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Nikon D2x - Using the Shooting and Custom Banks
© Darrell Young  
 

The Nikon D2x is a chameleon!

It's at least four cameras in one, and can change on the fly. Using the Shooting & Custom Banks, your D2x can change from the most professional of pro cameras to a snapshooter camera, all with just a few button presses.

It can shoot RAW files of 20-megabytes in size, using 100 ISO, in ADOBE RGB Color Space, and with the FUNC button assigned to Spot Metering for serious professional shooting, and very quickly change to Good Quality 2-megabyte JPEGS, at 400 ISO, in sRGB Color Space, and with High Image Sharpening, for that party where you don't want to think about anything but having a good time. And, these are only two variations of the many available combinations of “bank” settings you can use.

Some of Nikon's other fine cameras, such as the D100, have a couple of banks, but the D2x has a full four Shooting Banks and four Custom Banks. Set the functionality of these banks, name them, and use them to quickly change the way your D2x behaves.

Why not get your D2x now, and let's look at how to set the banks. When you're done with this article, you'll be able to configure your D2x to be your own personal, multi-function chameleon camera. And, it'll even change colors … er, well … color modes anyway.

First, lets look at the Shooting Menu Bank, where you'll set up such functions as file naming, image quality modes (RAW, JPEG, etc.), ISO, sharpening, and color space. Then we'll look at the Custom Banks, where you'll set up such things as autofocus, how the camera buttons function, and metering & exposure modes.

You have four each of the “Shooting” and “Custom” banks available, so you can set the D2x up to act like, at least, four different cameras by setting each bank with different settings, and then switching banks. Read the last sentence over until you understand what it is saying!

There are four default bank names -- Banks A, B, C, and D. You can rename any of these. In this article, we'll assume that your camera's banks have not yet been adjusted, and that you are not entirely familiar with the process. Let's learn how to rename Bank A to a more useful name, and set its individual features. When you've done this once, you'll be ready to set your camera up for special uses, and switch between them quickly.

Setting Up Shooting Bank “A”

Press the Menu button on the back of your D2x, and use the “Multi-selector” thumb toggle switch to scroll to the left, then up or down until you find the SHOOTING MENU , and the Shooting menu bank line item.

Notice at the top of the SHOOTING MENU there's a selection called Shooting menu bank with an “A” after it. (unless you or others have previously changed to a different bank) This means that your D2x is using Shooting Bank A. If any other letter than A is showing, you are in a different Shooting Bank.

Let's set the D2x bank to A, and rename it, by toggling the multi-selector thumb switch to the right once. The screen will change to look like this:

On this screen we see the four default Shooting menu banks A, B, C, D, and a selection called “ ABC Rename .”

Let's rename our bank, by scrolling to the bottom and then toggling to the right once on the ABC Rename line. The screen will now look like this:

Since we are working with Bank A at this time, select the “A” line and toggle to the right.

The screen will change to the letter selection screen which looks like this:

You'll see a series of symbols, numbers, and letters on top, with a line of tiny rectangles at the bottom. The little rectangles are where we will put our text to rename the bank. In the upper left corner of the characters area is a blank spot which represents a blank for insertion in the line of text. This is good for separating words.

To select a letter, use the thumb toggle switch to scroll around the screen until you find the first character you want to use. When you have highlighted the character that you want, press down on the middle of the multi-selector thumb toggle switch until it clicks once (see Figure 5). The character will appear in the line of rectangles at the bottom of the screen. I use “RAW Top Quality” as the name for my Bank A. Create a name that fits the use you'll have for this bank. When you are done press the ENTER key next to the bottom left of the screen.

If you make a mistake, hold down the checkered looking “Thumbnail” button, and the use the thumb toggle switch to move to the position of the error. Push the garbage can “Delete” button on the top left of the D2x (see Figure 5). The bad character will disappear. Remember to press ENTER when you are finished or the new name will NOT be saved.

Congratulations! You have named Bank A to a more meaningful name, so that you can select it quickly.

Now, scroll the multi-selector thumb switch to the left until the SHOOTING menu appears, or just press the MENU button to return to the start.

We are using Bank A and now must set up the camera functionality for this bank. Using the thumb switch scroll down and set each individual line item available under the SHOOTING MENU. They will each be saved as part of Bank A. Be sure to set, at least, the following:

  • Image Quality
  • JPEG compression (if you are using JPEG mode)
  • RAW compression (if you are using RAW mode)
  • ISO
  • Image Sharpening
  • Color Space
  • Color Mode

These form the basis for how your D2x functions. When you have finished, your D2x is now with the “personality” of Bank A. Go ahead and set up another bank or all the shooting banks, and rename them by repeating the steps above, starting from Setting Up Shooting Bank “A”.

Setting Up Custom Bank A

The method for setting the Custom Banks is exactly the same as for setting the Shooting Banks. So, you should be quite familiar with the process by now. Simply press the MENU button to return to the start, scroll left once and then up or down until you find the CUSTOM SETTING MENU:

From this menu, repeat the process you have learned in Setting Up Shooting Bank “A” above. It works exactly the same.

Be sure and set, as a minimum, the following in each bank:

  • Autofocus
  • Metering/Exposure

Be sure and rename the Custom Bank to whatever will remind you of what it's for.

Each of the line-items above contains many separate sub-items beneath them, so have your manual ready. Take a few minutes to read over the individual functions. Don't get in a hurry. This is a good time to familiarize yourself with the functions available in your D2x.

Using the Shooting and Custom Banks Together

Now that you have set up and named each of the banks you are interested in using, you are ready to make your D2x act like a Chameleon. You know how each Shooting and Custom Bank is configured. Now you can use them together.

Often, I will use a combination of Shooting Bank A and Custom Bank A. But, nothing prevents you from using Shooting Bank B with Custom Bank D. That's where the D2x's extreme flexibility comes in. Maybe you have Shooting Bank A set for Fast Best Quality JPEGs, and are shooting it with Custom Bank A which is set for no Focus-Tracking. Suddenly, a flock of geese flies by and you realize you must use Focus-Tracking to accurately capture the one big fat goose you like. You simply press the MENU button, scroll to Custom Bank B and you are set. (You did configure Custom Bank B for Focus-Tracking right).

Or, maybe while you're using Shooting Bank A for Good Quality JPEGS, an incredibly beautiful rainbow appears. You quickly switch to Shooting Bank B, where you've previously set Uncompressed RAW mode for maximum quality.

Get the point? Your camera can change the way it shoots on the fly, in much less time than it takes to talk about it. Now that you've read this over, and set up a few banks on your D2x, give it some serious thought. Think of the ways you most often take pictures, and configure your D2x for each of those ways. Your camera will be customized to you!

Keep on capturing time…

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