How to Prepare Your Nikon D7200

By Julie Adair King

Before you can use your D7200, you need to install the battery, attach a lens, and insert at least one memory card. (Your camera can use two cards at a time, but you only need one to begin taking pictures or recording movies.) A few preliminary notes:

  • Battery: Use only the MH-25 charger that came with your camera to charge the battery. When the light on the charger stops blinking, the battery is fully charged.

  • Lens: You can mount a wide range of lenses on your D7200, but some lenses aren’t compatible with all camera features. Your camera manual lists all the lens types that can be mounted on the camera and explains what features are supported with each type. For maximum compatibility, look for Type D or G AF Nikkor, AF-S Nikkor, or AF-I Nikkor.

  • Memory card(s): Like all digital cameras, your D7200 stores picture and movie files on memory cards. It has two card slots, both of which accept only SD (Secure Digital) cards. Most SD cards sold today carry the designation SDHC (for High Capacity) or SDXC (for eXtended Capacity), depending on how many gigabytes (GB) of data they hold. SDHC cards hold from 4GB to 32GB of data; the SDXC moniker indicates a capacity greater than 32GB.

With a charged battery, lens, and memory card(s) at hand, take these steps to get the camera ready to go:

  1. Turn the camera off.

  2. Install the battery into the compartment on the bottom of the camera.

  3. Attach a lens.

    First, remove the caps that cover the front of the camera and the back of the lens. Then align the mounting index (white dot) on the lens with the one on the camera body, as shown. After placing the lens on the camera mount, rotate the lens toward the shutter-button side of the camera. You should feel a solid click as the lens locks into place.

    Align the white dot on the lens with the one on the camera body.

    Align the white dot on the lens with the one on the camera body.
  4. Insert a memory card (or two).

    Open the card door on the right side of the camera to reveal the two memory card slots. If you’re using a single card, install it into Slot 1. Orient the card with the label facing the back of the camera, as shown in the figure, and push it gently into the slot.

    You can install one or two SD memory cards.

    You can install one or two SD memory cards.

    After you close the card door, the memory-card access light, labeled in the figure, illuminates briefly as the camera checks out the card. If the card is damaged, full, or can’t be used for some other reason, you see an error message in the Control panel (the LCD panel on top of the camera). You need to solve this issue before going forward.

  5. Turn the camera on.

  6. Set the language, time zone, and date.

    When you power up the camera for the first time, a screen appears on the monitor asking you to select your language, time zone, date, and time. To adjust these settings, use the Multi Selector and OK button. Press the edge of the Multi Selector up, down, right, or left to highlight a setting and then press OK to activate the option. Again, press the edges of the Multi Selector to adjust the active option, and then press the OK button to lock in your choice.

  7. Adjust the viewfinder to your eyesight.

    This step is critical; if you don’t set the viewfinder to your eyesight, subjects that appear out of focus in the viewfinder might actually be in focus, and vice versa. If you wear glasses while shooting, adjust the viewfinder with your glasses on — and don’t forget to reset the viewfinder focus if you take off your glasses or your prescription changes.

    You control viewfinder focus through the dial labeled in this figure. (In official lingo, it’s called the diopter adjustment dial.) After taking off the front lens cap, follow these steps:

    1. Look through the viewfinder and press the shutter button halfway.

      In dim lighting, the flash may pop up. Ignore it for now and concentrate on the row of data that appears at the bottom of the viewfinder screen.

    2. Rotate the viewfinder dial until that data appears sharpest.

      The markings in the center of the viewfinder, which relate to autofocusing, also become more or less sharp. Ignore the scene you see through the lens; that won’t change because you’re not actually focusing the camera.

    3. When you finish, press down on the flash unit to close it if necessary.

      Rotate this dial to set the viewfinder focus for your eyesight.

      Rotate this dial to set the viewfinder focus for your eyesight.
  8. Set the camera to normal (viewfinder) mode or Live View mode.

    Live View is the feature that enables you to compose photos using the monitor, as you do with most point-and-shoot cameras. To record movies, you must use this option; you can’t use the viewfinder to frame movie shots.

    To shift to Live View photography, rotate the Live View switch to the still-camera icon, as shown; to set the camera to movie mode, set the switch to the movie-camera icon. Then press the center button (marked LV). The viewfinder goes dark, and the live preview appears on the monitor.

    Press the LV button to toggle Live View on and off.

    Press the LV button to toggle Live View on and off.

    To exit Live View mode, press the LV button again. The Live View display turns off, and the viewfinder is once again available.