Live_View_Schalter”>Live View Switch

Nikon D7000 live view switchExplanation: „Live view“ means that you see a real time preview of your image on the camera monitor.

To achieve this the mirror which diverts the light from the lens into the viewfinder is raised to let the light through to the image sensor, as it is normally only for the short time of exposure. The image in the viewfinder turns black during this time.

Pulling the live view switch once activates the live view mode, pulling a second time switches it off again.
The additional information that is displayed on the monitor can be changed by pushing the info button repeatedly.

You can use the live view mode for taking photos without looking through the viewfinder and to record movies.

Specifics for taking photos in live view mode are:

  • The autofocus works differently – above all slower.
    You can move a red focus area over the monitor to determine which part of the picture shall be used for focusing.
  • The settings to track focus are still chosen with the focus button and the rear command dial but the options are different:
    AF-S: The D7000 will focus only once when you tap the shutter release button
    AF-F: The D7000 will focus continuously until you tap the shutter release button. Touching the shutter release button will focus once and not change it as long as you keep it halfway pressed, as in the AF-S mode.
  • The possible settings for the focus point selection are still chosen with the focus button and the front command dial but are also different options in live view mode:

     Portrait AF: Faces looking into the camera will be automatically recognized and used for focusing.

      wide / normal focus area: The rectangle to position the focus area can be chosen bigger or smaller.
    The smaller one can be placed more accurately but has a higher likelihood of getting into areas of low contrast where the autofocus may have problems.

     Subject-tracking AF: A moving subject will be tracked more or less reliably as soon you push the OK button.

  • You can use the zoom in button to magnify parts of the picture and have a closer look beforehand.
  • With the ? / key button and the multi selector up and down you can change monitor brightness.
  • To take a picture you use the shutter release button as usual.

Specifics for recording movies in live view mode are:

  • The autofocus works as described before for taking pictures.
  • Push the red movie-record button to start movie recording and push it again to finish.
  • For video recording, sound and quality settings are used as defined in the shooting menu Movie settings.

Please note that the D7000 will not adjust automatically focus while recording a movie. You can touch the shutter release button during recording to focus again but then you will also hear the noise of the autofocus mechanics in your video.

Tips: Live view does not convince me for taking photos because of the slower and more complicated autofocus.
If you have time, mount the camera on the tripod anyway and want to zoom into a picture beforehand then you may like it.
For moving subjects I find the autofocus not suitable.

Recording movies with a DSLR camera is always a kind of compromise with technical restrictions, although you can get high quality HD records these days.

A nice trick is possible when using a tripod: While live view mode is switched on press the info button at the bottom right several times until you see a virtual horizon. This will tell you if the camera is accurately aligned.