New DSLR owner, tips needed

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by sohc3s, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. sohc3s

    sohc3s TPF Noob!

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    Camera is a nikkon D40, I just need some tips on where to place some of the settings for a good start, at the moment Im shooting in Programed Exposure mode with auto ISO and -1.7 Exposure comp, image quality at fine auto white bal. and image optimization in vivid, IDK Im not having great luck with it, anyone with a D40 have a setup they like and wouldnt mind sharing ? thanks

    -Ian
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You don't just set your exposure compensation to a value and see how it goes. It might need to be higher or lower for any given shot...depending on the tones in the scene that the camera's meter is reading.

    I suggest reading 'Understanding Exposure' by Brian Peterson.
     
  3. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    -1.7 exposure compensation is way too low for general use. Try -0.7 instead. If you're into landscape/scenic type photography try Ken Rockwell's settings in his guide here. For people type photos you'll want to leave the color settings at normal or auto.
     
  4. dEARlEADER

    dEARlEADER TPF Noob!

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    the exposure comp @ -1.7 is a bit of a killer.....

    If you are shooting Program then set your ISO to 100 and Exp Comp to 0.0....
    take a picture and look... if needed... adjust your exp comp in small increments......

    if playing with exp comp makes your shutter too slow (you are getting blurry pictures)... then start bumping up your ISO to increase the shutter speed... if all that doesn't work.... pop up the flash and bump down the ISO..
     
  5. sohc3s

    sohc3s TPF Noob!

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    thanks guys, IDK about the ISO though, like for general use IDK what it should be at, like if Im shooting in a house an then move outside, then the ISO is wrong, and IDK what I should put it at thats why I left it in auto
     
  6. Alfred D.

    Alfred D. TPF Noob!

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    I think that's in the manual, sohc.
     
  7. sohc3s

    sohc3s TPF Noob!

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    right, I left it In auto casue Im a noob, and don t know what it should be set at, for different kinda of light
     
  8. Alfred D.

    Alfred D. TPF Noob!

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    Well, it's in the manual. So go get it out, read it, and apply it.
     
  9. dEARlEADER

    dEARlEADER TPF Noob!

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    To answer your question as Brian Peterson.... What ISO should you use? You should use the correct one.

    When shooting Program your camera is selecting the Shutter Speed/Aperture for you based on readings from the meter in your camera. When you adjust Exp Comp.. you are telling your camera it is wrong in it's assessment and are overridding the shutter speed/aperture faster or slower.

    You shouldn't have to make many adjustments to exp comp. If you are shooting in darker indoors, your camera might elect to use a shutter/aperture combination that are simply too slow to take a clear picture. You will know this by blurry pictures and slow shutter speeds.

    By adjusting your ISO upward, you can speed up the shutter but will introduce noise to the picture.

    Practise by taking a lot of pictures and making minor adjustments in "P" mode. Once you start to get comfortable you should begin experimenting with Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual Modes. The P mode is a good safe mode to get pictures you don't want to miss while your learning. However, the best way to love your camera is to EVENTUALLY learn the relationships of Shutter, Aperture, and ISO and how they intertwine.
     
  10. lockwood81

    lockwood81 TPF Noob!

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    Ideally I keep my ISO as low as possible, mostly at 100. Only bump it up when in a darker environment and to keep the shutter speed high, depending on the exposure.
     
  11. dab_20

    dab_20 TPF Noob!

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    I would just leave it in Auto for now, and start shooting with it. Read your manual for different settings and how to apply them. Get to know your camera, experiment with it, anytime you have just mess with different settings to see what they do. Practice, practice, and more practice.
     
  12. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm assuming your goal is to become proficient at photography, if so I would stay way from anything "auto" until you've mastered manual.

    Starting with auto will teach you very little and only make you less patient and frustrated when you try to learn manual in the future. Manual isn't as difficult to learn as many think: there are just three things to adjust: shutter, aperture, and ISO: each one increases or decreases the brightness of the image, and each one has it's side effects:

    Aperture side effect: depth of field
    ISO side effect: noise
    Shutter side effect: motion blur

    Once you learn more about exposure you can take advantage of the auto modes to speed things up. "ADVANTAGE" is the key word, automation shouldn't be used as a crutch.

    Of course if you're just interested in a point and shoot experience, by all means set it to auto and click away. ;)
     

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