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    Nikon D7000: How to manually control Shutter/ISO/Aperture (and more)
    D7000 Mini Video Tutorial ;)


    By default, changing shutter speed or ISO in the Live View only changes these settings for stills. In
    Shooting Menu > Movie settings > Manual Movie Settings
    this behaviour can be switched. To either control the stills settings or movie settings. (You can also watch this here at Movie > Shooting Movies in M mode ;))

    When controlling movie settings, the shutter speed is limited to at least 1/30 s (also when shooting 24p). Upper limit is 1/8000 s. (Do not forget to switch to M mode in order to have fixed aperture and shutter speed.)

    ISO can always be controlled manually in M mode if the manual movie settings are enabled. In A, S, and P the camera will chose the ISO value automatically except
    Shooting Menu > ISO sensitivity settings > Auto ISO sensitivity control
    is disabled.

    Why not leaving manual movie settings switched on all time? When shooting stills via Live Mode, with manual movie settings activated, there is still the 1/30 s limit. Longer exposures are only possible when a) leaving Live View or b) switching off the manual movie settings.


    The aperture cannot be changed in Live View unless you are using a lens with a manual aperture ring.

    If you are using a lens without an aperture ring, then leave Live View, change the aperture, and go back to Live View.

    If you use a lens with an aperture ring, then go to:
    f6 Custom Settings Menu > Controls > Customize command dials > Aperture setting
    When switching this to OFF, the aperture cannot be controlled with the sub-command dial, but with the aperture ring. (Thanks dfreerider for the hint.) On ON it would show «fEE» when manually changing the aperture with the ring – except on non-CPU lenses which are configured in Setup Menu > Non-CPU lens data. (Thanks macgregor for the hint.)

    Another point has been improved since the D90. The D90 allowed only a minimum aperture of around f/9 for movies, with the D7000 the aperture can be stopped down as far as the lens allows (f/22 or more).

    Auto-Exposure lock (AE lock)

    In P/S/A the D7000 adjusts the brightness automatically. To temporarily fix this, one by default needs to hold the AE-L/AF-L button. This is okay when shooting stills, but not for video. But the button can be assigned to «AE lock (Hold)» in
    f5 info > info > Assign AE-L/AF-L button
    which means that pressing the AE-L button enables AE lock, pressing it another time disables AE lock.


    In Live View there are two main modes in which the auto-focus can operate: AF-S and AF-F. The mode can be changed by pressing the button on the focus-mode selector switch (Yes, there is now an additional button on the switch where you change between manual focus and autofocus) and rotating the main command dial. The difference is that AF-S only focuses when pressing the shutter button halfway down, and AF-F constantly tries to focus. The sub-command dial changes between wide and small area, face recognition, and tracking. Latter tries to keep the focus on the focused point.

    The autofocus is ways faster than the D90’s and faster than the Canon 550D’s. And it is very precise for initial focusing. But since it does not focus straight at the correct focus point but first tests around a little, it is not so cool while recording videos. (Yes, AF-S and AF-F are possible while recording.)

    When not recording, the focus area can be enlarged with +/−. This is useful for ultra-precise manual focusing.

    The focus point can be centered by pressing the OK button (except in tracking mode where OK starts tracking).

    In manual focus, the focus rectangle will not indicate whether the subject is in focus or not. (This is different outside Live View: There are even arrows indicating in which direction the focus has to be corrected.)

    Picture Control

    Picture Control (controls sharpening, contrast, filter effects, monochrome, etc.) is available for video. Active D-Lighting is not.

    Picture Control settings can be changed with
    info > info > Set Picture Control
    when not in Live View. Custom profiles can be created in:
    Shooting Menu > Manage Picture Control

    To get an image that is as flat as possible, either chose the Neutral profile which is slightly less contrasty than Standard, or create a modified profile based on Neutral with lowered contrast. (Modifying Vivid would not even get close to Neutral.)

    Histogram? Audio monitoring?

    Histogram yes. But only when re-playing the video, and only for the first frame …
    So — no, neither of them. At least there is a stereo Mic In, and the mic level can be changed in
    Shooting Menu > Movie Settings > Microphone
    to three different levels, auto, and off.

    But how to still get correct exposure? The easiest way is to take a picture from Live View, with the same settings used for video, and looking at the histogram. The RGB histogram can be enabled in:
    Playback Menu > Display Mode > RGB Histogram
    For already taken movies it is possible to extract single frames and look at the histogram in post. This is done by pressing the ?/key button when replaying a paused video, chosing «Save selected frame», and pressing up.


    Another improvement over the D90: All display modes (can be toggled with the info button) except the default mode show the visible part in the video (the sensor is 4:3, not 16:9).

    Comments are welcome
    Last edited by Granjow; 02-19-2011 at 02:01 PM.

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    Thanks for this. I have a D90 and I'm contemplating the D7000. It sounds like all you really need to do is enable manual movie settings, keep your mode dial at M, and you will be allowed to freely adjust settings, other than aperture (which can be done before entering live view...using the optical VF to initially frame your shot as well) Am I right in assuming that in M mode the camera WON'T adjust brightness back and forth? Again thank you for the breakdown.

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    Exactly! With manual movie settings, the D7000 does not change anything automatically on M, even if ISO Auto is enabled.

    I really loved the D90 (except for the movie mode), but now I would never give my D7000 away anymore. It's better everywhere. (At least that is my first impression after 4 hours.)

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    This is realy good!
    As you've gone to so much detail could you add how to adjust picture control quality? or Auto focus options explained
    I think that this or a possibly updated version of this should be made a sticky.

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    I don't own a D7000 yet, but I believe you can change the apperture on manual lenses without getting the fEE error, by adjusting menu item F6 Controls/Customize Command Dials. If you set "aperture setting" item to "aperture ring" you will have full control of the aperture from the ring with no fEE error. This works in live view and recording mode. This I got from a discussion on another forum btw.

    And thanks for compiling a little tutorial. It will come in handy when my D7000 arrives next week
    Last edited by dfreerider; 02-14-2011 at 06:23 PM.

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    Good initiative!

    I own a D7000 and can confirm that you don't get the fEE error when you have a "aperture ring" lens, works great!

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    Wow, cool! I love f6 now. Thanks!
    (Please give me some reasons why not to buy another lens with manual aperture ring )

    @Marc updated.

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    These are the limitations of my D7000, that's why I bought my new GH2 mainly for video, Gh2's operation are so simplified and videos are very cinematic and wonderfull.. Now I used my D7000 mainly for still pictures, that's where it's unbeatable..

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    Senior Member bumkicho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Portage, MI

    It would be great if you post some comparison shots between D7000 and GH2. I personally liked D7000 video image better than GH13 despite D7000 lacking some video features. Not wanting to start any new debates or anything. I would just like to look at the footages of D7000 and GH2 side by side myself.


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    Senior Member macgregor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    There is sound level. ACtually you have 3 levels plus auto. There is no audio monitoring while recording though.

    And you should fix the "aperture" section, because you don´t need to do that work around. Just enable f6 and you´re ready to go.

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