Have I bought the wrong camera?

meade999

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Hi Guys,

Im new here and im currently on day 2 of my photography attempts.

I have bought a Nikon D3100 with an 18-55mm lens and also a Tamron 70-300mm lens. I did also buy a tripod that is stupidly useless as the camera is WAY too heavy for it. (Kind of dissapointed Jessops didnt advise me to get a better one).

I have taken about 900 photos in less than 48 hours and I have about 2-3 OK'ish shots.

Have I bought the wrong camera? Is the D3100 good enough for crystal shots or am I just doing something wrong?

For example, I tried taking a photo of an ant (a red ant, so its quite big) and the shots are terrible.

Any pointers would be much appreciated. (The best of the ant shots attached).

Thanks guys!

Mike
 
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meade999

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Grrr, cant seem to upload! Just coming up with a red explanation mark, any ideas?
 

Overread

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You've not bought the wrong camera - you have however yet to learn how to use it ;)

Posting photos shouldn't be a problem - if you are hosting them offsite and embedding them make sure you are using the right url reference and also using image tags correctly.
 

johnh2005

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Welcome aboard Mike.

No. You have not bought the wrong camera. The camera you have is more than capable of taking fantastic shots. The problem is, not to be rude, your lack of knowledge.

I am not sure how experienced you are with photography as you have given us no background information. I do have a few suggestions for you.

First: Post one of the "bad" photos. Post one of the "ok" ones and one of the "best" shots you got. This will aid us in understanding your problem.

Second: Sit down with your camera in your lap and pick up your owners manual. Go through it page by page by page. (I am doing this a third time to better understand my camera right now) Try to learn what all of the settings are and why and when you should adjust any of them. Learn all of the menus and how to quickly navigate them to the features you will need.

Third: Go to the library, the book store, the internet, online book stores, wherever, and get yourself some good books on Photography. I suggest Bryan Peterson's "Understanding Exposure" and "Learning to See Creatively" These are two great starter books that will help to teach your the basics of photography in an easy to understand way. Also, pick up any other books that might interest you. I also suggest a "Field Manual" type of book on your particular camera. It will help expand upon your owner's manual.

Fourth: Go out (and by "out" I mean in your house, in your backyard, in your front yard) and apply the knowledge you have learned and take a few shots. Take a couple of dozen practicing what you have learned.

Fifth: Go back to step two while looking at your photos and your owners manual. Figure out what you did right, what you did wrong, what you think you can improve and go back to step four. After you have done steps two - four twice come back and start a new thread doing step one again.


Good luck and keep shooting!
 
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nyamy

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hi there mike
I'm no pro, still a photog-newbie, but I made the same mistake and bought the 'wrong camera'. or rather, I learned within a day of using my dslr that it is not the camera that takes good shots but the photographer. obviously, in skilled hands, a 'better' camera will produce better shots than a cellphone cam, but when I was starting out, the dslr was worse than my point and shoot. probably because it actually requires some understanding and skill to use.
a great book for starting out is "Understanding Exposure", and of course, your manual.
the camera you bought is more than good enough for crystal shots. you just have to know how to use it.
 
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meade999

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MTVision

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I have the Nikon D5100 and my paper manual is the same way but there is a CD (that came with mine) called the Reference guide or something like that. The CD is the entire manual and is much more in depth and helpful. Check it out if you have the CD. My CD manual amounts to almost 300 pages!!
 

johnh2005

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Hi Guys,

Thanks for all the replies, great advice so far. I looked at my manual but it doesnt really give much information about how to get greats shots (which i hoped it would), it just says what the functions are what they do, but not how to use them together etc.

Here is a few photos which I would welcome any criticism. Thanks! :)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/21567172@N07/604276040
flower | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
ant | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Actually it does. You just do not understand the terminology yet. Once you understand the terminology you will understand the camera functions.

Thanks for posting links to your photos. However, most people will not take the time to click on links. What you need to do is get the share code for it that starts with
then copy and paste it into this thread.

6042213903_92109a1f62_b.jpg


It looks to me like the problem here is your DOF (Depth of Field) DOF is controlled by the Aperture of your camera (f-stop which is how much your camera lens opens up when taking a photo) Now to add to the confusion camera makers decided to make a larger aperture the smaller number and the larger aperture the smaller smaller number. This is why you need to get those books I told you about. Mainly, "Understanding Photography" by Bryan Peterson. If you had shot this photo with a bigger f-stop (smaller opening) more of the flower would have been in focus.

lightbox


The problem with this one is to me it looks like the focus was missed. You need to learn how to manually select the focus point on your camera and use that to focus on your subject. Take the advice here and keep learning!
 

TCD photography

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Two days with the D3100 or two into taking photographs? The above posters are correct, it's a great camera, you just have to learn how to use it. If this is your first two days taking photos ever, buying a DSLR is a bit like buying a high level dressage horse when you haven't learned how to ride yet. Study your manual, read as much as you can about exposure and settings - there are endless resources in books and online - take more photos to try out what you learned (outside works best, shooting indoors is tricky enough when you know your camera), and don't give up! Trial and error was how I learned.

*edit*

The Flower: Blurred due to slow shutters speed, I would use a wider aperture (smaller number), 800 ISO might be a tad high - I'd try 400 and see how it turns out.
The Ant: I can't view the EXIF data, but I'm going to guess it was taken with a similar setting.
The Gerbil: Looks pretty good, but the flash compensation should be adjusted to make it brighter.
 

MTVision

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You've only had your camera 2 days so I wouldn't worry to much about the pictures coming out crappy. Practice using your camera with one lens for now. That helped me out. I just used the kit lens 18mm-55mm for a while until I got used to it and figured out what its capable of. It takes time. Are you shooting on an automatic setting or on manual? What kind of tripod did you get? Is it too heavy with just the 18mm-55mm lens on it? Did you try adjusting the legs and making sure its on level ground?
 

MTVision

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Actually it does. You just do not understand the terminology yet. Once you understand the terminology you will understand the camera functions.

I know what she means though. Tee manual that came with my D5100 was only 10 pages (maybe a little more) or so and it just basically introduced you to where everything is on the camera and it walked through all the automatic settings. Now, the reference manual that came on a CD is huge and really in depth and more what I thought a manual looked like! So, she is right about the Nikon manual she got.
 

rmagers

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To post the image from a storage site like Flikr... AFTER you have posted 5 posts..Click on the Image icon in the forum message tool bar. Click the "From URL" tab. Then go to your Flikr account and open the image. Click the "Share" drop box. click the "BBcode" radio button. Copy what comes up and paste it in the "URL" line back in the Forum message. Then UNCHECK "Retrieve remote file and reference locally". and click OK.

As it's been said two days into the is journey there is much to learn. I have only been on it for about 3 months and i am learning everytime I pickup the camera.
 

MTVision

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To post the image from a storage site like Flikr... AFTER you have posted 5 posts..

Why after 5 posts? You can post pictures on your first post - I did...
 

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