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  1. #1

    • Faith Trust & Pixie Dust!
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    Question Proud Owner of a Brand New Camera

    So I just bought a Nikon d5000 and I love it so far! I have just been messing around with it here at home taking pictures of my kitties, but I'm ready for better pictures.
    For people who have a Nikon, what settings do you find you use the most? I'm planning on reading through the manual and I have a few digitat photography books, but I was wondering what words of wisdom photographers here have for someone who is just starting out on a DSLR camera. Are there any good photography websites/message boards I should check out? Any and all help would be great!! Thanks!!!
    Wow...I've been gone a long time...but I'm glad to be back!!

    Running in the Disneyland Half Marathon this year...first one ever!!! So excited!

  2. #2

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    Re: Proud Owner of a Brand New Camera

    I should also mention that it came with 2 lenses, an 18-55mm and a 55-200mm. I've only used the 18-55 lens and it's amazing!

    **Keep in mind I haven't used a dslr camera before, other than taking other people's picture with one.**
    Wow...I've been gone a long time...but I'm glad to be back!!

    Running in the Disneyland Half Marathon this year...first one ever!!! So excited!

  3. #3

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    Re: Proud Owner of a Brand New Camera

    Good luck and happy shooting! Maybe you should put up a couple of kitty pictures. But not like the ones we see in the Debate Lounge!

  4. #4

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    Re: Proud Owner of a Brand New Camera

    I might just do that. I'm off to do a few things this morning, but I just might post them when I get back.
    Wow...I've been gone a long time...but I'm glad to be back!!

    Running in the Disneyland Half Marathon this year...first one ever!!! So excited!

  5. #5

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    Re: Proud Owner of a Brand New Camera

    learn how to use it with all manual controls. even if you usually use it on automatic settings later for casual stuff, you can't beat having 100% control of each setting.
    "And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by" (John Masefield)



  6. #6

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    Re: Proud Owner of a Brand New Camera

    Thanks for the advice. I'm trying to use it both ways at first just so I can get used to it.
    Wow...I've been gone a long time...but I'm glad to be back!!

    Running in the Disneyland Half Marathon this year...first one ever!!! So excited!

  7. #7

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    Re: Proud Owner of a Brand New Camera

    I was wondering if it would be worth getting a separate case for the camera when I carry it around the park. I don't really want to carry around the huge bag it came with, but wondered what other people have done to keep their camera's safe from getting bumped or wet.
    Wow...I've been gone a long time...but I'm glad to be back!!

    Running in the Disneyland Half Marathon this year...first one ever!!! So excited!

  8. #8

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    Re: Proud Owner of a Brand New Camera

    since you wont be needing the extra lenses, you'd probably feel a lot less bulky if you carried around a more compact bag. i use a Lowepro Rezo 160 bag. just large enough to carry my camera with the 18-55mm attached, and enough space to fit my external flash and my small 50mm prime lens.

    as for it being bumped, it's pretty protective over the camera, but i wouldn't go around throwing the bag on the floor with the cam inside. the bag also comes with an all-weather protective "jacket," you might call it, which is stowed away under the front pocket, and can be pulled out to tightly cover the bag making it splash-proof. ideal for keeping your camera dry (in the bag) while on a wet ride.
    -plagued

  9. #9

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    Re: Proud Owner of a Brand New Camera

    ^^^ ^^^ ^^^

    I'm looking for my Nikon DSL - where is the best place to get such a bag?
    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

  10. #10

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    Re: Proud Owner of a Brand New Camera

    amazon.com, buy.com, bhphotovideo.com, adorama.com - all have the Lowepro Rezo 160 for about $35-$45..

    i actually lucked out on mine because i bought it from my local CompUSA that was closing at the time and got it for only $14.99
    -plagued

  11. #11

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    Re: Proud Owner of a Brand New Camera

    Nice, that sounds exactly like what I am looking for. Might have to check out those places.

    Another question I had was what setting does everyone find works best for dark attractions? (ie Pirates, Haunted Mansion...) I know if the ISO gets too high, the pictures look grainy, and too low doesn't work. I know it's trial and error with all cameras, but just wanted a base number to start with and work around. Thanks again!
    Wow...I've been gone a long time...but I'm glad to be back!!

    Running in the Disneyland Half Marathon this year...first one ever!!! So excited!

  12. #12

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    Re: Proud Owner of a Brand New Camera

    yes, for dark rides without a flash, a high ISO is your best (and pretty much only) bet.

    high ISO's are pretty much "use if you desperately have to" and in most dark ride cases, it is.

    things that will help (but not necessarily make it easy): a faster lens with a wider aperture (f1.4-f1.8). but they are PRICEY. you can also try setting your camera to shutter priority and keep the shutter speed as low as you can but at the same time high enough to make up for a not-so-steady hand (1/30 at the lowest, anything less will be blurry, but anything more than say 45-90 would be too dark). all the while keeping a relatively high ISO.. then post-process with some noise removal software.
    -plagued

  13. #13

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    Re: Proud Owner of a Brand New Camera

    Quote Originally Posted by sassy*tink View Post
    So I just bought a Nikon d5000 and I love it so far! I have just been messing around with it here at home taking pictures of my kitties, but I'm ready for better pictures.
    For people who have a Nikon, what settings do you find you use the most? I'm planning on reading through the manual and I have a few digitat photography books, but I was wondering what words of wisdom photographers here have for someone who is just starting out on a DSLR camera. Are there any good photography websites/message boards I should check out? Any and all help would be great!! Thanks!!!

    Sassy*Tink - Congratulations on your new purchase! It's good to see another Nikon user in a forum that has tended to be dominated by Canon. (Although lately, it seems that we are catching up. ) I have a Nikon D90, and the D5000, from what I've read, is very similar. My best advice, as you begin to get used to your camera, is to try and shoot everything in RAW format. You will need a larger SD card as shooting RAW will use up much more memory, but your ability to edit your photos will be greatly improved. As you are getting used to your camera, if you come across something in, say, Disneyland that you desperately wanted a shot of, but you forgot that you left your ISO up at 600 and now all of your shots are overblown, with RAW, you can most often adjust the levels down to where you would have wanted them, and no harm done. The two down sides to shooting in RAW would be the need for a larger card (which is really not a factor now that the cost has come down) and the fact that RAW files take up so much room on your hard drive. After shooting upwards of 40,000 shots, I have finally purchased a Drobo which keeps my shots backed up and off of my main hard drive. But hard drives are much less expensive than they were just a couple years ago, so that might not be an issue now either. By the way, I only started shooting in RAW after it was recommended by folks here in Micechat.


    That being said, when I am out shooting and I'm in a hurry, i.e. a parade going by or just walking around the park and see something that I need a quick shot of, I'll usually shoot in aperture mode, or in auto. If I am in a dark ride or taking shots at night, I will almost always adjust my settings manually. If I am in bright sunlight and have a couple of extra seconds before taking my shot, I will usually use manual adjustments there as well. I would echo what Plagued has stated above in that a sharper lens with a 1.4 ap can go a long way toward helping you get tricky shots in low light. Pirates and HM are notoriously tricky because you are moving, and constantly either bumping something or turning sharply, and if you try to go below 30 with your shutter speed, you'll end up with pretty, colorful blurs. People will tell you that depending on the camera, if you shoot above ISO 400, your image will be compromised, but with your D5000, you might get up to 3200 and get a pretty decent shot depending on how dark it is. But whenever you have a choice, generally, the lower the ISO, the better. I would take a couple of trips on POTC and shoot higher the first time, and then bring it down a bit and see what you come up with.

    Also, when shooting in low light, remember that your aperture will get smaller as you zoom in. You'll lose some light if you try to zoom in tight, so it might be a good idea to shoot wide open and then crop the shot later if needed.

    That's all I have for now, but I might think of more later. Good luck out there with your new Nikon! We'll be looking for a trip report from you in the future!
    Last edited by Mac Daddy; 08-15-2009 at 08:32 AM.

  14. #14

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    Re: Proud Owner of a Brand New Camera

    Just checked for some POTC shots because I was curious about ISO with the D90 and I came up with this one:




    I shot this at ISO 6400. You'll notice that the noise doesn't look too bad when it is reduced to 750 across, but if you click on the larger res size, that's where you can begin to see the noise.

    So....If you are planning to post these online around 640 or 750, I think you might be pleased with the results. But if you wanted to used that shot as a desktop, you'll really notice the noise if you go up above 2000 or so. This, by the way, was with my Nikon 50mm 1.4 lens, with a shutter speed of 1/100.

    On the other hand, this shot was taken at ISO 6400 with my wide angle at 10mm with a shutter speed of 1/3 at f4.0. Of course, it was during a time where the boat was going straight foward slowly, so I was able to try to set the camera a bit more:




    So...here's a case where I turned the shutter speed way down and still got an OK shot. If you look at the high res version, you'll see some noise, but acutally not bad compared to what you would get with, say, a Canon G9. On some of these point and shoots, at ISO 3200, all you would see is noise. With your D5000, I think you'll be able to get up near 3200 and actually have a pretty good shot. I wasn't too happy with the first shot above, because I think I set the ISO too high and could have slowed the shutter speed a bit more, but I wanted to shoot at with a shutter speed 100 to see if I could get a sharper image. So...experiment away, but don't be afraid of higher ISO on the D5000. I think the Haunted Mansion is the hardest as it is a bit darker in there and you are constantly being jostled around. But you should definitely be able to get some decent shots of Pirates with your new lenses.

    Have fun.

  15. #15

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    Re: Proud Owner of a Brand New Camera

    regarding high ISO, noise, and post-processing (pp).. i've taken some of Mac Daddy's images and used them as examples for pp noise removal.

    some old school photographers might call this 'cheating,' but i simply call it 'utilizing technology' the wonders of shooting digital.

    before -> after


    before -> after


    like Mac Daddy said, don't be TOO afraid to use a high ISO, especially with your equipment, as it should normally be fine for normal web use and maybe even a 4x6 print (i wouldn't go on with a blow-up or a poster print though). and some photos, like the ones above can be pp'd to remove noise. the biggest con with noise removal is that images can start to lose sharpness.

    the software i'm using is a Photoshop plug-in called Noise Ninja by PictureCode -- retails for about $50 at Noise Ninja: The gold standard for image noise reduction
    Last edited by plagued; 08-15-2009 at 02:59 PM. Reason: changed a "would" to "wouldn't", drastically changed what i was trying to say haha.
    -plagued

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