Howdy, Stranger!

If you're just starting out in the world of photography and want to learn how to get the most out of your camera, then this forum is your new secret hangout spot!

Take better photos today with my Nikon D3200 Cheat SheetsCheck 'em out!

Favorite software

edited December 2016 Posted in » Nikon D3200 Forum
Novice beginner here to the world of photography. What software do you like the best for a beginner? Trying to be economical, but willing to spend some money if needed. Thanks!


  • edited December 2016
    Photoshop 13 for me. I got it on sale. I only use the basic parts.
  • edited December 2016
    If you do minimal processing, it's possible that the software that comes with the camera will do much of what you need. View NX2, which comes (or at least used to ) with the Nikon models, does a good job of basic Raw file manipulation. For cleaning up JPG files for the web, the free program "Faststone Image Viewer" has a lot of useful features.

    None of these will do as good a job as Photoshop or Lightroom and the like, but they're free and quick, and if you are basically satisfied with an image and just need to do a little tweaking they may be enough. I find Faststone very handy for converting a big Raw file into a smaller JPG, as its post-conversion sharpening works very well.

    If you shoot in Raw mode to begin with, you'll find the free factory software does most of what you need.
  • edited December 2016
    I don't understand why that afl button is there.
  • edited January 2017
    Thanks so much for the advice! I have another question that I will post soon.
  • @ranju, do you mean the AFL/AEL button on the back of the camera?

    If you go to the setup menu, you will find that there are several ways you can configure that button, but the main point of it is that when you press the button, it locks either AF or AE or both in place. That allows you to recompose the picture in the viewfinder without changing the set focus or exposure, and also means that if anything in the viewfinder changes it will not affect the setting. You can set it to do its thing only when held down, or to toggle on and off with subsequent pushes. In its default, it locks both AF and AE at once when held down, and unlocks when released.

    In addition, it is possible to reassign that button for back button focus. This decouples AF from the shutter button entirely. Now when you push that back button, the AF operates, and it stops when you let go. The shutter button does not operate AF at all now. Many people like this setting, as it makes all operations independent. You can leave the focus setting on AFC, and by letting go of the button recompose as if you were in AFS. If you then assign AE lock to the shutter button, you can use the various combinations to control things one at a time. But it takes getting used to, and is not everyone's cup of tea. When it is enabled, if you forget to focus, the shutter will fire anyway, and give you a blurry image. On the other hand, if you are tracking a far away object like a bird in flight, you can let go, and always get your shot. When you're shooting at a distance, where the depth of field is good enough that AF need not be spot on, it can be very useful.

    That button also operates as the file protect button when reviewing images. If you push the button when viewing an image, it locks it against accidental erasure or modification.
Sign In or Register to comment.