Customizing the Picture Controls on Your Nikon D5500

By Julie Adair King

Your Nikon D5500 offers a choice of seven Picture Control settings, each of which applies different color, sharpness, and contrast. If you can’t find a Picture Control that suits your needs, you can create a custom Picture Control. Follow these steps:

  1. Set the Mode dial to P, S, A, or M.

    These are the only exposure modes that enable you to select or modify a Picture Control setting.

  2. Open the Shooting menu and choose Set Picture Control from the Shooting menu.

  3. Select the Picture Control, such as Landscape, you want to modify.

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  4. Tap the Adjust symbol or press the Multi Selector right.

    You see the screen shown containing sliders that you use to modify the Picture Control. Which options you can adjust depend on the Picture Control.

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  5. Modify the settings as you see fit.

    You can change the setting by rotating the Command dial or pressing the Multi Selector right or left. To set the option to Automatic (the camera chooses the right level of adjustment), press the Zoom In button or tap the button that shows a magnifying glass plus the letter A.

    A few pointers:

    • Some Picture Controls offer the Quick Adjust setting, which enables you to easily increase or decrease the overall effect of the Picture Control. A positive value produces a more exaggerated effect; set the slider to 0 for no adjustment.

    • The Monochrome Picture Control offers Filter Effects options that vary the way various colors are rendered in black-and-white. The Yellow, Orange, and Red filters enhance contrast, with Yellow producing the minimum effect and Red, the strongest. The Green filter, which is designed for portraits, softens skin tones.

    • Reset all options to their defaults by pressing the Delete button or tapping the Reset icon.

  6. Tap OK or press the OK button to wrap up.

    An asterisk appears next to the edited Picture Control on the menu and in the Information and Live View displays to remind you that you have adjusted the settings.

Consider these steps as just a starting point for playing with Picture Controls. Through the Manage Picture Control option on the Shooting menu, you can create and store your own Picture Controls. Serious Picture Control enthusiasts should also investigate the Picture Control Utility, a separate software tool you can download from the Support section of the Nikon website.

Complete details are found in the electronic version of the camera manual, also available for download. You can read the manual in Adobe Acrobat or any other program that can open PDF files. The paper manual contains only basic operating instructions, and Picture Controls didn’t make the cut.