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Nikon Z7 - My User Manual Summary     Arrival-Sept 28    Z7 Hands-On Testing  Voigtlander 10mm F5.6
____________
2019-January-26

NIKON SUPPORT >> 1-800-645-6687

Nikon Z7 User's Guide >  http://download.nikonimglib.com/archive3/nRrSP005I9dy03whsRi732khVO03/Z7UM_SG(En)01.pdf


GENERAL

In the Z's user-interface, you can set many things. Most of them are menu item values (states), like setting the VR on/off, setting the release mode to S (single), L (low-continuous), H (high-continuous), and so on. Others are customization, such as "My Menu" and "i-menu" customization, or some button customization. There are probably 100 menu items and other settings, and it is a formidable task to find the ones you need. To alleviate the pain, there are two places where you can put your frequently-used menu items for easy access: "i-menu" & "My Menu". The i-menu can accommodate 12 items and is easier to reach, so use it as the first choice. Then use My Menu to keep other useful items (up to 20 items).

Also, there are 3 user presets (U1, U2, U3) to save these settings for a quick recall. By using Save User Settings (U123), you can save specific settings to U1, U2, or U3 for later use. To restore the saved settings, just turn the mode dial to that user preset (U1, U2, or U3).

There are two distinct paradigms used to save these changes/settings: Save Paradigm I & II. Any settings you can do belong to either I or II of the Save Paradigms. (See Saving Paradigm and User Presets U1, U2, U3 below.)

There are seven menu categories:
Playback / Photo Shooting / Movie Shooting / Custom Setting / Setup / Retouch / My Menu
KEY
(i) means i button,  (My) means "My Menu"
 

MONITOR DISPLAY

Monitor Mode   --- I use Prioritize / Simple
Monitor mode button (left): Automatic display switch / Viewfinder only / Monitor only / Prioritize Viewfinder
DISP button (back): Indicators / Simple / Histogram / Horizon
For the monitor mode, I use Prioritize. If I want to view the rear LCD during the shooting, I set to Automatic display switch.
 

BASICS

Release Mode / Self-timer  --- See Frame Rate below.
Release-mode button (back): S (single) / L (low) / H (high) / H+ (extended) / Self-timer
Custom Setting Menu > c2 Self-timer > delay time / number of shots / interval
Release mode has a dedicated button in the camera back. There is no need, therefore, to assign this function to the precious i-menu space.
Can this button be customized??????

Exposure Mode   --- MAPS
Mode Dial: M (manual) / A (aperture-priority) / S (shutter-priority) / P (program)
Any menu items last set at M/P/A/S modes will be remembered in all M/P/A/S modes (until changed again). However, menu items set at U1/U2/U3 modes are remembered in that mode only until you exit that mode. 

Exposure Metering Area   --- I use Matrix
(i) Photo Shooting Menu > Metering: Matrix / Center-weighted / Spot / Highlight-weighted

Aperture  
--- Use the sub-dial (front)
Aperture: lens aperture

Shutter Speed   --- Use the main dial (rear)
Shutter Speed: 1/8000 ~ 30 sec (for mechanical & silent shutter), 1/2000 ~ 30 sec (in front-curtain mode)
Hit i-buttun or DISP button to show these in the rear LCD.

ISO Setting
  --- I use ISO 64 / Auto-ISO on
ISO - ISO button + Main command dial (back): 64-25600
Auto ISO - ISO button + Sub-command dial (front): On / Off
(My) Photo Shooting Menu > ISO sensitivity > Max ISO, Min shutter
Hold ISO button and use the main and sub-command dials to set ISO and Auto-ISO on/off.

Image Quality   --- I use FX / LARGE / RAW (lossless) + JPEG (Fine*)
Image Area Size - Photo Shooting Menu > Choose image area: FX (36x24) / DX (24x15) / 5:4 (30x24) / 1:1 (24x24) / 16:9 (36x20)
Image File Resolution -
(i) Photo Shooting Menu > Image size >
    RAW: Large (FX 8256x5504) / Medium (FX 6192x4128) / Small (FX 4128x2752)
    JPEG/TIFF: Large / Medium / Small
Image File Format/Compression -
(i) Photo Shooting Menu > Image quality:
    RAW + JPEG (Fine* / Fine / Normal* / Normal / Basic* / Basic)
    RAW
    JPEG (Fine* / Fine / Normal* / Normal / Basic* / Basic)
    TIFF (RGB, uncompressed 24-bit color)
RAW Compression - Photo Shooting Menu > NEF (RAW) recording > compression:
    Lossless / Compressed / Uncompressed, bit depth: 12 bits / 14 bits
    (always Lossless 12 bits for Medium / Small)

White Balance   ---  use Auto
(i) Photo Shooting Menu > White balance:
    Auto / Natural light auto / Direct sunlight / Cloudy / Shade /
    Incandescent / Fluorescent / Flash / Choose color temperature

Picture Control
(i) Photo Shooting Menu > Set Picture Control:
    Auto / Standard / Neutral / Vivid / Monochrome / Portrait / Landscape / Flat
          Sharpening: -3 ~ +9   
          Mid-range sharpening: -5 ~ +5
          Clarity: -5 ~ +5
          Contrast: -3 ~ +3
          Brightness: -1.5 ~ +1.5
          Saturation: -3 ~ +3
          Hue: -3 ~ +3
    Creative Picture Control: Dream / Morning / Pop / Sunday / Somber / ... / Carbon

Auto Focus   --- I use AF-S / Wide area (S)
(i) AF Mode: AF-S (single) / AF-C (continuous) / AF-F (fulltime/movie) / MF (manual focus)
(i) AF Area: Pin point / Single point / Wide area (S) / Wide area (L) / Auto area
OK button - Quick center
The continuous AF-C is only available in the H-mode (not in H+) that means max of 5.5 fps. But even there, the effective fps with AF-C is something like 2-3 fps. The D850 will do a much better job with the same 45MP sensor.

Vibration Reduction   --- I keep it on
(i) Photo Shooting Menu > Vibration reduction: Normal / Sport / Off
The 5-axis in-camera image stabilization gives 5-stop VR capability. With a wide-angle lens, I can hand-hold at 1/2 second!
NOTE: When using a non-CPU lens (Nikkor or others), you must set a non-CPU lens number of the lens you are using for VR to be enabled. If you do not, VR mode is disabled (greyed out).
 


OTHER TECHNIQUES

Active-D Lighting
  --- I keep it Auto
(i) Photo Shooting Menu > Active D-Lighting: Auto / High+ / High / Normal / Low / Off

HDR (high dynamic range)
(My) Photo Shooting Menu > HDR (automatically shoots 2; use tripod)
In-camera HDR is convenient and works pretty well. You have some exposure range choices. The camera automatically shoots two consecutive shots and synthesizes them into a combined shot. It is like a 1/30-1/15 sec shot for the entire sequence - so better use a tripod.


Focus Peaking
(My) Custom Setting Menu > d10 Highlight peaking: 1 / 2 / 3, Red / Yellow / Blue / White
Focus peaking works well with my MF Nikkor 20mm f/3.5 lens via the FTZ. Red or yellow is the best color to use, but keeping this peaking ON all the time is very annoying to the eye. Also, this is not very accurate...

Focus Shift

Photo Shooting Menu > Focus shift shooting

Bracketing
Photo Shooting Menu > Auto bracketing >
    Auto bracketing set: AE & Flash / AE / Flash / WB / ADL
    Number of shots: 0~9
    Increment: 0.5~+5
Camera does not shoot multiple shots automatically. You must click the shutter multiple times (each shot is different). To turn this mode off, just set No. of shots to 0 (zero).

Interval Timer Shooting
Photo Shooting Menu > Interval timer shooting
 

CHORES

Format Memory Card

(My) Setup Menu > Format memory card

Sensor Cleaning
(My) Setup Menu > Clean image sensor

Firmware Version
Setup menu > Firmware version: C, LF
Nikon released a new update already for the Z7. I downloaded it, but I now realize I need a card reader to put an update file into the XQD memory card. I cannot write into my XQD card by simply keeping it in the camera body.... I have to buy a XQD card reader....


SETUP

Silent Shooting
(i) Photo Shooting Menu > Silent photography: On / Off
Silent mode allows you to shoot completely silently. It worked well but I could not figure out how to enable some sort of indicator that a picture has been taken. I know it worked by reviewing the shots...  The finder does flash as you shoot in H mode ... but in the extended high-speed (H+) I do not see any flashing of the finder, but the shots are being made.

Exposure Delay / Electronic Front-Curtain   --- to minimize blur
Custom Setting Menu > d4 Exposure delay mode: Off / 0.2s / 0.5s / 1s / 2s / 3s
Custom Setting Menu > d5 Electronic front-curtain shutter: Enable / Disable
See my description of these features....

Image File Naming
(My) Photo Shooting Menu > File naming (A01xxxxxx)
Custom Setting Menu > d7 File number sequence: On / Off / Reset

EV Step (Shutter / Aperture / ISO)   --- I use 1/2.
Custom Setting Menu > b1 EV steps for exposure control: 1/3 or 1/2

Beep
Setup menu > Beep options: On / Off

Playback Info Display
(My) Playback Menu > Playback display options > Additional photo info: Focus point + Exposure info

Grid Display
(My) Custom Setting Menu > d9 Framing grid display: On / Off

Diffraction Control   --- I keep it on
(My) Photo Shooting Menu > Diffraction compensation: On / Off

Distortion Control
  --- I keep it on
Photo Shooting Menu > Auto distortion control: On / Off

Flicker Reduction
Photo Shooting Menu > Flicker reduction shooting: On / Off

Rear LCD Display
Setup Menu > Information display: B (Dark on light) / W (Light on dark)
Two display choices for the rear LCD. Use B option. W is so dark and useless.

Power Off Time
(My) Custom Setting Menu > c3 Power off delay > Playback / Menu / Image / Standby


CUSTOMIZE

User Presets U1, U2, U3
(My) Setup menu > Save user settings: U1 / U2 / U3 > Save settings
See User Preset description below for detail...
Photo i Menu  
Hit i-menu button to show the 12 items saved in the i-menu.
Hit the button twice to see Mode / Shutter / Aperture / ISO. Boxed items can change by clicking.
Customize i menu --- This is my (i) menu in "Pink".
Custom Setting Menu > f1 Customize i menu

The i-menu can hold 12 items for easy access. The following 31 items can be placed in the i-menu (User's Guide p.23).

- Choose image area
- Image quality (RAW/FINE/NORM/BASIC/...)
- Image size (L/M/S)
- Exposure compensation
- ISO sensitivity setting
- White balance
- Set picture control
- Color space
- Active D-Lighting (Off/L/N/H/H+/A)
- Long exposure NR
- High ISO NR
- Metering (Matrix/Center-weighted/Spot/Highlight-weighted)
- Flash mode
- Flash compensation
- Focus mode (AF-S/AF-C/MF)
- AF-area mode (Pinpoint/Single-point/Wide-area/Auto-area)
- Vibration reduction (Off/On/Sport)
- Auto bracketing
- Multiple exposure
- HDR
- Silent photography (On/Off)
- Release mode (S/L/H/H+/Selftimer)
- Custom control assignment
- Exposure delay mode
- Electronic front-curtain shutter (On/Off)
- Apply settings to live view
- Split-screen display zoom
- Peaking highlights (Off/1/2/3)
- Monitor/viewfinder brightness
- Bluetooth connection
- Wi-Fi connection


My Menu  --- My Menu can keep up to 20 menu items for easy access. My Menu is common for all M/A/S/P modes as well as all U1/U2/U3 modes. Whenever you customize the "My Menu" contents (wherever you do it) , everybody (M/A/S/P and U1/U2/U3) will see the same My Menu.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(My) Save user presets   Save user settings U1, U2, U3
(My) ISO sensitivity   Minimum shutter speed
(My) Electronic front-curtain shutter    MOn / Off
(My) Exposure delay mode   Minimum shutter speed
(My) Diffraction compensation   Yes / No
(My) Peak highlights   Yes / No
(My) Framing grid display   Yes / No
(My) HDR   Yes / No
(My) Exposure differential (HDR)   P--
(My) Built-in AF-assist illuminator   On / Off
(My) Power off delay   xxx
(My) Customize i menu   xxx
(My) Custom control assignment   12 x buttons
(My) Playback display options   P--
(My) Beep options   xxx
(My) Battery info   xxx
(My) File naming   A04
(My) Clean image sensor   Yes / No
(My) Format memory card   Yes / No

Customize Buttons   --- My button customization
Custom Setting Menu > f2 Custom control assignment:
   Fn1 button: Choose non-CPU lens number
   Fn2 button: Preview (depth of field)
When looking through the EVF, only non-CPU lenses show the depth of field using the current f-stop (say, f/22). All CPU lenses (including Z lenses) close down only up to f/5.6. So what you are seeing in the EVF is not reflecting the true depth. You must use the "Preview" button to see the real depth. It works well. The finder does not get dark, like DSLRs.   
   AF ON button: Zoom on/off (200% zoom)
I changed this button for ZOOMING -- I found this to be extremely useful during manual focus.
   ARROWS (joystick):
   Joystick button:
   Lens ring:
   Lens button:
  

Saving Paradigm and User Presets U1, U2, U3

There are 3 user presets (U1, U2, U3) to save your settings for a quick recall. By using Save User Settings (U123), you can save specific settings to U1, U2, or U3 for later use. To restore the saved settings, just turn the mode dial to that user preset (U1, U2, or U3).

There are two distinct paradigms used to save these changes/settings: Save Paradigm I & II. Any settings you can do belong to either I or II of the Save Paradigms.


Basic Concept


1) Camera is always at one of 7 modes: MASP + U123 ( exclude Auto for now).
2) Mode at "Setting" time: MASP + U123. This is where the mode dial is when you do the setting.
3) Mode at "Shooting" time: MASP + U123. This is where the mode dial is when you are shooting.
4) Things to set:
    - i-menu (x12) customization
    - My Menu (up to 20) customization
    - Button (x8) customization
    - Menu item values (there are many)
 

Save Paradigm I  (globally saved - not saved in U123)

For all the settings belonging to this paradigm, whatever you set is saved globally. That is, regardless of which mode (MAPS or U123) you were in at the time of setting, what was set is automatically saved and
becomes effective and available in any mode (MAPS and U123) as you turn the mode dial from one mode to another. The camera's power can be turned off and on again. The last change you made is effective and saved forever, until it is changed again.

Mode at Setting Time  >  Mode at Shooting Time
      M                                           M
      A                                            A        
      S     ===============>       S
      P      (automatically saved)       P
      U1                                          U1
      U2                                          U2
      U3                                          U3

List of Things Using Save Paradigm I  (only several things, as shown below) 
- My Menu customization (addling items, removing, etc).
- Release mode setting: S / L / H / H+ /  -  This is not mentioned in Nikon User's Manual (p.75).
- Storage folder (Photo Shooting Menu)
- Choose image area (Photo Shooting Menu): FX / DX / 5:4 / 1:1 / ...
- Set picture control (Photo Shooting Menu) - This is saved in U123 (User's Manual says otherwise).
- Multiple exposure (Photo Shooting Menu)
- Interval timer shooting (Photo Shooting Menu)
- Time-lapse movie (Photo Shooting Menu)
- Focus shift shooting (Photo Shooting Menu)



Save Paradigm II 
(saved in U123)

For all the settings belonging to this paradigm, whatever you set while in MAPS mode is automatically saved and becomes effective and available in any of MAPS modes, just like Save Paradigm I. However, if you set something while in U1, U2, or U3 mode, it is only effective in that one mode (U1, U2, or U3) and only until you exit that mode (or until the camera is powered off). To save this setting in U123 modes, you must specifically save it to U1, U2, or U3 (by Save User Settings).

Mode at Setting Time     >         Mode at Shooting Time
      M                                           M
      A    ================>      A        
      S      (automatically saved)       S
      P                                            P

      U1   ---------------------------->     U1
      U2   ---------------------------->     U2
      U3   ---------------------------->     U3
             (saved only until exited)

List of Things Using Save Paradigm II  (many things...)
- The i-menu customization (selecting 12 menu items).
- The majority (if not all) of the menu item setting.
- Customization of the 8 buttons (f2 Custom control assignment).


Mode at Setting Time

MASP

     Save Paradigm I Items: Automatically saved and become available in MASP + U123.

     Save Paradigm II Items : Automatically saved and available in MASP only (U123 retrieve saved values).

U1, U2, U3

     Save Paradigm I Items: Automatically saved and become available in MASP + U123.

     Save Paradigm II Items : Available only in U1, U2, or U3 (only until exited).
 

Movie i Menu
-- to be done --

Frame Rate (fps)    -- p.83
Release mode    Image quality (bit depth)            Frame rate (Silent)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Continuous L      JPEG/TIFF                               5 fps  (4 fps)
   (low)               RAW (12 bit) or RAW+JPEG     5 fps  (4 fps)
                         RAW (14 bit) or RAW+JPEG     5 fps  (3.5 fps)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Continuous H      JPEG/TIFF                               5.5 fps  (4 fps)
   (high)              RAW (12 bit) or RAW+JPEG     5.5 fps  (4 fps)
                         RAW (14 bit) or RAW+JPEG     5 fps     (3.5 fps)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Continuous H+    JPEG/TIFF                               9 fps     (8 fps)
   (extended)       RAW (12 bit) or RAW+JPEG      9 fps     (8 fps)
                         RAW (14 bit) or RAW+JPEG      8 fps    (6.5 fps)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

Customization for Photo

f1 Customize Photo i menu

f2 Customize buttons > Fn1 / Fn2 / AF-ON / Joystick / Joy center / Movie / Lens Fn

f3 OK button

f4 Lock speed & aperture

f5 Customize dialog > main & sub-command dialogs

Customization for Movie

g1 Customize Movie i menu

g2 Customize buttons > Fn1 / Fn2 / AF-ON / Joystick / Joy center / Movie / LensFn

g3 OK button

g4 AF speed

g5 AF track

Nikon Z7 - Lens Consideration

FE 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5 (F)  FE16mm f/3.5

Voigtlander Heliar Hyper-Wide 10mm f/5.6 (Cosina)  Awoa 10-18mm f/4.5
Fotofox Leica M-mount Nikon Z Adapter Macro


Z 14-30mm f/4 S
 20mm f/3.5 (F)

Z 24-70mm f/4 S

Z 70-200mm f/2.8 S <<=====

300mm f/4 PF (F)

500mm f/5.6 PF (F) <<=====

TC14 Tele-converter (F)

Micro 60mm f/2.8 (F)

Micro 105mm f/2.8 (F)

Micro 200mm f/4 (F)

PC 19mm f/4 (F)

Z 20mm f/1.8 S

Z 24mm f/1.8 S

Z 35mm f/1.8 S

Z 50mm f/1.8 S

Z 85mm f/1.8 S

 

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