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Nikon D3300, advice?


Pingo
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So. My husband gave me a Nikon D3300 for Christmas.

 

It seems very nice. The controls are related enough to my old workhorse Nikon D50 (which has now become the general family and child-training camera) to be fairly clear, but it has a lot more advanced features.

 

(I'm not sure I'll ever go back to my old SLR at this point.)

 

The physical manual is smaller than my old D50's, but there's an online downloadable one to peruse.

 

It takes bigger pictures than my older camera, clear enough that I can zoom in and see dust on the surface of my paintings (oh, boy).

 

I am planning to get a spare battery and perhaps some extra memory cards.

 

I try to be informed about these things, but to be honest photography is not my primary or even tertiary art.

 

Can anyone recommend things I ought to do or be aware of, strengths or weaknesses I can work with?

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I haven't picked up my old SLRs in years now, Three Nikon F70s just sitting around now, along with a couple of other film cameras. I went digital as soon as Nikon's D50 became affordable. As long as you can go manual with it you should be in good shape. The only problem I see with it is its almost to small for my hands. I have the worst time with my little Nikon coolpix, my fingers are to big for the controls.

 

These guys like it though: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikon-d3300

Edited by Heisler
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Very nice Pingo! I have a D3000 that is 4ish years old. Your new camera is very versatile. You can take great pics in just about any setting. I personally like taking pics without the flash. Some times you have to slow your breath to keep it stedy, but worth the trouble. You can take excellent pics with the auto settings for the most part. Macro photography allways takes some tweaking, but auto settings arent bad if you have good lighting. That camera is capable of taking professional grade photos if you are willing to be the cameras brain.

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Congrats on the new camera. I, too, have a D3000. I always run my mini pictures through global adjustments in Photoshop, so my advice is integrally linked to that process.

 

- I always take pictures with a tripod

- I always use the timer function. The tripod, plus the timer function (5 second delay between clicking the button and the picture taking) makes for a very clear picture; no chance of camera shake.

- I don't use the flash. Instead I have several lamps placed around my light box.

- For a single figure, I use the S function on the dial (this allows you to manually set the shutter speed, and the camera sets the appropriate aperture). I'll start reducing the shutter speed, one click at a time, until the camera tells me "subject is too bright". For my lighting rig, that's usually around 1/2.5.

- If I'm taking a group shot, I'll use the A function (manual aperture setting) and set it to the largest I can. This allows me the greatest focal range, so that each miniature in the group is in focus, rather than the camera focusing on the nearest mini and blurring the ones in back.

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Sorry I didn't see this question when you first posted it. I was just preparing for a class tomorrow and saw it now:

  • The camera is a fine one for most purposes, specifically including photographing miniatures.
  • The kit lens should work well (you don't need a macro lens for miniatures).
  • Don't try to fill the frame with very small subjects. Very short subject to camera distances can cause difficulty in focusing or very narrow depth of field and you can crop without noticeable loss of quality in most circumstances.
  • You can shoot in auto using the stuff in this article.
  • If you want to be more creative, let me know and I can make suggestions.
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If you have a computer near your photo station and want to try tethered shooting, you can download a free program called digicam control. It works well and gives you onscreen control of your main functions (aperture size, shutter speed, etc.) and lets you trigger the camera with your mouse. The best part (in my books) is that you can send your photos directly to your hard drive instead of the memory card. I use it for product photography and I love it.

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If you have a computer near your photo station and want to try tethered shooting, you can download a free program called digicam control. It works well and gives you onscreen control of your main functions (aperture size, shutter speed, etc.) and lets you trigger the camera with your mouse. The best part (in my books) is that you can send your photos directly to your hard drive instead of the memory card. I use it for product photography and I love it.

 

If you use Lightroom (which I highly recommend, btw), you can do that as well. And the photo is automagically imported into LR at the same time.

 

(I'll be doing that today for my photography class.)

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