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New to DSLR

edited December 2015 Posted in » Nikon D3200 Forum
Hi, I just purchased my first DSLR today. I've played with it a bit, and I'm reading the manual now, but a lot of it I have no idea what it means. Where can I go for some very beginner explanations? My apologies if this has been addressed before.


  • edited December 2015
    There are a few sites that offer pretty good explanations of the basic principles of photography. One I've found that seems pretty clear is called "Cambridge in Colour" (note the british spelling), and has some basic lessons on aperture, shutter speed, and so forth.

    For some basic procedures that will get you going and out of the automatic modes, the cheat sheets offered here will give you a good boost. Start with the settings given, and experiment with changing them, and you'll soon learn what changes, and why they're what they are.

    Of course one thing you can do is take lots and lots of pictures, since you will almost certainly never wear the camera out. See what changes when you use different settings, and erase the ones that you don't like. If you take ten thousand pictures, you'll get a lot of practice, and you'll probably have used up less than a tenth of the expected life of the camera!

    For specific questions, this is a good place to ask them. To start out with, I would advise two very concrete things. The first is to make sure that you download the PDF file that includes the full instruction manual for the camera. The paper manual is not complete, and although the full one is, of course, even longer, it is also more likely to answer questions, especially if you put it in PDF form on a computer where it can be searched.

    The second is to go to the playback menu on the camera, find the "display options" entry, and open the various display options offered. There you will see one called "overview". Check that. Now, when you have taken a picture, you can enable the overview (up/down arrows toggle through the options), and it will tell you what settings the camera had for each shot, and also show a small histogram (graph) that indicates exposure. If you change a setting, you can use the overview to compare results, and recall what you changed, and how it affected the result.
  • edited December 2015
    Thank you very much! Very helpful, and I appreciate you taking the time to respond to me!
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