Mastering the Nikon COOLPIX A (2014)

Chapter 7. My Menu and Recent Settings

As you have read through this book and experimented with your camera, you’ve surely noticed that the COOLPIX A has a large number of menus, screens, functions, and settings. When I took pictures of the camera’s menus and screens for this book, I had hundreds of images when I was done. That many screens can be somewhat complex to navigate. We need a shortcut menu for our most-used settings—a place to keep the functions we’re constantly changing.

Nikon has given us two specialty menus in the COOLPIX A: My Menu and Recent Settings. They are both designed to give us exactly what we need—a menu that can be customized with only the most-used functions or a menu of recent changes to functions.

For instance, I often turn Eye-Fi upload on and off. Instead of having to search through all the settings, trying to remember exactly where Eye-Fi upload lives, I simply added that setting to My Menu. Now, whenever I want to transfer some new JPEGs to my iPad, I just go to My Menu and enable Eye-Fi upload. I can do it quickly, without searching, because I added it to My Menu.

Settings Recommendation: I rarely use Recent Settings. I prefer the control I get with my own personally customizable menu—My Menu. The Recent Settings menu has very little flexibility since it’s an automatically updated, camera-controlled menu system that displays the last few menu items you’ve modified. You really can’t do much in the way of configuring it. You just select it and use it. On the other hand, My Menu is a personal collection of links to my most-used settings. It is completely configurable.

We’ll consider both menus in this chapter, with heavy emphasis on configuring My Menu.

What’s the Difference between My Menu and Recent Settings?

You can add up to 20 settings from the Playback Menu, Shooting Menu, Custom Setting Menu, Setup Menu, and Retouch Menu to My Menu. Recent Settings will automatically display the last 20 settings you’ve modified in the other menus, but it’s not configurable. The most important difference between the two menus is the level of control you have over what appears on the menu.

My Menu is completely customizable and does not change unless you change it, and Recent Settings simply shows the last 20 changes you made to your camera settings.

Recent Settings will change every time you modify a different camera setting. However, since it shows the last 20 changes, you should be able to find the ones you change most often somewhere in the list.

The two menus are mutually exclusive and cannot appear on the COOLPIX A at the same time. One takes the place of the other when you select the Choose tab setting at the end of each menu and choose your favorite.

My Menu

(User’s Manual, Page 222)

My Menu is my menu! I can add or remove virtually any camera setting shown on one of the primary menus. When I use My Menu I don’t have to spend time looking for a function that’s buried in the main menu system. Since I often use each function on My Menu, I’m glad to have it immediately available.

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Figure 7.1: My Menu

In figure 7.1 you can see that My Menu is the last selection on the COOLPIX A menu system. Its icon looks like a list with a check mark on it. Press the MENU button and scroll down with the Rotary multi selector until the yellow highlight looks like figure 7.1.

When you first look at My Menu you’ll see nothing but the last four selections in figure 7.1:

• Add items

• Remove items

• Rank items

• Choose tab

Let’s examine each of these menu choices in detail.

Add Items

To add an item to My Menu, you first need to locate the item. Search through the menus until you find the setting you want to add, then make note of where it’s located. You could do this from within the Add items menu, but I find that it’s harder to find what I’m looking for if I haven’t already confirmed where it lives. Is it under the Shooting Menu or the Setup Menu?

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Figure 7.2: Add items to My Menu

After you find the item you want to add and make note of its location, follow these steps:

1. Select Add items from My Menu. Notice that I have already added three items to My Menu: Monitor brightness, Eye-Fi upload, and Release mode (figure 7.2, image 1). I want to add another item.

2. Use the Rotary multi selector to scroll right, and you’ll find a list of menus to choose from. The Add items screen shows all the menus available in the COOLPIX A except My Menu and Recent Settings (figure 7.2, image 2). Let’s add another item, Slide show.

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Figure 7.3: Adding Slide show to My Menu

3. Figure 7.3 picks up where figure 7.2, image 2, leaves off. I already discovered that Slide show is under the Playback menu, so highlight it then scroll to the right (figure 7.3, image 1).

4. You can now see the Playback menu and its seven settings, including Slide show (figure 7.3, image 2). Scroll down to Slide show then press the OK button to select it. The COOLPIX A then displays the Choose position screen (figure 7.3, image 3).

5. Since I’ve already added a few other items to My Menu, I now have to decide the order in which I want them to be presented. The Slide show setting is on top because it is the newest entry (figure 7.3, image 3). I think I’ll move it down to the bottom and put Monitor brightness in the top position.

6. To move the position of the selected item, simply scroll down. The Slide show setting has a yellow box around it (figure 7.3, image 3). As you scroll down, a yellow underline moves to the last position (red arrow). This yellow underline represents the new location for Slide show. When the yellow underline is in the correct location, press the OK button. The screen pops back to the My Menu screen, and all the options are arranged the way you specified (figure 7.3, image 4). Notice that Monitor brightness is now at the top of the list and Slide show is last (just above Add items).

Remove Items

Now that you know how to Add items, let’s examine how to Remove items. I decided that Slide show is not that important after all, so I’ll remove it.

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Figure 7.4: Remove an item from My Menu

Use the following steps to Remove items from My Menu:

1. Select Remove items from My Menu and scroll to the right (figure 7.4, image 1).

2. The Remove items screen presents a series of selections with check boxes. Whichever boxes you check will be deleted when you select Done (figure 7.4, image 2). You can check the boxes by highlighting the item you want to delete and scrolling right, which places a check mark in the box. You can also press the OK button to place a check mark in an item’s box. I like to use the OK button because scrolling left does not work; it takes you back to the My Menu screen. Pressing the OK button acts like a toggle and will check or uncheck an item.

3. After you’ve checked the settings you want to remove, scroll up to Done and press the OK button (figure 7.4, image 3).

4. A small box pops up and asks, Delete selected item? (figure 7.4, image 4). Press the OK button to remove the setting from My Menu. A screen that says Done is displayed (figure 7.4, image 5), then the COOLPIX A switches back to the My Menu screen (figure 7.4, image 6). You can press the MENU button to cancel if you change your mind.

Rank Items

Ranking items works similarly to positioning new items in My Menu. It moves an item up or down in My Menu. You can switch your most-used items to the top of the My Menu list.

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Figure 7.5: Rank items in My Menu

Use the following steps to Rank items:

1. Select Rank items from My Menu and scroll to the right (figure 7.5, image 1).

2. You’ll see the Rank items screen and all the current My Menu items (figure 7.5, image 2). I want to move Release mode to the top.

3. Highlight Release mode and press the OK button. A box will appear around that item. It is hard to see in the figure, but notice that the highlighted Release mode in figure 7.5, image 2, has no box around it, and in image 3 it does have a box. Move appears at the bottom of the screen.

4. Scroll up with the Rotary multi selector (figure 7.5, image 4). This moves the yellow positioning underline to the top of the list (red arrow). Press the OK button to select the new position, and Release mode will be moved to the top of the list (figure 7.5, image 5).

5. You can move the position of any items by repeating steps 3 and 4. The Release mode setting is where we want it, and we don’t need to move (Rank) any additional items, so press the MENU button to return to the main My Menu screen (figure 7.5, image 6).

Choose Tab

Choose tab allows you to switch between My Menu and Recent Settings. The Choose tab selection is the last choice on both menus.

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Figure 7.6: Select My Menu or Recent Settings (Choose tab)

Use the following steps to switch between My Menu and Recent Settings:

1. At the bottom of My Menu, select Choose tab and scroll to the right (figure 7.6, image 1).

2. You can choose My Menu or Recent Settings. Choose Recent Settings and press the OK button (figure 7.6, image 2).

3. The Recent Settings screen will now appear and completely replace My Menu on the main menu screen (figure 7.6, image 3). Notice that it has a Choose tab selection at the bottom, just like My Menu.

4. Select Choose tab and press the OK button to return to My Menu when you are ready (figure 7.6, image 3).

Clearly, this is a circular reference. You can use the Choose tab selection as a toggle between My Menu and Recent Settings. When you do, one replaces the other as the last selection on the main menu screen.

Settings Recommendation: My Menu gives you control over a customized menu that is entirely yours. I keep important items on My Menu, such as Release mode for when I want to switch between still images and shooting video; Monitor brightness for when I go from indoors to outside in bright sunlight; and Eye-Fi upload for when I want to upload my latest images.

You may use other functions more often than others, so configure My Menu however you want by choosing from the selections in the primary menus. My Menu will save you a lot of time when you look for your 20 most-used selections.

Now, let’s take a look at Recent Settings in a little more detail.

Recent Settings

(User’s Manual, Page 221)

The Recent Settings menu is very simple. It remembers the last 20 changes you’ve made to your COOLPIX A. Each menu selection that you modified is stored in Recent Settings, which is a temporary menu (figure 7.7).

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Figure 7.7: Recent Settings menu

If you change something in your camera that’s not already on the Recent Settings menu, it will be added to the top of the Recent settings list, moving any other changed functions down one row. If the list then exceeds 20 items, the last item in the list will be removed, maintaining a maximum of 20 items.

This list of changed items can be a convenient way to find something you changed recently but can’t remember where to find it in the main menus.

Settings Recommendation: If you want a more permanent menu for your favorite settings, use My Menu instead of Recent Settings. The Recent Settings menu is fine, but I want to directly control which settings I can quickly access without having to search for them every time. My Menu is my choice!

Author’s Conclusions

This is the last of the text-based menus we’ll cover in the COOLPIX A. We’ve been through all the menu screens in the last several chapters!

Now that we’ve completed the menus, it’s time to move into the chapters that pull everything together. You have stepped through the internal setup of every part of your COOLPIX A. Now, let’s begin to see how best to use the controls we’ve carefully configured. The next chapter discusses Autofocus, AF-Area Modes, and Release Modes.

The COOLPIX A has several types of each mode, and they can be hard to remember. Take time to work through each mode so you’ll remember how they work and which one to choose.