Nikon D7000 operation mode dial

The operation modes are at the beginning of this book because they are so crucial for the behavior of the D7000.
Note: When choosing an operation mode the white mark on the right, next to the flash, matters – not the one on the back!

An „operation mode“ includes

  • exposure control (=choosing a combination of aperture, exposure time and ISO sensitivity for a given brightness of your subject)
  • the decision if it is you or the camera who rules over several other important settings.

I distinguish two groups of operation modes:

Nikon D7000 operation mode SCENE
Nikon D7000 operation mode AUTO

AUTO & SCENE modes: The D7000 allows you easy taking of pictures, almost like a compact camera.
The downside of the comfort is that you can‘t change the most important settings which are frequently adjusted by experienced photographers:

  • white balance
  • exposure control and compensation
  • flash operation

Nikon D7000 operation mode P

P, S, A, M: Only in these modes you can change the aforementioned settings. For flash usage you have to take full control.

Nikon D7000 operation mode U1

The other modes U1 and U2 are pre-defined by Nikon with the same settings as P. But you can assign any of the other modes to them, together with all your preferred settings for taking pictures. They represent two camera configurations that you can define yourself and instantly restore by turning the mode dial.

My recommendations for the operation modes are:

  • U1 and U2, based on programmed auto (P) should be the usual modes for experienced photographers. They combine full control over all camera settings with the option to return immediately to an individually defined standard configuration.
  • Use the convenient fully automated AUTO if you are not yet familiar with the manual settings or if you just want to keep the handling as simple as possible.
  • For the same reason use one of the SCENE modes if it fits with your shooting situation.
    It increases your chances for good pictures but don‘t expect miracles!
  • P, S, A are also suitable for experienced photographers but have the disadvantage compared to U1 and U2 that you can‘t permanently store & recall your individual preferences.
  • M is left for the rare cases when you want to switch off the automated exposure metering and control.