If you want complete control of your Nikon D750 you should really skim the whole manual and figure out for yourself what all the choices are. As a career engineer doing this is fun for me. If you take some time to do it I think you’ll have more creative choice when taking pictures and you’ll enjoy yourself more. If going through a camera manual is not an option for you feel free to use my choices as a starting point.
The settings below were made for my shooting style. I used these setting while employed as a photojournalist for about 12 months and published 157 images in various newspapers. This is part of a shooting technique that uses Manual Mode and metering mode Spot for exposure. It also uses back button focus. The techniques for exposure are explained poorly under the Learning Photography sections. I’d love to help you figure it out one-on-one. Message me here and we can set up a paid tutoring session.
Playback display options
My choice here is to minimize playback screens to only 2 to minimize time needed switch between seeing histogram, camera settings and the image in full screen.
- Focus Point (unselected)
- None (unselected) the default playback shows the image almost fullscreen
- Highlights (unselected) beginners should select this to see highlights being “blown out” or “clipped”
- RGB Histogram (unselected) Overview show the combined RGB
- Shooting Data (unselected) Overview shows the only info you need
- Overview (selected) be sure to scroll down to see this one
ON: Once a picture is taken the image will show automatically on the view screen.
Show next: It just makes sense.
OFF: Use all the pixels of the viewfinder to see vertically shot images. It’s hard showing clients an image on the viewfinder when the camera rotates the image.
DPOF print order
Note: This is missing from the manual on page 308.
Photo Shooting Menu
left as DSC
Role played by card in Slot 2
Backup: This is because when I either shooting RAW only or jpeg only and having the images backed up is important to me.
NEF RAW : Depends on what the images are for.
Large: Again, it depends on what you’re doing with these images.
Auto DX Crop
ON: This is missing from the Table of Contents for this menu and is found on page 111.
Size priority: When I shoot jpeg it’s because I need smaller file sizes.
NEF (RAW) recording
When I shoot RAW image quality is vastly more important then file size.
- Type Lossless compression
- NEF (RAW) bit depth : 14 bit
K or PRE based on speed of the session. For beginners I recommend switching between cloudy and tungsten during the photography session. I wouldn’t recommend AWB on my worse enemy.
Set Picture Control
Flat: This allows jpegs to come out of the camera without editing choices already made for you.
AdobeRGB: This only applies to jpeg captures. AdobeRGB captures a wider spectrum of colors.
Low: Based on reading how the feature works on page 175 and what I shoot. Kept at low should have some benefit in the shadows while minimizing noticeable noise.
Low: Based on reading how the feature works on page 315 a low should have some benefit in minimizing the distortion of lens vignetting while minimizing noticeable noise from the feature.
Auto distortion control
OFF: Recommended if you editing workflow removes these distortions. If it does not, and you don’t mind the camera possibly cropping your image, select ON.
Long exposure NR
ON: Based on being able to wait extra time for the camera to reduce noise on images taken with shutter speeds 1 second or slower.
High ISO NR
Low: Based on my workflow to reduce noise and not wanting the camera to overly edit images.
Iso sensitivity settings
- Iso sensitivity: set dynamically during image capture to control exposure
- Auto ISO sensitivity control – OFF: Based on wanting to control the exposure myself with information from the camera.
Remote control mode (ML-L3)
OFF: I don’t own a ML-L3
- Multiple exposure mode: OFF (turned on only when needed for harsh contrast)
- Number of shots: 3
- Auto gain: OFF
Interval timer shooting
OFF: turn ON to use the internal intervalometer
Movie Shooting Menu
I am primarily a still photographer. Movie shooting is not in a frequently used workflow.
- File naming: DSC
- Destination: Card 1
- Frame size/frame rate: 1080 / 24
- Movie quality: NORM
- Microphone sensitivity: Auto
- Frequency Response: Wide
- Wind Noise Reduction: ON
- Image area: Auto DX crop ON
- White balance: K
- Set picture Control: Flat
- High ISO NR : NORM
- Movie ISO sensitivity settings: Auto ISO control OFF
- Time-Lapse photography: OFF
Custom Settings Menu
a1 AF-C priority selection
Release: camera will take a picture when in AF-C when I press the shutter even if it’s not in focus.
a2 AF-S priority selection
Release: camera will take a picture when in AF-S when I press the shutter even if it’s not in focus.
a3 Focus tracking with lock-on
a4 Focus Point Illumination
- Manual focus mode: ON When in AF-M the AF point is displayed.
- Dynamic-area AF display ON: If in dynamic AF modes I’d see many AF points around an AF point being used with a dot in the middle. I don’t use dynamic AF modes.
- Group-area AF illumination (dots) In Group area AF the group shows up as dots. (Not applicable to my shooting method.)
a5 AF point illumination
Auto: Based on brightness of the scene the AF will be red or black.
a6 Focus point wrap-around
OFF: I select my own AF 99% of the time. So if I’m in a hurry and hit right on the multi selector too many times I don’t want it to select a left AF point.
a7 Number of Focus Points
AF51: the more available the more selective I can be when picking a AF point
a8 Store points by orientation
Yes: if composing a shot horizontally the AF is stored if I rotate the camera vertically
a9 Built-in AF-assist illuminator
OFF: It’s more important to my subject that they remain candid so a light flashing from my camera would deter from my photography. Choose ON if you photography non-living subjects or the attention from the light would not deter the type of photography you practice.
At this point it’s worth noting that I put my camera in Single AF mode by ensuring the AF Mode button (the one on the front of the camera below and to the left of the lens as the lens faces away from you) is in AF and then pressing the AF Mode button while simultaneously toggling the Sub-command dial. This is explained on page 125.
b1 Iso sensitivity step value
1/3: gives the most control in Manual
b2 EV steps for exposure control
1/3: gives the most control in Manual (It’s very important that b1 and b2 are set to the same value for equivalent exposures metering.)
b3 Easy exposure compensation
OFF: Not applicable to my exposure technique. Read page 334 to determine the best setting for you.
b4 Matrix metering
ON: Not applicable to my exposure technique. I always shot in spot metering.
b5 Center-weighted area
8mm: the smaller the more accurate the exposure value for my technique
b6 Fine-tune optimal exposure
Left alone: If the spot meter reads +1 it will tell me +1.
c1 Shutter-Release Button AE-L
ON: I shoot sole in Manual so this setting does not affect me.
c2 Standby timer
- Self-timer delay: 10 s
- Number of shots: 1
- Interval between shots
c4 Monitor off Delay
c5 Remote on Duration (ML-L3)
I don’t own a ML-L3 so I didn’t read about this.
d2 Continuous Low-Speed
d3 Max. Continuous Release
d4 Exposure Delay Mode
1s: When I lock up my mirror I’m typically on a tripod.
d5 Flash Warning
ON: Left on for situational awareness.
d6 File Number Sequence
XX: I rename files on import through Lightroom for all my work so this setting does not affect me.
d7 Viewfinder Grid Display
OFF: This is a great setting to leave on for the first few years of shooting photos.
d8 Easy ISO
OFF: I shoot sole in Manual so this setting does not affect me.
d9 Information Display
AUTO: It makes sense to let the color of the lettering change.
d10 LCD Illumination
ON: Battery life is not an issue with my battery workflow.
d11 MB-D16 Battery Type
LR6: Not applicable since I only use the EN-EL 15.
(If you’ve gotten this far then you’ve just realized this article was never finished. I left off bracketing flash, Controls and Movie)