Nikon Z7 setup guide with tips and tricks

Introduction

The Nikon Z7 uses a new 45.6 megapixel Full-frame sensor as incorporates many of the features and improvements brought in the last years by competitors like Fuji and Olympus. These mirrorless improvements mainly focus on enhanced speed, with now on sensor phase detection AF points and an entirely new processor.

These will definitely make the Nikon Z7 a more useable camera in terms of speed and functionality compared to older models.  There are a few changes in the menu system when compared to previous Nikon cameras. We’ll have a page-by-page look at the menus in this post. If you’re looking for a particular feature, I would suggest that you use the search function in your preferred browser, as this post is quite long.

If you’re looking for a setup guide for the Nikon Z6, you can find it here, the Z50 here and for the Z5 here.

Full Menu Overview and explanation

MENU → Playback Menu → page 1

Playback Menu Page 1

Delete

Here you can:

  • Delete selected pictures.
  • Delete all pictures taken on selected dates.
  • Delete all pictures in the folder currently selected for playback.

Note the hints at the bottom of the monitor that tell you which keys have to be used.

Hack: The main advantage of this menu is the option to delete by shooting date.

Playback Folder

If there are several folders on your memory card you can choose here from which folders images will be displayed in playback mode:

  • Pictures in all folders created with the camera will be visible during playback. Folders can be renamed using the Storage folder > Rename option in the photo shooting menu.
  • Pictures in all folders of the Nikon Z7 will be visible during playback.
  • Only pictures in the current folder will be visible during playback.

Hack: Ignore. I would not exchange memory cards between cameras without formatting them to reduce the risk of write errors (=loss of pictures!).

Playback Display Options

You can add Focus point info to the playback display here as well as add additional photo info like Exposure Info, Highlights, RGB Histogram, Shooting Data…

Choose the information available in the playback photo information display. Highlight options and press the right arrow to select or deselect; items selected for display during full-frame playback are indicated by v icons. To return to the playback menu, press OK.

Image Review

If you turn this on, each new image will appear automatically on the monitor just after shooting.

On: Pictures appear in the currently-selected display (monitor or viewfinder) as they are taken.

On (monitor only): Pictures are displayed after shooting only when the monitor is used to frame shots. Pictures are not displayed in the viewfinder during shooting.

Off: Pictures can only be viewed by pressing the Play button.

Hack: I prefer to switch off this option because the regular flickering of the monitor is annoying if you leave the camera close to the eye.

After Delete

This menu defines which image will be displayed after you delete one:

  • Show next (default): The next newer one.
  • Show previous: The next older one.
  • Continue as before: The next picture will be displayed if you have scrolled forward before deleting the picture and the previous picture will be displayed if you have scrolled backward before.

Hack: I prefer the last option because I delete images both while browsing forward or backward and then it is nice if the display adapts to the direction you are using.

After Burst, Show

The After burst, show option in the playback menu controls whether the photo displayed at the end of a burst of shots is the first or last in the burst. It takes effect only when Image review is off.

After burst show
Rotate All

If you switch on this option photos taken in upright format will be rotated during preview.

Slide Show

View a slide show of the pictures in the current playback folder. Hidden images are not displayed.

Options:

  • Start: Start slide show.
  • Image type: Choose type of image displayed from Still images and movies, Still images only, and Movies only.
  • Frame interval: Choose how long each picture will be displayed.
  • Skip back/skip ahead: Press left to return to previous frame, right to skip to next frame.
  • View additional photo info: Press up or down to change or hide photo info displayed (still images only).
  • Pause: Press OK to pause the slide show. To restart, highlight Restart and press OK.
  • Adjust volume: Press magnifier during movie playback to increase volume, mag+flash to decrease.
  • Exit to playback menu: Press Menu to end the slide show and return to the playback menu.
  • Exit to playback mode: Press Play to end the slide show and exit to playback mode.
  • Exit to shooting mode: Press shutter-release button halfway to return to shooting mode.

MENU → Playback Menu → page 2

Playback Menu page 2

Rating

Rate pictures or mark them as candidates for later deletion. Ratings can also be viewed in View NX-i and Capture NX-D. Rating is not available with protected images.

Procedure:

    1. Select an image: Display the image or highlight it in the thumbnail list in thumbnail playback.
    2. Display playback options. Press the info button to display playback options.
    3. Select Rating: Highlight Rating and press right.
  1. Choose a rating.Press left or right to choose a rating of from zero to five stars, or select trash can to mark the picture as a candidate for later deletion. Press OK to complete the operation.

Hack: If Rating is selected for Custom Setting f1 (Custom control assignment) > Fn2 button, pictures can be rated by keeping the Fn2 button pressed and pressing left or right.

MENU → Photo Shooting Menu → page 1

Photo Shooting Menu page 1

Reset Photo Shooting Menu

This menu resets all entries in the shooting menu back to the default values defined by Nikon, the only exception is the entry Storage Folder.

Hack: This menu may be useful if you are new to the Z7 and have played a lot with the settings in this menu.

Storage Folder

This menu defines the folder on the memory card in which new images are stored and allows to create new folders:

  • Select folder by number: You choose a three digit number and the Z7 will create a folder with this number at the beginning of its name if it does not exist yet. The following five characters „Z7“ cannot be altered.
    When you see a folder symbol next to the selected number a folder exists already.
  • Select folder from list: You choose a folder from a list of existing ones – without the possibility to create new ones.
File Naming

You can replace the three letters „DSC“ which are the default beginning of file names with your own individual combination.

  • an underscore _ before or after these three letters, depending on which color space you use.
  • a sequential four digit number.
Nikon Z7 sample, Varanasi, India, Sadhu, portrait, traditional, wim Arys photography, wimarys

A Sadhu and a traditionally clothed woman on the Ganghes river in Varanasi, India.

Choose Image Area

The Nikon Z7 offers a choice of the following image areas:

  • FX (36 × 24): Images are recorded in FX format with an angle of view equivalent to a lens on a 35 mm format camera.
  • DX (24 × 16): Images are recorded in DX format. To calculate the approximate focal length of the lens in 35 mm format, multiply by 1.5.
  • 5 : 4 (30 × 24): Pictures are recorded with an aspect ratio of 5 : 4.
  • 1 : 1 (24×24): Pictures are recorded with an aspect ratio of 1 : 1.
  • 16:9 (36×20): Pictures are recorded with a 16:9 image ratio.
Image Quality

The Nikon Z7 supports the following image quality options:

  • NEF (RAW): RAW data from the image sensor are saved without additional processing. Settings such as white balance and contrast can be adjusted after shooting.
  • NEF (RAW)+JPEG fine/NEF (RAW)+JPEG fine: Two images are recorded, one NEF (RAW) image and one fine-quality JPEG image.
  • NEF (RAW)+JPEG normal/NEF (RAW)+JPEG normal: Two images are recorded, one NEF (RAW) image and one normal-quality JPEG image.
  • NEF (RAW)+JPEG basic/NEF (RAW)+JPEG basic: Two images are recorded, one NEF (RAW) image and one basic-quality JPEG image.
  • JPEG fine/JPEG fine: Record JPEG images at a compression ratio of roughly 1 : 4 (fine quality).
  • JPEG normal/JPEG normal: Record JPEG images at a compression ratio of roughly 1 : 8 (normal quality).
  • JPEG basic/JPEG basic: Record JPEG images at a compression ratio of roughly 1 : 16 (basic quality).
  • TIFF (RGB): Record uncompressed TIFF-RGB images at a bit depth of 8 bits per channel (24-bit color). TIFF is supported by a wide variety of imaging applications.
Image Size

Image size is measured in pixels. Choose from Large, Medium, or Small (note that image size varies depending on the option selected for Image area.

FX (36×24; FX format)
  • Large: 8256 × 5504
  • Medium: 6192 × 4128
  • Small: 4128 × 2752
DX (24×16; DX format)
  • Large 5408 × 3600
  • Medium 4048 × 2696
  • Small 2704 × 1800
5 : 4 (30×24)
  • Large 6880 × 5504
  • Medium 5152 × 4120
  • Small 3440 × 2752
1 : 1 (24×24)
  • Large 5504 × 5504
  • Medium 4128 × 4128
  • Small 2752 × 2752
16 : 9 (36×20)
  • Large 8256 × 4640
  • Medium 6192 × 3480
  • Small 4128 × 2320
NEF (RAW) Recording

Choose a compression type and bit depth for NEF (RAW) photos. You can change compression type and bit depth.

NEF (RAW) Compression
  • Lossless compressed: NEF images are compressed using a reversible algorithm, reducing file size by about 20–40% with no effect on image quality.
  • Compressed: NEF images are compressed using a non-reversible algorithm, reducing file size by about 35–55% with almost no effect on image quality.
  • Uncompressed: NEF images are not compressed.
NEF (RAW) Bit Depth
  • 12-bit: NEF (RAW) images are recorded at a bit-depth of 12 bits.
  • 14-bit: NEF (RAW) images are recorded at a bit depth of 14 bits, producing files larger than those with a bit depth of 12 bits but increasing the color data recorded.

Hack: 14 bit uncompressed of course gives the ultimate image quality, but Losless Compressed is so good that is should be used in order to conserve card space. If you’re a portrait or fine art photographer, you should always shoot 14 bit in order to have the maximum color data preserved in your files.

ISO sensitively settings

If the Nikon Z7 decides that it can’t properly expose the image at that ISO given your current aperture and shutter speed, it automatically adjusts ISO as necessary. Turn on the Auto ISO Sensitivity option. The camera will now override your ISO choice when it thinks a proper exposure is not possible with the settings you’ve specified.

If On is selected, the camera will automatically adjust ISO sensitivity when optimal exposure cannot be achieved at the value selected for ISO sensitivity. The options listed below are available for fine-tuning auto ISO sensitivity control.

  • Maximum sensitivity: Choose an upper limit for ISO sensitivity to prevent it being raised too high.
  • Maximum sensitivity with c: Choose the upper ISO sensitivity limit for photos taken using an optional flash unit.
  • Minimum shutter speed: Choose the shutter speed below which auto ISO sensitivity control will kick in to prevent underexposure in modes P and A. Options range from 1/4000 s to 30 s.

MENU → Photo Shooting Menu → page 2

hoto Shooting Menu  page 2

White Balance

White balance ensures that colors are unaffected by the color of the light source. Auto white balance is recommended with most light sources. If the desired results cannot be achieved with auto white balance, choose an option from the list below or use preset white balance.

Auto

White balance is adjusted automatically for optimal results with most light sources. For best results, use type G, E , D or Z lens. If optional flash fires, results are adjusted appropriately. Color temperature can be viewed in the playback info display after shooting.

Options:

  • Keep white (reduce warm colors; 3500–8000 K)
  • Normal (3500–8000 K)
  • Keep warm lighting colors(3500–8000 K)
Natural light auto

White balance is adjusted for natural light, producing colors closer to those seen by the naked eye. (4500–8000 K)

Direct sunlight

Use with subjects lit by direct sunlight. (5200K)

Cloudy

Use in daylight under overcast skies. (6000 K)

Shade

Use in daylight with subjects in the shade. (8000 K)

Incandescent

Use under incandescent lighting. (3000K)

Fluorescent
  • Sodium-vapor lamps (2700 K): Sodium-vapor lighting (found in sports venues).
  • Warm-white fluorescent(3000 K): Warm-white fluorescent lights.
  • White fluorescent(3700 K): White fluorescent lights.
  • Cool-white fluorescent(4200 K): Cool-white fluorescent lights
  • Day white fluorescent(5000 K): Daylight white fluorescent lights.
  • Daylight fluorescent(6500 K): Daylight fluorescent lights.
  • High temp. mercury-vapor (7200 K): High color temperature light sources (e.g. mercury-vapor lamps).
Flash

Use with optional flash units. (5400K)

Choose color temp.

Choose color temperature from list of values. (2500–10,000 K)

Preset manual

Use subject, light source, or existing photograph as reference for white balance

Set Picture Control

Here you can change settings for the internal processing of picture data from the image sensor into final JPG files.

It’s necessary to start with an existing configuration or set of settings that Nikon has predefined for a certain look of the final image. You can choose between:

  • Auto: Your Nikon Z7 automatically detects the type of scene.
  • Standard: Nikon‘s default for a neutral picture as the standard for most shooting situations.
  • Neutral: A processing with slightly less sharpening, contrast improvement and saturation; for those who do these steps on their own later on.
  • Vivid: Higher color saturation, sharpening and contrast.
  • Monochrome: Converts into black and white.
  • Portrait: Very similar to „neutral“, slightly less sharpening, contrast and color saturation than „standard“.
  • Landscape: Higher contrast than „standard“.

You can modify any of these preset configurations by placing a yellow selection mark in it and use the selector to the right.

The „Quick adjust“ increases or decreases all settings in the direction of the intended picture style and is available for all configurations except „neutral“.

Alternatively you can select and change all detail settings individually:

  • Sharpening: Increases contrasts at edges which improves the perceived sharpness.
  • Contrast: Increases or decreases the contrast between light and dark areas.
  • Brightness: Lightening or Darkening of the whole picture.
  • Saturation: Changes color saturation for more intense or fainter colors.
  • Hue: Changes the overall color tone in a slightly complicated manner.

And also two which are available only for the configuration „monochrome“:

  • Filter effects: Simulates the effect of color filters as they are used in black and white photography to adjust contrast.
  • Toning: Allows you to choose another dominating color tone than black and white.

Additionally you can create your own configurations by copying, modifying and renaming an existing one.
To do so you need the next menu option Manage Picture Control.

When you change a configuration in the Picture Control and do a Reset
your last chosen configuration will stay selected but any changes in it will be reset.

Hack: An important menu with visible impact on your photos! Only those who shoot in RAW format only and create JPG files on their own in the computer can ignore it.
The „best“ settings are a matter of your personal preferences, in this menu everyone has to find his or her best settings by experience.

On the other hand all of these settings can also be changed afterwards in image processing on the computer, you really have to get them right in the camera if you want to have the best possible results straight out of your Nikon Z7.

The configuration „neutral“ is very similar to „standard“ with slightly less contrast and saturation, the difference is really small.
The sharpening chosen by Nikon is rather weak, I prefer a higher value of 5 or 6.
When looking at your images in the proper magnification (100% zoom on the computer monitor) you will see clearer edges.
„Vivid“ has visibly more intense color and more contrast. That can improve your image but also be too much of a good thing if you have already high contrast (e.g. direct sunlight) and make your picture look unnatural.
I would not set contrast and brightness here and switch on the Active D-Lighting.
Regarding the setting „hue“: Ignore this setting, it is only a slight shift in color for which I do not see any practical relevance.
Result: All the above has brought me to the following settings that I use myself:

One own configuration, created with the next menu option Manage Picture Control, called „standard+sharper“ which is a copy of the configuration „standard“ with sharpening increased to 6.
Another configuration called „sharp+vivid“ which is the same as before plus a saturation increased by two steps.
I use the first one most of the time and switch to the second one occasionally.
Last but not least: Do not overestimate the importance of this menu, most important is still a good subject, light, exposure and
white balance for cooler or wamer color rendition. After all that the „Picture Control“ is for the final touch.

Manage Picture Control

This menu allows you to copy existing Picture Control configurations (see previous menu) and save them with personal adjustments under a new name.

To create your own configuration choose the entry „Save/edit“, pick an existing configuration and press OK. Then you can assign one of nine places in the list of possible customized entries, edit it and choose your own name.

you do not really need an own configuration and can ignore this menu. With the user settings also personal adjustments to a Picture Control will be saved.

If you do change the Picture Control settings regularly it is best to put the most commonly used settings into your own configurations.

Reset will put all Picture Control configurations back to their default settings and you need an own configuration if you do not want to tweak Picture Control each time with your setting details.

  • Save/edit: Create a new custom Picture Control based on an existing preset or custom Picture Control, or edit existing custom Picture Controls.
  • Rename: Rename custom Picture Controls.
  • Delete: Delete custom Picture Controls.
  • Load/save: Use the following options to copy custom Picture Controls to and from the memory card. Once copied to the memory card, Picture Controls can be used with other cameras or compatible software. (Copy to camera, Delete from card or Copy to card.)
Nikon Z7 sample, interior, stairwell, long exposure, Realestate, Wim Arys photography, Wim Arys

Interior 1960’s soviet stairwell.

Color Space

You can either choose sRGB or Adobe RGB.

  • sRGB (default): This is the worldwide standard with 256 levels of brightness for each of the basic colors red, green, blue, for displaying images on computer monitors.
  • Adobe RGB: A color space developed by Adobe for broader color range of printed images.

As for sRGB all colors will be stored with shares of red, green and blue with 256 levels of gradation, the difference is that the maximum saturations are higher.

The color space is relevant only for creation of JPG-files, not for the RAW format.

Active D-Lighting

„Active D-Lighting“ (ADL) is Nikon‘s name for an additional step in the internal image processing that mainly lightens dark areas of the picture.

It is relevant only for JPG files, not for RAW format.

You can set this to Auto, Extra High, High, Normal, Low or Off.

ADL can also darken too bright areas but lightening dark ones is more frequent and the improvements are more visible there.

You can choose an automatic adjustment that the Nikon Z7 will set stronger or weaker depending on your subject‘s contrast or four steps from low to extra high.

Hack: Turn this ON, set it to Normal, it really helps improve your images!

Long Exposure NR

If this menu option is switched on the Z7 will use an extra step in internal image processing for noise reduction if the exposure time is longer than 1 second.

Hack: switch it Off, it’s better to use advanced image noise reduction on your Mac or PC.

High ISO NR

You can choose if an additional noise reduction shall be applied in the internal image processing for shots with high ISO sensitivity. High, Natural, Low or Off are selectable.

Hack: Turn high ISO NR off, it’s better to use the superior noise reduction of your desktop image editor of choice.

Vignette Control

Vignetting is a drop in brightness at the edges of a photograph. Vignette control reduces vignetting for type G, E, D and F lenses (PC lenses excluded). So yes it works on adapted lenses with the FTZ adapter too. Its effects vary from lens to lens and are most noticeable at maximum aperture. Choose from High, Normal, Low, and Off.

Hack: Depending on the scene, shooting conditions, and type of lens, TIFF and JPEG images may exhibit noise (fog) or variations in peripheral brightness, while custom Picture Controls and preset Picture Controls that have been modified from default settings may not produce the desired effect. Take test shots and view the results in the monitor. Vignette control does not apply to movies or multiple exposures.

MENU → Photo Shooting Menu → page 3

Photo Shooting Menu page 3

Diffraction Compensation

With digital cameras, if you select a small aperture to increase depth of field when shooting cityscapes or landscapes, it may cause a loss of sharpness across the image due to diffraction. .

Thanks to the new and faster EXPEED 6 processor inside the Nikon Z7, there is a new diffraction compensation function. This helps capture landscapes and cityscapes crisply even when small apertures are used(from f/11 onwards).

Auto Distortion Control

Select On to reduce barrel distortion when shooting with wide-angle lenses and to reduce pin-cushion distortion when shooting with long lenses (note that the edges of the area visible in the viewfinder may be cropped out of the final photograph, and that the time needed to process photographs before recording begins may increase).

Flicker Reduction Shooting

Reduce banding or (in photos taken in continuous release modes) uneven exposure or coloration caused by the flicker of such light sources as fluorescent or mercury-vapor lamps during viewfinder photography.

Hack: Take a test shot and view the results before taking additional photographs. Flicker reduction can detect flicker at 100 and 120 Hz (associated respectively with AC power supplies of 50 and 60 Hz). Flicker may not be detected or the desired results may not be achieved with dark backgrounds, bright light sources, or decorative lighting displays and other non-standard lighting. Depending on the light source, there may be a slight delay before the shutter is released. During burst shooting, the frame rate may slow or become erratic; in addition, the desired results may not be achieved if the frequency of the power supply changes during shooting.

Flicker detection will not take effect at shutter speeds slower than 1/100 s (including Bulb and Time) or when Mup is selected for release mode or exposure delay mode is on.

Metering

Metering determines how the camera sets exposure. The following options are available:

  1. Matrix: Produces natural results in most situations. Camera meters wide area of the frame and sets exposure according to tone distribution, color, composition, and, with type G, E, D or F lenses , distance information (3D color matrix metering III; with other CPU lenses, camera uses color matrix metering III, which does not include 3D distance information).
  2. Center-weighted: Camera meters entire frame but assigns greatest weight to center area. Classic meter for portraits; recommended when using filters with an exposure factor (filter factor) over 1×.
  3. Spot: Camera meters circle 4 mm (0.16 in.) in diameter (approximately 1.5% of frame). Circle is centered on current focus point, making it possible to meter off-center subjects . Ensures that subject will be correctly exposed, even when background is much brighter or darker.
  4. Highlight-weighted: Camera assigns greatest weight to highlights. Use to reduce loss of detail in highlights, for example when photographing spotlit performers on-stage.

Hack: Specifying the focal length and maximum aperture of non-CPU lenses using the Non-CPU lens data option in the setup menu allows the camera to use color matrix metering when matrix is selected and improves the accuracy of center-weighted and spot metering.

Flash Control

Choose the flash control mode for optional flash units mounted on the camera accessory shoe and adjust settings for off-camera flash photography.

Flash Control Mode

When an SB-5000, SB-500, SB-400, or SB-300 is mounted on the camera, the flash control mode, flash level, and other flash settings can be adjusted using the Flash control > Flash control mode item in the photo shooting menu (in the case of the SB-5000, these settings can also be adjusted using the controls on the flash unit). The options available vary with the flash used, while the options displayed under Flash control mode vary with the mode selected. Settings for other flash units can only be adjusted using flash unit controls.

  • TTL: i-TTL mode. In the cases of the SB-500, SB-400, and SB-300, flash compensation can be adjusted using the W (M) button.
  • Auto external flash: In this mode, output is adjusted automatically according to the amount of light reflected by the subject; flash compensation is also available. Auto external flash supports “auto aperture” (qA) and “non-TTL auto” (A) modes; non-TTL auto is selected automatically if a non-CPU lens is attached without specifying the focal length and maximum aperture using the Non-CPU lens data option in the setup menu. See the flash unit manual for details.
  • Distance-priority manual: Choose the distance to the subject; flash output will be adjusted automatically. Flash compensation is also available.
  • Manual: Choose the flash level manually.
  • Repeating flash: The flash fires repeatedly while the shutter is open, producing a multiple-exposure effect. Choose the flash level (Output), the maximum number of times the unit fires (Times), and the number of times the flash fires per second (Frequency, measured in Hertz). The options available for Times vary depending on the options selected for Output and Frequency; see the documentation provided with the flash unit for details.
Wireless Flash Options

Adjust settings for simultaneous wireless control of multiple remote flash units. This option is available only when an SB-5000 or SB-500 flash unit or a WR-R10 wireless remote controller is mounted on the camera.

  • Optical AWL: The remote flash units are controlled using low-intensity flashes emitted by the master flash. Available only with an SB-5000 or SB-500 mounted on the camera accessory shoe.
  • Optical/radio AWL: This option is for flash photography using both optically- and radio-controlled flash units. Choose this option when using both a WR-R10 and an SB-500 mounted on the camera accessory shoe. Remote flash control is automatically set to Group flash.
  • Radio AWL: The remote flash units are controlled by radio signals emitted by a WR-R10 attached to the camera. Available only with the WR-R10 and remote flash units that support radio AWL.
  • Off: Remote flash photography disabled.
Remote Flash Control

Choose from the following remote flash photography options:

  • Group flash: hoose a separate flash control mode and flash level for each group of remote flash units. If Optical AWL or Optical/radio AWL is selected for Wireless flash options  you can choose the channel used by the master flash to communicate with the remote flash units.
  • Quick wireless control: Choose for control of overall flash output. Use Quick wireless control options to adjust the balance between groups A and B and set the output for group C manually (the master flash does not fire). You can also adjust flash compensation for groups A and B and, if Optical AWL or Optical/radio AWL is selected for Wireless flash options  choose the channel used by the master flash to communicate with the remote flash units
  • Remote repeating: The flash units fire repeatedly while the shutter is open, producing a multiple-exposure effect. Choose the flash level (Output), the maximum number of times the flash units fire (Times), the number of times the units fire per second (Frequency), and, if Optical AWL or Optical/radio AWL is selected for Wireless flash options, the channel used by the master flash to communicate with the remote flash units. Note that the number of times the flash units fire in total may vary depending on the options selected for Output and Frequency; see the documentation provided with the flash unit for details.
Radio Remote Flash Info

View the flash units currently controlled using radio AWL.

Nikon Z7 sample, Birma, tattoo, Chin, Chin State, Wim Arys Photography

Face Tattoos on a Chin woman, Chin State, Myanmar.

Flash Mode

Some of the flash modes are set on the camera, rather than on the flash. To set most of these modes on a Nikon Z7, you keep the flash button depressed and rotate the main (rear) command wheel to cycle through the modes. The modes appear in the flash frame in the top LCD panel on the camera.

To set Auto FP on a Nikon Z7, you need to go into this menu.

Fill Flash

The flash fires with every shot. In modes P and A, shutter speed will automatically be set to values between 1/200 s (or 1/8000 s with Auto FP High-Speed Sync) and 1/60 s.

Red-eye Reduction Mode

When this mode is activated (indicated by an eye-symbol appearing on both the camera’s top LCD and the flash’s rear LCD), the flash fires three flashes at reduced output just before the picture is taken. This makes the iris of humans and animals contract which reduces the area where the red eye effect can be seen. It also introduces a shutter delay to allow the subject’s irises time to react.

The red-effect only occurs when you use the flash as key light pointing forwards and directly into the subjects eyes.

Slow-sync Flash + red-eye

As for Red-eye reduction except that shutter speed slows automatically to capture background lighting at night or under low light. Use when you want to include background lighting in portraits. Use of a tripod is recommended to prevent blurring caused by camera shake.

Slow-sync Flash

The default shutter speed when using flash is 1/60 second (you can change this default on a Z7 with custom setting #24). The flash will use a faster shutter speed if the ambient light requires it, but will not normally go below 1/60 second in the modes where camera controls the shutter speed.

When slow-sync flash is activated (on a Z7, you set this by pressing the flash button and turning the main command wheel until the word “SLOW” appears on the camera’s top LCD), shutter speeds as low as 30 seconds may be used to obtain the correct exposure for both the main subject in the foreground lit by the flash, and the background, in low-light situations or at night.

For slow shutter speeds, you may need to use a tripod to avoid camera shake.

In the Night Portrait scene mode, slow-sync flash is automatically activated.

Rear curtain Sync

Normally the flash fires at the same time the shutter curtain opens (i.e. front curtain sync). When rear curtain is activated (indicated by the word “REAR” on the camera’s top LCD), the flash fires just before the shutter curtain closes.

Rear curtain sync may be selected when one is shooting fast-moving subjects at slow shutter speeds. With front curtain sync, unnatural-looking pictures can occur because the blurred movement appears to be in front of the subject frozen by the flash. Rear curtain sync creates a picture in which the blur of a moving subject (for example, the taillights of a speeding car) appears behind the frozen subject.

Rear curtain sync automatically enables slow-sync mode, since the only time you should want to use rear sync, is when you also set a slow shutter speed to capture blurred movement.

Using rear curtain sync with shutter speeds faster than 1/30 second is not recommended. Rear curtain sync introduces a delay between the pre-flash and the main flash lasting the length of the exposure. This delay gives most people just enough time to react to the pre-flash. Using rear sync for portraits is a sure way to make your subjects blink or squint.

Rear curtain sync can not be combined with AWL, or with the FP or RPT modes.

A word on Auto FP

(Focal Plane) is a sync mode that let you synchronise flash with higher shutter speeds than the camera’s normal maximum flash synchronisation shutter speed (often called “x-sync speed”).

To use this mode on a Nikon Z7, you need to have a CLS-compatible flash unit connected to the camera’s hot-shoe, and you must enable Auto FP on the camera. Without having Auto FP enabled, the camera will not let you set the shutter speed higher than the x-sync speed when you use a CLS-compatible flash. With Auto FP enabled, you can use any shutter speed.

In FP mode the flash will not fire once, but many times at an extremely rapid rate (typically 50 KHz) which begins with the opening of front curtain of your camera’s focal plane shutter and ends with closing of rear curtain. This permits the correct exposure to be obtained as the travelling slit of a dual curtain shutter passes over the sensor at high-speed.

Note that using FP reduces the maximum power of the flash. The only way to have FP is to illuminate the focal plane curtain, which, depending on the shutter speed, may cover a very large percentage of the focal plane. This means that the higher the shutter speed is above the shutter’s x-sync speed, the smaller the area of film that gets illuminated by each flash.

The table below shows approximately how much the maximum power expressed as guide number GN is reduced when an SB-900 is used in FP mode on a Nikon Z7. It has full power (GN 34, ISO 100/meter) at the X-sync speed (1/200 second), is reduced by -1 EV (half power) at 1/250 second, and then by another -1 EV for each doubling of shutter speed. At 1/4000 second it is reduced by -5 EV, or 1/32 of full power.

Shutter Speed GN Power
1/200 34 0 EV 1/1
1/250 22 -1 EV 1/2
1/500 16 -2 EV 1/4
1/1000 11 -3 EV 1/8
1/2000 8 -4 EV 1/16
1/4000 6 -5 EV 1/32

Using FP will reduce the effective GN of the flash when you exceed the x-sync speed. However, it has no effect at speeds lower than the x-sync. It does no harm to have Auto FP permanently enabled.

On a Nikon Speedlight, the FP mode can be activated in the following flash modes: TTL, TTL BL, AA, M and GN. On the Nissin Di866 the FP mode only works in TTL mode.

Note: The FP mode is mainly useful when you want to use large apertures when doing fill flash in bright daylight. The FP mode does not help you freeze motion. Normal flash photography is very good at freezing motion, since a burst of electronic flash is so incredibly brief. When the dominant light on a scene is a very short flash of light it is almost as if you used a very high shutter speed in the thousandths of a second. However when you use FP mode flash, the flash unit pulses the light output over a longer period of time in order to simulate a light being lit for the entire time the shutter travels across the focal plane. Since the flash burst is no longer very short, it becomes more difficult to freeze motion, even with high shutter speeds. And because the FP mode makes you lose so much of the power of the flash, it is not very useful when you want the flash to be the dominant light. For high speed flash photography, you instead use manual mode, and adjust the power ratio to make sure that the flash burst is short enough to “freeze” movement.

High Speed Sync Without Auto FP mode

The Nikon Z7 will sync with most flash units at any shutter speed (i.e. up to 1/4000 second). This is because these models use a CCD sensor that works as an electronic shutter at high shutter speed. A conventional mechanical shutter is only used at shutter speeds below 1/125 second.

For some reason, Nikon has put in a program limitation that will not let you set faster shutter speed than 1/500 second in these models if you mount a  flash unit in the camera’s hot-shoe. You can get around this limitation by taping over the two metal contacts on the back of the Speedlight.

Flash Compensation

Flash compensation can be used to adjust the level of the master and remote flash units by from −3 to +1 EV in steps of 1/3 EV. To choose a value for flash compensation, press the magnifying button and rotate the sub-command dial until the desired value is displayed in the control panel.

When the master flash or a remote flash is set to TTL or Auto and flash compensation to a value other than ±0.0, an icon will be displayed in the control panel and viewfinder and the current value for flash compensation can be viewed by pressing mag. Normal flash output can be restored by setting flash compensation to ±0.0. Flash compensation is not reset when the camera is turned off.

Focus Mode
AF-S (single AF):

Designed for shooting stationary subjects, this mode locks focus when you depress the shutter button halfway. (Think for still, stationary.) In AF-S mode, the camera insists on achieving focus before it releases the shutter.

If this behavior annoys you, open the Custom Setting menu, choose Autofocus, and then choose AF-S Priority Selection. If you change the setting to Release, the picture is then recorded when you fully depress the shutter button even if focus isn’t yet achieved.

AF-C (continuous AF):

Geared to capturing moving targets, AF-C mode adjusts focus as needed as long as the shutter button is pressed halfway. (Think C for continuous motion.) Remember that a focus-adjustment occurs only if the subject moves closer to or farther from the camera.

If the subject is moving but only shifts a short distance in a horizontal direction, no adjustment is needed because the focusing distance remains the same.

AF-F

The camera adjusts focus continuously in response to subject movement or changes in composition. Focus locks when the shutter-release button is pressed halfway. This option is only available in movie mode.

MF (manual Focus)

To focus manually, adjust the lens focus ring until the image displayed on the clear matte field in the viewfinder is in focus. Photographs can be taken at any time, even when the image is not in focus.

Hack: To decide which shutter-release option is right for you, consider whether you’d rather have any shot, even if it’s out of focus, or capture only those that are in focus. I prefer the latter, so I set both AF-S and AF-C modes to Focus. Why waste battery power, memory card space, and inevitable time deleting out-of-focus pictures? Yes, if you’re shooting rapid action, you may miss a few shots waiting for the focus to occur — but if they’re going to be lousy shots, who cares? Sports shooters who fire off hundreds of shots while covering an event, though, may want to unlock shutter release for both AF-C and AF-S modes. Again, you may wind up with lots of wasted shots, but you increase the odds that you’ll capture that split-second “highlight reel” moment.

MENU → Photo Shooting Menu → page 4

 Photo Shooting Menu page 4

AF Area Mode

Choose how the focus point for autofocus is selected.

  • Pinpoint AF: Use for pinpoint focus on a selected spot in the frame. This option is only available when photo mode is selected and Single AF is chosen for Focus mode. Focusing may be slower than with single-point AF.
  • Single-point AF: Select the focus point; the camera will focus on the subject in the selected focus point only. Use with stationary subjects. the ability to limit point selection to every other point allows you to quickly use the joystick, or touchscreen, to position the AF point.
  • Dynamic-area AF: The camera focuses on a point selected by the user. If the subject briefly leaves the selected point, the camera will focus based on information from surrounding focus points, letting you concentrate on composition in shots of moving subjects. This option is only available when photo mode is selected and Continuous AF is chosen for Focus mode.

  • Wide-area AF (S) and (L): As for Single-point AF except that wider focus points are used. The focus points for Wide-area AF (L) are wider than those for Wide-area AF (S).
  • Auto-area AF: The camera automatically detects the subject and selects the focus area. At default settings, the camera gives priority to portrait subjects; if a portrait subject is detected, the selected subject will be indicated by a yellow border (if multiple faces are detected, you can choose your subject using the multi selector). Subject tracking  can be activated by pressing the OK button.

A word on Subject tracking:

When Auto-area AF is selected for AF-area mode, pressing OK enables focus tracking. The focus point will change to a targeting reticule; position the reticule over the target and either press OK again or press the AF-ON button to start tracking. The focus point will track the selected subject as it moves through the frame (in the case of portrait subjects, focus will track the subject’s face). To end tracking, press OK a third time. To exit subject-tracking mode, press the magnifier/question button.

A word on Quick Focus-Point Selection:

or quicker focus-point selection, choose Every other point for Custom Setting a5 (Focus points used) to use only a quarter of the available focus points (the number of points available for Wide-area AF (L) does not change). If you prefer to use the sub-selector for focus-point selection, you can choose Select center focus point for Custom Setting f2 (Custom control assignment) > Sub-selector center to allow the center of the sub-selector to be used to quickly select the center focus point.

The Touch Shutter: Touch controls can be used to focus and release the shutter. Touch the display to focus and lift your finger to release the shutter.

touch shutter

Tap the icon shown in the illustration to choose the operation performed by tapping the display in shooting mode. Choose from the following options:

  • Touch: Touch the display to position the focus point and focus (autofocus only; the touch shutter cannot be used to focus in manual focus mode). Focus locks while your finger remains on the display; lift your finger to release the shutter. Available only in photo mode.
  • Touch AF: As above, except that lifting your finger from the display does not release the shutter. If auto-area AF is selected for AF-area mode, the camera will track the selected subject as it moves through the frame; to switch to a different subject, tap it in the display.
  • Off: Touch shutter disabled.
Vibration Reduction

The Nikon Z 7 is equipped with in-camera vibration reduction (VR), other manufacturers call this sensor stabilisation. The VR unit provides compensation for movement along five axes. The effects of vibration reduction are equivalent to a shutter speed up to approximately 5.0 stops. This function can also be used effectively with NIKKOR F lenses, including those not equipped with a VR function, with the Mount Adapter FTZ . To use the Vibration reduction function of a non-CPU lens, set the focal length in “Non-CPU lens data” in the SETUP MENU (see later).

There is an ON (normal) and SPT (Sport) preset.

Vibration reduction may be unavailable with some lenses. When using vibration reduction, wait for the image in the display to stabilize before shooting. With some lenses, the image in the display may also jiggle after the shutter is released; this is normal and does not indicate a malfunction.

Sport or On is recommended for panning shots. In Sport, Normal, and On modes, vibration reduction applies only to motion that is not part of the pan (if the camera is panned horizontally, for example, vibration reduction will be applied only to vertical shake).

To prevent unintended results, select Off when the camera is mounted on a tripod unless the tripod head is unsecured or the camera is mounted on a monopod, in which case Normal, Sport, or On is recommended.

Auto Bracketing

Vary exposure, flash level, Active D-Lighting (ADL), or white balance slightly with each shot, “bracketing” the current value. Bracketing can be used in situations in which getting the right settings is difficult and there is not time to check results and adjust settings with each shot, or to experiment with different settings for the same subject. The following options are available:

  • Auto bracketing set: Choose the setting or settings bracketed when auto bracketing is in effect. Choose AE & flash bracketing to perform both exposure and flash-level bracketing, AE bracketing to bracket only exposure, Flash bracketing to perform only flash-level bracketing, WB bracketing to perform white-balance bracketing, or ADL bracketing to perform bracketing using Active D-Lighting.
  • Number of shots: Choose the number of shots in the bracketing sequence.
  • Increment: Choose the amount the selected settings vary with each shot (ADL bracketing excluded).
  • Amount: Choose how Active D-Lighting varies with each shot (ADL bracketing only).
Multiple Exposure

Record two to ten NEF (RAW) exposures as a single photograph.

Multiple exposure mode

  • On (series): Take a series of multiple exposures. Select Off to resume normal shooting.
  • On (single photo): Take one multiple exposure.
  • Off: Exit without creating additional multiple exposures.

Number of shotsChoose the number of exposures that will be combined to form a single photograph.Overlay mode

  • Add: The exposures are overlaid without modification; gain is not adjusted.
  • Average: Before the exposures are overlaid, the gain for each is divided by the total number of exposures taken (gain for each exposure is set to 1/2 for 2 exposures, 1/3 for 3 exposures, etc).
  • Lighten: The camera compares the pixels in each exposure and uses only the brightest.
HDR (High Dynamic Range)

Used with high contrast subjects, High Dynamic Range (HDR) preserves details in highlights and shadows by combining two shots taken at different exposures.

Nikon Z7 demo, long exposure, Kyrgyzstan, Mountains, river, snow, Wim Arys photography

Yuri Gagarin’s favourite mountain pass in Kyrgyztan .

Interval Timer Shooting

Take photographs at the selected interval until the specified number of shots has been recorded. Select a release mode other than self-timer (E) when using the interval timer.

  • Start: Start interval timer shooting, either after 3 s (Now selected for Choose start day/time) or at a selected date and time (Choose day/time). Shooting will continue at the selected interval until all shots have been taken.
  • Choose start day/time: Choose a start option. To start shooting immediately, select Now. To start shooting at a chosen date and time, select Choose day/time.
  • Interval: Choose the interval (hours, minutes, and seconds) between shots.
  • Intervals×shots/interval: Choose the number of intervals and the number of shots per interval.
  • Exposure smoothing: Selecting On allows the camera to adjust exposure to match previous shot in exposure modes other than M (note that exposure smoothing only takes effect in mode M if auto ISO sensitivity control is on). Large changes in subject brightness during shooting may result in apparent variations in exposure, in which case it may be necessary to shorten the interval between shots.
  • Silent photography: Select On to silence the shutter during shooting.
  • Interval priority: Choose whether the camera gives priority to exposure time or interval timing in exposure modes P and A. Select On to ensure photos are taken at the chosen interval, Off to ensure that photos are correctly exposed. If On is selected, be sure the Minimum shutter speed chosen for ISO sensitivity settings  > Auto ISO sensitivity control in the photo shooting menu is faster than the interval. You should also focus using manual focus or, if you are using autofocus, choose Release for Custom Setting a1 (AF-C priority selection) or Custom Setting a2 (AF-S priority selection) according to whether AF-C or AF-S is selected.
  • Starting storage folder: Highlight either of the following options and press 2 to select or deselect: New folder: A new folder is created for each new sequence or Reset file numbering: File numbering is reset to 0001 whenever a new folder is created.
Time-Lapse Movie

The camera automatically takes photos at selected intervals to create a silent time-lapse movie.

  • Start: Start time-lapse recording. Shooting starts after about 3 s and continues at the selected interval for the selected shooting time.
  • Interval: Choose the interval between shots in minutes and seconds.
  • Shooting time: Choose the shooting time (hours and minutes).
  • Exposure smoothing: Selecting On smooths abrupt changes in exposure in exposure modes other than M (note that exposure smoothing only takes effect in mode M if auto ISO sensitivity control is on). Large changes in subject brightness during shooting may result in apparent variations in exposure, in which case it may be necessary to shorten the interval between shots.
  • Silent photography: Select On to silence the shutter during shooting.
  • Image area: Choose an image area for time-lapse recording. The options are those for the Image area item in the movie shooting menu.
  • Frame size/frame rate: Choose the frame size and rate for the final movie. The options are those for the Frame size/frame rate item in the movie shooting menu.
  • Interval priority: Choose whether the camera gives priority to exposure time or interval timing in exposure modes P and A. Select On to ensure frames are taken at the chosen interval, Off to ensure that frames are correctly exposed. If On is selected, be sure the Minimum shutter speed chosen for ISO sensitivity settings > Auto ISO sensitivity control in the photo shooting menu is faster than the interval. You should also focus using manual focus or, if you are using autofocus, choose Release for Custom Setting a1 (AF-C priority selection,) or Custom Setting a2 (AF-S priority selection) according to whether AF-C or AF-S is selected.
Focus Shift Shooting

During focus shift, the camera automatically varies focus over a series of photographs. This feature can be used to take photos that will later be combined using focus stacking. Before using focus shift, rotate the focus mode selector to AF and choose a release mode other than timer.

  • Start: Start shooting. Shooting will take the selected number of shots, changing the focus distance by the selected amount with each shot.
  • No. of shots: Choose the number of shots (maximum 300).
  • Focus step width: Choose the amount the focus distance changes with each shot.
  • Interval until next shot: Choose the interval between shots. Select 00 to take photos at approximately 5 fps (release modes S, Cl, Ch, and Mup) or 3 fps (release modes Q and Qc). To ensure the correct exposure when using a flash, choose an interval long enough for the flash to charge.
  • Exposure smoothing: Selecting On allows the camera to adjust exposure to match previous shot in exposure modes other than M (note that exposure smoothing only takes effect in mode M if auto ISO sensitivity control is on). Large changes in subject brightness during shooting may result in apparent variations in exposure, in which case it may be necessary to shorten the interval between shots.
  • Peaking Stack Image: During Focus Shift Photography, combine the peaking information from each frame into a single image to display during playback.
  • Silent photography: Select On to silence the shutter during shooting.
  • Starting storage folder: Highlight either of the following options and press 2 to select or deselect: New folder: A new folder is created for each new sequence. or Reset file numbering: File numbering is reset to 0001 whenever a new folder is created.

MENU → Photo Shooting Menu → page 5

Silent Photography

Select On to reduce vibrations caused by the shutter when shooting landscapes and other static subjects. Use of a tripod is recommended. The flash and long exposure noise reduction are disabled, as are the electronic front-curtain shutter and beep speaker, regardless of the options selected for Custom Setting d5 (Shutter type) and for Beep options in the setup menu. In continuous release modes, the frame advance rate will change.

Enabling silent photography changes the frame advance rates for continuous release modes and disables some features, including the flash, beep speaker, long exposure noise reduction, and the electronic front-curtain shutter.

Although the noise of the mechanical shutter is muted, other sounds may still be audible, for example during autofocus or if the Menu or Play button is pressed when an option other than Off is selected for Vibration reduction. During silent photography, flicker, banding, or distortion may be visible in the display and in the final picture under fluorescent, mercury vapor, or sodium lamps or with subjects that are in motion, particularly if the camera is panned horizontally or an object moves horizontally at high speed through the frame. Jagged edges, color fringing, moiré, and bright spots may also appear. Bright regions or bands may appear in some areas of the frame with flashing signs and other intermittent light sources or if the subject is briefly illuminated by a strobe or other bright, momentary light source.

MENU → Movie Shooting Menu → page 1

Movie Shooting Menu page 1

Reset Movie Shooting Menu

In case of trouble or unexpected behaviour, highlight Yes and press OK to restore movie shooting menu options to their default values.

File Naming

Choose the three-letter prefix used in naming the image files in which movies are stored. The default prefix is “DSC”.

Choose Image Area

Choose the image area for movies.

Hack: Auto DX Crop: If On is selected, movies shot using a DX lens will automatically be recorded using the DX (DX-based movie format) image area.

Frame Size/Frame Rate

Choose the movie frame size (in pixels) and frame rate.

4K UHD (max 29 minutes 59 seconds recording time)
  • 2160 30p: 3840 × 2160 (4K UHD); 30p  144 Mbps
  • 2160 25p: 3840 × 2160 (4K UHD); 25p 144 Mbps
  • 2160 24p: 3840 × 2160 (4K UHD); 24p 144 Mbps
HD (max 29 minutes 59 seconds recording time)
  • 1080 120p: 1920 x 1080 120p; 144 Mbps
  • 1080 100p: 1920 x 1080 100p; 144 Mbps
  • 1080 60p: 1920 x 1080 60p; 56 Mbps
  • 1080 50p: 1920 x 1080 50p; 56 Mbps
  •  1080 25p: 1920 x 1080 25p; 28 Mbps
  •  1080 24p: 1920 x 1080 24p; 28 Mbps
Slow-Mo (max 3 minute recording time)
  • 1080 30p x 4: 1920 x 1080; 30p x 4 (slow-mo) 36 Mbps
  • 1080 25p x 4: 1920 x 1080; 25p x 4 (slow-mo) 36 Mbps
  • 1080 24p x 4: 1920 x 1080; 24p x 5 (slow-mo) 29 Mbps
Movie Quality

You can choose from High quality and Normal.

Movie File Type

Choose the file format for movies from MOV and MP4.

Hack: MP4 is superior!

ISO Sensitivity Settings

You can adjust the following ISO sensitivity settings:

  • Maximum sensitivity: Choose the upper limit for auto ISO sensitivity control from values between ISO 200 and Hi 2. Auto ISO sensitivity control is used in modes P, S, and A and when On is selected for Auto ISO control (mode M) in mode M.
  • Auto ISO control (mode M): Select On to enable auto ISO sensitivity control in mode M, Off to use the value selected for ISO sensitivity (mode M).
  • ISO sensitivity (mode M): Choose the ISO sensitivity for mode M from values between ISO 64 and Hi 2. Auto ISO sensitivity control is used in other modes.

Hack: At high ISO sensitivities, the camera may have difficulty focusing and noise (randomly-spaced bright pixels, fog, or lines) may increase. This can be prevented by choosing a lower value for the ISO Maximum sensitivity.

White Balance

Choose the white balance for movies (same choices as for the Photo Settings)

MENU → Movie Shooting Menu → page 2

Movie Shooting Menu page 2

Set Picture Control

Choose a Picture Control for movies. You’ll also find the Creative Picture Control settings here. You can find presets like Dream, Morning, Pop, Sunday, Sober, Dramatic, Silence, Bleached, Melancholic, Pure, Denim, Toy, Sepia, Blue, Red, Pink, Charcoal, Graphite, Binary and Carbon. These can off course be edited too.

Manage Picture Control

You can create custom Picture Controls here. (again same procedure as for photos)

Active D-Lighting

Preserve details in highlights and shadows, creating movies with natural contrast. Select Same as photo settings to use the option currently selected for photos.

Options are Auto, Extra High, High, Normal, Low or Off.

High ISO NR

Reduce “noise” (what Nikon calls randomly-spaced bright pixels) in movies recorded at high ISO sensitivities

Vignette Control

reduce shading or lens vignetting automatically using this function.

Diffraction Compensation

Same as for stills, the Nikon Z7 can automatically reduce the loss of sharpness due to diffraction when lenses are used with an aperture above f/11.

Auto Distortion Control

Select On as required to reduce barrel distortion when shooting with wide-angle lenses and to reduce pin-cushion distortion when shooting with long lenses (note that Off may not be available with some lenses).

Flicker Reduction

Reduce flicker and banding when shooting movies under fluorescent or mercury-vapor lighting. Choose Auto to allow the camera to automatically choose the correct frequency, or manually match the frequency to that of the local AC power supply.

If Auto fails to produce the desired results and you are unsure as to the frequency of the local power supply, test both the 50 and 60 Hz options and choose the one that produces the best results. Flicker reduction may not produce the desired results if the subject is very bright, in which case you should try choosing a smaller aperture (higher f-number). To prevent flicker, select mode M and choose a shutter speed adapted to the frequency of the local power supply: 1/125 s, 1/60 s, or 1/30 s for 60 Hz; 1/100 s, 1/50 s, or 1/25 s for 50 Hz.

MENU → Movie Shooting Menu → page 3

Movie Shooting Menu page 3

Metering

Metering determines how the camera sets exposure. The same options as in the Photo Menu are available.

  • Matrix metering: The camera meters a wide area of the frame and sets exposure according to tone distribution, color, composition, and distance for results close to those seen by the naked eye.
  • Center-weighted metering: The camera meters the entire frame but assigns the greatest weight to an area in the center of the frame, the size of which can be chosen using Custom Setting b3 (Center-weighted area). This is the classic meter for portraits and is also recommended when using filters with an exposure factor (filter factor) over 1×.
  • Spot metering: The camera meters a ⌀4 mm circle (equivalent to approximately 1.5% of the frame) centered on the current focus point, making it possible to meter off-center subjects (if auto-area AF is in effect, the camera will instead meter the center focus point). Spot metering ensures that the subject will be correctly exposed, even when the background is much brighter or darker.
  • Highlight-weighted metering: The camera assigns the greatest weight to highlights. Use this option to reduce loss of detail in highlights, for example when photographing spotlit performers on-stage.
Focus Mode

At default settings, the focus mode can also be selected by holding the Fn2 button and rotating the main command dial.

choose a focus mode for Fn2

  • AF-S: For stationary subjects. Press the shutter-release button halfway to focus. If the camera is able to focus, the focus point will be displayed in green; focus will lock while the shutter-release button is pressed halfway. If the camera fails to focus, the focus point will flash red. At default settings, the shutter can only be released if the camera is able to focus (focus priority).
  • AF-C: For moving subjects. The camera focuses continuously while the shutter-release button is pressed halfway; if the subject moves, the camera will predict the final distance to the subject and adjust focus as necessary. At default settings, the shutter can be released whether or not the subject is in focus (release priority).
  • AF-F: The camera adjusts focus continuously in response to subject movement or changes in composition. Focus locks when the shutter-release button is pressed halfway. This option is only available in movie mode.
  • Manual focus: The shutter can be released whether or not the subject is in focus.
AF-Area Mode

AF-area mode controls how the camera selects the focus-point for autofocus.

AF-area mode can also be selected by holding the Fn2 button and rotating the sub-command dial.

AF area dials Z7

  • Pinpoint AF: Use for pinpoint focus on a selected spot in the frame. This option is only available when photo mode is selected and Single AF is chosen for Focus mode. Focusing may be slower than with single-point AF.
  • Single-point AF: The camera focuses on a point selected by the user. Use with stationary subjects.
  • Dynamic-area AF: The camera focuses on a point selected by the user. If the subject briefly leaves the selected point, the camera will focus based on information from surrounding focus points, letting you concentrate on composition in shots of moving subjects. This option is only available when photo mode is selected and Continuous AF is chosen for Focus mode.
  • Wide-area AF (S or L): As for Single-point AF except that wider focus points are used. The focus points for Wide-area AF (L) are wider than those for Wide-area AF (S).
  • Auto-area AF: The camera automatically detects the subject and selects the focus area. At default settings, the camera gives priority to portrait subjects; if a portrait subject is detected, the selected subject will be indicated by a yellow border (if multiple faces are detected, you can choose your subject using the multi selector). Subject tracking can be activated by pressing the OK button.

Hack: For quicker focus-point selection, choose Every other point for Custom Setting a5 (Focus points used) to use only a quarter of the available focus points (the number of points available for Wide-area AF (L) does not change). If you prefer to use the sub-selector for focus-point selection, you can choose Select center focus point for Custom Setting f2 (Custom control assignment) > Sub-selector center to allow the center of the sub-selector to be used to quickly select the center focus point.

Subject Tracking: When Auto-area AF is selected for AF-area mode, pressing OK enables focus tracking. The focus point will change to a targeting reticule; position the reticule over the target and either press OK again or press the AF-ON button to start tracking. The focus point will track the selected subject as it moves through the frame (in the case of portrait subjects, focus will track the subject’s face). To end tracking, press J a third time. To exit subject-tracking mode, press the mag/question button.

Vibration Reduction

Identical to the Photo Menu again. Only needed when your lens does not have a VR switch. If your lens does have a VR switch, turning it of will turn off both lens and sensor stabilisation.

Electronic VR

Choose whether to enable electronic vibration reduction in movie mode.

Microphone Sensitivity

Turn the built-in or external microphones on or off or adjust microphone sensitivity. Choose Auto sensitivity to adjust sensitivity automatically, Microphone off to turn sound recording off; to select microphone sensitivity manually, select Manual sensitivity and choose a sensitivity.

Attenuator

Select Enable to reduce microphone gain and prevent audio distortion when recording movies in loud environments.

Frequency Response

If  Wide range is selected, the built-in and external microphones will respond to a wide range of frequencies, from music to the bustling hum of a city street. Choose Vocal range to bring out human voices.

MENU → Movie Shooting Menu → page 4

Movie Shooting Menu page 4

Wind Noise Reduction

Select On to enable the low-cut filter for the built-in microphone (optional stereo microphones are unaffected), reducing noise produced by wind blowing over the microphone (note that other sounds may also be affected). Wind-noise reduction for optional stereo microphones that support this feature can be enabled or disabled using microphone controls.

Headphone Volume

Adjust the headphone volume here.

Time Code

The Nikon Z7 is quite a capable video cam. It’s possible to write time code to the movie files for alignment in software later.

Record Timecodes
  • On: Time codes are recorded and appear in the display.
  • On (with HDMI output): Time codes will be included with footage saved to Atomos SHOGUN, NINJA, or SUMO-series Monitor recorders connected via an HDMI cable.
  • Off: Time codes are not recorded.
Count-Up Method:
  • Record run: Time codes are incremented only while recording is in progress.
  • Free run: Time codes are incremented continuously, including while the camera is off.
Timecode origin:
  • Reset: Reset the time code to 00:00:00.00.
  • Enter manually: Enter the hour, minute, second, and frame number manually.
  • Current time: Set the time code to the current time as provided by the camera clock.
Drop Frame:

Select On to compensate for discrepancies between the frame count and the actual recording time at frame rates of 30 and 60 fps.

MENU → Custom Setting Menu → page 1

Custom Setting Menu Page 1

Reset Custom Settings

Resets all Custom settings to the factory settings.

Autofocus Settings
a1 AF-C Priority Selection

When AF-C is selected for photography, this option controls whether photographs can be taken whenever the shutter-release button is pressed (release priority) or only when the camera is in focus (focus priority).

  • Release: Photos can be taken whenever the shutter-release button is pressed.
  • Focus: Photos can be taken only when the camera is in focus.

Regardless of the option selected, focus will not lock when AF-C is selected for autofocus mode. The camera will continue to adjust focus until the shutter is released.

a2 AF-S Priority Selection

When AF-S is selected for photography, this option controls whether photographs can be taken only when the camera is in focus (focus priority) or whenever the shutter-release button is pressed (release priority).

  • Release: Photos can be taken whenever the shutter-release button is pressed.
  • Focus: Photos can only be taken when the in-focus indicator is displayed.

Regardless of the option selected, if the in-focus indicator  is displayed when AF-S is selected for autofocus mode, focus will lock while the shutter-release button is pressed halfway. Focus lock continues until the shutter is released.

a3 Focus Tracking with Lock-on

This option controls how autofocus adjusts to changes in the distance to the subject when AF-C is selected during viewfinder photography.

Choose from values between 5 (Delayed)and 1 (Quick). The higher the value, the slower the response and the less likely you are to lose focus on your original subject. The lower the value, the quicker the response and the easier it is to shift focus to objects crossing your field of view. Note that 2 and 1 (Quick) are equivalent to 3 when auto-area AF is selected for AF-area mode.

a4 Auto-Area AF Face Detection

Choose whether the camera detects and focuses on faces when Auto Area is selected for AF-area mode. Since firmware version 2, this also includes Eye detection.You now how the option to turn both face and eye detection on, only face detection on, or both off. Eye detection does not work during movie mode. Turn both on for portraits. You need to set the camera to AF-S or AF-C as Focus Mode if you want to use Eye AF as well as Auto Area AF for AF-area Mode.

Eye detection was added in firmware version 2.

a5 Focus Points Used

Choose the number of focus points available for manual focus-point selection.

All: Every focus point available in the current AF-area mode can be selected.

1/2: The number of available focus points is reduced by three quarters (the number of focus points available in Wide-area AF (L) mode does not change). Use for quick focus-point selection.

a6 Store Points by Orientation

Choose whether separate focus points can be selected for “wide” (landscape) orientation, for “tall” (portrait) orientation with the camera rotated 90° clockwise, and for “tall” orientation with the camera rotated 90° counterclockwise.

Select NO to use the same focus point and AF-area mode regardless of camera orientation.

Z7 store by orientation point focus by orientation Z7 focus by orientation point CW

Choose YES to enable separate focus-point selection, or Focus point and AF-area mode to enable separate selection of both the focus point and the AF-area mode.

Z7 focus by orientation point ccw orientation point center focus by orientation point Nikon Z7
a7 AF Activation

Choose whether the shutter-release button can be used to focus (Shutter/AF-ON) or if focus can only be adjusted using the AF-ON button or other controls to which AF-ON has been assigned (AF-ON only).

a8 Limit AF-area mode Selection

Choose the options that can be selected by rotating the sub-command dial when AF-area mode is assigned to the i menu or a camera control. Highlight the desired modes and press right to select or deselect. Press OK to save changes when settings are complete.

a9 Focus Point Wrap-Around

Choose whether focus-point selection “wraps around” from one edge of the viewfinder to another.

  • Wrap: Focus-point selection “wraps around” from top to bottom, bottom to top, right to left, and left to right, so that, for example, pressing 2 when a focus point at the right edge of the viewfinder display is highlighted (1) selects the corresponding focus point at the left edge of the display 2).-Z7 af area select
  • No wrap: The focus-point display is bounded by the outermost focus points so that, for example, pressing 2 when a focus point at the right edge of the display is selected has no effect.
a10 Focus Point Options

Choose from the following focus point display options:

a11 Low Light AF

Autofocus is achievable with the Nikon Z7 down to -4EV provided low-light autofocus is activated. only works in Single AF!!!

Choose On for more accurate focus under low-light conditions when AF-S is selected for focus mode, but note that camera may require more time to focus. This option takes effect only in photo mode when a setting other than Auto is chosen with the mode dial. While low-light AF is in effect, “Low-light” will appear in the display and the display refresh rate may drop.

Hack: This slows down autofocus for general photography, so it should be disabled except for focussing in really low light.

a12 Built-In AF-Assist Illuminator

Choose whether the built-in AF-assist illuminator lights to assist the focus operation when lighting is poor.

  • On: The illuminator lights as required (AF-S focus mode only).
  • Off: The illuminator does not light to assist the focus operation. The camera may not be able to focus when lighting is poor.

The AF-assist illuminator has a range of about 1–3 m (3 ft 4 in.–9 ft 10 in.); when using the illuminator, remove the lens hood. Do not obstruct the AF-assist illuminator while it is lit.

a13 Manual Focus Ring In AF Mode

Choose whether the lens focus ring can be used for manual focus in autofocus mode.

  • Enable: Autofocus can be over-ridden by rotating the lens focus ring while the shutter-release button is pressed halfway (autofocus with manual override). To refocus using autofocus, lift your finger from the shutter-release button and then press it halfway again.
  • Disable: The lens focus ring cannot be used for manual focus while autofocus mode is selected.
Metering/Exposure Settings
b1 EV steps for exposure cntrl

Select the increments used for adjustments to shutter speed, aperture, ISO sensitivity, bracketing, and exposure and flash compensation.

b2 Easy exposure compensation

This option controls whether the plus/minus button is needed to set exposure compensation. If On (Auto reset) or On is selected, the 0 at the center of the exposure display will flash even when exposure compensation is set to ±0.

  • On (Auto reset): In modes P, S, and A, exposure compensation can be set by rotating the command dial not currently used for shutter speed or aperture (easy exposure compensation is not available in mode M). The setting selected using the command dial is reset when the camera turns off or the standby timer expires.
  • On: As above, except that the exposure compensation value selected using the command dial is not reset when the camera turns off or the standby timer expires.
  • Off: Exposure compensation is set by pressing the plus/minus button and rotating the main command dial.
b3 Center-weighted area

Choose the size of the area given the most weight in center-weighted metering.

b4 Fine-Tune optimal exposure

Use this option to fine-tune the exposure value selected by the camera. Exposure can be fine-tuned separately for each metering method by from +1 to –1 EV in steps of 1/6 EV.

Remember that the exposure compensation icon is not displayed when exposure fine-tuning is in effect. The only way to determine how much exposure has been altered is to view the amount in the fine-tuning menu.

Timers/AE Lock Settings
c1 Shutter-release button AE-L

Choose whether exposure locks when the shutter-release button is pressed.

  • On (half press): Pressing the shutter-release button halfway locks exposure.
  • On (burst mode): Exposure only locks while the shutter-release button is pressed all the way down.
  • Off: Pressing the shutter-release button does not lock exposure.
c2 Self-timer

Choose the length of the shutter release delay, the number of shots taken, and the interval between shots in self-timer mode.

  • Self-timer delay: Choose the length of the shutter-release delay.
  • Number of shots: Press up and down to choose the number of shots taken each time the shutter-release button is pressed.
  • Interval between shots: Choose the interval between shots when the Number of shots is more than 1.
c3 Power off delay

Choose how long the monitor remains on when no operations are performed during playback (Playback; defaults to 10 seconds) and image review (Image review; defaults to 4 seconds), when menus (Menus; defaults to 1 minute) or information (Information display; defaults to 10 s) are displayed, or during live view and movie recording (Live view; defaults to 10 minutes). Choose a shorter monitor-off delay for longer battery life.

Shooting/display Settings
d1 CL mode shooting speed

Choose the frame advance rate for low-speed continuous release mode.

d2 Max. continuous release

he maximum number of shots that can be taken in a single burst in continuous release modes can be set to any value between 1 and 200. Note that regardless of the option selected, there is no limit to the number of photos that can be taken in a single burst when a shutter speed of 4 s or slower is selected in mode S or M.

Regardless of the option selected for Custom Setting d2, shooting will slow when the memory buffer fills.

d3 Sync. Release mode options

Choose whether the shutters on the remote cameras are synchronized with the shutter on the master camera when using an optional wireless remote controller in synchronized release mode.

d4 Exposure delay mode

In situations where the slightest camera movement can blur pictures, shutter release can be delayed by from about 0.2 to 3 seconds after the shutter is engaged.

d5 Shutter type (used to be Electronic front-curtain shutter in pre version 2 firmware)

You have the choice of Auto, Mechanical shutter, and Electronic front-curtain shutter. If Auto is selected, the camera will automatically choose a shutter type according to shutter speed.

The fastest shutter speed and maximum ISO sensitivity available with the electronic front-curtain shutter are 1/2000 s and ISO 25600, respectively.

d6 Limit selectable image area

Choose the options available when image-area selection is assigned to the i menu or to the command dials and a camera control. Highlight the desired options and press the right arrow to select or deselect. Press OK to save changes when settings are complete.

d7 File number sequence

When a picture is taken, the camera names the file by adding one to the last file number used. This option controls whether file numbering continues from the last number used when a new folder is created, the memory card is formatted, or a new memory card is inserted in the camera.

  • On: When a new folder is created, the memory card formatted, or a new memory card inserted in the camera, file numbering continues from the last number used or from the largest file number in the current folder, whichever is higher. If a photograph is taken when the current folder contains a photograph numbered 9999, a new folder will be created automatically and file numbering will begin again from 0001.
  • Off: File numbering is reset to 0001 when a new folder is created, the memory card is formatted, or a new memory card is inserted in the camera. Note that a new folder is created automatically if a picture is taken when the current folder contains 5000 pictures.
  • Reset: Same as for On, except that the next picture taken is assigned a file number by adding one to the largest file number in the current folder. If the folder is empty, file numbering is reset to 0001.

If the current folder is numbered 999 and contains either 5000 pictures or a picture numbered 9999, the shutter-release button will be disabled and no further pictures can be taken (in addition, movie recording may be disabled if the camera calculates that the number of files needed to record a movie of the maximum length would result in the folder containing over 5000 files or a file with a number over 9999). Choose Reset for Custom Setting d7 (File number sequence) and then either format the current memory card or insert a new memory card.

d8 Apply settings to live view

Choose On to preview how changes to such settings as white balance, Picture Controls, and exposure compensation affect color and brightness in photo mode, or select Off to adjust brightness and hue for ease of viewing (regardless of the option selected, the effects of the aforementioned settings are always visible in movie mode).

d9 Framing grid display

Choose On to display on-demand grid lines in the viewfinder for reference when composing photos.

d10 Peaking highlights

When focus peaking is enabled in manual focus mode, objects that are in focus are indicated by colored outlines in the display. Choose the peaking level and outline color.

  • Peaking level: Choose from 3 (high sensitivity), 2 (standard), 1 (low sensitivity), and Off; the higher the value, the greater the depth that will be shown as being in focus.
  • Peaking highlight color: Choose the highlight color.
d11 View all in continuous mode

Choose whether image review is available during burst shooting. If Off is selected, not only the monitor but also the monitor backlight will turn off during exposures.

Nikon Z7 sample, Myanmar, Birma, Inne lake, fisherman, Wim Arys Photography

A traditional fisherman on Inle lake, Myanmar.

Bracketing/Flash Settings
e1 Flash Sync Speed

This option controls flash sync speed.

  • 1/250 s (Auto FP): Auto FP high-speed sync is enabled with compatible flash units and the maximum sync speed for other flash units is set to 1/200 s. When the camera shows a shutter speed of 1/200 s in mode P or A, auto FP high-speed sync will be activated if the actual shutter speed is faster than 1/200 s, and shutter speeds as fast as 1/8000 s can be selected by the camera (modes Pand A) or by the user (modes S and M).
  • 1/250 s–1/60 s: Flash sync speed set to selected value.

Hack: Fixing Shutter Speed at the Flash Sync Speed Limit: To fix shutter speed at the sync speed limit in shutter-priority auto or manual exposure modes, select the next shutter speed after the slowest possible shutter speed (30 s or %). An X (flash sync indicator) will be displayed in the viewfinder and control panel together with the flash sync speed.

Hack: Auto FP High-Speed Sync: Auto FP high-speed sync allows the flash to be used at the highest shutter speed supported by the camera, making it possible to choose the maximum aperture for reduced depth of field even when the subject is backlit in bright sunlight. The information display flash mode indicator shows “FP” when auto FP high-speed sync is active.

e2 Flash Shutter Speed

Choose the slowest shutter speed available when front- or rear-curtain sync or red-eye reduction is used in mode P or A (regardless of the setting chosen, shutter speeds can be as slow as 30 s in modes S and M or at flash settings of slow sync, slow rear-curtain sync, or red-eye reduction with slow sync).

e3 Exposure comp. for flash

Choose how the camera adjusts flash level when exposure compensation is used.

  • Entire frame: Both flash level and exposure compensation are adjusted to modify exposure over the entire frame.
  • Background only: Exposure compensation applies to background only.
e4 Auto ISO sensitivity control (with flash)

Choose the reference used to set exposure when a flash is used with auto ISO sensitivity control.

  • Subject and background: The camera takes both the main subject and background lighting into account when adjusting ISO sensitivity.
  • Subject only: ISO sensitivity is adjusted only to ensure that the main subject is correctly exposed.
e 5 Modeling Flash

If On is selected when the camera is used with an optional flash unit that supports the Nikon Creative Lighting system, pressing the button to which Preview has been assigned using Custom Setting f2 (Custom control assignment) emits a modeling flash that can be used to preview the effects of flash lighting. No modeling flash is emitted if Off is selected.

e6 Auto bracketing (mode M)

This option determines which settings are affected when AE & flash bracketing or AE bracketing is selected for the Auto bracketing set option in the photo shooting menu in manual exposure mode.

  • Flash/speed: Camera varies shutter speed (AE bracketing) or shutter speed and flash level (AE & flash bracketing).
  • Flash/speed/aperture: Camera varies shutter speed and aperture (AE bracketing) or shutter speed, aperture, and flash level (AE & flash bracketing).
  • Flash/aperture: Camera varies aperture (AE bracketing) or aperture and flash level (AE & flash bracketing).
  • Flash only:Camera varies flash level only (AE & flash bracketing).

Flash bracketing is performed only with i-TTL or qA (auto aperture) flash control. If a setting other than Flash only is selected and the flash is not used, ISO sensitivity will be fixed at the value for the first shot when auto ISO sensitivity control is on.

e7 Bracketing order

At the default setting of MTR > under > over, exposure, flash, and white balance bracketing are performed in the following order: the unmodified shot is taken first, followed by the shot with the lowest value, followed by the shot with the highest value. If Under > MTR > over (plus to minus) is selected, shooting will proceed in order from the lowest to the highest value. This setting has no effect on ADL bracketing.

Controls Settings
f1 Customize i menu

Customise the appearance of the i Menu. What’s included and what not.

Split-Screen Display Zoom: When assigned to the i menu, Split-screen display zoom can be used to split the display into two boxes showing separate areas of the frame side-by-side at a high zoom ratio. The positions of the magnified areas are shown in the navigation window, making it easier to check focus at two different locations when photographing a building or other wide object situated at right angles to the camera.

f2 Custom control assignment

Choose the functions assigned to camera controls, whether used individually or in combination with the command dials.

f3 OK button

Customise the functionality if the OK button.

Shooting mode: Choose from the options below. Regardless of the option selected, the OK button can be used for focus tracking when auto-area AF is selected for AF-area mode.

  • Select center focus point: Pressing OK selects the center focus point.
  • Zoom on/off: Press OK to zoom the display in on the area around the current focus point (to choose the zoom ratio, highlight Zoom on/off and press right).
  • None: Pressing J during shooting has no effect.

Playback mode: Choose from the options below. Regardless of the option selected, pressing OK when a movie is displayed full frame starts movie playback.

  • Thumbnail on/off: Toggle between full-frame and thumbnail playback.
  • View histograms: In both full-frame and thumbnail playback, a histogram is displayed while the OK button is pressed.
  • Zoom on/off: Toggle between full-frame or thumbnail playback and playback zoom (to choose the zoom ratio, highlight Zoom on/off and press right). The zoom display is centered on the active focus point.
  • Choose folder: A folder-selection dialog will be displayed; highlight a folder and press OK to view the pictures in the selected folder.
f4 Shutter Spd & aperture lock

Selecting On for Shutter speed lock locks shutter speed at the value currently selected in mode S or M. Selecting On for Aperture lock locks aperture at the value currently selected in mode A or M. Shutter speed and aperture lock are not available in mode P.

f5 Customize command dials

This option controls the operation of the main and sub-command dials.

  • Reverse rotation: Reverse the direction of rotation of the command dials for selected operations. Highlight options and press right to select or deselect, and then press OK to save changes and exit.
  • Change main/sub: Choose the roles played by the command dials for exposure and focus operations.

    • Exposure setting: If On is selected, the main command dial will control aperture and the sub-command dial shutter speed. If On (Mode A) is selected, the main command dial will be used to set aperture in mode A only.
    • Autofocus setting: This option applies to the control assigned Focus mode/AF-area mode using Custom Setting f2 (Custom control assignment). If On is selected, the focus mode can be chosen by keeping the control pressed and rotating the sub-command dial, AF-area mode by keeping the AF-mode button pressed and rotating the main command dial.
  • Menus and playback: Select Off to use the multi selector for menus and playback. If On or On (image review excluded) is selected, the main command dial can be used to choose the picture displayed during full-frame playback and to highlight thumbnails and menu items. The sub-command dial is used in full-frame playback to skip forward or back according to the option selected for Sub-dial frame advance and in thumbnail playback to page up or down. While menus are displayed, rotating the sub-command dial right displays the sub-menu for the highlighted option, while rotating it left displays the previous menu. To make a selection, press 2 or J. Select On (image review excluded) to prevent the command dials from being used for playback during image review.
  • Sub-dial frame advance: When On or On (image review excluded) is selected for Menus and playback, the sub-command dial can be rotated during full-frame playback to select a folder, to skip forward or back 10 or 50 frames at a time, or to skip to the next or previous protected picture, the next or previous photo, the next or previous movie, or the next or previous picture with a selected rating (to choose the rating, highlight Rating and press right).
f6 Release Button to use dial

Selecting Yes allows adjustments that are normally made by holding a button and rotating a command dial to be made by rotating the command dial after the button is released. This setting applies to the plus/minus, ISO, and timer buttons and also to controls to which the following roles have been assigned using Custom Settings f2 or g2 (Custom control assignment): Choose image area, Image quality/size, White balance, Set Picture Control, Active D-Lighting, Metering, Flash mode/compensation, Focus mode/AF-area mode, Auto bracketing, Multiple exposure, HDR (high dynamic range), Exposure delay mode, Shutter spd & aperture lock, Peaking highlights, Choose non-CPU lens number, and Microphone sensitivity.

f7 Reverse indicatorsZ7 indicator plus

If  (-0+) is selected, the exposure indicators in the control panel, viewfinder, and information display are displayed with negative values on the left and positive values on the right. Select  (-0+) to display positive values on the left and negative values on the right.

Movie Settings
g1  Customize i Menu

Choose the functions assigned to camera controls, whether used individually or in combination with the command dials, when you press i.

g2 Custom control assignment

Assign the custom controls for operation when in movie mode. Power aperture is available only in modes A and M. The display may flicker while aperture is adjusted.

g3 OK button

Choose the role assigned to the J button in movie mode. Regardless of the option selected, the OK button can be used for focus tracking when auto-area AF is selected for AF-area mode.

  • Select center focus point: Pressing OK selects the center focus point.
  • Zoom on/off: Press OK to zoom the display in on the area around the current focus point (to choose the zoom ratio, highlight Zoom on/off and press right).
  • Record movies: Press OK to start and stop movie recording.
  • None: Pressing OK has no effect.
g4 AF Speed

Change the speed of the autofocus for movie mode. o choose when the selected option applies, highlight When to apply and press right. Choose from Always (the selected option applies whenever the camera is in movie mode) and Only while recording (the selected option applies only while recording is in progress; at other times, the focus speed is “+5”, or in other words as fast possible).

g5 AF tracking sensitivity

Choose how quickly focus responds when your subject leaves the focus point or something passes between the subject and the camera in movie mode. Choose from values between 7 (Low) and 1 (High). The higher the value, the slower the response and the less likely you are to lose focus on your original subject when something passes between the subject and the camera. The lower the value, the quicker the camera is to respond to the subject leaving the focus area by shifting focus to a new subject in the same area.

g6 Highlight display

Choose whether shading is used to indicate highlights (bright areas of the frame) and select the level of brightness needed to trigger the highlight display.

  • Display pattern: To enable the highlight display, select Pattern 1 or Pattern 2.
  • Highlight display threshold: Choose the brightness needed to trigger the movie highlight display. The lower the value, the greater the range of brightnesses that will be shown as highlights. If 255 is selected, the highlight display will show only areas that are potentially overexposed.

MENU → Setup Menu → page 1

Setup Menu Page 1

Format Memory Card

To begin formatting, choose a memory card slot and select Yes. Note that formatting permanently deletes all pictures and other data on the card in the selected slot. Before formatting, be sure to make backup copies as required.

Save User Settings

Frequently-used combinations of settings can be assigned to the U1, U2, and U3 positions on the mode dial.

Follow the steps below to save settings:

  • Select a mode: Rotate the mode dial to the desired mode.
  • Adjust settings: Choose a focus point and make the desired adjustments to flexible program (mode P), shutter speed (modes S and M), exposure and flash compensation, aperture (modes A and M), and settings in the photo shooting, movie shooting, and Custom Settings menus.
  • Select Save user settings: Highlight Save user settings in the setup menu and press 2.
  • Select a position: Highlight Save to U1, Save to U2, or Save to U3 and press 2.
  • Save user settings: Highlight Save settings and press J to assign the settings selected in Steps 1 and 2 to the mode dial position selected in Step 4.
Reset User Settings

Reset settings for U1, U2, and U3 to default values.

Language

Choose a language for camera menus and messages.

Time Zone And Date

Change time zones, set the camera clock, synchronize the clock with the clock on a smart device, choose the date display order, and turn daylight saving time on or off.

  • Time zone: Choose a time zone. The camera clock is automatically set to the time in the new time zone.
  • Date and time: Set the camera clock.
  • Date format: Choose the order in which the day, month, and year are displayed.
  • Daylight saving time: Turn daylight saving time on or off. The camera clock will automatically be advanced or set back one hour. The default setting is Off.
Monitor Brightness

Press the up or down arrow to adjust monitor brightness. Choose higher values for increased brightness, lower values for reduced brightness.

Note that monitor brightness can only be adjusted when the monitor is the active display; it cannot be adjusted in the “viewfinder only” monitor mode or when your eye is to the viewfinder.

Monitor Color Balance

Use the multi selector as shown below to adjust monitor color balance with reference to a sample image. The sample image is the last photograph taken or, in playback mode, the last photograph displayed; to choose a different image, press the mag/question button and select an image from a thumbnail list (to view the highlighted image full frame, press and hold magnify). If the memory card contains no photographs, an empty frame with a gray border will be displayed in place of the sample image. Press OK to exit when adjustments are complete.

Note that monitor color balance can only be adjusted when the monitor is the active display; it cannot be adjusted in the “viewfinder only” monitor mode or when your eye is to the viewfinder. Monitor color balance applies only to the shooting, playback, and menu displays; pictures taken with the camera are not affected.

Viewfinder Brightness

Adjust viewfinder brightness. If Auto is selected, viewfinder brightness will be adjusted automatically in response to lighting conditions; to adjust brightness manually, select Manual and press up or down (choose higher values for increased brightness, lower values for reduced brightness). Note that viewfinder brightness can only be adjusted when the viewfinder is the active display; it cannot be adjusted when the viewfinder is off or in the “monitor only” monitor mode.

MENU → Setup Menu → page 2

Setup Menu Page 2

Viewfinder Color Balance

Use the multi selector to adjust viewfinder color balance as described in Monitor Color Balance.

Control Panel Brightness

The control pannel is located on the top of the camera housing. You can change the brightness of this monochrome LED pannel.  If Auto is selected, control panel brightness will be adjusted automatically in response to lighting conditions; to adjust brightness manually, select Manual and press up or down. Selecting Off turns the control panel off.

Hack: Set to Auto, this will dim the panel in low light.

Limit Monitor Mode Selection

Choose the monitor modes that can be selected using the monitor mode button. Highlight the desired options and press right to select or deselect. Press OK to save changes when settings are complete.

Information Display

If Auto (AUTO) is selected, the color of the lettering in the information display will automatically change from black to white or white to black to maintain contrast with the background. To always use the same color lettering, select Manual and choose Dark on light (B; black lettering) or Light on dark (W; white lettering). Monitor brightness will automatically be adjusted for maximum contrast with the selected text color.

AF fine-tune

Fine-tune focus for up to 20 lens types. Use only as required; AF tuning is not recommended in most situations and may interfere with normal focus. Auto fine-tuning is available in live view. We recommend that you perform fine-tuning at a focus distance you use frequently; if you perform focus-tuning at a short focus distance, for example, you may find it less effective at longer distances.

  • AF fine-tune (On/Off): Choose On to turn AF tuning on, Off to turn it off.

Saved value: Tune AF for the current lens. Press 1 to move focal point away from camera or 3 to move focal point toward camera; choose from values between +20 and –20. The camera can store values for up to 30 lens types. Only one value can be stored for each type of lens.

  • Default: Choose the AF tuning value used when no previously saved value exists for the current lens.

List saved values: List previously saved AF tuning values. To delete a lens from the list, highlight the desired lens and press O. To change a lens identifier (for example, to choose an identifier that is the same as the last two digits of the lens serial number to distinguish it from other lenses of the same type in light of the fact that Saved value can be used with only one lens of each type), highlight the desired lens and press the trash icon. A menu will be displayed; press up or down to choose an identifier and press OK to save changes and exit.

Non CPU Lens Data

Record the focal length and maximum aperture of non-CPU lenses, allowing them to be used with functions normally reserved for CPU lenses.

  • Lens number: Choose a number to identify the lens.
  • Focal length (mm): Enter the focal length.
  • Maximum aperture: Enter the maximum aperture.
Clean Image Sensor

Dirt or dust entering the camera when lenses are exchanged or the body cap is removed may adhere to the image sensor and affect your photographs. The Clean image sensor option vibrates the sensor to remove dust.

Clean now: Perform image sensor cleaning immediately.

Automatic cleaning:

  • Clean at shutdown: The image sensor is automatically cleaned during shutdown each time the camera is turned off.
  • Cleaning off: Automatic image sensor cleaning off.

Hack: Set to Automatic Cleaning. You’ll notice that mirrorless cameras like the Nikon Z7 collect a lot of dust on the sensor due to the fact that there is no mirror. This makes life easier and will reduce the amount of wet sensor cleaning you’ll have to do.

Image Dust Off ref Photo

Acquire reference data for the Image Dust Off option in Capture NX-D (for more information, refer to Capture NX-D online help). Image Dust Off cannot be used with small or medium-sized NEF (RAW) images.

An FX lens with a focal length of at least 50 mm is recommended when recording Image Dust Off reference data. When using a zoom lens, zoom all the way in.

Frame a featureless white object in the display: With the lens about ten centimeters (four inches) from a well-lit, featureless white object, frame the object so that it fills the display and then press the shutter-release button halfway. In autofocus mode, focus will automatically be set to infinity; in manual focus mode, set focus to infinity manually.

Acquire dust off reference data:Press the shutter-release button the rest of the way down to acquire Image Dust Off reference data. The monitor turns off when the shutter-release button is pressed. If the reference object is too bright or too dark, the camera may be unable to acquire Image Dust Off reference data and a message will be displayed. Choose another reference object and repeat the process from Step 1.

Image Sensor Cleaning

Dust off reference data recorded before image sensor cleaning is performed cannot be used with photographs taken after image sensor cleaning is performed. Select Clean sensor and then startonly if the dust off reference data will not be used with existing photographs.

Image Dust Off Reference Data

The same reference data can be used for photographs taken with different lenses or at different apertures. Reference images cannot be viewed using computer imaging software. A grid pattern is displayed when reference images are viewed on the camera.

MENU → Setup Menu → page 3

Setup Menu Page 3

Image Comment

Add a comment to new photographs as they are taken. Comments can be viewed as metadata in ViewNX-i or Capture NX-D. The comment is also visible on the shooting data page in the photo information display. The following options are available:

    • Input comment: Input a comment as described in “Text Entry”. Comments can be up to 36 characters long.
  • Attach comment: Select this option to attach the comment to all subsequent photographs. Attach comment can be turned on and off by highlighting it and pressing 2. After choosing the desired setting, press OK to exit.
Copyright Information

Add copyright information to new photographs as they are taken. Copyright information is included in the shooting data shown in the photo information display and can be viewed as metadata in ViewNX-i or in Capture NX-D. The following options are available:

    • Artist: Enter a photographer name as described in “Text Entry”. Photographer names can be up to 36 characters long.
    • Copyright: Enter the name of the copyright holder as described in “Text Entry”. Copyright holder names can be up to 54 characters long.
  • Attach copyright information: Select this option to attach copyright information to all subsequent photographs. Attach copyright information can be turned on and off by highlighting it and pressing 2. After choosing the desired setting, press J to exit.

Beep Options

Choose the pitch and volume of the beep that sounds when:

  • The self-timer is in operation
  • Time-lapse recording ends
  • The camera focuses in photo mode (AF-S selected for focus mode; Focus selected for Custom Setting a2, AF-S priority selection; and Off selected for Silent photography)
  • The touch screen is used for keyboard entry

The Beep options menu contains the following items:

  • Beep on/off: Turn the beep speaker on or off, or select Off (touch controls only) to disable the beep during keyboard entry while enabling it for other purposes.
  • Volume: Adjust beep volume.
  • Pitch: Choose the pitch of the beep from High and Low.
Touch Controls

Adjust monitor touch control settings.

    • Enable/Disable Touch Controls: Select Disable to prevent accidental use of touch-screen controls, or Playback only to enable touch-screen controls in playback mode only.
  • Full-Frame Playback Flicks: Choose the gesture used to display the next image in full-frame playback: a flick from right to left or a flick from left to right.
HDMI

Adjust settings for connection to HDMI devices. The camera can record video directly to connected HDMI recorders. Some recorders will even start and stop recording in response to camera controls. Use the HDMI option in the setup menu to adjust settings for HDMI output.

  • Output Resolution: Choose the format for images output to the HDMI device. If Auto is selected, the camera will automatically select the appropriate format.
  • Advanced: Adjust the settings below.

    • Output range: Auto is recommended in most situations. If the camera is unable to determine the correct RGB video signal output range for the HDMI device, you can choose Limited range for devices with an RGB video signal input range of 16 to 235 or Full range for devices with an RGB video signal input range of 0 to 255. Choose Limited range if you notice a loss of detail in shadows, Full range if shadows are “washed out” or too bright.
    • External recording control: Enabling external recording control allows camera controls to be used to start and stop recording when the camera is connected via HDMI to a third-party recorder that supports the Atomos Open Protocol (Atomos SHOGUN, NINJA, or SUMO-series Monitor recorders). An icon will be displayed in the camera monitor: A is displayed in movie live view, while B is displayed during movie recording. During recording, check the recorder and recorder display to ensure that footage is being saved to the device (note that the footage output to the device may be disrupted while external recording control is in effect). The camera display will turn off automatically when the standby timer expires, ending HDMI output; when recording movies to an external device, select Standby timer for Custom Setting c3 (Power off delay) and choose No limit or a time longer than the anticipated recording time. See the manual provided with the recorder for more information on device features and operation.
    • Output data depth: Choose from 8 bit and 10 bit.
    • N-Log setting: Select On (cannot record to card) to preserve details in highlights and shadows and avoid over-saturated colors when recording movies. Choose this option (available only when 10 bit is selected for Output data depth) when recording footage that will later be color-corrected. The footage will be recorded directly to the external device and cannot be saved to the camera memory card. The ISO sensitivity settings > Maximum sensitivity and ISO sensitivity (Mode M) options in the movie shooting menu can be set to values of from ISO 1600 to 25600 and ISO 800 to 25600, respectively.
    • View assist: Choose On for a live preview of video footage recorded with On (cannot record to card) selected for N-Log setting. The colors in the preview will differ from those of the final movie, but this has no effect on the footage actually recorded.

HDMI Output:

HDMI output is not available at movie frame sizes of 1920 × 1080 120p, 1920 × 1080 100p, or 1920 × 1080 slow-mo or when the camera is connected to a device running SnapBridge or Camera Control Pro 2.

10-Bit Output Data Depth:

10 bit can be used only with compatible recorders. Regardless of the display mode selected, the camera monitor will turn on and the viewfinder will remain blank. No photos can be taken; during movie recording, the following additional restrictions apply when 3840 × 2160 is selected for frame size:

  • Movies are not recorded to memory cards inserted in the camera.
  • Icons and characters in the monitor will display at low resolution.
  • Selecting the DX image area reduces the angle of view to about 90%.

Zoom

Movies filmed at a frame size of 3840 × 2160 are displayed at a size of 1920 × 1080 when zoomed in.

Location Data

Adjust settings for use when the camera is connected to a device that provides location data, namely a GPS receiver or a smart device running the SnapBridge app (for more information on SnapBridge, see the app’s online help).

  • Standby timer: If Enable is selected when a GPS receiver is connected, the exposure meters will turn off automatically if no operations are performed for the period specified Custom Setting c3 (Power off delay) > Standby timer, reducing the drain on the battery.
  • Position: View the location data supplied by the GPS receiver or smart device (the items displayed vary with the source).
  • Set clock from satellite: Select Yes to synchronize the camera clock with the time reported by the GPS device.
Wireless Remote (WR) Options

Adjust settings for optional WR-R10 wireless remote controllers and for optional radio-controlled flash units that support Advanced Wireless Lighting.

LED Lamp:

Enable or disable the status LEDs on a WR-R10 wireless remote controller mounted on the camera. For more information, see the documentation supplied with the wireless remote controller.

Link Mode:

Choose a link mode for WR-R10 wireless remote controllers mounted on other cameras or radio-controlled flash units that support Advanced Wireless Lighting. Be sure that the same mode is selected for the other devices.

Pairing: To pair the camera with a WR-R10, mount the WR-R10 on the camera and press the pairing button.

PIN: Connect using a four-digit PIN code. Press 4 or 2to highlight digits and press 1 or 3 to change, then press J to enter and display the selected PIN.

Regardless of the option selected for Link mode, signals from paired wireless remote controllers will always be received by the WR-R10. Users of the WR-1 wireless remote controller will need to select pairing as the WR-1 link mode.

Assign remote (WR) Fn Button

Choose the role played by the Fn button on optional wireless remote controllers equipped with an Fn button.

Airplane Mode

Select Enable to disable the wireless features of Eye-Fi cards and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections to smart devices. Connections to other devices using a wireless transmitter can only be disabled by removing the transmitter from the camera.

MENU → Setup Menu → page 4

Setup Menu Page 4

Connect To Smart Device

Adjust settings for connection to smart devices.

  • Start: Follow on-screen instructions to connect to the smart device.
  • Password protection: Choose a password for smart device connections and turn password protection on or off.

Use SnapBridge to control the camera remotely from a smart device and download pictures from the camera. SnapBridge is available free-of-charge from the Apple App Store and on Google Play.

Connect To PC

If On is selected, new photos will automatically be uploaded to the PC.

Connecting via USB:

If the supplied USB cable is used to connect the camera to a computer running ViewNX-i, you can copy pictures to the computer, where they can be viewed, edited, and organized.

Installing ViewNX-i:

Download the ViewNX-i installer from the following website and follow the on-screen instructions to complete installation (existing users should be sure to download the latest version, as earlier versions may not support the camera). An Internet connection is required. For system requirements and other information, see the Nikon website for your region.

Copying Pictures to the Computer

For detailed instructions, see the online help for ViewNX-i.

    1. Connect the USB cable.

    2. After turning the camera off and ensuring that a memory card is inserted, connect the supplied USB cable as shown.

    3. USB Hubs: Connect the camera directly to the computer; do not connect the cable via a USB hub or keyboard. Use a Reliable Power Source.

    4. To ensure that data transfer is not interrupted, be sure the camera battery is fully charged.

    5. Connecting Cables: Be sure the camera is off when connecting or disconnecting interface cables. Do not use force or attempt to insert the connectors at an angle.

    6. Turn the camera on.

    7. The Nikon Transfer 2 component of ViewNX-i will start (if a message is displayed prompting you to choose a program, select Nikon Transfer 2).

Windows 7: If the following dialog is displayed, select Nikon Transfer 2 as described below.

  1. Under Import pictures and videos, click Change program. A program selection dialog will be displayed; select Nikon Transfer 2 and click OK.
  2. Double-click .

Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 may display an AutoPlay prompt when the camera is connected. Tap or click the dialog and then tap or click Nikon Transfer 2 to select Nikon Transfer 2.

macOS/OS X: If Nikon Transfer 2 does not start automatically, confirm that the camera is connected and then launch Image Capture (an application that comes with macOS or OS X) and select Nikon Transfer 2 as the application that opens when the camera is detected.

Wireless Networks (Wi-Fi)

The following methods can be used to connect to a computer via Wi-Fi. For more information.

Built-in Wi-Fi

Use the Connect to PC option in the camera setup menu to connect to computers either directly or via a wireless router.

Connection via a wireless route or a direct wireless connection.

Wireless Transmitter (WT-7)

Adjust settings for optional WT-7 wireless remote controllers and for optional radio-controlled flash units that support Advanced Wireless Lighting.

When the camera is connected to an optional WT-7 wireless transmitter, the Wireless transmitter (WT-7) option in the setup menu can be used for connection to computers or ftp servers.

Use the WT-7 for connection to Ethernet networks and for more reliable connections to wireless networks. With Camera Control Pro 2 (available separately), the camera can be controlled remotely and pictures saved directly to the computer as they are taken.

Conformity Marking

View a selection of the standards with which the camera complies.

Battery Info

View information on the battery currently inserted in the camera.

  • Charge: The current battery level expressed as a percentage.
  • No. of shots: The number of times the shutter has been released with the current battery since the battery was last charged. Note that the camera may sometimes release the shutter without recording a photograph, for example when measuring preset white balance.
  • Battery age: A five-level display showing battery age. 0 (k) indicates that battery performance is unimpaired, 4 (l) that the battery has reached the end of its charging life and should be replaced. Note that fresh batteries charged at temperatures under about 5 °C (41 °F) may show a temporary drop in charging life; the battery age display will however return to normal once the battery has been recharged at a temperature of about 20 °C (68 °F) or higher.
Slot Empty Release Lock

Selecting Enable release allows the shutter to be released when no memory card is inserted, although no pictures will be recorded (they will however be displayed in the monitor in demo mode). If Release locked is selected, the shutter-release button is only enabled when a memory card is inserted in the camera.

Save/Load Settings

Select Save settings to save the following settings to the memory card (if the card is full, an error will be displayed). Use this option to share settings among Nikon Z7 cameras.

Reset All Settings

Reset all settings except Language and Time zone and date to their default values. Copyright information and other user-generated entries are also reset. We recommend that you save settings using the Save/load settings option in the setup menu before performing a reset.

MENU → Setup Menu → page 5

Setup Menu Page 5

Firmware Version

View the current camera firmware version of your Nikon Z7 and attached lens.

MENU → Retouch Menu → page 1

Retouch Menu Page 1

NEF (RAW) Processing

Create JPEG copies of NEF (RAW) photographs. If you displayed the retouch menu by pressing the G button, you can use this option to copy multiple images.

Select NEF (RAW) processing.

Highlight NEF (RAW) processing in the retouch menu and press 2.

Choose how images are selected.

Choose from the following options:

  • Select image(s): Select one or more images manually.
  • Select date: Create JPEG copies of all the NEF (RAW) images taken on selected dates.
  • Select all images: Create JPEG copies of all the NEF (RAW) images on the memory card (proceed to Step 4).

 

Select photographs.

If you chose Select image(s) in Step 2, a picture selection dialog will be displayed listing only NEF (RAW) images created with this camera. Highlight images using the multi selector and press the W (Q) button to select or deselect; selected images are indicated by a Licon. To view the highlighted image full screen, press and hold the X button. Press J to proceed to Step 4 when your selection is complete.

If you chose Select date in Step 2, a list of dates will be displayed. Highlight dates using the multi selector and press 2 to select or deselect. Press J to select all NEF (RAW) pictures taken on the chosen dates and proceed to Step 4.

Choose settings for the JPEG copies.

Adjust the settings listed below, or select Original to use the setting in effect when the photograph was taken (the original settings are listed below the preview). Note that exposure compensation can only be set to values between −2 and +2 EV.

1 Image quality
2 Image size
3 White balance
4 Exposure compensation
5 Set Picture Control
6 High ISO NR
7 Color space
8 Vignette control
9 Active D-Lighting
10 Diffraction compensation

Copy the photographs.

Highlight EXE and press J to create a JPEG copy of the selected photograph (if multiple photos are selected, a confirmation dialog will be displayed; highlight Yes and press J to create JPEG copies of the selected photos). To exit without copying the photographs, press the button.

Trim

Create a cropped copy of the selected photograph. The selected photograph is displayed with the selected crop shown in yellow; create a cropped copy as described below.

Create a cropped copy of the selected photograph. The selected photograph is displayed with the selected crop shown in yellow; create a cropped copy as described below.

To reduce size of the crop: Press mag/question button.

To increase size of the crop: Press magnifier.

To change the crop aspect ratio: Rotate the main command dial.

To position the crop: Use the multi selector. Keep the multi selector pressed to move the crop rapidly to the desired position.

To create a cropped copy: Press OK to save the current crop as a separate file. The size of the copy varies with crop size and aspect ratio and appears at upper left in the crop display.

Resize

Create small copies of selected photographs.

Select Resize: Highlight Resize in the N tab and press 2.

Choose a size: Highlight Choose size and press 2. Highlight the desired size and press J.

Choose pictures: Highlight Select image(s) and press 2.

Highlight pictures and press W (Q) to select or deselect (to view the highlighted picture full screen, press and hold the X button). Selected pictures are marked by a 8 icon. Press J when the selection is complete. Note that photographs taken at an image-area setting of 5 : 4 (30×24), 1 : 1 (24×24), or 16 : 9 (36×20) cannot be resized.

Save the resized copies: A confirmation dialog will be displayed. Highlight Yesand press J to save the resized copies.

D-Lighting

D-Lighting brightens shadows, making it ideal for dark or backlit photos.

Press left or right to choose the amount of correction performed. The effect can be previewed in the edit display. Press J to save the retouched copy.

Red-Eye Correction

This option is used to correct “red-eye” caused by the flash, and is available only with photographs taken using the flash. The photograph selected for red-eye correction can be previewed in the edit display. Confirm the effects of red-eye correction and press OK to create a copy. Note that red-eye correction may not always produce the expected results and may in very rare circumstances be applied to portions of the image that are not affected by red-eye; check the preview thoroughly before proceeding.

Straighten

Create a straightened copy of the selected image. Press 2 to rotate the image clockwise by up to five degrees in increments of approximately 0.25 degrees, 4 to rotate it counterclockwise (the effect can be previewed in the edit display; note that edges of the image will be trimmed to create a square copy). Press OK to save the retouched copy.

Distortion Control

Create copies with reduced peripheral distortion. Select Auto to let the camera correct distortion automatically and then make fine adjustments using the multi selector, or select Manual to reduce distortion manually. Note that Auto is not available with photos taken using auto distortion control; see “Auto Distortion Control”. Press 2 to reduce barrel distortion, 4 to reduce pincushion distortion (the effect can be previewed in the edit display; note that greater amounts of distortion control result in more of the edges being cropped out). Press J to save the retouched copy. Note that distortion control may heavily crop or distort the edges of copies created from photographs taken with DX lenses at image areas other than DX (24×16).

Perspective Control

Create copies that reduce the effects of perspective taken from the base of a tall object. Use the multi selector to adjust perspective (note that greater amounts of perspective control result in more of the edges being cropped out). The results can be previewed in the edit display. Press OK to save the retouched copy.

MENU → Retouch Menu → page 2

Retouch Menu Page 2

Image Overlay

Image overlay combines two existing NEF (RAW) photographs to create a single picture that is saved separately from the originals; the results, which make use of RAW data from the camera image sensor, are noticeably better than photographs combined in an imaging application. The new picture is saved at current image quality and size settings; before creating an overlay, set image quality and size. To create a NEF (RAW) copy, choose an image quality of NEF (RAW) and an image size of Large (the overlay will be saved as a large NEF/RAW image even if Small or Medium is selected).

Select Image overlay: Highlight Image overlay in the retouch menu and press 2. Image overlay options will be displayed, with Image 1highlighted; press J to display a picture selection dialog listing only large NEF (RAW) images created with this camera (small and medium NEF/RAW images cannot be selected).

Select the first image: Use the multi selector to highlight the first photograph in the overlay. To view the highlighted photograph full frame, press and hold the mag button. Press OK to select the highlighted photograph and return to the preview display.

Select the second image: The selected image will appear as Image 1. Highlight Image 2 and press OK, then select the second photo as described in Step 2.

Adjust gain: Highlight Image 1 or Image 2 and optimize exposure for the overlay by pressing 1 or 3 to select the gain from values between 0.1 and 2.0. Repeat for the second image. The default value is 1.0; select 0.5 to halve gain or 2.0 to double it. The effects of gain are visible in the Preview column.

Preview the overlay: To preview the composition, press 4 or 2 to place the cursor in the Preview column, then press up or down to highlight Overlay and press OK (note that colors and brightness in the preview may differ from the final image). To save the overlay without displaying a preview, select Save. To return to Step 4 and select new photos or adjust gain, press mag/question button.

Save the overlay: Press OK while the preview is displayed to save the overlay. After an overlay is created, the resulting image will be displayed full-frame.

Trim Movie

Create a copy from which unwanted footage has been removed.

Choose Start/End Point

Follow the steps below to create trimmed copies of movies.

Display a movie full frame.

Pause the movie on the new opening frame.

Play the movie back as described in “Viewing Movies”, pressing OK to start and resume playback and down to pause, and pressing left or right or rotating the main or sub-command dial to locate the desired frame. Your approximate position in the movie can be ascertained from the movie progress bar. Pause playback when you reach the new opening frame.

Movie progress bar: Select Choose start/end point.

Press the i button to display the i menu, then highlight Choose start/end point and press OK.

Select Start point: To create a copy that begins from the current frame, highlight Start point and press OK. The frames before the current frame will be removed when you save the copy.

Start point: Confirm the new start point.

If the desired frame is not currently displayed, press 4or 2 to advance or rewind (to skip to 10 s ahead or back, rotate the main command dial; to skip to the first or last frame, rotate the sub-command dial).

Choose the end point: Press the center of the sub-selector to switch from the start point (w) to the end point (x) selection tool and then select the closing frame as described in Step 5. The frames after the selected frame will be removed when you save the copy in Step 9.

Sub-selector, End point, Create the copy.

Once the desired frame is displayed, press 1.

Preview the movie.

To preview the copy, highlight Preview and press OK (to interrupt the preview and return to the save options menu, press 1). To abandon the current copy and select a new start point or end point as described above, highlight Cancel and press J; to save the copy, proceed.

Save the copy.

Highlight Save as new file and press J to save the copy to a new file. To replace the original movie file with the edited copy, highlight Overwrite existing file and press OK.

MENU → My Menu

My Menu

The MY MENU option can be used to create and edit a customized list of options from the playback, photo shooting, movie shooting, Custom Settings, setup, and retouch menus for quick access (up to 20 items). If desired, recent settings can be displayed in place of My Menu.

Add Items

Add items to My Menu

Remove Items

Remove Items from my menu.

Rank Items

change the ranking of your added items.

Choose Tab

Choose a tab for your added item.

The i Menu

I Menu

The most used functions in the main Menu can also be easily accessed by pressing the “I” on the back plate of the camera. This will bring you too the i Menu. This menu is completely customisable for both Photo and Movie mode (Controls Settings f1 – Customize i menu). We’ll have a quick look at the functionality added to this Menu as factory settings.

Set Picture control

Here you can change settings for the internal processing of picture data from the image sensor into final JPG files.

It’s necessary to start with an existing configuration or set of settings that Nikon has predefined for a certain look of the final image. You can choose between:

Auto: Your Nikon Z7 automatically detects the type of scene.

Standard: Nikon‘s default for a neutral picture as the standard for most shooting situations.

Neutral: A processing with slightly less sharpening, contrast improvement and saturation; for those who do these steps on their own later on.

Vivid: Higher color saturation, sharpening and contrast.

Monochrome: Converts into black and white.

Portrait: Very similar to „neutral“, slightly less sharpening, contrast and color saturation than „standard“.

Landscape: Higher contrast than „standard“.

You can also choose between a range of picture presets like Dream, Morning, Pop, Sunday, Sober, Dramatic, Silence, Bleached, Melancholic, Pure, Denim, Toy, Sepia, Blue, Red, Pink, Charcoal, Graphite, Binary and Carbon.

Image Quality

NEF (RAW): RAW data from the image sensor are saved without additional processing. Settings such as white balance and contrast can be adjusted after shooting.

NEF (RAW)+JPEG fine/NEF (RAW)+JPEG fine: Two images are recorded, one NEF (RAW) image and one fine-quality JPEG image.

NEF (RAW)+JPEG normal/NEF (RAW)+JPEG normal: Two images are recorded, one NEF (RAW) image and one normal-quality JPEG image.

NEF (RAW)+JPEG basic/NEF (RAW)+JPEG basic: Two images are recorded, one NEF (RAW) image and one basic-quality JPEG image.

JPEG fine/JPEG fine: Record JPEG images at a compression ratio of roughly 1 : 4 (fine quality).

JPEG normal/JPEG normal: Record JPEG images at a compression ratio of roughly 1 : 8 (normal quality).

JPEG basic/JPEG basic: Record JPEG images at a compression ratio of roughly 1 : 16 (basic quality).

TIFF (RGB): Record uncompressed TIFF-RGB images at a bit depth of 8 bits per channel (24-bit color). TIFF is supported by a wide variety of imaging applications.

Flash Control

Choose the flash control mode for optional flash units mounted on the camera accessory shoe and adjust settings for off-camera flash photography. See the flash control settings in the menu for more info.

WiFi connection

Turn On/Off the WiFi connection.

Release Mode

Single frame: The camera takes one photograph each time the shutter-release button is pressed.

Continuous low speed: While shutter-release button is held down, camera takes photographs at frame rate selected for Custom Setting d1 (CL mode shooting speed)

Continuous high speed: While shutter-release button is held down, camera takes photographs at frame rate given in “Power Source and Frame Rate” Use for active subjects.

Continuous high speed plus: only with jpeg.

Self-timer: Take pictures with the self-timer.

AF Area Mode

Choose how the focus point for autofocus is selected.

Pinpoint AF: Use for pinpoint focus on a selected spot in the frame. This option is only available when photo mode is selected and Single AF is chosen for Focus mode. Focusing may be slower than with single-point AF.

Single-point AF: Select the focus point; the camera will focus on the subject in the selected focus point only. Use with stationary subjects. the ability to limit point selection to every other point allows you to quickly use the joystick, or touchscreen, to position the AF point.

Dynamic-area AF: The camera focuses on a point selected by the user. If the subject briefly leaves the selected point, the camera will focus based on information from surrounding focus points, letting you concentrate on composition in shots of moving subjects. This option is only available when photo mode is selected and Continuous AF is chosen for Focus mode.

Wide-area AF (S) and (L): As for Single-point AF except that wider focus points are used. The focus points for Wide-area AF (L) are wider than those for Wide-area AF (S).

Auto-area AF: The camera automatically detects the subject and selects the focus area. At default settings, the camera gives priority to portrait subjects; if a portrait subject is detected, the selected subject will be indicated by a yellow border (if multiple faces are detected, you can choose your subject using the multi selector). Subject tracking  can be activated by pressing the OK button.

Image Size

Image size is measured in pixels. Choose from Large, Medium, or Small (note that image size varies depending on the option selected for Image area.

White Balance

White balance ensures that colors are unaffected by the color of the light source. Auto white balance is recommended with most light sources. If the desired results cannot be achieved with auto white balance, choose an option from the list below or use preset white balance.

Metering

Metering determines how the camera sets exposure. The following options are available:

Matrix metering: The camera meters a wide area of the frame and sets exposure according to tone distribution, color, composition, and distance for results close to those seen by the naked eye.

Center-weighted metering: The camera meters the entire frame but assigns the greatest weight to an area in the center of the frame, the size of which can be chosen using Custom Setting b3 (Center-weighted area). This is the classic meter for portraits and is also recommended when using filters with an exposure factor (filter factor) over 1×.

Spot metering: The camera meters a ⌀4 mm circle (equivalent to approximately 1.5% of the frame) centered on the current focus point, making it possible to meter off-center subjects (if auto-area AF is in effect, the camera will instead meter the center focus point). Spot metering ensures that the subject will be correctly exposed, even when the background is much brighter or darker.

Highlight-weighted metering: The camera assigns the greatest weight to highlights. Use this option to reduce loss of detail in highlights, for example when photographing spotlit performers on-stage.

Face Tracking

Turn on face tracking, or automatic face detection and autofocus tracking.

Nikon Z7, studio shot, model, black and white preset, Wim Arys photography.

Vibration Reduction

The Nikon Z 7 is equipped with in-camera vibration reduction (VR), other manufacturers call this sensor stabilisation. The VR unit provides compensation for movement along five axes. The effects of vibration reduction are equivalent to a shutter speed up to approximately 5.0 stops. This function can also be used effectively with NIKKOR F lenses, including those not equipped with a VR function, with the Mount Adapter FTZ . ).

There is an ON (normal) and SPT (Sport) preset.

Focus Mode

AF-S: For stationary subjects. Press the shutter-release button halfway to focus. If the camera is able to focus, the focus point will be displayed in green; focus will lock while the shutter-release button is pressed halfway. If the camera fails to focus, the focus point will flash red. At default settings, the shutter can only be released if the camera is able to focus (focus priority).

AF-C: For moving subjects. The camera focuses continuously while the shutter-release button is pressed halfway; if the subject moves, the camera will predict the final distance to the subject and adjust focus as necessary. At default settings, the shutter can be released whether or not the subject is in focus (release priority).

AF-F: The camera adjusts focus continuously in response to subject movement or changes in composition. Focus locks when the shutter-release button is pressed halfway. This option is only available in movie mode.

Manual focus: The shutter can be released whether or not the subject is in focus.

Frequently asked questions

You’ll find a list of frequently asked questions and responses here

Can HDR be done using RAW files?

When shooting in HDR mode (set within the camera’s Photo Shooting Menu) you MUST have the camera’s image quality set to something other than NEF. You will not be able to access HDR Shooting without doing so

You can however, within the HDR shooting mode,  select the option to “Save the individual images” taken as a NEF file. It will automatically save each of the individual shots used to create the HDR image. They will default to being saved as large-size NEF files regardless of the options selected for image quality and size in the photo shooting menu.

Does the Z 7 have the Sync Terminal to connect the studio Lights using the sync cable?

The Z6 and Z7 does not have a built-in sync port. The optional AS-15 Hot Shoe to PC sync cord adapter can be used to add this functionality. The Z6 and Z7 both support Nikon’s Creative Lighting system with both Optical and Radio Advanced Wireless Lighting (AWL).

What is the bitrate is Mbps when saving video to the XQD card when shooting 4K, and what is the bitrate for HD? Is it saved as 4:2:0 or 4:2:2?

The Z-series cameras record in 4:2:2 10-bit HDMI output. At the highest quality setting 3840 x 2160 (4k UHD) – at either 24, 25 or 30p – the bit rate is 144 Mbps.

Does the Z7  have Focus Shift Shooting like the D850?

The Z7 and the Z6 will have the same Focus Shift Shooting options as the D850.

Is there a vertical control grip for the Nikon Z7?

Soon! The MB-N10 Multi-Power Battery Pack that is currently in development will hold two EN-EL15b, effectively increasing the number of shots possible and/or movie recording time by approximately 1.8×. It will provide the same level of dust and drip resistance as the Z 7 and Z 6, and will support USB charging using the EH-7P Charging AC Adapter. Information regarding the release of this product will be announced at a later date.

Do you have the usual controls but have the OPTION of using the touchscreen, or do you have to use it?

It’s not necessary to use the touch screen if you prefer more traditional controls – touch control can be disabled in both the Z6 and Z7. If you like the convenience of touch control playback but don’t like shooting with the touch screen you can also easily enable touch controls for playback only.

Can the custom picture controls be saved to use in manual mode?

You can create customer picture controls that can be saved for use in any exposure mode on the camera. You can modify current Picture Controls on the camera to your liking and save them as customer Picture Controls as well. You would use the Rename option in this case.

In addition, you can save these Controls to a memory card and import them to another camera.

Can the Nikon Z7 do tethering?

If you are connecting your camera via the USB cable to a computer, you must use Camera Control Pro 2 in order to do a direct tether. If you would like to connect wirelessly, you can use the Wireless Transmitter Utility and connect directly via the camera and computer wifi.

Nikon  Z7 overheating

Overheating problems with the Nikon Z7 seem to be limited to long usage of the camera in video mode around the 30 minute mark.

Quick how-to Nikon Z7 settings

How to set-up back button focussing

Back button focussing is a focussing and composition method where you disconnect the autofocus engine from the standard shutter button half-press. This enables you to engage the autofocus system only with the AF-ON button on the backplate.

Nikon Z7 AF-ON button

Now your autofocus and shutter are disconnected, enabling you to acquire autofocus independently from the shutter button action. This method is often used to recompose your shot after autofocus is acquired, the so-called focus and recompose method.

This is very easy the set up with the Nikon Z7:

Z7 back button focus setup

Go to a7 in the autofocus menu and set AF activation to AF-ON only. This way, only the AF ON button will engage the autofocus engine.

set AF activation to AF-ON

Conclusion

There is always a learning curve with every new camera you purchase. Luckily, Nikon decided to keep the hierarchy and the logic of their DSLR series cameras in the new Nikon Z7. This makes art easier to navigate at least for photographers experienced with those cameras. The Nikon Z7 is fairly new so I’ll add more tips and tricks to this post as I get more and more familiar with it. If you have any comments or questions, or just want to write about your experience with the Z7,  feel free to post them in the comment section below.

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