"It's not a bug, it's a feature!"
I really like my shiny new Nikon D750 DSLR camera, but there are a few things I noticed within a few hours of using it that really drive me bonkers.
1. Remote shutter release settings
Why use a remote shutter release? A remote shutter release is helpful for long exposures and landscape photography because it eliminates the chance of camera shake due to pressing the shutter button on the camera directly.
There are four ways, that I am aware of, to cause the shutter of the D750 to fire without having hands on the camera.
- Wired remote
- Remote control mode (ML-L3)
- WiFi operation via an app like Nikon's WMU app or by using a computer.
Self-timer works well but is not very convenient, and is time-consuming when doing multiple exposures, as would be done with exposure bracketing for HDR.
Wired remotes are reliable and don't depend on batteries external to the camera, but are limited by the wire that connects it to the camera.
Both the IR remote (ML-L3) and WiFi options in the D750 are crippled by the software in the camera, detailed below.
Remote control mode (ML-L3)
Being a former Canon user, I assumed the IR remote would be dead-simple to use: compose the shot, pick up the remote, aim it at the camera and push the button on the remote. With the D750, the IR functionality needs to first be enabled through the menu, and the shutter release mode needs to be selected, choosing from Single shot mode or Mirror up mode. Normally this additional functionality is useful, and I appreciated the thoughtfulness of Nikon for including this. However, this appreciation quickly deteriorated into confusion and frustration when I discovered that the setting turns itself off after one minute by default. There is an option to leave the remote on for up to 15 minutes, but no way to leave it on indefinitely.
With the way I typically shoot landscape pictures, I first set up the shot on a tripod, check my drive mode and exposure controls, use a remote to take some pictures, then move the setup to another location. With the remote turning itself off now, I had to go back into the menu to repeatedly re-enable the remote.
Nikon, if you're reading this, there is no reason whatsoever to auto-disable the IR receiver on the camera. If I choose a setting in the menu, I expect the setting to "stick" and not change itself back.
The option to use WiFi is one of the features on the camera that attracted me to purchase it over the D610. What kills this for me is the same issue I have with the IR remote: the WiFi setting turns itself off when the camera is switched off.
This means that when moving between locations with the camera off, it isn't as easy as simply turning the camera on, waking up the phone, waiting for the phone to reconnect to the camera, then taking the picture. Instead, the camera needs to be switched on, the WiFi needs to be enabled in the menu, the phone then needs to be re-paired to the camera, and then you can use the phone with the camera.
I totally understand the reasoning behind not wanting the WiFi on for long periods of time, since it can easily drain the battery, but I want to manage that, not have the camera decide what's best. At the very least, there should be a setting that allows me to leave the WiFi on.
The intervalometer, or "Interval Timer" as Nikon calls it, is incredibly useful in the D750, but I had significant trouble trying to figure out how to enable it. I was able to locate where the option was in the menu easy enough, but the option was greyed out, with no indication as to why.
Of course, I discovered this only when I wanted to actually use the feature out in the field, expecting it to be easy, instead of trying it out at home first. Luckily, I had previously downloaded the manual on my phone, so I was able to study the section on the Interval Timer right there.
The manual states that two conditions must be met, that the date/time be set, which it was, and that any release mode aside from Mirror-Up mode (MUP) or self-timer be used. I had the camera in Single shot release mode and the time was set properly, but the menu option was still disabled!
After several minutes of head-scratching and unkind thoughts about the documentation team at Nikon, I discovered that because I had the IR remote enabled and set to MUP, that was enough to cause the setting to be disabled. Once I had turned off the setting for the remote, the Interval Timer option became available, and I could take the exposures.
This is insanity! Because I use the remote almost exclusively in MUP, I need to disable the remote to use the interval timer, and because the interval timer essentially uses MUP-style operation for single exposure mode anyway, a simple fix for Nikon would be to implement this drive mode mapping for the interval timer:
remote set to 2s Delayed remote? > use single shot remote set to Quick-response remote? > use single shot remote set to Remote mirror-up? > use single shot camera set to self-timer? > use single shot camera set to mirror-up? > use single shot camera set to any other drive mode? > use that setting