Nikon CoolPix 5400

Nikon 5400 hints & tips

Some useful things I learned while using the Nikon CoolPix 5400, that you may find useful too.

Here are some useful tips and techniques I learned using the Nikon 5400.

Low contrast focusing

The 5400 has trouble focusing, even sometimes in bright light, when there is lack on contrast in a subject. In these situations, try to lock in focus and exposure on something of equal distance that has contrast. Depress the shutter-release button down half-way, recompose your shot and then fully depress the button.

Additional suggestions for low-contrast focusing:

Some have reported that the 5400 focuses better in low-light by shooting by using these settings or modes:

Macro Mode

  • AF area – OFF (otherwise keep on manual)
  • Use Center weighted or Spot metering
  • Shoot with a relatively wide focal length

Memory cards

24x and 24xWA seem to be the highest speed recommended by Nikon. Many users suggest 12x is the max while others use the higher speed cards.

Formatting memory cards for the Nikon 5400

According to Nikon’s Digital Knowledge Database, reformat a memory card in the camera only. If you’ve formatted using Windows XP and have problems, here’s what Nikon says:

The default format for a disk in Windows XP is “FAT32”, (File Allocation Table 32) Nikon Digital Cameras only accept cards formatted as “FAT “or “FAT16”.

Please reformat the card and select “FAT” or “FAT16” from the format dialog box menu or simply format the card in the camera.

Quick Response

Turn this Monitor ON when fast response is needed. It minimizes the delay between pressing the shutter-release button and taking a photo. The trade-off: a slight drop in the quality of an image displayed on the LCD. There is no difference in the way images appear when reviewing in Quick View or Play modes and no degradation in image quality.

Blinking focus light

If the green focus light keeps blinking (no AF lock) and you take the shot anyway, the camera will set up for a flash shot focused at short range, and can produce a sharp photo within the flash range


  • Hi Woitec,
    Thanks! Just purchased (ignorantly) a 4Gb CF card, after formatting got “OUT of Memory”. Used your filling trick and it works!!

  • Partitioning a memory card is not recommended. “Flash memory cards and USB Flash Drives are considered removable storage and as such are presumed to only have one partition. You will not be able to partition such a device into multiple partitions using normal Windows tools.

    If you were somehow to circumvent this limitation using third party tools, you would most likely encounter problems using the partitioned device in some ways.

    I recommend not attempting to circumvent this limitation.”

    Source: MYCE Forum

  • hi, michael…i did buy a 4 gb card…how did you partition it…not that tech savvy so need help! thanks.

  • I use a 4GB 133X card in my Coolpix 5400. I bought it cheap on eBay but then realized my camera can’t use that capacity. Then I put the card in my Hackintosh and partitioned it into two 2GB partitions. Now the camera reads it as a single 2GB card.

  • Great info.  Currently I need a new memory chip for a Coolpix 5400.  Specs. say 1GB max.
    Stores do not carry 1GB anymore, just 2GB & 4GB.
    Shoehorn info. is most welcome.
    Good work,  thanks,
    H. Cannon

  • Thanks for sharing. Have you experienced any negative effects on the card from the process you mentioned? One of the important issues your post highlights is to always check the maximum capacity of a memory card that your camera can take. Check the card type too. If you have an older (but very fine) camera such as the Nikon 5400, they often have less megapixels and speed capabilities of newer cameras, so many don’t need a high capacity/fast card.

    Related reading: SDHC memory cards

  • If anybody buys a 4Gb CF card for the Nikon 5400 (of course it does not work due to 2 gb limit) and has no way of returning it – here is a simple solution on how to use it. Just do this:
    1. format the card in the camera
    2. Connect it via card reader to your PC
    3. Copy a little over 2Gb of data to the card – to a different folder
    4. Put the card into the camera
    5. It should work now…
    Hope this is useful to someone.