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Live View Basics

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Live View Basics

CameraRC provides live view shooting for those Nikon cameras that support live view. In live view mode a Live View Window is opened and a stream of live view image captures are transfered from the camera to the computer and displayed in the window. It should be notices that these are fairly low resolution images of 640X480 pixels (1024X960 on some models) and thus do not have the resolution of an actual image capture.


Prior to beginning Live view operations you need to ensure the camera is properly configured for Live View Capture or Live View Movies. If there is a Live View Selector shown on Live View Tab (show below) make sure it is set to the appropriate setting. Also set the Live View Image Size and Exposure Preview as desired.


When using Live View with an Exposure Mode of Manual or Aperture Preferred the image displayed with many Nikon models can be very dark with small apertures. The Hold Aperture Open in Live View option can be used to open the aperture while using live view under these conditions.


The Restart Live View is used to restart the live view after image capture. The Auto Focus On Live View Capture ensures the camera attempts to Auto Focus whenever a live view capture is initiated.




Additionally, on some Nikon models there is a Live View Mode selector for switching between tripod and hand-held autofocus modes.. 


Starting and Stopping Live View

To start live view click on the LV   button. If no Live View Button is displayed then your camera does not support Live View.



Live View is stopped by pressing the same button a second time. While in live view you can initiate capture in the standard manner. 


Auto Focus in Live View

To auto focus the image in live view mode the Auto Focus button below to the Shutter Release button can used. In handheld mode this will cause the mirror to drop and the camera to autofocus after which live view will resume. In tripod mode the camera will attempt to achieve autofocus using the contrast autofocus method; note that this will often have problems focusing on some subjects - to better focus in tripod mode manual focusing can be used as is discussed in next paragraph. In addition to using the Auto Focus button there are short cuts that can be used: Entering a  <CTRL> A at the keyboard will initiate autofocus as will clicking the right mouse button. When an image is correctly focused it will change the autofocus indicator beside the Auto Focus button to green.


The Auto Focus On Live View Capture checkbox is located on the Live View tab and has the same effect as pressing the autofocus button prior to a capture. This automates the focus operation should you not want to pre-focus the image. If you are manually focusing on a subject make sure this unchecked or it will change your preset focus point.


Manual Focus in Live View 

You can move the focus point when the image is not zoomed by using the left mouse button to click on the location where you want to position the focus point. When the live view image is zoomed you can use the keyboard arrow keys to move the focus point; use the "Home" key to put the focus point back to the center of the image.


You can focus manually using the Focus In and Focus Out controls - Focusing in can also be done by pressing the "i" key and focus out using the "o" key. Notice that the Focus In and Focus Out controls accelerate the focusing operation the longer they are held down - press them for short periods of time to make small adjustments.  Finally on this tab the Live View Zoom Rate that can be used to zoom the live view image. Other ways to zoom the Live View Image are using the mouse scroll wheel or using the  "+" and "-" keys on the keypad can also be used to zoom in and out. When the live view image is zoomed, you can move the image by using the arrow keys on the keyboard or you can use the click the left mouse button on the image and drag the image.


Capturing in Live View

Once you have the image in focus or are ready to shoot you can initiate a live view capture in one of three ways. You can click the programs Shutter Release button, use a <CTRL> X key stroke sequence, or double click on the live view image using the left mouse button. Notice that when Live View is active that the shutter release on the camera cannot be used; this is a restriction of Nikon Cameras when tethered and in Live View.


Live View Options

The options available for live view are found on the Live View Window and also on the Live View/Composition Aids panel of the Main Options Window and. Many of the options can also be accessed by right clicking on the Live View Window. Notice that not all options are available on all cameras - when an option is to available it will not be visible.

Live View Options Tab          

Restart Live View - Restarts live view after each capture

Show Exposure Meter - Displays the Exposure Meter on the live view display.

Show Focus Points - Displays the contrast or phase detect focus point on the live view display.

Show 9X16 Aspect Marks - Display movie aspect marks on live view display.

Show Virtual Horizon - Displays the virtual horizon on the live view display.

Show Live View Histogram - Displays the histogram for the live view.

Show Audio Meter - Displays the audio meter on the live view display when recording movies.

Live View Focus Point - Sets the focus point used in live view.

Live View Focus Mode - Set the focus mode used in live view.

Live View Image Size - Sets the image size for the live view image.

Live View Brightness - Adjust the brightness of the live view display.

Live View Contrast - Adjust the contrast of the live view display.

Controls Transparency - Adjust the transparency of the controls displayed on the live view image.

Overlays Tab

Enable Image Mask - Enables display of the image mask on the live view display.

Mask File - Name of the mask file used.

Enabled Onion Skin - Enables the display of an onion skin on the live view display.

Onion Skin File - Name of the onion skin file used.

Mask/Onion Skin Transparency - Adjusts the transparency of the mask or onion skin on the live view display.

Grid Lines/Golden Spiral Tab

Enable Variable Live View Gridlines - Enables the display of variable gridlines that can be set to user defined locations.

Variable Gridline Set - Lets the user select the set of variable gridlines to use.

Enable Live View Grid Lines - Enables display of Grid Lines on live view display.

Horizontal Gridlines - sets the number of horizontal gridlines displayed.

Vertical Gridlines - Sets the number of vertical gridlines displayed.

Gridline Color - Changes the color of the gridlines.

Live View Golden Spiral - Displays and sets the golden spiral orientation on the live view image.

Grid Lines/Golden Spiral Transparency - Adjusts the transparency of the gridlines or golden spiral on the live view display.


Live View White Balance

For some Nikon Cameras there is a Live View WB control that can be used to adjust the white balance of the live view display. It should be noted that this control only adjust the live view display and not the actual white balance of the capture image. Its purpose is to provide the photographer with a more accurate depiction of how the equivalent capture will appear when the actual white balance is set to the same value. The Live View WB can only be  used when the Live View Selector is set to Live View Photography and live view is actively running.


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