Blurred shots indoors and memory/flash issues

edited April 2012 Posted in » Nikon D5100 Forum
I have to say I love your website! It's great how helpful you are. :) So I have had a D40 for 5 years and recently splurged on a D5100 with the kit lenses (18-55mm VR and 55-200mm VR) and a SB-700 speedlight.

I am so frustrated with my new camera! I love photography and take thousands of pictures of my kids and others regularly. With the D40 all I had to do was point and shoot. Now with the D5100, I feel like without the flash all my pics are blurry indoors!

I tried to take a portrait of my daughter indoors today. It's really blurred. If I had taken the same shot with my D40, it would have been great! Should I just be paitent and learn more about what the D5100 can do as all the reviews say its better than D40?

So frustrating...feeling like I should keep the D40 and maybe return the D5100 which would allow me to invest in a new lens instead?

Also, I have been getting an error where the camera freezes when I go to delete photos using green delete button. I called the store and they claim that it has something to do with the memory card. Do you think it could be a fluke with card or do u think camera could be faulty? Should I exchange the D5100?

One last seem to have the answers, so its nice to be able to ask. When I have speedlight attached, the built-in flash on gets stuck open and won't shut. So if I don't want to use the SB-700, I have to take the flash off and shut the flash on camera to take pics outdoors. Is this normal? Never used a speedlight before, so I'm clueless.

Any suggestions for additional lens for portraits that would give me crisp shots? I thought with the higher megapixels I would be blown away by the pics like the ones I see of infants with such clarity (sharp eyes that pop), but my shots don't look like that.

Thanks for listening hope this makes sense!


  • edited March 2013
    Howdy @kelly35 - Wowzer, sounds like things haven't been going too well. :( The good news is that most of the issues you're experiencing are do to user error and settings that can be adjusted in-camera. Let's dive in...

    So, without knowing the shooting modes or settings you've experimented with, I would jump into the menu and reset everything back to factory default (hold down the MENU and i button at the same time for a few seconds).

    Next, rotate the mode dial to Program (P). Access the MENU, navigate to the Shooting Menu (camera icon), highlight ISO sensitivity settings, press OK and then turn Auto ISO Sensitivity Control to ON.

    Now, try taking a couple test shots. Some without flash, some with the built-in flash and a few more with the SB-700. Let me know how they turn out.

    As for the "freezing" issues, I'm not entirely sure. If you're still experiencing the problem after doing a factory reset, I would call Nikon support directly to see is they can resolve the issue.

    In regards to the external speelight, the built-in flash shouldn't pop up when it's attached. Make sure the SB-700 is locked onto the hot-shoe (rotate the little switch towards the bottom of the flash to lock it in place). In addition to that, make sure it has fresh batteries and is powered on.

    When it comes to eye-popping portraits, it's best to use a lens that can obtain an aperture between f/1.2 to f/2.8. This reduces the depth of field (shortens the area in focus) allowing you to single out a subjects face/eyes, while blurring everything else into delicious buttery smooth goodness. I would take a look at the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G or the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G...the 35mm might be better suited in your case if the majority of your shots are indoors or in small spaces.

    Hope that all makes sense and happy shooting! :)
  • edited April 2012
    I actually went back to the store and they took the camera back yesterday and gave me a new one since I had so many issues. They did however only do this with me signing up for the 1 year service plan through ritz camera. They claim I can drop it in ocean and they will replace it. I told the store manager if not I will come back to him directly. :) Any experience with or knowledge of that plan? So at least I have a new camera now. I think I got a floor model before which was passed on as new. I will try the suggestions you gave me and let you know. Thanks!
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