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edited October 2015 Posted in » Nikon D5300 Forum
Hello all!
I'm a beginner to using a real camera. I'm very passionate about pictures. Ask anyone who knows me, I'm always photographing the sky/sun/clouds with my phone. It was time for an upgrade, and I now own a Nikon D5300. Does anyone have any helpful pointers or resources for learning how to use this amazing technology properly?

Thank you!


  • edited October 2015
    On specifics we forum folks can help much of the time. On more general grounds, I think you're best off reading as much as you can, visiting as many sites as you can, and, of course, for starters investigating this site's home pages, including hints for the various cameras, and the "cheat sheets" which address specific situations and provide settings that will provide a reliable result. Moose (the site's proprietor) provides ongoing support to cheat sheet users as well.

    There are a lot of web resources out there with some basic instruction on the fundamentals of aperture, shutter speed, and so forth. One that looks to be pretty good is Cambridge Colour on line. Not to be confused with the former retailer Cambridge, which once was good and then became very bad, this is a different Cambridge, a British one!

    Digital Camera World also has some good elementary stuff.
  • Thank you! Yes, I definitely have a lot of reading to do!
  • edited October 2015
    Meanwhile, here are a couple of very broad recommendations:

    Read the whole manual, and make sure you have the full one. The D3200 printed manual is not complete, but the PDF on the CD is. The same may be true of yours. Put that PDF on your computer, so you can refer to it frequently.

    Practice the basic procedures, getting menus, changing settings, setting AF points, altering ISO, reading and deleting files, etc., so that when you are learning the photographic ins and outs you do not also have to learn how to work the camera.

    Go to the playback menu and enable the "overview" in playback. Other settings are also interesting, but this one is vital. It will tell you the basic settings of every shot that is made, and show you a histogram of the exposure. See what settings both good and bad pictures had.

    Remember it's a digital camera, with a shutter good for something around 150 thousand shots on average, and every shot can be erased. If you want to know how a setting changes things, or how one mode differs from another, try them. Shoot shoot shoot, and erase your mistakes. If it takes ten thousand pictures before you get good, then take ten thousand pictures.

  • edited October 2015

    I wanted to know what is the ideal picture style setting for capturing portraits of people both outdoor and indoor - standard, neutral, portrait or vivid?

    Thanks! :)

  • edited October 2015
    This is a matter of taste, largely. My own preference almost all the time is standard. Neutral is rather bland, and meant specifically as a base mode for people who expect to do a lot of post processing. It is marginally sharper than the other modes, but you'll never notice, nor will you need that extra bit of sharpness for portraits.

    Standard gives you pretty decent color for most things. Vivid cranks up the saturation in all colors, and might not be the kindest to facial tones. Some people like the extra pop, but I find it a little too much sometimes.

    Portrait mode supposedly will be a little kinder to skin tones, at least Caucasian ones, without upsetting saturation for other things. It's worth a try.

    One thing you can try is shooting in Raw mode, and using View NX2 to post process some shots. You can choose any picture mode then, and switch back and forth at will, as well as playing with white balance (color temperature), all without cost, since you can either decide not to save the changes, or return a saved picture back to default.

    Try the different picture modes, and then you can decide for yourself which works best when.

    In direct outdoor light, if you're using the kit 18-55mm lens or some others, it may produce a color cast that's rather cold and bluish. For that, you may be better off changing white balance than changing the whole color set. Different lenses will have slightly different color casts, but the kit lenses run a bit cool.
  • edited October 2015
    Thanks a lot! I somehow learned so many things. From all the picture modes, I think I would prefer to use the standard style in raw mode than use the NX software to post process my shots. Btw, I'm using a 50mm f/1.8g Nikkor lens.
  • edited May 26
    I'm also beginner in photography. I just bought Canon. Do you have any suggestions or tips?
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