Tag: nikon

Nikon D3400 Mode Dial

So lets have a look at the first one on the Nikon D3400 mode dial – NIGHT PORTRAITURE. Now night portraiture is a mode which allows you to take a portrait at night. This is not as straightforward as it seems. First of all, it engages the flash to shoot what is called slow sync, and that opens the aperture and slows down the shutter speed, which allows the camera to get in as much of the light in the background of the picture as possible. Then, just before the shutter closes on the camera, the flash will go off to illuminate the subject in the foreground. That gives you a quite balanced picture where you have the subject well illuminated in the foreground but with the contextual background visible too. If you just shot with the flash then you would have the subject slightly overexposed in the foreground and just a black background. So by shooting it with night portrait it means that you get the background and some context in which the subject is standing and so it gives some meaning to the picture.

As with all of the semi-automatic modes – which are the ones that go up to M, A, S and P – essentially the ones that go up to the green auto mode, most of the presets are set and there is very little wiggle room. But when you are looking at each of them – particularly if you are looking on the back of the camera – there are certain things that you can change. It is worth knowing what you can change in each of the settings because you may want to change them just to slightly change the style of the picture that you are taking. So on the back of the camera you press the i button. It gives you the options that you can change when you are in each setting. So, for example, in NIGHT PORTRAIT we can change the quality and compression rate of the picture, the focus (autofocus or manual), flash compensation and exposure compensation. The final option open to you here is the ISO. That is set on auto and there is a very good reason for that when you are in night portraiture. The camera will set the aperture to be as wide as possible to get as much light into the sensor as possible, and it will also set the shutter speed to be at least 1/30th of a second, because any slower than that means there is likely to be movement blur when you take the picture. So that means that out of the 3 variables, ISO, shutter speed and aperture, you have basically fixed or minimized the options for two of them. So the ISO is the only variable that can move around with any great flexibility. In most cases the ISO probably will not go above 1000 or 1600. You will get an element of grain and noise in that shot, but it is a night portrait and to some extent that could and should be expected. So it is best to leave the ISO on auto in most cases. You can set it, but it does reduce the options for the Nikon D3400 and in this instance I think you should leave the camera to do what it does best which is to get the best exposure for your picture.

The mode just above the night portraiture on the Nikon D3400 mode dial is represented by a flower and is called CLOSE-UP MODE. It is a kind of macro mode which you can shoot even with the kit lens and it opens the aperture very wide which means that the subject in focus is very sharp but the background is blurred and that means that the subject stands out even more. The ISO is on auto for this and that is because you have set the aperture very wide, the shutter speed is set accordingly too for handheld photography and so the ISO is the only variable.

The one above close-up mode is the Running Man – the SPORTS MODE – and that prioritizes the shutter speed. It is very important when you are shooting sport or action that you have a fast shutter speed so that you freeze the subject in the frame and that means that you need at least 1/250th and probably 1/500th of a second shutter speed. So the ISO will go up accordingly, depending on the light, whether it is daylight or darker than that, it might go up to a 1000 or 1600 even 3200 and the aperture will be as wide as possible so that it can get as much light in and onto the sensor in that very brief period the shutter is open. The flash will not work and it will be on continuous which means that you will be shooting 5 frames a second, which is a good thing because it means that you are more likely to get a good frame out of any action that happens in front of you.

The one above sport on the Nikon D3400 mode dial is called CHILD MODE and it is ideal for candid photography. It is not a portrait mode but it is a mode which is designed for taking candid shots of people which also have plenty of the background in as well, to give that subject some context. It has quite a narrow aperture so that ensures that there is plenty of background in there. It means also that it slows down the shutter speed to give more depth of field. If it is deemed to be too dark, the flash will pop up. It also makes some of the colors a little more vivid but also focuses on getting the skin tones just right. Skin tones are really important in candid shots. When you look at a picture of person you look at their face or their features and the skin tones need to be just right. If it is not, it is really very noticeable. The colors of the clothes or the background can be slightly different from reality and the eye does not really register that provided the face and the skin look right and that is what this child mode is for – to shoot candid shots and get those skin tones right.

The one above child mode is LANDSCAPE MODE and this is designed for shooting landscapes. That means that you are trying to get a very deep depth of field – maximum depth of field in fact – and the very best quality. That means that the ISO is going to be as close down to 100 as possible and the aperture is going to be very small. Now that obviously has an effect on the shutter speed, which will be quite slow and that means that this mode is best for shooting with a tripod. Remember if you are shooting on a tripod you need to switch off the VIBRATION REDUCTION and you do that in the menus. This can produce very good landscapes. This mode also boosts greens and blues so that the landscape that you are shooting is quite vivid.

The option above landscape on the D3400 mode dial is PORTRAIT MODE and that really tries to do the opposite. It increases the shutter speed, it widens the aperture and it gives you a faster ISO. The reason it does that is because it is trying to get a very shallow depth of field. When you take a portrait you are focusing on the person’s face nearly every time and on the face you are focusing on the eyes and if the face is to one angle to you, you are focusing on the front eye. That is very important because when you shoot a portrait you want to blur out the background and so you need to have something something in that portrait – something in that face – which is pin-sharp, and as we all know when you look at somebody’s face you focus on the eyes first. So by having a very shallow depth of field the viewer is left in no doubt as to what is important in this picture. Portrait mode will also work well on skin tones and ensure that they are correct and if it is slightly dark then the flash will pop up.

The two modes above portrait mode are your AUTO MODES. These are essentially your point-and-shoot modes, if you come up from compact photography or even mobile phone photography, you will know that these are the modes where you can switch the camera on and press the button and it will take a half-decent picture. In both modes the Nikon D3400 is designed to get the best possible exposure. The difference between the two is that the green mode will use the flash if it thinks it is required – and it does not need to be that dark for it to decide that the flash is required – or the one below that is auto without flash and that takes perfectly good pictures but in situations where you may not want the flash to fire, perhaps you are in a museum or in the theater or you just do not want the distraction of the flash firing. On the back of the camera, if we press the ibutton, it is clear that we really are quite restricted in what we can change. We can change the quality and compression of the image, but we are then really limited to either changing the autofocus mode or the AF area mode. Nothing else can be changed in these modes, the camera does everything.

The semi-automatic modes on the Nikon D3400 mode dial are M, A, S and P. Strictly speaking M is manual and strictly manual but it is regarded as a semi-automatic mode because they are all grouped together. So the first one we come to is P – program mode – and it is the most appropriate, because it is the closest to the two Auto settings that are next to it. When you are in P mode the camera still tries to get the best exposure and still selects most of the presets, but it does allow you to choose a few more things. You can choose the shutter speed or the aperture. Now when you are in this mode you can change the shutter speed and aperture by rotating the dial on the top of the camera. That means that if you feel the shutter speed is not fast enough – or indeed is too fast – then you can change it. If you feel that the aperture is too wide or too narrow then you can change it and the camera will make other changes, to the shutter speed or to the ISO accordingly. When you are in this mode you will see the P at the top left hand corner on the Liveview screen and if you start to change the aperture or the shutter speed, then there will be an asterisk placed next to that to show that this is not the most appropriate mode that the camera thinks will get the best exposure, but that it will get the best exposure in the shutter speed or aperture that you have chosen.

The one above P mode is SHUTTER SPEED PRIORITY and that is really very useful, particularly if you want to control the shutter speed. Why would you want to? Well of course in sports mode I have explained that a fast shutter speed will catch the action, but if you want a faster shutter speed because the action is faster than sports mode expects, then you can set it up to from 1/500th, 1/1000th or 1/2000th up to 1/4000th of a second. Again it is a semi-automatic mode which means that the camera will change the aperture and the ISO accordingly. On the other hand if you are taking a picture of a stream or a waterfall you might want to slow the shutter speed down to say 1/15th or 1/10th of a second to smooth the water and give it a more smooth and relaxed feel to that picture. It does not actually freeze the water in midair but it gives you that element of motion blur, and if you are shooting night photography and you are shooting the night sky and you want to capture the stars, then you may want to slow that shutter speed down to five seconds, ten seconds – up to thirty seconds, which is easy to do with the Nikon D3400. So controlling the shutter speed can change the way the picture looks. That is why shutter speed priority is really useful.

The one above that is APERTURE PRIORITY. This allows you to prioritize the aperture. Why would you want to do that? Well we have spoken about aperture with regards to depth of field – if you want to have as much of that picture that you are taking in focus or sharp, then you would have a very narrow aperture and that means that the light takes longer to get in and hit the sensor and it means that the shutter speed needs to be a lot slower, etc. But it means that the picture is sharp, as much as possible, from front, mid and back. On the other hand, if you are trying to take a portrait, then you would want it to have quite a shallow aperture and so you can control it with aperture priority here. Now it is not always as simple as saying “oh why don’t I just put it on landscape” or “why don’t I just put it on portrait”. When you start to master your photography you will want to control what people see in your picture – what is sharp in your picture helps to tell the story and so it is important for you to be able to control all that depth-of-field, not just have everything sharp or hardly anything sharp. You might want to have the subject in the foreground and two people standing behind him sharp but two people standing behind them blurred because those front three people tell the story, not the five. Now that is quite difficult to achieve but, of course, you have the benefit of seeing the effect on the back screen. So it is important to be able to control your aperture because it does mean that you can use that in the storytelling of your pictures and how you use your pictures to tell the story that you are trying to tell.

Finally we come to Manual Mode on the Nikon D3400 mode dial. Now the beauty of manual mode is that you control everything. The camera no longer tries to get the best exposure – you are responsible for the exposure – and as a result of that you can change pretty much everything to get the sort of picture that you want. So manual is the thing that you progress to gradually. I would suggest that you start off with some of the basic settings so that you get a feel for the camera and then go on to P mode and then, as you become more confident, work through shutter speed and aperture priority. But manual then gives you the freedom to be as creative with your photography as you want to be. The difference, when you look at the back of the screen is that when you are in program or you are in shutter or aperture priority, when you try to change the shutter speed or the aperture then the rest of the settings change accordingly because the camera is still trying to set for the best exposure. When you are in manual, you can change the shutter speed or you can change the aperture and the other option does not change. So, in other words, the camera is not trying to manipulate the exposure because you have a completely free rein so that if you are in the back of the screen, by using the dial you can change the shutter speed, or by using the exposure button you can change the aperture by turning the dial. When you do that you will notice that when you are changing the shutter speed the aperture stays the same and when you are changing the aperture then the shutter speed does not move. This is real photography. It is why you bought a DSLR. Do not jump into it, but do not be intimidated by it either. This is a great way of exploring photography and doing great pictures – the ones you have always wanted to do.

Now is as a stepping stone into manual, I would suggest you take a look at the picture you want to take first in P mode because that will tell you what the camera thinks will be a decent exposure for what you’re trying to photograph, and then take a note of those settings and go into manual and then you can use those settings as a guide, as a benchmark, so that you know that if you just change those settings slightly you are not going to be too far out in terms of exposure. It is a great way of just having that safety net and knowing that you will be there or there abouts with your exposure. Of course, the advantage is that you will see that picture on the back screen straight away, so there is nothing really to be afraid of. This is what you bought a DSLR for and I encourage you to get into manual as quickly as possible. The back screen is fantastic for that because it means that you can see after every picture where you went wrong what were the good points and it allows you to progress your photography at a really rapid rate.

Nikon D3400 and Video

The other thing that is really important when you are shooting d3400 video is to understand that you are liberated by the moving image. What I mean by that is that when you are shooting a still particularly if you are shooting a still that you want to tell a story, then you will try to get certain components of that story into the frame, because those components in that frame and where they are positioned in that frame will help in that storytelling process. When you are shooting video you can have various components of the story, but not necessarily in the frame at the same time, because you can move the camera and the video will move with it from one component to the other and so, in doing so, bring those two components together. But they do not have to be in the frame at the same time. That is a really interesting skill to try to develop and it really brings your videography up to a much higher level, but it is something that for a stills photographer can be quite difficult to understand and quite difficult really to execute very well. Those are the two elements – sound and composition – which you will need to explore further and consider more when you are shooting video than when you are normally shooting stills.

So lets now take a look at the camera and see how we can prepare it to shoot videos. First of all we switch it on and we open up the lens. Now the interesting thing about this camera, unlike some other cameras, is it doesn’t have a specific video mode on the MODE DIAL. What that means is that you can shoot video in pretty much any of the modes. In some cases it does not make a great deal of difference and in others it makes a little difference. I would recommend really that you either leave it on AUTO or you leave it on MANUAL because when it comes to video modes you either have an automatic mode, which essentially does everything for you, or you switch it over to manual where you can have much more control.

I am going to switch it on to Auto initially so that we can have a look through that. So having switched the camera on then I go into menus and if I go into the SHOOTING MENU and at the bottom option there are MOVIE SETTINGS. These are the only settings which are specifically for shooting video and they are all in one place. If I go into that then I have various options – frame size and frame rate, movie quality. the microphone, wind noise reduction and manual movie settings. Lets start from the beginning and have a look at frame size and frame rate. If I click on there there is a long list of different frame rates and frame sizes. It is useful at this point to explain where they come from and how important they actually are. So 1920 x 1080 is Full HD and is probably about the best quality you can shoot on a DSLR at the moment outside of 4k, which is the revolutionary new system which not many people are using. Certainly in terms of social media – YouTube or Vimeo or any of those platforms – they are more than happy to take 1920 x 1080 and in fact they are more than happy to take also the one down towards the bottom here which is 1280 x 720. 1280 x 720 is called HD and 1920 x 1080 is called Full HD, so they are the frame sizes. If you like they they reflect the similar parameters to the file size of a still image so 1920 x 1080 is larger than 1280 x 720.

The next choice in the Nikon d3400 video settings is the frame rate. Now you have various frame rates here and they are different for different reasons. I am going to put this camera down and try and explain first of all why you have 60 and 30 frames per second and 50 and 25 frames per second, because whilst it might not seem terribly important it can be. These refer to television systems and in the United States there is a system called NTSC and NTSC runs at 60 Hertz. In Europe predominantly and also other parts of the world there is a system called PAL and PAL runs at 50 Hertz.

So if we now come out of frame size and frame rate, the next one down is MOVIE QUALITY and that option is either HIGH or NORMAL. Obviously, I would recommend that you choose high quality. The important thing to remember here is that, regardless of whether you shoot 60 or 30 frames per second, you are going to use a large amount of space on your memory cards, so an ordinary memory card when you are shooting video would be minimum size I would say 16 gigabytes and probably you will be looking at 32 gigabytes. Below that is MICROPHONE. As you probably know this camera does not have an external microphone socket. It does have an internal microphone and that is here and in fact it is not too bad. If we go into the microphone settings then we have three choices: the first one is MICROPHONE OFF which I do not recommend even if you do not really intend to run the sound. The reason is that having the microphone on and therefore having sound on your video even when you are editing can be useful because it can help you remember which clip is which. Then the other two settings are AUTO SENSITIVITY and MANUAL SENSITIVITY. Then the bottom option is MANUAL MOVIE SETTINGS. As I said right at the beginning you can shoot on auto or on manual settings on this camera. However, if you do not switch manual movie settings on here, then even if you switch around to manual settings, it will still run on auto settings because you have not told the camera that you want it to run on manual settings.

So lets move it around to MANUAL in the Mode Dial and see what I can change when I am in the manual mode. I go back into the Liveview here and I just make sure that I go round so that I am on the video settings here. Now, again it does not give me any more details here it just tells me the basics. Again it has the microphone in the bottom left hand corner, but if I press the I button then it gives me a lot more that I can choose from. It gives me again the movie frame and quality, but it allows me to change the white balance. It also gives me microphone, it allows me to change the ISO, it allows me to change the picture control, the wind noise reduction again, but they also allow me to change the auto focus area mode as well as the focus mode, so there are more things here that I can change when I am in manual mode. But lets have a look now and see how I can change the three more elements which are our shutter speed, aperture and ISO which is why I am in manual mode.

But lets have a look now and see how I can change the three more import elements which are our shutter speed, aperture and ISO which is why I am in manual mode. Now there are two elements here that I can change actually when I am shooting video. The one I can not do – the one on this set beforehand – is the Aperture and I need to come out of Liveview here and go back into normal manual mode, basically, in order to change the aperture. So if I come out of Liveview now and press the AUTO EXPOSURE button at the top and then use the main dial I can change the aperture to make it go up or down. In this instance I am down to f/4 and I can see here that I have got the ISO and the shutter speed at normal settings because essentially I mean stills setting. Here when I go into Liveview at the back then the aperture is set as we have just done it but I have the options now when I am either here before I shoot the video or during the video to change the shutter speed and the ISO. The way I change the ISO is by using this function button. Now if you looked at the setup menu video you will know that there is an option there called buttons and I can set this function button to ISO and I did that at the time because I think I said at the time that it helped video. This is why – because now I can just set the function button and on the back screen the ISO option goes yellow which shows it is live and then I can use the main dial to change the ISO and you can see when I do that because the exposure comes straight through to the back screen. I can see how that affects the exposure of my video.

Nikon D5300 DSLR Camera

Throughout this Nikon D5300 DSLR we have noticed that many of the features it has have been carried over from its predecessor. One example of this is the 39 point AF system. This is a great feature that keen photographers are happy to see is still present. The 9 cross type AF points alongside 3D focus tracking is great for those looking to take single shots of moving people, animals and objects without blurring.

The camera features a photographing rate of 5 frames per second and uses the 1016 pixel set up to give excellent exposure in many conditions combined with the well-known scene recognition system.

New to the D5300 us the build in receiver for Wi-Fi which allows you to send the images straight to a recipient device such as phone or tablet. The Wi-Fi also lets the user control the camera from their device by using their device which saves money on buying additional gear for remote shots.

The Nikon D5300 DSLR camera review has shown significant improvement to its predecessors sensor. The resolution has been kept the same at 24.4MP but the anti-alias filter has been removed. This allows a better clarity and sharpness level and covers a bigger ISO range of 100-12800!

The final improvement worth mentioning is the LCD screen. It has been expanded in size to reach 3.2 inches for better viewing and a higher resolution of 1037k-dots. It doesn’t have a touchscreen facility as with some newer models, however is still easy enough to use by those that have previous experience but want to upgrade.

Pros

  • The Wi-Fi being built in has been a godsend to users allowing them to control their camera remotely and send pictures straight to their devices.
  • The quality has not been compromised giving users durability that they can rely in in different settings.
  • A decent shooting range even when using continuously.

Cons

  • The 2.5mm mic socket is not for everyone, but there are adaptions that can be bought to use other equipment alongside it.
  • The kit lenses are not of the same quality of the more expensive kind, but are still more than enough for most photographers

This Nikon D5300 DSLR camera review has shown the camera to be an excellent upgrade for those looking to excel from entry level. With enough functions for improvement and learning to take place, without the confusion of some of the more expensive cameras filled with more functions that you would know what to do with. The new app and wi-fi function brings the camera up to date and allows the use of remote photography without the need to buy additional equipment.

Nikon D3400 White Balance

There are two ways of looking at the Nikon D3400 white balance. The most obvious one is when you are looking at the back of the camera as you press the i button and D3400 white balance is third along the top line and that gives you the option to select the white balance that you want. However it does not let you change the white balance within those settings. If you want to do that you need to go into the MENU OPTION and then go into SHOOTING MENU, then you go down to white balance and you will see that you have all the options that you would see when you look in the button, but, should you press your multi-selector to the right, it will give you the option of either deciding to have a different option within that main sub-option (so for fluorescence, for example, you have seven further options in fluorescent which are all slightly different) or if you do not have different options then you have an option which allows you to change that option within the camera. You can do that by using the multi-selector and you can make either more green or more magenta or blue or more red. Personally, I think this is probably far too detailed unless you are going for a very specific look, but the general way of changing, which is to go back and just look at the general options in white balance when you are in the shooting menu, should be sufficient for you to decide your best option. But if you want to go in and change cloudy for example and make it a little more red or a little more blue then you can do so but you can not make those changes to that option from the i button.

So let’s have a look at what the D3400 white balance options are when we come out of menu and we will have a look through them with the ibutton. The first one is AUTO. This tries to select the most obvious white balance itself. It has quite a good auto detection for white balance and in most cases you will be fine on AUTO with the Nikon D3400. It is pretty good for most circumstances. The next D3400 white balance option is INCANDESCENT or tungsten. That has quite a yellow tone to it because it is more like candle light or home and residential lighting which tends to be tungsten lighting and so it will try to take some of that warmth out – some of that orange and yellow and add some of the blue to make whatever is white in that picture more white and less yellow.

The next one is FLORESCENT. Florescent lighting is a little bluer and it is the sort of lighting that you get in offices – strip lighting often – which gives a very blue tone to things. As a consequence of that the camera will try to add a little yellow to the picture. Then we get on to DIRECT SUNLIGHT. Now direct sunlight is actually a lot bluer than you might imagine and so the D3400 white balance setting does try to add a little more yellow to that just to give it a more natural look. The one after that is FLASH. When you fire the flash, whether it is the built-in flash or an external flash, it is a very cold white shade. So as a consequence of that the Nikon D3400 tries to add some more yellow to give a more natural tone to the color, and especially, obviously for skin tones which is quite important. Then the next two which are CLOUDY and SHADE. As we move further up the scale the environment becomes more and more blue so the D3400 white balance settings will be trying harder to add a little yellow and a little orange just to warm that picture up and make it look less cold. If you are shooting in shade or in cloud then there is a natural inclination for the image to look slightly blue, slightly cold, so you want a little orange to warm that picture up.

A good experiment is to take the same picture, going through all the Nikon D3400 white balance settings. Then you will be able to see exactly how the white balance changes the ‘feel’ of a picture. D3400 white balance can be used very creatively once you have mastered it, as it is a very simple way of affecting the tone of the image. For example, adding yellow adds warmth to a picture and give the impression of sunlight which in turn can make the image feel like a summer shot. Conversely, adding blue can make the image seem quite cold. It is really useful to experiment with these D3400 white balance settings.

Nikon D5100 Camera

This Nikon D5100 review looks at the features of this model, the first feature that stood out was the LCD screen which has been bracket mounted so that it tilts to 360 degrees. The benefit being able to turn the screen to different angles allows those with more expertise to enjoy the 1080p high definition mode to its full potential.

The effects mode has seven options that are specifically for immediate results in-camera. They are night vision, miniature, high key, low key, silhouette, selective and sketch color modes.

This version seems to be aimed toward the bigger market where it can be used by photographers of all levels. Whether the user is looking for fun or a more serious approach they will not be disappointed.

The camera boasts a 16.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor and a 2 image processor giving users excellent image quality. The 420-pixel RGB sensor takes care of the metering with ease. This model also has an 11 point AF system and a Li-ion battery for long use in-between charges. The 1080p movie mode gives it 24/25/30fps letting the user adjust the frame rate accordingly.

Pros

  • The tilting adjustable LCD screen is most definitely a pro and with the same processing as the D7000 model makes it great value for money. It has an excellent speed and of course battery life, which is essential for any photographer. The filter affects and HDR are in camera and videos can be captured with control of aperture. The external microphone port allows additional equipment for audio quality in all environments.

Cons

  • You can’t autofocus when using a screw drive lens but you don’t have to worry about fiddling when you want to take good shots on the go. If you want flash control it isn’t built in but this is better for customization.

This Nikon D5100 review has shown this model to be an excellent camera for photographers whether they are just starting out or have been at it for a while. It has more than enough functions to appease a professional but not too many to be overwhelming to someone that is just getting started. The tilting screen gives photographers a new view and ability to add a different perspective to their photography, without having to lie or hang in awkward positions to achieve their goal.

The excellent battery life is great for those that don’t have the time to charge in-between shots or the facilities if they are taking shots outdoors without a power source. Great for taking pictures of the family, wildlife and even action videos on the go. Functions that people loved from the older models and even including many that are in the more recent.