Nikon D7100 tips and tricks

Learn how to take control of your new Nikon D7100 and set it up to capture great images.
Published by Douglas j. Klostermann on June 12th, 2013. Last updated on June 27th, 2017.

by Douglas Klostermann

Whether you are already shooting with a Nikon D7100 or still contemplating the purchase of one, you are likely well aware that it is a highly customizable and versatile camera. There are numerous Menu options and Custom Settings that you can make use of in order to fine-tune the camera to perfectly fit your needs, your shooting style, and the type of scene you are photographing.

The autofocus system and its modes can be adjusted and used to best capture the situation, the exposure metering system can be tweaked to achieve the exposures you desire, and the camera controls can be customized to work more seamlessly with how you photograph. In addition, the camera’s displays, white balance and ISO settings, and several other camera functions can all be adjusted according to your preferences.

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time with the Nikon D7100 as I researched and wrote my latest e-book, a user’s guide to the D7100 called Nikon D7100 Experience (PDF and ePub) (Kindle edition at, and below are some of the top “tips and tricks” I’ve discovered for setting up and photographing with this powerful dSLR. For more in-depth explanations of these tips as well as all of the other features of the D7100, be sure and have a look at Nikon D7100 Experience.

Nikon D7100 camera

Detail of the Nikon D7100 dSLR camera.

1. Take Control of the D7100 Autofocus System

Before making use of some of the powerful features and functions specific to the D7100, one needs to first take control of the basic functions, including the autofocus system and exposure metering settings. This will help you to consistently capture sharp, well-exposed images. The D7100 boasts a 51 point autofocus system, upgraded from the 39 point system of the D7000. The large number of focus points and their positions in the viewfinder will allow you to focus exactly where you wish with minimal recomposing when working in Single-Servo AF-S mode, plus will better enable you to lock onto and track moving subjects throughout the frame when working in Continuous-Servo AF-C mode. The various Autofocus Modes (AF-S, AF-C, AF-A) and the autofocus AF-Area Modes (Single Point, Dynamic-Area, 3D-Tracking, etc.) may be intimidating at first, but once they are understood, it is easy to determine which combinations fit your shooting needs. If you have not previously used the D7000 or D600 you may also at first be confused by the autofocus controls with the AF switch and button near the base of the lens (used in conjunction with the Command Dials), but you should soon find that it is a quick and convenient way to change to your desired AF Mode and AF-Area Mode.

2-Nikon D7100 AF-C autofocus

Autofocusing Modes - Making use of AF-C Autofocus Mode and 9-Point Dynamic-Area AF Area Mode to track and capture a moving subject. (Simulated view of the Nikon D7100 viewfinder - note that only the single, selected AF point will be visible in the viewfinder.)

In addition, the D7100 offers several Custom Settings to customize various aspect of the autofocus system - namely Custom Settings a1-a6. You can use these to tell the camera if achieving exact focus takes priority over maintaining the fastest continuous frame rate, how long the AF system continues to track a specific subject even if the subject momentarily moves away from the active AF point, and if the active AF points are illuminated in the viewfinder. You can even limit the number of selectable AF points to 11 if that helps you to more quickly or easily select your desired AF point.

2. Take Advantage of the new [i] Button

The D7100 adds the [i] Button, located on the rear of the camera, which gives you immediate access to the Information Display screen where many shooting settings and functions can be viewed and changed. You can press this [i] button to turn on the Information Display on the rear monitor and immediately access these settings with the use of the Multi Selector and OK Button. Press the [i] Button a second time or the INFO button to “de-activate” the settings and simply view the camera settings on the Information Display Screen. Or, after the INFO Button is pushed to display the camera settings of the Information Display screen on the rear monitor, this [i] Button is then pressed to “activate” the screen to enable changing the settings. In addition to the readily accessible camera buttons on the body of the D7100, this [i] Button and Information Display screen can be a quick and easy way to change many of the camera settings without having to navigate into the menus, such as Image Area, Active D-Lighting, High ISO Noise Reduction, and Long Exposure Noise Reduction. Plus you can use this screen to quickly customize the function of the Depth of Field Preview Button, AE-L/AF-L Button, and Fn Button.

Nikon D7100 [i] button

Detail of the Nikon D7100 with [i] Button shown at lower-left.

The [i] Button can also be used during Live View shooting, Movie shooting, and Image Playback to readily access and change a number of applicable functions. During Live View shooting it can be pressed to access settings including Image Area, Image Quality, Image Size, Picture Control, Active D-Lighting, Remote Control Mode, and Monitor Brightness. During Movie shooting, the [i] Button will access additional movie settings such as Frame Size and Frame Rate, Movie Quality, Microphone sensitivity, Destination for which SD card slot movies will be saved to, and Headphone Volume. Plus, when reviewing your still images or movies during playback, the [i] Button is used to access the image Retouch Menu or to display movie edit options.

Nikon D7100 information display

Information Display shown on the rear LCD Monitor (left). Press the [i] Button to “activate” the screen and access/ change various settings (right). Select and change the settings along the bottom of the screen, such as the Picture Controls shown highlighted here.

3. Beware of Menu Conflicts

As with most current dSLR cameras, the D7100 has a couple menu settings and function “quirks” or conflicts that may drive you crazy if you are not aware why they are occurring. Most notably, some settings will be greyed-out or inaccessible in the menus and you will not be able to select them when working in one of the auto shooting modes, if not using an optional accessory, or if a “conflicting” setting is enabled. An example includes HDR shooting, which is not accessible when the camera is set to capture files in the (NEF)RAW or (NEF)RAW+JPEG image formats. You must be working in JPEG only. Or, since White Balance Bracketing and RAW format are incompatible, if the camera is set for White Balance Bracketing and (NEF)RAW or (NEF)RAW+JPEG image formats, the BKT Button will not actually allow you to access bracketing. These are generally not arbitrary quirks, but are typically logical conflicts.

Another set of conflicts involves the customization of some buttons (Fn Button, Preview Button, and AE-L/AF-L Button) where you have the option to set a separate Press function (where you simply press the button) and a Press+Dial function (where you press the button and turn a dial in order to change a setting). While it at first seems handy that the D7100 menus separated the Press from the Press+Dial functions thus allowing you more options, you will soon find that most of them conflict with each other, and in reality you will likely only be able to set either a Press function or a Press+Dial function.

Nikon D7100 Assign Function (Fn) Button

Custom Setting f2: Assign Function (Fn) Button, with the “Press” and “Press+Command Dials” options. Some of the “Press” options shown at right.

4. Extend Your Reach with the 1.3x Crop Mode

The D7100 allows you to shoot in DX mode, making full use of the camera’s APS-C sized image sensor, and also offers a new 1.3x crop mode that uses a smaller part of the sensor but provides some added benefits. This can be set in the Image Area item of the Shooting Menu, and by enabling the 1.3x crop setting you will change the aspect ratio (very slightly) and angle of view (dramatically) of your resulting images – basically cropping your photos from what you see in the full viewfinder to what you see inside the 1.3x outline that is shown in the viewfinder when this feature is enabled.

The first advantage of the 1.3x crop is that it will allow you to “get closer” to the action by virtually extending the reach of your lenses. This can be particularly helpful when using a telephoto lens to capture sports, wildlife, or bird images where the subject is at a significant distance from you. It will allow, for example, your 200mm focal length lens to act as nearly a 400mm focal length. (Since the DX frame is already a 1.5x crop sensor in relation to a full-frame 35mm sized sensor, the additional 1.3x crop effectively doubles the focal length of the lens: 200mm x 1.5 x 1.3 = 390mm.)

Nikon D7100 1.3x crop mode

Simulated D7100 viewfinder view, showing the full size DX Image Area and the approximate size of the cropped 1.3x image indicated by the black rectangle surrounding the AF brackets. Location of all the Focus Points shown for reference. The 1.3x crop will, in effect, allow you to extend the reach of your lens and get closer to the action, as well as nearly fill the width of the active frame with the Focus Points.

The second advantage is that with the 1.3x crop, the area of the autofocus points as seen in the viewfinder reaches nearly to the sides of the effective frame. This will allow you to track and capture a moving subject throughout almost the entire width of the active frame (when using continuous AF-C Focus Mode), or enable you to focus on and capture a still subject most anywhere in the frame without having to lock focus and reframe (when using single-shot AF-S Focus Mode).

A third advantage of working in 1.3x crop mode is that the Continuous High shooting speed increases from 6 frames per second to 7 fps (when shooting in JPEG or in 12-bit NEF-RAW), allowing you to capture slightly more images in a quick burst.

The disadvantage of the 1.3x crop is that you will only be using 15 megapixels of your 24.1 megapixel sensor, so you will have slightly reduced image resolution. The end result will be as if you cropped the image in post-processing. However, 15 MP is still a very high resolution, and for many shooting situations and image needs this may be more than sufficient.

5. Interval Timer and Time-Lapse Shooting

The Interval Timer Shooting function can be used to take a continuous series of photographs at each specified time interval, for a set number of intervals, with the intervals to begin either immediately or at a set time. It can be used to take these multiple series of shots over several minutes or hours – for example, 3 photos in a row every 10 minutes, for 12 intervals. This will result in a total of 36 photos, as the camera will calculate and show you. This Interval Timer Shooting menu can also be used for time-lapse photography by taking a series of individual photos over an extended period of minutes or hours, with just one photo per interval, which can then be combined into a time-lapse movie (using software designed for this such as Photoshop).

Nikon D7100 Interval Timer

Interval Timer Shooting menus - Left: Setting the Interval time period between shots, here set for 10 minutes. Right: Setting the number of intervals and the number of shots to be taken at the start of each interval. Here, 12 intervals are set, with 3 shots to be taken each interval, for a total of 36 shots. The intervals are to start immediately, with the time between intervals as 10 minutes. The current time is 16:17 (which is shown in case you wish to set the Start Time).

Use the Interval Timer Shooting menu to choose all of your desired settings. Ideally, set up your camera on a tripod for the duration of Interval Timer Shooting, and use the included Eyepiece Cap to cover the viewfinder and prevent stray light from altering the exposure. The camera will need to focus before taking the shots, so it may be best to pre-focus the camera and then set the camera and lens to manual focus.

For time-lapse photography you will need to take images at short intervals, with just one image per interval, for numerous intervals, in order to create a long and effective movie. For example, a photo every 30 seconds, for 8 hours. Be sure to have a large memory card or cards in the camera, and set the Role Played by Card in Slot 2 for Overflow if necessary. In the optional time-lapse software you will set the movie frame rate, and that setting (24fps, 30fps, etc.) will determine to total length of the movie. There are time-lapse formulas and apps, which you can use to plug-in your variables and determine either the settings you will need to use, or the resulting length of the final movie.

6. Set up your Dual SD Memory Card Slots

The two memory card slots of the D7100 can function in a couple different ways, including using one for saving RAW files and the other for JPEG files, saving all your images to both cards simultaneously, using the second card as overflow when the first one fills up, or saving still images to one and movies to the other. You can set this up in the Shooting Menu under Role played by card in slot 2. To set how the cards function for saving videos, use the Shooting Menu > Movie Settings > Destination.

7. Use Picture Controls for your JPEG Images

If you are capturing your images as (NEF) RAW or JPEG files and will be post-processing your images in software such as Photoshop or Lightroom, then you don’t necessarily need to worry about Picture Controls. If that is the case, set the Picture Control for Standard or Neutral so that the images that you view on the camera’s rear LCD screen will be close to how they will appear in the actual RAW image file that you open on your computer. However if you are not post-processing, you will want the images to come out of the camera looking as you want them to, so you will need to set, customize, or create a Picture Control that best creates your desired look. Adjust the sharpening, contrast, brightness, and saturation to achieve the look you are after. Save the Picture Controls you have created to access them later. You can even create your own styles using the included software, or find them online and download them. There are Picture Controls to be found online that recreate the look of various traditional types of film including Kodachrome and Velvia.

Nikon D7100 Picture Controls

Picture Controls - If shooting in JPEG, choose a Picture Control (left), and adjust its parameters (right) to achieve the final look you desire for your images.

8. Customize the Exposure Compensation Controls

Exposure Compensation (EC) can be used to adjust the camera’s exposure settings in order to achieve the final exposure that you desire. Explore the various options of Custom Setting b3: Easy Exposure Compensation to customize exactly how the exposure compensation controls works. You can set the camera so that you press the Exposure Compensation Button first before turning a dial to change EC, or have it set so that you can simply turn a dial to quickly and directly change EC. You can even select which dial you use with Custom Setting f5. And you can set it so that the EC amount that you dialed-in stays set for the subsequent shots, or that it is automatically reset to zero, depending on which controls you choose to use to set EC.

This last option is the most sophisticated and most flexible, and may be the best one to learn and take advantage of. Using this option, On (Auto reset), you can choose to turn a dial to directly adjust EC, but your EC setting will be reset when the camera or exposure meter turns off. This is because you can still continue to use the Exposure Compensation Button with a Command Dial to set EC, but by setting it this way, EC will not be reset when the camera or meter turns off. Exposure Compensation will only be automatically reset if you set it directly using the dial without the button. So if you wish to use EC for just one shot, you can adjust EC with just the dial. But if you wish to take a series of shots with the same adjusted EC, you can use the button/ dial combination to set it more “permanently.” Pretty powerful stuff! This is why you got the D7100, right? So that you can take advantage of these sophisticated controls!

9. Fine-Tune the Exposure Metering Modes

While the Matrix Metering Mode will do an excellent job of determining the proper exposure for your images the majority of the time, there are some situations where you may wish to use the other exposure modes - Center-Weighted Metering and Spot Metering. This includes dramatically backlit situations, subjects with a dramatically dark background, scenes that contain a wide range of highlights and shadow areas, or other dramatic lighting situations.

Nikon D7100 metering modes

Metering Modes - A simulated view of the D7100 Viewfinder showing the area of the 3.5mm Spot Metering circle and the larger Center-Weighted circle (which can be changed in the Custom Settings). AF points and 1.3x crop lines shown for reference.

If you find that you are consistently not quite happy with how the camera’s meter is determining the exposure settings when making use of any of these modes, you can make fine-tune adjustments to the metering system using Custom Setting b5: Fine-tune optimal exposure. This is not an exposure compensation adjustment, but rather a “behind the scenes” fine-tuning of how the camera’s meter will determine the exposure settings, independently for each of the different Exposure Metering Modes (Matrix, Center-Weighted Average, Spot). If you find that your images are always typically being slightly underexposed or overexposed when using a specific metering mode, adjust this accordingly so that you don’t have to use exposure compensation every time you use that metering mode. For example, you may find that Center-Weighted Metering delivers great exposures, but you would prefer that the images taken with Spot Metering were 1/3 EV (1/3 step) underexposed all the time. If that is the case, you would adjust Spot metering to -2/6 using this menu. If you make use of this fine-tune adjustment, you can still use exposure compensation in any situation in addition to this fine-tune adjustment.

Nikon D7100 Fine-Tune Optimal Exposure

Custom Setting b5: Fine-Tune Optimal Exposure, used to adjust the exposures of each metering mode to your preference, “behind the scenes,” so that exposure compensation is not needed each time you use that metering mode (left). Fine-tuning Spot Metering to underexpose by -1/3 EV (right) - not recommended, just an example!

10. Put Your Most Used Settings in My Menu

Instead of navigating into the Menus and Custom Settings all the time to find your most used settings, you can create your own custom menu called My Menu, which is then quickly and easily accessed with the Menu Button. You can even decide what order to list the items in. Set up My Menu by selecting Choose Tab in the Recent Settings menu, and select My Menu. Then Add Items and Rank Items in the order you desire. You can add items from most all of the Menus and Custom Settings Menus, such as maybe Movie Settings, some of the Flash Control settings, or White Balance for easier access to additional white balance options and fine-tuning. If you frequently make use of a feature such as changing the Image Area from DX to 1.3x, use Interval Timer Shooting, or Multiple Exposures add these to your My Menu.

There are numerous other settings you can customize, as well as many other important features to learn and take advantage of with the Nikon D7100, such as making use of the Auto ISO settings, the built-in HDR and Multiple Exposure features, verifying your exposures with the histogram display, temporarily Spot Metering with the touch of a button, and tweaking the white balance settings. You have a powerful camera in your hands, so why not learn to take advantage of its advanced features?! Have a look at my guide Nikon D7100 Experience (PDF and ePub) (Kindle edition at to learn more about the settings, features, and controls mentioned here, and much more. This book not only explains the features, functions, and controls of the camera, but more importantly explains when and why you will want to use them in your photography. Take control of your D7100 and the images you create!

About the author

Douglas Klostermann is a travel, culture, and humanitarian photographer, as well as the best-selling author of Full Stop photography guides including and Canon 5D Mark III Experience and Nikon D7100 Experience.

You can preview and purchase his guides on his Full Stop website or Kindle editions at, learn more about photography techniques and equipment on his blog Picturing Change, and view his photography at


Raphael Marinho
Jun 13th, 2013 - 15h48

Excellent article. Are we seeing a similar post about the Canon 5D MKIII here in the future? This is a request :) please.

Nov 18th, 2014 - 00h40

Just brought nikkon D7100 haven't got a clue how to use it any tip on best way to take photos I got it on auto. Also videos pls any help

Marvin Von Almen
Dec 22nd, 2014 - 12h10

Faz - Wean yourself off the "Auto" setting. Go to "P" to start, and learn to control aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Once you are comfortable with that, Go to "A" and "S" settings and play with those. Shoot, shoot, shoot. Experiment. Have fun!

Nalin Kothari
Oct 8th, 2016 - 11h16

When taking a portrait, the dial is kept on P. How to avoid mimlmise the details of the background?

When taking a photo of a flower, again how to bring the sharpness of the flower and mimmse the details of the background?

I am a completely new to this rather sophisticated camera.

Thanks and regards.

Mar 26th, 2017 - 22h29

Think of two posts, might be football goal posts, the closer they are together the less can fit in them, ok easy, now the lower the f number the closer the posts are together, so every thing not between the posts will be blured, if you increase the f number or apperture the more is in focus, at infinity you can get every thing between you lenses min distance to infinity in focus.

Now for a flower you will need a low f number, depending on your lens, a mocro lens can be very close to the subject and still get a focus, but macro lenses have posts that are very close together, it is possible to get half a fly or ladybird in focus and not the rest, you will need to use a good lens for best results, the Sigma 105 EX Macro, is about the cheapest of the really good lenses from a Nikon D7100, but if your not looking for pin sharp pics, even the kit lens can do a good job, get in the habbit of taking lots of pics of the same thing, the camera will record your f number the lens ISO Etc, so you will be able to see when you look at your pics what settings work best for you, if you don't have a good image editing programme try GIMP, its free and almost as good as Photoshop, but take a bit more effort and a steeper learning curve.

Hope this helps leona

Feb 1st, 2018 - 15h19

for that you need a wide aperture and fast shutter speed. The wider the aperture more bokeh you get on your background

Lisa Davis
Jan 16th, 2017 - 03h43

Best setting for sport photography using the Nikon D7100, I keep getting out of focus shots, even when I have it set on sports and autofocus

Mar 26th, 2017 - 22h36

Firstly what lens are you using ? the Nikor 55 - 300 is about the slowest g autofocus lens there is, for sports you really need a fast autofocus, you need to increase your shutter speed to capture the moving object, this may mean using a higher ISO, Ken Rockwell has a brill sight for all Nikon cams and lenses, including all third party lenses, so a very good place to find out if your lens is suitable.

In simple, use the lowest f number you have on your lens, use a high shutter speed, and burst mode 3 shoots at a time, the D7100 only has a 1 second buffer, with 6 shots persecond, so only take 3 shoots at a time, have the autofocus on AC or continuses autofocus, if your still having probs, try to focus on some thing and still holding the shutter release half way down move to your target, say a lamp post if you shooting a racing car. Hope this helps Leona. PS I cant spell, but I can use a cam

Jul 15th, 2013 - 12h17

Hi great review, could you give me some pointers on the best settings for HD video, I have been playing with it and I get better videos with my little son DSC-HX50V, my lens is the Nikkor 18-200VR. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. thanks again

Jun 4th, 2014 - 13h40

Hello, I cover all the HD video settings in the book, Nikon D7100 Experience, with some recommended settings.

Mar 26th, 2017 - 22h38

try a 30 40 or 50 mm lens, have continus auto focus on, pan slowly, and use a tri pod if your hands are not that steady, hope that helps leona

Dec 27th, 2013 - 13h55

The 1.3x crop mode does NOT extend the reach of the camera (despite what Nikon's marketing department would have you believe). It produces results no different than cropping the image in postprocessing. This is using the only useful definition of 'reach' which is how many pixels you have on the subject. Otherwise, cropping in post is equivalent to gaining 'reach', which is clearly nonsense.

The only way to gain reach with a fixed pixel count is to increase the focal length. Conversely, if you have a fixed focal length, the ony way to gain reach is to increase the number of pixels in the frame (aka pixel density). Those are your only two options. In the case of the D7100 1.3x crop mode, because the pixel density is fixed, cropping the area reduces the number of total pixels -- thus, no change in reach.

The only advantage of the 1.3x crop mode is that it allows a faster shooting rate as the camera does not have to move as much data around.

Jan 1st, 2014 - 13h17

You're absolutelly right. Thank you for pointing it out. I'll notify the author.

Jun 4th, 2014 - 13h38

Indeed, it is a" virtual reach". Hopefully I made that clear in the article when I said:

"...virtually extending the reach of your lenses"


"The end result will be as if you cropped the image in post-processing"

And as I commented, another advantage of 1.3x crop mode is that the AF points then fill the active frame, which can be an advantage to sports, action, and wildlife shooters who are tracking a moving subject.

Feb 1st, 2015 - 08h24

Another advantage of cropping in camera (1.3x mode) as to on a computer is the camera exposes for the cropped area not the whole frame.

Mar 26th, 2017 - 22h42

Your only half way right, the 1.3 crop mode reduces the area on the sensor used, all lenses have a sweet spot, that's in the middle, so if you have cheaper lenses you can use the 1.3 crop mode to gain the perspective of a longer zoom lens, and improve the image quilaty, the down side is your files will be smaller, so will not be as good if printed to a very large size. Nikon have'nt claimed that the 1.3 crop mode makes your lens longer, just that the perspective is that of a longer zoom lens, think of two tubes, one long the other short, when you look though each the amount or area you can see is different, that's what perspective is. hope this helps. leona

Rico Laurel
Jan 12th, 2014 - 07h41

Great reading! Where can I get the book?

Jan 12th, 2014 - 16h23

Rico, you can find the book at Douglas Klostermann's website:

Ally McIntosh-Arias
Jan 30th, 2014 - 15h53

Hi I just got my gorgeous Nikon D7100 and we are in the" getting to know each other" phase. As in any new relationship there can be those scratch your head kinda awkward moments and right now I'm having one. How the heck do I access my retouch menu? Apparently I need some sort of magic word or something. Any help would be much appreciated! Thank you, Ally A :)

Apr 18th, 2014 - 15h24

Open a image and press the i botton on the left corner ... The last one all at the bottum.

And you are in the retouch menu

Mar 28th, 2014 - 12h56

Thank you... Great article.... The other benefit of the crop factor is that the rducd image are will be covered by all the af points... I guess the's an application for this when tracking subjects when the camera is on a tripod.

Apr 10th, 2014 - 11h12

Hi- I bought a Nikon d7100 as I have lens. how do you extend video duration when filming interviews, etc. Do you turn camera off and restart? thank you. linda

Jun 4th, 2014 - 13h44

Hello, Unless the memory card is full, or the camera stopped recording due to potential over-heating, you should be able to simply press the record button to start recording again if the camera stopped recording due to reaching the maximum movie length.

Apr 16th, 2014 - 21h17

Hi I have a Nikon d7100 and when I turn off the little screem always show the sd card and a number like [ 1.4]k

what is that??


Apr 18th, 2014 - 15h25

It is the amount of picture you can take on the SD card 1.4k is 1400

Jul 2nd, 2014 - 18h14

mariane, i just bought a d7100 - i see the same thing, does your control panel still show this even when camera off? i would have thought it drains battery, but guess not.

Sep 3rd, 2014 - 12h39

Yes, the number of remaining images will be displayed even when the camera is off. The screen probably just needs a very tiny bit of power to display that.

May 13th, 2014 - 21h48

Hi I have just bought a Nikkon D7100 but how do you get it to go onto the sports mode as there isnt a button for it. I do a lot of indoor low light photography so I need the best for low light moving situations. Any help would be great Thanks

Megan Cates
May 21st, 2014 - 18h18

To go to your sports turn your top left dial to "scene" then you turn the dial on the back in the top will start scrolling through your options. You just stop at sports and hit OK.

Mar 3rd, 2015 - 02h41

Do yourself a favor and pick up a Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens. It will be the best ~$200 you'll spend. That's my go-to for low light. It also doubles as a great portrait lens if you don't need a wide angle. I've shot thousands of pictures at concerts with it. Stick with Nikon/Nikkor - don't skimp on this lens; it's not that much more money.

May 21st, 2014 - 01h39

Great clearification article on the D7100

Keep up the tips?

May 23rd, 2014 - 22h03

hi, just got my 7100, playing a bit, but I am unable to move the area of focus when using a single focus area - ?what am I doing wrong?

May 24th, 2014 - 11h42

Hello Hans.

Take a look at this YouTube video. It has a good walk through of all focus modes and also focus point selection. The short answer is that you can use the rear D pad to move the focus point while in AF-S mode.

Thank you for your comment,


Jun 17th, 2014 - 17h44

You might've moved the Focus selector lock on the Multi selector. I've done that before.

May 31st, 2014 - 21h56


In addition to Fabio ' great link, be sure the lock toggle on the back of your camera is in the '.' position and not 'L'.

Jun 4th, 2014 - 10h16

I have an issue with my D7100.

My exposure compensasion button seems to alter the iso. Some pictures show ec used when i check the histrogram but actually give no difference to my picture.

I can dial in + or - 5 ev but it makes no difference.

Can u help?

Jun 4th, 2014 - 13h55

This may be occurring because you have Auto ISO enabled. Try turning Auto ISO off when using Exposure Compensation in A, S, or P shooting mode.

Or if you are working in Manual (M) shooting mode, adjusting Exposure Compensation does not actively change any exposure settings. It merely shows the change on the Exposure Indicator scale, and it is up to you to then adjust the exposure settings to once again align the scale at 0 (or where ever you wish it to be). With Nikon cameras, this is what is known as "biasing the meter" in case you run across that terminology.

Jun 4th, 2014 - 14h37

Thank you.

That seems to work.

Jun 13th, 2014 - 17h57

hi there

just got the d7100. when I take photos and play them back all the photos are black and I cant figure out why! the lens cap isnt on or anything silly like that. also the lens makes a funny noise when I focus and take a photo. is this normal?


Jun 14th, 2014 - 10h28

Hi Marie.

It's hard to track down your problem without more information. Have you tried any of the auto exposure modes, like P or aperture priority A? What's the shutter speed and apperture used?


Jun 16th, 2014 - 05h22

I recently purchased 7100 and using sigma 300mm f2.8 lens and I do bird photography. Recently when I took a photo of not moving bird, the image was ok but not as sharp as i expected. I usually shoot with apeature mode, auto ISO, spot metering. Is there anything else i should be looking at and 2) how to focus on very small bird sitting on a moving branch, before I focus on it, it flew away.

Jul 9th, 2014 - 13h05

To get a sharp photo with a 300mm lens, first you will need to be using a tripod. Use a fast shutter speed, perhaps 1/500 or even 1/1000 even for a still bird (though you should check with bird photography site for their suggestions). I don't know about the Sigma, but perhaps there are wide apertures where it doesn't focus as well, and you may need to work in f/4 or even f/5.6 to get the sharpest shots with that specific lens.

Plus you need to have control of the autofocus system. It it is a still bird you should be using AF-S, and Single Point AF, and selecting a single AF point. Place it over the subject, lock focus with a shutter button half press, then a full press to take the photo.

In order to reduce camera shake for still subjects and tripod use, you may also wish to use the Mirror Up release mode and/or the 2 second shutter release delay, which I believe the D7100 offers in the menus or custom settings. When you zoom so far away with a long lens, every little bit of camera movement can lead to blur.

If the bird or branch is moving, you may need to use AF-C autofocus mode, and track the subject. Select a single AF point, locate it on the subject, and half press the shutter button to begin tracking the subject. The camera should continue to focus on the subject as long as it is located at the active AF point. If the subject is moving away from the active-selected AF point, try using 9-point Dynamic Area Mode so that the surrounding points help retain focus on it as you try to relocate the subject at the selected point.

And make sure the autofocus related Custom Settings are set as desired. I go into much more detail about the D7100 autofocus system in this article:

Medhat Nehad
Jun 19th, 2014 - 09h37


Please advise how to add the copyrights comment on Nikon D7100

I have added the text in the copyrights menu and highlighted the attach box but still not printing on the photos when I export from camera

Are there any option to add my signature/ name ... on the shots ?

Jun 19th, 2014 - 10h43

Hello Medhat.

I don't think it's possible to add the copyright info to be printed over the images. It's actually added to the EXIF metadata that each image contains.

Thank you for your comment,


Aug 6th, 2015 - 14h32

you can find the copyright setting in the tools menu (monkeywrench)


it's a poor editor because you can't delete anything you put in. I wonder what Nikon people were thinking. It's a poor editor, but it is there.

Jun 19th, 2014 - 12h10

I am interested to know how to temporarily spot meter at the touch of a button? I don't see this option when I try to customize the Preview or Function buttons.

Jun 19th, 2014 - 12h35

Didn't look carefully enough, I found it!

dr. pyan
Jun 21st, 2014 - 23h38

I wish you can help me to correct the wrong spelling of my name in copyright info (Nikon D 7100). I just couldn't find the delete / correction icon in the camera.


Jul 9th, 2014 - 13h07

I believe that you select the letter you wish to delete, and press the Delete (trash can) Button.

Jun 25th, 2014 - 22h53


I wonder if it's possible to take photo when we are recording video without stoping the video from recording?


Jul 9th, 2014 - 13h08

Hello, no, if the Shutter Button is set up to "Take Photo" with Custom Setting "g4: Assign shutter button" then pressing the Shutter Button will end movie recording to take a still image with the 16:9 movie ratio.

Kirsti Fleming
Jun 26th, 2014 - 10h47

Thanks for this - but I'm also looking for a place where we can save specific settings we use for specific events. For example, when I shoot SPORTS, I change a variety of settings. It would be nice to just go into my Menu and select SPORTS and it would change all my settings to that. Then if I want PORTRAITS INDOORS, I can click on that and it would change all the settings. Is that possible?

Jul 9th, 2014 - 13h10

You can use the "Save User Settings" menu to register various settings to the U1 and U2 positions on the Mode Dial. Registered settings can include the shooting mode, exposure settings, autofocus settings, most Shooting menu settings, and Custom Settings. Then you simply turn your dial to U1 or U2 and all those settings will be recalled.

Sep 19th, 2014 - 19h57

Hi, I can't seem to find an answer to why my D7100 takes two photos every time I take one. I haven't set it do that as far as I know. Also just lately my Nikon zoom lens has started stuttering while it is trying to auto focus. It makes a strange noise and doesn't seem to be able to focus. Thanks

Oct 22nd, 2014 - 14h17

Be sure that the Release Mode is set to Single Frame and not to one of the Continuous Shooting modes. As far as the lens, make sure that the contacts are clean at the base of the lens. You can search online for how best to clean them. If it continues to have issues, you may want to send it in to Nikon for servicing.

Mar 10th, 2016 - 19h03

Buy good soft ereacer that is cheap and will work. I also to this to memory contacts

Vinoo Rajan
Sep 23rd, 2014 - 09h29

Hi, I just got a D7100. How can I change the shutter speed display from x250, SUB, etc. to 1/100sec or 1/250 sec?


Oct 22nd, 2014 - 14h18

If you are working in S shooting mode or in M shooting mode, turn the rear Main Command Dial to change the shutter speed.

Kelly Godart
Sep 24th, 2014 - 17h01

I am trying to use Lightroom 5 to be able to monitor what I am filming. I am unable to do it. The camera tells me that I can't do it in live view or under current conditions. Does anyone know what this means and how would I set up my live view?

Oct 22nd, 2014 - 14h23

I'm not sure one is able to monitor filming using Lightroom, you may need another type of HDMI device or recorder. But if it is indeed possible, to use Live View when connected to an external HDMI device, you will need to set HDMI>Device Control to OFF. Also, it will not work is the Frame size/Frame rate is set to 1080 60i, 1080 50i, 720 60p or 720 50p.

Sep 26th, 2014 - 08h56

Hi. I've just taken purchase of this amazing camera! I can't however find a way of adjusting the length of time for longer than the measly and annoying short 10 seconds that the screen display stays on in non-live view showing all the settings before going black and EACH time making me have to tap the info button, I have searched and googled for an answer and read the pdf manual but no joy, any help would be appreciated, the Canon 70D doesn't' have this issue, IMO if that's a default setting then Nikon have overlooked a very important requirement as I (and im sure enthusiasts/pros don't ) want to have to keep pressing buttons while composing and recomposing a shot.....

Oct 22nd, 2014 - 14h24

You can adjust the time that various displays are on, using Custom Setting c4: Monitor off delay

Oct 13th, 2014 - 20h51

Hi,i just bought d7100..a small question that when i take a picture and then i press the play button for preview...the picture displayed is very small and on the rest of screen is all the details and graph like to remove these details when i press thepreview button it should display only tge whole picture...thanls

Oct 14th, 2014 - 23h20

Naif...using the multi selector, press up or down and that should change the view of the picture when in playback mode.

Oct 25th, 2016 - 13h22

Go to MENU BUTTON, then playback menu, then to playback display options then go down to additional photo info and pick NO

Nov 8th, 2014 - 00h31

Hi, I'm wondering how do I spot meter while using back button focusing? Am I not able to set to what I want to track?

Dec 22nd, 2014 - 09h20

Dear Doug

I just upgraded from D70 to D7100 and had recently taken it for a trip to a jungle reserve (tiger reserve).

I had kept setting at P / Matrix Metering but somehow kept getting very high exposure rates (foggy weather at 5 am in the morning - P setting compensated with very low Shutter Speeds), result was over exposed images, blurred images etc.

I didn't have this problem with D70. I got around the problem by using Shutter Priority but that's a stop gap.

Is the Exposure Graph of D70 different from D7100? Does the fact that there are 51 points vs the previous 5 (D70) making the difference?

Would much like your inputs.


Jan 1st, 2015 - 17h45


just got the d7100. when I take photos and play them back all the photos are black, but the description is there and I cant figure out why! The lens cap is not on.

When I take the picture with flash, it works great.


Jan 1st, 2015 - 17h57

Mei, you're probably underexposing your images so much that all pixels are black. Try a different exposure mode (P, A or S) or even auto mode. I recommend you to invest some time learning how to use each mode to make the best of your new camera. Doug's book linked in this page is a great start.

Have a nice 2015,


Jan 17th, 2015 - 12h54

my god - thanks for explaining the previously inexplicable 'error-like' message i was getting while trying to assign functions to the Fn Button!!

it really is confusing that whenever you choose a function for the Fn Button you get this message that looks like a warning about not having selected a function for the Fn+Rotate option... you'd think they'd put that in the manual *somewhere*.

and anyway - why can't i have both? is the d7100 alone in this behavior or do other higher-end Nikons allow both options to be set?

Christine Green
Feb 7th, 2015 - 20h06

I have a new D7100 so far I am 1022 image how do I set the camera so every time I take a session it starts at 01 to how ever many images I take . I don't want the client to see that her session started at 877

Feb 22nd, 2015 - 14h20

I have a D7100 and the settings are allover the place while I try and get to grips with everything. I would like to know how to get the settings to be in a state to take an HDR landscape. At the moment I have HDR on and only get one image. What else do I need to change to get started?

Mar 14th, 2015 - 23h00

Hi, I have a problem with my d 7100 Nikon. Or more than likely its me, a screen comes up when playing pictures back asking for comments, how do I get this screen not to come up.

Thank YOU,


Lenny Rosen
Mar 15th, 2015 - 11h13

Go to the Setup Menu (Wrench icon)

Image Comment


gurdeep singh
Mar 22nd, 2015 - 01h59

hello sir i want to know, What is the meaning is hdr & More dynamic range

Apr 2nd, 2015 - 10h18


I recently purchased D7100 for underwater photography - it's my first DSLR so I feel a little daunted!! I've already managed to get some cool photos on the auto settings (bad me!!) but want to keep improving. I know white balance is a major factor but I have 1 or 2 strobes attached so it should cancel WB out.

How do I get the flash/strobes to operate every time? At 35mtr I expect them on, yet not consistent - at 5 -10mtr, less needed but they work. I managed to get some shark close ups - but very blue photos.

I will purchase the book but not sure how much it'll help with UW shots.

Appreciate any tips that you can share

Apr 2nd, 2015 - 11h05

Hi Richie.

To fix your withe balance issues, try shooting in RAW mode and post processing the images in Adobe Lightroom of the free Nikon Capture NX-D software. This way you can choose your white balance in post processing and fine tune colors to avoid the blue cast.

Regarding the strobes, you're probably using some auto mode that chooses by itself whether the flash will trigger, or not. I'm not familiar with the strobes you're using, but try using the aperture priority (A) mode and setting flash to TTL and always on.



Apr 3rd, 2015 - 14h00

Hi Fabio,

Thanks for the quick reply - I'm using Sea&Sea housing with Sea&Sea YS-D1 strobes. I have 3 choices for the strobe - TTL, 1 manual setting with pre-flash & 1 manual setting without pre-flash and 11 settings for the EV. They're connected by fibre optic cable.

I tried today using (A) and TTL - tried strobes in all 3 positions. Also tried selecting the D7100 in Flash Manual --- I have a mixture of results - no flash, too bright a flash, some good - but not enough consistency to feel like I had the right setting.

As long as the camera is flashing, I feel the strobes will do ok.

How do I get it to flash on TTL all the time? When I'm underwater, I can't really see the buttons so I'm doing it all from the custom settings menu.

I was recommended to try - Av mode, F5.6, ISO 400, flash exposure compensation at -1 and manual strobe power, which would be the double-lighting bolt (manual with pre-flash) if your camera flash is set in the menu to TTL mode

But being a novice I'm not sure I'm setting everything up correctly



Apr 3rd, 2015 - 16h38

Hi Richie.

I have no experience with underwater photography or your particular flash model. Let's troubleshoot this together.

The best setting for the strobes is TTL metering. This is the mode that allows the camera to vary and set precisely the flash intensity for each situation.

I'm considering a few explanations. Maybe your camera is selecting shutter speeds above its flash sync speed, which is 1/250. Setting it in S mode and selecting a shutter speed lower that 1/250 would make the strobe fire every time. A shutter speed of 1/125 is a good starting point.

Look through the images where the flash failed to work and try to find a pattern in the EXIF settings. What was the shutter speed?

Or maybe your flash mode is set to something that is preventing the strobes to operate. Look through pages 119-123 of the D7100 manual and see if it's set correctly. Make some tests with different modes.



Apr 5th, 2015 - 10h26

Hi Fabio,

On the menu of D7100, under e4. Exposure Comp. for Flash, it gives only 2 options

Entire frame

Background only

Is it possible to set it for Foreground only (or subject only) as I can get the exposure for ambient light using the shutter & the ISO. If this can be set to Foreground only (or subject only), after achieving the correct exposure for ambient light using the shutter & ISO, I can correctly expose the subject for the flash using the Flash Exposure Compensation.

Apr 21st, 2015 - 20h27


I recently got Nikon D7100. How can I can switch between photos and video preview?. There is a button on top left corner, the problem is - it shows ONLY photos if the last shot of a photo AND it shows ONLY videos if the last shot was a video.

How can see preview both photo&video in just one order.

May 20th, 2015 - 03h16

i newly purchased nikon d7100 camera. when i press AF button in the display d51, d21 , auto,5,d9,3d options showing. wich option can i use, please ex plane all option where i can use.

Chris Lee
Jun 15th, 2015 - 20h58

Thanks! Very useful descriptions to me! I use D7100 about one years ago, but now I encounter the problem: when I want to switch to LV mode, the LCD shows the message "cannot start the live view at current settings or under current conditions". The camera isn't on over hot condition. May you suggest some help?

Jun 27th, 2015 - 08h17

Hi i have just bought the D7100. When looking at the photos I have taken in playback, I am able to zoom in, am I then able to save the "zoomed" image?

Jun 27th, 2015 - 12h14

It's not possible to crop the images in camera during playback, but you can easily do so in your computer.

Jun 30th, 2015 - 18h05

Can you please reply this:


I recently got Nikon D7100. How can I can switch between photos and video preview?. There is a button on top left corner, the problem is - it shows ONLY photos if the last shot of a photo AND it shows ONLY videos if the last shot was a video.

How can see preview both photo&video in just one order.

Jul 25th, 2015 - 19h17

Can focal length be viewed on the live mode?

Aug 31st, 2015 - 01h43

Hi I have the Nikon d7100. Love it by the way. But when I set my shudder speed say 1/4 then shoot it changes to say 1/10. I shoot again it go's to 1/8. Did I mess up a setting or change something. Any help would be great. Thanks

p.k majhi
Oct 7th, 2015 - 15h37

can u give some idea to AE and AF BUTTON

Oct 7th, 2015 - 15h39

is there any shutter count in D7100

Oct 18th, 2015 - 07h24

how to set to record or take movie of concerts which are (2 to 3 hours) continuously.

Oct 19th, 2015 - 15h35

i would like to know how i can tale interval video on nikon d7100 ?

Larry Williamson
Oct 21st, 2015 - 20h22

If I wanted to take interval pictures, how long can the D7100 battery last? Or is there an external power supply I have to use for, lets say, a 12-hour interval, taking a picture every 30 seconds?

Shahil Patel
Nov 5th, 2015 - 08h34

Hi there, ive recently ordered a D7100 and looking for a new lens to add along to the one that the camera comes with. please help me with your opinion on the link i have copied here

greatly appreciated

James L. Pertsch, M.D.
Nov 15th, 2015 - 16h34

At outdoor event sunny day D7100 Nikkor DX 18-70mm 135-45G lens in P mode: pictures were exposed properly but the video came out very underexposed? Turns out the video had a 0.3 f stop correction. How can these settings be quickly checked before shooting? I don't see this displayed using "i" or info button?


Dec 8th, 2015 - 21h39

I recently purchased a d7100 as an upgrade from my d3100 & have been shooting in manual mode- The light meter, however, seems to be completely off- when it is centered, my images are completely white, so I tried the fine adjustment mentioned in the article... By moving it to -1 instead of 0, it helped a little, but the images are still way overexposed, and I need to treat the far left side of the exposure meter as though it is the center to get a properly exposed image. I've been reading articles and reviews on several sites, but haven't heard of anyone else having the same problem- do you think it's something that would need to be sent in to be repaired/replaced, or is there an easier fix?

Dec 17th, 2015 - 11h44

Hi Jessica,

i also upgrades from D3100 to D7100 and felt the same. please email on and we can discuss settings etc and see if i do experience the exact same as you. i still have my d3100 so can also use that to test.

look forward to hearing from you.

Jan 16th, 2016 - 04h43

Hello, i will be very happy if you could help me out.

I just bought a 7100 (had the 7000 before), but just when i get it and put the lens on turning the camera on, it makes 4 sounds, like focusing, and if i look into the view finder while doing so, the image bounce up and down. Then focus ok, but i really dont think this is normal. Is it a type of sensor cleaning system or something like this.

Please help

Jan 22nd, 2016 - 20h17

try turning off the vr (vibration reduction) it may be called something else on other brands of lenses, and see if the bouncing image stops, this is normal for the vr but it should not bounce extremely, you may just need to get used to the vr system of your lens

Apr 3rd, 2016 - 10h59

Perplexed.....recently the square black-outlined metering boxes in the viewfinder on my 7100 keep jerking about, even when the light is stable and consistent over the scene. Battery is fully charged. ????

Feel silly as I must be missing something obvious.

Oct 20th, 2016 - 00h37

Those are active focusing points NOT metering points. Change your focus mode as per the manual.

Apr 3rd, 2016 - 18h20

New to taking photos

Angela Penn
Jun 6th, 2016 - 14h25

Start on auto

then practice on P

before moving on to M or A priority

Jun 3rd, 2016 - 09h25

How do I set the dpi to 300? I just bought a d7100.

Thanks !

Angela Penn
Jun 6th, 2016 - 14h23

I want to more understand spot metering and capturing sharp portraits...any suggestions...I own a 55mm 1.8, a 18-140 and a 55-300mm

heather traficano
Aug 10th, 2016 - 19h34

Hi! I was able to change the amount of time the info screen stays on but as soon as I hit the shutter button it turns off and I have to re-click the button. So how can I keep the info screen up even after I take a picture, if possible? Thanks.

Sep 5th, 2016 - 23h26

Hi, I'm having some problem fixing the flash. Some setting might have changed and cant find the no flash button anymore. The rear flash is always there. Pressing the flash button and changing the dial doesn't bring the 'no flash' sign anymore. Can you help ? TIA

Oct 10th, 2016 - 19h20

As an enthusiast :)



Nikon 18-140


3 questions

1. Problem with focusing in low light AF assist light not coming on despite settings,

Cannot set pre flashes for neither sb900 nor build in flash

2 can I set info screen to be always on ,

3 how do I switch histogram to show on the picture automatically after picture taken or can I have histogram on view finder

Excuse my "foreign" English

Oct 25th, 2016 - 14h00

PLEEEEEEEEEEASE, people. When you are giving out advice, realize that there are many people like me, who have been shooting with point-and-shootish type cameras, then bought this badass D7100, and now we are gawking ... bug-eyed ... at a piece of hardware, that I swear, came off the space shuttle. Give us more details instructions ... NOT THIS:

"....using the multi selector, press up or down and that should change the view of the picture when in playback mode."

MULTI SELECTOR??? I looked all over that camera for a multi selector button. Of course there wasn't one. It's called MENU.

This is how to explain it to dimwhits like me:


then playback menu,

then to playback display options

then go down to additional photo info

and pick NO

Dec 18th, 2016 - 03h30

Good point bugz. Actually, "multi-selector" refers to the up-down-left-right "donut" surrounding the "OK" button. I've just forayed back into the SLR world myself, having done point-n-shoot in recent years, and an old Nikkormat film SLR waaay back when. Def. like the general DSLR experience because it reminds me of the old 35 SLR days. But it's definitely a different world, and figuring out all the capabilities of these babies can be like drinking out of a fire hose.

I know this sounds like a surly IT-guy kind of answer, but this is where RTFM really applies. The manuals are all available in PDF form on Nikon's web site, and there are a couple used camera dealers online that often have the paper versions for $8-10. All the info in them uses the standard Nikon buzzwords for the various controls, but the controls are all laid out in the early pages of the manual. After a while, the buzzwords start to become more like a first language to you.

Dec 18th, 2016 - 03h47

Where are my manners? Plugging the factory manuals on Doug's site.... Of course, I'm sure Doug's guides are also useful to familiarize you with the terminology of the camera's controls.

andy prior
Jul 27th, 2017 - 12h14

After making a long exposure (2-5 mins) I don't appear to be able to take another photo until the green light goes out on the back of the camera. Is there any way around this ?

Aug 7th, 2017 - 06h57

2 pic`s of one kestrel,came out as 1 pic with the kestrel twice on the same frame,d7100 with Nikon 400 lense,p.s it`s not cam shake as both images show wing`s up on 1 image and wings down on 2nd image, how the h*ll did I do that.

Feb 11th, 2018 - 16h29

brilliant piece. I'm used to the D3000 so this is a big jump. I can get it all going really nicelt with the Nikon 50mm lens but having no luck with my Tamron 70-300mm lens on it. It won't let me make changes to settings such as aperture in aperture mode. Am I missing some sort of compatibility trick? Thanks for any advice.


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