Nikon D60 Digital Field Guide

Nikon D60 Digital Field Guide

by J. Dennis Thomas

ISBN: 9780470383124

Publisher Wiley

Published in Calendars/Photography

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Sample Chapter

Chapter One

Exploring the Nikon D60

In This Chapter

Key components of the D60

Viewfinder display

Shooting info display

This chapter covers the key components of the Nikon D60. These are the features that are most readily accessible because they are situated on the outside of the camera: the buttons, knobs, switches, and dials.

If you are upgrading or switching from another dSLR, some of this may be a review, but there are some new features that you may or may not be aware of, so a quick read-through is a good idea even if you are an experienced Nikon dSLR user.

For those who may be just beginning in the world of dSLRs, this chapter is a great way to get acquainted with some of the terms that are used in conjunction with your new camera.

So fasten your seatbelts, and get ready to explore the D60!

Key Components of the D60

If you've read the Quick Tour, you should be pretty familiar with the basic buttons and switches that you need to do the essential settings. In this section, you look at the camera from all sides and break down the layout so that you know what everything on the surface of the camera does.

This section doesn't cover the menus, only the exterior controls. Although there are many features you can access with just the push of a button, oftentimes you can change the same setting inside of a menu option. Although the D60 doesn't have the same amount of buttons as some of its bigger siblings in the Nikon line, it does have quite a few of them. Knowing exactly what these buttons do can save you loads of time and help you get the shot.

Top of the camera

The top of the D60 is where you find some of the most important buttons and dials. This is where you can change the shooting mode and press the Shutter Release button to take your photo. Also included in this section is a brief description of some of the things you find on the top of the lens. Although your lens may vary, most of the features are quite similar from lens to lens.

* Shutter Release button. In my opinion, this is the most important button on the camera. Halfway pressing this button activates the camera's autofocusing and light meter. When you fully depress this button the shutter is released and a photograph is taken. When the camera has been idle and has "gone to sleep," lightly pressing the Shutter Release button wakes up the camera. When the image review is on, lightly pressing the Shutter Release button turns off the LCD and prepares the camera for another shot. * On/Off switch. This switch, located around the Shutter Release button, is used to turn the camera on and off. Push the switch all the way to the left to turn off the camera. Pull the switch to the right to turn your camera on. * Mode dial. This is an important dial. Rotating this dial allows you to quickly change your shooting mode. You can choose one of the Digital Vari-Program modes, one of the semiautomatic modes, or you can choose to set the exposure manually.


For a detailed description of all of the exposure modes, see Chapter 2.

* Exposure compensation/ Aperture button. Pressing this button in conjunction with spinning the Command dial (the Command dial is the wheel on the rear of the camera) allows you to modify the exposure that is set by the D60's light meter or the exposure you set in Manual exposure mode. Turning the Command dial to the right decreases exposure, while turning the dial to the left increases the exposure. This button also doubles as the Aperture button when the camera is set to Manual exposure mode. Pressing the button while rotating the Command dial allows you to adjust your lens aperture. Additionally, when pressing this button in conjunction with the flash mode you can adjust your flash exposure compensation by rotating the Command dial. * Active D-Lighting. Pressing this button and rotating the command dial allows you to quickly turn on and off the Active D-Lighting function. Active D-Lighting helps to keep your highlights and shadow areas from being too dark or too light in high contrast situations. * Focal plane mark. The focal plane mark shows you where the plane of the image sensor is inside the camera. When doing certain types of photography, particularly macro photography using a bellows lens, you need to measure the length of the bellows from the front element of the lens to the focal plane. This is where the focal plane mark comes in handy. * Hot shoe. This is where an accessory flash is attached to the camera body. The hot shoe has an electronic contact that tells the flash to fire when the shutter is released. There are also a number of other electronic contacts that allow the camera to communicate with the flash to enable the automated features of a dedicated flash unit such as the SB-600. * Focus ring. Rotating the focus ring enables you to manually focus the camera. With some lenses, such as the high-end Nikkor AF-S lenses, you can manually adjust the focus at any time. With the kit lens you must set the lens to Manual focus using the Focus mode switch on the side of the lens. Rotating the focus ring while the lens is set to autofocus can damage your lens. * Zoom ring. Rotating the zoom ring allows you to change the focal length of the lens. Prime lenses do not have a zoom ring. * Focal length indicators. These numbers indicate which focal length in millimeters your lens is zoomed to.


For more information on lenses, see Chapter 4.

Back of the camera

The back of the camera is where you find the buttons that mainly control playback and menu options, although there are a few buttons that control some of the shooting functions. Most of the buttons have more than one function - a lot of them are used in conjunction with the Command dial or the multiselector. On the back of the camera you also find several key features, including the all-important viewfinder and LCD. * LCD. This is the most obvious feature on the back of the camera. This 2.5-inch, 230,000-dot liquid crystal display (LCD) screen is a very bright, high-resolution screen. The LCD is where you view all of your current camera settings as well as review your images after shooting. * Eye sensor. This sensor detects when you put the camera's viewfinder up to your eye. This is used to automatically turn off the shooting information displayed on the LCD and turn on the Viewfinder shooting information. * Viewfinder. This is what you look through to compose your photographs. Light coming through the lens is reflected from a single front-silvered mirror and a pentaprism enabling you to see exactly what you're shooting. Around the viewfinder is a rubber eyepiece that gives you a softer place to rest your eye and to block any extra light from entering the viewfinder as you compose and shoot your images. * Diopter adjustment control. Just to the right of the viewfinder, hidden behind the eyecup, is the Diopter adjustment control. Use this control to adjust the viewfinder lens to suit your individual vision differences (not every-one's eyesight is the same). To adjust this, look through the viewfinder, and press the Shutter Release button halfway to focus on something. If what you see in the viewfinder isn't quite sharp, slide the Diopter adjustment up or down until everything appears in focus. The manual warns you not to put your finger or fingernail in your eye. I agree that this might not be a good idea. * AE-L/AF-L/Protect. The Auto-Exposure/Auto-Focus lock button is used to lock the auto exposure (AE) and autofocus (AF). You can also customize the button to lock only the AE or only the AF, or you can set the button to initiate AF (this setting is in the Custom Settings Menu, CSM-12). When in playback mode this button can be pressed to lock an image to protect it from being deleted. A small key icon will be displayed in the upper left-hand corner of images that are protected.


For more information on the Custom Settings menu see Chapter 3. * Command dial. This dial is used to change a variety of settings depending on which button you are using in conjunction with it. By default, it is used to change the shutter speed when in Shutter Priority and Manual mode or the aperture when in Aperture Priority mode. It is also used to adjust Exposure compensation and change the Flash mode. * Multiselector. The multiselector is another button that serves a few different purposes. In Playback mode, the multiselector is used to scroll through the photographs you've taken, and it can also be used to view image information such as histograms and shooting settings. When in certain Shooting modes, the multiselector can be used to change the active focus point when in Single point or Dynamic area AF mode. This is the button used to navigate through the menu systems. * OK button. When in the Menu mode, press this button to select the menu item that is highlighted. * Delete button. When reviewing your pictures, if you find some that you don't want to keep you can delete them by pressing this button marked with a trashcan icon. To prevent accidental deletion of images the camera displays a dialog box asking you to confirm that you want to erase the picture. Press the Delete button a second time to permanently erase the image. * Playback button. Pressing this button displays the most recently taken photograph. You can also view other pictures by pressing the multiselector left and right. * Menu button. Press this button to access the D60 menu options. There are a number of different menus including Playback, Shooting, Custom Settings, and Retouch. Use the multiselector to choose the menu you want to view. * Thumbnail/Zoom out/Help button. In Playback mode, pressing this button allows you to go from full-frame playback (or viewing the whole image) to viewing thumbnails. The thumbnails can display either four images or nine images on a page. When viewing the menu options, pressing this button displays a help screen that explains the functions of that particular menu option. When in Shooting mode, pressing this button explains the functions of that particular mode. * Zoom in/Info display/Quick settings button. When reviewing your images you can press the Zoom in button to get a closer look at the details of your image. This is a handy feature for checking the sharpness and focus of your shot. When zoomed in, use the multiselector to navigate around within the image. To view your other images at the same zoom ratio you can rotate the Command dial. To return to full-frame playback, press the Zoom out button. You may have to press the Zoom out button multiple times depending on how much you have zoomed in. When the camera is "asleep" pressing this button displays the Shooting info. When the Shooting info is displayed, pressing the button again gives you access to the Quick Settings menu. When in the Quick Settings menu, use the multiselector to highlight the desired setting to change then press the OK button to access the options.


The Zoom in / Info display / Quick settings button is one of two buttons that has a green dot beside it. The other button is the Active D-Lighting button. Pressing and holding these two buttons at the same time for 2 seconds resets all camera menus and settings to camera default.


For more detailed information on the Quick Settings menu, see Chapter 3. * Memory card access lamp. Located just to the right of the Delete button is the memory card access lamp. This light will flash green when the camera is saving to the memory card. Under no circumstances should you try to remove the memory card when this lamp is lit. You can damage your card and/or camera and lose your images.

Front of the camera

The front of the D60 (lens facing you) is where you find the buttons to quickly adjust the flash settings as well as some camera-focusing options, and with certain lenses you will find some buttons that control focusing and Vibration Reduction (VR). * Flash pop-up/Flash mode/Flash Exposure compensation button. Press this button to open and activate the built-in Speedlight. Pressing this button and rotating the Command dial on the rear of the camera allows you to choose a flash mode. You can choose from among Front-curtain sync, Red-eye reduction, Red-eye reduction with slow sync, Slow sync, and Rear curtain sync. After the flash pops up, pressing this button in conjunction with the Exposure compensation button and rotating the Command dial allows you to adjust the Flash Exposure Compensation (FEC). FEC allows you to adjust the flash output to make the flash brighter or dimmer, depending on your needs.


For more information on flash modes see Chapter 6. * Self-timer/Function (Fn) button. By default, pressing this button activates the camera's self-timer. When the self-timer is on, the camera delays the shutter release to allow you to get into the picture or to reduce vibration caused by shaking the camera when pressing the Shutter Release button while the camera is attached to a tripod. This button can also be set to provide other functions. You can set the button to quickly change from single to continuous shot, image quality, ISO sensitivity, or white balance via the Quick settings menu. Pressing the Fn button and rotating the Command dial changes the settings for the specific function assigned. The Fn button can be assigned to a specific function in CSM 11.


For more information on the Custom Settings menu (CSM), see Chapter 3. * Lens release button. This button disengages the locking mechanism of the lens, allowing the lens to be rotated and removed from the lens mount. * Lens Focus mode selector. This switch is used to choose between using the lens in Auto or Manual focus. * VR switch. If your lens features Vibration Reduction (VR) technology, this switch allows you to turn the VR on or off. When shooting in bright light it's best to turn the VR off to reduce battery consumption. * Built-in flash. This option is a handy feature that allows you to take sharp pictures in low-light situations. Although not as versatile as one of the external Nikon Speedlights such as the SB-800 or SB-600, the built-in flash can be used very effectively and is great for snapshots. * AF-assist illuminator. This is an LED that shines on the subject to help the camera focus in dim lighting. The AF-assist illuminator only lights when in Single focus mode (AF-S) or Automatic focus mode (AF-A). * Infrared receiver. This allows you to wirelessly control the camera's shutter release using the optional ML-L3 infrared transmitter.

Sides and bottom of camera

The sides and bottom of the camera have places for connecting and inserting things such as cables, batteries, and memory cards.


Excerpted from "Nikon D60 Digital Field Guide" by J. Dennis Thomas. Copyright © 0 by J. Dennis Thomas. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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