Checking out the Scene Modes on a Nikon D7000 - dummies

Checking out the Scene Modes on a Nikon D7000

By Julie Adair King

Your Nikon D7000 offers a whopping 19 Scene modes, each designed to produce a specific result in terms of lighting, color, and focus. Here’s a review of all bazillion Scene modes, listed in the order you encounter them when you spin the command dial:    

  • Portrait: Choose this mode to produce the classic portrait look, with the subject set against a softly focused background.


  • Landscape: In the time-honored tradition of landscape photography, this mode produces crisp images with vivid blues and greens to create that bold, vacation-magazine look.


  • Child: A variation of Portrait mode, Child mode also aims for a blurry background and natural skin tones. Colors of clothing and other objects, however, are rendered more vividly.

  • Sports: Select this mode to have a better chance of capturing a moving target without blur.


  • Close Up: As with Portrait and Child mode, the camera selects an aperture designed to produce short depth of field, which helps keep background objects from competing for attention with your main subject.


  • Night Landscape: This setting uses a slow shutter speed to capture nighttime city scenes. Because of the long exposure time, use a tripod to avoid camera shake, which can blur the picture.


  • Night Portrait: This mode is designed to deliver a better-looking flash portrait at night (or in any dimly lit environment).

    The critical thing to know is that the slower shutter speed means that you probably need a tripod. Your subjects also must stay perfectly still during the exposure.

  • Party/Indoor: This mode is designed to capture indoor scenes that are lit by room lighting as well as the flash, using settings that produce a nice balance between the two light sources.

  • Beach/Snow: Use this mode when you’re photographing a scene with lots of bright areas, such as sand or snow, which can fool the camera’s autoexposure system into underexposing the image.

  • Dusk/Dawn: Use this mode to better capture the colors of the sky when shooting landscapes just before the sun rises, or just after the sun sets.

  • Sunset: Use this mode when photographing sunsets or sunrises and the sun is in the picture; the camera chooses settings designed to preserve the brilliant colors seen at those times of day.

    When photographing sunsets, don’t stare at the sun directly through your viewfinder because this can permanently damage your vision, especially when you’re using a telephoto lens.

  • Pet Portrait: Despite its name, this mode is just like Sports mode, except that in dim lighting, the flash fires unless you set the Flash mode to Off.

  • Candlelight: Use this mode when shooting subjects lit by candlelight.

  • Autumn Colors: This mode yields pictures with saturated reds and yellows of autumn leaves.

  • Blossom: Use this mode when you’re photographing a field of blooming flowers.

  • Food: This mode increases color saturation to render food more vividly.

  • Silhouette: Use this mode when the sun is behind your subject(s), and you want the subjects to render as silhouettes.

  • Low Key: Use this mode when you’re shooting dark scenes and you want a somber look. Highlights are rendered properly, but shadows and dark areas of the image are black.

  • High Key: Experiment with using this mode for an interesting effect when photographing bright objects in bright light.