~ D5200 Expert Custom Settings ~

OhioGuy

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I recently purchased a D5200, upgraded from a D40.

Looking for advice from experienced D5200 photographers on what camera settings to adjust from default to make your shooting experience more productive.

I personally shoot in RAW format.

I've looked into the Ken Rockwell online setups and what he likes to use but I'm also open to suggestions from the peanut gallery. :)

Anything you've found to be useful in general that may save me from learning the hard way?

Thanks for your input!
 

astroNikon

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Rockwell shots in JPEG. So all those camera pictures setting are imposed in the camera for the JPEG.
If you shot in RAW, those settings are ignored if I understand it all correctly.
 

Derrel

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Nikon D5200 Custom Setting Menu

I normally suggest KR's custom setup guides to beginners. But, here's an example of a dumb-as-a-pile-of-dung comment he makes RE "
AF-C priority selection top

By default, the FOCUS selection ensures that all your pictures will be in focus in AF-C mode. If the subject is moving a lot, the D5200 may run a bit slower as it tries to focus properly for each frame.

If you'd prefer the D5200 to run full-speed, even if it's not in focus, choose RELEASE instead. I never use this; why would I want out-of-focus pictures?"

Okay, this is one I have to disagree on...I set my cameras to Release priority because there are many thousands and thousands and thousands of photos I will take in which I want the moment captured when I say FIRE! and press the release. And frankly, I am surprised Ken has not though that one through, because many times the depth of field will ensure adequate focus on a subject that might happen to be a little bit OOF according to the AF system's computer brain. On moving subjects, especially fast-moving ones, it is in actual fact necessary to have the focus plane a slight bit IN FRONT OF the subject, so that by the time the mirror moves up and out of the way and the shutter makes the exposure, the subject arrives at the focus point. With a short lens, having absolutely precisely dead-on focus is NOT absolutely 100% necessary if the aperture is at f/5.6 or smaller, like say f/8 or whatever, at distances of beyond about 15 feet on a crop-body camera.

In AF-C, which is the mode I use 99.9% of the time, I do NOT want the camera's brain determining when I can fire. Ever. Never, ever,ever. If it's not in proper focus, who gives a sh*+...there's no film cost. If you get an OOF frame, it's not like it's 77 cents a click, like it used to be. When the camera is set to Continuous AF, the main priority ought to be RELEASE. My God.

In AF-S, then the priority is focusing. But in AF-C, the main criteria is to keep the camera firing, continuously. The depth of field "cushion" at f/4 and f/5.6 will cover your butt on slight mis-focus, even with a 300mm lens at 40 to 200 feet. With something like an 18-55, focus is not all that critical beyond 15 feet.
 

Ysarex

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I recently purchased a D5200, upgraded from a D40.

Looking for advice from experienced D5200 photographers on what camera settings to adjust from default to make your shooting experience more productive.

I personally shoot in RAW format.

I've looked into the Ken Rockwell online setups and what he likes to use but I'm also open to suggestions from the peanut gallery. :)

Anything you've found to be useful in general that may save me from learning the hard way?

Thanks for your input!

What kind of camera settings are you thinking about that would have an effect on the camera raw files?
Things like contrast, sharpness, picture scenes, white balance, film sims, saturation etc. are all for the camera JPEG. They don't have any effect on the raw files.

If you're focus is on the raw file then your concern is exposure and how you want to expose the sensor; all the rest of that stuff can just be ignored as superfluous and a waste of time. The one caveat would be that WB can have an effect on how your meter (and camera histogram) read.

Joe

edit: Yep, Derrel makes a good point. You do want to consider how the camera is handling focus. Also you'll want to look into metering modes and understand the differences and how your exposure can be effected.
 

robbins.photo

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Well, depending on what your shooting I suggest you set the AF to single point mode first. The only time I'd use more than one would be for a fast, erratic moving subject. This will cut down a lot on shots missed because the camera selected the wrong focus point.

For portraits or landscapes I suggest aperture priority mode and set your minimum shutter speed via the menus.

For action shots shutter priority mode. In both cases I used auto Iso and let the camera adjust for proper exposure.

Sent from my 306SH using Tapatalk
 

Designer

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.. what camera settings to adjust from default to make your shooting experience more productive.
By now I've forgotten what, if any changes I've made, but I wonder why you can't work it out on your own? I mean; I set the file size and type, the WB, the focus mode, and am constantly checking to make sure the settings are what I want. I don't make global settings anyway, so I wonder why you think that is something to do.

Learning your camera takes time, but practice is what makes you more familiar with what to set, why, and when. Just relax and let the learning begin.
 

Derrel

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The 11-area AF mode might be very useful to you if you shoot much action, or use the kit-type zoom lenses. One of the biggest issues with the kit zooms is their AF abilities with the slow maximum apertures they have... 55mm at f/5.6 in marginal lighting means that the AF system is constantly being fed data that's more or less "close to in-focus"...

Same thing with the longer, slowish kit 55-200 zoom from Nikon. I shot that on the ex-wife's camera a fair bit a few years back...that lens had some focusing difficulties and would miss focus a fair bit, or have trouble getting a focus lock if conditions were not favorable.

Center-point-only focusing is one thing with a high-quality, wide-aperture lens, but on the slower kit zooms,and even the 70-300 VR which is only f/4.5~5.6, I've found that Nikon's 11-area AF works a bit better, more reliably, a bit more aggressively, when the lens has smallish maximum aperture values, or the light is not great, or the subject is a tricky AF target.

At least try the 11-area AF, see how it works for you, with your setup.
 

Rob5589

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Too add to cgw, the D5200 For Dummies book was very helpful when I first got my 5200. I still have it and it is yours if you want it. Shoot me a PM with your address and I will send it to you, for freeeeee:D

I also have a laminated quick guide/cheat sheet from Photo Bert I will throw in absolutely free if you PM in the next 10 minutes:D
 

DarkShadow

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Act Now why supplies last.:345:
 

jcdeboever

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The 11-area AF mode might be very useful to you if you shoot much action, or use the kit-type zoom lenses. One of the biggest issues with the kit zooms is their AF abilities with the slow maximum apertures they have... 55mm at f/5.6 in marginal lighting means that the AF system is constantly being fed data that's more or less "close to in-focus"...

Same thing with the longer, slowish kit 55-200 zoom from Nikon. I shot that on the ex-wife's camera a fair bit a few years back...that lens had some focusing difficulties and would miss focus a fair bit, or have trouble getting a focus lock if conditions were not favorable.

Center-point-only focusing is one thing with a high-quality, wide-aperture lens, but on the slower kit zooms,and even the 70-300 VR which is only f/4.5~5.6, I've found that Nikon's 11-area AF works a bit better, more reliably, a bit more aggressively, when the lens has smallish maximum aperture values, or the light is not great, or the subject is a tricky AF target.

At least try the 11-area AF, see how it works for you, with your setup.
And all this time, I thought it was me. (D3300). The focus system has been driving me a little insane. You just cleared something up for me (will see), thanks Derrel.

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