Switching up settings quickly on a Nikon for birding

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Gil
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#1
I found today that when shooting birds that there were occasions where I wanted to switch from shooting static birds on branches to taking birds in flight in a bright white sky.

Is there anyway to make moving up to a fast shutter speed of 1/1250 and simultaneously dialling in exposure compensation of +2.0 possible without having to spin selectors and press and hold buttons? I like how i can switch from single point focus to 25 point dependant on the button I use to continuously focus which is handy for when fast moving birds all of a sudden become the target, but how about all of the other settings. Can't I have some quick 'go-to' settings in terms of shutter speed and exposure compensation which I can switch to with the press of a button - or is it just getting practise and doing this quickly using the conventional dials?
 

Kodiak Qc

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French Canadian living in Europe since 1989!
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#5


On all my cameras, there are four tweakable menu banks that
I set…

A studio
B reportage
C night
D wildlife and sport
All I have to do now is to select the configuration I want.
 
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Fraser White
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#10
Gil,

Looking at your pics from Sunday that you say you were lucky with you don't need any added advantages! They are superb!

Sorry can't help on Camera settings.
 
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Gil Bev
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#11
Thanks for the recommendation on Steve Perry, I've just taken a look at some of his tip videos on youtube - and it's definitely given me some new things to try that i didn't know about. I'll also check out his autofocus tricks too. Looks like I'm stuck with spinning the wheels to get to increase the shutter speed and to dial in the exposure comp. I was hoping for a shortcut button which would take me there straight away :-(
 
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Eloise
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#12
As Kodiak says... the D500 (like other Nikon bodied with “pro” controls?) has Custom Bank instead of the U1/U2.
 
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Gil Bev
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Gil
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#13
As Kodiak says... the D500 (like other Nikon bodied with “pro” controls?) has Custom Bank instead of the U1/U2.
Can you easily switch between banks with the use of a single button press on the camera body?
 
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Robert
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#14
Can you easily switch between banks with the use of a single button press on the camera body?
Some good info here...

Excerpt from below

AFTER YOU FINISH, to switch between banks :

- Press fn1 and keep it pressed …

- Turn the Main Command Dial ( to switch between banks )

- You will not be able to see which bank you are in your viewfinder but in the control panel.

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4009734
 
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#16
Can you easily switch between banks with the use of a single button press on the camera body?
No, though using the 'My Menu' option (which you can programme to a button) and including the relevant bank in 'My Menu' may help.
HOWEVER Menu Banks are not like U1/U2 in that they do not default to what you set ... if you make any changes while using them, those changes remain. Irritating!
 
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Steven
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#17
With the D500 there is the ability to enable "easy exposure compensation." This places EC on the unused command dial when available. So if you were in S/A priority modes the other dial will adjust EC w/o locating/pressing the EC button.

I also disable the "hold button" requirement for setting adjustments so I never have to hold them.

I don't think there's any way you could get it to boost both SS and exposure compensation automatically in the way you want... those are opposite exposure adjustments that don't quite make sense logically (I understand the situation). You might have better luck assigning a button to change the metering pattern. I.e. if using matrix metering as the default, a switch to spot/CW will narrow it and increase the exposure in a backlit scenario.
 
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GC
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#18
With the D500 there is the ability to enable "easy exposure compensation." This places EC on the unused command dial when available. So if you were in S/A priority modes the other dial will adjust EC w/o locating/pressing the EC button.
Well you learn something new everyday:)

I shoot aperture priority on the D500, just set up EEC and Hey Presto, my rear command dial now adjusts EC!

Thanks for the tip,

GC
 
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GC
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#19
No, though using the 'My Menu' option (which you can programme to a button) and including the relevant bank in 'My Menu' may help.
HOWEVER Menu Banks are not like U1/U2 in that they do not default to what you set ... if you make any changes while using them, those changes remain. Irritating!
:agree:

Got "My Menu" allocated to Fn2 on the D500, really speeds up access to the most used parameters.

GC
 
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Gil Bev
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Gil
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#20
I've been playing around with the settings on my camera tonight, and can see that the banks wouldn't really work for me as pointed out by gramps
if you make any changes while using them, those changes remain. Irritating!
This means shutter speed and EC are not saved as part of the profile - damn!!

I had a look at your suggestion @sk66
With the D500 there is the ability to enable "easy exposure compensation." This places EC on the unused command dial when available. So if you were in S/A priority modes the other dial will adjust EC w/o locating/pressing the EC button.
Seems like a good way to avoid having to touch the button on the top to increase brightness when you are faced with a bright white sky or even a bright blue sky, and your little bird is dark brown!! I'm not great at making accurate adjustments with the wheels when I'm in a rush to take the shot - which I'm guessing is where skill and practise comes in to play with how good a result you can get!! I also guess you're best deciding before you start whether you are going for static birds, or BIF rather than jumping from one type of photography to another.

Currently I shoot manual - so I have control of the aperture & shutter speed. I use ISO AUTO so the camera does the rapid changes for me with regards ISO - I've no time for that when I'm in a one chance situation.

I've thought about shooting aperture priority instead of manual for fast moving BIF - but if I go into aperture priority - I no longer have control of shutter speed and a high shutter speed is vital for fast moving birds (not sure if you can set a minimum shutter speed in this mode / or make the camera use ISO first up to a maximum value first before slowing down shutter speed). Also I notice that my ISO level isn't displayed in the viewfinder anymore (I have easy exposure compensation turned on). So I'm not sure what it's doing with my ISO at any given time. So maybe aperture priority isn't for me?

My dream scenario would be to switch from Manual to Aperture Priority easily and just have to worry about EC with shutter speed being predefined as minimum 1/1250 and AUTO ISO taking me up to the correct exposure where necessary based on my EC setting.
 
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Gil Bev
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Gil
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#22
You should be able to set this under the auto iso setting on your d500. Minimum shutter speed.

Dougie.
Ah yes, thanks for that. Just tested it out, and if I set a maximum ISO, and a minimum shutter speed in the AUTO ISO menu, the camera tries for that shutter speed until it runs out of ISO, then it reduces shutter speed, I think I'm closer to getting where i want to be!!
 
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Gil Bev
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Gil
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#23
Just found the 'Auto*' setting under Minimum shutter speed on the AUTO ISO menu screen which is supposed to base shutter speed on the focal length you are shooting at. Looks like dependant on your Max ISO setting - if you set Auto Minimum Shutter Speed to high, the camera will choose the highest shutter speed within the confines of the Max ISO. So prioritising a high SS over a low ISO - so it seems to max out ISO in order to achieve the highest SS. If I bring it down a step - it seems to be choosing a nice fast shutter speed for me around the kind of speed i want at 500mm

Perhaps if I always shoot in Aperture priority, and tweak the settings within the AUTO ISO menu - dependant on conditions on the day, I can be better prepared for changing to BIF - with the camera changing the shutter speed and ISO itself. All I need to worry about is aiming, and also increasing EC using the easy exposure compensation @sk66 spoke about!! I'm excited to try this out to see if makes things easier!!

I wonder if the banks will remember the settings within this menu? I could make bank A set to a higher minimum shutter speed with a higher max iso and bank B set to a lower minimum shutter speed and a lower max ISO. Hmmmm

Thanks @gramps, I've assigned my AUTO ISO menu to fn2 using the 'top item on in MY MENU' option!!
 
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Steven
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#24
For the auto min SS setting, each tick mark is a FL multiplier with the middle being 1x. next one left is .5x and right is 2x.

The only concern with the way you are setting things up is that EC will first increase/reduce the ISO rather than adjusting the SS... That's normally what you (I) want, but if the min SS is set higher than needed that means a higher ISO is being used. To prevent that you can set a lower max ISO... the camera will reduce SS below the minimum set once the ISO limit is reached.
 
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