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Pulled the trigger on the D3100 with the 55-300 (which my wife really preferred to the 55-200). So far so good.

Need input on a decent UV filter...don't need the best, but don't want crap either. What about a polarizing filter? Going to do a lot of landscape shooting in wine country in a few weeks...would the polarizing filter be helpful?

Got a favorite medium-sized bag?

Edited by Ray Karpis

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Pulled the trigger on the D3100 with the 55-300 (which my wife really preferred to the 55-200). So far so good.

Need input on a decent UV filter...don't need the best, but don't want crap either. What about a polarizing filter? Going to do a lot of landscape shooting in wine country in a few weeks...would the polarizing filter be helpful?

Got a favorite medium-sized bag?

I like my Lowepro

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I tried to read the last few pages here but didn't see what I need to know..

We are looking at the Nikon Coolpix P510 camera. On Amazon it's $429. We don't want to go over that amount.

We'll be using it mainly to take pictures and video of our Doberman doing obedience, agility and frisbee contests. So nothing extremely fast.

Is there a better/less expensive camera that will do the same, or close? Zoom seems to be important as the one taking the pictures in action won't be real close to the action and on frisbee stuff the dog will be 30 or 40 yards from the photograher.

We are not photography experts at all, so talk to me like I'm 5.

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I tried to read the last few pages here but didn't see what I need to know..We are looking at the Nikon Coolpix P510 camera. On Amazon it's $429. We don't want to go over that amount.We'll be using it mainly to take pictures and video of our Doberman doing obedience, agility and frisbee contests. So nothing extremely fast. Is there a better/less expensive camera that will do the same, or close? Zoom seems to be important as the one taking the pictures in action won't be real close to the action and on frisbee stuff the dog will be 30 or 40 yards from the photograher.We are not photography experts at all, so talk to me like I'm 5.

Unless thing have changed significantly in the past year or so, p&s cameras are basically useless for kids and pets. There always used to be a lag between when you shoot and the shutter responds. Kids and pets don't stand/sit still long enough for you to capture good images with a lag.But maybe they've improved on that problem, I haven't used any of the really new p&s cameras.

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We are looking at the Nikon Coolpix P510 camera. On Amazon it's $429. We don't want to go over that amount.We'll be using it mainly to take pictures and video of our Doberman doing obedience, agility and frisbee contests. So nothing extremely fast. Is there a better/less expensive camera that will do the same, or close? Zoom seems to be important as the one taking the pictures in action won't be real close to the action and on frisbee stuff the dog will be 30 or 40 yards from the photograher.

I'm actually a fan of utlra-zoom P&S cameras but there's no way I'd pay more than $250 for one.If you are willing to spend ~$400 I think you'd be much happier with taking shots of moving subjects with this...http://www.cameta.com/Olympus-Pen-E-PL1-Micro-4-3-Digital-Camera-Body-Black-66326.cfmand this...http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-45-200mm-4-0-5-6-Olympus-Cameras/dp/B001ISKNKA/ref=pd_rhf_pe_p_t_3... the only caveat I might mention is that it doesn't have a view finder other than the screen on the back. If you are outside in bright sunlight it can be difficult taking pictures by looking at an LCD.If you still just want the simplicity of an ultra-zoom P&S I'd suggest spending less than half the $ than the the Nikon P510 and instead go with this one...http://www.amazon.com/Kodak-EasyShare-Digital-Optical-3-0-Inch/dp/B004FLL53Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1336934923&sr=1-1... but be sure to upgrade to the latest firmware. It was shipped with terrible firmware on it's release and you'll see some negative reviews because of it. It suffers the same drawbacks as other P&S cameras(slower focusing, takes a long time to zoom in/out, etc) but it's very compact, the lens and image quality are pretty good, quality movie mode, and it actually performs pretty well at higher ISO's which helps you freeze action and which many P&S's struggle with. Less zoom than the Nikon P510 but don't worry about that, both have more zoom than you'll really need based on the needs you described. In fact no matter what you get I'd suggest you buy a monopod if you'll be using the telephoto zoom a great deal(they are very cheap and make a big difference in you final image)...http://www.amazon.com/Vivitar-VIV-VT-67-67-Inch-Monopod/dp/B003WPTBAK/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1336936532&sr=1-3 Best of luck!

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Quick background:

- 2 months ago purchased a Nikon D3100 and have just played around with it on Auto setting

- Just finished up an Intermediate Digital Photography course at a continuing education college (3 sessions, 2 hours each). Learned the basics of F-Stop, shutter speed, ISO settings, etc. A lot of it seemed above me, but took decent notes and have been playing around with moving away from Auto setting which I want to continue to strive for to get my desired affects.

I remember earlier in the thread some mentioned reading material for the novice to get more comfortable with the manual settings, but I don’t remember what it was called (and don’t feel like searching through this thread).

Thoughts/recommendations for me?

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Other question...

how important is it to know and have Photoshop? Seems like a lot of my class ended up basically going back to "you can always manipulate the shot to your desired effect in Photoshop (make B/W, enhance colors, etc..)

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Quick background:- 2 months ago purchased a Nikon D3100 and have just played around with it on Auto setting - Just finished up an Intermediate Digital Photography course at a continuing education college (3 sessions, 2 hours each). Learned the basics of F-Stop, shutter speed, ISO settings, etc. A lot of it seemed above me, but took decent notes and have been playing around with moving away from Auto setting which I want to continue to strive for to get my desired affects.I remember earlier in the thread some mentioned reading material for the novice to get more comfortable with the manual settings, but I don’t remember what it was called (and don’t feel like searching through this thread).Thoughts/recommendations for me?

Understanding Exposure is one of the books I read that was recommended on this site.Very good read.

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Other question...

how important is it to know and have Photoshop? Seems like a lot of my class ended up basically going back to "you can always manipulate the shot to your desired effect in Photoshop (make B/W, enhance colors, etc..)

I think the idea of post processing with software is a must and is worth investing some time trying to learn one. While it's pretty hard to take a crappy picture and make it great, it's pretty easy to take a good picture and make it awesome with minimal effort. there are a number of different options to manipulate your pictures, with Photoshop, Lightroom and Picasa being the most ubiquitious.

Picasa is the most basic and it's free. Despite it being free, there's a lot of editing you can do with it and they are adding functions to it all the time.

I used to use the full Photoshop but it was dated so I bought an earlier version of Photoshop Elements for about $40. It has 95% of the stuff I used in the full Photoshop. There is a learning curve to it, but they also include a lot of beginner fixes too. I've recently been messing around with some free Photoshop actions and getting some interesting results, like here.

I haven't used Lightbox but most that do seem to like it too.

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Other question...

how important is it to know and have Photoshop? Seems like a lot of my class ended up basically going back to "you can always manipulate the shot to your desired effect in Photoshop (make B/W, enhance colors, etc..)

I think the idea of post processing with software is a must and is worth investing some time trying to learn one. While it's pretty hard to take a crappy picture and make it great, it's pretty easy to take a good picture and make it awesome with minimal effort. there are a number of different options to manipulate your pictures, with Photoshop, Lightroom and Picasa being the most ubiquitious.

Picasa is the most basic and it's free. Despite it being free, there's a lot of editing you can do with it and they are adding functions to it all the time.

I used to use the full Photoshop but it was dated so I bought an earlier version of Photoshop Elements for about $40. It has 95% of the stuff I used in the full Photoshop. There is a learning curve to it, but they also include a lot of beginner fixes too. I've recently been messing around with some free Photoshop actions and getting some interesting results, like here.

I haven't used Lightbox but most that do seem to like it too.

:thumbup:

Can you share with us the before photo? I love that effect. Would you mind sharing what tools you used to get there? TIA.

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Pulled the trigger on the D3100 with the 55-300 (which my wife really preferred to the 55-200). So far so good.

Need input on a decent UV filter...don't need the best, but don't want crap either. What about a polarizing filter? Going to do a lot of landscape shooting in wine country in a few weeks...would the polarizing filter be helpful?

Got a favorite medium-sized bag?

I like my Lowepro
:goodposting:

I bought a sling, based on the advice here, for a trip to Disney. Awesome.

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Other question...

how important is it to know and have Photoshop? Seems like a lot of my class ended up basically going back to "you can always manipulate the shot to your desired effect in Photoshop (make B/W, enhance colors, etc..)

I think the idea of post processing with software is a must and is worth investing some time trying to learn one. While it's pretty hard to take a crappy picture and make it great, it's pretty easy to take a good picture and make it awesome with minimal effort. there are a number of different options to manipulate your pictures, with Photoshop, Lightroom and Picasa being the most ubiquitious.

Picasa is the most basic and it's free. Despite it being free, there's a lot of editing you can do with it and they are adding functions to it all the time.

I used to use the full Photoshop but it was dated so I bought an earlier version of Photoshop Elements for about $40. It has 95% of the stuff I used in the full Photoshop. There is a learning curve to it, but they also include a lot of beginner fixes too. I've recently been messing around with some free Photoshop actions and getting some interesting results, like here.

I haven't used Lightbox but most that do seem to like it too.

:thumbup:

Can you share with us the before photo? I love that effect. Would you mind sharing what tools you used to get there? TIA.

I'll scare up the 'before' photo tonight from my home PC.

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Other question...how important is it to know and have Photoshop? Seems like a lot of my class ended up basically going back to "you can always manipulate the shot to your desired effect in Photoshop (make B/W, enhance colors, etc..)

Having post-processing software is one of the HUGE benefits of digital, IMO. But unless you are a pro, I think Photoshop is way more than you'll need. I'm a Mac user, so I went ahead and got Aperture. Then I added another set of plug-ins called Perfect Photo Suite and I can do pretty much everything I'd ever want to do to manipulate a photo.

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I just got a d5000 with the 18-55 and 55-200 and love it so far. I do not have any filters. Is there a basic filter I should have for both of the lenses? UV? polarized?

TIA

Edited by theToes

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Just purchased the below bag (Tamrac 3444- Rally 4). Wanted something that was more like a messenger type bag with a little bit of :style: and didn't scream camera bag. Think this fits the bill. Gives me some room to expand my equipment eventually with extra lenses, etc. For now can hold a bottle of water (or beer).

http://www.amazon.com/Tamrac-3444-Rally-Camera-Black/dp/B0045O0DEK/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1338403037&sr=8-3

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I just got a d5000 with the 18-55 and 55-200 and love it so far. I do not have any filters. Id there a basic filter I should have for both of the lenses? UV? polarized?

TIA

I like using a circular polarizing filter when shooting outdoors in bright light situations. Here's a good explanation on why you might want to use one. When not using a cp filter, I tend to leave a uv filter on, if for no other reason than it's good lens insurance. If you drop your camera and it hits lens first, having a filter can be the difference between having to replace a filter and having to replace a lens.

But don't go cheap with filters or you might not get the results you're looking for. I personally recommend Hoya, although I'm sure there are some other good ones out there.

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Quick background:- 2 months ago purchased a Nikon D3100 and have just played around with it on Auto setting - Just finished up an Intermediate Digital Photography course at a continuing education college (3 sessions, 2 hours each). Learned the basics of F-Stop, shutter speed, ISO settings, etc. A lot of it seemed above me, but took decent notes and have been playing around with moving away from Auto setting which I want to continue to strive for to get my desired affects.I remember earlier in the thread some mentioned reading material for the novice to get more comfortable with the manual settings, but I don’t remember what it was called (and don’t feel like searching through this thread).Thoughts/recommendations for me?

Understanding Exposure is one of the books I read that was recommended on this site.Very good read.
I found this on torrents and it is on my wife's Kindle Fire. Don't think she's gotten that far into it, though. It is consistently recommended by FBGs and people I know that do photography as well. You could also check your local library.

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Just purchased the below bag (Tamrac 3444- Rally 4). Wanted something that was more like a messenger type bag with a little bit of :style: and didn't scream camera bag. Think this fits the bill. Gives me some room to expand my equipment eventually with extra lenses, etc. For now can hold a bottle of water (or beer).

http://www.amazon.com/Tamrac-3444-Rally-Camera-Black/dp/B0045O0DEK/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1338403037&sr=8-3

Nice. I use this guy, which doesn't scream "camera bag" because it isn't. Instead it's just a standard messenger bag, with a $20 padded camera-case insert inside (similar to this one).

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Other question...

how important is it to know and have Photoshop? Seems like a lot of my class ended up basically going back to "you can always manipulate the shot to your desired effect in Photoshop (make B/W, enhance colors, etc..)

I think the idea of post processing with software is a must and is worth investing some time trying to learn one. While it's pretty hard to take a crappy picture and make it great, it's pretty easy to take a good picture and make it awesome with minimal effort. there are a number of different options to manipulate your pictures, with Photoshop, Lightroom and Picasa being the most ubiquitious.

Picasa is the most basic and it's free. Despite it being free, there's a lot of editing you can do with it and they are adding functions to it all the time.

I used to use the full Photoshop but it was dated so I bought an earlier version of Photoshop Elements for about $40. It has 95% of the stuff I used in the full Photoshop. There is a learning curve to it, but they also include a lot of beginner fixes too. I've recently been messing around with some free Photoshop actions and getting some interesting results, like here.

I haven't used Lightbox but most that do seem to like it too.

:thumbup:

Can you share with us the before photo? I love that effect. Would you mind sharing what tools you used to get there? TIA.

I'll scare up the 'before' photo tonight from my home PC.
:whistle:

I am still interested in how you created that effect in PS as well :)

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Other question...

how important is it to know and have Photoshop? Seems like a lot of my class ended up basically going back to "you can always manipulate the shot to your desired effect in Photoshop (make B/W, enhance colors, etc..)

I think the idea of post processing with software is a must and is worth investing some time trying to learn one. While it's pretty hard to take a crappy picture and make it great, it's pretty easy to take a good picture and make it awesome with minimal effort. there are a number of different options to manipulate your pictures, with Photoshop, Lightroom and Picasa being the most ubiquitious.

Picasa is the most basic and it's free. Despite it being free, there's a lot of editing you can do with it and they are adding functions to it all the time.

I used to use the full Photoshop but it was dated so I bought an earlier version of Photoshop Elements for about $40. It has 95% of the stuff I used in the full Photoshop. There is a learning curve to it, but they also include a lot of beginner fixes too. I've recently been messing around with some free Photoshop actions and getting some interesting results, like here.

I haven't used Lightbox but most that do seem to like it too.

:thumbup:

Can you share with us the before photo? I love that effect. Would you mind sharing what tools you used to get there? TIA.

I'll scare up the 'before' photo tonight from my home PC.
:whistle:

I am still interested in how you created that effect in PS as well :)

oh yeah.

here's the before picture.

All the adjustments were done in Photoshop Elements 8. The steps were:

1. clean up Cheetos residuals around her mouth with lasso, then healing tool. This kid has gotten me good at this.

2. make the eyes pop via the instructions here. I set the exposure much lower than what this tutorial suggests. Some refinement is needed to avoid making it look too fake, but I like this trick for tweaking portrait pictures. I've also learned that you need a good sharp image of the eyes for this to be worthwhile.

3. the last effect is a Photoshops Action called Florabella Mademoiselle. I'm not sure what is more embarrassing: that I sought out and found this feminine effect or that I was excited to find a copy of it via torrent. :bag:

On the last point, I've been messing around with a few different Photoshop actions that are available online free (mostly legitimate). The only other one that I've really liked for my purposes is MCP Touch of Light action. A good way to make a portrait pop is to lighten everything but the face.

I'm just beginning and experimenting with these, so I'm not an expert on these. This all started by seeing some nice pictures that friends had gotten done with professional photographers and then trying to reverse engineer what they did.

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Other question...

how important is it to know and have Photoshop? Seems like a lot of my class ended up basically going back to "you can always manipulate the shot to your desired effect in Photoshop (make B/W, enhance colors, etc..)

I think the idea of post processing with software is a must and is worth investing some time trying to learn one. While it's pretty hard to take a crappy picture and make it great, it's pretty easy to take a good picture and make it awesome with minimal effort. there are a number of different options to manipulate your pictures, with Photoshop, Lightroom and Picasa being the most ubiquitious.

Picasa is the most basic and it's free. Despite it being free, there's a lot of editing you can do with it and they are adding functions to it all the time.

I used to use the full Photoshop but it was dated so I bought an earlier version of Photoshop Elements for about $40. It has 95% of the stuff I used in the full Photoshop. There is a learning curve to it, but they also include a lot of beginner fixes too. I've recently been messing around with some free Photoshop actions and getting some interesting results, like here.

I haven't used Lightbox but most that do seem to like it too.

:thumbup:

Can you share with us the before photo? I love that effect. Would you mind sharing what tools you used to get there? TIA.

I'll scare up the 'before' photo tonight from my home PC.
:whistle:

I am still interested in how you created that effect in PS as well :)

oh yeah.

here's the before picture.

All the adjustments were done in Photoshop Elements 8. The steps were:

1. clean up Cheetos residuals around her mouth with lasso, then healing tool. This kid has gotten me good at this.

2. make the eyes pop via the instructions here. I set the exposure much lower than what this tutorial suggests. Some refinement is needed to avoid making it look too fake, but I like this trick for tweaking portrait pictures. I've also learned that you need a good sharp image of the eyes for this to be worthwhile.

3. the last effect is a Photoshops Action called Florabella Mademoiselle. I'm not sure what is more embarrassing: that I sought out and found this feminine effect or that I was excited to find a copy of it via torrent. :bag:

On the last point, I've been messing around with a few different Photoshop actions that are available online free (mostly legitimate). The only other one that I've really liked for my purposes is MCP Touch of Light action. A good way to make a portrait pop is to lighten everything but the face.

I'm just beginning and experimenting with these, so I'm not an expert on these. This all started by seeing some nice pictures that friends had gotten done with professional photographers and then trying to reverse engineer what they did.

Awesome! :thanks: This was one of those effects that I've seen everywhere and always wanted to learn but just never got to digging into it.

And I totally understand what you mean about cleaning up residuals :) One of my daughters is still dealing with constant eczema in one spot on her cheek so I'm always trying to touch that up.

Thanks for sharing!

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oh yeah.

here's the before picture.

All the adjustments were done in Photoshop Elements 8. The steps were:

1. clean up Cheetos residuals around her mouth with lasso, then healing tool. This kid has gotten me good at this.

2. make the eyes pop via the instructions here. I set the exposure much lower than what this tutorial suggests. Some refinement is needed to avoid making it look too fake, but I like this trick for tweaking portrait pictures. I've also learned that you need a good sharp image of the eyes for this to be worthwhile.

3. the last effect is a Photoshops Action called Florabella Mademoiselle. I'm not sure what is more embarrassing: that I sought out and found this feminine effect or that I was excited to find a copy of it via torrent. :bag:

On the last point, I've been messing around with a few different Photoshop actions that are available online free (mostly legitimate). The only other one that I've really liked for my purposes is MCP Touch of Light action. A good way to make a portrait pop is to lighten everything but the face.

I'm just beginning and experimenting with these, so I'm not an expert on these. This all started by seeing some nice pictures that friends had gotten done with professional photographers and then trying to reverse engineer what they did.

Awesome! :thanks: This was one of those effects that I've seen everywhere and always wanted to learn but just never got to digging into it.

And I totally understand what you mean about cleaning up residuals :) One of my daughters is still dealing with constant eczema in one spot on her cheek so I'm always trying to touch that up.

Thanks for sharing!

No problem. Every time I get a little bored with photography I find something new to play around with and it makes it all the more interesting.

If you want a simpler, cheaper way of getting a similar effect, the Lomo and 70's effects included in the latest version of Picasa does this, but you have a little less control on the fine tuning.

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The Nikon 18-200 lens is now on my wish list, but struggle dropping $900 on it.

Any thoughts on purchasing a used lens off of ebay for about half the cost? Risky or safe bet if they have a return policy?

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The Nikon 18-200 lens is now on my wish list, but struggle dropping $900 on it. Any thoughts on purchasing a used lens off of ebay for about half the cost? Risky or safe bet if they have a return policy?

Bought mine when it dipped to about $650. Have to think it will get back in that range again. As for used, I don't think I could spend that kind of money on a used lens unless it was through a local place or an online one that was really reputable.

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Relatively new to this game. Took an intermediate digital photography class that was a little advanced for my level...took in as much as I could with a lot of notes, but at the end of the day got to be a bit overwhelming for where I’m at. Now into reading “Understanding Exposure- Bryan Peterson” and believe things are starting to slightly click.

I fully realize there are a million different scenarios given the subject, lighting, etc., but at it’s very simplistic level is the below a good general guide for me to start out with and not feel overwhelmed? I work best when I can wrap my head around a simple concept and then play off of that to learn further.

1) Put camera in Manual mode (M)

2) White Balance: Keep on cloudy for outdoors (Indoors: Incandescent for homes. Flourescent for businesses)

3) Set ISO based on light conditions (200 is usual sweet spot- don’t go above 800 as will get noise)

4) Choose an Aperture/F-stop setting (larger opening: background more blurry. Smaller opening: background sharper)

5) After choosing Aperture setting, adjust shutter speed until get correct exposure reading on light meter (get as close to center as possible on light meter, but more towards “-“ if can’t get dead center.

Then just continue adjusting Aperture setting and conversely adjusting shutter speed for accurate light meter reading to get outcome I’m looking for.

Edited by offdee

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I hate the neck straps. Anybody have any recommendations for hand straps (that will fit a Nikon D3100)?

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I hate the neck straps. Anybody have any recommendations for hand straps (that will fit a Nikon D3100)?

I completely agree with you, can't stand neck straps and never use one.I have no idea why they specify what cameras these are for since they are generic and can be used for just about any model....http://www.amazon.com/Leather-Strap-Nikon-D5000-D5100/dp/B0069R7FFQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338868427&sr=8-1... I've used them on my dslr with a battery grip all the way down to a small super zoom bridge camera so you can use them on a camera of almost any size as long as they a general slr shape and have a tripod mount on the bottom(just about every camera). One drawback is the fact for many cameras you have to to remove the hand strap every time you access the battery. If you use a battery grip with your dslr this is not an issue. I use the strap as shown in the picture to hold the camera while walking around and it really eases hand fatigue and you are always ready to shoot. When I'm shooting many shots I hold the camera different than in the picture but still use the strap with my thumb for added stability. I prefer keeping the camera in a sling bag for all those times you are sure you won't want to shoot but want to have the camera with you.

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I work best when I can wrap my head around a simple concept and then play off of that to learn further.3) Set ISO based on light conditions (200 is usual sweet spot- don’t go above 800 as will get noise)

If that's the case I wouldn't use M mode at this point.When shooting moving subjects put your camera in shutter priority mode. Experiment with different settings until you really get a good idea how to freeze everything in a frame or let some blur imply motion in the final image.When shooting indoors or in challenging lighting conditions put the camera in full auto and play with the iso levels. Your #3 completely depends on what camera you are using. Certain cameras/sensors perform differently. Ideally you'd make prints of photos at varying iso levels to see the final results. Nikon has an excellent reputation for focusing well in low light but I'm not sure what the reputation is for image quality at high ISO settings. Pentax cameras have a good reputation for IQ at high ISO settings for instance.In most other conditions just use aperture priority mode until you really have a good handle of all the differences of using different F-stops. This is the most important setting to understand and I've read/heard many pros that say they shoot a majority of their work in Aperture priority mode rather than full Manual because modern cameras are so good.When you shoot in full manual mode there are a lot of moving parts. I'd concentrate on one setting at a time until feel really comfortable with each setting by itself. Once you really feel comfortable with each individual setting and understand how differences in each setting will change your final image then shoot in full manual mode where you are juggling all the settings. Honestly, at the end of shooting a subject I almost always turn the dial to full auto and take a few shots(with memory so cheap why not?)... and sometimes the full auto shots are better than the settings I had chosen. It's pretty easy to get up in your head and tweak yourself out of a good photo by adjusting too much. The final image is all that ultimately matters. A feeling of satisfaction may result in getting the best image in full manual mode but nobody else viewing your images will care.

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Can someone simply explain Aperture priority mode. Is it simply that I choose whatever fstop i want and everything else is set automatically by the camera?

Do i still need to set the ISO?

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Can someone simply explain Aperture priority mode. Is it simply that I choose whatever fstop i want and everything else is set automatically by the camera?Do i still need to set the ISO?

You choose the aperture and the camera selects the shutter speed. You can set the ISO to auto and the camera will select that also, or manually set the ISO and the camera will adjust the shutter speed accordingly.

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Need a little advice on getting a new lens. I have the Canon T1i and the kit lens, 18-55 mm. Going to Greece in September for a honeymoon where there will be lots of shots of ancient architecture, landscape shots of old cites, beaches, and mountains, etc. etc.

I can only afford to get one more cheap (no more than $400) lens. I'm debating between these two:

A cheap prime, which would most likely be a 50mm 1.8 (very cheap, saves me $$ for the trip) or 1.4. I really REALLY like having my pics be extra sharp and I believe a prime would accomplish this, not to mention the low-light abilities. My zoom could just be me taking a few steps forward or later cropping. Seems to get really positive reviews everywhere I look.

A zoom lens in this price range - I usually see versions around the 50-200mm/300mm zoom range, image stabilized, that fall within my price point. Would probably love to have the zoom capability, but not sure I can get the sharpness that I want (not going to be able to set up a tripod everywhere I stop).

Anyone have to make this choice? How'd it work out for you? Any other suggestions for a second "all-around" lens for the trip?

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Need a little advice on getting a new lens. I have the Canon T1i and the kit lens, 18-55 mm. Going to Greece in September for a honeymoon where there will be lots of shots of ancient architecture, landscape shots of old cites, beaches, and mountains, etc. etc.I can only afford to get one more cheap (no more than $400) lens. I'm debating between these two:A cheap prime, which would most likely be a 50mm 1.8 (very cheap, saves me $$ for the trip) or 1.4. I really REALLY like having my pics be extra sharp and I believe a prime would accomplish this, not to mention the low-light abilities. My zoom could just be me taking a few steps forward or later cropping. Seems to get really positive reviews everywhere I look. A zoom lens in this price range - I usually see versions around the 50-200mm/300mm zoom range, image stabilized, that fall within my price point. Would probably love to have the zoom capability, but not sure I can get the sharpness that I want (not going to be able to set up a tripod everywhere I stop). Anyone have to make this choice? How'd it work out for you? Any other suggestions for a second "all-around" lens for the trip?

I've never had a problem getting sharp photos outside with a good zoom lens. You need a 1.8 or 1.4 to shoot in lower light situations, but I think you'd be just fine outside with a 55-200 or even a 70-300. Can't comment on Canon, but I've always been happy with the sharpness of my Nikon 70-300. VR (not sure what Canon calls theirs) is a wonderful thing. I can get shots by hand now that would have required a tripod before VR.A lot of it depends on what you want to shoot. If it's buildings that you are close to, then yeah the 50 prime will work just fine. But if you can't get close, you're going to end up with some pixelation by the time you crop it way down to "zoom".

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Need a little advice on getting a new lens. I have the Canon T1i and the kit lens, 18-55 mm. Going to Greece in September for a honeymoon where there will be lots of shots of ancient architecture, landscape shots of old cites, beaches, and mountains, etc. etc.

I can only afford to get one more cheap (no more than $400) lens. I'm debating between these two:

A cheap prime, which would most likely be a 50mm 1.8 (very cheap, saves me $$ for the trip) or 1.4. I really REALLY like having my pics be extra sharp and I believe a prime would accomplish this, not to mention the low-light abilities. My zoom could just be me taking a few steps forward or later cropping. Seems to get really positive reviews everywhere I look.

A zoom lens in this price range - I usually see versions around the 50-200mm/300mm zoom range, image stabilized, that fall within my price point. Would probably love to have the zoom capability, but not sure I can get the sharpness that I want (not going to be able to set up a tripod everywhere I stop).

Anyone have to make this choice? How'd it work out for you? Any other suggestions for a second "all-around" lens for the trip?

When I bought my T2i, I got the kit that had the 18-55 as well as this 55-250 lens. We've used it a decent bit and the pictures come out really nice. Plus it has the IS built in which may negate some of the need for tripod/monopod. Avoid the Canon 75-300 even though it is cheap...reviews on it are bad. The 70-300 (which is more expensive) is better if you want that little bit more zoom than the 55-250.

I also have been toying with the idea of the "nifty fifty" 50mm 1.8 lens. Supposedly it is the best bang for the buck among maybe all lenses you can get. If you have Amazon Prime, why not get it, try it out a bit, and if you don't like the results return it in 30 days for full refund?

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I can only afford to get one more cheap (no more than $400) lens. I'm debating between these two:

If your budget is up to $400 you could actually purchase both the 50mm/1.8 and the 55-250mm for less than $300. If you are only going to get one of the two I'd suggest the 50mm now(it's such an amazing value and so light to pack it's a must have lens imo) and saving up for one of the higher quality tele-zooms later, like the 70-200mm/F4 with image stabilization. If you are willing to use a monopod the older version with no IS is an amazing value considering the IQ. Both are part of the "L" line and are built to last much more so than either the 50mm or the 55-250mm.

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Can someone simply explain Aperture priority mode. Is it simply that I choose whatever fstop i want and everything else is set automatically by the camera?Do i still need to set the ISO?

Yes and no. You can usually set ISO to auto, and let the camera choose. I find it usually chooses too low, so I prefer to set the ISO myself. I leave it at its lowest, and adjust upward when I don't think I have the right amount of light. Of course, that means I sometimes forget and leave it on 800 after I walk out of the dark place...

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Can someone simply explain Aperture priority mode. Is it simply that I choose whatever fstop i want and everything else is set automatically by the camera?Do i still need to set the ISO?

Yes and no. You can usually set ISO to auto, and let the camera choose. I find it usually chooses too low, so I prefer to set the ISO myself. I leave it at its lowest, and adjust upward when I don't think I have the right amount of light. Of course, that means I sometimes forget and leave it on 800 after I walk out of the dark place...
I'm thinking this is how I'm going to start shooting for now.- Aperture Priority setting- Set ISO- Choose apertureThen snap away knowing the camera will correctly set the shutter speed for me and not worry about the light meter reading.- If it's too dark, increase the ISO- If I want a different background effect, adjust apertureAt a very simplistic nature, am I thinking correctly here? Edited by offdee

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Can someone fill me in on this camera. It has great reviews.

Nikon D5100 16.2MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens

Thanks

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Can someone fill me in on this camera. It has great reviews. Nikon D5100 16.2MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom LensThanks

I have the D3100 and have been happy with it. Found the below from a photography forum---I am critical of image quality and I have a D3100 and D7000 and have access to and have extensively used the D5100. The difference in image quality among the three cameras is almost indistinguishable. Without question the best bang for the buck is the D3100. You can call it an entry level camera, a beginner’s camera and one you may outgrow soon. But the fact is it captures images with the same color depth (despite lab tests), sharpness and overall image quality to match ANY crop sensor on the market. And it has a ton of features. The D5100 has the following advantages over the D3100: Better LCD screen, in camera bracketing, better video and ever so slightly better low light sensitivity (if you like shooting in the dark) . The difference in weight is 2 oz. You can barely tell the difference without looking at the name plate. The biggest difference between the D3100 (and D5100) and the D7000 is weight. Beyond that the D7000 is noticeably quicker, brighter and has a much deeper feature set for the camera guru. But the image quality is virtually the same. Ergonomically the D3100 is better than the D6100 because it did not relinquish side buttons on the rear of the camera to accommodate the twisty screen. The biggest gain for one’s dollar is to upgrade the lenses not the cameras. Pick up the following Nikon lenses (on the used market): f1.8 35mm, 18-105 walk around and 70-300 VR zoom. Your pics will match ANY DX camera at ANY PRICE.

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Can someone simply explain Aperture priority mode. Is it simply that I choose whatever fstop i want and everything else is set automatically by the camera?Do i still need to set the ISO?

Yes and no. You can usually set ISO to auto, and let the camera choose. I find it usually chooses too low, so I prefer to set the ISO myself. I leave it at its lowest, and adjust upward when I don't think I have the right amount of light. Of course, that means I sometimes forget and leave it on 800 after I walk out of the dark place...
I'm thinking this is how I'm going to start shooting for now.- Aperture Priority setting- Set ISO- Choose apertureThen snap away knowing the camera will correctly set the shutter speed for me and not worry about the light meter reading.- If it's too dark, increase the ISO- If I want a different background effect, adjust apertureAt a very simplistic nature, am I thinking correctly here?
Choose your aperture first. Decide what you want the shot to be; entire scene in focus? Heavy bokeh (background blur)? That will dictate how much actual light is coming through the aperture of the camera. From there adjust the ISO up if it's too dark or if you need to be faster to capture movement.

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I'm about 100 pages into Understanding Exposure- Bryan Peterson, and I keep thinking the same thing over and over...

His technique throughout us:

- Choose aperture

- Adjust shutter speed until it reads correct exposure on light meter

- snap picture

My question is, why wouldn't he just use Aperture Priority mode and eliminate the manual step of adjusting Shutter Speed? Wouldn't aperture priority automatically set the proper shutter speed for exposure and save him some time and effort?

If he's not trying to capture a motion effect and just wants a clear shot, why is he bothering setting shutter speed manually each time? What am I missing here?

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I'm about 100 pages into Understanding Exposure- Bryan Peterson, and I keep thinking the same thing over and over...

His technique throughout us:

- Choose aperture

- Adjust shutter speed until it reads correct exposure on light meter

- snap picture

My question is, why wouldn't he just use Aperture Priority mode and eliminate the manual step of adjusting Shutter Speed? Wouldn't aperture priority automatically set the proper shutter speed for exposure and save him some time and effort?

If he's not trying to capture a motion effect and just wants a clear shot, why is he bothering setting shutter speed manually each time? What am I missing here?

Aperture priority will auto set the shutter speed based on what the camera calculates for a correct exposure. It all boils down to the effect that you are going for.

I have that book and remember thinking the same way (kind of repetitive). I should probably re-read that thing.

I am also curious if anyone else has other feedback on your question.

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I'm about 100 pages into Understanding Exposure- Bryan Peterson, and I keep thinking the same thing over and over...

His technique throughout us:

- Choose aperture

- Adjust shutter speed until it reads correct exposure on light meter

- snap picture

My question is, why wouldn't he just use Aperture Priority mode and eliminate the manual step of adjusting Shutter Speed? Wouldn't aperture priority automatically set the proper shutter speed for exposure and save him some time and effort?

If he's not trying to capture a motion effect and just wants a clear shot, why is he bothering setting shutter speed manually each time? What am I missing here?

Aperture priority will auto set the shutter speed based on what the camera calculates for a correct exposure. It all boils down to the effect that you are going for.

I have that book and remember thinking the same way (kind of repetitive). I should probably re-read that thing.

I am also curious if anyone else has other feedback on your question.

Understand wanting to manually adjust shutter speed if looking for a motion blur affect or something, but 99% of the examples throughout the book he was wanting crisp/clear pictures.

Him manually setting shutter speed until reads closest to center on the light meter....wouldn't that be what the camera would automaticaly try to do in much less time and effort in Aperture priority mode?

Edited by offdee

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I'm about 100 pages into Understanding Exposure- Bryan Peterson, and I keep thinking the same thing over and over...

His technique throughout us:

- Choose aperture

- Adjust shutter speed until it reads correct exposure on light meter

- snap picture

My question is, why wouldn't he just use Aperture Priority mode and eliminate the manual step of adjusting Shutter Speed? Wouldn't aperture priority automatically set the proper shutter speed for exposure and save him some time and effort?

If he's not trying to capture a motion effect and just wants a clear shot, why is he bothering setting shutter speed manually each time? What am I missing here?

Aperture priority will auto set the shutter speed based on what the camera calculates for a correct exposure. It all boils down to the effect that you are going for.

I have that book and remember thinking the same way (kind of repetitive). I should probably re-read that thing.

I am also curious if anyone else has other feedback on your question.

Yep, understand wanting to manually adjust shutter speed if looking for a motion blur affect or something, but 99% of the examples throughout the book he was wanting crisp/clear pictures.

Him manually setting shutter speed until reads closest to center on the light meter....wouldn't that be what the camera would automaticaly try to do in much less time and effort in Aperture priority mode?

Yep, but there are lots of scenarios where the internal light meter will be off... like when using a flash, for example. I don't recall if he touches on using the flash, but his book is trying to get people to stay away from "auto" and get comfortable with doing things manually. I'm sure I'm missing something so hopefully someone with a lot more knowledge will chime in shortly.

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This might not excite anyone else, but with today's updates to iPhoto and Aperture, both programs will now share the same library. THANK YOU! And it's about time. The fact that two Apple photo apps did not share a single library seemed ridiculous to me.

Also, I always thought it was dumb that there wasn't an option to change your desktop photo right from Aperture. They fixed that too.

:thumbup:

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