Firmware updates Coolpix P series
Nikon’s Coolpix P340, 530 and 600 have all had their firmware updated to V1.1.
This update is to stop a problem where the camera freezes when the camera is turned on while the shutter-release button is held .
You can get your cameras firmware on one of the links below.Coolpix P340Coolpix P530Coolpix P600in-my-viewfinder
Depth-of-field preview and function
What is it?
The depth of field button has been on hanging about on the right of your les for as long as Nikon has been making SLR’s. In fact this isn’t a feature and location that is just common to Nikon; as much like the shutter, photographers have become accustomed to dipping their middle finder down the side of the lens to quickly preview their depth of field (DOF) before popping off the shutter.
Starting off as a lever (As can be seen on F16CrewChief
s FE in the first image above) that me-chanically operated the shutter on early SLR’s for DOF preview. Some later cameras also had the meter operate at the same time the FE however uses the film advance lever for this (You can read all about this on the Buttons part I Power amp Shutter tutorial
. You would still need to press the exposure preview lever to get an indication to the exposure required.
Later auto SLR’s used a button that operated the aperture in the same way and later still, as the but-ton lost some of its significance, it became an electric button. Always on the right side of the lens, where you expect it to be. As the button came in so did its identical twin. Situated below the depth of field preview button it is a multi functional (fn) button that can be programmed to do a number of things. A nice and very useful idea so Nikon has been careful in the past to not let you have it unless you buy the more premium SLR’s. On later DLSR’s you may only get the fn button with a limited list of functions.
What does it do?
Well this buttons name is a big clue as to what it does. On any lens with an auto aperture, pressing this button or lever will set the aperture to whatever you set it to on the aperture ring or camera body as otherwise it is held at the widest possible aperture. This will darken the viewfinder as light is restricted and also give a preview of what the depth of field will be. It can be tricky to impossible to use in low light and high apertures though and with the shoot and review possibilities of digital SLR’s it is also becoming increasingly redundant.
This button does have two big tricks up its sleeve though to keep the photographer in the know ahead of the curve.
If you are shooting using the creative lighting system of Nikon speed lights your depth of field pre-view button is also a lighting preview button. As you press and hold this button the aperture will stop down as normal but at the same time your commander will tell all of your slave units to strobe. This will give you an indication of the direction and feel of your light as well as help you see that all of your strobes are being communicated to properly. This can be very helpful during the initial setup and when you get a “shy strobe” that you can’t quite identify during shooting. This feature needs to be turned on however in the custom settings menu E3 (D3x) and may not be available for all cameras.
The other trick is to give it another job entirely. Most DSLR’s (check your manual to see if you can to) will allow you to give this button other functions. In the custom settings menu scroll down to f5 and you will be offered two sub menu’s, one for the button on its own and another for using the button along with the thumb wheel. This is also where it becomes the same in operation as the fn button so you have in effect two fn buttons! This is great to have as there are never enough buttons for all the tricks this camera can do.
There is a huge list of genuinely useful and somewhat dubious options you can give this button that can either reposition existing buttons or offer one touch access to things like the virtual horizon on the D3x and similar high end frames. The list shrinks as you move down the camera range but this makes this button no less important to know about.
If you find yourself not using depth of field preview maybe try changing yours to something more useful:
Do you use allot of non CPU lenses? Then you can set one of these buttons so you can scroll though the non CPU lens list you have made.
Do you want to focus and recompose without having to hold the shutter button down? You can with AF&EV lock enabled on this button.
Do you need to change focus point when shooting using the portrait shutter and you don’t fancy that long reach to the multi selector? Then by setting this camera to AF area select you can use the thumb and finger wheels to move the focus point.
We could go on as the list is quite large. Even the D3200 gets ISO, Quality, Active D lighting and white balance to choose from.
Interestingly you can double up on this button by having the simple button press and button and wheel options enabled at the same time. In this way you can in effect get four customisable func-tions out of two buttons in easy reach of the shutter hand and not forgetting that the AE-L/AF-L button is similarly customisable.
So as you can see there are some great options here on a pair of buttons that seldom get touched. So maybe have a play in your custom menu’s tonight and see what setting is right for you?
When you have had a play and found a setting you love then there is a slightly different competition below that you might like to join.in-my-viewfinder
Change your function button and win *updated*
This month’s competition can be won without even taking a photograph!?!
Simply submit an image to this months project folder
telling us about what and why you have changed your functions and/or depth of field preview button to. The image doesn't have to be relevant to the button customization choice but it would be nice if it was.
If you don't fancy using up one of your suggestions then stick it as a comment on this journal.
All entries will be featured on next months journal and the best of them will be added to a poll and the top artist will get a full feature on the following journal in-my-viewfinder
Blurred is the word finalist poll
It’s time for you to pick the winner from our blurred is the word image contest
Have a browse through our great finalists images in this poll
and pick the image that you think best used image blur techniques for the best artistic effect.in-my-viewfinder