Setup Features on the Nikon D3300 You Might Have Missed
Your Nikon D3300 offers scads of options for customizing its performance. Other settings are related to actual picture taking, such as those that affect flash behavior and autofocusing. But there are a few options that you should consider from the get-go; all are found on the Setup menu.
To access this menu and other normal menus, set the Mode dial to any setting except Guide and then press the Menu button.
The figure shows the first page of the Setup menu; press the Multi Selector up and down to scroll to the other pages. Here’s a rundown of these options:
Monitor Brightness: This option enables you to make the display brighter or darker. But if you take this step, what you see on the monitor may not be an accurate rendition of the picture exposure. Try keeping the brightness at the default setting (0).
CleanImage Sensor: Your camera is set up at the factory to perform an internal cleaning routine each time you turn the camera on or off. This cleaning system is designed to keep the image sensor — that’s the part of the camera that actually captures the image — free of dust and dirt.
By choosing the Clean Image Sensor menu item, you can perform a cleaning at any time, however. Just choose the menu item, press OK, select Clean Now, and press OK again. (Nikon recommends that you set the camera on a solid surface, base down, when you perform the cleaning.)
Don’t try to perform the cleaning several times in a row — if you do, the camera will temporarily disable the function to protect itself.
The other Clean Image Sensor option, Clean At Startup/Shutdown, enables you to specify whether you want the camera to change from the default setting (cleaning at startup and shutdown) to clean only at startup, only at shutdown, or never. It’s best to stick with the default.
Lock Mirror Up for Cleaning: This feature is necessary for cleaning the camera’s image sensor. Don’t tackle this operation yourself because you can easily damage the camera if you don’t know what you’re doing.
And if you’ve previously used mirror lock-up on an SLR camera to avoid camera shake when shooting long-exposure images, note that as the menu name implies, this camera’s mirror lock-up is provided for cleaning purposes only. You can’t take pictures on the D3300 while mirror lock-up is enabled.
Image Dust Off Ref Photo: This feature records an image that serves as a point of reference for the automatic dust-removal filter available in Nikon Capture NX 2. This accessory software must be purchased separately.
Beep: By default, your camera beeps after certain operations, such as after it sets focus when you shoot in autofocus mode. You can adjust the beep volume or disable the beep through this menu option. In the Information display and default Live View display, a musical note icon appears when the beep is enabled.
Turn off the beep, and the icon appears in a circle with a slash through it.
File Number Sequence: This option controls how the camera names your picture files. When the option is set to Off, as it is by default, the camera restarts file numbering at 0001 every time you format the memory card or insert a new memory card. Numbering is also restarted if a new image-storage folder is created.
This setup can create a scenario where you wind up with multiple images that have the same filename — not on the current memory card, but when you download images to your computer. So set the option to On. (Refer to the figure.)
Note that when you get to picture number 9999, file numbering is still reset to 0001, however. The camera automatically creates a new folder to hold your next 9,999 images.
As for the Reset option, it enables you to assign the first file number (which ends in 0001) to the next picture you shoot. Then the camera behaves as if you selected the On setting.
Should you be a really, really prolific shooter and snap enough pictures to reach image 9999 in folder 999, the camera will refuse to take another photo until you choose that Reset option and either format the memory card or insert a brand-new one.Danger, Will Robinson! Change the File Number Sequence option to On to avoid winding up with multiple pictures that have the same filename.
Slot Empty Release Lock: This feature determines whether the camera lets you take a picture when no memory card is installed. If you select Enable Release, you can take a temporary picture, which appears in the monitor with the word Demo but isn’t recorded anywhere.
The feature is provided mainly for use in camera stores, enabling salespeople to demonstrate the camera without having to keep a memory card installed. There’s no good reason why anyone else would change the setting from the default, Release Locked.
Print Date: Using this option, you can imprint on the photo the shooting date, the date and time, or the number of days between the day you took the picture and another date that you specify. This feature doesn’t work if you set the Image Quality option to NEF (Raw) or NEF (Raw) + JPEG or use the Easy Panorama Effects feature.
The default setting, Off, is the way to go; you don’t need to permanently mar your photos to find out when you took them. Every picture file includes a hidden vat of text data, or metadata, that records the shooting date and time as well as all the camera settings you used.
You can view this data during playback and, after downloading, in the free software provided with your camera as well as in many photo programs.
Accessory Terminal: If you attach one of the available accessories into the Accessory port on the left side of the camera, selecting this menu option leads to settings that control the accessory.
Wireless Mobile Adapter: If you purchase the optional WU-1a wireless mobile adapter, use this menu option to enable and disable the transmitter on the adapter. The feature chugs battery juice, so keep the option set to Off while you’re not using the transmitter.
Firmware Version: Select this option and press OK to view which version of the camera firmware, or internal software, your camera runs. You see the firmware items C and L. At this time, C is version 1.00; L was 2.002.
Keeping your camera firmware up to date is important, so visit the Nikon website regularly to find out whether your camera sports the latest version. You can find detailed instructions at the site on how to download and install any firmware updates.Visit the Setup menu to customize the camera’s basic operation.