Preparing your Camera

Here’s what you need to do to prepare for tethering with ControlMyNikon:

  1. Install ControlMyNikon, but don’t start it up yet.
  2. Turn off your camera, ensure the battery is well charged.  Set the camera to Manual Exposure mode, Single Shot.
  3. Connect the USB cable from the camera directly to the PC.  Avoid cables longer than 12′ and USB hubs as they can provide connectivity problems.
  4. Turn on your camera.  Windows should auto-detect it and list it in the Windows Device Manager.  If it does not, check the USB cable and camera battery.  If it still doesn’t work, check the Troubleshooting Guide.
  5. Press the Connect button in ControlMyNikon. The button will become disabled when you are connected.-
  6. Click on the ‘Shoot’ button at the top of the screen – it’s the icon in the shape of a person’s head.  You should hear the camera click as it captures the image.
  7. The image will be automatically transferred to your computer and you should be able to see it in the ControlMyNikon image browser.

That’s it!

We try to get all ControlMyNikon features working on all bodies, but some features are not compatible. Some examples:

Example 1: ControlMyNikon’s live view does not work with a D40, D80 or D200, which do not support live view.
There’s no way this software can get your body to do something it was not physically designed to do.

Example 2: ControlMyNikon’s flash commander mode cannot be set on models newer than the D7000, which supports it.
In this case, there is a bug in the Nikon SDK drivers that do not permit ControlMyNikon to use this feature. Or maybe it is not a SDK or firmware bug, or it is part of Nikon’s product planning. We don’t know which.

Essential Body Settings

You’ll need to tweak some settings on the body LCD/LED menu’s so that it works properly with the program. You will need to operate in either Manual, Aperture, Shutter or Program Mode. However, since you are tethering, Manual mode is suggested to get the most consistent results. Do you really want the body firmware to guess the exposure in the middle of a 1000 image timelapse? No. Use Manual mode instead.

All bodies (or if your body is not listed below)

  • Set the focus mode so that focus is not required to trigger the shutter. To test, you should be able to trigger the shutter while the lens cap is on (and the body is unable to focus). Set this while not in live view, and also in live view as they are two separate settings.
  • Set the live view timout/monitor off setting to the maximum value, or unlimited.
  • Set the live view focus box size to the smallest size available.
  • If the body supports it, set the live view exposure preview to enabled.
  • If the lens has an AF/Manual switch, set it to AF.
  • If the body has an AF/Manual switch, set it to AF. If you are operating without an attached lens, you may need to set this to MF.
  • Remote focus is only available for ‘CPU Lenses’. Most modern Nikon lenses are cpu lenses. Some third-party lenses try to clone the Nikon cpu, but are not entirely compatible.

Z50, Z6, Z7

  • On the Z6, you can set Aperture, shutter speed and ISO while live view is running. Should be the same for the Z50 and Z7 as well. This is something that only the more expensive D bodies could do.
  • The CMN non-live view AF Only button is disabled for Z’s.
  • You can set the live view image size up to 1024×680
  • Make sure body is set for Single Frame Mode ‘S’. Continuous mode is required only when doing the burst workflow.
  • Its very quiet and if you have the body set to quiet shooting mode, it’s a bit odd to not have the clunk sound of the mirror when you take a shot. This can leave you wondering if the image was captured. Turning off the quiet shooting mode gives a bit of a reassuring clunk sound, but introduces some vibration, so it’s a trade-off.

FOCUS MODES

  • Movie and live view modes needs to be in AF-S to be able to point and click to focus on screen.
  • Set AF Area Mode to Poinpoint AF for smallest focus box, single point for slightly larger box. (press Info button on back of camera to access).
  • The Live view focus box can’t be set to a position exactly centered like on the D bodies. You double click on a spot on the screen and it’ll figure out which predetermined focus box it should use.
  • Works good with FTZ adapter and compatible lenses.

FOCUS STACKING

  • Set the body menu item A2 to AF-S ‘Release’ to ensure that an image can be captured without attempting to get focus first.
  • Enjoy how quiet the image capturing is.

LIVE VIEW

  • On body, set it to Still Photography mode (physical switch).
  • On body, set Focus Mode to AF-S (press Info button).
  • On body, set AF Area Mode to Pinpoint AF (press Info button). This is the smallest focus box in still photography mode.
  • Zoom has three levels (fullsize, 100%, 200%). Don’t change levels too fast or it may lock up.
  • You can set live view image size in CMN View/Live View Image Quality menu. Highest is 1024×680.
  • The Z6/7 can apply the current exposure settings to live view to get an estimate of what the captured image will be. This may be too dark when shooting with strobes. You can can enable/disable this in the body menus (d8), or with the CMN Tools/Exposure Preview menu item. If you need to have this on and it is too dark, you can also adjust the live view brightness with CMN’s Layers tab ISO Pinning or Brightness setting. When you turn off exposure preview, if it is dark the body will auto-adjust the sensor sensitivity (kind of a temporary ISO) for displaying the live view image. You can see this as represented as additional noise in the live view image.

MOVIES

  • Make sure you have a memory card in the body.
  • On body, set it to movie mode (physical switch).
  • On body, set focus mode to AF-S (press Info button).
  • On body, set af area mode to Single Point Af (press Info button). This is the smallest focus box in movie mode.
  • on body, set the movie quality.
  • In CMN body tab, set Save to: any value. The body will always save the movie to the card no matter what setting you have here. After recording, the movie is automatically copied to the computer. The original movie file on the card is not deleted by CMN.
  • You can’t capture an image while the video is recording.

D7100

  • Custom setting menu/autofocus/AF-S priority selection – Set to ‘Release’ (a2)
  • Set body to AF-S
  • Set live view focus mode to AF-S Norm (press the button on the M/AF lever, use thumb wheels to select)
  • Custom setting menu/monitor off delay/live view – set to 30 min or unlimited(c4)

D7000

  • Custom setting menu/autofocus/AF-S priority selection – Set to ‘Release’ (a2)
  • Custom setting menu/autofocus/Live view/movie AF/autofocus mode – set to AF-S. (a8)
  • Custom setting menu/autofocus/Live view/movie AF/AF-area mode – set to Norm. (a8)
  • Set body to AF-S
  • Custom setting menu/monitor off delay/live view – set to 30 min (c4)
  • Shooting menu/Movie Settings/Manual Movie Settings – set to On

D5200, D5300, D5500

  • Set the body non-live view focus mode to ‘AF-C’ and the body ‘Custom Settings/AF-C Priority Selection (a1) to ‘Release’.
  • Set the body Release Mode to S (Single) unless you are doing continuous shooting.
  • Set the body live view focus mode to AF-S and AF-Area Mode to ‘Norm’. You need to flip the live view lever, then press – the info button to see this setting.
  • Set the body ‘Shooting Menu/Movie Settings/Manual Movie Settings’ to ‘ON’. This is needed to ensure that the live view histogram is accurate.
  • Set the body ‘Custom Settings/Timers-AELock/AutoOffTimers(c2) /live view/custom to 30 minutes. This is how long it takes for live view to automatically timeout and shut down.

D5100

  • Set autofocus option to AF-C, Release priority.
  • Set live view autofocus option to AF-S, Normal Area.

D5000

  • Set to body to AF-C

D750

  • set it so that the body does not try to focus before triggering the shutter
  • LCD Menu a1 – AF-C priority selection = Release
  • LCD Menu a2 – AF-S priority selection = Release
  • LCD Menu a4 – Focus Point Illumination, Manual Focus Mode = Off
  • While not in live view, Focus Mode Switch (side of body AF/M, depress center button) = AF-S S
  • Enter live view, press i (info) button on back of body, set Exposure Preview to ON. Now the histograms in ControlMyNikon Live view will be accurate.
  • While in live view, Focus Mode Switch (side of body AF/M, depress center button) = AF-S Norm
  • When recording video, be sure to set the Live view mode selector lever on the back of the body to Movie Mode. For normal live view captures,set it to Stills Mode.
  • Note: You will need to set exposure delay mode on the body lcd menu. For some unknown reason Nikon has disabled setting remotely while tethered.

D800/D800E

  • Custom setting menu/autofocus/AF-S priority selection – Set to ‘Release’ (a2)
  • While not in live view, set body to AF-S.
  • Ensure that the D800/D800E Live View focus mode is set to AF-S Norm. To set it, unplug the usb cable, turn on the camera and live view and check the setting asdisplayed across the top of the LCD panel. It needs to show ‘AF-S Norm’.
  • Custom setting menu/monitor off delay/live view – set to 30 min (c4)
  • Note: You can toggle the live view Exposure Preview on and off by using the Exposure Preview item in the tools menu.

D810

  • LCD Menu a2 – AF-S priority selection = Release
  • While not in live view, Focus Mode Switch (side of body AF/M, depress center button) = AF-S
  • Ensure that the Live View focus mode is set to AF-S Norm. To set it, unplug the usb cable, turn on the camera and live view and check the setting asdisplayed across the top of the LCD panel. It needs to show ‘AF-S Norm’.
  • When recording video, be sure to set the Live view mode selector lever on the back of the body to Movie Mode. For normal live view captures, set it to Stills Mode. Set it while live view is not enabled.
  • Custom setting menu/monitor off delay/live view – set to 30 min (c4) or unlimited.
  • Note: EFCS while tethered is not supported. This is a firmware limitation.
  • Note: You can toggle the live view Exposure Preview on and off by using the Exposure Preview item in the tools menu.

D700

  • Set to body to AF-S, release priority.

D600, D610

  • Custom setting menu/autofocus/AF-S priority selection – Set to ‘Release’ (a2)
  • Set body to AF-S
  • Set live view focus mode to AF-S Norm (press the button on the M/AF lever, use thumb wheels to select)
  • Custom setting menu/monitor off delay/live view – set to 30 min or unlimited(c4)

D90

  • Custom setting menu/autofocus/Af-Area Mode (a1) – set to ‘Single Point’
  • Custom setting menu/autofocus/Center focus point(a2) – Set to ‘Normal Zone’
  • Custom setting menu/autofocus/Live View Autofocus – Set to ‘Normal Area’
  • Set body to AF-C.

D80, D40, D40X, D60

  • Set to body to AF-S, release priority.

D3, D3S, D3X, D300/D300S

  • Set to body to AF-S, release priority.

D4, D4S

  • Set live view autofocus option to AF-S.

Df

  • Custom setting menu/autofocus/AF-S priority selection – Set to ‘Release’
  • Set the body shutter speed dial to the 1/3 Step setting.
  • Set body to AF-S
  • Set live view focus mode to AF-S Norm (press the button on the M/AF lever, use thumb wheels to select)
  • Custom setting menu/monitor off delay/live view – set to 30 min or unlimited
  • Custom setting menu/monitor off delay/live view – set to 30 min or unlimited
  • Exposure Delay must be set on the body lcd menu. Exposure Delay cannot be set remotely.
  • Exposure Compensation must be set on the body lcd menu. Exposure Compensation cannot be set remotely.