Download these free Canon and Nikon Setup Guides, to help you set up the Menus and Custom Function Settings of your dSLR. These free setup guides are best used along with my comprehensive Full Stop e-book camera guides such as Nikon D500 Experience and Canon 7D Mark II Experience, available on this site.
I have created comprehensive Excel spreadsheets for some of the recent cameras, with suggested settings for the applicable Menus, all of the Custom Functions / Custom Settings, plus some shooting and exposure settings. These Setup Guide Spreadsheets provide complete and separate camera setup recommendations for different types of shooting, including:
General / Travel / Street
Landscape / Architecture
Action / Sports
Moving Wildlife / Birds
Studio / Portraits
Concert / Performance
Currently, Setup Guide Spreadsheets are available for the following cameras:
Canon 5D Mark IV setup guide
Canon 80D setup guide
Nikon D500 setup guide
Nikon D750 setup guide
Nikon D810 setup guide
Nikon D7200 setup guide
Canon 7D Mark II setup guide
Canon 5DS / 5DS R setup guide
Here is a detail of just a small part of one of the Setup Guides Spreadsheets:
The direct links to download the Excel spreadsheets:
To fully understand and take control of your Canon or Nikon dSLR, use these setup guides along with my Full Stop Camera Guides available on this site!
Printing the Setup Guide Spreadsheets
To print one of these Excel spreadsheet guides, you may wish to print it across several pages and then tape them together, so that the data is legible:
-First, be sure to set the print area, to avoid numerous blank pages. Do this by manually selecting all the cells with data in them, by dragging the cursor from cell A1 to the far-right-lower cell containing data (such as G185, but this will vary for each camera’s spreadsheet). All of the selected cells will then appear blue.
-Access the menu for File > Print Area > Set Print Area.
-Then go to File > Print Preview and select the Setup button.
-Set the page for “Landscape” and “Fit To” 2 pages wide by 3 pages tall. This should result in 6 pages to be printed (as long as you have set the print area first).
–Be sure to check the preview to see that the data will print at a reasonable size, and that there are only 6 or so pages that will print!
In the past I have resisted requests for these types of quick-start “cheat sheets,” because I prefer that users determine which settings suit their shooting situations and preferences. This is one of the best ways to really learn the ins-and-outs of one’s new camera, so I still encourage you to do so. But I can appreciate the value and the handy reference features of this type of recommendation guide. However, these recommended settings are often merely starting points, or may come with caveats. Full explanations of all the Menu Settings and Custom Functions / Custom Settings are found in my Full Stop books.
Please know that I am in no way an experienced expert in all of the different photography categories I have included, so please take the advice of a dedicated Bird photographer or Concert photographer, for example, over mine if it differs!
As these spreadsheets are provided for free, I typically do not offer alternate versions, PDF versions, or smart-phone-friendly versions. Please feel free to adjust the formatting to fit your needs.