Rodney Campbell's Blog

My Nikon D7000 Settings…

by on Mar.26, 2011, under Life, Photography

I’ve recently upgraded from my Nikon D90 to a Nikon D7000 D-SLR.

Since I’m a compulsive researcher and ADD list maker I’ve done some research on all those little settings which are available in camera and I figured I might just share the result of my detailed study and how I’ve setup my D7000 for daily use (basically all my default settings).

Firstly I should say that I primarily shoot in Aperture priority mode – basically because I like to be able to control my depth of field (or rather the lack of it) – possibly because I’m mostly taking shots of people, portraits or things.

So on to the D7000 camera settings I use…

Playback Menu:
Display mode: Highlights
Image review: On

Shooting Menu:
Image Quality: RAW
Color space: sRGB (default) (Adobe RGB)
Active D-Lighting: Off (Auto)
Log exp. NR: On
High ISO NR: Norm (Off)
ISO: ISO 100, Auto ISO, Max 6400, Min Shutter 1/60 (1/30)
Remote control mode: Quick-response remote

Custom Settings Menu:
a5 Focus point wrap around: On
a7 Built-in AF-assist illuminator: Off
a8 Live view/movie AF: AF-F
c1 Shutter Release Exposure Locking: Off (default)
c2 Meter Off Delay: 8s
c3 Self Timer Delay Setting: 2s
c4 Monitor Off Delay: 20s, 1m, 20s, 10s, 10m
c5 Remote on duration: 5m
d1 Beep: Off (default)
d2 Viewfinder grid display: On
d3 ISO Display: ISO
d6 CL Mode Shooting Speed: 3 fps (default)
d8 File Number Sequence: On (default)
e1 Flash sync speed: 1/250s (Auto FP) (if own external flash) < -- I only do this since I own an SB-600 flash which supports Auto FP high speed sync e3 Flash cntrl for built-in flash: Commander mode: TTL (if own external flash), Channel: 2 < -- I only do this since I own an SB-600 flash which supports wireless mode f1 Illumination Switch: Both f3 Assign FUNC Button: Top Item in My Menu f5 Assign AE-L/AF-L: AF lock only (AE Lock (Hold)?) f8 Slot empty release lock: Lock f9 Reverse indicators: -O+ Setup Menu:
Copyright Information: …

Setup MyMenu:
Setup -> Virtual horizon
Shooting -> ISO sensitivity settings
Shooting -> Long exp. NR
Custom -> e3 Flash cntrl for built-in flash
Custom -> a7 Built-in AF-assist illuminator
Shooting -> Active D-Lighting
Remote control mode

On top of this I also use the two User settings slots (U1 and U2) to store extra customised shooting settings for quick access (e.g. one tailored for Street Photography and one for tripod style shooting (night time, land and sea scapes, etc).

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32 Comments for this entry

  • Kristin R

    Thanks so much!! Any picture examples from your D7000?

  • Rodney.Campbell

    Yes – pretty much all my image posts since April 2011 have been with the D7000.

  • Jessica

    Your pics are amazing!!! I am a new D7000 owner and still playing around with it. There are so many settings and I am so confused with it all. This is also my first Nikon… I took it out yesterday for my first shoot and am happy but not completely satisfied. HELP!!! I shoot people mostly. Any tips?

  • Rodney.Campbell

    Hi Jessica, the main thing I can suggest is to keep shooting and practicing. I’ve been shooting with a D-SLR for about 2 years now and I still feel I’ve got way more to learn. It’s probably worth reading some material (books, tutorials) on basic things like exposure and how choice of focal lengths, aperture, shutter speed and so on will affect your images and basic ideas around composition, etc. In time with use you become more familiar with your camera and which features are actually useful to the way you shoot. As for shooting people – get the eyes (or at least the closest eye) in focus, get close to them and use limited depth of field (larger aperture, longer focal length, closer to subject, etc) to separate them from the background.

  • yuliang

    great , d7000 has been a good camera for me. but mine’s going for warranty soon!

  • najka

    Hi! I find your blog by Google D7000, AND i JUST READ ABOUT CAMERA LITTLE BIT.I am a ne owner of D7000 and frankly speaking lost a little bit with so many options. I set my settings what you’ve been suggesting. Any recommendation for new D7000 user?


  • dip23

    hi there! ive got a d7000 as well & i havent had time to play with it in order to know the effects, settings, etc. because of work.. & i am going to to blackpool tomorrow & take pictures during the night. i heard that they have got these lights which they are famous for.. can somebody help me with the settings i need to administer to my cam..thanks a lot

  • Ajith Prasad Edassery

    Thanks for this settings. I just bought my first DSLR which happens to be a D7000 and clueless on how to go about things. I did shoot a few pics in Auto mode but never dared to touch the setup menu except for date and time.

    The camera seem to be awesome as per hearsay and my personal experience on auto mode but I want to take pictures like you all. Any tips on which mode to upgrade from Auto to get started with portraits. A or S? I am frantically searching youtube as well but no clear explanation on when to use S and A. Btw, I signed up for a 2-day beginners program for end of Nov as well.

  • Rodney.Campbell

    Stepping up from Auto mode I’d probably recommend either (P)rogram mode or perhaps in my eyes mode ideally (A)perture Priority mode which gives you much greater creative control over things like depth of field – for general purposes. Each mode (e.g. (S)hutter Priority and full (M)anual have their purposes and are suited for specific shooting situations. It’s knowing which mode and what settings to use when and where for what type of look you want is the trick you learn with experience.

  • Ajith Prasad Edassery

    Thank you for the reply. Today I did some experiments with A mode 🙂 Waiting for the 2-day program to get some insights into when to use what. Also, I haven’t fully gone through the 250+ page manual yet. As you said, looks like I have to keep shooting with multiple settings 100s of pics to get hang of what each does.

  • Rodney.Campbell

    Yep as with many things improvements and familiarity just comes with practice 🙂 Good luck with your photographic learning – it’s certainly been a fun experience for me.

  • Tridib Biswas


    I am a newbie to D7000. I am facing issue when I using the “P” mode, The aperture and Shutter parameters are not changing even when I am changing the front and back dials.

    2: In the settings mentioned above , it would be nice if you could suggest the picture control options to be used in above settings , and , portrait, landscape and and for standard photography like school functions


  • Rodney.Campbell

    I don’t use Program mode myself but once you’ve metered you should be able to rotate (the back dial) to go through the available shutter/aperture combinations for the chosen exposure. NB: this only occurs if there are other available options (e.g. if it is too dark or too bright other options may not become available for a “correct” exposure).
    Picture styles don’t apply when shooting RAW (only for JPEG) so I don’t use them. I also don’t use any of the scene modes (like portrait, landscape, etc) as I primarily shoot in Aperture priority or sometimes Manual or Shutter priority – in these modes I’m basically controlling all the exposure settings myself (e.g. Aperture, Shutter, ISO, etc) and I set them appropriately for the type of scene I’m shooting (e.g. Landscape, Portraits or whatever). By appropriate I mean I’m thinking about how I want the image to look and set the settings I think will achieve that creative goal – this however is only something which comes with time and practice but it is a worthwhile exercise to experiment and see what does what so you learn how each of these parameters affect the creative and overall look and feel of the resultant images.
    Good luck with your photographic endeavours – it’s a fun learning journey…

  • Silvana

    Help. How do I set up my U1 or U2 settings?


  • Rodney.Campbell

    Hi Silvana – you basically setup the camera how you want it to operate and then go into the menu and go to the Setup menu (spanner icon) and select “Save user settings” and choose U1 or U2. Then next time you turn the main dial to U1 or U2 your camera will switch straight to that set of settings.

  • Joe

    Rodney, just got my d7000, loving it. Can you advise what picture setting you do for portrait or things? And do you adjust the sharpness, sat etc?

    I also set up my ISO auto and max 6400, but often the pic came out grainy, thoughts and advise?


  • Rodney.Campbell

    Hi Joe – I don’t use any specific picture style or any of the Scene modes. I basically shoot in Aperture Priority most of the time (probably > 80% of the time) and after that mostly full Manual and sometimes Shutter Priority. I do adjust many images in post processing – but the specifics of what I adjust depend on the type of image involved and what I’m trying to do with it. I don’t often touch Saturation in Lightroom but I do use Vibrance. Pretty much every image needs some Sharpness applied (but it’s usually fairly restrained for me) and sometimes I’ll do some selective sharpening/clarity (e.g. the irises of eyes in a tight portrait).

    Shooting at ISO 6400 will result in fairly graining images but the Noise Reduction options in Lightroom are very good and can recover a great deal. I don’t shoot at ISO 6400 all that often however – if it’s really low light I’m generally shooting on a tripod with long exposures and otherwise if I’m trying to shoot handheld indoors in low light for instance I’ll ensure I’m shooting with a fast lens (wide max aperture – e.g. f/2.8 or faster (e.g. f/1.4)).

  • Joe

    Rodney, thanks for your quick response. Can you advise what max and min setting I should do on Iso ? So on your A or s priority u normally just use the default standard mode, and adjust later? Thanks again

  • BryanP

    Hi RC,

    Just a quick question do you have a separate setting for nature / landscape shots? or the one you have above is the same one? Do you also adjust the color settings? (management, neutral, vivid and etc.)


  • Rodney.Campbell

    Hi Bryan, with Landscape I use one of my U1/U2 slots to store some settings specific to this type of shooting. Basically it locks ISO to 100 (turn off AutoISO) and uses Aperture Priority mode (starts at f/11), Long Exposure NR Off, etc. I shoot in RAW mode only so things like colour settings, D Lighting, etc don’t apply – they only apply when you are shooting JPEG images.

  • deepu

    hi…. Thanks …. for this setting …i am a new user in Nikon d7000. i was saved this settings in U1 in MANUAL settings (i always use M) . I am a Free lance wedding photographer (Beginner)could you give me some tips and tricks for indoor shoot and outdoor shoot. I was boat this camera 4 days before (d7000 and kit lens 18mm105g vr lens) right now i have this lens only…i looking to buy a prime and zoom lens but now little budget problem . i couldn’t take weddings in this camera, i staring this Sunday . I know good lens required for good photos .. but could you pls tel me good settings for wedding photographs(indoor and out door)in this condition.

    Thankfully Deepu

  • Rodney.Campbell

    Hi Deepu – I don’t shoot weddings however whilst lenses can make a difference you’re probably better off learning how to use the one you have properly before venturing into random other lenses without knowing their strengths and weaknesses. For indoor shots you’re probably going to eventually want faster lenses (larger aperture) – something like a short fast tele zoom (17-50mm) f/2.8 and a fast prime (50/1.4 or 50/1.8 or 85/1.8). These same lenses will also be useful outdoors as well.

  • find out here now

    Thanks a lot!

  • arrêter de fumer

    Hello there, I found your blog by the use of Google while looking for a comparable subject, your website got here up, it seems great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  • kinglazar

    I recently just purchased my Nikon D7000. I saw your beautiful photos. Stunning! I do have a question, what photoshop program do you use? Or, what photoshop program would you recommend to someone that is user friendly please. Thank you.

  • Rodney.Campbell

    Thanks – I use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for pretty much all my photo management, editing and output.

  • susie fleshner

    Hi Rodney! I bought my D7000 last week. Should I be using auto WB and auto ISO? I’m shooting in A mode.

  • Rodney.Campbell

    Hi Susan – there isn’t any absolute rule on this…
    However if you shoot in RAW then Auto WB is what I use (because you can always change it later without penalty). If you’re shooting in a known lighting condition you can of course choose the “correct” white balance at shooting time and you won’t need to change it in post.
    I find Auto ISO however an excellent tool and I use it a great deal. There are of course situations where I turn it off (like shooting long exposures, or almost any time I’m on a tripod, or when I want a slow shutter speed (panning for instance), etc)

  • Rolland

    Excellent website you have here but I was curious if you knew
    of any forums that cover the same topics discussed in this
    article? I’d really love to be a part of group where I can get feedback from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Cheers!

  • sara

    just upgraded from d3000 to d7000 im struggling with the d7000. I feel like im not getting what i want. backgrounds too bright. cant get the same results with the same settings on the d3000. Shooting at 130pm in sunlight. photos look a little green and im lost on the ISO typically I shoot at 200 in the sunlight and 400 in shade with the 3000 but with my 7000 they look like crap. HELP!!!

  • Rodney Campbell

    Hi Sara – what mode do you normally shoot in – Full Manual, Aperture/Shutter Priority, Program, Auto, etc? On the D7000 the base ISO is 100 and I’d suggest going with that – but if you’re shooting manual and used to a camera with a base ISO of 200 and moving down to 100 you’ll have to compensate with a stop of light somewhere else (aperture/shutter).

  • Bettyann Roderman

    Oh Thanks , that realy great

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