A. Basic Nikon D7000 settings

Level:Special knowledge

All the basic settings of the D7000 summarised and clearly explained. They cover what is helpful or necessary before you start shooting.

Choosing your camera mode

Nikon D7000 Betriebsartenwähler

What | The camera mode transforms the D7000 into either a straightforward, easy-to-use camera or a sophisticated tool for advanced and expert photographers.

It determines the overall behaviour of the D7000 – whether and how it makes adjustments automatically, and what you can or have to adjust manually.

Where | Select the camera mode with the wheel at the top left.

The individual camera modes

AUTO and Nikon-Symbol Blitz aus: Easy to use full automatic mode, with flash switched on/off automatically resp. permanently off.

SCENE: Scene modes = also fully automatic mode, but optimised for typical shooting situations or image effects.

Nikon has provided the D7000 with 19 (!) different scene modes. To select one, turn the rear dial in camera mode SCENE and watch the display on the camera monitor.

P, S, A, M: programmed auto, shutter priority, aperture priority and manual control – the camera modes for advanced and expert photographers

You need to use them if you want to take full control of manual settings. They differ in how you control aperture and shutter speed, I explain this in the chapter about exposure.

U1, U2: Here you can permanently save one of the other camera modes – P, S, A, M or an automatic one – together (almost) all camera settings as you would prefer to find them as defaults. Two sets of your preferred settings instead of Nikon's.

The ”U“ stands for user defined settings.

In U1/U2 you can try out settings at will or change what you need for your photos – a turn of the dial to another camera mode and then back to U1/U2 always brings all settings back what you have saved.

Attention: The exposure metering must be active, watch if the the LCD display shows exposure time and aperture. If not, briefly touch the shutter release button.

If you turn the camera mode from U1/U2 to another and back again when the exposure metering is off, the current settings will not be reset to your saved values.

I suspect this little trap is a software bug. It makes no sense and the original manual directly from Nikon does not mention it.

Also turning the D7000 off and on does not reset the current camera settings to your saved values.

Assign favourite settings to U1/U2

What | If you are familiar with the D7000 and know which combinations of settings you like to use, you can make your camera a personal tool tailored to you. U1/2 then include

  • one of the other camera modes
  • (almost) all camera settings with values you choose.

How & where | The assignment of U1 and U2 is done in the system menu Save user settings.

  • First set your desired camera mode – P, S, A, M or one of the automatic modes. If you prefer to shoot in P, you can also start in U1/U2, they are identical with P in Nikon's default settings.
  • Change the settings that you don't like in the shooting menu and custom settings menu to your favourite values. Below is a detailed list of what the D7000 will and will not save with U1/U2.
  • Go to the system menus Save user settings and save the current state as U1 or U2 mode.

Later you can adjust details in your U1 or U2 mode with the same process: Start in U1/U2, change what you want and write your changes permanently intu U1/U2 with Save user settings menu.

More details | U1 and U2 really do save almost all camera settings: Exposure control, shooting menu, all custom settings menus and everything that can be accessed with a button on the body and the dials. 

It is clearer to list the settings that are not permanently saved, they are: 

  • Four items in the shooting menu: 
    • Multiple exposures 
    • Interval shooting 
    • Folder 
    • File names 
  • Playback menu 
  • System menu 
  • The few settings with purely mechanical switches on the camera and lens.

Reset camera mode U1 or U2 | This can be done with the system menu Reset user settings if required. It restores U1 or U2 completely with Nikon's default values and camera mode P.

Diopter adjustment of the viewfinder

If you wear glasses but want to use the camera without them, you can set a correction of the viewfinder image for your personal visual acuity. The inconspicuous wheel at the top right of the viewfinder is responsible for this.

The best way to do this is to point the camera at a bright, preferably low contrast background and turn the wheel until the fine lines in the viewfinder appear with maximum sharpness for you. Or you can focus on any subject by pressing the shutter release button and turn the small wheel until the viewfinder image has maximum sharpness.

If the viewfinder image remains strangely out of focus, this wheel may have turned inadvertently, e.g. from rubbing against a camera bag.

Reset camera settings

What | A number of common camera settings – not all! – can be reset in one stroke with a reset. In camera mode U1 and U2 these are the values you last saved, otherwise Nikon's default settings.

How & Where | Find the two buttons with a green dot next to them, bottom left and top right. Hold both down at the same time for about two seconds until the LCD display flashes briefly.

More details | The reset includes a number of settings that are commonly adjusted depending on the shooting situation:

  • Picture quality and size
  • White balance
  • ISO sensitivity
  • Autofocus settings
  • Exposure metering, correction and lock
  • Flash settings
  • Picture Control
  • Multi-exposure, bracketing and ADL will be turned off.

A more complete reset including all menus and to your, not Nikon's, default settings can be achieved with the camera modes U1 and U2 described above. I use them and prefer to turn the wheel for the camera mode forth and back to do a reset.

Adjust monitor brightness

You can adjust the monitor brightness in the setup menu LCD brightness.

Format memory card

There are two options how to do this:

  • Mit Tasten am Gehäuse:
    • Die beiden Tasten mit einem roten FORMAT-Symbol neben sich – links oben und rechts oben – gleichzeitig gedrückt halten.
    • Wenn das LCD-Display blinkt und du zwei Speicherkarten in der Kamera hast, mit dem hinteren Einstellrad die erste oder zweite zum Formatieren auswählen.
    • Beide Tasten ein zweites Mal gedrückt halten, bis du auf dem LCD-Display kurz For als Bestätigung des Formatierens siehst.
  • Using buttons on the camera body:
    • Press and hold the two buttons with a red FORMAT symbol next to them − top left and top right − simultaneously.
    • If the LCD is flashing and you have two memory cards in the camera, use the rear dial to select the first or second one.
    • Press and hold both buttons a second time until you see For briefly on the LCD to confirm formatting.
  • In the system menu, select the first item Format memory card.

The D7000 considers the upper memory card as the first, the lower as the second.

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