I got a D80!!!!! How do I use it?!? ;)

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ToddB, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. ToddB

    ToddB TPF Noob!

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    So my wonderful wife surprised me with a D80 for my birthday! I really was speechless when I opened it up. We have been talking about getting one but were going to save up and get one in the spring.

    So my question is this, what do you guys think of the photography programs that are offered through community colleges? My local college, Wake Tech, has a beginners DSLR course as well as an intermediate course. I'm think about taking both over the next year.

    I can take pictures and I took a photo class when I was in high school (almost 20 years ago now!!) The problem is that I have forgotten alot of that stuff and I really want to be able to explore the capibilities of the camera. I also want to get myself trained to "see" the phot before I hit the shutter release. I'm hoping that one of these courses will help me with that.

    So what do you think? Is it worth the $80 to take the course?
     
  2. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Assuming the course is decent, then yes, it prolly is worth the money.

    Have fun!
     
  3. Jestev

    Jestev TPF Noob!

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    You should definitely consider taking some courses. I have no idea how good the program is, but it should at least be a decent refresher.

    My main two suggestions are to read the entire manual and to get out an practice and try to learn the manual mode.
     
  4. Universal Polymath

    Universal Polymath TPF Noob!

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    Yeah man, just read the manual. The community college courses aren't a bad idea, either. Congratulations on the new toy, though - You're gonna have a blast with the D80!
     
  5. D-50

    D-50 TPF Noob!

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    Definately read the manual cover to cover with your d80 in hand. If after that you do not understand the camera I would say the course is a good idea, figure it this way the camera costs about $1000 right? whats another $80 to learn how to use it.
     
  6. patrickt

    patrickt TPF Noob!

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    A. Read the manual.
    B. Take a lot of pictures of stupid things to learn the camera.
    C. Basic classes are fine. The basics aren't that complicated. If the teacher wants to tell you about art, zone out and doodle.
    D. Consider a camera club where you can go out with others with more experience and you'll find most are willing to help.
     
  7. itoncool

    itoncool TPF Noob!

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    Happy birthday and congratulation! nice present you have...

    I was in your position few years ago, last holding SLR was in High School (long time but less than 20 years ago :mrgreen:), still film and all manual, then bump! Welcome to Digital world...

    Don't worry too much, you have a very supporting wife (great wife), you'll be fine. You just have to do practicing, make your stiffy hands cozy again. Good thing about digital is you can shoot hundreds ugly pictures but only cost you pressing delete button.
    A course might help. I didn't take one (I did when I was in High school) but learn a lot from forums and books.

    Come on, start shooting, make your wife happy by getting her a nice picture, once you start, you won't stop... happy playing with your new toys ;)

    PS : your wife have no idea, giving a possible "disaster-toy" to a "boy", first camera+lens, then another lens, then tripod, then another lens, then flash, then another lens... Gucci bag and Prada shoes have to wait, long waiting list... jk! :lol:
     
  8. Sweetsomedays

    Sweetsomedays TPF Noob!

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    It's no just boys ;)

    I think the class is a good idea. You maybe able to have someone adress some specific issues. But your manual as others have said is an invaluable tool. You should read it in addition to the class. Keep it on hand when your using your camera and when reading about different things.
    That how I am learning. As I read things or want to try something I flip threw the manual and then play with that setting on my camera :)

    Congrats by the way, what a fantastic gift!
     
  9. WolfSpring

    WolfSpring TPF Noob!

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    There are also a lot of online courses for free:

    http://www.morguefile.com/archive/classroom.php

    Though an actual classroom is much better as you can ask questions and get them answered on the spot, and someone to help you as you go, also others in the class to learn with helps. But a good beginners book can't hurt. I started with a D40 and then moved up to a D80, I'm still a beginner, but I've got a handle on all the basics.
     
  10. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    My advice would be to spend the $80 on a polarizer or tripod (two high value / low cost items) and get the education at the library instead. For the basics, I think you could get the same info from books and for the cost a few bucks in late fees. Plus there's Google, Wikipedia, etc. Try Google'ing "Rules of Photography Composition" and you'll find enough to practice and keep busy.

    That's a sweet camera though. I love my D50 almost to the point of it being unnatural but looking back I wish I would've gotten the D80.

    If you really want to drool read up on the Nikon Creative Light System and the fact that you can control it with the D80's on-camera flash. That feature alone is worth the extra money IMO.

    :drool:

    Congrats though... sounds like your wife deserves a nite out to a musical after that one. :wink:
     
  11. ToddB

    ToddB TPF Noob!

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    The cool thing is I already have the tripod, and a 28-105 and a 70-300 lens from my old N60. So I think I have the basic package in my bag already. I would like to get a prime lens like the 50mm that I keep reading about.

    I'm going to the library to pick up a few books that I've seen mentioned and I'm going to read the manual front to back like you guys mentioned.

    BTW - I love this site. The photos that have been posted in the contests and in just the regular forums are incredible. You all are great photogs!!! I only hope that I can be half as good as you!
     
  12. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The great part about it is that it is dirt cheap. Buy the 1.8 not the 1.4 (IMHO), the build quality and sharpness are the same in my eyes.
     

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