One of the most important things is to know in detail how to operate your camera. Otherwise, you will not get the most out of it. It is not enough to read the manual from cover to cover or to buy one of the how-to books about your camera. You must know how each function operates and how to configure and activate them. In a series of postings, I will show how the D70 functions operate in the various camera modes. The D70 (as well as other Nikon DSLRs) operate in two sets of general modes: PSAM modes, where you are in control of all parameters and settings available, and Scene/Green modes, where the camera designers have bundled preconceived settings together in themes like sport or landscape. In the Scene modes, some settings are possible while others are not. In the tables, there will be different columns for PSAM and Scene so that you can see what is available in each mode. Further, the functions are divided into field settings (that you will do in the field between shots) and configuration settings (that you will do between sessions, not shots). The sign of an ergonomically well-designed user interface is that most of the first category settings are available through buttons, thus you don’t have to go through menus to change frequent settings. The less common configuration settings should be available in menus – otherwise you would drown in buttons. Any function available through a button is labelled Button in the operations tables, and any function available through menus is labelled CSM X for the number X is has in the Custom Settings Menu or labelled Shoot if it is found in the Shooting menu. The more Button and less CSM you find in the ordinary settings, the better designed the user interface is. Of course, it cannot all be buttons, there would be too many of them and that’s not good interface design. But my D3100, for example, is practically devoid of buttons. Well, no it’s not, but it feels like that with no ISO, QUAL, WB, etc. accessible through buttons, instead having to click through settings on the LCD screen.
The tables that looked really nice in the publishing tool used for the photo club magazine look awful on this blog. My apologies for that, but I don’t have the time for now to remake the tables into a format suitable for this blog editor.
Edit: the table posts have been removed for now. They will reappear in a more readable format later. In the meantime, you can view the tables without commentaries in a pdf file.