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What settings to start with on Nikon D5000

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  • What settings to start with on Nikon D5000

    Hey everyone I hope u can reply quickly as I am excited to get started taking some great photos But honestly I am feeling really overwhelmed with all the new stuff on my first SLR camera. Please help!

    So I got the D5000 I like so far but am so confused on what stuff means and does and where I should set things and you get the idea.

    So what do you recommend? Does this camera zoom at all besides the lense?
    Image quailty? Good ISO and Aperature settings to use all the time? Any other helpful tips for fellow D5000 users? Thanks!
    Lynette Weber
    Gear: Nikon D5000, 18-55mm VR, 55-200mm VR, 35mm, Tamron 70-300 macro, SB-600
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  • #2
    Wow, almost too much to ask for. Why not just set it in auto mode and start playing. I highly suggest the Magic Lantern series, they have one for just about every camera which will do a good job in teaching you everything about the camera. Thom Hogan also has some very good camera specific guides.
    Nikon D800e, D300, D5000, NIKON GLASS 85mm F/1.8 D, 105mm f/2.8 Micro AF-S VR, 70-200 AF-S VR f/2.8, 28-300 AF-S VRII,10.5mm Fisheye, 24-70 AF-S f/2.8, TC-20E III AF-S, Sigma 12-24 HSM, Sigma 30mm f/1.4 HSM, Sigma 150-500 OS, 2 SB-600 Speedlights, SB-900 speedlight, 4 YN-622N transceivers, Manfrotto 190MF3 tripod & 322RC2 ball grip head. - NJ, USA
    Flickr Photobucket
    Ok to edit and repost my shots on DPS forums

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    • #3
      Originally posted by lynweber View Post
      Does this camera zoom at all besides the lense?
      Thanks for that.
      I am responsible for what I say; not what you understand.
      adammontpetit.com
      Gear List
      500PX | Graphic Design

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      • #4
        Step #1:
        Grab your manual-Your manual will not teach you photography, but it will teach you to know your camera, and what all the “whistles and bells” are for, where they may be located, and how they function. Your manual will help you with the following-

        Step #2:
        Go into the menu of your camera, and find the menu “Reset” . Click this, and all settings, (if you have altered any) will revert to factory default settings.

        Step #3:
        Now is the time to set up your camera for optimum results, with just seven basic settings. These settings will be used as a base, to take you through several kinds of photographic options.

        a) ISO setting………………………………............................... .............Lowest
        b) Exposure Mode……………………………….................................. ......Aperture Priority (A/Av)
        c) White Balance………………………………............Set on “Cloudy” For warm images. (sometimes, even in bright sunlight, reflected blue skies can make an image look Bluish, (Cool)
        d) Drive Mode-Set this to “continuous”, then you will always be ready to capture the unexpected moment
        e) Metering Mode ………………………………....Set it to “Matrix/ Evaluative/Multi-segment”
        f) Focus points………………………………...........Centre only-The reason for this is that on most entry-level cameras, The only focus point that has cross sensors, is the central one-as others will have only either vertical, or horizontal sensors only-and you have to be at 90 degrees to these, to be accurate with your auto-focus.
        g) Auto-focus Mode………………………..Set auto-focus to single shot, then the shutter will only fire when the subject is in focus (every shot will be sharp)

        Setting focus points in viewfinder

        detach lens, (so you are adjusting focus on focus point, not image) - adjust dioptre (next to viewfinder) so focus points are sharply in focus. (easier against a white, or light background) Re-attach lens.


        Right! Camera all set up for Optimum capture. Now let’s find subjects to make images of……
        E mail me for the rest of my beginner's guide,regards, Ken
        Last edited by kencaleno; 10-24-2009, 03:51 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by lynweber View Post
          So what do you recommend?
          Start with P mode. It's full automatic, but you can still slide some settings around. Use that and get used to seeing what changing the iso and the white balance and exposure compensation do.

          Once that gets boring/frustrating, slide into A mode and control the aperture as well.

          Once that's a piece of cake, the go into full Manual and get used to using your meter and setting your aperture and shutter speed to exactly what you want.

          Does this camera zoom at all besides the lense?
          You mean like digital zoom? No. You can do that in post-processing by cropping and resizing.

          Image quailty? Good ISO and Aperature settings to use all the time?
          Everything's an it-depends setting. But here are the tradeoffs of the three main settings:

          Aperture: the lower the f-number, the bigger the aperture, the more light, and the shallower your depth of field (the amount of stuff you can keep in focus) becomes.

          Shutter speed: the slower the shutter speed, the more light, but the more chance motion blur from movement, either of the subject or the camera shaking will register on the image.

          ISO: the higher the iso, the more light you can gather at once but the noisier the photo will become.

          And I'd really recommend that you read this first, 'cause it's something nearly everyone gets wrong right off the bat:

          How to Hold a Digital Camera
          I shoot with a Canon 5DmkII, 50D, and S90, and Pansonic GX-7. flickr stream and equipment list

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          • #6
            Thank you all for your great help and yes I was referring to digital zoom not lens quality sorry if that sounded stupid but thanks for the ones that answered that. I had a lot of fun shooting today. I can't wait to process my images as I am shooting in RAW as well this will be fun. Thanks!
            Lynette Weber
            Gear: Nikon D5000, 18-55mm VR, 55-200mm VR, 35mm, Tamron 70-300 macro, SB-600
            Facebook Become a fan

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            • #7
              Originally posted by OsmosisStudios View Post
              Thanks for that.
              Sorry I should have specified digital zoom but thanks for making me feel dumb.
              Lynette Weber
              Gear: Nikon D5000, 18-55mm VR, 55-200mm VR, 35mm, Tamron 70-300 macro, SB-600
              Facebook Become a fan

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              • #8
                Yeah, he's really good at that.

                Don't worry about it--it's a big mental leap from P&S camera features to the way that a dSLR works. I remember someone on the dpreview board asking how you zoomed the camera, because there wasn't any rocker switch on the body, and I remember how my head kind of exploded as I realized that there were some folks who had been programmed by their P&Ses to think a certain way. It makes perfect sense if you've never used a dSLR before.

                And we've all done our share of silly stuff. I shot for six months with a fisheye without removing the collar that was just meant to keep the lens cap off the front element. And it wasn't until I read somewhere about "the beginner's mistake" of keeping it on, that I found out I'd been wasting about a third of my sensor:

                With the collar:
                museum (front)

                Without the collar:
                sky and earth

                I didn't even think to ask the stupid question. You're ahead of the game if you do.
                I shoot with a Canon 5DmkII, 50D, and S90, and Pansonic GX-7. flickr stream and equipment list

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by inkista View Post
                  And we've all done our share of silly stuff. I shot for six months with a fisheye without removing the collar that was just meant to keep the lens cap off the front element. And it wasn't until I read somewhere about "the beginner's mistake" of keeping it on, that I found out I'd been wasting about a third of my sensor:
                  I think based on those two examples, I'll take the collared shot.
                  Almond Butterscotch
                  The Almond Tree
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                  • #10
                    Eh, what's the point of a fisheye if you can't play with the distortion? Might as well just get a rectilinear ultrawide, like everybody else. Besides, I normally use that lens for panorama shooting--having the widest field of view possible is kind of the whole point when you're shooting equirectangulars handheld...
                    Last edited by inkista; 10-25-2009, 07:52 AM.
                    I shoot with a Canon 5DmkII, 50D, and S90, and Pansonic GX-7. flickr stream and equipment list

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by inkista View Post
                      Eh, what's the point of a fisheye if you can't play with the distortion? Might as well just get a rectilinear ultrawide, like everybody else. Besides, I normally use that lens for panorama shooting--having the widest field of view possible is kind of the whole point when you're shooting equirectangulars handheld...
                      fair enough. now to un-hijack this thread before osmosis shows up...
                      Almond Butterscotch
                      The Almond Tree
                      Facebook Page
                      My Equipment

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by inkista View Post
                        ISO: the higher the iso, the more light you can gather at once but the noisier the photo will become.
                        I really liked your guidelines. But, this is not quite right... is it?

                        The higher the ISO, the _less_ light you gather... but I thinik you had the right idea. Even with film cameras, the higher ISO films tended to be more grainy (more noise).

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                        • #13
                          Pretty sure I've got it right. Think of it this way:

                          If I have a good exposure at iso 100, f/8, 1/60 second, and I flip the iso to 1600, but leave the aperture and shutter speed where they are, I'll have overexposed the picture by four stops. Higher iso => higher sensitivity => grabbing more light.

                          Higher/faster the shutter speed, the less light you get.
                          I shoot with a Canon 5DmkII, 50D, and S90, and Pansonic GX-7. flickr stream and equipment list

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by inkista View Post
                            Pretty sure I've got it right. Think of it this way:

                            If I have a good exposure at iso 100, f/8, 1/60 second, and I flip the iso to 1600, but leave the aperture and shutter speed where they are, I'll have overexposed the picture by four stops. Higher iso => higher sensitivity => grabbing more light.

                            Higher/faster the shutter speed, the less light you get.
                            Well, yes, but I don't know anyone that would increase the ISO and leave A and S unchanged. Unless there wasn't enough light in the scene to properly expose the scene before... let's say in a low, available, light situation. High ISO allows you to get by with less light.

                            Normally, when you think of the sensor, it is an analog device that is sensitive to light, when the ISO is increased, the actual sensitivity of the sensor doesn't physically change, but what happens is the A/D converter makes do with less S in the S/N processing. Hence the N (noise) sometimes overpowers the S (signal).

                            Now, if you over-expose the sensor, by using a high ISO, yet leaving the A and S at their old levels, the picture will just be blown. If you hold A and S unchanged, the amount of light hitting the sensor does not change - how it is interpreted by the A/D converter does change though, and will blow all the pixel sites.

                            Now, if you are doing a HDR composition, this could be extremely useful thing to do. But in an ordinary shot, blown or over-exposed, areas are not what I would like to see.

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