My Z9 Settings

Here are some of the settings I use on my Nikon Z9 cameras that work for me.

Back Button Focus

I use the back button focus (BBF) technique (see this post to find out why use Back Button Focus technique) so the first settings I set on my Z9’s are related to this:


  • Focus mode: AF-C – with back button focus, you don’t need to change the focus mode for different subjects, you can make the focus work like AF-S (single) by pressing and releasing the AF-ON button, focus like AF-C by holding the AF-ON button.


  • a Focus
    • a1 AF-C priority selection – Release I don’t want to wait until the camera thinks the subject is in focus, I want to take the shot when I press the release button.
    • a2 AF-S priority selection – Release I set this even though I never use AF-S focus mode because of BBF.
    • a6 AF activation – AF-ON only – this moves the acquire focus function from the release button and to the AF-ON button on the back of the camera – hence the name Back Button Focus.
  • c Timers/AE lock
    • c1 Shutter-release button AE-L – ON – if I’m using BBF to acquire focus and want to recompose but don’t want the exposure to change, setting this to ON allows a half shutter press to lock exposure.

Studio Settings

When I am shooting in the studio with flash lights, the viewfinder would be very dark without changing the View mode. With this set you can see what you’re shooting – remember to set back when not using flash so you can see the effects of settings.


  • d Shooting/display
    • d9 View mode (photo Lv):
      • Show effects of settings – for normal shooting
      • Adjust for ease of viewing – when using studio lights

Other Personal Preferences

These settings are more down to personal preference:


  • Picture review OFF – I find picture review distracting and setting to off might save the battery!
  • Auto-rotate picture ON


  • Auto rotate info display OFF – The reason I set this to off is because I found it really annoying when using the multi-selector left/right controls to scroll through shots, especially when showing someone else the back of the camera, that one moment the the left/right moves between images, and the next moment is scrolls through the info settings instead – all because I had tilted the camera slightly.
  • Save focus position ON

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