31 Steps to the Perfect Nikon D850 Setup

I have a Nikon D850 in my hands and it is time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 31 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box Nikon D850 ready for use.

  1. Charge battery
  2. Install neck strap
  3. Mount a lens
  4. Insert charged battery and power on the camera
  5. While looking at an in-focus subject through the viewfinder, adjust the viewfinder diopter until the view is sharp. To do this, pull out on the adjustment knob beside the viewfinder and turn it until the view is sharp. Then press it back in to lock the setting.
  6. Download and install any Nikon software you want to have available.
  7. Insert memory card
  8. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  9. Playback Menu: Display Options: RGB Histogram (I want to see the graph of individual channels)
  10. Playback Menu: Image review: On
  11. Photo Shooting Menu: Image Quality: RAW
  12. Photo Shooting Menu: Set Picture Control: Neutral with sharpness set to "1" and all other parameters set to "0" (this option provides a low contrast view and better shows available dynamic in the histogram)
  13. Photo Shooting Menu: High ISO NR: Off (Low is also a good option)
  14. Photo Shooting Menu: Vignette control: Off
  15. Movie Shooting Menu: Frame size/frame rate: 3840x2160; 30p
  16. Movie Shooting Menu: Set Picture Control: Standard with Sharpening = +2
  17. Movie Shooting Menu: High ISO NR: Low
  18. Custom Setting Menu: Autofocus: AF-C priority selection: Focus
  19. Custom Setting Menu: Autofocus: 3D-tracking face-detection: On
  20. Custom Setting Menu: Autofocus: Store by orientation: Focus point
  21. Custom Setting Menu: Shooting/display: ISO display: ON
  22. Custom Setting Menu: Viewfinder grid display: On
  23. Custom Setting Menu: Bracketing/flash: Bracketing order: Under > MTR > over (having my bracketed shots in brightness sequence makes post processing visually easier)
  24. Custom Setting Menu: Controls: Custom control assignment: Fn1: Viewfinder virtual horizon, RESET Select center focus point, Sub-selector: Same as multi selector
  25. Custom Setting Menu: Controls: Custom control assignment: f10: Assign MB-D18 buttons: Fn button: Viewfinder virtual horizon
  26. Setup Menu: Date and time: <use current>
  27. Setup Menu: Format memory card
  28. Setup Menu: Copyright information: <set as desired>, Attach copyright information: selected
  29. Setup Menu: Airplane mode: ON
  30. Setup Menu: Slot empty release lock: Lock (I want the camera to prevent me from taking a picture if a memory card is not installed)
  31. My Menu: Add items: Setup menu: Format memory card, Lock mirror up for cleaning, Focus shift shooting, Shooting menu: Long exposure noise reduction, Flicker reduction; Shooting/display: d5 Exposure delay mode
I of course make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot – including shooting in RAW-only format (highly recommended). While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will likely be returned in a reset-to-factory state (unless you request otherwise). If your camera ever needs reset to factory settings any reason (or you purchase a second model), you will be ready to restore your setup quickly while ensuring that you do not miss an important setting. Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera into service.

More Information

Nikon D850 Review

The Nikon D850 is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.

Rent the Nikon D850 from Lensrentals.

Posted: 2/10/2019 7:00:00 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
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