In the following ten minute video, I go over the most important menu options that you can use in your camera when photographing landscapes. I start off by going over RAW image quality settings, then go over long exposure noise reduction setting, then picture controls and their impact on your images. From there, I move on to explaining how you can reduce camera shake by using specific camera modes and settings like timer, Mirror Up and Electronic Front Curtain Shutter.
Being able to quickly evaluate the sharpness of photos is also important, which is why I also mention the ability to instantly zoom in to 100% of the image by pressing a single button, then back to full view (see Nikon’s One-Click Zoom Feature article). In addition, it always helps to have particular settings that you use the most be available in one area within the camera menu, which you can achieve by creating your own custom menu (sometimes referred to as “my menu”). Back-button focusing is a useful technique to decouple focus from the shutter button and re-assign it to another button on the back of the camera, and this is what I cover next. With back-button focusing, you can use one button for focusing and another for taking a picture, so that your camera does not refocus each time you change the frame (which can be useful when shooting panoramas, time-lapses, doing night photography, etc). Lastly, you might be wondering what camera mode works the best for shooting landscapes. This one is a matter of personal taste. While I often use Aperture Priority for landscapes, some situations call for using Manual mode.
I hope you find the above video useful. If you have some additional tips and recommendations for camera settings when doing landscape photography, please let me know in the comments section below!
What are the benefits of shooting 14-bit colour—16,383 tones per channel—when the human eye cannot detect more than 200 tones per channel?
Stephen, you don’t shoot 14-bit color for the eyes – you shoot it for RAW file development and recoverability. Once image is post-processed, the output is an 8-bit JPEG file anyway.
Thanks for that. When I’m shooting action with my D500 I shoot in 12-bit because the file size is smaller and more manageable when there’s over a thousand images to process, and to be honest I cannot see a difference, but I think I’ll switch to 14-bit for landscape now.
I found a Nikon link stating the advantages of 14-bit recording over 12-bit.
Thanks again for your advice.
Great video, sensible settings – I am making these changes on my 5 Nikons. Thank you again.
Particularly important/helpful for my photography: use of lossless compressed files and distinguishing the settings that impact RAW images and ones that do not.
I was wondering about mirror shake: if I do long exposures, mirror shake should be a non-issue, right? If mirror shake happens for a small fraction of time, it doesn’t have an impact if my exposure time is eg 30 seconds, right? In other words, I won´t need to use mirror-lock-up?
Joe, yes, for very long exposures over several seconds, mirror shake is not an issue.
Hi, I am planning to buy a tripod. I was thinking of one which can be converted into a monopod also.
Can any body tell whether this type of convertible tripods are rigid for long lens??
I have never seen a tripod that converts into a monopod. Can you provide a link to the product?
I have an Oben AT3535 travel tripod. One leg plus the center column converts into a monopod. Here is the link to B&H. I don’t use it as monopod, however, because it’s too light weight and too cumbersome to set up. Here is a link to a Sirui. Actually, my impression is that there are several models.
I have a MeFoto tripod that converts to a monopod.
Thanks for the video. Even though my new camera – a used Fuji X-T1 – was not mentioned I discovered how to zoom in to check focus while reviewing a picture and the purpose of the noise reduction settings; I just hit the pause button and then search in my camera menu for the feature being discussed.
Not all of us who check out this very valuable sight are experts; I’ve watched two of these videos so far – the other by Cox – both have been helpful.
Dan, thank you for your feedback! We are going to be publishing a lot more videos going forward, many of which will contain a lot of useful information.
These are recommended settings for a photographer using RAW files. That’s not a given. There are many advantages to shooting JPEG.
There are exactly zero advantages for shooting landscapes in JPEG :)
I can take JPEG for noncritical portraits, maybe birthdays. But never landscape. Never.
I do not find this useful at all. Video is not the right format to pass such information. We need written “reference” type of information.
Sorry but this trend of videos is making me feel very disappointed about PhotographyLife which I have been following for many years.
JD, I completely disagree. It is refreshing to see this type of content posted on PL. There is a ton of written information right here mentioned/linked in the article itself and you can of course see those articles individually. It is your choice!!
Jozef, thanks for the feedback. In my opinion, the videos so far are not really approaching a “trend” or new direction for PL – more of dipping our toes in the water. After all, we’re only doing one video a week :)
Of course, it’s true that we have to spend some extra time to make each video, and for the first few weeks that meant perhaps one less regular article per week. But as we get faster making the videos, our goal is to publish the same number of regular articles as usual (actually more) in addition to the videos. And of course you’re free to read, watch, or skip over any content as you please.
It also is a good opportunity to catch up on the articles we link to below each video, if you may have missed them the first time around. Those articles don’t have the shiny newness of a just-now-published post, but I suspect that many of our readers haven’t have seen them all already. And they’re just as relevant to photography today as when they were first published.
I read a while ago that approximately 50% of poeple are “listeners” and 50% “readers”. I am a reader so prefer written instructions but listeners will generally prefer videos. (Perhaps I should call them “watchers”. Point is that whether you prefer written articles as opposed to videos depends on whether you are a listener or a reader.
Agreed. I prefer reading.
I agree one hundred percent!! It is time consuming and catches me wondering is this the best use of my time. In the case I find it interesting (Usually don’t listen to the end so rare occurrence!) then I would rather have text (letters) article I could download and save for reference. I now usually don’t waste my time on the these “ego” videos! As to the “a good opportunity to catch up on the articles we link to below each video”, if they are available as articles why do the videos?
Testing with my D810 shows I can use the EFCS with Mirror-Up and a 3-second delay.
This is a perfect solution to use EFCS without having to hook up a cable release.
I removed the lens and set Mirror-Up mode, EFCS=On and 3-second delay.
Trip the shutter and the mirror goes up and the shutter opens.
Trip the shutter a 2nd time with a 5 second shutter time, and the closing curtain comes down to complete the exposure.