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To Nikon DSlr's Custom Banks


September 18, 2008

The big confusion for a lot of people is that you have: Shooting Menu Bank and Custom Setting Bank. So what is the big deal about this? Well, the Shooting menu bank is like film presets and the Custom Setting Bank are different camera configurations. The shooting bank and the custom bank can be mixed, so you have a total of 16 possible combinations of the banks. Once you get the hang of using the banks you will see that it is a great feature and it can save you a lot of time if you have them set-up right.

Unleashing the power of your Nikon Dslr

I know a lot of people that use the stock setting provided by Nikon on their cameras, are thinking Nikon knows what the best settings are, why should I start changing them. Well for one, leaving all the factory set settings, you don't always know what you are going to get. The camera does too much of the thinking. It will work ok in a lot scenarios but not in all.

One of the first things I do when I get myself a new Dslr is I change the custom settings. The first one to go is the default color space. This is by default sRGB. though this will work for most people, especially if you don't have a color calibrated display, or your sole intent is to display the pictures on the web/your own un-calibrated monitor. RGB is a better option since it has a wider gamut of color. You can easily go from RGB --> sRGB, but there really isn't going the other way, as in sRGB the picture contains a smaller gamut of color, aka you can't get what you don't have. In general I suggest everyone to change the color mode to RGB, even if you don't have a calibrated setup right now.

The power of the different banks on your Dslr is that instead of having to go through all of the custom settings each and every time you are going to shoot a different type of picture, you can set up your own specific settings for different types of photography.

Example: If you are shooting pictures that are going on the web, you might want to shoot them in sRGB, as this is what most people have their monitors set to. If you are shooting landscape pictures that are going to be printed, you would select the RGB color space.
* If you are using Adobe Photoshop, there is really no need to be shooting in sRGB even if you are intending to use the images for web, as Photoshop save for web(ctrl+shift+alt+s) will automatically save it as a sRGB file.

Shooting Menu Bank

As briefly mentioned in the beginning we can think of the Shooting Menu Bank as different film presets.In the shooting menu bank you can set how the camera will treat color, sharpness, image quality and so on. If you already set a bunch of custom settings on your camera, and are afraid of messing them all up by playing with the banks don't worry. If you have capture 4 or Nikon Camera Control Pro, you can export the custom settings, if you don't have access to a program that can export the settings, don't worry either. By naming the banks something useful you should be able to avoid any mistakes. So as long as you select another bank then your precious custom settings will be fine. One feature I wish Nikon would include is a setting to Lock the banks.

The only settings in the Shooting Menu Bank that will be the same no matter what bank you select is: interval timer and multiple exposure settings.

Name the bank as it's easier to remember what settings are in the bank if you give it a useful name. To rename a bank go to menu, bank / rename, pick the bank you want to rename then press ok.

Example: Shooting menu 1 "Action", I know that I have my settings to 8fps and all other settings are geared towards Action/sports photography.

Tip! Menu reset will only reset the current Bank you are in.

My "A" bank is named custom curve, as you might have guessed it has a custom curve I made in Nikon Capture Camera Control. In general I change all the settings to "normal" as I don't like the camera to decide what is best for any given shooting situation. If you have Nikon Capture / Camera Control, or a similar program, going through the menus on the computer is a lot quicker then going thru them on the camera, you also have the opportunity to back up your custom settings as well. The cool thing about the the banks is the opportunity to have the camera ready for most shooting situations in seconds. My "B" bank I have set up for TC-16A. So now changing between the TC-16A, and normal shooting is only a couple of clicks away.

Custom Settings Bank

The Custom settings bank is the heart of your Dslr, here you can control anything from auto-focus to customizing the different buttons on the camera. The settings are personal and you should try the different settings and see which you like for the type of shooting you are intended to do. In the manual for your camera there will be a full description of what each setting can do.


  • Reset Shooting Menu - This will reset the current menu. It will not affect anything except the menu you are in.
  • Active Folder- either creates a new folder or lets you select between them.

I hope this small article have helped you see what can be unleashed by playing with the custom banks. Have any questions, or suggestions ? Drop me an e-mail, just click on my name at the bottom of the page.

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