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Top of camera controls (left)

Top of the camera on the left side of the viewfinder is situated the mode dial and three mode control buttons: Bracketing, Flash and ISO Sensitivity.

The mode dial itself is "self locking" meaning that you have to press the small button at the top left of the dial before it will rotate, these type of locking controls are found commonly on professional cameras (and again echo back to the D1H's F5 inheritance).

Mode Dial

Symbol
 
Mode
PC Computer Connect

Camera must be switched to this mode to activate Firewire (IEEE1394) port and allow remote computer control and image transfer.
PLAY Playback

Switches camera to playback mode, images taken are reviewed on the main LCD screen. Note that the D1H now supports all of the features of PLAY mode by simply pressing the monitor button (rear of camera). This means you'll probably seldom find yourself needing to switch to PLAY mode.
S Single frame shooting

One frame is taken when shutter release is pressed, next shot can be taken almost as soon as you can re-press the shutter release (assuming there is space in the internal buffer for it). This is a VAST improvement on the D1 which, in single frame shooting mode would not allow you to take the next shot until the current buffered frame was written away. The only limitation I've found so far is you can't enter the custom functions menu while images are being written away (not a big issue).
C

Continuous shooting

Frames are taken at the predefined burst rate (max of 5 fps, this can be set via custom function 25 to either 5 (CH), 4, 3, 2 or 1 fps), maximum number of frames in a burst (for all image quality settings) is forty (40) JPEG or twenty-seven (27) RAW (again, this can be limited if you like using custom function 26). When shutter release is half-pressed the maximum number of images which can be taken in a burst is displayed on the viewfinder status bar and top LCD screen ("rXX" where XX is the number).

Self-timer shooting

Camera takes a shot after a predefined delay, this delay can be set to 2, 5, 10 or 20 seconds through a custom function 16.

Notable improvements: Firstly, fully functional PLAY mode by simply pressing the Monitor button. Secondly, frames are now fully buffered in single shot mode, this means that you no longer have to wait for the camera to finish flushing the image before taking the next shot (assuming there is sufficient buffer space - 40 JPEG or 27 RAW images max.). Lastly when shooting in continuous mode (with LCD review enabled) the camera now provides a review of each frame as it's written to the storage card (on the D1 no review was available for continuous shooting).

Mode Dial Buttons

The three mode buttons in the center of the mode dial only change a setting when held and combined with a turn of the main command or sub command dials. Detailed below.

Button
Main command dial (rear)

Sub command dial (front)
BKT Auto Bracketing: Enable/Disable

• On
• Off
Auto Bracketing: Shots / EV

Choose any combination of:
• 2 or 3 shots of
• 0.3, 0.7, 1.0, 1.3, 1.7, 2.0 steps
Flash sync mode

• Front-curtain sync (normal flash)
• Slow sync
• Rear-curtain sync
• Red-eye reduction
• Red-eye reduction with slow sync
No action
ISO Select ISO sensitivity equiv. *

1/3-stop inc.
 
1/2-stop inc. 1-stop inc.
200
• 250
• 320
400
• 500
• 640
800
• 1000
• 1250
• 1600
200
• 280
400
• 570
800
• 1150
1600
200
400
800
1600
No action

* ISO sensitivities can be selected between ISO 200 and 1600 in 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV steps by changing custom function 20. I've used the orange typeface to indicate a 1 stop increase in sensitivity. Custom function 31 also provides two additional 'boosted' ISO sensitivities. HI-1 represents approximately ISO 3200, HI-2 represents approximately ISO 6400.

Notable improvement: ISO control moved from the small rear 'control panel' button set to this top button, it's far easier to use and much better located. Also worth noting the large number of different ISO sensitivities thanks to the new 1/3 EV steps.


Top of camera controls (right)

Top of the camera on the right side are the two command dials (front and back), the power & LCD illumination switch, shutter release and several other buttons for camera exposure settings.

Note that all the controls here relate to the photographic parts of the camera.

Power dial

Symbol
 
Mode
OFF

Camera Off

Powers camera off. Nikon still haven't solved a problem I pointed out in my D1 review: if you have images in the cameras buffer the D1H will only save the image it is currently writing to the card and discard the rest. This is annoying to say the least. The camera should continue writing (with some kind of flashing warning on the top / rear LCD) until all images in the buffer have been written to the storage card, OR images should be held in the buffer until you turn the camera back on at which time the camera would prompt you to continue writing.

ON Camera On

Switches camera on, this is virtually instant, there's no perceptible delay between turning the dial to the On position and being able to shoot.. Excellent.
Illuminate

Spring loaded position, automatically returns to On. This illuminates the top and rear LCD's with a green backlight for 5 seconds (or as long as you hold the switch in this position). Custom function 17 allows you to set the LCD's backlights to come on every time ANY camera button is pressed.

Buttons

Button
Main command dial (rear)

Sub command dial (front)
MODE Exposure Mode * described below

• Programmed auto
• Shutter-Priority auto
• Aperture-Priority auto
• Manual
No action
Exposure Compensation

• +/-5EV in 1/3EV or 1/2EV steps
No action

Exposure Modes

Icon
 
Mode
P

Programmed Auto (Flexible)

The Program AE on the D1H is flexible, that means that you can select one of a variety of equal exposures by rolling the main command dial (rear of camera) left or right.

    Example:
     • 1/50 F5.6 (roll left a click) P*
     • 1/60 F5 (roll left a click) P*
     • 1/80 F4.5 (metered) P
     • 1/100 F4 (roll right a click) P*
     • 1/125 F3.5 (roll right a click) P*

The D1H remembers the selected offset from default metering, the only way to reset this is to perform a two-button reset or quickly turn the camera off and on again. This is exactly the same as the D1 and so hasn't changed (some users requested a quicker way to reset flexible programme).

S

Shutter Priority Auto

In this mode you select the shutter speed and the camera will calculate the correct aperture for the exposure (based on the reading of the current metering mode). Shutter speed is displayed on the viewfinder status bar and on the top LCD, roll the main command dial (rear) to select different shutter speeds. A half-press of the shutter release causes the cameras exposure system to calculate the aperture, if it's outside of the cameras exposure range (for instance trying to take a shot at 1/500s in darkness) the aperture will show 'Lo' or 'Hi'.

    • 30 seconds - 1/16,000 sec (in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps)

Shutter speed in this mode can be locked when the FUNC button is set to LOCK function (shooting menu). Simply hold the FUNC button and rotate the main command dial.

A

Aperture Priority Auto

In this mode you select the aperture and the camera will calculate the correct shutter speed for the exposure (based on the reading of the current metering mode). Aperture is displayed on the viewfinder status bar and on the top LCD, roll the sub-command (front) dial to select different apertures. A half-press of the shutter release causes the cameras exposure system to calculate the shutter speed, if it's outside of the cameras exposure range the shutter speed will show 'Lo' or 'Hi'.

    • Range depends on lens max. and min. apertures (in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps)

Aperture in this mode can be locked when the FUNC button is set to LOCK function (shooting menu). Simply hold the FUNC button and rotate the sub-command dial.

M Full Manual Exposure

In this mode you select the aperture and the shutter speed from any combination of the above (plus BULB for shutter speed, apertures limited by the lens used). Main command dial selects shutter speed, sub-command dial selects aperture. The meter on the viewfinder status bar and top LCD will immediately reflect the exposure level compared to the calculated ideal exposure, if it's outside of +/- 2EV the indicator bar will add an arrow '<' or '>' on the end of the meter.
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