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  • Ed Dozier

Nikon Custom Settings Banks versus Photo Shooting Banks

Many people have a fundamental confusion about Nikon memory banks on their “pro” model cameras. Nikon keeps the distinction as clear as mud.

The “Photo shooting menu bank” is found in the “Photo Shooting Menu” (the little camera icon). You can assign up to four of these (A,B,C,D) to have unique settings in each. You can also name these banks to be something meaningful. I have settings for “Sports”, “Landscape”, “Manual”, and “Live View”, so that’s what I named them. Here’s where you save your unique setups that you configure for things like Auto-ISO, default ISO, Manual shooting mode, picture controls, shutter speed, aperture setting, etc.

The “Custom settings bank” is found in the “Custom Setting Menu” (the pencil icon). What you save here are things like custom button assignments. You also get four of these (also named A,B,C,D). This is where the confusion sets in. Fortunately, you can give these banks names, too. If you give these banks different names than the “photo shooting” banks, then it will help eliminate confusion.

Both banks are added into "My Menu" for fast access

Photo shooting bank

Custom settings bank

I have the names “Focus buttons” and “Live View” in my custom settings banks. The “Focus buttons” save the way I have configured my AF-ON, joystick, Fn1, Fn2, and PV buttons. These button assignments prevent focusing in Live View unless I use the touch-screen, which I find enormously irritating. The bank I named “Live View” rids the various “AF-ON plus area mode” features I assign to other buttons. Once these custom button assignments are cleared (by selecting my “Live View” custom settings bank), then my “AF-ON” button can once again be used to get Live View to auto-focus.

In the “Setup Menu” (the little wrench icon), there’s a “Save/load settings” option to save the shooting configuration (all shooting banks and all custom settings banks).

To get at the two memory banks quicker, I assign my “Fn2” button to go to “My Menu”. Inside “My Menu”, I added the “Photo shooting menu bank” and the “Custom settings bank”. Even if I don't select a different bank here, it's a very fast way to verify how my camera is presently configured.

I still wish Nikon would just stick the “U1”,”U2”, etc. dial on all of their cameras, which is infinitely faster than menu-diving. And just try menu diving if you're half blinded by bright sunshine.

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