Choosing a Shooting Mode

To choose a shooting mode, hold the I button and rotate the main command dial. The selected option is shown in the shooting display and control panel.

Mode

Description

P

Programmed auto (P (Programmed Auto))

Use for snapshots and in other situations in which there is little time to adjust camera settings. The camera chooses both shutter speed and aperture automatically.

S

Shutter-priority auto (S (Shutter-Priority Auto))

Use to freeze or blur motion. You choose the shutter speed; the camera adjusts aperture automatically.

A

Aperture-priority auto (A (Aperture-Priority Auto))

Use to blur backgrounds or bring both foreground and background into focus. You choose the aperture; the camera adjusts shutter speed automatically.

M

Manual (M (Manual))

You control both shutter speed and aperture. Choose a shutter speed of “Bulb” or “Time” for long time-exposures.

P (Programmed Auto)

  • In this mode, the camera automatically adjusts shutter speed and aperture according to a built-in program to ensure optimal exposure in most situations.

  • Different combinations of shutter speed and aperture that produce the same exposure can be selected by rotating the main command dial (“flexible program”).

    • While flexible program is in effect, a flexible program indicator (U) is displayed.

    • To restore default shutter speed and aperture settings, rotate the main command dial until the indicator is no longer displayed. Flexible program can also be ended by choosing another mode or turning the camera off.

S (Shutter-Priority Auto)

  • In shutter-priority auto, you choose the shutter speed while the camera automatically adjusts aperture for optimal exposure. Choose fast shutter speeds to “freeze” motion, slow shutter speeds to suggest motion by blurring moving objects.

  • Rotate the main command dial to set the shutter speed.

  • Shutter speed can be set to values between 1/32000 s and 30 s.

  • Shutter speed can be locked at the selected value (f4: Control Lock, g3: Control Lock).

A (Aperture-Priority Auto)

  • In aperture-priority auto, you choose the aperture while the camera automatically adjusts shutter speed for optimal exposure.

  • Aperture can be adjusted by rotating the sub-command dial.

  • The minimum and maximum values for aperture vary with the lens.

  • Aperture can be locked at the selected value (f4: Control Lock, g3: Control Lock).

M (Manual)

  • You control both shutter speed and aperture. Choose this mode for long time-exposures of such subjects as fireworks or the night sky (“Bulb” or “Time” photography, Long Time-Exposures (Mode M Only)).

  • Shutter speed and aperture can be adjusted with reference to the exposure indicators by rotating the command dials.

  • Rotate the main command dial to choose the shutter speed. Shutter speed can be set to values between 1/32000 s and 30 s or to “Bulb” or “Time”.

  • Aperture can be adjusted by rotating the sub-command dial.

  • The minimum and maximum values for aperture vary with the lens.

  • Shutter speed and aperture can be locked at the selected values (f4: Control Lock, g3: Control Lock).

Exposure Indicators

The exposure indicators in the monitor, viewfinder, and control panel show whether the photograph would be under- or over-exposed at current settings. The exposure indicators can be read as follows (the display varies with the option selected for Custom Setting b2 [EV steps for exposure cntrl]):

Display

[1/3 step] selected for [EV steps for exposure cntrl]

Optimal exposure

Underexposed by 1/3 EV

Overexposed by over 3 1/3 EV

Monitor

Viewfinder/control panel

The orientation of the exposure indicators can be reversed using Custom Setting f7 [Reverse indicators].

Exposure Warning

The displays will flash if the selected settings exceed the limits of the exposure metering system.

Extended Shutter Speeds

For shutter speeds as slow as 900 s (15 minutes), select [ON] for Custom Setting d5 [Extended shutter speeds (M)].

Long Exposures

At speeds slower than 1 s, the shutter speed displayed by the camera may differ from the actual exposure time. The actual exposure times at shutter speeds of 15 and 30 seconds, for example, are respectively 16 and 32 seconds. The exposure time will again match the selected shutter speed at speeds of 60 seconds and slower.

Auto ISO Sensitivity Control (Mode M)

If auto ISO sensitivity control (Auto ISO Sensitivity Control) is enabled, ISO sensitivity will automatically be adjusted for optimal exposure at the selected shutter speed and aperture.

Long Time-Exposures (Mode M Only)

The camera offers two options for long time-exposures: “Bulb” and “Time”. Long time-exposures can be used for pictures of fireworks, night scenery, the stars, or moving lights.

A 35-second exposure shot at a shutter speed of “Bulb” and an aperture of f/25

Shutter speed

Description

Bulb

The shutter remains open while the shutter-release button is held down.

Time

The exposure starts when the shutter-release button is pressed and ends when the button is pressed a second time.

  1. Keep the camera steady, for example by using a tripod.

  2. Hold the I button and rotate the main command dial to select mode M.

  3. Rotate the main command dial to choose a shutter speed of Bulb (“Bulb”) or Time (“Time”).

    Bulb

    Time

    Note that the exposure indicators are not displayed at a shutter speed of Bulb or Time.

  4. Focus and start the exposure.

    • “Bulb”: Press the shutter-release button all the way down to start the exposure. Keep the shutter-release button pressed during the exposure.

    • “Time”: Press the shutter-release button all the way down to start the exposure.

  5. End the exposure.

    • “Bulb”: Lift your finger from the shutter-release button.

    • “Time”: Press the shutter-release button all the way down a second time.

Long Time-Exposures
  • Note that “noise” (bright spots, randomly-spaced bright pixels or fog) may be present in long exposures.

  • Bright spots and fog can be reduced by choosing [ON] for [Long exposure NR] in the photo shooting menu.

  • Nikon recommends using a fully-charged battery, the supplied charging AC adapter, or an optional AC adapter and power connector to prevent loss of power during long exposures.

  • To prevent blur, use of a tripod or a device such as an optional remote cord or wireless remote controller is recommended.

Autoexposure Lock

Use autoexposure lock to recompose photographs after setting exposure for a specific area of the subject. Exposure lock comes in handy when the area used to set exposure is much brighter or darker than its surroundings.

  1. With the subject positioned in the selected focus point and the shutter-release button pressed halfway, press the center of the sub-selector to lock exposure.
    • While the center of the sub-selector is pressed, exposure will lock at the value metered in an area of the subject determined by the selected metering option.

    • An AE-L icon will appear in the shooting display.

    • If autofocus is enabled, focus will also lock.

  2. Keeping the center of the sub-selector pressed, recompose the photograph and shoot.

Locking Exposure with the Shutter-Release Button

If [On (half press)] is selected for Custom Setting c1 [Shutter-release button AE-L], exposure will lock while the shutter-release button is pressed halfway.

Metered Area
  • With [Spot metering], exposure will be locked at the value metered in a circle centered on the current focus point.

  • With [Center-weighted metering], exposure will be locked at the value metered in a 12-mm circle in the center of the display.

Adjusting Shutter Speed and Aperture

The following settings can be adjusted while the center of the sub-selector is pressed:

Mode

Setting

P

Shutter speed and aperture (flexible program; P (Programmed Auto))

S

Shutter speed

A

Aperture

  • The new values can be confirmed in the shooting display and control panel.

Exposure Compensation

Exposure compensation is used to alter exposure from the value suggested by the camera. It can be used to make pictures brighter or darker.

−1 EV

No exposure compensation

+1 EV

Adjusting Exposure Compensation

Hold the E button and rotate a command dial.

  • Choose from values between –5 EV (underexposure) and +5 EV (overexposure). Values between –3 EV and +3 EV are available in video mode.

  • At default settings, changes to exposure compensation are made in increments of 1/3 EV. The size of the increments can be changed using Custom Setting b2 [EV steps for exposure cntrl].

  • Higher values make the subject brighter, lower values darker.

  • E icons and exposure indicators appear in the shooting display and control panel. In modes other than M, the zero (“0”) at the center of the exposure indicator flashes. The current value for exposure compensation can be confirmed by pressing the E button.

    Monitor

    Viewfinder

    Control panel

  • Normal exposure can be restored by setting exposure compensation to ±0.0. Exposure compensation is not reset when the camera is turned off.

Mode M
  • In mode M, exposure compensation affects only the exposure indicator; shutter speed and aperture do not change.

  • When auto ISO sensitivity control (Auto ISO Sensitivity Control) is in effect, ISO sensitivity is automatically adjusted according to the value selected for exposure compensation.

Using a Flash

When an optional flash is used, exposure compensation affects both flash level and exposure, altering the brightness of both the main subject and the background; if desired, the effect can be restricted to the background using Custom Setting e3 [Exposure comp. for flash].