and just okay what's on the camera what are the buttons that I need to press in canada even as a preamble to that to some degree let's just go over some of the most basic obvious things you should have your camera on for the remainder of this class so you need to have a camera on ah lot of times I will tell people to do something on their camera and their kind of freak out it's not working and that's often because your camera goes to sleep so just press halfway down on the shutter release and that's gonna wake your camera and that's something photographers do on a regular basis unconsciously is there pressing down on their camera halfway just to make sure that it's primed and ready to go the command aisle is the mean dial that's the go to dial on your camera and so when you want to change a feature in your camera...

that's the first place that you're probably going to want to do it in many situations but they have a sub command I'll out in front and that's for a lot of secondary things and we can go into customizing these dials later on in the class working with the menus in the back of the camera you're going to be working on the multi selector for the most part I sometimes I warn you right now I sometimes forget the name multi selector and I will call it the mouse or the tab tea or something else multi selector doesn't just roll off the tongue on then of course in right in the middle of that is in okay buttons so a lot of times you'll be asked to enter something and I know one of the things that kind of frustrates me about this and some nikon cameras is I will go highlight a feature that I want to activate and then I will just exit the menu system and you're supposed to press okay to put a check box in that certain area and so be aware of that as we go through the camera all right, so let's start with top deck. Yes, we've already talked about the on off is also a spring loaded lights switch on the end, and so if you're in a dark environment, you kind of spring that on and that's going to keep a light on for about eight seconds now when you do turn the camera on and when you turn it off, the camera vibrates a low pass filter to help remove dust from the censor and dust on the sensor has been a major problem of digital cameras from the beginning because any dust on the sensor casts a shadow on your sensor, which becomes a black spot. And so this is going to help keep dust off. There are about three other ways of removing dust, and I will talk about those as we get to those sections in the menu of the class. Okay, so what do we have here? Shutter release press halfway down. I've said this before. When you press halfway down, it wakes the camera up. It starts the auto focusing system and it starts the meeting system. Now, this can be customized. We'll talk about that a little bit later. You're gonna want to press halfway down, let the camera focus and then press all the way down to take the picture. You're going to want to get very used to training your finger being halfway down on the camera. Now, for those of you who like does anyone like to geek out here? How'd you like to geek out? You like to geek out? Okay, so the nikon d eight hundred has a shutter lag. Time of point zero for two and the shutter leg on this camera is point zero five two, so there's a hundredth of a second. This camera is slower than the one hundred, so if you're doing a shootout at the ok corral at high noon, don't go up against the d eight hundred because they're going to beat you by a hundredth of a second. All right? So I do like to geek out and I'll dive into some more details like that as we go through this class we like to geek out to john good okay, we've already talked about her sub commander on our command I'll so just be aware that we're going to be using those on a regular basis. Okay? So the mod ill on the top left which has a lock button in the middle I find it best if we want to get shot on camera of me. I think it's really easy if you just use your index finger to press down on that and kind of turn it with your thumb another finger it's it's kind of hard with two fingers I find it much easier with three fingers when you want to turn that around and so let's go in and talk about the modal cause the mod ill is controlling the exposure system on the camera and that is arguably what is most important about the camera is controlling the exposure. All right, the auto green camera this is this is this is not why you have purchased and spent the time to watch this class you're not going to want to use this moment other than this is a great mode for very serious photographers when they had their camera to a friend or a family member and they want that friend or family member to take a basic okay shots and they don't want them to mess up their own shots or mess up their own menus. Excuse me because there are a bunch of child safety locks that are thrown onto the camera that you cannot get into and so for anyone watching this class, this is not where you were going to want to keep the camera for your own shooting. I give you many better options. One of the most anew ing things about the full auto mode is when the flash pops up and you will see this watch the opening ceremonies to any olympics and you will see thousands upon thousands of people having their camera in the green auto mode with the flash popping up not doing anything but illuminating the head of the person in the road right in front of them. All right. So in one of the reasons it's got flash off otto is it's the exact same as full auto without the flash popular, so if you were going to give the camera to a friend to go into a museum where they don't allow flash photography that's when this mode would come in very handy. Next up, we have the scene mode and this is nigh cons way of saying welcome beginners welcome let's. See what? What are we using? Trying to think of what's, the phone app that everyone likes toe tweak wet answer instagram okay, welcome instagram users because in the scene mode oh, look at all these wonderful scenes here, and so in this mode you put it in the scene mode, so I'm gonna put it in the scene mode and as I turn the dial let's, make sure this is turned on. Oh, all these different modes here sunset pet portrait, which is obviously very different than child on. I really wonder what the difference is that they're putting in their and as you turn this dial there's all these different little automated modes, and as much as I do make fun of them, they are tweaking the camera and adjusting it for those situations. And if you knew nothing about photography, yeah, that would be a good way to get better pictures than the full auto mode, because the camera has more information about what you're doing and that's one of the important things to know about these cameras as smart and as good as they are, they don't know what you're trying to do all right? And that gives him a little bit more information, but for anyone who wants to get in and manually control the camera too many child safety locks, we're going to need to get to something a little bit more serious. So let's bump our way up to the programme mode. Okay, the dirty little secret in the industry is that the programme mode is thie exact same as thie full auto mode minus two exceptions, the flash won't pop up and there's no child safety locks other than that, we're basically the same, and so you do have my permission to use the program mode? I would prefer not to see the camera there, and if we were to meet, you know, I was down in yosemite national park and I was shooting half dome from a bridge, and I was talking to a guy who says, yeah, I'm just trying to learn this camera taken this online, learning glass, I really what class is it? I don't know it's with something creative or or something like that? I like what class you take it? I don't know it's a basic photography class with with j somebody and he goes, he kind of looks like you and I go hi, I'm john greg on he goes, oh my gosh and I can't help myself I kind of looked down to see what mode there cameras in because I want to see if there really practising things in a man away and what what was it? Well, he had a point shooting I was a little hard to tell and so I couldn't see because it didn't have a big dialogue on it, but I do kind of instinctively look down it's just you know, I don't know I'm curious, so you had your celebrity my celebrity moment, but that was fun. Yeah, uh, so anyway, the programme mode is very somewhere to fill out a mode it's going to do other sorts of things now one of the things that is kind of nice about the programme mode for anyone who just kind of forgets all the basics and they just want to throw their camera into quick mode and sometimes yeah, I just want the camera to fire and I'm not picky about things I'll throw it into the program if you turn the back dial it's called flexible program now the camera is going to keep a proper exposure, but you're going to be able to adjust shutter speeds and apertures when you do this, and so I kind of think of this as a good vacation mode where every picture is a little different than the previous picture if you are going to engage with a subject whether that's a landscape or a person or anything else, you're probably going to want to be in one of the other mouths okay? Programme mode is not the best mode it can be used for that one of the problems with the programme mode is the various ways that it either holds in that information or doesn't hold it in so let's just say that you're shooting portrait's ok and so you're you're on vacation and you ask somebody to take their picture so you put your camera into a shallow depth of field mode and you take pictures and you say thank you and you walk down the street and then all of a sudden there's a great landscape shot that you want to take so you pull the camera up to your eye you take the picture well it's still in the portrait mode because you didn't reset it back to the normal mode now if you did turn the camera off then it would reset and so you have to be very careful about where your shutter speeds an app voters are but it's a quick way to get to almost any shutter speed an aperture wants so it's it's kind of a cheater shortcut mode but I would encourage you into some of the more manual moments which are going to be the next three modes that we talk about the first of those is shutter priority now in this mode you get control of your center speed so by turning the command aisle in the back of the camera you can select whatever shutter speed you want I find that a lot of beginners are drawn to the smell because they have more familiarity with time than they do depth of field and so they'll figure they'll just pick the right cheddar and then away we go the problem with choosing a shudder and let's try this in class for those you have cameras put it in the shutter priority mode and I will do the same thing and let's select a shutter speed of one fifteenth of a second so just turn the back dial so that it says one fifteenth of a second and go ahead and take a picture and I'm gonna look at my results and I got some pretty decent results here and did you get decent results okay now I want you to set a shutter speed of one two thousandth of a second and take a picture anything you want I hope this works out now my guess is that you've got a pretty dark picture it is a blacker real dark ok so what just happened is that you manually selected something that you wanted to choose and the camera didn't have an aperture wide enough to let it enough light now if you hold the camera to your eye and press halfway down on the shutter release you'll notice over on the right hand side there's a blinking flash symbol, I think it's on the right hand side that's far right hand side beside the brackets way over there to the right it's blinking and its warning you that you don't have enough light and so it's a very subtle little warning that you don't have enough light and so I find the shutter priority mode a little dangerous to use now there are some special applications where people will use shutter priority with something called auto so that all of explain later that can work out for certain types of sporting or wildlife events. But for a lot of people, I would say just kind of moved past the shutter priority mode because there's a lot of mistakes that can easily happen without a lot of understanding why, and I would go straight onto the aperture priority months, so I'm gonna go ahead and change my camera to africa priority now aperture priority is my favorite simple mode it's, where I like to leave my camera when I want quick access basic picture taking with quick adjustment so now if you want to adjust the aperture it's not the command aisle in the back it's the sub command I'll in the front of the camera, so if you want to change your aperture you could do that with the sub command I'll and set it to any aperture you want, and the great thing is is that it stays there as long as you want it there and you, we'll have a very hard time taking pictures that are either too bright or too dark and so go ahead right now take a couple of pictures, goto one extreme and then all the way to the other, so I have a fast one point four lens if I goto one point four with our tv lights in here we are at one sixty eighth of a second, and if I go all the way down to have twenty two actually have sixteen, I'm at four seconds. This is going to be a blurry picture because four seconds is a long time, but at least I get a proper exposure so that if my camera was on a tripod, which it actually is, I can do a four second picture and I'm going to get the right exposure. And so aperture, priority and manual are kind of the two modes that most serious photographers will use, and they pretty much won't use anything else, so let's talk about manual manual mode, you get to set shutter speeds, you said apertures, and like the a s and p mode, there are no child safety locks on the camera, which means you have access to all settings in the menu system, and so anyone who wants to really take control of their camera is going to be in one of these four mouths. My favorite is manual because the camera stays exactly where I left. You can set a specific shutter speed, a specific aperture, and it doesn't change with where you pointed with aperture priority. It might changes I pan around the room because the cameras constantly reading the light and adjusting in aperture party mode. It's adjusting the shutter speed in shutter speed, it's trying to adjust the aperture in that mode. And then finally, we have the you won and the u to mode. And so, yes, I do like listening to you to music that is not specifically for shooting their band. It stands for user setting one and user setting, too, and this is a new feature in my class. This is a shortcut. This is mainly designed for people who have attention deficit disorder, and they want to jump ahead and they're like, I want to go program my user setting right now. I don't want to wait for john to reach this plane in the class, which won't happen for a couple of hours you could go into your setup menu. And this is kind of a little bread crumbs on how to get there. So if you are watching this on tape, you can stop the tape. Now go into your set up and you look some look under something called save user setting, and you could program in all your favorite modes into user said he wanted to, and the idea is pretty simple. You set the camera exactly the way you want it, the exposure mode that you want to be in the focus mode, the meeting mode, shutter speed, aperture, all the other settings in the menu city. You go to save user setting, and you say that is a user setting number one or number two, and I know there's a number of photographers that'll kind of save one of those is kind of their emergency. I need something real quick, but I want it set up very specifically the way I want it to another type of person that might use it would be a landscape photographer who has all their landscape type settings in user setting one. But then they have their wildlife settings, which are wildly different because they're shooting action in their tracking movement, into user setting, too. And rather than making ten different menu adjustments, they can just flip that nyle one notch. And switch between those two most common modes and so it could be very helpful for a lot of people, so pay attention to those shortcuts. I will have him throughout the class for anyone who wants to jump ahead and kind of get that set right then and there maybe take a quick moment just to see if there's any questions regarding exposure mode or what we've talked about so far, we have a question from relax now in pittsburgh says is there any way to disable the buttons on the left side to disable the buttons on the left back side of the camera? I'm constantly bumping into the lock button and the quality button, and this causes me to have locked photos and j pegs when that's not what I want. Really? Yeah, so they're talking about the buttons on the back of the camera? No, there is no way to lock those buttons and prevent them. I don't know if a bit of gaffer tape would prevent them from getting pushed that might help that would be that might be what I try. All right? So we've around the top of the camera just talking about different buttons, and this is the exposure compensation button, and so this allows you in the automated modes to take pictures that are either brighter or darker than what the camera would meet her as neutral so this is on ly gonna work in the aperture priority shutter priority and programme mode on its own it's not going to do anything in the manual mode, but let me just double check you can turn it on in the mode if you want, but it generally doesn't really do much. It might seem if it effects the meter. I gotta check this out. I forgot to check this out. We gotta fix this later, so I'm going to set in a plus two. Yeah, it does affect the meter, so if you want to throw the meter off for some reason, you can throw it off in manual. Most people don't use it in that way. They're going to use it in aperture priority shutter, priority or program to take a second picture that's a little dot lighter or a little darker, depending on how your camera metered and took the first shot. And if you want to go in now, the way that this is operated is that you have to press the button in and turn the back dial and on another brand of camera that we won't mention they just simply turn a dial, and if you want to just simply turn a dial, this is called easy exposure compensation. Let's say your cameras an aperture priority you're going to have the front I'll change the aperture if you want to just spend the back dial for exposure compensation you can so if you're constantly doing exposure compensation you could go into custom menuet four and that would adjust or allow you to adjust it without pressing the button in at all next up we have the movie record button so if you are in the video mode which we'll talk about a little bit you would press that once to start recording you don't need to leave your finger down on it so you just tap it once to record in the tap it again to stop recording next to that is arm eatery button and it's got that little symbol with the five little shapes on it and there are three different media ring systems that nikon gives you his options matrix metering is a multi segment metering system it's using oh two thousand is using a two thousand sixteen pixel rgb sensor from eatery and so needless to say it's got a lot of computation behind it and so is trying to figure out the right balance of light and dark t to get a good exposure and that's where I would recommend keeping the camera most of the time I think it does a great job some people like the traditional center waited which is customized well we could go into the menu system and adjust the size and what this is is it's a circle in the middle of the frame, and you can adjust the size of that meteor in area if you're interested. There is also a spot metering, which is a very small version of that as well. Little symbol on the back kind of looks like saturn is simply a focal plane. If you've ever seen a behind the scenes of a movie making, you'll see a measuring the distance from a actor's face to the focal plane of the camera and that's the distance that they're measuring to the control panel fairly obvious stuff. I'm not going to go through this in detail, a lot of the information exposure wise and main key settings on the camera. One thing that does bugged me a little bit is that the camera does not have the so shown in the top panel by default, but you can go into custom menu d three and you can turn that on. So rather than showing you the number of pictures you have left, it tells you what s so you have said, so I think that's kind of a good one, that you could jump ahead and change if you want camera has a built in flash will talk about controlling that in a little bit. Has a hot shoe got a little plastic piece in? They're not big deal if you lose that most people don't have it on their camera but let's talk about flash is a little bit built in flash very, very convenient but it gives you terrible lighting on your subjects and so if you want to take great people photography if you want to do great flash photography, you want to get the flash off the camera or at least above the camera and so using an add on flash will help you and getting the camera above it and off to the side. This camera has a built in wireless system which is very, very cool where the built in flash can trigger an off camera flash, which is where you're going to get much better lighting with a nikon flashes out there today the s p four hundred is small lightweight I can't say that I would recommend it on this camera because it is really not much more powerful than the built in one they do make an s p r two hundred which helps trigger remote flashes and is not really necessary on this camera because the cameras built in flash does that as well but those are flashes that are available for most people who own this camera the sb seven hundred is the one that I would tell you to first look at if you want more light sells for about three hundred twenty five dollars and is going to give you significantly more power than the built in flash will also give you additional abilities, such as bounce and swivel. You'll have a white angle diffuser for wide angle lenses. It's got an auto focus assist team that's going to be more powerful, so for low light focusing it will help out. If you are working professionally, you were doing corporate events, you are shooting weddings, you're probably gonna want the more powerful flash, which is the nine ten nine tens going to cell for close to six hundred somewhere between five and six hundred dollars, it is more powerful has some additional special effects features that professionals might find useful. We're not going to get into here because that's a whole class on its own if you do get either one of the bigger flash is one of the things you might want to think about is the twenty eight t t l court. That cord runs around fifty bucks and enables you to get the camera about us faras you, khun reach while you are shooting with the camera or if you want to mount the camera on a bracket, which is a great way of keeping the flash above the land's rather than off to the side when you're shooting horizontal sze as well as verticals. I have one of these brackets that allows me to rotate the camera, which is a really nice feature when you need to be very portable and you can't set up full on light stands and everything and you want to keep the flash and as good a position as possible. If you do want to get into remote work, the camera itself can do it with the built in flash. They do also make an s u eight hundred, which is kind of like the bottom half of the sb nine ten so that you can go in and have a little bit more control at least easier control over the extra flash unit's it's not going to be something that's necessary for most people the eight hundred that's only for somebody who's really into off camera flash and wanting to work with the tt l system continuing on with talk about the flash the maximum sink speed on the camera is one two hundredth of a second now technically the camera can go beyond this but this is for right now it's the top shutter speed on the camera if you are going to be hooking the camera up with studio strobes these strobes have a flash that last longer than the speed lights that nikon has and what I have found in my own testing is that I would not use it above one hundred twenty fifth of a second and it's because of the second curtain closing slightly affects the image if you look at the image clearly it doesn't sink it one two fiftieth of a second at one, two hundred you'll notice that the bottom of the frame is a little dark and I'm quite picking on this and I would say that it's still a little dark at one sixtieth of a second and so if you are working in a studio with non nikon flashes that air pretty powerful you're going to want to be down in one hundred twenty fifth of a second now technically you could get up to two fiftieth but you will need to have a nikon flash and you'll need to put it in a special mode that we're not going to get into it's called it it's an f p mode that the camera can technically do but the flash output is lowered when you do that and the camera just for any of the geeks out there yes I know you can shoot it a thousandth of a second in two thousandth of a second it gets in more of a specialty flash class and it's a rabbit hole that we're not going to go down right now all right working her way around the camera we have well actually you can kind of see it better on the back of the camera is the release mode now they do have a lock switch on this and works very handy if I'm going to do it on my camera here is if you just press down with your thumb on that button and you rotate it with the forefinger in front very very simple to finger operation to change that so let's kind of go through what some of the options are on the release mode so most of the time I would think most people are going to leave the camera in single frame he pressed down the shutter release you're going to get one picture there is a continuous low which is currently programmed to three frames per second and you can go in and you can customize that if you want and there's our little shortcut d five to get in there fix that and the continuous high speed on this is five point five frames a second so one of the things that is unique is that this camera is a lot less money than the d eight hundred, but it shoots faster and it's partly because it has less megapixels and it's crunching less data and putting it on to the memory cards. So five point five frames is the max you're going to get on that there is a queue mode which is a little bit more quiet and just for anybody who doesn't own the camera I will fire it once with a single shot and I'll hold it close to my microphone I have it in the long center speed let me get a normal shutter speed here so this is one sixtieth of a second right here now I put it in the quiet mode everybody be quiet, it's a little bit less quiet let's go back to the single mountain. Yeah it's definitely more quiet and so if you are working in a theater environment or any time where you just want to be less intrusive I would not hesitate to put it in the quiet mode. It does slow things up. What it's doing is it slowing the mere movement so that it doesn't make as much of a bounce sound in the camera? We have a self timer mode when we get into the menu will be able to customize how long the self timer is there's a remote mode there's an optional remote that you can get with it. Which is this little guy right here sells for about twenty bucks the m l l three and can be really nice if you need more than the standard amount of time to get in your self timer shots or for a variety of other reasons and there's some controls that we could do in camera as well. Finally there's one called mup now the muppet mode actually is mere up mode and let me give you a little illustration as to why the mere up mode is important normally when you press the shutter release, the mere wants to get up and out of the way really, really quickly and it causes a little vibration in the camera when you turn on mere lockup, you will press the shutter release once to block the mira you go then release you'll wait for a second or two actually three or four seconds for the cameras vibrations to settle down and then you will press the shutter release again and the camera will open the shutter at that moment. And so this is something that you would want to be using with a wired cable release or with the remote control and the reason this is important is so that you don't have vibration during critical shutter speeds. And so here's an example that I shot with the mere lockup turned off and turned on and you can clearly see that there's a sharpness difference in these images and what happens is in the realm of shutter speeds and eighth of a second is the evil shutter speed where vibration just seems to be at its worst at shorter periods of time. You won't notice it because it's a very fast shutter speed longer periods of time the vibration settle out by the time the exposure is taken and so anything around an eighth of a second at least to shutter speeds in either direction if you are working on a tripod you should be using mere lock up if you want maximum sharpness out of your camera so very important to know something a lot of landscape or product photographers will use so that is the release mode okay what do we got next? We have this slightly larger three point two inch screen about a million dots on it nice high resolution screen the playback mode top left all right so if you want to play back an image you're going to be using the multi selector the mouse on the back your camera left and right to go through your images and you're going to go up and down for information now if you try going up and down and you don't get much information right now this is a feature we're going to be able to turn on later and as I was investigating this camera you know there has been one feature that has had nikon people jealous of cannon users and the feature that they have been most jealous about is when a cannon shooter shoots a whole bunch of pictures do do do do do and then they take that wheel on the back of their camera and they just flip through all of their images in one smooth stroke well buried in this camera in the custom menu f five you khun get the command aisle in the back of the camera to scroll through your images if you want to and so if you don't like holding down the button, the multi selector you can customize that, which I think is kind of a nice thing to do, and if you aren't getting much information, you can go in to the playback menu playback display and you can check off all the different screens of information you would like, for instance, I like looking at the rgb hissed a gram. I like looking at the shooting data. Sometimes I like the highlights. I would probably check that on. I'm not real fond of the focus points, but you get to choose whatever screens you want to look at and you could just go up and down for more or less information, all right, kind of continuing on the theme of plain images back you'll have your garbage can button, you'll need to actually hit that twice to delete an image so you won't accidentally do it too quickly beyond that. Down at the bottom left, we have a zoom in and zoom out feature, so if you have taken a picture and you want to check sharpness, which is something I do on a regular basis, I'm going play the image back I'm going to zoom in and then I'm going to use the multi selector to move that framing box around the image to make sure that I got it as sharp as possible. You can also zoom out to get the full image, and if you go beyond that, you'll get to thumbnails, and if you keep going, you'll eventually get to a calendar, so let's say, if you take the camera on vacation, you can quickly jump from pictures you took on a different day, and so there's a lot of different ways to zoom in and zoom out on image that's been played back okay, as we move down the line just to give you a word of warning, we're going to go into the whole menu system in the second half the class, so we're just gonna bypass that button, at least for right now. Next down the line is what's known as the picture control button, but it also doubles as the retouch, but when you're in the playback mode, it allows you to go in and retouch your images and do some photo shopped type effects with that that we're not going to get into right now. Picture control if you shoot in raw or j peg, this may or may not be important to you, and we're going to talk about ron j paige a little bit later on, but if you are shooting jpeg images, you could go in and tweak the way that the camera processes thie image for the serious shooters they're going to be shooting in raw and this button doesn't matter at all in that in that case, but if you are shooting j pegs, I would tend to leave this either at standard or neutral on for some people, they are doing something very quick, and they don't have time to work with their images later on. I guess the question becomes, how much processing do you want to do later? How quick and ready do you want your images? I like my image is ready right away, but I also want him to be the way I want him, teo, and by putting them in neutral and vivid, or excuse me, vivid or monochrome portrait or landscape it's gonna limit you as to how much you can work with that image later on. And so I'm going to recommend raw shooting for most people, so this will not matter. But for jay paid shooters, just keeping it clean and simple, I would leave it at standard or neutral. Next up is our white balance, our help and our image protect button, and so first and foremost, this allows you to go in and adjust the white balance. In order to do that, you will press the button and turn the back tile I'll get into that in just a moment, I will also mentioned that if you are in a menu setting and you're kind of wondering what a particular feature does, you can hit this button and it will give you a little bit more dialogue about what that feature does that's the help aspect of it the protect aspect is when you are playing back an image you can lock it to prevent it from getting deleted you know you can still reformat the memory card so it's not true protection from it but it might protect some images from being accidentally deleted if you hit that garbage can button a lot, but the main people in the main reason people use this button is the white balance city and the white balance is necessary on it camera like this because your camera doesn't know the color of light that you are shooting under and so it may not know what color white is depending on the situation your camera measures light in a kelvin scale that those from two to ten thousand degrees the three kind of natural settings are sunlight cloudy and shade and so they're slightly different color in each of those situations. So if you are getting a little bit of the wrong color that you're not liking, you can adjust the white balance to one of those settings now for artificial light we have three different settings incandescent also known as tungsten fluorescent and then flash now flashes of course neutral and if you are working under incandescent lights, like a lot of people have in their homes and you're wondering why everybody looks orange it's because they need to set their camera to the tungsten setting. So let the camera know that you're working under orange light, and so if you see wacky colors, this is where you would change it. Now for those who want to get a little bit more involved, there are some other options in here preset manual allows you to go in and manually select your own. Well, excuse me, let me get says that again, you can shoot a white piece of paper and you can have the camera calibrate the color for you figure out what the color is and fix it on subsequent shots. I will talk more about this when we get into the menu system kelvin temperature if you just happen to know the kelvin temperature let's say you work with regular lights, you have lighting like here, a creative life. We have a couple of specific lights that they used all the time in the studio. They know exactly what the kelvin temperature is in here when they're setting their cameras up, and maybe you're shooting little ebay stuff at home and you work with the same light you could just manually set it yourself. Now there is also something called auto white balance, and this is where the camera just looks at the photograph and tries to guess what the right white balances and a lot of you know me is the guy who doesn't like auto stuff. And so it does seem a little strange that this is where I leave my camera most of the time, and the fact of the matter is, is that auto white balance does a pretty good job, and if you shoot raw, you can fix it later without any negative effect. Now, having said that, I do normally just leave my camera in the auto white balance mode. Any time I noticed that the camera is not really doing a good job with color, I will switch it to one of the specific white balance modes that's necessary for that situation. But just as a general starter, I will leave it at white balance because it it's pretty close most of the time. So that's, what the white balance let's move on down to the next button on the camera. So this is the quality and zoom in. We've already talked about the zoom in, so the important thing we want to talk about here is the quality setting on the camera. And this is what we were just talking about a moment ago about j pegs and raw images those of the two different types of file types and in order to change it you will press this button and turn the back dial you will be able to see the options right in the top lcd when you make these changes if you are going to use j peg, you would adjust at through the sub command I'll on the front of the camera I would like to think that a lot of people who buy this camera are going to shoot this with raw format because that's the original information it's unaltered and it's going to give you the most information to work with later on when you're working in light room photo shop or any other program for some photographers they're just moving up that don't quite have their computer and software system in place to handle raw because you do need software system tau work with ron the camera does come with that software, but some people prefer other systems to work with I would recommend if you are going to shoot j peg shoot the largest, highest quality j peg available which there's large fine, normal and basic so large fine would be the highest quality compression setting that you could use so that's what I would recommend and then I would use thie jpeg image size large you I spent all this money on a twenty four megapixel camera. You might as well use twenty four megapixels. Now there are exceptions that some people will want to shoot with a smaller j peg just remember to switch it back to the hire j pigs when you're shooting the good stuff and there is also the option, you can see the final three options in here, you can shoot raw and j peg, I don't recommend this for most people because what happens is every time you take a picture, you're going to get two files a raw and ajay pick it's nice for a situation let's say you've been asked to shoot a wedding, and the bride and groom want really high quality photographs. You're going to shoot raw for them, but they also said, hey, could you put together a quick slide show at the reception and you're thinking how my gonna process six hundred raw images and create a slideshow with it in thirty minutes? Not gonna happen, and so a good option would be to shoot raw and j peg, take the j pegs used those to make the slide show, and then when you're done, go back and use the raw to make the prince. And so that's a special exception but for most people most of the time I shoot raw once in a while I have some really basic things and I just don't need a raw and I will shoot a pig ninety five percent of the time I would shoot raw and I would hope that most people are shooting raw to really get the most out of this camera okay moving on final button on the left side is the s o button also the zoom out button and play back but the s o button determines the sensitivity of the sensor in the camera the standard setting on this camera the native sensitivity the place where the camera's sensor is at its best is s o one hundred as you go up from there two hundred, four hundred eight hundred what you are doing in reality is just letting in less camera to the lights to the sensor and the sensor on the computer in the camera is just amplifying those result and they get lower and lower quality as you go up higher and higher. Now having shot this a fair bit, I would say the camera does a really good job so one hundred through eight hundred very, very clean and so what you're going to be doing is using the back dial to change the so now you can also go to the subcommander ill in the front and take it through the auto on or off. And so auto is where you let the camera decide what s o to use, and personally, I don't like using this there's a fuse very special exceptions where it can work out for people, but for most people, I kind of draw the similarity between a race car. Most racecar drivers would not want automatic drive on their car, they want to have specific control of what gear their car is in, and most photographers want to keep control of where their eyes now. I did do a test on this myself, and so I just used I had this favorite little camera that I like taking pictures up for the soe test and in my general opinion, if you don't have a good view of the screen, I s o eight hundred is just super super clean looks really good, I can start noticing some effects at sixteen hundred maur thirty, two hundred sixty, four hundred, it starts getting a bit heavy and I really wouldn't want to go up to twelve thousand or twenty five thousand, so sixty four high end is kind of my high end that I just don't want to go to, but I would say eight hundred for super clean, but you know, sixteen and thirty two looked pretty good as well. And so it's just a very slow sliding scale and everyone has their own opinions and where they want to draw the line. But that's, what I have found out was shooting with the camera so that's the s o city all right, other little things on the back of the camera, we have a removable I cup, which is a little different than the eight hundred for anyone who's thinking about this is a backup camera, so that does use a different piece and it comes with this little d k twenty one eyepiece cap. This is for people who are using the camera in aperture priority shutter, priority or program and they're not at the camera it's on a tripod it's maybe just firing on its own and the reason it's theirs to block light coming in through the viewfinder because your camera is metering the light coming in through the lens. But it also has a little bit of light that seeps in from the back of the camera win, and there isn't a person's eye there to view it right next to that is a doctor. This has nothing to do with the focus of your pictures, but it has everything to do with the focus of the viewfinder which you want to do is you want to look through the camera and adjust the dye achter so that the numbers in below, the frame are clear. If the numbers are not clear, adjust the diop turf or your eyes, and if you have to share this camera with somebody else, good luck arguing over where this should be put out because it will get bumped. So just be aware that you may have to adjust this from time to time. It gets knocked a little bit, going in and out of the camera bag for most people. Next up the butt, the thumb button on the back of the camera is the auto exposure lock auto focus lock the a f l now the a e l is what has turned on right now at the beginning with camera auto exposure lock. And so if I was to put this camera in aperture priority and I just pan around the room right now and he said a capture of we're gonna go one point four I get shutter speeds thirty, twenty fifth, twentieth, thirteenth, fifteenth so anyone from fifteenth around a thirtieth of a second. If I want to lock in a shutter speed, I would press in on this button and it would lock that shutter speed in as I'm an aperture priority right now, so any time you want to lock that exposure in in one of the automated modes, you would simply press and hold that button yet and if you release the button it's going to kick back into doing the new exposure now the auto focus lock aspect of this it will lock focus when you have that feature turned on in the camera and let me just double check right now to make sure that that isn't turned on hate to be proven wrong sometimes and so we make sure here see and so yes it is actually locking right now so it is inherently locking saris made a mistake on that one so it does lock the focus in the continuous mode and we're going to talk about that a little bit later on however you can go in and you can customize this button so that it only does one thing and not the other and that could be done in custom menu f four to go in for anyone who wants to jump ahead and fix that the command I'll we have talked about the multi selector we have talked about as well as the ok button now the ok button on its own when you're shooting we'll select the centre auto focusing point now we're going to talk about focusing points here in a little bit but if you have other choices like you khun select from thirty nine different points that will kind of take you back to the centre one when you're in the playback mode it'll take you directly into the retouch menu so that you can retouch and photo shop you might say your image is when you're in the menus, it's basically going to confirm whatever setting that you're working on. The selector lock is there because for some people unfortunate, like me did you know I'm goofy eyed, which means I used the wrong eye. Most people, I think, the correct technique can most cameras are designed for people with right eyes, and so I'm a left eye type guy, and even though I'm right handed, I'm left, I'd and my nose bumps onto the dial on the back. And so for some people who don't want to readjust, they're focusing point. They can quickly lock that in for those of us left, I'd people working our way down around the camera. We next get to our live view movie mode selector. All right, so you have a color on the outside if you flip it kind of up with the dot on the left that gets you into that selects the live you option versus the movie option, and then when you press the button in the middle, it actually turns that feature on, so it kind of depends on which one you're using, and this really changes the nature of the camera, so we I kind of need to talk, especially about the live you mode and the movie mode, and so if you want to put it in the live, you mowed, hit the live you button, your going to see exactly whatthe lenses pointed at on the back of the camera, and so the mirrors popped up and image is coming directly into the sensor and it's being fed back to the lcd. First thing that you could do is you can hit the information button and just keep hitting the information button, and you're going to see different sets of data pulled up on that. So, depending on whether you want more data because you want to figure out what shutter speed aperture or other information you're looking at, or if you want to clear it all off so that you know, have a nice, clean screen, set it to where you like it now, it'll bring up some more graphics here. Let's, talk a little bit about what's going on in the live you in the movie moment, so the mere in your camera is a very unique mir it's, not a normal mirror what's unique about it is that it is a partial near, which means the middle portion of this mere let's light. Through the middle of it and this is for a very particular reason that you will see right here a little bit of light goes through the middle of the mir to a secondary mirror which is attached to the back of the first mir. It bounces light down to an auto focus system in the camera and that is what nikon has been working on for the last twenty five to thirty years in developing a focusing system. Now, when you put the camera in the live, you mowed watch what happens the mere needs to move up and out of the way the shutter open light comes into the sensor and look at our auto focus sensor it's not getting any information at all, so the main way that your camera focuses is rendered completely useless when you go into a live view and movie moz and this is why your camera doesn't focus as well. In the live you and movie moz it uses another system called contrast detection. Now there are a multitude of ways that you can adjust this focus. The first option is a button over on the left hand side of the camera it's a button that we will talk more fully about but it's right in the middle of the auto focus manual switch there's a little unlabeled button right in the middle there by pressing that button in and turning the front dial while the camera is in the movie mode, you can select these different notes actually make sure I've got my camera doing it right here a moment, and so one of the options is you can do face priority wide, normal or subject tracking on the camera, and I am not really fond of any of these, but if I had to leave it on one, I would leave it on probably the wide area or the normal area. They say that subject tracking may work well with children running around the facial. One will look for faces and does a pretty good job focusing on faces beyond that. If you turn press that button and turn the back dial, you will change the option between single and full time focus. If you want to go to manual, you can flip the switch on the camera or the lens single focus means the camera's going to focus on the first solid object that it could get with the directions that you have given it. Full time means it's going to continue to try to focus all the time, and if you are shooting video, you will hear the noise of the lens and it's not very fast, and I should just sit here for the next five minutes and say focus is really slow in this mode, but I won't it is just really slow and be aware of this, and so most people who use the live you mod are actually manually focusing it's, just not the camera at its best. In this mode, when you are shooting movies, you are getting a movie file, which is a pretty common format these days. It is mono sound as well. There's a four gigabyte file limit that now it should maybe say about a twenty minute limit. It depends on some variables, but you're not going to be able to record a long, long sporting event. For instance, with this and one of the bugs on this camera, at least what bugs a lot of people is that if you do have it in the movie mode, you cannot adjust the aperture while you are in the movie mode. You have to adjust it before you go in and what's happening is that let's say you set f ate on your camera and then go into the movie mode, your lens stops down to f ate and then to change it, you have to get it out of the mod and go back in, which is very frustrating to anyone who shoots a lot of video. There is rumors that or there I would say that there is hope. That nikon will come up with a firmware fixed to fix that, but that is just one of the way the camera's works. No, there is nothing specifically wrong with the camera. There are a number of different resolutions and frame rates that you consent in the camera and this is going to be done in the shooting menu under movie settings so you can shoot full hd. There are some limitations as to what frame rates you can shoot with what resolutions, and you can see that later on when we get into the menus settings, you do also have the option of shooting with the full frame censor the fx or you can shoot with a cropped d x frame, which could be very nice for sporting or wildlife, and you could do that also in the shooting menu image area selection. Anytime you want, you can shoot a still photo by simply pressing down on the shutter release, you will get a picture with a sixteen by nine frame on it, not the three teo to aspect ratio of the normal cameras so realised that it will be a slightly cropped image when you shoot that still image. Now the camera uses what's called a normalized view, not a simulated exposure view, and so as you change your center speeds and apertures, you're not going to see that in the back of the camera. The camera is optimizing the view so you can focus and compose and so don't use the back screen for exposure. You're going to need to look at the light meter in the back of the camera for that information, and I've said it before, and I'll say it again focuses not great in live you or movie mode. In general, most people who are using this camera are focusing manually ahead of time, and then they're shooting their video or they're still shot with it. We have a little infrared receiver for that wireless remote control that you can get there's a little card light that indicates that the camera is writing information of the card. The most important thing is when that when that light is turned on, don't take the memory card out of the camera it's about the only thing you need to worry about right there? There's a little speaker on the back of the camera when you're playing back your movies, the information but we've talked about that both in live you and I'm gonna be talking more about this when we get into the displays of the camera and then there's a little light sensor back here that is on the back of the camera so that it adjust the brightness of the lcd and I'm actually not a big fan of this and I like to turn this off and I'm going to show you how to do that when we get into the menu setting on the camera now for those who play really close attention their camera you'll notice that there's the's kind of green light green dots on their camera and so if they hold those buttons down for two seconds and then press him again they will restore all the settings on the camera to the default settings that they camera had when you bought it and this is not something that everyone wants to do so be aware that's why those about this I don't know why they're there but that's what they do when you press the buttons that are closely really related to him there is also a shortcut for formatting the memory card by pressing the garbage can button and the meeting button together for two seconds and then pressing them again it will reformat your memory card so just be aware of that and don't accidentally do that right thank you john on I'm gonna go back a little bit actually have a good question from photo though who says I need a bracket that allows me to change from vertical to horizontal I turned you my sorry here we are thank you john I have a good question going back a little bit earlier when you were speaking about shooting with a bracket way have quite a few people asking they want to be able teo change from vertical to horizontal plus be able to have the option of using off camera mount on the l bracket. Which one do you recommend? Well, one of one of the benefits of brackets is that they don't change much in technology, and the one that I bought is probably twenty years old, and I have no intention of buying another one because this one works totally fine for me, but it is the company struggle frame, and they make a lot of different flash brackets, and so just be aware that there's a lot of tradeoffs, there are some that are really large, but everything just works really smoothly and there's other ones that, like, fold up really small so you can stick him in the side pocket of a camera bag and they're flipping back and forth isn't quite a smooth, and I I got something kind of in between, and I'm sure they discontinued the model that I have, but take a look at struggle frame. I think they make a lot of different things out there, so when you were talking about exposure compensation, did I understand that in manual mode? It's not used is that what she said most it's awkward to use it doesn't do anything on its own let's just say that you have a shutter speed of a sixteenth of a second and an aperture of f ate set and you change the exposure compensation nothing hap it's okay with the picture nowthe light meter is going to tell you that your underexposed, overexposed and so let's just say that for some reason your light meter was off by one stop for some reason you dropped your camera now it's off by one stuff that would be the quickest way to just reposition it so that you're constantly it's basically moving the markers for you would be another situation where you would want to use it the only time that I because you couldn't do it without using it. There's there's a lot of people who shoot with manual who would never ever use it let's just say I'm shooting a landscape shot and I know it's kind of darker than average rather than get my light meter to zero, I'm going to leave it at minus two thirds all right? The long, cumbersome way is to go set a minus two thirds on the exposure compensation and then line it up to the middle of the meter, which seems kind of like a backward way of doing it but it is possible and it's it's potentially useful for somebody I just don't use it in my photography yeah, that makes sense so I just want to go back again a little bit teo to you one and you too renee had at asked your suggestions for the most useful you want a new two settings? And then samir who's in abu dhabi had asked can you set the meet oring mode spot or average in you one or you two? Well with the spot or metering yes you khun set meter and you consent exposure modes you khun set specific shutter speeds apertures you could go through the entire menu says system of the camera and pre programming now the first one was which one what do I recommend? Uh well whatever one you need to go to the quickest and possibly for a lot of people it would be something that they like to use for quick picture taking and so if I was going to program something into one of them what I would do is maybe put in maybe aperture priority. Maybe I'm going to turn the motor drive on because I want to be ready to shoot some action real quick I've set the aperture fairly wide open maybe two point eight maybe if I was a photojournalist I would set it up it s o four hundred so that I could get faster shutter speeds pretty quickly and so whatever whatever you find very useful and that's kind of the great thing is it's totally customizable whatever you like to do okay thank you and then way have another question on that note from akita kabo and what its normal speed of frame being saved in the memory card? What is influencing it beside the format raw or j peg? Sometimes a green light indicating writing in the memory card is on for one to two seconds sometimes three to four and why is that right? And so they're getting into subjects that we will be covering a bit more in details and I don't have my secret notes I have all sorts of secret notes as far as how big the buffer is, but there are things that when we go through the menu system I will let you know about for instance, noise reduction in auto distortion control kay is extra processing that the camera sends the images through and that can slow up how fast your camera shoots and so you need to carefully weigh those features if frame to frame shooting speed is very important and so if frame to frame shooting if you doing sports photography with this you're trying to get as many pictures as fast as possible what you're generally going to want to do is turn anything off that causes the camera to manipulate data to play with your image in some way and so it will also effect with you shooting j peg or rise they mentioned for those who don't know roz a much larger, larger file size, probably about three times larger. And so if you are shooting sports while I much prefer raw, I could see putting the camera in jpeg because not that it shoots faster but that it stores more pictures in the temporary memory before being stored in the memory card and we'll talk, we'll clarify with specific numbers as we get into this, that sounds great, john, that sounds great, so we're going to take our first fifteen minute break of the day if that's alright with you and tell us a little bit about what we're going to dio when we come back, we'll we're just going to continue going around the camera. We're going to go into the probably the highlight of what's coming up is the focusing system because we have thirty nine focusing points and I've got very detailed information about what our cross sensors and vertical sensors and what apertures and what lenses they work with. So we're going to finish the outside of the camera, but that focusing system has got a lot of lot of technical stuff in there.

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Ratings and Reviews


What can I say John Greengo is the best photography instructor and the best prepared instructor I have ever witnessed. His visual aids are second to none along with his presentation style and years of experience you can't ask for any thing better. He covers the D600/D610 from top to bottom and doesn't miss a thing. If you have this camera and don't feel you are using it to the best your ability, then try this course. You will come away with a much better understanding of how to better use your D600. If you are new to digital photography or if you might need a little reinforcement of the basics then I highly recommend his 5 day course "Fundamentals of Digital Photography 2014." He covers everything in this course from what different camera brands offer, along with exposure to composition, and from focusing to lenses and lighting. He doesn't miss a thing and neither will you with John's clear and concise teaching style.


I am a fairly experienced UK user and wasn';t sure what to expect, but was very impressed. I like the slick CL website and well produced HD videos. John is certainly a very good teacher, who is clearly spoken and tells you what you need to know about the D600. I was able to sit with my camera in hand and go through all of the controls and picked up some very good tips, which I will use in Bhutan tomorrow! So I like my new teacher and on that basis will be coming back to take John's Fundamentals of Digital Photography and also the Olympus EM1 courses, which represent good value for money.

Thomas Lanik

I am about half way through this D600 course. Like many people it turns out I learn significantly better visually (and hands-on). Thanks to John's well spoken and clear style absorbing his presentation is very effective. I have already applied even simple D600 features. Even if you are thinking about this model I strongly recommend this course- If you're like me, you already made the plunge. That's O.K.- this will maximize your experience. Do it.

Student Work