New camera - Nikon D3100 DSLR



Surprise, surprise fellow stitchers...there's STILL been very little stitching on my part. There has been a lot of box unpacking, furniture re-arranging, cleaning, painting, varnishing, etc going on - which I'll be sharing in good time of course. However, I do have an exciting stitching announcement to make this Monday, so do tune in for that...

Today, I'm mainly hoping to pick your brains! Back in August, when I visited the parents in Portugal, my dad generously gifted me his DSLR camera. It's a Nikon D3100 and I haven't a clue what I'm doing with it! I basically just need to find some time to read the manual (not my strong point) and experiment - but as with anything new, I tend to procrastinate in learning how to do/use it.

I did 'practice' my 'point and shoot' skills for my Anna dress and Laurie Striped Tee and I'm pretty happy with the results, considering I didn't experiment with any of the fancy settings. What I couldn't figure out was how to get it to focus on timer, so all shots of me are still being taken with my old non-DSLR camera at the moment. Which, in fairness, has served me well so I'm not knocking it!







I must say that I love the Nikon's ability to capture light and depth of field...oh, and the grimy spots on my mirror! Anyway, it's clear that I need an intensive date with my manual asap, but I was wondering if you have any handy DSLR tips or know of any good books or tutorials. Your advice, as always, is much appreciated!


33 comments:

  1. I have this camera and I love it! I also promised myself that I would learn the intricacies, but just haven't got there. My experience is that when you are behind the camera the shots are awesome. The Auto mode works fabulously, as do the others available. But, and this is a big but, I have the same problem with focus when using my remote shutter release. You can check out the shots on my blog. They nearly always end up focussing on something I don't care about, like a tree, instead of my wonderful self :( I am also not sure how to fix it. Oh and try the Guide mode, it will help you get some of the typical "effects" you might like without going completely manual. Good luck and if you figure out the auto-timer/focus issue, do share! I'll be watching these comments with interest.

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    1. Thank you Jillian, I look forward to checking out your photos and I hope you find some of the comments below helpful too!

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  2. Does your camera have a face detection modus? That might work.

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    1. Thanks Marianne, I'll have a look!

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  3. Hi Marie, I only have an el-cheapo point 'n' shoot myself, but for as/when I have funding for a posh camera I created this Pinterest board: Photography Tips, and these 2-pins might be of particular help to you Photography 101, and Stanford University's entire photography course. Online. Free. :)

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    1. Thanks so much Claire...very helpful as always!

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  4. lucky you!! I've got the d3200 and I love it, it just captures the light so much better! I think you have to half press to focus on a point before a timer shot, but I got a remote so I havent used the timer function. although youre probably supposed to do the same for the remote, I forgot last time and they all worked out ok. I got a nice manfrotto tripod too, which is perfect. I'm not to clever with anything beyond auto though :/

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    1. I have a good tripod, but I definitely want a remote...so much easier and less time-consuming I imagine!

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  5. Oh, and hop over to Lucky Lucille. Today's post might give you your answers!

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  6. That is a mighty fine camera! I got a Nikon D300 a couple of years ago and really struggled for a while. Someone gave me a book by David Busch which was pretty good although there was a lot of technical info .... But I found it a really useful starting point. I wouldn't be without the awesomeness of my Nikon now, as you say, they capture light so beautifully. Have fun playing with your new toy! Really looking forward to seeing more of your photography adventures.

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  7. Swit Swooo!!

    I'm a big fan of this guy:
    http://digital-photography-school.com/

    He also has a blog called Pro Blogger which I devour daily for inspiration and education on all things bloggy.

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    1. How brilliant, thanks so much for sharing Amy!

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  8. My husband switched to DSLR a few years ago, and was recommended Scott Kelby's "The Digital Photography Book". He loves it. It is written in a humorous fashion, so not dry like a text book, and also broken down into easy, page-long explanations such as "what to shoot with a wide angle lens" and " getting great light indoors" etc, so it's easy to absorb and easy to apply to real life scenarios. It's probably not the end-all, be-all of photography instructional literature, but a great place to start. Good luck with your new camera! I totally agree that fancy new equipment can be a bit intimidating!

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    1. This sounds like a super book, thanks for recommending!

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  9. Im shocking at taking pictures.. I have a fancy pants camera, but can't really be bothered using it so just en up using my phone:) but after reading Lucky Lucille I think I should at least try.. a little lol

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    1. Using a mobile phone can work wonders sometimes, so I wouldn't worry about that ;o)

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  10. I've just come across this blog post: http://marmitelover.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/19-tips-to-become-better-food.html She's a food photographer but explains things like stops and depth of field in plain English. She's also got a good section on how different types of indoor lighting can affect colours.

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  11. I have the D3000 and I also love it. When you use the timer function the camera doesn't focus at the time of the shoot, so you have to pre-focus and then set it to manual. What I do is placing myself at the point where I'm going to be and focus at the tripod. Then set it to manual, return the camera to the tripod and stand at the previous place. It's a bit annoying but it works.

    If you want your camera to focus you need a remote. I bought mine at Amazon:

    http://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Wireless-Control-Digital-Cameras/dp/B003L1ZYZ6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382874305&sr=8-1&keywords=nikon+remote

    It's cheaper than the one of Nikon and it works perfectly. It's a simple device, small, light with just 1 button, but it does exactly what it's meant for.

    Good luck in this DLSR adventure!

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    1. Thanks so much Elena, I want a remote badly so will check this out asap!

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  12. Ooh good luck with the camera. I'm afraid I've not got much advice on this front but I'm sure you'll be snappy away in no time. Also v late to the party but can I just say your hair completely blood rocks! That fringe is smoking hot. My first lady of fabulous Bettie Page would definitely give you the nod of approval xxx

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    1. Aaaaw, thanks so much lady! You made my day as Ms Page is exactly the look I was going forxx

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  13. Love the detail shots, it already looks like you're getting the hang of it! :)

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    1. Thanks Reana, I'm a huge fan of your photography skills!

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  14. I too own this camera D3100, and my collection you can see here
    http://satishkumar25.blogspot.in/

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  15. As Elena said, manual focus is your friend. There should be a little switch on the side of your lens to go from auto to manual. That just stops the camera's efforts to focus doing anything to the lens - so make sure you remember to flick it back when you're done! :)
    Focus is all about distance so if you're having trouble getting it to work it could help to set up the camera and then put something (e.g. a chair, a mannequin) at about where you're going to be standing to focus on.
    I don't have a digital SLR myself but I do have a film one and have learnt lots from my friends in Photosoc.

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    1. Oooh thank you, this is so helpful!

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  16. Hi Marie,

    Love that both dress printed. Can't wait you finish sew it - yes,pls show to us all once you complete it. Awesome right Nikon D3100 dslr! I've tried it,which belongs to a friend of mine :). I'm a newbie and its really easy to use as this is one of the best entry level dslr camera.Do visit my page review with some photos taken with this camera Nikon D3100

    thanx ;)

    reg,
    subuh81

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  17. Thanks for sharing this post.This is nice Best dslr camera
    having good picture quality.According to me it is a good product having efficient output.

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  18. Thanks for exploring detailed shoot. This is one of the new camera by Panasonic. I am using one of the good quality DSLR camera. This is also one of the best camera with most advance features.

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