Record Screens & Menus


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As you spin the mode dial on top of the Nikon 1 J5 camera body, you'll see a digital mode dial appear on the LCD. An explanation of the currently selected mode will appear in the middle of the screen for a little more than a second. The mode dial options are:

  • Programmed Auto (P)
  • Shutter-Priority Auto (S)
  • Aperture-Priority Auto (A)
  • Manual (M)
  • Best Moment Capture (rectangle icon with star)
  • Motion Snapshot (curved rectangle icon)
  • Advanced Movie (movie camera icon with star)
  • Creative (camera icon with C)
  • Sports (running man icon)
  • Auto (green camera icon)

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You can change the information displayed on the screen in the shooting modes by using the Display option in the Setup menu (which we'll discuss later). You can select from two display options:

  • Simple - Shows shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and time and space remaining on memory card in Program mode.
  • Detailed - Adds data to what was shown in Simple mode to the top of the screen, including drive mode, white balance mode, movie resolution, still image resolution, and focus mode in Program mode. Some shooting modes have less data on the screen.
You can use the same portion of the Setup menu to turn the 4x4 grid on and off, which can help you with composition.

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If you press the edges of the four-way command dial, you'll gain access to commonly used settings in a popup menu on the screen. The options available in Program mode are:

  • Top button - Function (as discussed below)
  • Right button - Exposure Compensation (between +3 and -3 in 1/3 increments)
  • Bottom button - Flash modes (Fill Flash, Red-Eye Reduction, Slow Sync + Red-Eye, Slow Sync, Rear-Curtain + Slow Sync)
  • Left button - Drive modes (Single Frame, Continuous (Continuous, 10 fps, 20 fps, 30 fps, 60 fps), Self-Timer (2 sec, 10 sec))

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The fastest way to make changes to commonly used settings from almost any shooting mode with the Nikon 1 J5 is to use the Feature function, which is available by pressing the up button on the four-way command dial on the back of the camera. (The Auto and Sports shooting modes do not offer the Feature function.)

Within the Feature function is a grid of settings that you can change. Either use the four-way command dial to move through the grid, highlighting the setting you want to change in yellow and then pressing OK. Or touch the part of the grid you want to change. If the text in the grid has gray characters, you cannot change that setting in the current shooting mode. Only grid boxes with white characters are available to be changed. A popup menu or graph will appear on the far right side of the window where you can make the desired changes.

The Feature screen settings options in Program mode include (starting in the upper left corner and moving clockwise):

  • Shooting Mode icon - (P) does not change
  • Shutter Speed - grayed out in Program mode
  • Aperture - grayed out in Program mode
  • ISO - A6400, A3200, A800, 160, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, NR6400, 12800, NR12800
  • White Balance - (discussed below)
  • Picture Control - (discussed below)
  • Metering - Matrix, Center-Weighted, Spot
  • Focus Mode - Auto-Select AF (AF-A), Single AF (AF-S), Continuous AF (AF-C), Manual Focus (MF and discussed below)
  • AF-Area Mode - Auto-Area, Single-Point, Subject Tracking
  • Exposure Compensation - grayed out in Program mode
We'll now discuss in more detail some of the aspects of the Feature grid.

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The manual focus system Nikon gave the J5 and its basic kit lens isn't quite as easy to use as what you'd find with an interchangeable lens camera that has a focus ring on the lens. You'll use the four-way command dial and an on-screen graph to dial in the focus.

To use manual focus you'll need to select MF from the Feature grid as described above. When you see the OK: MF message on the screen, press the OK button to begin using manual focus.

Use the four-way command dial to change the focal point. Spin it left for more of a close-up focus and spin it right for more of a distance focus. Keep spinning it back and forth until you see the image on the screen become as sharp as you want.

You can use the command dial on the top of the camera to increase the magnification of the scene on the screen without changing the focal length setting of the lens, allowing you to more easily zero in on a portion of the screen that requires an extremely precise focus. The large box in the lower right corner of the screen indicates the overall scene, while the small yellow outlined box indicates the current view.

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Picture Control provides the special effect options with the Nikon 1 J5's advanced shooting modes (Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual). As you make a change in the popup menu, the effect of the new setting appears on the screen. The Picture Control options are:

  • Standard (SD)
  • Neutral (NL)
  • Vivid (VI)
  • Monochrome (MC)
  • Portrait (PT)
  • Landscape (LS)

Record - white balance GIF.gif
White balance is easy to adjust in the advanced shooting modes through the Feature function. The white balance options are:

  • Auto
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Direct Sunlight
  • Flash
  • Cloudy
  • Shade
  • Preset Manual

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Less experienced photographers will have access to some settings they can change in certain automatic shooting modes through Live Image Control. (Auto, Advanced Movie, Motion Snapshot, and Best Moment Capture shooting modes can use Live Image Control.)

When you see the Live Image Control text along the bottom of the screen, press the OK button to bring a popup menu to the screen on the right side. Use the four-way button command dial or touch the icon for the setting you want to change. Each setting then can be changed through a graph.

Unfortunately, Nikon didn't include explanations on the screen as you select each setting, so some of these options will be confusing for the photographers using the automatic shooting modes. As you make changes to the graph, the change will become visible on the screen, which is helpful in dialing in just the right setting.

The Live Image Control options are:

  • Active D-Lighting - 5 settings from low to high
  • Background Softening - 14 settings from low to high
  • Motion Control - 34 settings from low to high
  • Brightness Control - 19 settings from low to high
  • Creative Palette - (discussed below)
Some of these options may be grayed out, depending on which automatic shooting mode you're using.

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The final option under Live View Control is Creative Palette, where you'll spin the four-way command dial around to change the special effect setting being applied to the scene. As you spin the command dial, the scene on the LCD will reflect the current position the on-screen circle. But there's no on-screen explanation of the effects being applied. You just have to use the visual clues to determine which position on the circle to use.

As with the other Live View Control options, Creative Palette will be kind of fun to use for the inexperienced photographers at whom it is aimed, but it almost seems needlessly vague. Rather than using graphs and circles, it seems like having exact settings would make it easier to duplicate the setting again in a later photography session. It just seemed like Nikon overthought this feature, trying to make it easy to use, but I'm not sure they succeeded.

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If you're an inexperienced photographer who's looking to add special effects to your images, I'd suggest making use of the Creative mode on the mode dial instead of Live Image Control. The Creative mode is a fully automatic mode, yet it allows you to apply a large number of special effects that are easy to understand and use. Just turn the mode dial to the camera icon with the C to enter Creative mode.

Press the upward four-way button to see the Feature grid. Highlight the middle section of the grid and press OK to open the popup menu shown below.

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The special effects available in Creative mode are:

  • Pop
  • Retro - Red hue, Yellow hue
  • High-Contrast Monochrome
  • Sepia
  • HDR
  • Soft - Filter Strength (High, Normal, Low), Portrait (On, Off)
  • Easy Panorama - Normal Panorama, Wide Panorama
  • Miniature Effect
  • Selective Color - None, Magenta, Red, Red/Orange, Orange, Yellow, Yellow/Green, Green, Green/Blue, Light Blue, Blue, Dark Blue, Purple
  • Cross Process - Red, Green, Blue, Yellow
  • Toy Camera - Saturation (High, Normal, Low), Vignetting (High, Normal, Low)
  • Cross Screen
  • Fish Eye - Filter Strength (High, Normal, Low)
  • Skin Softening - Filter Strength (High, Normal, Low)
  • Night Landscape
  • Night Portrait
  • Landscape
  • Close-Up
  • Portrait
To see the extra options listed above with some of the special effects -- such as high, normal, or low -- you'll have to press the upward four-way button after selecting the desired special effect. You'll then see the extra features along the bottom of the Feature grid. It's unfortunate Nikon's designers didn't include a method of activating these extra features from the main shooting screen rather than having to re-enter the Feature grid, as making these changes requires a few extra button presses and slows down the process.

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The Motion Snapshot shooting feature is available on the mode dial. This is a movie/still image combination special effect.

When you press the shutter button in this mode, a still image is recorded along with about 1.6 seconds of video. When you play back the image on the J5's LCD, the video is replayed in slow motion, and the still image is displayed after the slow replay effect.

You can access the Feature grid for Motion Snapshot by pressing the up button on the four-way button. The Feature grid options are (starting in the upper left corner and moving clockwise):

  • Motion Snapshot icon
  • Exposure Mode - Scene Auto Selector, Programmed Auto, Shutter-Priority Auto, Aperture-Priority Auto, Manual
  • Shutter Speed - (grayed out in some setting
    combinations)
  • Aperture - (grayed out in some setting
    combinations)
  • ISO - (grayed out in some setting combinations)
  • Audio - Background Music, Ambient, None
  • File Format - NMS files, MOV file
  • Movie Before/After - 1.0/0.6 seconds, 1.6/0 seconds

Record - best moment capture GIF.gif
Another special effect on the mode dial is the Best Moment Capture mode. In this mode the Nikon 1 J5 will record a series of images with one shutter press. Then either you or the camera's software will select the best image from the group, discarding the extra photos.

Within Best Moment Capture you can press the up four-way button to see the Feature grid to make changes to the Best Moment Capture settings. The options in the grid, starting in the upper left corner and moving clockwise, are:

  • Best Moment Capture icon
  • Best Moment Capture - Active Selection (the photographer chooses the best photo in the group), Slow View (images are played back in slow motion, allowing photographer to choose best photo in group), Smart Photo Selector (camera selects best photo in group)
  • Exposure Mode - Scene Auto Selector, Programmed Auto, Shutter-Priority Auto, Aperture-Priority Auto, Manual
  • Shutter Speed - (grayed out in some setting combinations)
  • Aperture - (grayed out in some setting combinations)
  • ISO - (grayed out in some setting combinations)
  • Frames Saved - (not displayed in some setting combinations) 1, All
  • Capture 20 Frames Over - (not displayed in some setting combinations) 1/3 sec, 1 sec
  • On Release, Record - (not displayed in some setting combinations) Preceding Frames, Preceding and Following
  • Number of Shots Saved - (not displayed in some setting combinations) 1, 5

Record - movie GIF.gif
You can record movies from any shooting mode with the J5. However, to gain specific control over the camera's movie recording settings, you need to turn the mode dial to the Advanced Movie mode.

Press the movie recording button on the top panel of the camera to start and stop video recording. As a video is being recorded you'll see a red dot and the recording time expired in the upper left corner. The current movie resolution is listed in the upper left corner too.

You can see full data or limited data on the screen about the camera's settings. Select between the two display modes using the on-screen Setup menu.

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While in Advanced Movie mode you can access the Feature grid by pressing the up four-way button. This is the easiest way to make changes to the Nikon 1 J5's movie settings, including switching to 4K video recording.

The options in the Advanced Movie grid for HD and 4K move recording, starting in the upper left corner and moving clockwise, are:

  • Advanced Movie icon
  • Advanced Movie - (recording options discussed below)
  • Exposure Mode - Scene Auto Selector, Programmed Auto, Shutter-Priority Auto, Aperture-Priority Auto, Manual
  • Shutter Speed - (grayed out in some setting combinations)
  • Aperture - (grayed out in some setting combinations)
  • ISO - (grayed out in some setting combinations)
  • Frames Size/Frame Rate - (not displayed in 4K resolution) 1080p60, 1080p30, 720p60, 720p30
  • White Balance - (not displayed in some HD resolution settings) Auto, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade, Preset Manual
  • Picture Control - (not displayed in some HD resolution settings) Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape

Record - movie res GIF.gif
Nikon gave the J5 quite a few different movie recording options, which is nice to have available, including the high resolution 4K option and a handful of special effect options. The different recording options are:

  • HD Movie - HD video recording at either 1920x1080 or 1280x720 resolution
  • 4K Movie - Technically, it's UHD resolution video recording at 3840x2160 resolution rather than full 4K (4096x2160), but many manufacturers use the terms 4K and UHD interchangeably
  • Time-Lapse Movie - Camera records 1920x1080 still images at intervals of 5, 10, or 30 seconds and then combines them into a silent time-lapse movie; you'll press the OK button to stop recording
  • Slow Motion - Camera records about 3 seconds of silent video at 400 fps and 800x296 resolution, but plays it back at 30 fps to create a slow motion effect (requiring about 40 seconds of playback time)
  • Fast Motion - Camera records silent video at full HD, then plays it back at four times recording speed
  • Jump Cut - Camera creates a drop-frame effect by starting and stopping full HD recording in 1 second intervals, then splicing all video together
  • 4-Second Movie - Camera records a 4-second full HD video clip

To access the Movie menu among the on-screen menus, press the Menu button on the back of the camera while the mode dial is set to Advanced Movie. The Movie menu is marked with a movie camera icon with a star, and its menu options are:

  • Reset Shooting Options - Yes, No
  • Advanced Movie - HD Movie, 4K Movie, Time-Lapse Movie, Slow Motion, Fast Motion, Jump Cut, 4-Second Movie
  • Exposure Mode - Scene Auto Selector, Programmed Auto, Shutter-Priority Auto, Aperture-Priority Auto, Manual
  • Frame Size/Frame Rate - 1080/60p, 1080/30p, 720/60p, 720/30p
  • Metering - Matrix, Center-Weighted, Spot
  • White Balance - Auto, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade, Preset Manual
  • ISO Sensitivity - A6400, A3200, A800, 160, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400
  • Picture Control - Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape
  • Active D-Lighting - On, Off
  • High ISO Noise Reduction - On, Off
  • Movie Sound Options - Microphone (Auto Sensitivity, High Sensitivity, Medium Sensitivity, Low Sensitivity, Microphone Off), Wind Noise Reduction (On, Off)
  • Auto Image Capture - Auto Photography (On, Off), Max. Shots Per Minute (1, 4)
  • Optical VR - On, Off
  • Electronic VR (Movies) - On, Off
  • Focus Mode - Full-Time AF (AF-F), Single AF (AF-S), Manual Focus (MF)
  • AF-Area Mode - Auto-Area, Single-Point, Subject Tracking
  • Face-Priority - On, Off

Record - shooting menu.jpg
With the mode dial turned to P (Programmed Auto), the Menu screen will change to provide some new options. A few of these options are repeated in the Feature grid. The Program menu options are:

  • Reset Shooting Options - Yes, No
  • Image Quality - NEF (RAW) + JPEG fine, NEF (RAW), JPEG fine, JPEG Normal
  • Image Size - 20.6M, 11.6M, 5.1M
  • Frame Size/Frame Rate - 1080/60p, 1080/30p, 720/60p, 720/30p
  • Metering - Matrix, Center-Weighted, Spot
  • White Balance - Auto, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade, Preset Manual
  • ISO Sensitivity - A6400, A3200, A800, 160, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, NR6400, 12800, NR12800
  • Picture Control - Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape
  • Auto Distortion Control - On, Off
  • Color Space - sRGB, Adobe RGB
  • Active D-Lighting - On, Off
  • Long Exposure NR - On, Off
  • High ISO Noise Reduction - On, Off
  • Movie Sound Options - Microphone (Auto Sensitivity, High Sensitivity, Medium Sensitivity, Low Sensitivity, Microphone Off), Wind Noise Reduction (On, Off)
  • Auto Image Capture - Auto Photography (On, Off), Max. Shots Per Minute (1, 4)
  • Interval Timer Shooting - Start, Interval, Number of Shots
  • Optical VR - On, Off
  • Electronic VR (Movies) - On, Off
  • Focus Mode - Auto-Select AF (AF-A), Single AF (AF-S), Continuous AF (AF-C), Manual Focus (MF)
  • AF-Area Mode - Auto-Area, Single-Point, Subject Tracking
  • Face Priority - On, Off
  • Built-in AF Assist - On, Off
  • Flash Control - TTL, Manual (Full, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32,
  • Flash Compensation - +1.0, +0.7, +0.3, 0.0, -0.3, -0.7, -1.0, -1.3, -1.7, -2.0, -2.3, -2.7, -3.0

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As you change shooting modes with the Nikon 1 J5, the options when you press the Menu button will change too, reflecting the current shooting mode. While many of the entries in the menus are the same from shooting mode to shooting mode, as you can see here enough of them change that it may be a bit confusing for photographers. You may have had one particular menu option that you liked to access in one shooting mode that you cannot find again later, because you don't remember which shooting mode you were using. I understand Nikon is trying to tailor its menus to specific shooting options so each shooting menu has fewer entries and less clutter, but this is another area where it just feels like the manufacturer overthought things.

Record - setup menu.jpg
The Setup menu is marked by the wrench icon on the left side of the screen after you press the Menu button. The Setup menu's options will not change in different shooting modes. The Setup menu is where you'll find the Display option to change the shooting data shown on the screen in still image and movie modes, as we discussed earlier.

The Setup menu options are:

  • Reset Setup Options - Yes, No
  • Format Memory Card - Yes, No
  • Slot Empty Release Lock - Release Locked, Enable Release
  • Image Review - On, Off
  • Display - Display Brightness (+3 to -3 in 1-step increments), Grid Display (On, Off), Shooting (Simple, Detailed), Playback (Basic Info, Detailed Info, Image Only)
  • Sound Settings - AF, Self-Timer, Shutter, Touch-Screen Controls
  • Auto Power Off - 1 min, 10 min
  • Self-Portrait Mode - On, Off
  • Touch-Screen Controls - Enable, Disable
  • Assign Fn Button - Exposure Compensation, Metering, White Balance, ISO Sensitivity, Picture Control, AF-Area Mode, Focus Mode
  • Shutter Button AE Lock - On, Off
  • Flicker Reduction - 50 Hz, 60 Hz
  • Reset File Numbering - Yes, No
  • Time Zone and Date - Time Zone, Date and Time, Date Format (Y/M/D, M/D/Y, D/M/Y), Daylight Saving Time (On, Off)
  • Language
  • Auto Image Rotation - On, Off
  • Pixel Mapping - Yes, No
  • Firmware Version

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