Alright, finally got my new camera........

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by eminart, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. eminart

    eminart TPF Noob!

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    now, how do I use this thing???? It's got buttons all over it! :mrgreen:

    Yep, the UPS man finally brought me my "new" refurbished factory demo Nikon D80 and 18-55mm lens. I couldn't be happier about it. Being relatively ignorant about photography in general, I'm a bit overwhelmed by all the options this thing has on it. :lmao: It took me an hour or so to figure out how to change the aperture (I was too excited to take time to read the instructions). I love it though. From what I've read, the 18-55mm is a decent little lens for the buck and I can't wait to really try it out.

    So, anybody got any tips on how to learn photography? Any good digital slr books or websites, etc? I mean, I understand the bare basics like what shutter speed and aperture settings do, but I have to stop and really think about it every time. And I don't have enough practice to know what settings will work in what situation. It's just trial and error right now (mostly error).

    Do most of you pros shoot in full manual or do you usually use "A" or "S" mode? It seems like it might be a lot easier to learn by shooting in either aperture or shutter priority and take note of what the camera uses for the other setting. I think that might help me learn what the corresponding "other" setting should be.

    Anyway, I'm just rambling in my excitement. I'll be back with lots of questions, I'm sure.

    By the way, I know ebay isn't usually highly regarded, but I had a good experience with Cameta Camera who has a store front on ebay. Good price, fast shipping, excellent product.
     
  2. passerby

    passerby TPF Noob!

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    Well congrat with your new toy. First thing I think just use Auto and/or P and see what the camera meter is doing. You follow it to see how it goes, than make change along the way with best metering that suit you. Have fun.
     
  3. CanadianMe

    CanadianMe TPF Noob!

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    Congrats, I just bought my first DSLR recently also and it does have what at first appears to be an overwhelming array of buttons and options but once you get a good look its not as bad as it appears. I went and bought a book for my particular camera and has been a wealth of resource, I found the manual hard to look at and lacking. You may also want to google your camera model in and see what free online tutorials are out there for it. Hope you have a lot of fun with it.
     
  4. CanAm

    CanAm TPF Noob!

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    You'll learn a lot if you read the manual on it.

    My 10D manual is probably one of three manuals I've ever read in my life, and I'm glad I did.

    When taking pictures, just take pictures of what looks nice. Don't try to be artsy. Mental snapshots is all you should strive for.
     
  5. kidchill

    kidchill TPF Noob!

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    Yah, I hear ya...I just got a D300 and was like WTF? Where did all these buttons come from....I actually have today off to play!! I personally like watching DVD's about how to use cameras. I'm in anesthesia school and have way too much reading to do as it is!! Magic Lantern DVD's aren't bad. These won't teach you everything, but they get you up and running very quickly!! Here's a link that I found useful when I was learning the D80.

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d80/users-guide/index.htm
     
  6. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    First, use one of the "PhD" (Push here, Dummy) modes and take some shots as a confidence builder. Refer to page 24 of the user manual.

    After you feel good about the camera, it's time to experiment but...
    There are many variables with photography and, in order to learn, you want to make certain that you change only one thing at a time. Go to page 43 and confirm that the ISO is not set for automatic. Then go to page 50 and play around with the manual mode. Remind yourself that you can take a bazillion shots without spending a penny!

    After you have some feel for manual mode, try aperture priority and shutter priority and see what happens. Finally, go back to manual mode but set the ISO for automatic.

    Post back if any questions.
     
  7. djrichie28

    djrichie28 TPF Noob!

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    Congrats on your new purchase. It sure can be overwhelming with all these options cameras have these days. I can certainly understand your excitement to get out there and shoot. I was the same way. There has been some great advice given in this thread already.

    I know sometimes user manuals are boring to read and in fact sometimes confuse new users by telling the user what they can do with some of these features without telling the user why, and in what situation they would want to use these features.

    You're on the right track if you know how to set the aperture and shutter speeds. ISO settings would be handy to learn about to assist with your practice on exposure settings.

    You mentioned in your post that you can get the settings right for an exposure, but it takes some time to get them. Nothing wrong with that at all. Just keep practicing. Pack your manual in your camera bag and use it as a reference for when you have a question when you are away from TPF.

    After learning some of the camera features through practice, the manual will start to make much more sense. You seem to have a handle on exposure, but these days with cameras, there are just so many other things camera are doing. Good luck and have fun.
     
  8. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I could swear I responded to this thread. Perhaps it was another one that popped up in similar context.

    Which is the reason I uploaded the link I'm posting down below. I am a beginner as well (roughly 3 months). I have collected an enormous amount of links from this forum and others. Every time I saw one, I bookmarked it. Since the "how do I figure out this photography stuff out" thread pop up all over the place, I decided to upload my list of links so the majority of stuff is all in one place.

    Also, do as the other's say and read the manual (otherwise known as RTFM). While reading the manual though, you should be reading other stuff to figure out what all that stuff means. Manuals generally tell you how to change the settings and very generally tell you what the settings do. Outside sources is where you figure out what they do. Check out the links in my link as there is a ton of information there. I put my 2 favorites at the top. These where the ones that I initially learned what all the Shutter priority, Aperture priority, etc. meant.

    http://www.geocities.com/mrodg88/Photography_Links.html
     
  9. eminart

    eminart TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone, for the advice. It's been 24 hours since I got it and I've had a little time to read through the manual, which helps a lot. ;) I know what MOST of the buttons do now.

    I've been playing around with it a little tonight. I have an old manual 85mm F1.8 lens that fits it too. I put that on tonight and tried a few shots. It works better than the 18-55mm kit lens indoors without a flash due to the larger aperture.

    Anyway, thanks again for all the helpful suggestions. We're having my daughter's 3rd birthday party tomorrow, so I guess I'll get to try it out for real in typical birthday fashion. :D


    --scott
     

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