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Nikon D7000 - advice needed on how to use it

Discussion in 'Help Team' started by PhotoclickPaul, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. PhotoclickPaul

    PhotoclickPaul Well-Known Member

    I need an urgent lesson in the basics of using the Nikon D7000. Can anyone here help please?

    I bought a D7000 today :cool:and the battery is already charging up :D.

    I have to use the new camera - my first DSLR - almost straight away.

    Obviously, I can't learn everything about it tonight but any advice on how to get it working quickly to do some photographs would be greatly appreciated.

    I do not know whether to use RAW or JPEG (nor do I know how to choose between the two on the D7000).

    Once that is decided I just want to know about settings (i.e. for photography in dull weather) and how I switch between 6 fps and just one shot each time I take a picture.

    I notice that the D7000 comes with a disc - presumably software for the computer to be used for downloading photographs I take. Do I have to download this onto the computer before I can actually use the camera to take pictures this coming weekend? I don't mind waiting a couple of days to do that - this weekend's pictures are a greater priority.

    My lenses are: Nikon AF Nikkor 70 - 210 mm (old lens), Nikon AF Nikkor 24 - 50 mm (old lens) and the Sigma 10 - 20 mm (new - purchased today with the D7000). The memory card in the camera will be the SanDisk Extreme 8 GB.

    If anyone can help me right now with essential points on how to learn quickly basic usage of the D7000 I would be most grateful. I appreciate that it comes with an instruction book (of 326 pages) but I will not have the time to go through it at length tonight.

    Thank you.
  2. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    I haven't used a D7000, but I have a D300. It partly depends on the degree of control you want, if you want the camera to choose all exposure settings use Program mode, I wouldn't normally advise this, but if you want a quick start it may be the route to take. The iso can be set on camera easily enough as can the quality level. Some of the instruction book can be skimmed over in reality.

    You don't need the discs downloaded onto the computer to use the camera.
  3. IvorETower

    IvorETower Little Buttercup

    "Menu - Settings" you should be able to find one of the buttons that brings up a comprehensive list on the rear LCD.
    Use the so-called "D-pad" to navigate. I suggest you set it to shhot in RAW plus Fine JPEG. You can always process the RAW files later on when you have come to terms with the basics. You don't need to do anything with the CD before you can use the camera or transfer photos to a computer; I recommend removing the memory card from the camera and transferring using a card reader anyway.
    Your choice on setting ISO to auto or selecting it manually for each shot; it will probably do "auto ISO" if you use the scene modes anyway, other than that, try starting off using it in "P". Note that you will need to raise the flash manually in this mode if you want to use it. Default shutter operation should be single-shot.
    You will need to work out which focus mode you want (central point, single-shot, continuous tracking etc).

    Oh, and congratulations on buying a great camera. I could only run to a D5100 last year, which is a sort of D7000-lite

    Edit: also have a look here:
  4. rjbell

    rjbell Well-Known Member

    I would shoot in raw+jpeg to start. I wouldn't bother with the fine option though its a waste of space.
  5. Alex1994

    Alex1994 Well-Known Member

    If you have a Kindle, there's a downloadable version of 'Mastering the Nikon D7000' by Darrell Young on Amazon. There's also a paperback edition.
    The book appears to be highly regarded.

    But you probably won't get through it in a hurry, it's almost 500 pages!

    Or you could always read the manual! :)
  6. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    the manual is your friend for camera info. Otherwise, in terms of basics, all cameras are the same and any starting book on photography, however old, will do. Essentially the only differences are that with digital the film speed can be altered shot-by-shot and the results (raw, jpg or tiff) viewed instantly.
  7. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    I don't know if this is too late to ask this. What kind of shooting are hoping to achieve.

    We might be able to recommend the best mode for that shooting etc.
  8. AndyTake2

    AndyTake2 Well-Known Member

    You don't need the disk immediately. It provides software which will help, but if you shoot raw & jpeg, you can view and edit the jpegs anywhere with just about any application.

    Shoot raw and jpeg. set the Jpeg to the finest setting - this will give you the best picture straight out of the camera. The raw images need to be saved to computer, and you can work on those later; but for now, just enjoy the jpegs and assume the raw files are for when you have got to grips with things.

    Just enjoy the camera. Read a couple of pages of the manual at a time, starting with the basic settings (was there a quick-start guide?) rather than trying to digest the whole book.

    Image quality (raw, jpeg etc) is selected by pressing and holding the Qual button (bottom left on the back of the camera - it has a + magnifying glass image on it) and then using the command dial (the dial where your right thumb sits) to change settings.

    Image quality can also be set by the menu system.
    Press menu and scroll with the D-Pad (up down left right arrows around the OK button) to the shooting menu (picture of a camera on left of screen) and then press right arrow on D-Pad to scroll down to the Image Quality, Image size, jpeg compression, and NEF (raw) recording and adjust each one as you desire.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2012
  9. surf_digby

    surf_digby Well-Known Member

    If you absolutely need to use it tomorrow, then I'd say (just this once!) to put it into Auto or one of the scene modes and concentrate on making sure you get the shots.

    The manual is indeed large, but a lot of is stuff that you don't need yet. The menu is also not as intimidating as it first looks.

    To change from 6FPS to one, there is a dial on the top left, with S - Cl - Ch - Q and some pictures on it. S is for single, Ch is for Continuous High Speed, which is your 6FPS. The other options on there are Quiet mode, self timer and remote control mode.
  10. frank1

    frank1 Well-Known Member

    Before you decide to shoot in raw do you have the software to open a raw file. Shoot jpegs for now if you have to ask the question you are asking. You should start at the beginning and read the instruction manual you won't find easy answers here. You'll find different ones and very good answers at that.

    What are you intending to shoot the manual will have the info you want to hand. Just shoot auto we'll forgive you even if you can't forgive yourself.
  11. PhotoclickPaul

    PhotoclickPaul Well-Known Member

    So, Nimbus - what would you normally advise (as an alternative to Program mode)?

    How do I find program mode on the Nikon D7000?

    Does these have to be set when the camera is set to auto?

    There seem to be two manual settings on the camera body - on the circular button (top left of camera) and the AF/M button on the front of the camera body. Does the AF/M button also have to be set to M (as well as the circular button the top left of the camera) if I want to do manual photography?

    Thank you for letting me know this, nimbus.
  12. PhotoclickPaul

    PhotoclickPaul Well-Known Member

    So I can take pictures in both? How do I set the D7000 for this?
  13. PhotoclickPaul

    PhotoclickPaul Well-Known Member

    As a newcomer to DSLR some terminology in the D7000 manual may need to be explained to me here.

    Thank you Alex, for the book recommendation.
  14. PhotoclickPaul

    PhotoclickPaul Well-Known Member

    I am new to DSLR, Pete. For now (this weekend's photography I have planned) I just want to know how to turn the Nikon D7000 on; whether to use manual or auto; what picture mode I have it in and how to find the list of picture modes (i.e. 'day', 'night', 'landscape' etc.) and how to choose between RAW and JPEG.

    On Sunday or Monday evening I will aim to download the Nikon D7000 software onto my computer and hopefully have some pictures by then in the camera to download.

    I know that it is going to take a while to learn how to use the D7000 but I am hoping I can get by with it this weekend with some basic knowledge. I just want some pictures from it. I have a pocket-sized digital camera which can hold up to about 1000 photographs and I shall be taking that out with me to this weekend as well as the D7000. My pocket-sized digital camera doesn't usually do very good zoom and certainly no wide angle but it can be very good for standard pictures.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2012
  15. PhotoclickPaul

    PhotoclickPaul Well-Known Member

    No it is not too late to ask - and thank you for asking and for your prompt and hepful reply.

    Countryside and buildings in daylight are what I will be photographing this weekend.

    My D7000 battery has been charged up and I have three lenses to use on it (zoom, standard and wide angle - as mentioned in my first posting to this thread).
  16. PhotoclickPaul

    PhotoclickPaul Well-Known Member

    How do I access a list of scene modes on the D7000, Digby? I think your advice is right for what I want to do today and tomorrow - Auto and landscape mode is what I need if I am able to find where on the D7000 I select scene mode.

    How do I turn the viewfinder on? Despite using the button to the left of the litter bin symbol (upper left, back of the D7000) I seem to still have to keep using the switch with the tiny orange circle on it (back of the D7000 above the letters 'lv').

    Very useful information. Thank you, Digby. I notice that to use this dial I think I have to press the little button near to it (top left of camera).

    What is Quiet mode for - is this an option which stops the camera from clicking or pipping loudly?
  17. PhotoclickPaul

    PhotoclickPaul Well-Known Member

    Do I have to get software to shoot in RAW? I had assumed that this option might have been included in the workings of the D7000.

    I have take several pictures with my new D7000. I don't know whether they are JPEG or not. I do not know how I set the D7000 for RAW or for JPEG. I am just taking pictures and hoping I will be able to download them onto my computer once the D7000 software is installed on the computer.

    At this point in time I just want to know:

    How to turn the D7000 on.
    How to get the screen to work and stay on.
    How to choose between RAW and JPEG.
    How to select scene mode.
    What settings to use and how to choose them regarding manual photography.

    I need to use the camera immediately.

    I have looked at the D7000 instruction book and some terminology in it may need to be explained to me here. I am new to DSLR and just want to get some standard photographs this weekend using one or all of my three Nikon lenses.
  18. PhotoclickPaul

    PhotoclickPaul Well-Known Member

    Thank you for this information, Andy.

    Your prompt advice on this is much appreciated, Andy.

    Just enjoy the camera. Read a couple of pages of the manual at a time, starting with the basic settings (was there a quick-start guide?) rather than trying to digest the whole book.

    I am very grateful for your above advice, Andy. I will try the menu first (as explained so well by you in the second of the two quotes above) later this morning. What image size should I choose? Is there an option to shoot in both RAW and JPEG at the same time? If there is, perhaps I should choose that although, if I do, would shooting in two different modes take up more space on the memory card?

    Perhaps, Andy, you might be kind enough to tell me what settings you would choose for landscape and building photography in daylight (with very little or no direct sunshine)? Thank you.
  19. frank1

    frank1 Well-Known Member

    Shooting raw requires software that'll be able to read the resulting images. I would imagine that the camera will have come with the software to do it. I don't use Nikon so I can't say for certain. You really have to get a grip here and sit down with your new camera and go through the process of trying it out with the manual to hand.

    Have you tried you tube for some tutorials ( that's only just popped into my head ) give it ago. Seems like you've jumped in at the deep end but if you used any kind of camera you should be able to grasp the basics. I shoot using aperture priority most of the time. It's the most common mode for landscape portrait mostly for things that are still. Some will just use manual preferring to have full control over the camera.
    You must have enough experience with a camera to know what your preferred mode of shooting is. Use that knowledge with the new camera. If you don't have this experience well have fun learning but don't expect things to happen over night. Also it's been mentioned already most of the functions in modern cameras will hardly ever be used . What you need to do is concentrate on what you know. The reason why I keep saying use the manual is finding someone that is using the same camera on here is a shot in the dark.
  20. PhotoclickPaul

    PhotoclickPaul Well-Known Member

    I have pressed the menu button on my D7000 but can - so far - find no option there titled "Settings".

    Thank you for your advice on this, Ivor.

    I hope the SanDisk Extreme 8 GB card in my new D7000 has formatted correctly. The instructions said at the end of the formatting process the display on the top right of the camera would say how many photographs the card might hold. But no such information appeared.

    Being new to DSLR (I bought my first DSLR camera yesterday) I am not familiar with ISO and I have no idea where on my new D7000 I can access the ISO setting.

    I've never heard of focus mode before :eek:. I don't think such an option exists on my pocket-sized digital camera. Can you tell me please where on the D7000 I find the list of focus modes?

    Thank you for your kind comment, Ivor. Had I not been able to get a D7000 my choice would have been the D5100. I like the viewfinder which can be moved to a different position. As you say, it is a camera which has much in common with the D7000.

    Thank you also for the link you gave in your last posting to this thread, Ivor.

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