How to change the ISO on your Nikon DSLR in a better way

As much as I like my Nikon D800E, there is one thing I really hate about it, and that is the position of the ISO button. Recent Nikon DSLR models come with a Release Mode Dial on the top left side of the camera body, and the ISO button is there. By default, to modify the ISO you turn the Main Command Dial with your right thumb while you are holding the ISO button, normally I use my left thumb. This is complicated to do on the go because it involves stretching your left hand and you won’t be able to focus or zoom in/out and will lose the grip on your heavy camera, which is even heavier when you are using a long lens attached. In which case forget about modifying the ISO while you are looking through the viewfinder, as your left hand needs to be under the lens to hold it. Using a tripod or lowering the camera will be your only solutions. And then the photo is gone.


Luckily there is a fix for this. Go into:

 MENU > CUSTOM SETTING MENU > d Shooting/display > d7 ISO display and adjustment

and select:

Show ISO/Easy ISO

Bear in mind the menu items may differ depending on the Nikon model. In my case the asterisk in *d7 indicates that the default value has been modified by me.


A Mode: Now when you are in Aperture Priority Mode, modifying the ISO is as easy as turning the Main command dial with your right thumb (aperture is changed with the Sub-command dial).

S Mode: When in Shutter Priority Mode you just turn the Sub-command dial with your right index finger (shutter speed is changed with the Main command dial).

P Mode: In Program Mode use the Sub-command dial (Main command dial is used for Flexible Program P*).

M Mode: Obviously you lose this setup on Manual Mode, as you need both dials for aperture and shutter speed. Whether you are in A, S or M mode the default option is always enabled too.

It seems more complicated written than when you do it. It’s the perfect setup for me because it allows me to adjust the ISO with the Main and Sub-command dials, which would be wasted anyway on A/S/P modes if you left it by default. Now my left hand is free to grip the camera or lens safely, do manual focusing on the lens and zooming.


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I guess they thought it wouldn’t be useful anymore on these two models after relocating the ISO button on the right side of the body, so the user only uses one hand (but still two fingers). They could have just kept the ‘Easy Nikon’ option and it doesn’t cost a penny!

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