Camera Controls: Top Deck
Alright, next up on the top of the camera is the ISO button. And here's where we have our first subtle difference between the Z six, and the Z seven. The Z sevens native resolution is ISO 64. And for the Z six, that's ISO 100. And that native resolution is where you're going to get the best information on to the sensor. And so you can actually go to a low setting where if you were really wanting a slower shutter speed, you could drop it down. You can also raise it up quite high we have slightly different high levels of 25 thousand and 51 thousand between the two. We have high one and high two settings, which will kind of extend that ISO range even further. And so you're going to get to the ISO by pressing the ISO button and because this is one of those kind of two finger buttons, you have to press and hold the ISO button while you are turning the main command dial in the back of the camera. Now the sub option on this is , to turn the auto ISO on and off, and it's not quite as easy. Som...
etimes you have to reach up and press the ISO button with your thumb, and then move your forefinger around to the front the sub command dial and turn the auto on and off. And so that's how you can quickly turn the auto on and off. Now, kind of as a slight aside, the way Nikon cameras come from the factory is a bit of a head scratcher for me. And I'm not real fond of it One of the things is is that they have auto ISO turned on as a default, I guess for easy picture taking that might be fine. And so be aware of that. The other thing if you just taking your camera out of the box and you started shooting photographs, the camera is set to a very mediocre image quality level. And so you want to pay attention to the menu section when we start talking about image quality. But let's stay on ISO here. So let's take a look. I always like to run these cameras through a little ISO test just to see where would feel comfortable shooting on these cameras. Let's take a look first at the Z six. All right now in theory, the Z six with less pixels should be able to be good at a higher ISIL. And everything from 50 to 32 hundred is looking very clean. And so I've enlarge the section I'm looking at the dark areas, I'm looking at the highlights, and we're not really seeing any significant noise in here at all. Obviously, when you get up to the high settings, it's very noisy, 51 thousand is still pretty rough 25 thousand is pretty rough as well. But 12 thousand eight hundred is looking amazingly clean. I would think that you could shoot at 12 thousand eight hundred and shoot a book cover. You could shoot a double page spread in a magazine and it's it would look pretty good. And so obviously with ISO you want to keep it as low as you can as often as you can, but I don't think I would be too scared about setting that Cameras up to 12 thousand eight hundred. All right, let's take another look at the Z seven in this case. And we'll go through the same process of cropping and enlarging and we can go all the way down to ISO 32 here, up to 16 hundred looks very clean. Of course, when we get into the high one and two settings high two is really rough, they're pushing it, there high one is pretty bad. But it's amazing how good 25 thousand is for what it is for 45 megapixel camera. It's still not great, it's not that good. And so the top end here would be 64 hundred to 12 thousand eight hundred depending on your standards in there, and so it's only slightly worse than the Z six in my opinion. Now, one of the things that Nikon cameras have been known for is their exposure latitude, the range of shooting that they can shoot in between highlight and low light and how much can you rescue data from those highlights and shadows. So I want to test these cameras, if you were to miss the exposure, how much could you correct for it? And how good are the sensors and so what I did is I shot a whole bunch of photos, everything from five stops underexposed to five stops overexposed and then I corrected all of them to try to make them normal. Alright, so obviously the one that's shot normal is going to be the best. And the worst ones is the overexposed by five stops and then corrected in post production. Over three, four and five are really unacceptable in my opinion. But two stops over, I was able to resurrect most of the data quite well and this is from the Z six. Underexposed, five stops gets very noisy four stops is very noisy. Three is moderately noisy, but acceptable for a lot of situations I think, and under two stops was pretty good. And so it was pretty good at being able to raise up to two three stops under were Up to two stops overexposed. Running through the same test with a Z seven underexposed by five stops overexposed by five stops. The over three, four and five are horrible. Over two is a little bit rough and so maybe one, one and a half stops on the underside, under five under four pretty rough under two to three is looking pretty good in there. And so the cameras actually have pretty similar performance, which is surprising given the pixel difference between the two. It's fairly similar between the two but a little bit better range I would think on the Z six in some regards. But that is the trade off between the number of pixels and how big they are and how much light they can gather. Next up is the Exposure Compensation button on the camera once again, this is the button that you need to press in turn the back dial on the camera simultaneous And so this is used for making your pictures a little brighter or a little darker. And so you'll be able to turn that Exposure Compensation down to five stops below or five stops over and you will see the indicator or the Exposure Value in the viewfinder change. Now you can do this in third stop increments I'm showing you in the full stops, one stop over as an example or two stops under is going to look like that. Now these are mainly intended for modes where the camera has input over the final exposure like program Shutter Priority and Aperture Priority. However, and I think Nikon's the only camera manufacturer on the market that does this, you can use it in the manual mode. Now it doesn't do anything. If you set a manual ISO, shutter speed and aperture and then turn the Exposure Compensation dial as much as you want. It's not going to change the exposure But it does change where the indicator is on the light meter. And it basically fools the light meter and tries to tell it make everything darker or lighter than average. And so if you did like to manually expose and you just want to fool the light meter, make everything darker, you could do that. But be aware if you have done that, because it can be done manually and you may not want to be doing that. So generally you want to get that reset to Zero for standard shooting. All right, we have a Movie-record button which doesn't do anything when you are in the photo mode. It only works for recording video when you are in the video mode. And this becomes one of many different buttons on this camera that is programmable. So if you want to get in and customize this button, you can go into the Custom Settings Menu under F2 and there's going to be a whole bunch of buttons and dials that you can change on the camera and customize and so if you would prefer that Was your ISO button and you wanted to move that ISO over a notch. You could do that if you want to make it a focusing button, depth of field preview or a lot of other things you can reprogram it and seeing how it's not programmed with anything right now I think that's a button that is just asking to be reprogrammed in some ways for all of the still photographers using this camera. We have a control panel on the top of the camera, which will give you kind of a quick readout of your basic settings. This is just kind of convenient. As you're preparing your camera for the next shot to see what's going on. There's not a lot we can do with it, it's just kind of on we can go into the Menu system and we can control the brightness of this if you're shooting nighttime and you just want to darken everything up on the camera you can turn the brightness of it down or up if you need to cause you're shooting with it and really bright light you want to see it more easily. There's a little kind of funky mark right by that main Command dial and that is the Focal plane markets unlikely that you will ever need this. But if, for certain reasons with certain special lenses like Macro lenses or City lenses where you need to measure the distance from your subject to the focusing plane in the camera, that's where the sensor is in the camera. So if you need to have that for a technical reason, and then when you're playing back movies, there's a little speaker on the top so you can hear what the sound is from the movie that you have recorded. Next up is the Hot Shoe on the camera. This is where you can attach external devices, mostly flash, there's connections in there to electronically not to power but to communicate with the flash to send it correct triggering time and flash information as far as power. Nikon has many different good flashes and icons one of the strongest manufacturers when it comes to flash features and operation. And so with this camera, I would think a lot of people would be probably in the SB seven hundred to SB five thousand which are pretty powerful flashes that give you a lot of options. If you are using the external flashes, you can use an SC-29 core to get the flash off the camera, either a reachable distance or onto a bracket so that if you are photographing at an event like a wedding reception or some sort of corporate gig and you wanted to have the flash above the lens in all cases, you can have rotating flash brackets, and this will help keep the flash in the right position and automatic communication between the camera and the flash for all the power information that it needs.