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Please help newbie...

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by joeyandalliesmom, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. I have been wanting and finally got my Nikon D80... just upgraded from point and shoot, Canon Powershot. But I am feeling so very frustrated... I don't know how to use this camera! Can anyone point me in the direction of some good books to learn more? I can shoot in Auto mode fine... but would like to know more about what all the ISO, Fstop, aperature, etc means. Thanks for any guidance that you provide.:smile:
  2. Hi!!!

    Your manual is a GREAT place to start. But Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson is a good start outside of the manual.
    Also, you can read here, do searches online, use your camera on different settings and just shoot away.:biggrin:

    Those are all the things I did. I'm also new to photography and still have a ton of questions. I have so many that I need to start writing them down, or I forget what they are! :biggrin:
  3. Wolfie


    Jun 16, 2008
    Hazel Green, AL
    Info fo ju!

    Hey There!

    1st of all grats on your new DSLR camera!

    ok. I'm a noob too but i did find some excellent information of Digital SLR tips, techniques, and terminology from google and the sites i listed below. As well on how to go about applying it all out in the field.

    check this http://www.digital-slr-guide.com/index.html
    and here is something more direct to what your asking. http://www.digital-slr-guide.com/define-digital-slr.html

    I LOVE this site. it's a great source of information. just read everything in sequence and you should be fine (i say in sequence because i started clicking on other more in depth links about SLR terminology / info that i lost track of what i wanted to read in the first place and overloaded haha) :smile:

    send me a PM if you need anymore information.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2008
  4. rotxlk82


    Jul 20, 2007
  5. Thank you for the links, and the positive comments... I look forward to checking them out... it just get frustrating when you take shots that you think will be cool and they are fuzzy! Or too bright. Thanks again.
  6. SoCalBob


    Feb 9, 2006
    Riverside, CA
    Good suggestions so far to help you along, Jana, especially "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson.

    However, a couple of years ago I came across a really clever interactive Flash tutorial that's almost like a video game and really takes the mystery out of the three major exposure variables that you can control with settings on a DSLR (ISO, shutter speed and aperture), and how changing them affects your pictures.


    Settle in at your computer with your D80 at hand and the user manual to refer to as well, read the explanation of the settings on this website, then begin playing around with changing the various settings. You'll instantly see how various setting adjustments change how the picture looks. This cool tutorial isn't a substitute for actual practice with your camera, but it will save you hours of trial and error shooting (often mostly error), and a good deal of frustration.
  7. Zee71


    Apr 1, 2007
    Queens, NY
  8. rgordin


    Jun 3, 2008
    Washington, DC
    kenrockwell.com is a great site to use to learn about cameras. The hyperlinks are very helpful. Use the search tool on the site as well.

    I don't agree with Ken on a lot of issues but I find his site to be a good place to start with on many issues. Read posts on this site and read other sources people have suggested. Don't get frustrated. Don't try to learn everything at once. It will take a long time.
  9. If I may be so bold as to suggest....


    There are quite a number of resources that you can read, and I have read just about every one of them mentioned, and continue to do so, over and over again....

    And I keep coming back here, because after I read what has been suggested, I find that this is a very good place to throw the up picture and say "how did I do, how do I do better..."

    Most of the time, if you use the critique icon, the critique is just that, a critique, what is good, how to make it better. Sometimes maybe not, and a coupla the folks here, while very well meaning, compose their critiques on their Blackberry...they can be a bit short. But even still, the knowledge that is shared here is more valuable than most sites.

    So, post a lot of pictures in the forums that are relevant to what you like to shoot, ask for a critique. You will be amazed at some of the help you well get, from some outstanding photographers.

    Welcome aboard.
  10. I just want to say thanks again for all the helpful information and links. I look forward to learning how to take great pictures! I have a 7yr old soccer player and a 9 yr old baseball player, I don't miss a shot, I would like each shot though, to be a great one. Thank you very much.
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    May daughter is the one in blue.
    View attachment 217791

    These are both shot in "auto" mode on the D80. Thanks again. I look forward to learning more from everyone here. :smile:
  11. Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2008
  12. Seneca


    Dec 4, 2006
    Just learn a little at a time. Stay on the Auto mode for a while, but look at your settings and study them all the time. Then start shooting AP, and then S, then start using M-mode. I probably stay on M-mode 80% of the time. You have a lot of good resources here and lots of friendly people, who like you and me, learned just by playing with the camera. Good luck and follow all those links provided.

    Welcome to the Cafe!
  13. There are good suggestions above and I'd like to add one more. Go to: www.bythom.com and look at Thom's Guide to the Nikon D80. I highly recommend it. It is written to be easily understood and also now Thom has released a concise reference book which is now included with the Cd that is a summary of the complete guide.

    I believe I use either the CD or the booklet most every day to look up something.

    Good luck with the D80!!

  14. Thanks for all the links. I have them all book-marked for references.
  15. TVayos

    TVayos Guest

    I am not one for reading how too books. It is one of many failings I have in life. I usually read enough just to get the memory card in and battery charged and start taking pictures.

    I have learned by trial and error. I have no experience with the d80 but on my d70s I started out using program mode and made adjustments till I got the desired effect.

    Good Luck. Stick with it.
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