Nikon D780 Menu Setup Guide

In this video, I grab my new Nikon D780 and take you step by step through how I set up the menus. I show you all the settings I change (and recommend) as well as discussing why I don’t change others. Plus, I’ll also talk about WHY I set things the way I do and how these menu settings can impact your photography in the field. Also, please note that I am primarily a wildlife photographer so this setup will reflect that fact.

Also, even if you don’t have a Nikon D780, you can probably still get quite a bit out of this video. There’s a ton of crossover between the D780 and Nikon’s other mid-range to pro cameras, so most of the menu setup advice in this video will apply to those other cameras as well.


Table Of Contents:

This is a long one, so I’ve decided to put in a TOC to make coming back and jumping to a topic easier.

00.01 – Intro and time / date setup
02.25 – Playback Menu Setup
10.32 – Photo Shooting Menu Setup
20.03 – Custom Setting Menu – Autofocus
29.00 – Custom Setting Menu – Metering / Exposure + Timers / AE Lock
30.20 – Custom Setting Menu – Shooting / Display
34.40 – Custom Setting Menu – Bracketing / Flash
35.35 – Custom Setting Menu – Controls
43.26 – Setup Menu
45.38 – My Menu


Hey everyone – just a followup. I’ve had a lot of people ask why I purchased a D780 when I have a D5, D850, and Sony a9ii. The reason is simple – I need the camera to update my Nikon AF book and Nikon Exposure book (plus I may need it for future books). It’s mostly going to be a reference camera for me and will likely not see a ton of field use. Still, I thought it might be helpful to post a menu setup 🙂

That said, please don’t get me wrong. The D780 is actually a surprisingly nice camera and maybe the best all-around Nikon DSLR (especially with price factored in). It’s just that the D850, D5, and a9ii work better for what I do.

Related Videos:

Blinkies (Highlight Warning)
Nikon AF Modes
M + Auto ISO
All About Auto ISO
Back Button AF

PS – If you enjoyed this post, I think you’ll REALLY like my e-books, Secrets To Exposure And Metering For Nikon, Secrets To Stunning Wildlife Photography, and Secrets To The Nikon Autofocus System. I’m sure you’ll also love my new Lightroom Library Module video workshop and of course my Noise Reduction video workshop. They’re filled with hundreds of tips, techniques and information just like this. Check ’em out – click here (hey, it’s free to look).

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

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David Beal

Steve, great video. I got my D780 just a couple of days after it was released. Love it. Your video was a great help in working through the menu. There’s a lot of experimenting in my future.

I had a D7200 and D5100. The 7200 is now my second camera, and the 5100 has a new life with my 24-year-old in Virginia. I’m loving the full frame experience, and the quality of the images is outstanding.

Best wishes fin your continuing educational pursuits.


Hi Steve, I purchased the D780 and absolutely love it. It’s my first full frame. I’m interested in purchasing your ebooks on exposure and auto focus. If I purchase the books now and you update them later for the D780 will I have to pay for them again to get the new content? I think it makes better sense to purchase them after you had a chance to complete the update. Thanks


Hey Steve, why did you get a Nikon D780? You have mentioned before you were using D850/D5 and even Sony. What does it bring to your wildlife photography?