Nikon D5300 Digital Field Guide

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Acquisitions Editor

Aaron Black

Project Editor

Cricket Krengel

Technical Editor

George Maginnis

Copy Editor

Kim Heusel

Director, Content Development & Assembly

Robyn Siesky

Vice President and Executive Group Publisher

Richard Swadley

About the Author

J. Dennis Thomas is an Austin, Texas-based photographer and the author of 20 Nikon Digital Field Guides by Wiley Publishing, as well as the author of Concert and Live Music Photography: Pro Tips from the Pit and Urban and Rural Decay Photography: Finding the Beauty in the Blight, published by Focal Press. He is also a frequent author of articles on photographic theory and technique for Digital Photo Magazine,, and his own website, the Nikon Digital Field Guide Online (

He is represented by Corbis Images and has done freelance photography for Rolling Stone, SPIN, and Veri.Live magazines. His photographs have been featured in many notable publications including Rolling Stone, SPIN, People, Us Weekly, Elle, W magazine, Thrasher, Ebony, New York Post, Veri.Live, and many more.

When not out photographing or in front of his computer writing about photography, he can be found gracing the stages of the Live Music Capital of the World and popping up randomly in films and television shows.

As always, to my girls Henrietta and Maddie…


These books wouldn’t be possible without the great team at Wiley working behind the scenes to put out a great product. My name is on the cover, but there are so many folks behind me that contribute to these books and I’d like to thank them all.

I’d also like to thank the folks at Precision Camera and Video in Austin, Texas, Jack and Monica Puryear at Puryear Photography, and Sigma USA for making great lenses.

Chapter 1: Exploring the Nikon D5300

Nikon’s 5000 series of cameras occupy a special niche within the Nikon line of cameras. The D5300 is the only camera in Nikon’s current lineup to feature the articulating Vari-angle LCD monitor. To make room for this handy feature the D5300 is designed differently from all other Nikon cameras, and the result is that there are fewer buttons and dials; many common features are accessed through the D5300’s menu.

Because the camera has been streamlined, many of the buttons and dials have more than one function, and it’s important to familiarize yourself with the layout and use of these buttons so that when you’re shooting, you’re not fumbling around trying to find the right button to access the features that you need.


Image courtesy of Nikon, Inc.

The Vari-angle LCD monitor is specific to the 5000 series of Nikon dSLR cameras.

Key Components of the D5300

As I mentioned previously, the D5300 doesn’t have the plethora of buttons and dials that other Nikon camera models do, so the few controls the camera does have are very important. Most of them perform numerous duties depending on the camera mode, so understanding how each control functions is key to controlling your camera quickly so that you don’t miss a shot.

The following sections break the camera features down into segments and go over each control.

The top of the camera

Most of the important buttons are on the top of the D5300. This makes it easier to find them, especially when you have your eye to the viewfinder. This is where you find the dial to change the shooting modes, as well as the all-important shutter-release button and the Movie record button.

The following list includes the controls/buttons on top of the camera:

  • On/Off switch. Located concentric to the shutter-release button, this switch turns the camera on and off. Push it to the right to turn the camera on or to the left to turn the camera off.
  • Shutter-release button. This is the most important button on the camera. It is a two-stage button. Pressing this button halfway activates the camera’s autofocus and light meter. Fully depressing this button releases the shutter, and a photograph is taken. When the camera has been idle, and has "gone to sleep," lightly pressing the shutter-release button wakes it up. When the Auto info display is set to On, half-pressing and holding it turns the Info Display off, while releasing it turns the Info Display on. When the image review is on, lightly pressing the shutter-release button turns off the LCD screen and prepares the camera for another shot.
  • Movie-record button. When the camera is in Live View mode (liveview2_fmt.png), you press this button (which has a simple red dot on it) to start recording video. Press it a second time to stop recording.
  • Exposure compensation (exposurecomp2_fmt.png)/Aperture (aperture_fmt.png) button. Press this button while spinning the Command dial to modify the exposure set by the D5300 light meter when it is in the Programmed auto (programmedauto2_fmt.png), Shutter-priority auto (shutterpriorityauto2_fmt.png), or Aperture–priority auto (aperturepriorityauto2_fmt.png) modes. Turning the Command dial to the right increases the exposure, while turning the dial to the left decreases the exposure. When set to Manual exposure mode (manual2_fmt.png), you can press this button and rotate the Command dial to adjust the aperture settings.

    Image courtesy of Nikon, Inc.

    1.1 The controls on top of the camera.

  • Info button (info2_fmt.png). Press this button to display information on the LCD screen. The information display shows all of the exposure and camera setting options.

    NOTE If you’re stepping up from the D5200 you may notice that the shutter-release mode button has been moved to the bottom left side of the camera near the lens mount.

  • Live View mode switch (liveview2_fmt.png). Of all Nikon cameras, the D5300 has my favorite implementation for Live View mode (liveview2_fmt.png). A quick flick of the Live View mode switch (liveview2_fmt.png), which is right next to the Mode dial, puts the camera in Live View mode (liveview2_fmt.png), so you can shoot stills or videos using the LCD monitor as a viewfinder.
  • Mode dial. This is an important dial. Rotating the Mode dial allows you to change your shooting mode quickly. You can choose one of the scene modes, the Special Effects effects_fmt mode, one of the semiautomatic modes, or Manual exposure mode manual2_fmt, which lets you pick the exposure settings.

    CROSS REF For a detailed description of all exposure modes, see Chapter 2.

  • Hot shoe. This is where you attach an accessory flash to the camera body. The hot shoe has an electronic contact that tells the flash to fire when the shutter is released. A number of other electronic contacts allow the camera to communicate with the flash, enabling the automated features of a dedicated flash unit such as the SB-700.
  • Stereo microphone. The D5300 employs a built-in stereo microphone for recording sound with your movies.
  • Speaker. This small speaker allows you to hear the sound of the video playback. The fidelity isn’t very good, but it gives you a close approximation of what you will hear during playback.
  • Focal plane indicator. This marks the plane where the front of the sensor lies. Nikon uses this as the mark of the closest focus length of a lens and when measuring distances for manual flash calculations this is where the measurement to the subject from the camera should start.

The back of the camera

The back of the camera is where you find the buttons that mainly control playback and menu options, although a few buttons control some of the shooting functions. Most of the buttons have more than one function. Additionally, you use many of them in conjunction with the Command dial or multi-selector. On the back of the camera, you also find several key features, including the all-important LCD screen and viewfinder.

The following are the controls on the back of the camera:

  • Vari-angle LCD monitor. This is the most prominent feature on the back of the camera. This 3.2-inch, liquid crystal display (LCD) is a very bright, high-resolution screen with 1,036,000 dots. The LCD is where you view all of the current camera settings and review your images after shooting. It also displays the video feed for Live View mode (liveview2_fmt) and video recording. The Nikon D5000 series cameras are the only ones that feature this type of display, which allows you to position and swivel the screen to help in composing photos at odd angles when shooting photos or video. The biggest difference between the LCD on the D5300 and previous incarnations of the 5000 series is that the aspect ratio of the screen has changed from 4:3 to 3:2, which is the native format of the imaging sensor.
  • Viewfinder. This is what you look through to compose your photographs. Light coming through the lens is reflected from a series of five mirrors (called a pentamirror ), enabling you to see exactly what you’re shooting. The rubber eyepiece around the viewfinder gives you a soft place to rest your eye and blocks any extra light from entering the viewfinder as you compose and shoot your images.

    Image courtesy of Nikon, Inc.

    1.2 The controls on the back of the camera.

  • Diopter adjustment control. Just to the right of the viewfinder (hidden behind the eyecup) is the diopter adjustment control. Use this control to adjust the viewfinder lens to suit your individual vision strength (not everyone’s eyesight is the same). The best way to do this is to look at the viewfinder display and rotate the dial until the information in the viewfinder display is sharp.
  • AE-L/AF-L (ael2_fmt)/Protect (.png) button. The Auto Exposure/Autofocus Lock (.png)/Protect (.png) button locks the Auto Exposure (AE) and Autofocus (AF). You can customize this button in the Custom Setting menu (.png) f2 to provide AE/AF Lock, AE Lock only, AE Lock (hold), AF Lock only, or AF-ON. AE Lock (hold) locks the exposure when you press the shutter-release button once; the exposure remains locked until you press the button again or the shutter releases. AF-ON engages the AF in the same way that half-pressing the shutter-release button does. When the camera displays an image in Playback mode, press this button to lock the image and protect it from being deleted.

    CROSS REF See Chapter 3 for more detailed information about the AE-L/AF-L button (.png).

  • i button (.png). Press this button once to bring up the information edit display on the LCD screen and use the multi-selector to adjust the camera settings.
  • Command dial. You use this dial to change a variety of settings, depending on the button with which you are using it. By default, it changes the shutter speed when the camera is in Shutter-priority auto (.png), Programmed auto (.png), and Manual exposure (.png) modes. When shooting in Aperture-priority auto mode (.png) it changes the aperture setting. It can also adjust exposure compensation and change the flash mode.
  • Playback button (.png). Press this button to activate playback. By default, it displays the most recently taken photograph. You can also view other pictures by pressing the multi-selector left (.png) and right (.png).
  • Multi-selector. This is another button that serves several purposes. When playing back images, you use it to scroll through the photographs you’ve taken or to view image information, such as histograms and shooting settings. When the D5300 is in Single-point AF (.png) or Dynamic-area AF (.png) mode, you can use the multi-selector to change the active focus point. You can also use the multi-­selector to navigate through the menu options.
  • OK button (.png). When viewing menus, press the OK button (.png) to select the highlighted menu item. In Playback mode (.png), press the OK button (.png) to display the Retouch Menu (.png) options. When actively shooting, press the OK button (.png) to reset the active focus point to the center.
  • Memory card access lamp. This light blinks when the memory card is in use. Under no circumstances should you remove the memory card when this light is on or blinking. You could damage the card or your camera, and lose any information in the camera’s buffer. If the buffer is full when you switch the camera off, the camera will stay powered on and this lamp continues blinking until the data finishes transferring from the buffer to the memory card.
  • Delete button (.png). If you are reviewing your pictures and find some that you don’t want to keep, press this button to delete them. To prevent you from accidentally deleting images, the camera displays a dialog box asking you to confirm that you want to erase the picture. Press the Delete button (.png) a second time to erase an image permanently.
  • Zoom in button (.png). When reviewing your images or using the Live View option (.png), you can press the Zoom in button (.png) to get a closer look at the details of your image. This is a handy feature for checking the sharpness and focus of your shot. When the camera is zoomed in, use the multi-selector to navigate around within the image. To view your other images at the same zoom ratio, you can rotate the Command dial. To return to full-frame playback, press the Thumbnail/Zoom out button (.png). You may have to press the Thumbnail/Zoom out button (.png) multiple times, depending on how much you zoomed in previously.
  • Thumbnail/Zoom out button (.png). When reviewing images, press this button to switch from full-frame playback (that is, viewing the whole image) to viewing thumbnails. The thumbnail view displays 4, 12, or 80 images. You can also view images by calendar date. When you’re viewing the menu options, press this button to display a help screen that explains the functions of that particular menu option. This button also zooms out of an image on which you have zoomed.
  • Menu button (.png). Press this button to access the D5300 menu options, including Playback (.png), Shooting (.png), Custom Setting (.png), and Retouch (.png). Use the multi-selector to choose the menu you want to view, and then press the OK button (.png) to enter the specific menu screen.
  • Rear infrared receiver. This receiver picks up the infrared signal from the optional ML-L3 wireless remote.

The front of the camera

While this is the main business end of the camera, there really aren’t many controls here. The most important part is pointed right at you — the lens.

The features are as follows:


Image courtesy of Nikon, Inc.

1.3 The front of the Nikon D5300.

  • AF-assist illuminator. This is an LED that shines on the subject to help the camera focus when the lighting is dim. The AF-assist illuminator only lights up when in Single-servo AF mode (.png) or Full-time-servo mode (.png) and the center AF point is selected. This LED also lights up when you set the camera to Red-Eye Reduction flash (.png) using the camera’s built-in flash.
  • Front infrared receiver. This receiver picks up the infrared signal from the optional wireless remote, the ML-L3.

The left side of the camera

On the left side of the camera (with the lens facing away from you, as you would normally hold it), you find the output terminals and a few other important buttons. The terminals connect accessories or link your camera to a computer or other external source for viewing. The terminals are hidden under a rubber cover that helps keep out dust and moisture.

The features are as follows:

  • Flash pop-up/Flash mode (.png)/Flash compensation button (.png). When you’re using the Programmed auto (.png), Shutter-priority auto (.png), Aperture-priority auto (.png), or Manual (.png) exposure modes, press this button to open and activate the built-in flash. Pressing this button and rotating the Command dial on the rear of the camera allow you to choose a flash mode. Depending on the Shooting mode (.png), you can choose from among the default Front curtain sync (.png), or the Red-Eye Reduction (.png), Red-Eye Reduction with Slow Sync (.png), Slow Sync (.png), Rear-curtain sync (.png), or Rear-curtain Slow Sync (.png) modes. After the flash pops up, press this button in conjunction with the Exposure Compensation button (.png), while rotating the Command to adjust the Flash Compensation (.png). This enables you to adjust the flash output to make the flash brighter or dimmer depending on your needs. When you shoot in the Automatic point-and-shoot (.png) or scene modes, the flash automatically activates, but some flash sync modes aren’t available in some scene modes. The following flash modes are available when using the scene modes:
    • Automatic (.png), Portrait (.png), Child (.png), and Close-up (.png). In these flash modes, you can use the default, Auto-flash (.png), Auto with Red-Eye Reduction (.png), or set it to Off.
    • Night Portrait Scene mode (.png). In this mode, you can select Red-Eye Reduction (.png), the default, Auto with Slow Sync (.png), or Off (.png).
    • Programmed auto (.png), Aperture-priority auto (.png). In these modes, you can select Red-Eye Reduction (.png), Red-Eye Reduction with Slow Sync (.png), Slow Sync (.png), or Rear-curtain Slow Sync (.png).
    • Shutter-priority auto (.png), Manual (.png). These modes allow you to use Red-Eye Reduction (.png) or Rear-curtain sync (.png).
  • Function (Fn) button (.png). You can set the Function button (.png) to a number of settings so that you can access them quickly, rather than searching through the menu options manually. You can set the button to change the ISO sensitivity (default), image quality, white balance, or Active D-Lighting settings via the Info display. Depending on which option you select, you can press the Function button (.png) and rotate the Command dial to change the settings. You can change the setting options in the Setup menu (.png) in Custom Setting menu (.png) f1.

    Image courtesy of Nikon, Inc.

    1.4 The left side of the Nikon D5300.

    CROSS REF For the complete list of options you can control with the Function button (.png), see Chapter 3.

  • Shutter release mode (.png). Press this button to display the release mode options on the LCD screen. Use the multi-selector to choose an option then press the OK button (.png) to set it.
  • Lens mounting mark. Most lenses have a white or red mark to help you align it, so you can then rotate and lock it into place. Use this white mark to line up with the mounting mark on the lens.
  • Lens release button. This button disengages the locking mechanism of the lens, allowing the lens to be rotated and removed from the lens mount.
  • Microphone input. You can use this port to connect an external microphone, which records sound for your videos at a better quality than you can get from the built-in microphone.
  • USB/AV out port. This is where you plug in the USB cable to attach the camera to your computer, and transfer images directly from the camera to the computer. You can also use the Nikon Camera Control Pro 2 software to control the camera from a computer. Using the included EG-CP16 A/V cable, you can also use this port to connect your camera to a standard-definition TV.
  • Accessory port. This accessory port allows you to connect an accessory remote, such as the Nikon MC-DC2, or the WR-R10 wireless remote control.
  • HDMI port. This terminal is for connecting your camera to a high-definition (HD) TV or monitor. It requires a type C mini-pin HDMI cable, which is available at any electronics store.

    NOTE On the right side of the camera you find the cover for the memory card slot. To open the cover and insert or remove a memory card, slide it toward the back of the camera and it springs open.

The Viewfinder Display

The viewfinder display is kind of like the heads-up display in a jet plane. It allows you to see a lot of useful information about the settings of the camera. This helps you set up the shot without taking your eye away from the viewfinder to check on your settings. Most of the information also appears in the Information display, but it is less handy when you are looking through the viewfinder composing a shot.


1.5 The viewfinder display.

Here is a complete list of the information you find in the viewfinder display:

  • Framing grid. When you turn on this option in Custom Setting menu (.png) d2, a grid displays in the viewing area. Use the grid to line up elements of your composition to ensure they are straight (or not).
  • Focus points. The first thing you are likely to notice when looking through the viewfinder is a small rectangle near the center of the frame. This is your active focus point. Note that only the active focus point is shown full time when you use the Single-point (.png), Dynamic-area (.png), or 3-D tracking (.png) autofocus settings. When you set the camera to Auto area AF mode (.png), you don’t see the focus point until you press the shutter-release button halfway and the camera achieves focus.
  • No memory card indicator (.png). You see this icon if there is no memory card in the camera. This warns you that no images can be recorded.
  • Monochrome indicator (.png). This icon appears only when you set the Picture Control to Monochrome (.png).
  • Low battery warning (.png). When the camera’s battery is nearly depleted, this icon appears. If it is flashing, the battery is completely exhausted and you can’t take any more pictures.
  • AF-area brackets. These brackets indicate the boundaries of the autofocus points. The autofocus system does not recognize anything that lies outside the brackets. In the middle of the AF-area brackets on the top and bottom, there is a semicircle, which is the 12mm, Center-weighted metering circle.
  • Focus indicator. This green dot lets you know whether a scene is in focus. When the camera achieves focus, the green dot lights up; if the camera is not in focus, the dot isn’t displayed. This indicator works in both Autofocus and Manual focus.
  • Auto Exposure Lock indicator (.png). When this indicator lights up, you know that the Auto Exposure is locked.
  • Flexible Program indicator (.png). This indicator appears when you use the Programmed auto mode (.png) and Flexible Program (.png) is activated.
  • Shutter speed. This indicator shows how long the shutter is set to stay open, from 30 seconds (30") up to 1/4000 (4000) second. If the Function button (.png) is set to Auto area AF mode (.png), this shows one of the following autofocus mode settings: Auto Servo AF (.png), Continuous Servo AF (.png), or Single Servo AF (.png) when the Fn button is pressed and held.
  • Aperture. This indicator shows the current aperture setting. The words aperture and f-stop are used interchangeably. The aperture setting indicates the width of the lens opening and appears as a number (1.4, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, and so on).
  • Exposure Indicator/Exposure compensation display/Rangefinder. When the bars are in the center, the camera is at the proper settings to get a good exposure. By default, when the bars are to the left, the image is underexposed, and when they are to the right, the image is overexposed (you can reverse this in Custom Setting menu (.png) f5). This option only appears when in Manual (.png) mode, when Exposure Compensation (.png) is applied, or if the camera is under- or overexposing at the current settings. This display also doubles as a digital rangefinder to help you when manually focusing lenses. If the indicator bars are on the left, the focus is falling in front of the subject; if the indicator bars are on the right, the focus is behind the subject. Rotate the focus ring until a single indicator bar is centered and you see a 0 above the innermost two rangefinder lines. The focus indicator also appears when the camera achieves focus.
  • Flash compensation indicator (.png). When this indicator appears, flash ­compensation is on. You adjust flash compensation by pressing the Flash mode button (.png) in conjunction with the Exposure Compensation button (.png) and rotating the Command dial.
  • Auto-bracketing indicator (.png). This indicator appears when Auto-bracketing is engaged. Bracketing is set up in Custom Setting menu (.png) e2. You can activate it in the Info Display menu.
  • Exposure compensation indicator (.png). When you see this icon, exposure compensation is applied to the exposure setting. To set exposure compensation, press the Exposure Compensation button (.png) and rotate the Command dial.
  • ISO indicator (.png). If you set the Function button (.png) to ISO (the default), this indicator appears when you press the button to let you know that the numbers you see are the ISO numbers. This also occurs when Custom Setting menu (.png) d3 is set to On.
  • Auto ISO indicator (.png). This indicator appears when you activate Auto ISO (.png) to let you know that the camera is controlling the ISO settings. You can turn on Auto ISO (.png) in the ISO sensitivity settings, located in the Shooting menu (.png).
  • Remaining exposures/White balance preset/Exposure compensation value/Flash Exposure Compensation value. By default, this set of numbers lets you know how many more exposures can fit on the memory card. The actual number of exposures may vary according to file information and compression. When you press the shutter-release button halfway, the display shows how many exposures can fit in the camera’s buffer before it is full and the frame rate slows down. The buffer is in-camera memory that stores your image data while that data is written to the memory card. This also shows the White Balance preset recording indicator (.png), as well as the Exposure compensation (.png) and Flash compensation (.png) values. When Custom Setting menu (.png) d3 is set to On, the ISO setting appears here until you press the shutter-release button halfway; it then displays the number of exposures remaining in the buffer. When you connect the camera to a computer, PC appears here.
  • Thousands indicator (k_fmt.png). This indicator lets you know that there are more than 1,000 exposures remaining on your memory card.
  • Flash ready indicator (flash2_fmt.png). When this indicator appears, the flash, whether it is the built-in flash or an external Speedlight attached to the hot shoe, is fully charged and ready to fire at full power.
  • Warning indicator (.png). When an error occurs with the camera, this icon flashes. Press the Help button (.png).

The Information Display

The Information display (referred to as the Info display for brevity) shows all of the relevant shooting and camera information. You can also change some of the most important camera settings quickly in the Info display without entering the camera menu system, which can take up important time when shooting.

You activate the Info display by pressing the Info button (info2_fmt.png), located on top of the camera directly behind the shutter-release button, or by pressing the i button (.png), located directly to the right of the viewfinder. Once the Info display is activated and appears on the monitor press the i button (.png) to enter the Info edit menu, which allows you to change some key settings on the camera (see Figure 1.7). By default, when the Info edit display is active, using the multi-selector highlights the setting you want to change and the D5300 displays the Screen tips to guide you through what each setting does. Once the setting you want to access is highlighted, press the OK button (ok_fmt.png) to view the options for that specific setting.

The information remains on display until no buttons have been pushed for about 10 seconds (the default), or you can press the shutter-release or Info (.png) buttons. This display shows you everything you need to know about your camera settings. Additionally, the camera has a sensor built in that tells it when you are holding it vertically, and the Info display is shown upright, regardless of which way you are holding your camera.

The main display area shows the following important settings:

  • Shooting mode. This indicator displays the Shooting mode that your camera is currently set to. This can be one of the scene modes (in which case it displays the appropriate icon), or one of the semiautomatic modes, such as Programmed auto (.png), Shutter-priority auto (.png), Aperture-priority auto (.png), or Manual (.png), in which case it displays the corresponding letter. This display changes when you rotate the Mode dial.
  • Shutter speed. This shows the length of time that the shutter remains open during the exposure. This indicator displays the shutter speed setting using a graphic similar to what you might see on a vintage film camera. As the shutter speed changes, the dial appears to move as well.
  • F-stop/Aperture number. The terms aperture and f-stop are used interchangeably. Aperture is the opening in the lens that allows light into the camera. This indicator displays the aperture at which the camera is set. Lower numbers are wider openings that let in more light, and higher numbers are smaller openings that let in less light. As a visual aid, this displays what the aperture might look like if you were looking inside the lens.
  • ISO sensitivity. This indicator shows you the ISO sensitivity settings. If the camera is set to ISO-Auto, you notice that ISO-Auto blinks above the sensitivity number.
  • Autofocus settings. This area displays info about the autofocus settings, the Auto area AF mode (.png), as well as the active focus point when the camera is in Single Servo AF mode (singleservoaf_fmt.png). It also displays the active focus and surrounding points when in the Dynamic-area AF (dynamicareaaf_fmt.png%) and 3-D tracking (3dtracking_fmt.png) modes.
  • Bracketing indicator. When the Auto-bracketing feature is engaged, this indicator shows the type of bracketing that is being applied: Autoexposure (.png), Active D-Lighting (.png), or White balance (.png). The auto-bracketing choices are made in Custom Setting menu (.png) e2.
  • ADL bracketing amount. When auto-bracketing is set to Active D-Lighting, this indicator displays the amount of ADL bracketing.
  • Exposure/Exposure compensation/Bracketing progress indicator. When shooting in Manual exposure mode (.png), this is displayed and used as a light meter to assess your exposure. When in any other mode, including scene and effects modes, this is only displayed if the settings indicate an under- or overexposure. When in Programmed auto (.png), Shutter-priority auto (shutterpriorityauto2_fmt.png), or Aperture-priority auto (.png) mode, this icon only appears when exposure compensation (.png) is applied. When auto bracketing is on, this is a visual display of the progress of the bracketing series.
  • Exposures remaining/White balance recording (.png)/Capture mode indicator (.png). By default, this displays the approximate number of photos that can be recorded to the memory card. When the camera is making a White balance preset, this area displays that icon (.png). When the camera is connected to a computer using Nikon Camera Control Pro 2, the Capture mode indicator (.png) appears.
  • Thousands indicator (k_fmt.png). When a memory card is inserted that allows more than 1,000 images to be recorded, this icon appears.

1.6 The Information display on the Nikon D5300.

On the top bar of the Information display, the following indicators display some of the less critical settings, as well as some options related to additional accessories:

  • Eye-Fi connection indicator. This indicator is displayed when an optional Eye-Fi wireless SD card is being used.
  • Wi-Fi connection indicator. When the built-in Wi-Fi is enabled this indicator is displayed. When the indicator is flashing it is attempting to make connection with a device. Once a connection is made the indicator is static.
  • Track log indicator. When using the Track log (in the Setup menu (.png) under Location data) this icon is shown to indicate that the camera is logging location data.
  • GPS indicator. When the built-in GPS is activated this indicator is shown. When the indicator is flashing the GPS unit is searching for a signal. If a signal connection is being maintained, the indicator stays on.
  • Exposure delay mode. When Custom Setting menu (.png) d5 is turned on, the mirror is raised for 1 second before the shutter opens to allow the camera vibration to stop before taking a photo to avoid blur. When the delay mode is activated, this indicator is displayed.
  • Multiple exposure indicator. When the Multiple exposure setting is activated, this indicator appears. You can set Multiple exposure in the Shooting menu (.png).
  • Date imprint. When the camera is set to add the time and date to the image this indicator is shown. The date option is turned on in Custom Setting menu (.png) d6.
  • Flash control indicator/Flash compensation indicator for optional flash units. When the built-in flash is activated, the exposure mode, Manual (.png) or TTL (.png), is displayed here. It also appears if you attach a Speedlight and apply Flash compensation with the controls on the Speedlight, rather than with those on the camera.
  • Beep indicator. This icon has two versions: Beep on (.png) and Beep off (.png). One or the other appears at all times. You set this option in Custom Setting menu (.png) d1.
  • Battery indicator. This indicator shows the amount of power left in the battery, but lacks any other in-depth information.

The Information edit display is where you go to change your most commonly used settings. Press the i button (.png) to access these settings and change them quickly. Use the multi-selector to highlight the desired option, and then press the OK button (ok_fmt.png) to view the settings options.

The following options are available in the Info edit menu:

  • Image quality. This is where you set the image quality file type. You can set the camera to record RAW files, JPEG files, or RAW+JPEG simultaneously. This is also where you set the JPEG compression. The JPEG compression options are Fine, Normal, and Basic.
  • Image size. When you record JPEGs, you can set the camera to record different sizes. This option isn’t available when shooting RAW files only. (For more information on image sizes see Chapter 2.)
  • Bracketing. This option shows the bracketing settings options. When you set Custom Setting menu (.png) e2 to Auto Exposure Bracketing (.png), the bracketing increment appears here. When you set it to White Balance bracketing (.png) or Active D-Lighting (.png), this shows whether auto bracketing is on or off.
  • High Dynamic Range (HDR). This allows you to activate the camera’s built-in HDR option. You can set it to Auto, Extra High, High, Normal, Low, and Off. The HDR setting allows the camera to capture two exposures and blend them together. This creates an image with a greater amount of range from the shadows (dark) to highlight (bright) areas of the image.
  • Active D-Lighting (.png). This option allows you to capture more detail in the highlight and shadow areas when shooting in high-contrast situations. This is similar to HDR, but it only uses one exposure and the effect is much more subtle. You can set Active D-Lighting (.png) to Auto, Extra High, High, Normal, Low, and Off.
  • White balance. This is where you select the white balance settings.
  • ISO sensitivity. Select this option to change the ISO sensitivity settings.
  • Picture Controls. Picture Controls affect the coloring, saturation, sharpness, and other qualities of the images. You change them using this menu option.

    CROSS REF For more detailed information about Picture Controls, see Chapter 2.

  • Focus mode. Use this menu option to change the focus mode from Auto Servo AF (.png), Single Servo AF (singleservoaf_fmt.png), or Continuous Servo AF (continuousservoaf_fmt.png) mode.
  • Autofocus area mode. This option changes the autofocus area mode. You can choose from the following options: Single-point AF (.png), Dynamic-area AF 9-point (dynamicarea9_fmt.png), Dynamic-area AF 21-point (dynamicarea21_fmt.png), Dynamic–area AF 39-point (.png), 3-D tracking (3dtracking_fmt.png), or Auto-area AF (.png).
  • Metering mode. You change the metering options here. You have the following three options: Matrix (.png), Center-weighted (centerweightedbutton_fmt.png), or Spot (.png) metering.
  • Flash mode. This is where the flash mode options are set. The options differ depending on the selected exposure mode.
  • Flash compensation. You can set the Flash compensation (.png) here. Flash compensation increases or decreases the amount of light emitted by the flash. This option is only available in the Programmed auto (.png), Shutter-priority auto (shutterpriorityauto2_fmt.png), Aperture-priority auto (.png), or Manual (.png) exposure modes.
  • Exposure compensation. This is where you can adjust the exposure compensation (.png) to fine-tune the exposure. This option is only available in the Programmed auto (.png), Shutter-priority auto (shutterpriorityauto2_fmt.png), Aperture-priority auto (.png), or Manual (.png) exposure modes.

1.7 The Info edit display.