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Pictures of kids

edited October 2013 Posted in » Nikon D3200 Forum
I just got the Nikon D3200 with kit lens. My main reason for purchasing is to shoot pictures of my one year old who is always on the move. What would be the best lens to invest in and what settings should I look to use with the current lens? I took it to the zoo today and got some good pictures in auto mode but had some motion blur and some issues getting the correct thing in focus when shooting a wide shot.


  • Hey @Kgentry - I would definitely recommend the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G prime lens. It's perfect for what you're trying to on the move, both indoors and outdoors. I created a visual guide which goes into more detail about this particular lens, you can check it out here:

    As for settings, you'll primarily shoot in Aperture priority, with the aperture set to a low f-number (like f/1.8) in order to blur the background and make your baby "pop" off the image.

    As for motion blur, the brighter/faster 35mm f/1.8G will allow you to get faster shutter speeds at lower ISO's in low light situations (cloud cover, shade, indoors, etc...). If you want to freeze the movement ad ensure a sharp subject, just flip over to shutter priority mode and set your shutter to 1/250 or faster (1/500, 1/1000, etc...).

    I just created two YouTube video tutorials that show you how to use both Aperture and Shutter priority on the Nikon D3200. You can check them out here:

    When shooting in either mode, I highly recommend enabling Auto ISO. You can access this feature inside the Menu, by locating the ISO Sensitivity Settings and turning Auto ISO 'ON'.

    In regards to focus, it can be tricky. For moving subjects, I recommend setting the focus mode to AF-C and the AF-area mode to Auto-area AF. Half-press the shutter to continuously focus on the subject, then fully press when ready to capture.

    All the best and happy shooting! :)
  • edited October 2013
    We're going to Disney in 2 weeks. Would the 35mm prime be a good choice for the trip? I worry I'll feel limited without the ability to zoom.

    With the kit 18-55mm lens, I can't seem to get the shutter speed faster than 1/200. Is that the max?

    Can I get decent pictures with the kit lens or is another lens a necessity?

    Thanks in advance and thanks for your quick response. This is my first DSLR and I'm trying to get acquainted with it as quickly as possible with the trip coming up.
  • Hey @Kgentry - I know it may seem limiting to be fixed at 35mm without the ability to zoom, but you'd be surprised how easy it is to get to used to not zooming. The experience is very similar to an iPhone.

    As for your shutter speed issue, the reason you can't go past 1/200 is because you have the flash enabled. If you disable the flash, you'll be able to go beyond 1/200.

    Yes, you can get wonderful results with the 18-55mm kit lens outdoors in bright light. The moment you step indoors or the sun sets, the 18-55mm will begin to struggle.

    To compare it to the 35mm, it's like a pair of dark sunglasses. You can wear the dark sunglasses outdoors no problem, but once in low light it's much harder to see.

    The 35mm is like a pair of crystal clear glasses. You can see well, both in good light and in low light. This gives you the ability to get faster shutter speeds in low light, which in turn produces much sharper results.

    So if the majority of your shots will be outdoors in good light, then your 18-55mm will suit you just fine. If you're interested, I created a set of cheat cards specifically for the 18-55mm lens and the Nikon D3200. These digital cards can be saved to your phone, allowing you to see which settings I would use in a variety of different situations. You can check them out here:

    All the best!
  • I have an autistic son who's always moving so taking pictures is hard I've found using live view and autofocus doesn't work try using manual focus and the eye piece works best.
  • Don't forget that the AF system used with the viewfinder is quite different from that used in Live View, so it's worth trying AFC in the viewfinder. The phase detect system used is considerably better at tracking than the contrast detect system used in Live View.
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