The 7 Best Nikon Tricks Ever!

(Note – the tips in this video are intended for mid-to-pro range bodies and not for the D3xxx and D5xxx series).

So, for the last few months I’ve been neck-deep in Nikonland while working on the Nikon AF guide. As I dove through the menus, I started thinking about all the ways I like to customize my camera(s) – and this idea was born. 

You see, over the years, I have uncovered quite a few handy customizations for my Nikons and it seems like whenever I show these to people, the reaction is always the same: They immediately want to know how the heck I did those cool little tricks! So, I made a list of all my favorites and after some deliberation finally narrowed it down to what I feel are the seven most useful tricks. 

So, I’ve put together the video below – see what you think. And hey, feel free to share your favorite customizations as well. This may only be the first of several videos – I have a few more tricks up my sleeve 🙂

Finally, note that not every camera will support every tip and trick in the video. 



If you enjoyed this article, I think you’ll REALLY like my e-books, Secrets To Stunning Wildlife Photography and Secrets To The Nikon Autofocus System. They’re filled with hundreds of pages of information just like this. Check it out – click here (hey, it’s free to look 🙂 )


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This entry was posted in Nikon Gear, Techniques, Using Your Gear.


  1. Michelangelo October 6, 2017 at 5:08 pm #

    Hi Steve, I bought your pdf on NIkon AF system, I follow you a bit, work as a nikon photographer here in italy, I like how you do your business, I’ll tell you how I got your job, a greeting from Italy.

      PS sorry my bad English

  2. Tom Fish September 22, 2017 at 2:04 pm #

    Thanks Mr Perry
    my cameras r d33000 and now my better one D 5500 Very good but gives me some fun , thanks for the you tube … I am learning manual mode
    I shoot Birds in Flying or sitting on the ground ready to fly … Any way THANKS AGAIN AND AGAIN

  3. Earl August 31, 2017 at 7:08 am #

    Great video!
    I’m very enthusiastic about the video on the 7 best tips for Nikon. Could you tell me how to execute these tips on the Nikon D610?

  4. Roger Brunette July 24, 2017 at 9:40 pm #

    I have a D5200. Most of the tricks do not work on this camera. What books will help with this particular camera. Which camera are you using in the tips?

  5. Albert Vieten May 19, 2017 at 10:41 am #

    Hello Steve, I have read your two books and found both great and instructive. The tricks for Nikon AF helped me a lot, I applied to my camera a Nikon 7200 a few weeks ago and am thrilled. I am a fan from Germany and I am always curious to hear news from you.

  6. Hisham May 12, 2017 at 11:14 am #

    Hello Steve, I always enjoy learning from you so thank you.

  7. Alan May 10, 2017 at 6:04 am #

    Is this auto focus book available for PC and a Laptop. Alan

    • Steve Perry May 11, 2017 at 2:46 pm #

      Yes – any device that can read PDFs can use it (PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android, etc).

  8. Charlie Z April 29, 2017 at 4:34 pm #

    Steve: Of many good ones, this is one of the most useful videos on YouTube. I’ve been shooting Nikons since 1979 and still need to review AF systems periodically just to make sure I’m using them right. This video is a quick, direct refresher that I need. Thanks!
    – Charlie

    PS: It might be a AF related bug only with the D3s, but I’ve not found any confirmation of it:
    A6 Focus point illumination > “Continuous mode” switch does not seem to do anything.

    I cannot turn off the focus square. It works for the “Manual focus mode” selection, but not for “Continuous mode”, regardless of AF priority (AF-C or -S), dynamic settings, AF mode, AF-ON set or not, etc…).

    I have BB focus set up, so I’m always in AF-C and would like to have no focus point illuminated until I press either AF-ON or the shutter release. Do you know if this software switch is busted?

  9. Anthony Santiago April 27, 2017 at 4:08 am #

    Great stuff man, Just keep doing it…..

  10. Niaz Ahmed April 25, 2017 at 12:19 am #

    Hi ,I love u watch your video all ways on U-Tube which is very help full for like a new to photography I have a question Do u have a that new book which just come out recently ,I wanted in a book formate not in Ebook ,pls advice so I can order ,thanks

  11. Harold April 23, 2017 at 5:51 am #

    Hi Steve
    Well done on your new book, a real treasure trove.
    A quick question off topic, have you used a teleconverter on the Nikon 200-500mm with the D500, and if so what is it worth the extra reach albeit that focusing maybe slower, or is it better to crop?

    • Steve Perry April 24, 2017 at 1:42 am #

      I have used a TC with the 200-500, but only briefly (I have a 600 F4, so not much need to put a TC on the 200-500 for my shooting). It works fine, good image quality, just slower AF. Oh, and you’ll want to stick the the center AF points as well as they are fully compatible with the effective F/8.

  12. Bill Graham April 22, 2017 at 11:38 pm #


    I enjoy watching your videos but ferCrissakes can you cut the volume on the intro music?


  13. Magnus Svärd April 22, 2017 at 10:22 am #

    Hi Steve and thank you for doing so great E-books they are well done and easy to follow keep up the great work!!!
    I have a question as well. I own both the d5 and the d500, I love the d5 in every aspect of it but got the d500 to be one to go to for dx and when I felt I needed a lighter camera. And it works just fine in the hand but when I get the pictures in the computer the pictures have far more noice.
    So my question is what kind of raw converter do you recommend and use?
    I use Lightroom and for my other cameras d5 and Fujifilm Xt2 it work great but if I want a picture with high quality from the d500 I have to go by DxO.
    I thought the d5 and the d500 had the same sensor so I don’t get this. And it’s disappointing when you grab the d500 and it works so well and you get the picture ,,,,,,until they end up in the computer.
    At one point I thought I might be better of with nikons own software but it was working soooooo slow.

    As I said hope you keep up your good work!

    • Steve Perry April 22, 2017 at 2:08 pm #

      Thanks for the kind works :0

      The D5 and D500 do not share the same sensor – the D500 id a DX sensor and the D5 is FX – and about 1.5 stop better for ISO performance. I keep my D500 under ISO 4000 and use either LR to clean it up or Topaz Denoise. I usually use Topaz on Photoshop so I can uses masks as needed to get precise control (although Topaz has some pretty good options built in for apply the noise reduction selectively).

    • Magnus Svärd April 22, 2017 at 11:53 pm #

      Thanks for your quick answer Steve. I will look into topaz to see what it can do for me. I want to be able to use the d500 more since apart from this is a very nice camera with frame speed, good autofocus and the crop factor benefit with my 600mm.

  14. Ian April 21, 2017 at 7:17 am #

    Hello Steve, I always enjoy reading and learning from you so thank you. My problem is that I’ve had a stroke on my right side and have no feeling or control there. I have a D500 and am still keen on Bird photography etc. I have to use basically all the controls with my left hand whilst holding the camera by a pistol grip attached to the tripod socket in my right. It works very well but I have a much slower speed of reaction than before! Some people reckon that at last I have an excuse for this limitation!
    Anyway I also have a D300s so I’m going to enjoy reading your tips anyway and I’ll see which of your tips, if any can be adapted to the D500!

    Thank you again,

    • Steve Perry April 21, 2017 at 1:34 pm #

      Pretty much everything on my site and in my book works on the D500 🙂

  15. Vaughn April 20, 2017 at 5:26 pm #

    Hi Steve,
    Like others I have both you eBooks and really appreciate them. Your tips are an incredible aid in demystifying the menu system. Thanks for the help.

  16. Russell Strauss April 20, 2017 at 1:33 pm #

    I have both your books and have learned an amazing amount. I have a nikon D500 and am trying to be able to change the iso using the record button and the command dial. I do not have that option on my D500 and would appreciate if you could let me know how to do this on my camera.
    Thank you, Russell Strauss [email protected]

    • Steve Perry April 20, 2017 at 6:19 pm #

      Hi Russell – Thanks for the book purchases 🙂 The D500 won’t let you change it since the ISO button is in the “right” spot anyway.

    • Russell Strauss April 20, 2017 at 7:05 pm #

      I feel dumb, thanks.

  17. Tom Lee April 20, 2017 at 11:09 am #

    I’m working my way through and enjoying the Nikon autofocus e-book but these quick tips are really cool. Yet again Steve gives practical and useful tips in an easy to understand way. I love this channel. From Sussex England.

  18. Robert Wheeler April 19, 2017 at 10:45 pm #

    In my D800, [Menu -> Custom Settings -> Controls -> Multi-selector center button -> Live View -> Zoom on/off -> OK] achieves the goal of setting up zooming to 100% in Live View by using that button.

    Also would like to add, Steve’s eBook on the Nikon autofocus system is excellent, with many useful points even for a long-time Nikon user. Well worth buying!

  19. Joann Long April 19, 2017 at 9:18 pm #

    I have both of your e-books and love watching all of your videos. No nonsense, well presented, helpful information! Always learning from you. I tell all my photo buddies about your work! Especially liked the Nikon focused instruction! Thanks so much!

  20. Jerry April 19, 2017 at 9:14 pm #


    Great tips. They should come in handy!

  21. David April 19, 2017 at 6:42 pm #

    I have both of your e-books and watch all of your videos. Always learning from you. Keep up the great work. As for Craig Keever’s question, I have the 800e and the quick zoom works for me in Live Mode as well as preview mode. I just set it per your instructions and tried it. Great tip.

  22. Ron Machado April 19, 2017 at 5:23 pm #

    Thanks again Steve for taking your time to share with us your tips and experience. Just finished both books and thoroughly enjoyed each one! Keep on shooting and posting. Are you back from you Spring trips? Where are you heading to now in the late spring and early summer? Cheers. R

    • Steve Perry April 19, 2017 at 5:25 pm #

      With all the book and video stuff, I haven’t really started any spring stuff. Heading to GSM soon though 🙂

  23. Tony April 19, 2017 at 5:20 pm #

    Tips are great. So is the new auto focus book.

  24. daryle April 19, 2017 at 4:29 pm #

    I have a D7000 and do not find the settings option for trick number 1?

    • Steve Perry April 19, 2017 at 5:24 pm #

      Sadly, the D7000 doesn’t support that trick. (I don’t think the D600 does either)

  25. Craig Keever April 19, 2017 at 4:25 pm #

    Does the quick zoom in Live Mode trick work with the D800e? I’ve tried to set it up several times but no success.

    • Steve Perry April 19, 2017 at 5:12 pm #

      It may not – It’s been a long time since I looked at a D800 and I can’t remember if it did that trick or not. It works on the D810 for sure, but it may have been a more recent implementation. I always figured I just didn’t know it was there!

      • mark lee April 19, 2017 at 10:18 pm #

        Tips are great, I hope I can remember to use them. Live view quick zoom works on my 800, thanks

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