H. Live view and movies

Level:Special knowledge

The complete Nikon D7000 settings for live view and video recording. Live view is the display of an image preview on the monitor instead of in the viewfinder; the D7000 then behaves differently and movie recording is only possible in live view.

Switching Live View on/off and adjusting the display

Switching live view on and off | Drag the live view switch above the red dot on the back to the right with your thumb to switch on an image preview on the camera monitor. A second time switches it off again.

The viewfinder image turns black as long as live-view is on. The mirror, which otherwise directs light upwards into the viewfinder, flips up to let it hit the image sensor.

Adjust monitor brightness | The Live View mode has a shortcut for this: Press the WB button with the question mark and at the same time the arrow keys up and down.

At the bottom edge of the monitor are a few symbols to illustrate and remind you of this.

Zooming in picture preview | The two buttons with the magnifying glass symbol let you zoom in and out of the image preview, just like in image playback.

Information displayed on the monitor | The info button switches between a couple of possible views with differing additional information:

  • Pure image preview, (almost) only supplemented by autofocus marking as well as aperture, exposure time, ISO at the bottom edge.
  • Grid lines − as in the viewfinder, with three additional vertical and three additional horizontal guide lines.
  • Virtual horizon − the pure image preview supplemented by an indication of whether the camera is aligned horizontally. Note also the green or yellow arrow at the top of the circle, it tells you whether the camera is tilted up or down.
  • Photo display with information for taking photos, recognisable by the file format at the top right.
  • Movie display with information for recording movies, recognisable by the camera symbol with remaining recording time at the top right.

Focusing in Live View mode

When photographing in Live View mode, the autofocus works completely different than when photographing through the viewfinder. In practice, this means above all: slower.

The D7000 focuses based on the preview from the image sensor instead of using special autofocus sensors.

Starting autofocus | The D7000 starts focusing when you tap the shutter button, as when shooting through the viewfinder. And possibly when you press the AE-L/AF-L button if you have configured it to start autofocus.

Focus tracking | The focus tracking is to be selected with the autofocus button and the rear command dial, just as when shooting through the viewfinder. However, the options are different:

  • AF-S: The D7000 focuses once as soon as you press the shutter button.
  • AF-F: The D7000 focuses continuously until you press the shutter button. Then it may take a moment until it is ready, the red mark turns green and after that, as with AF-S, the D7000 will not change focus as long as you keep the shutter button pressed.

AF-F is for recording moview, so if you start a movie shot, the autofocus will continue even if the camera is panned. And before filming, the D7000 tries to be permanently ready to start recording with proper focus.

Focus point selection | In Live View mode the D7000 always focuses on where there is a coloured mark in the image.

The focus point control to set this mark is in the shooting information as when shooting through the viewfinder, but offers a completely different selection:

Nikon-Symbol Porträt-AF Face-priority AF: The D7000 automatically detects faces facing the camera and focuses on them.

If it doesn't detect any, you can move the focus marker across the monitor with the direction buttons − even diagonally! − and immediately return it to the centre with the OK button.

The colour of the autofocus mark means:

    • Red: That is where the D7000 will focus at the next opportunity, it has not yet been able to focus successfully.
    • Green: It has been able to focus there successfully.
    • Yellow: The autofocus is tracking an automatically detected face.

Nikon-Symbol AF-Wide Nikon-Symbol AF-NORM Wide/normal area AF: Focuses on the rectangular mark.

The smaller focus area can be positioned more precisely, but gets caught more easily on places with low contrast where autofocus has problems.

The mark is red or green, with the same meaning as before.

Nikon-Symbol AF-MotivverfolgungSubject-tracking AF: The D7000 tracks a moving subject more or less reliably.

The colour of the autofocus mark means:

    • White: The D7000 is not yet focusing, aim the mark at your subject and press the OK button.
    • Yellow: The autofocus tracks the selected spot, the mark stays on it even when your subject moves back and forth in the frame.

The OK button also ends the subject tracking, then the mark turns white again and you can restart.

The same settings as with the autofocus button and the command dials are also possible in the custom settings menu a8 Live View/movie AF.

The OK button immediately returns the autofocus marker from anywhere to the centre of the screen.

Taking pictures in Live View vode

Also in live view mode you take a photo in live view mode with the shutter release button. It is normal that the shutter takes longer to release in live view mode.

You can adjust shooting settings such as white balance, exposure compensation, etc. in live view mode as when shooting through the viewfinder.

Recording movies in Live View mode

Start and stop movie recording | Movie recording is only possible in Live View mode.

The red button in the Live View switch starts and stops the recording. In the custom settings menu f3 or f4 you can also set up the Fn or preview button for this purpose.

The movie recording starts independently of the autofocus, you must ensure correct focus before and during filming.

During recording, it can also be useful to press the AE-L/AF-L button to start the exposure lock and, for example, to keep the brightness unchanged during a camera pan.

Movie settings | Several settings for video recordings are bundled in the shooting menu Movie settings:

  • Movie quality = frame size and compression as well as frame rate.

The available frame rates depend on the video mode in the setup menu.

  • Microphone sensitivity (optionally switching off the microphone)
  • Destination: on which memory card the D7000 stores movies
  • Manual movie settings: Allows manual selection of exposure time and ISO sensitivity for videos when the D7000 is in M mode.

Lastly, there is a menu that is relevant if you are filming abroad, where the frequency of the mains power is different from 50 Hz as in Europe: the setup menu Flicker reduction.

Electric light can flicker with the frequency of the mains power, which the human eye does not perceive, but it can cause flickering on movies. Telling the D7000 the correct mains frequency will help it to reduce flicker. The other frequency of 60 Hz is common in North America.

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