Mastering the Nikon COOLPIX A (2014)

Appendix. Camera Control Reference

Let’s take a tour of the camera’s buttons, dials, and switches. This appendix is a reference for where the controls are located and what each control accomplishes. For the description of each control, match the number of the control in figures A.1A.5 to the corresponding list entry. All control names are marked in blue to help identify them as Nikon control names. Green items are words you will see on the camera’s LCD monitor.

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Figure A.1: Front of camera

Front of camera (figure A.1)

1. Stereo microphone: The Microphone (mic) is active when you record videos with your camera. It provides true stereo mic functionality, with left and right channel separation.

2. Infrared receiver: This is the Infrared receiver for use with an optional Nikon ML-L3 wireless infrared transmitter. You can use the ML-L3 transmitter to fire the shutter remotely, from as far away as 16 feet (5 meters).

3. Focus ring: This wide ring allows you to focus the lens manually when the Focus mode selector (item 42) on the side of the camera is set to manual focus (MF). Also see figure A.3 (item 26) for a better view of the ring.

4. Lens ring: This removable ring is designed to cover the threads for the Nikon UR-E24 Filter Adapter and HN-CP18 Lens Hood Set. You can use the filter adapter to attach 46mm lens filters, such as a circular polarizer, to the camera. Also see figure A.3 (item 25) for a better view of the ring.

5. Lens: This is the retractable lens. When you use the Power switch (item 27) to turn on the camera, the lens will extend, automatically retract the lens cover blades, and expose the front element of the lens. When the lens is extended, which takes about one second, the camera is ready to take pictures.

6. AF-assist illuminator: Also known as the Self-timer lamp, this very bright red light shines to help the camera autofocus in low light levels. It also blinks during a self-timer cycle countdown.

7. Front finger grip: This small vertical leather grip provides a secure place to grasp the front of the camera with your fingers.

8. Fn1 button: This is one of two assignable buttons that can be used to control various camera functions (the other assignable button is discussed in item 22). You can choose from many selections when you modify Setup Menu > Assign Fn1 button. After you assign a function to the Fn1 button, it will execute that function when you press it. The button assignment is discussed in detail in the Setup Menu chapter.

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Figure A.2: Rear of camera

Rear of camera (figure A.2)

9. Flash pop-up control: This slider switch raises the built-in flash when you use shooting modes that allow flash.

10. AF/Memory card access lamp: This small green LED light illuminates when you first turn the camera on and have not yet initiated autofocus. When you press the Shutter-release button (item 30) halfway to focus the camera, the light goes off during the autofocus cycle then shines when autofocus has been successful. It blinks rapidly if autofocus is unsuccessful. After you take a picture, the light comes on when the new image is being written to the memory card. When you use the optional Nikon DF-CP1 Optical Viewfinder, you can see this light out of the corner of your eye and can tell if autofocus was successful.

11. Flash lamp: This lamp does not shine unless you have the Built-in flash (item 33) raised and are pressing halfway down on the Shutter-release button (item 30). In that case, the lamp will shine red if the flash is ready to fire. If the light does not shine when you have the flash raised and are pressing halfway down on the Shutter-release button, it means the flash is not ready and the battery is probably almost discharged. It takes about one second for the flash to recharge after a full dump of the flash capacitor (thyristor).

12. Leather thumb grip: This grip falls naturally under your thumb when you pick up the camera with your right hand. It allows you to firmly grasp the camera when you are holding it.

13. Playback button: Use this button to preview images or movies you have taken on the monitor (item 19). When you press the Playback button, an image or movie will appear, then you can scroll through the images and movies with the Rotary multi selector (item 15). To play a movie on the monitor, press the OK button (item 16). Note: You can also hold down the Playback button for a couple of seconds while the camera is turned off and the camera will turn on without extending the lens, allowing you to view images on the monitor without accidentally touching the front element of the lens. You can also use the MENU button (item 14) while the camera is on and the lens is retracted so you can set up a slide show (Setup Menu > Slide show) or start playing a video. Then you can hand the camera to someone else without fear of the lens being damaged. When the camera is in this partially on mode, you can press the Shutter-release button (item 30) halfway and the lens will extend, then the camera is ready to take pictures.

14. MENU button: Use the MENU button to open the menu system on the monitor (item 19). You’ll use this button often when you make changes to the configuration of your camera.

15. Rotary multi selector: This is a primary control for the camera and is very important in everyday use. You must learn the name of this control and how to use it. Any time you move between items in the menus or scroll through pictures and videos on the monitor (item 19), you’ll use theRotary multi selector. Embed this control in your memory. This control, the OK button (item 16) in the middle of the Rotary multi selector, and the Command dial (item 28) will be your constant friends when you use this powerful little camera.

16. OK button: Use the OK button in the middle of the Rotary multi selector (item 15) to select all sorts of items and approve various changes in the menu system. Learn this control’s name and location well. You’ll use it often.

17. Delete button: Use this button to delete pictures when they are displayed on the monitor (item 19). You also use it to delete characters when you insert text in various functions, like Setup Menu > Image comment.

18. i button: The i button opens the Information display screen, with its 14-item Quick Menu. You can directly adjust 14 items that you would otherwise have to look up in the standard menu system under the MENU button (item 14).

19. Monitor: This is the primary display screen for the camera. This 3.0-inch LCD screen will display your pictures and videos after you take them, and it will display the menu system when you press the MENU button (item 14).

20. Playback zoom out/thumbnails button: When you have zoomed in to an image on the monitor (item 19) with the Playback zoom in button (item 21), this button allows you to zoom back out or display multiple thumbnail images. You can also use it to select and deselect items when you configure many functions in the menu system.

21. Playback zoom in button: This button allows you to zoom in to pictures you see on the monitor (item 19). You can also use it to select or deselect items when you configure some functions in the menu system.

22. ISO/Fn2 button: This is a multifunction button that can be assigned in a similar way to the Fn1 button (item 8). Its default function allows you to change the ISO sensitivity when you hold it down and turn the Command dial (item 28). You can then watch the ISO sensitivity value change on the monitor (item 19). However, you can change the button’s functionality to do something else by choosing a different function in Setup Menu > Assign ISO/Fn2 button.

23. +/- Exposure compensation button: This is a context-sensitive, multifunction button that not only provides exposure compensation, but also allows you to adjust the aperture or protect images from deletion. To provide exposure compensation, you will need to be in a shooting mode with the Live view screen active on the monitor (item 19). Hold down the +/-Exposure compensation button and turn the Command dial (item 28) while watching the compensation value change on the monitor. You can dial in up to +/- 5 EV in compensation. To adjust the aperture (in manual (M) mode only) hold down the +/- Exposure compensation button and turn the Rotary multi selector (item 15). To protect an image from deletion, simply display an image on the monitor and press the +/- Exposure compensation button. A small key symbol will appear in the upper-left corner of the image, which indicates the image is locked from deletion (except if you format the memory card).

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Figure A.3: Top of camera

Top of camera (figure A.3)

24. Lens: See item 5 for a better view of the front lens element and a description of the lens.

25. Focus ring: See item 3 for a description of the Focus ring.

26. Lens ring: See item 4 for a description of the Lens ring.

27. Power switch: This switch turns the camera on and off.

28. Command dial: Use this dial in conjunction with other buttons to select various things, such as images on the monitor (item 19) and items on the menus. The Command dial is a very important control that you will use quite often.

29. Power on lamp: This green light will initially shine when you power the camera on, and it will stop shining when the monitor (item 19) is active. It will blink for three minutes when you turn the monitor off to save power (but the camera is still active) and during interval timer shooting when the camera is being powered by the battery.

30. Shutter-release button: This is the most-used control on the camera, and it has multiple purposes: (1) release the shutter and take a picture; (2) activate the exposure meter; and (3) activate autofocus. The exposure meter is activated and autofocus occurs any time you hold the Shutter-release button halfway down.

31. Mode dial: This dial allows you to rapidly switch exposure modes (AUTO, SCENE, U1, U2, M, A, S, and P). The Mode dial also works in conjunction with the Command dial (item 28) to choose a SCENE mode when you select that option. AUTO is represented by a green camera icon on the Mode dial.

32. Accessory shoe: This is also called a hot shoe. You can use it to attach various accessory units that provide additional functionality to the camera. The main accessories are the Nikon DF-CP1 Optical Viewfinder; Speedlight flash units, such as the SB-300 or SB-400; and the Nikon GP-1 GPS unit. Before you insert anything into the Accessory shoe, you first need to remove the Nikon BS-1 Accessory Shoe Cover (not shown).

33. Built-in flash: You open the built-in Speedlight flash by sliding the Flash pop-up control (item 9). The Built-in flash can help light a scene that has very low light, or it can provide fill flash for back- and top-lit subjects. The guide number for the Built-in flash is 21 feet or 6 meters (21/6) at ISO 100 in automatic modes (22/6 at ISO 100 in manual mode).

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Figure A.4: Bottom of camera

Bottom of camera (figure A.4)

34. Compliance logo and serial number plate: This plate lists compliance logos, recycling information, and the serial number of your camera.

35. Speaker: The Speaker emits sound from your recorded movies. Also, if you have Beep enabled in Setup Menu > Beep, you’ll hear camera sounds through this Speaker.

36. Name and battery information plate: This plate displays the camera’s official trade name, battery voltage and amperage, and the manufacturer’s name and location.

37. Tripod socket: Use this socket to attach a tripod head or a removable tripod quick-release plate to your camera. The Tripod socket has standard one-quarter inch threads.

38. Battery chamber/memory card slot cover latch: Use this latch to open the Battery chamber/memory card slot cover (item 39) to access the EN-EL20 battery and SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card.

39. Battery chamber/memory card slot cover: This cover opens to reveal the battery and memory card. Use the Battery chamber/memory card slot cover latch (item 38) to open this cover.

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Figure A.5: Connector covers and contents

Connector covers and contents (figure A.5)

40. Accessory terminal: Use this port to attach an external GPS unit (such as the Nikon GP-1), the MC-DC2 Remote Release Cord, and other devices.

41. USB connector: This is a USB 2.0 compatible mini-B port that you use to transfer images to your computer or connect the camera to a PictBridge compatible printer.

42. Focus mode selector: This switch has three positions: top, middle, and bottom. The top position is AF, which is the normal position for autofocus (AF) photography. The middle position is for when you want to do macro shots (closeups) and need to hold the lens very close to the subject. The bottom position is MF for manual focusing. Use this mode when you want to manually focus the lens with the Focus ring (items 3 and 25). A vertical focus scale will appear on the right side of the monitor (item 19) when you select this mode.

43. HDMI mini-pin connector (type c): Use this port to interface your camera with HDMI devices, such as an HDTV, external displays, and external video recording devices (e.g., the Atomos Ninja-2, www.Atomos.com). The camera interface requires a mini-pin type c HDMI cable or adapter.

44. Power connector cover: Remove this cover to insert an optional Nikon EH-5b, EH-5a, or EH-5 AC adapter into the battery chamber. Allow the wire to come out of the hole that’s left when the cover is removed. You will also need a Nikon EP-5C Power Connector to attach the AC adapter.