The Cheese Has Been Removed

Long time readers of my Nikon reviews know that I complain a lot about Nikon engineers who move buttons and menu items willy-nilly with camera iterations, which is extremely irritating to those of us who are long-time Nikon users. I call that process cheese moving, loosely modeled after the book Who Moved My Cheese?

Guess what? Now we have to talk about cheese that is removed.

What am I writing about now? In particular, the DOF Preview button. 

Oh, the button still exists in the location you'd expect it—no cheese moving—but it's labeled Fn1. Guess what you can't assign to Fn1 (or any other button)? Yep, DOF Preview. 

One of two things happened at Nikon. Either they had massive, repeated meetings about whether it was okay to remove DOF Preview, or some engineer who had no one looking over his shoulder decided it wasn't necessary and vanished it without any discussion. 

Both possibilities are problematic. In the first, if you had to have many meetings to determine whether removal was okay or not, then your marketing department needed to have a message to users about that, otherwise when they discover the missing feature, you're going to get articles like this ;~). And who knows what kind of Internet frenzy? 

On the other hand, if it was removed quietly by someone who didn't discuss it with others, then you have a product group that isn't being managed very well, and with no clear direction from above, don't you? 

Nope, Nikon's not going to squirm out of this one. A mistake was made. It's only a matter of which mistake it was.

Okay, don't go all presidential. Don't open up your Twitter account and get ready to fire off a missive dissing Nikon on this. Let me explain what you're going to do now that DOF Preview is gone.

In short, you're going to use Live View. The D7500 is one of the cameras that respects the aperture while in Live View (most of the consumer cameras only use the aperture you set before starting Live View for Live View viewing, though they'll change the aperture when you take the photo). That means that you can, with some extra effort, see what the DOF looks like. 

Sort of. The rear LCD of the D7500 isn't the same high pixel count one as on the D500, so you'll likely be pushing the zoom factor up to make out what's happening. Meanwhile, in lower light the Live View image gets grainier as you set smaller and smaller apertures. 

Yes, this works best in bright light and on a tripod. But frankly, so did the DOF Preview button. 

I can see Nikon's logic in removing DOF Preview (not in the index of the manual, either). With a good Live View system, it's not really necessary or as good. Moreover, DOF Preview as a button doesn't actually do anything useful when you're in Live View with a camera that respects apertures in Live View. What I can't see is Nikon not telling users what they did and how those users should address the missing cheese. 

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