Nikon DSLR Firmware Recommendations

When Nikon releases a new generation DSLR camera, it seems to often make little changes to the camera firmware. We typically see slight tweaks here and there, but every once in a while (especially when a new piece of technology makes it into the camera) we see some new interesting and useful features getting added into the camera firmware. In this article, I would like to point out current firmware issues that I believe Nikon needs to address, along with some recommendations (wishlist) on what Nikon should do in their future cameras. Or, perhaps Nikon might consider to implement some of the below firmware fixes/recommendations on current DSLRs – I am sure many of the Nikon owners would get excited about some of these requests.

Nikon DSLR Firmware Recommendations

1) Add DNG Support

As a Nikon shooter, you already know how painful it can be to constantly keep updating post-processing software, image codecs and photo viewing programs every time Nikon releases a new camera. Upgrading a camera should be easy and we as consumers should not have to go through this process every time. DNG has already become a universal format and companies like Hasselblad, Leica, Pentax and Samsung have already adopted it. Why not do the same? I am not asking Nikon to abandon its NEF file format. Just give us a choice to pick either NEF or DNG please!

2) Allow AF Fine Tune Calibration of Each Focus Point

Thanks to the recent Nikon D800 Asymmetric Focus fiasco, we now know that each autofocus point is calibrated at the factory during the QA process. We also know that Nikon keeps the ability to tune these AF focus points to their own calibration software. Why not add this capability to every advanced Nikon DSLR where AF fine tune is already provided? Sure, this seems like a headache to implement and could result in a some improperly calibrated cameras out there (due to user error). But for those of us who know what they are doing when it comes to lens and camera calibration, why not give this capability? Nikon would save a lot of money on not having to re-calibrate so many cameras. Adding this feature, of course, would not be an excuse for improperly calibrating cameras, but it would certainly make the AF Fine Tune feature way more useful.

3) Allow AF Fine Tune Calibration for Different Focal Lengths

Those of us that have attempted to calibrate zoom lenses know that one AF Fine Tune value is often not good enough for the whole zoom range. The AF Fine Tune feature would be a lot more useful if we had the ability to use different AF Fine Tune settings depending on the focal length of the lens.

4) Live View at 100% Pixel Level Should be Standard

Nikon’s implementation of Live View on the Nikon D90 was terrible, due to its interpolated output. Since then, Nikon has made many new cameras that had a 100% pixel view, which was very useful in obtaining precise focus on subjects. With the D800, Nikon brought an interpolated live view back (which is one of my biggest complaints on the D800). Nikon should fix this as soon as possible on the D800 and make 100% pixel level live view a standard on all future cameras.

5) Fix Custom Settings Banks

The Custom Settings Banks implementation on Nikon DSLRs is bad and completely impractical. I personally do not bother using them on any of my cameras, because I do not have the time to either switch them in multiple places (Shooting Bank and Custom Settings Bank), or constantly review the settings to make sure that they have not changed. First of all, memory banks should apply to all camera menu items. Second, these settings need to be “lockable”, meaning if anything gets changed, the setting should not get overwritten unless I want it to.

Ideally, there should be at least 4 custom setting banks, which can be selected from the camera with a button. I would then choose different banks with different settings depending on what I shot. For example, for landscapes, I would have a custom settings bank called “Landscapes”, where I would have Auto ISO turned off, ISO set to 100, camera mode set to Manual, focus mode set to Single AF-S, etc. For “Wildlife”, I would have Auto ISO on, camera mode set to Aperture Priority, focus mode set to AF-C Dynamic, etc. This would make the custom settings feature immensely helpful for different shooting scenarios. As of now, it is simply garbage.

6) Allow Long File Names and Numbers

We don’t live in DOS days anymore, so why impose the 8 character limit on files? Instead of allowing us to change the first three letters (“DSC” by default), which is clearly not enough to give an accurate description of what we are shooting, we should be allowed to type whatever we want for the file name. If I have a wedding of John and Stacy coming up, I should be able to name my files “John and Stacy” and let the system add numbers at the end. Or even better, I should be allowed to use templates for defining things like Month, Day, Year, Time, etc., so that I could name file names like “2012-08-01 John and Stacy Wedding 001.DNG”.

The bad news is, Microsoft gets pretty nasty with anyone trying to use long names or any of its patented file systems like NTFS. And due to the limitations of the old and obsolete FAT32 file system that Nikon uses in its cameras, we have a 4 GB file limit as well (that’s why your videos files get cut off at 4 GB). Hence, Nikon either needs to negotiate with Microsoft and license the NTFS file system, or say goodbye to Microsoft and use an open source file system. I vote for the latter. Yes, this adds a little more headache to transferring images to PCs and Macs, but if other companies do the same thing, support for both PC and Mac will become available pretty quickly. With the growing size of memory cards, using FAT32 file system is simply not practical. There is a waste of space due to 32K cluster size and file read/write operations are also slowed as a result.

7) Ability to Remap Dead, Stuck and Hot Pixels

It is quite normal for sensors to have dead, stuck or hot pixels. All of my Nikon DSLRs have these and if they did not in the beginning, they certainly added a few later. While hot pixels are nothing to worry about, dead and stuck pixels can spoil your images if you shoot in JPEG format (Lightroom/Photoshop automatically maps out dead/stuck pixels from RAW files) and can be really annoying when shooting videos. So for those of us that shoot JPEG or movies, ability to remap these pixels would be very helpful. Olympus has been providing this ability for a while now, so why not join the club?

8) Delete Files in Both Cards in Backup Mode

If you have ever tried configuring the second memory card slot for backup, you know how painful and inefficient it can be to delete images from both cards. When the camera is set to Backup Mode, deleting an image should automatically delete it from both cards.

9) Enhance Auto ISO with Auto Shutter Speed

When using Auto ISO, I often have to go back and update the minimum shutter speed when changing lenses. Wouldn’t it be nice to enhance this feature, so that the camera automatically sets the minimum shutter speed to something like the focal length of the lens? It would be even better, if it knew how to compensate for VR. Those values might not work for everyone, but why not allow to set what that threshold should be? For example, it would be great if I could pick from such selections as “Match Focal Length”, “Match 1.5x Focal Length”, “Compensate 3 stops with VR on”, etc.

10) Fix Exposure Delay and Self Timer for Good

The Nikon D800, for the first time, had one fix that photographers have been asking for years – it allowed to use Exposure Delay with a timer and it finally allows selecting the length of exposure delay (1 to 3 seconds). Now Nikon should add more delay options (4, 5, 6 seconds or more) and make this a standard feature on all current and previous Nikon DSLRs.

11) Focus Shift Compensation

Focus shift can be a real nasty problem on fast aperture lenses. It can be especially bad when mixed with other optical problems such as curvature of field, as I have shown in my Nikon 28mm f/1.8G Review. Nikon knows that a number of its lenses (including some expensive pro lenses) exhibit strong focus shift, yet does absolutely nothing about it. Compensating for focus shift can be done in two ways – Automated and Manual. For an automated focus shift compensation, Nikon needs to have a small database of focus-shift-prone lenses programmed into the firmware, so that when any of those lenses are used, the camera will automatically shift focus backwards. Different lenses exhibit different amount of focus shift, so this portion of firmware would have to be periodically updated (when new lenses are announced). Or if Nikon really does not want to maintain any kind of lens database in firmware, the second solution would be Manual – allowing photographers to dial a focus shift adjustment value in camera firmware. Similar to AF Fine Tune, the camera would store a number of lens profiles. We would then manually adjust each lens for focus shift and save it there.

What do you think about these recommendations? What other firmware changes would you like to see on your Nikon DSLR? Please share your thoughts below.


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Avatar of Nasim Mansurov About Nasim Mansurov

is a professional photographer based out of Denver, Colorado. He is the author and founder of Photography Life, along with a number of other online resources. Read more about Nasim here.

Comments

  1. 1
    ) Faizan

    I wish nikon software developers could see this article :)

  2. 2
    ) Bowman77

    Nikon firmware is a major weak point of actual DSLR and it is one of the causes Nikon lose entry level customers.
    Nikon has wonderful lens and bodies but lack of features.

  3. 3
    ) Jan Madsen

    I totally agreed with the above suggestions.
    Especially the custom settings banks are driving me nuts on my D300.

  4. 4
    ) another Steve

    100% agreed.
    I upgraded my old D300 to a D4 this year and couldn’t believe that many of those pain-points you mentioned, didn’t change in the last five years.
    :-((
    Maybe Nikon should go on making great cameras, but get some advice/input from outside regarding their software (like the Audi MMI improved greatly, since there were rumours of meetings with some guys from Cupertinho (yes, THESE guys) about five years ago).
    I believe even pros are willing to get used to some new menu-features – if these are intuitive. Not everything has to stay in the Nineties, because “it was always this way”

  5. 5
    ) OSeven

    Absolutely!! These are all great recommendations, tesekkurler Nasim! I don’t know if anybody from NIKON with decision making powers is reading this, but just in case, PLEASE PRIORIZE #5!!

    After paying so much to D800, and having sold my D7000, it is such a pain to and change every bit of setting just because I want to shoot my friend just after having shot the landscape. And I always end up forgetting at least one of the setting!!

    For example in my last trip, I used flash to compensate for the sun when I was taking loads of photos of my friend. When back home, I realized that I had forgotten the flash at commander mode from the shooting day at the studio…

    If the technology is available in the lower price models, why not just apply to D800? My guess is DX department innovated this and don’t want to share with the FX department?:) Reminds me of Sony’s biggest mistake – music division did not align with the electronics division, and they watched Apple set up the whole iTUNES store and reap the profits, instead of Sony who was much better placed…

  6. 6
    ) Radu Zaharia

    Number 9) is already done starting with D800 and D4 ;)

  7. 7
    ) Jay1001

    Nikon add DNG? Both Nikon and Canon are too arrogant to do this, so we get hundreds of Raw recipes added to Lightroom, Aperture et al due to manufacturer ego, no other reason. All these suggestions are great, but Japanese culture wil never see #1 happen. They think their own software is great, it’s not. Never will be. Way overdue that they offered DNG, but too much face at stake…

  8. 8
    ) wish I hadnt bought nikon

    Great ideas, but I cant see Nikon listening. They’re not listening about the D800 focus issues. Just spoke to a tech – he said that this want a service issue but a user preference issue. I’d like to send all my glass back as well as the camera.

  9. 9
    ) PaLa
    • PaLa, oh yes, I have already seen that. But that design rule was done with FAT32 in mind, which is the obvious problem here that needs to be changed.

      • 48
        ) Bratislav ILIC

        Actually FAT32 does support long file names (by using VFAT extensions) it is simple, efficient, robust and more then adequate (supports drives up to 2 terabytes in size) for use in cameras.
        As for DNG you could always use Adobe DNG Converter which is free, supports all latest cameras and is more flexible solution in my opinion.

        • It does, but if you read some of the lawsuits, you will see that Microsoft goes after anyone who uses those extensions. Essentially, the technology is there, but we cannot use it without paying a royalty to Micro$oft!

          And why should I spend the time converting to DNG, when the camera should be able to do it through its firmware? On top of that, why can’t Nikon come up with a way to store its proprietary data in DNG files, so that the information is preserved for Lightroom and Photoshop? I do not like using Capture NX for post-processing my images…

          • 50
            ) Bratislav ILIC

            Well there is no easy way to go around M$ … on Windows (and most of people are using this OS) you do not have an option but to use FAT32 or NTFS and it seams to me that NTFS is a bit too much for a camera.
            I am using Capture NX so maybe I should not be talking about DNG but Adobe DNG Converter is fast enough and you do copy images to computer so why not converting them in the process, and adding DNG support in firmware does cost if anything else it takes some memory away.
            As for proprietary data Nikon and Canon are hiding (and in encrypted form) I too do not really understand the need for this but I doubt their policy will change by embracing DNG format.

  10. 11
    ) Stefan

    Hi Nasim,
    EXCELLENT post as always!
    I couldn’t agree more with your prepositions for firmware update.
    Some of them I didn’t even realized myself, until I read them now and see how useful that would be.
    Thank you for that and let’s hope Nikon will implement at least few of those.
    Just please don’t do like KR (no offense to anyone), who states now that after Canon “heard all he said” and did all fixes “he requested” he now likes Canon more than Nikon, because they “didn’t do any of his recommendations”.
    :-))
    As of what I can add to the list – I own several Nikon DSLRs and also have the Sony NEX-7.
    I’m very pleased by some of the features and custom controls on the NEX-7, which I think should be implemented in Nikon DSLRs, at least the high end ones.
    Like:
    1) programmable/customizable buttons – I love that you can assign any function on any of the buttons in NEX-7. Reason? I shoot only in RAW and for example for me (I said for me) the WB and QUAL buttons are Totally useless. Is that hard to make those customizable? I don’t think so.
    2) Zooming to 100% with one click in Preview mode – In most of the cases I don’t want to gradually zoom in/out. It would save lots of time if I could simply press the zoom button once, see how it looks and click second time to return in full screen mode. Even better – they could offer instead pressing the button twice for zoom in/out to just hold – so while you hold the zoom button pressed it shows the image in 100%, when release – it’s going back to full size.
    You pretty much said all the rest I wanted to see changed.
    Thanks again for your article!

  11. 12
    ) David B

    What I see Nasim is that U have been using Canon 5d Mark Iii and enjoying its features because a lot of ur suggestions have been implemented in 5dm3. Some of the reasons that I traded my d800 for 5dm3 and never looked back

  12. As was said above, Auto-ISO and Speed idea is already implemented almost completely in the D800/E/D4. The only think missing is support for VR lenses. I was to go even slower with a VR lens compared to a regular lens.

    • 15
      ) Shawn

      It would be nice if they enabled an auto-VR correction for minimum shutter speed, but I’m not sure that would ever be very precise. Everyone’s handling technique with VR lenses varies some are more and some are less effective depending on user and even on the performance of the individual lens sample.

      As far as I know, you can bias the auto ISO for lens focal length in the D800/D4 by up to 2 stops (up or down). It probably should be up to 5 stops, since some of the current VR lenses are claiming a 4-stop benefit (I’m sure they’ll start touting 5 stops with the next generation of lenses).

      They’re also missing a combination minimum shutter speed and 1/focal length for those times when you’re using a zoom lens to shoot action, but not action that is so fast you need 1/the max focal length.

      Example: 70-300 lens, action freezes at 1/125. If I shoot below 125mm, I don’t want the shutter speed to drop below 1/125. Currently, it looks like I’d have to compromise and either bias the auto speed up a stop, lock in a hard 1/125, or stay above 125mm for framing.

      Heaven help the superzoom crowd!

      This option, as is, is pretty damn cool and I cannot wait until this trickles down into the “consumer” models!

  13. 14
    ) Don

    Thanks for the article. I agree 100%. Most devices in this electronic world can “hacked” or “jail broken” and modified to work the way a consumer would like. Has anyone ever tried to hack the Nikon firmware? Please comment if you have knowledge of this.

    • 16
      ) Shawn

      Don,

      There is an effort underway but it is in its earliest stages. Those engaged in it have made minor tweaks to the firmware (like removing the time limit for video recording).

      Their efforts are decoding and tracing through assembly language to decipher various functions. Every couple of months I read through their message board to see what is involved. It is very slow going.

      They are a long way from implementing any features that involve logic or interface. I’m not confident that they will get far enough before Nikon begins implementing some of these features on their own.

      What is promising is that one of Nikon’s new Coolpix is Android based. This might one day allow us to write or buy our own “apps” to drive our camera the way we want.

  14. 17
    ) Art

    Nasim , all of your suggestions for firmware updates would be highly welcome especially the one allowing correction of individual focus points as I was one of the unlucky ones with the D800 left focus issue. #7 Nikon already knows how to do because it is available on the Nikon 1 cameras (was one of the firmware updates), and #9 has been partially implemented on the D800.

    One thing I would love to see Nikon update is the ability for the user to program any button or dial on the camera to perform any function available. Some of Nikon choices of which buttons control what are highly undesirable. It would be nice for the user to determine which button controls what function.

    This may sound weird at first but the other thing that Nikon or any other camera manufacture should start doing is charging for firmware updates that add features. Most of us do not buy a new computer to run Photoshop 6; we just buy new software to upgrade the program and add those features we find desirable to have. I see no reason why cameras cannot be treated the same in this respect.
    I think that if we could buy a camera with basic features and pay for the features that we need or want, it would be winning proposition for the consumer and the manufacture. The consumer would get a customizable camera without a zillion features that clog up the menus and the manufacture would have an additional revenue source with the sale of the feature adding firmware.
    For example I very rarely use video on a DSLR but every new camera comes with it. So I am forced to pay the extra money for the video feature even though I do not use it. I would be more inclined to buy the camera in the first place if I could buy the camera without video at less cost than upgrade later if I wanted to add that feature.
    Also a lot of older cameras could have new features added at later in the future as technology progresses. I would love to have lockable custom setting banks or the enhanced auto ISO capabilities of the D800 on my D700 and would be willing to pay for those features. As seen recently with the Canon 7D old DSLR’s can be taught to do new tricks.

    By the way thank you for providing a wonderful source of information and discussion relating to photography. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.
    Have a wonderful day

  15. 18
    ) Lubos

    I would love to have chance to select different sizes of RAW files, same like we now have for JPGs. For example RAW files on D800 (Large – full size 36MPix, Medium – 24MPix, Small – 12MPix) would be ideal…

  16. 19
    ) Klaus

    I’d like to add two improvements to the whishlist:
    1. Add the change of orientation to the cropping function in the in-camera image editing menue. Rear dial changes the aspect ratio (as for now), while front should change orientation (currently not used).
    2. Add picture rating (as with View-NX) to the in-camery playback function.

    And with the current loss of trust with Nikon, thanks to the way they’re treating the D800 AF issue, I whish Nikon would at least try to gain back some customer loyalty when they opt towards significantly upgrading the value of cameras in field by firmware upgrades, which not only adress fixes for bugs which where in the camera at the time of sales or add support for latest lenses (which I find sadly is Nikon’s current position with firmware upgrades). Others, such as Olympus and Canon are more loyal to recent customers by adding features by firmware to even 4 year old cameras and thus do not ask for for buing new models just for that feature. Other improvements, such as AF-performance or sensor performance should be enough reason to upgrade to the latest line of products.

  17. 20
    ) Paul Corsa

    With all their tech know how, once you set up Copywrite info in a DSLR why can’t the Year update automaticaly on Jan 1? This should be an easy clock issue to program in, yes?

  18. 21
    ) Daniel

    Nice post. Three things come to my mind:
    – I would love to have the D4′s “E4: Exposure comp for Flash” option available for the D800 too, heck for all Nikon DSLRs. I was really surprised that the E4 option was a no-show in the D800 since it is a great feature.
    – In my D7000 I have two SD cards, why isn’t there an ‘alternate’ write option? Write one image to slot 1, then next one to slot2? This would well accelerate the write speed.
    – Would love to have an SDK (software development kit) for my camera so I can design my own graphical user interface. Yes, I can dream a bit, just a little bit, can’t I :-) Or maybe even write my on apps. How about a Nikon apps store. They provide the infrastructure to make my own apps and sell it on their portal and they get to keep 30% of the proceeds.

    I don’t have a Canon 7D, but it is really cool that Canon released 2.0 firmware update the other day that adds _new_ features to an _old_ camera! Would love to see Nikon doing this too!

  19. Good suggestions, here’s my take on it:

    1) Add DNG Support…absolutely correct.
    2) Allow AF Fine Tune Calibration of Each Focus Point….not sure about that one as it could encourage non competent users to bombard forums shouting foul when there is none!
    3) Allow AF Fine Tune Calibration for Different Focal Lengths… yes, but only on prime lenses unless a single focal length is required on a zoom. That would definitely, in my view, lead many down very perilous routes!
    4) Live View at 100% Pixel Level Should be Standard…as a new user to live view focusing I agree.
    5) Fix Custom Settings Banks….keep it, but instead make it functional by adding the U1/U2 settings from the D7000 and perhaps even make a U3/U4 too.

    What I want is a D400 with U1/2/3/4 setting and everything else as per D300s including fps, but with a 16-24Mp sensor. Seeing as the sensor will almost definitely be Sony and they produce a magnesium alloy body with a 24.3 megapixel APS-C size sensor capable of recording still photos at a rate of 12 frames per second, then why can’t Nikon. Bring it on!!!

    Richard

  20. 23
    ) Tony

    Hi Nasim,

    I have to say your proposal to allow AF fine-tuning per-focus point filled me with dread! I find it frustrating enough to have to do the fine tuning just for one focus point (and I remember you also making a similar claim not that long ago?). I just don’t want to have to waste more time on something that the manufacturer should have dealt with (I know it’s hard to ensure, but there should be no need for AF fine-tuning in the first place). Additionally, if Nikon provided such a feature they might use it as an excuse not to repair cameras.

    On the other hand, your suggestion of automatic focus shift compensation has been at the top of my wishlist for a while now (me personal AF fine tuning “Nemesis” is the 50mm 1.4G, with its well documented focus shift). It should be something that Nikon can incorporate reasonably easily, given that they already have lens profiles in the firmware for vignetting / CA / distortion / etc. correction.

    Nikon, are you listening?

    Regards,

    Tony

    • 24
      ) Klaus

      100% agree

    • 25
      ) Klaus

      100% agree!

    • 41
      ) Subidiom

      200% agree. :)

  21. 26
    ) wish I hadnt bought nikon

    Nikon, are you listening?

  22. 27
    ) Jan E Lunde

    Hi Nasim,

    Great suggestions. An option I really like on my D800 is the easy ISO, where you can rotate the command dial (not in use) in A or S mode to adjust the ISO. That’s very fast and handy in low light situations. This should be made available on other cameras too.

    About DNG. When I got my D800 I ruined some NEF files because they were uploaded using a former version of ViewNX on my PC. Why isn’t the old version of the Nikon software removed automatcally when you install a newer version? I finally got an updated Lightroom. I suspect Nikon don’t offer DNG format because they want customers to by Nikon software.

    Regards, Jan

    • 38
      ) Rory

      “Great suggestions. An option I really like on my D800 is the easy ISO, where you can rotate the command dial (not in use) in A or S mode to adjust the ISO. That’s very fast and handy in low light situations. This should be made available on other cameras too.”

      The bazaar thing is that this feature, which I love too, is not available on the D4.

  23. 28
    ) Harold

    Nasim, I think your item #5 (Shooting and Custom Settings Banks) should be the highest priority item. Its hard to believe anyone with any competence would release a product without some way to lock and password protect all the settings.

  24. How about more than 999 frames for timelapses. I mean, c’mon… the party is just getting started at 1,000! :-)

    • 34
      ) Manu

      hello,
      i am doing timelapse videos and i need to use the intervallometer on my D800′s . WHY can’t i do more than 999 pictures ?? i use an external 35,00 euros external intervalometer….cool ? not really !
      It seems so stupid to fix regarding major issues like the autofocus …

      Imagine when you have several cameras at the same time on a hazardous environment and you need to calculate how long it takes to reach 999 pictures. You won’t be able to come back meanwhile..

      Nikon makes me mad on the field

      • I use a Promote Control to get around many of these silly limitations (bracketing, intervalometers, bulb ramping, etc.)

        • 36
          ) Manu

          yes but it’s another step to have problems. I have 9 dslr at the same time. It’s easier to set up the intervalometer than the remote. .. it’ s my opinion

          • I honestly find the Promote Control easier to use than the built-in intervalometer. Better menu and LCD readout of brackets, dedicated buttons, etc. That being said, the rare times I want autoexposure I’m stuck with the built-in intervalometer. And I did recently have a shutter cable go bad that screwed up a timelapse, but that’s a rare problem. Buying 9 of them would be incredibly expensive of course, and even if the cameras were near eachother using a splitter to send the signal 9 directions would be a snakepit.

            Out of curiosity, what do you shoot that uses 9 at the same time? Do you keep them in sync?

  25. 30
    ) Michael

    I totally agree with most of the above recommendations.

    In particular, I would like the exposure delay to be 1,3 and 6 rather than 1,2,3 , even better would be a custom user delay up to 9 secs

    AF fine tuning across all sensors and various focal lengths on a zoom is critical with the d800 and is a must firmware option. I currently have two d800′s both with left focus problems, one us unusable with a TC 14e coupled to the latest 70-200 VR11 lens.

  26. 31
    ) Emilio Pavés

    I agree with your proposals and function very interesting and easy to implement:
    Post an AF-hyperfocal. The camera has all the data to do it and not think of anyone to put it.
    Additional SE with a DoF in the viewfinder.
    regards
    Emilio

  27. 32
    ) Simanta

    As regards to #5, Nikon’s MENU system really sucks. Presently I’m using the D800. A great camera with a horrible menu settings. Only the MY MENU option saves the day a wee bit.

  28. 33
    ) Aw

    Dynamic histograms. Why do I need to take a picture first before I can see whether my exposure is the way I want it? I’d like to know beforehand whether I have clipping on either side of the histogram. Canon has this even for their p&s cameras like the S95, G11, G12 etc.

  29. 42
    ) Andrew

    No, I think the af fine tune in different focal’s is most important, bicouse Nikon have lens like 80-200/2.8(non af-s, to rings) and 35-70/2.8 with factory bf in the long end….
    Andrew

  30. My #1 request would be to add a feature from the D800 to the D700. It’s the ability to turn auto-ISO on and off by holding down the ISO key and moving the front dial. I LOVE THIS FEATURE!

  31. 45
    ) Ryan

    12) bracketing in more than 1 stop intervals
    13) adjustable exposure/brightness of live view (so when your shooting at 1/250 with strobes to kill ambient the screen is not just pitch black)
    14) histograms based off raw data
    15) expose to the right metering mode (i.e. set so that less than x% of pixel are pure white)
    16) bracketing at the same exposure, i.e. same exposure different combinations of shutter speed and iso
    17) focus masking in live view (i.e. high contrast edges, which typically indicate focus are highlighted)
    18) ability to add a standard xmp/exif label to a photograph (like the 1-9 labels in viewnx) in camera
    19) a square raw crop, similar to the 5:4 but 1:1
    20) histogram with a scale
    21) ability to zoom in on histogram (especially in the top couple of highlight stops)
    22) specifically for the d800, return of proper matrix metering so the exposure does not depend on the focus point, effectively making everything like spot metering
    23) ability to have the camera move iso / shutter speed / aperture in 1/3 stops while the dials use whole stops
    24) the “blinking highlight” display to use the raw data rather than the jpeg

    A lot of these are nice to have the the biggest thing from a d800 perspective is to fix the exposure reporting problems. Having the camera report the highlights as blown out in the jpeg when they are not in the raw means that there is no way at the point of shooting to tell if the highlights are actually blow out in the raw file other than guessing that you have approx jpeg +1.5 stops more dynamic range.

  32. 46
    ) Mike

    Nasim, great points and the list can certainly be expanded.

    I have some questions and comments though:

    1. I agree, but the nef thing is mostly a non issue. Sure, you have to update software but it’s not like I update cameras every two months so this doesn’t bother me. I don’t think DNG is any better than NEF and I don’t convert my files to DNG on import to lightroom.

    2/3. Focus calibration for every point seems like overkill. Focus for different focal lengths is potentially useful. As you point out in #11 though, focus shift is likely going to throw off focus anyway so unless that is addressed 2/3 seem almost pointless (unless you shoot wide open).

    4. YES! My biggest gripe with the D800.

    5. Nice to have, sure. Would rather have U1/U2 like a D7000 on my D800.

    6. Doesn’t seem worth it, I rename on import to LR anyway.

    8. Yes, huge PITA otherwise.

    9. Doesn’t the D800 have this already?

    10. My D90 could do this, so can the D800. You don’t really need more than 3 seconds of exposure delay, if so use MUP or trigger from live view where the mirror is up anyway.

    Mike

  33. 47
    ) Jim

    With Cameras with dual card slots, being able to shoot an image in color in one slot and B&W in the other

  34. 51
    ) Evgeny

    I would like to add to the list that since a camera has already the distance information, focal length and F-stop number then why not to show DOF figure? It just a simple calculation and would help greatly to choose the right set up for a shooting.

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