This is a feature I would love to have in a camera so I'm wondering if it even exsists in any avalible DSLRs. I'd basicly like to save a multiple profiles of all the settings in my camera and be able to recall them later. For example say I'm taking a low light shot on a tripod and therfore would want to enable mirror lockup, set a low iso, set the noise reduction, set a long exposure, etc..etc ..etc.. Rather then clicking through all those little menus I'd much rather be able to just pull up my saved "low light" settings profile and setup my camera in one step.

Does something like this even exsist?


5 Answers 5


Does something like this even exist?

It sure does. Although there are exceptions and outliers, for the most part this functionality can be found on mid-range to pro-level dSLRs across a wide range of camera brands.

On Canon cameras it's called 'Camera User Settings' and depending on the model of camera it may consist of selectable menu items, or with cameras such as the 5DmkII, and 7D you can store and recall up to 3 custom setups via the mode selection dial on top of the camera. Other models offer camera user settings only via the menu functionality of the firmware.

With Nikon cameras the feature is called 'Shooting Menu' and works in a similar fashion as on Canon cameras, allowing users to save (and give names) to their custom configurations. However (as of this time at least) most Nikon cameras do not have the ability to select custom setups via a physical knob on the camera in the way that Canon does, the exception being the most recently released models such as the Nikon D7000.

  • 2
    On Pentax, it's the "User" mode; there's a dial setting for it, but on newer models you also choose which of several profiles through the back LCD.
    – mattdm
    Feb 28, 2011 at 12:34
  • Would the U1 / U2 settings on Nikon's D7000 have a similar functionality to Canon's custom setups?
    – Eclipse
    Feb 28, 2011 at 19:05
  • Looks like it. I don't own a D7000, so I didn't realize Nikon had started copying Canon. :-) Updating my answer to reflect this new info. Thanks! Feb 28, 2011 at 19:20
  • One advantage of having menu-based modes is that they can be renamed — on the Pentax K-5, your modes can literally be "low light", "remote flash", "ettr", and so on.
    – mattdm
    Feb 28, 2011 at 19:52
  • 1
    You can't find the feature because Canon has chosen not to include that functionality with the low-end cameras in their product line. Short of an upgrade to a better camera, I can't think of anything else you can do. Sorry... Mar 1, 2011 at 18:18

Some dSLRs have at least one user mode that stores user preferred settings. Some cameras will have a few of these, it varies a little. For example, the Pentax K-5 has 5 user modes and can store exposure mode, drive mode, flash mode, white balance, ISO, EV compensation, and a host more options. So, the simple answer to your question is yes, it can be done.

  • 2
    I wish I could vote this up, but I don't think it's true. This feature is rare-to-nonexistent on entry-level dSLRs, and even the one-step-up models. Basically, it's another case of photo.stackexchange.com/questions/5883/…
    – mattdm
    Feb 28, 2011 at 12:33
  • @mattdm - Edited based on your comment. :)
    – Joanne C
    Feb 28, 2011 at 14:28
  • The 5D mkII (and I think the MkI) has this feature. It allows 3 profiles to be set up.
    – AJ Finch
    Feb 28, 2011 at 14:40
  • 2
    I still wish you could have edited reality instead of your comment, so that the original were actually true.:)
    – mattdm
    Feb 28, 2011 at 14:56
  • @mattdm - LOL, true I guess. I tend to think about dSLRs based on what I shoot, so I just assumed that such a simple feature would be present outside of the semi-pro to pro lines.
    – Joanne C
    Feb 28, 2011 at 15:08

Yes, some of the higher end cameras support this sort of thing -- as an example, and flicking through the manual for Canon's 5D mk 2 (p187, if you care) - you can configure all the custom functions, that you want to be set (or unset) for up to three different modes -- which can then be selected using the mode dial.

Whilst I've picked on a single model, from a single manufacturer, I would expect this sort of feature to appear on comparable products from other manufacturers.

  • Referencing the manual - love it! +1 :)
    – AJ Finch
    Feb 28, 2011 at 14:41
  • @AJ Finch Well, it made sense when I had it to hand :) Feb 28, 2011 at 15:09

The pro model Canons have this (the 7D has 3 such custom profiles). I'm fairly sure the high end Nikons do too.

On the 5D and 7D instead of having the various auto modes (like macro, landscape, sports, night-time, etc) there are three modes called C1, C2 and C3. You can set up the camera and then save all settings for those modes. The 1D has similar capabilities buried in the menu, allowing a larger number than just 3 settings, and storing them on your memory card.

You may end up making your own sports, landscape, night-time, etc, type modes, or you could do something a bit different. I have set mine to:

  • C1 - the controls set up better for use on a tripod (e.g. separating focus and exposure metering buttons)
  • C2 - I guess is a sports / birds mode
  • C3 - 3-shot +/- auto exposure bracketing (useful for hand-held HDR with the 7D's 8fps)
  • The 1D series doesn't have the C1/2/3 dial like the 7D etc. You can save profiles to the secondary memory card and load them from there I believe.
    – JamWheel
    Feb 28, 2011 at 20:06

In addition to the DSLR's mentioned above, you'll also find a version of this on some P&S cameras. I've got a Panasonic FZ28 that's got two "Custom" modes where you can set up these sorts of presets.

  • My Olympus C5060 (which was a great bridge camera for its time) had four "User" modes.
    – mattdm
    Feb 28, 2011 at 14:26

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