Our perception of any piece of technology is greatly influenced by it’s ease of use and overall user experience. For example, when I bought my first DSLR, my decision came down to Canon vs Nikon. I tried Sony, Pentax and Olympus and didn’t like them for one reason or another, but I knew that I could be happy shooting with either Canon or Nikon. How did I finally end up making my decision? The menu system. I preferred Nikon’s menus and navigation over Canon’s, so I bought a D40. Now, eight years and tens of thousands of dollars later, I’m still a Nikon guy, all because of the difference in menu design.
In this article, I’m going to share a few simple tricks that I’ve picked up over the years that make using my Nikon a little bit easier. To some of you, these might be completely obvious and old news, but to others they might very well change the way you view and use your camera!
All images shown are from the D800 menu. Your menu may look a little different.
1) Formatting Memory Cards
If your camera has two memory card slots, you’ll usually want to format both memory cards before you start shooting. Back in the days before I learned this trick, here’s how I used to format my memory cards: format my primary memory card, turn off the camera, take it out, turn the camera back on, format my secondary memory card, turn off the camera, put my primary back in, turn the camera on and then start shooting. Do you format your memory cards this way, too? Well, time to stop it! Here’s a much faster and easier way to format both memory cards without ever having to turn your camera off:
- Hold down the two buttons marked as “Format” in red to format your card.
- Notice that on the control panel (top screen), one card is flashing. This is the card that you are about to format.
- Go ahead and format that card by pressing the two buttons again.
- Now, hold down the two buttons to format your card. Notice the same (primary) card is still flashing.
- Turn the command dial (rear wheel) one click. Notice that the card that’s flashing has changed to your secondary card?
- Go ahead and format that card.
- That’s it! Now both of your cards have been formatted in about half the time as the old way.