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Default or not Default

Discussion in 'Nikon Chat' started by IvorCamera, Aug 24, 2017.

  1. IvorCamera

    IvorCamera Well-Known Member

    I have often wondered about default settings, as we all know these are the settings that all camera makers set their cameras to for when they leave the factory and because most of us have our favourite settings we all change the settings to suite our type of photography that we do, I just wonder whether the default settings are the very best settings that suits the camera and to get the best results from that particular camera, what are other photographers thoughts on this. My own favourite settings which I have used for years is Aperture Priority and I pick the best aperture to suite the subject, again the ISO is chosen on the lighting conditions at the time and I do use the full scale if needed, and there are other slight adjustments that I do as well.....but one day I just might venture out and reset my camera to a time when it left the factory, or in my case just press the two buttons to reset the camera......what do you think? Oh by the way I am talking DSLRs.....
  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I have never wondered about default settings.

    I guess all cameras have perforce to come off the production line in a known state. It would be difficult to manage quality assurance otherwise.

    I'd be pushed fo say what I change - I kill the confirmation "beep" and turn off automatic image review for sure and set raw capture. Probably some other things to but I'm not doing a reset just to help me remember what. I use my camera as I would a film camera so tbe only controls that matter are select ISO, exposure compensation (including flash), the (several) AF and drive options. The only modes I use these days are Aperture Priority and Manual. The main other option I use is to disable focus from the shutter release. On replay menu - delete/format and battery check.

    I wouldn't call Aperture Priority a "default setting" - OK a camera may ship set on full auto but the defaults are really the settings you get when you turn the mode switch.
  3. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    I am a believer in default settings. anyone who has never used a camera even a smartphone or kodak box camera should be able to pick up a new camera, put a charged battery in it and a card (or film in the case of the box camera), switch on, point it, press the tit and get a more or less in focus, reasonably exposed image. I have used many cameras over the years from many maufacturers. Since digital came in I cannot think of a single camera that did not deliver the goods out of the box (except one marque). Of course I want to customise. Of course I want to optimise but the basic settings work. I have never used a D3 or D4 or D5 but have been interested enough to know that out of the box they could take good photographs. I would expect users of of other marques except Leica to experience the same. You know why I exclude Leica, but lets be fair it is manual focus and it is not too much to ask the new owner to focus it and that action I find (on a borrowed for a couple of minutes) is pretty instinctive and rather satisfying.

    Why is this thread hidden in the Nikon room?
  4. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    I’m delighted that cameras are customizable. Manufacturers need to choose which settings their cameras should be shipped with, so it’s worth knowing what these are, and convenient to be able to reset them if you want to. (I agree it’s far from specific to Nikon, and it’s not only DSLRs; my Panasonic LX100 compact has plenty of setting choices.) Most of the default settings on my Nikons seem sensible, but a few seem bizarre. I’ve changed quite a few over time. I find it useful to review what I have, and the changes I could make, occasionally, but I wouldn’t want to return to the defaults and then need to reinstate my choices.

    I use different settings for different circumstances, so on my D800 I’ve made use of the Shooting Menu Bank and Custom Settings Bank, but I wish Nikon had made it easier to swap such settings. For changing between hand-held shooting with available light, using flash, and shooting from a tripod, I usually want to change: Exposure Mode, White balance and whether to use Auto ISO, all of which are covered by the Shooting menu bank; Exposure Delay Mode, which is covered by the Custom Settings Bank, and; whether or not to bracket shots, which for some obscure reason isn’t in either memory bank. I don’t understand why Nikon doesn’t either use a single memory bank, or allow one to be linked to the other if you select that. Also, I’d like to be able to change banks with fewer button presses.

  5. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Once upon a time (1987, thinking back) I was doing field work and asked the photographic department for a camera. When I opened the box, a long way from base, it was a full Hassleblad kit. I hadn't a clue how to assemble it, let alone load a 120 film. Things have come along. I'd expect anyone who had used a camera before to do as you say, open the box and get going with card and battery but not necessarily someone who had never used one before. Go back a dozen years, before the selfie generation, then many compact cameras then were a lot less user friendly. I used to dread being asked to take tourist's pictures with their own cameras. Selfie sticks are quite some blessing.
  6. IvorCamera

    IvorCamera Well-Known Member

    Its so nice to hear your views on default settings, thanks!
  7. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    I don't actually use default settings since I prefer things differently for what I do. I do think however that the default settings should give a more than adequate ability to make good photographs in most ordinary environments. Even a top professional camera set to P (remember the old joke, P for professional), AF-S, matrix metering straight out of the box should work. Even in kits Nikon expect the user to fit the standard lens; that I think is wrong.
  8. IvorCamera

    IvorCamera Well-Known Member

    Well there is only one thing left for me to do now, when I am out next with my DSLR, I plan to press the factory reset buttons and see what happens.....
  9. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    One nice feature of the D2 and D3 is that once one camera has been customised to one's preference a copy of the settings can be saved on a CF card and then transferred to any other D2 or D3 at will. Unfortunately, but understandably, one cannot transfer settings from a D2 to a D3.

    The default settings are extremely valuable, not because they are "perfect" but because they are a common starting point for customisation. Trying to achieve personal preferences from someone else's personal settings would be a nightmare but starting from default makes the process, relatively, simple.
    Learning likes this.
  10. PhotoEcosse

    PhotoEcosse Well-Known Member

    ....but does anyone actually have four banks of custom settings and select the appropriate one for each photo (or set of photos)?

    When I got a D300 back in the day, I consulted Rockwell's website and set all four banks of custom settings to his recommendations. Then I adjusted A to my own liking and never used any of the others.
  11. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    I would guess that consumer models have defaults that will work straight out of the box on Christmas morning, compromise settings that will give a reasonable picture under most circumstances.
    Pro models set to basic settings, on the grounds that you're a pro, you SHOULD know what you are doing* and will change everything anyway?

    * or have a minion to look after that sort of thing... :rolleyes:
  12. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    The true value of factory defaults- and the ability to restore them - lies in the time when you change something on your camera but can't remember what you've changed and bugger the thing up completely.

    Cheers, Jeff
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  13. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Also when we create own preferences from scratch we are forced to study carefully what we are changing. Just using Thom's settings because he seems to know what he is doing would leave me still not knowing what I was doing. I like to keep settings on a dedicated CF or SD card (depending on camera) as well as the cards used for images. Its all too easy to format one's working cards and lose the settings file. Old slow and small cards will do.
  14. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    If you are using a Nikon DSLR then doing a two button reset will not reset everything. RTFM for the exclusions.
  15. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Sorry I thought that my previous post had disapeared. It hadn't.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
  16. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Default, except when I think a particular change might make the camera more usable, such as incapacitating one of the Nikon Df's useless dials or superposing the exposure histogram on the Leicas.


    Learning likes this.
  17. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    I'd stick to default initially until I found a reason to change something.
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  18. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    I don't read the manual while the battery charges. I read it on the interweb before even ordering the camera. Sure I will play wth the camera, and with a number of lenses, at default settings, but I will have it set up the way that I want it before using it. That does not contradict my view that a newomer to the instrument should be able to get good photographs, better than snap-phone snaps at defaut settings. It is credit to the industry that most users will not be disapointed.
  19. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    I guess that we would both be interested in an FM2nD, but should it have a rear screen?
    A rear screen would require an extra 3mm thickness plus extra buttons down the LHS in order to control it, and a bigger battery. The bigger battery would certainly add weight but if incorporated in a grip would be ok. I now miss a grip for the fingers of the right hand on the FM2n
    For those unfamiliar with the camera the only things you have to play with are
    • rewind knob and associated button to allow opening the back in order to load the film. Think much smaller catch to open a door in which to load a card.
    • Shutter speed dial.
    • Shutter release
    • Lever wind. Still needed to rewind the shutter and mirror unless much bigger battery and motors.
    • underneath a button to allow rewind of film.
    • on the back is a holder to accept the top off a film carton. Think ISO dial on a digital.
    • on the front is a mechanical delayed release.
    For some of what I do, I would hate it. But for portraiture and landscapes maybe ok.

    Would it sell? Perhaps not. How is that screenless Leica selling? Would I buy it? Probably not.

    Its not going to happen.
  20. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I have never used either D3 set to its default settings. Why? I already knew from the D2 that certain things were unnecessary, noises, post shooting preview, JPEG settings as I use only NEF. I simply sat down and copied all the settings from a D2X to the first D3, later, when I got the second one I copied the settings to a CF card and imported them.

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