Rodney Campbell's Blog

My Nikon Z7 Settings…

by on Jun.21, 2020, under Life, Photography, Technology

About a year ago I purchased a new Nikon camera body (the Nikon Z7)

It was to be a replacement for my full frame Nikon D750 D-SLR and my first foray into the mirrorless camp. One year in and the conversion, along with an accumulation of excellent Nikon Z series lenses, has been an outstanding success

I’m a compulsive researcher and ADD list maker so I’d done much research on all those little settings which are available in camera. Therefore I figured I might just share the result of my detailed study and how I’ve setup my Z7 for daily use (basically all my default settings)

Also for those who are interested I’ve previously published my recommended settings for the Nikon D90, D7000, D600 and D750

Note these settings would equally apply to the Nikon Z6 and many would likely also translate to the Nikon Z50

Firstly I should say that I primarily shoot in Aperture priority mode or Manual. This is mostly because I like to be able to control my depth of field – and because I’m mostly taking shots of landscape, people, portraits or things

So on to the Z7 camera settings I use… The following lists mostly show the settings I’ve changed which are different from the Nikon Z7 Defaults…

Z7 Settings:

Turn off touch shooting on the touch screen (only Touch AF On)
Release mode: Continuous L (2fps)
Monitor Mode Button: Prioritize viewfinder (Automatic display switch -> Viewfinder only -> Monitor only -> Prioritize viewfinder)

Z7 Playback Menu:
Display options: Highlights & RGB Histogram & Overview
Image review: On (monitor only) / Off (Default On)
Rotate tall: Off

Z7 Photo Shooting Menu:
File Naming: …
Image Quality: NEF (RAW)
Image size: RAW Large
NEF (RAW) recording -> NEF (RAW) compression: On – Lossless compressed
NEF (RAW) recording -> NEF (RAW) bit depth: 14-bit
ISO sensitivity settings: ISO 64, Auto ISO: [Max: 25600, Min Shutter: Auto]
White balance -> A Natural light auto
Set Picture Control: Neutral (Default Auto)
Long exposure NR: Off
High ISO NR: Low? (Default: Norm) – JPEG only
Vignette control: Off (Default: Norm) – tags RAW EXIF
Auto bracketing: AE bracketing (Default AE & Flash bracketing)

Z7 Movie Shooting Menu:
File Naming: …
Frame size/frame rate: 2160p25 (4K 25fps)
Movie quality: High
Movie file type: MOV
ISO sensitivity settings: ISO sensitivity (mode M): 64 (Default 100)
Set Picture Control: Neutral (Flat?) (Default Same as photo settings)
High ISO NR: Normal (Default)
AF-area mode: Auto-area AF (Default Single-point AF)

Z7 Custom Settings Menu:
a Auto Focus:
a2 AF-S priority selection: Focus
a9 Focus point wrap-around: Wrap (Default No Wrap)
a11 Low-light AF: On (Default Off)
a12 Built-in AF-assist illuminator: Off (Default On)
c Timers/AE lock:
c3 Power off delay: Playback: 10s/20s, Menus: 1m, Image review: 2s, Standby timer: 30s
d Shooting/display:
d1 CL mode shooting speed: 2 (Default 3)
d5 Shutter type: Auto
d9 Framing grid display: On
d10: Peaking Highlights: Peaking Level: 1; Peaking highlight color: Yellow
e Bracketing/flash:
f Controls:
f1 Customize i menu: See Below
f2 Custom control assignment: See Below
f3 OK button: Zoom 100% (Default RESET center focus point)
g Movie:
g1 Customize i menu: See Below
g2 Custom control assignment: See Below
g3 OK button: Zoom 100% (Default RESET center focus point)

i Menu for Photo mode:

Auto bracketingShutter typeSplit-screen display zoomWi-Fi connectionSilent photographyAF-area mode
White BalancePeaking highlightsMeteringApply settings to live viewVibration reductionFocus mode
i Menu for Photo mode

Button customization in stills mode:
Fn1: Press -> MY MENU (Default: White Balance)
Fn2: Focus mode/AF-area mode (Default: Focus mode/AF-area mode)
AF-On: (Default: AF-On)
Sub-selector: Focus point selection
Sub-selector center: Select center focus point (RESET) (Default AE/AF lock)
Movie [Rec] button: Auto bracketing

i Menu for Video mode:

Highlight DisplayFrame size and rate/image qualityMicrophone sensitivityWi-Fi connectionElectronic VRAF-area mode
White BalancePeaking highlightsWind noise reduction?Headphone volumeVibration reductionFocus mode
i Menu for Video mode

Button customization in video mode:
Fn1: Default: White Balance
Fn2: Focus mode/AF-area mode? (Default: Focus mode/AF-area mode)
AF-On: AE/AF Lock? (Default: AF-On)
Sub-selector center: Select center focus point (RESET) (Default AE Lock)

Z7 Setup Menu:
Time zone and date: …
Monitor brightness: -2 (Default 0)
Clean image sensor: Clean at shutdown
Copyright Information: …
Slot empty release lock: Lock (I want the camera to prevent me from taking a picture if a memory card is not installed)

Z7 Setup MyMenu:
Setup menu: Airplane mode
Setup menu: Format memory card
Setup menu: Non-CPU lens data
Setup menu: Monitor brightness
Setup menu: Battery info
Shooting menu: Choose image area
Shooting menu: Focus shift shooting
Custom Settings Menu: d4 Exposure delay mode (great for tripod use)
Custom Settings Menu: a5 Focus points used
Custom Settings Menu: a4 Auto-area AF Face Detection
Setup menu: Time zone and date

On top of this I also use the three User settings mode dial slots (U1, U2 & U3) to store extra customised shooting settings for quick access (e.g. one tailored for tripod style landscape shooting, one for tripod style long exposure/night photography and one for action photography). These U1, U2 and U3 slots start with the above general settings and have the following additional starting point customisations.

U3 – Landscape: Aperture Priority & f/8, ISO 64, Auto ISO Off, Single-Point AF (centre point selected) (Pinpoint AF?), Vibration reduction: Off, a4 Auto-area AF Face Detection: Off, a11 Low-light AF: On, c3 Power off delay: Playback: 20s, Menus: 1m, Image review: 10s, Standby timer: 1m, d5 Shutter type: Auto, d10 Peaking highlights: On/2

U2 – Long Exposure/Night: Manual & f/8, ISO 64, Auto ISO Off, Single-Point AF (centre point selected) (Pinpoint AF?), Vibration reduction: Off, a4 Auto-area AF Face Detection: Off, a11 Low-light AF: On, c3 Power off delay: Playback: 20s, Menus: 1m, Image review: 10s, Standby timer: 1m, d5 Shutter type: Auto, d10 Peaking highlights: On/2

U1 – Action: Aperture Priority & f/2.8, Auto ISO On [Min Shutter: Auto*2], Continuous-Servo AF (AF-C), Dynamic/Auto Area AF, RAW 12 bit compressed (increases buffer depth), Metering Center-weighted?, Vibration reduction: SPT (Sport), a1: AF-C priority selection: Release, a3 Focus tracking with lock-on: 4, a5 Focus points used: 1/2 Every other point, a6 Store points by orientation: On, a7 AF activation: AF ON only? (back button focus), d1 CL mode shooting speed: 5fps, d8 Apply settings to live view: Off, d9 Framing grid display: Off?


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