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Thread: Settings on the D5200 - couple questions

  1. #1
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    Settings on the D5200 - couple questions

    I have a few questions. I've tried browing through my manual and I've tried googling, however it appears some of these answers might vary between camera models even from Nikon. If someone can answer any questions, I'd be greatly appreciative.

    (I realize after writing this that it pretty much boils down to beginner information, but I wanted to tie it all together and hopefully this isn't too much to read. I've just been confused by information about one Nikon camera that doesn't translate over to another... I read forum discussions where someone states that "this version's settings don't affect the RAW shot", while "this version does affect the RAW shot". So I don't know what applies to my D5200, and how to continue and progress without taking in a bunch of misinformation, or being ignorant to the information that is right under my nose, or what-have-you.)

    1. Do center-weighted and spot metering use the center of the focus-point as the "center", or the constant physical center from the viewfinder? I'm curious since I do some focus and recompose photos, and I'm not sure how to deal with center-weighted metering when recomposing, and I'm also curious about using that feature when I shift the focus point over (whether the "center" is on the focus point or not). I'm really trying to figure out how to take advantage of the metering on the D5200, since I do have situations where I get something blown out in favor of something else (ex. sky is one big bright mess, subject is nice... or subject is in focus but close to being a silhouette while the background looks good).

    2. Active D-Lighting was on auto, but I'm not sure if I should be using this feature, or if I should be using this feature manually similarly to EV, ISO, etc? I've read that in some cameras this doesn't affect RAW shots, but I think on the D5200 active d-lighting goes into the RAW shots? I'm not sure what the detriments of using it can be, and I would like to start identifying when I should have it off, and when I should have it on (and when high/low/medium would be better than "auto"). I am confused about this setting since it seems like it's somewhat camera-specific in the way it's implemented (but again, I don't know).

    3. Auto-bracketing. I cannot figure out for the life of me how to use this feature and access it. When I turn auto bracketing on and set it to 0.7, I just get one overly bright image in my RAW shot. I thought this was used for HDR? Have I misread?

    4. Picture Control. I have it set to "Standard". Does this affect RAW files? I'm not sure how the D5200 handles the picture control settings.

    5. White Balance. I've been told by someone that I need to figure out how to use white balance better. I always have auto on, unless if I'm in direct sunlight (then I use "direct sunlight" as the preset). Should I be measuring my white balance all the time with test shots? I'm not sure what to do with the D5200, and if the white balance really differs between cameras.



  2. #2
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    Well, you asked more than a couple questions, and they are actually fairly complex questions as that. Just a suggestion, for better replies from folks on here, try to limit how many questions you're asking at one time. Much like not posting too many photos at once for C&C, it just takes a long time to answer so many questions, many people wont reply as a result. But, fortunately I have a little time and a full rum & coke, so I'll do my best! Disclaimer, I'm no pro, so my answers are not guaranteed to be correct!

    1. The center focus point and the center of the view finder, or frame, are effectively the same thing. Center weighted metering uses something like the center 1/3 of the frame to get it's meter reading, as opposed to a single point or evaluative metering. It should always use the center of the frame, regardless of what focus point you select. If you use single point metering, however, that will use whatever AF point you select as the spot to meter. So, for recomposing your shots, so long as you utilize either the AF/AE lock button, or keep the shutter release pressed half way, you should be able to recompose just fine without losing your meter reading. If you're having issues with areas being blown out, or under exposed, you'll need to either change your composition (like being aware where the sun is in relation to your frame) or metering for the brighter spot in the frame and using fill flash/reflectors, ect. If you haven't already, read the book Understanding Exposure. It'll shed some light on your issues.. Pun fully intended.

    2. Active D lighting is a great tool for a number of things. It's not for everyone, or every situation, but if you tend to only shoot in jpeg, or you don't post process your RAW files, then it probably makes sense to use it. There unfortunately isn't a "use it" or "Don't use it" scenario. It depends on what effect you're trying to achieve in your photo. It also does NOT effect your RAW files. Nothing effects your RAW files. The RAW file is just that, it's "as the sensor sees it." Everything, even when you view your photos in camera, is a manipulated interpretation of the RAW file, in which other settings have been applied. For example, if you have your camera set to "Portrait" mode, and you take a photo, when you view that photo in camera, you aren't actually seeing the RAW file, you're seeing the RAW file AFTER the camera has applied the settings it uses to create the portrait mode. So, in short, NO settings (besides aperture, shutter speed, ISO) will effect the RAW file. The RAW file will always be the RAW file. This is also why you need a program to view RAW files on a computer. Don't think of a RAW file as an image, but rather a file of data that records pixel information, metadata, and EXIF data.

    3. Exposure bracketing is most often used for HDR images, but not exclusively. There are other reasons to use it. The bracketing in your camera will take three photos. When you set your bracketing to .7 EV, it will first take one photo at your current settings, then you take a second photo, and the camera will make the adjustments to expose the image +.7 EV, over exposing the image, then when you take the third image, it will be at -.7 EV from your initial settings, under exposing the third image. So, for example, you set your camera to shutter priority, bracketing at 1 EV, 1/500sec, and the camera decides f/8 is required to get the proper exposure (I use 1 EV because it's easy to do the math...) Your first photo will be 1/500 at f/8. Then, it will change the camera settings to 1/500, f/5.6, for the second shot, then 1/500, f/11 for the third shot. That way you would get three shots, one exposed for the main subject, then one over exposed, allowing you to capture detail in the shadows, and one under exposed to capture detail in the highlights. This can be used with an HDR software to make an HDR image, or perhaps you just aren't sure on what exposure you wanted to capture in the image, and bracketing allows you to take a few shots and pick the right one later.

    4. See #2 above. Picture Control will NOT effect the RAW files.

    5. I always leave my camera in Auto WB, unless I am going to be taking a bunch of shots where I know the lighting absolutely will not change. So, basically only if it's a studio setting... The Auto WB is pretty darn good, and I generally only have to make minor tweaks to it in post processing. The reason it doesn't really make sense to be setting your camera to a specific WB all the time, is because it only takes a minor change in sunlight, flash level, ect. to alter the WB and make your preset null and void.. WB is easily corrected in post processing. There's only a hand full of times where I've needed to adjust the WB more than a couple hundred degrees Kelvin when using Auto WB. In the end, it really doesn't matter if, or how much WB may differ between cameras, because once you have your camera figured out, you can make the necessary adjustments to WB just fine, or correct it in post processing. Do you post process using a software like Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture, or something similar? If you do, and you're having issues with colors in your photos, I'd also strongly encourage you to calibrate your monitor using a calibrating device, if you don't already. It makes a HUGE difference when you have a calibrated monitor, as to getting the colors right. Also make sure you're exporting your images in the correct color space.

    Hope that helps.
    PaulWog likes this.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by crimbfighter View Post
    3. Exposure bracketing is most often used for HDR images, but not exclusively. There are other reasons to use it. The bracketing in your camera will take three photos. When you set your bracketing to .7 EV, it will first take one photo at your current settings, then you take a second photo, and the camera will make the adjustments to expose the image +.7 EV, over exposing the image, then when you take the third image, it will be at -.7 EV from your initial settings, under exposing the third image. So, for example, you set your camera to shutter priority, bracketing at 1 EV, 1/500sec, and the camera decides f/8 is required to get the proper exposure (I use 1 EV because it's easy to do the math...) Your first photo will be 1/500 at f/8. Then, it will change the camera settings to 1/500, f/5.6, for the second shot, then 1/500, f/11 for the third shot. That way you would get three shots, one exposed for the main subject, then one over exposed, allowing you to capture detail in the shadows, and one under exposed to capture detail in the highlights. This can be used with an HDR software to make an HDR image, or perhaps you just aren't sure on what exposure you wanted to capture in the image, and bracketing allows you to take a few shots and pick the right one later.
    I can't speak for the 3100 but on the D700 if you are in single shot mode with bracketing on to take 5 (for example) shots, you need to actually depress the shutter button 5 times.
    If you use the multiple exposure setting, a single push and hold on the shutter will take the number of shots you need.

    From your explanation, my guess is that you are in single shot mode and thus the first shot is the exposure + part of teh bracket.

    Lew
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  4. #4
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    1. On page 62 of the D5200 user's manual spot metering mode it says at the very beginning :
    Camera meters current focus point; use to meter off-center subjects. . .
    For center-weighted metering, it says on page 62:
    Camera meters entire frame but assigns greatest weight to center area.
    2. Active D-lighting is used when a scene has a high dynamic range and you want detail in the dark shadows.
    Active D-lighting reduces the camera burst mode frames per second rate - a lot - because of the image processing the EXPEED image processor has to do.
    Since Active D-lighting is a pixel edit, image noise may become more visible. Active D-lighting has several settings - see pages 69-70 of the user's manual.
    If you view the Raw .NEF file in Nikon's View NX2 it will show the Active D-lighting. Because the .NEF file type is proprietary, other Raw converters cannot show the Active D-lighting.

    3. Page 243 of the user's manual is where the Index starts. Bracketing refers us to pages 83 and 164. Page 164 is about custom shooting Menu e2.
    Step-by-step directions for setting up bracketing are on pages 83, 84, and 85.

    As noted on page 29:
    Single frame: Camera takes one photograph each time shutter-release button is pressed.
    so it takes 3 shutter release presses to make 3 bracketed shots.
    If you want to make all 3 brackets with one shutter release press the camera has to be in Continuous L or Continuous H shutter mode. (Also on page 29)
    Use of a sturdy, stable tripod or other camera support is recommended when bracketing exposures.

    The D5200's in camera 2 shot HDR feature is covered on pages 71 and 72.
    PaulWog likes this.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Traveler View Post
    I can't speak for the 3100 but on the D700 if you are in single shot mode with bracketing on to take 5 (for example) shots, you need to actually depress the shutter button 5 times.
    If you use the multiple exposure setting, a single push and hold on the shutter will take the number of shots you need.

    From your explanation, my guess is that you are in single shot mode and thus the first shot is the exposure + part of teh bracket.

    Lew
    +1 on this ^

    Quote Originally Posted by KmH View Post
    1. On page 62 of the D5200 user's manual spot metering mode it says at the very beginning :
    Camera meters current focus point; use to meter off-center subjects. . .
    For center-weighted metering, it says on page 62:
    Camera meters entire frame but assigns greatest weight to center area.
    2. Active D-lighting is used when a scene has a high dynamic range and you want detail in the dark shadows.
    Active D-lighting reduces the camera burst mode frames per second rate - a lot - because of the image processing the EXPEED image processor has to do.
    Since Active D-lighting is a pixel edit, image noise may become more visible. Active D-lighting has several settings - see pages 69-70 of the user's manual.
    If you view the Raw .NEF file in Nikon's View NX2 it will show the Active D-lighting. Because the .NEF file type is proprietary, other Raw converters cannot show the Active D-lighting.

    3. Page 243 of the user's manual is where the Index starts. Bracketing refers us to pages 83 and 164. Page 164 is about custom shooting Menu e2.
    Step-by-step directions for setting up bracketing are on pages 83, 84, and 85.

    As noted on page 29:
    Single frame: Camera takes one photograph each time shutter-release button is pressed.
    so it takes 3 shutter release presses to make 3 bracketed shots.
    If you want to make all 3 brackets with one shutter release press the camera has to be in Continuous L or Continuous H shutter mode. (Also on page 29)
    Use of a sturdy, stable tripod or other camera support is recommended when bracketing exposures.

    The D5200's in camera 2 shot HDR feature is covered on pages 71 and 72.
    Your manual references crack me up But don't get me wrong, they're very helpful. You're the single reason I scour my manuals before I ask any technical question!
    PaulWog likes this.
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  6. #6
    KmH
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    Quote Originally Posted by crimbfighter View Post

    Your manual references crack me up But don't get me wrong, they're very helpful. You're the single reason I scour my manuals before I ask any technical question!
    FTW.
    . . . . . . Keith . . . . . . .How Do I Use My Digital SLR?...

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