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SCossio Mar 20, 2010 6:05 PM

How to get optimum quality from a Nikon D5000
 
Hello everyone, I am a newbie to this forum and I hope I can get some good tips. Im going to Hawaii next friday with my wife and will be taking some pictures. I will be mostly be taking 3 types of pictures

1)Pictures of my Wife closeups. I guess you can call it a portrait
2) Me & wife with exotic scenery in the background, waterfalls, mountains, nature
3) just landscapes

My question is.....How do i get optimum quality out of my pictures? Should i shoot in JPEG or NEF only or Both JPEG + NEF?
The reason i ask is because this is one of those once in a life time trips and I want to make sure to capture as much detail as possible.
I have noticed that when taking pictures of my daughter or wife back at home, when i blow up the picture to 100% size its always a tad bit blurry or grainy. How do I get the crystal clear non blurry photos that professionals get from portraits?

Equipment being used is Nikon D5000 with stock lens 18-75 i believeand I also got the Nikor 75 - 200 lens. Can any one be kind to share some insight. Maybe settings and or tips on whats worked out the best. user experiences. All I want are clear NON FUZZY pictures. probably to blow up on like 8x10

TCav Mar 20, 2010 6:26 PM

For "once-in-a-lifetime" shots, shoot RAW (NEF), but that will require a lot of storage space, so you you should probably make sure you have extra cards. And it probably won't hurt to have an extra battery too.

SCossio Mar 20, 2010 6:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TCav (Post 1067950)
For "once-in-a-lifetime" shots, shoot RAW (NEF), but that will require a lot of storage space, so you you should probably make sure you have extra cards. And it probably won't hurt to have an extra battery too.

D5000 allows me to shoot with both formaths NEF+JPEG. should I choose this one or will quality be greater if i shoot only in NEF?

TCav Mar 20, 2010 8:08 PM

NEF files won't get any better or worse if you shoot JPEG too, The JPEG files will take up more storage space, but they will also let you get snapshots more easier, even for local shops or even your hotel. But once you get back, the NEF files will give you everything that the JPEG files would give you, plus better image quality and more flexibility in post processing if you want it.

tizeye Mar 21, 2010 1:30 PM

There is no need to take both NEF + Jpg which is lesser quality jpg anyway. It woulld really consume your sd card space that you will need for NEF. I don't know why Nikon gives the NEF + jpg option when the also give away ViewNX software for free. In ViewNX, top menu item to the right is "Convert" where you can batch convert all selected NEF files to jpg and other formats at a choice of quality levels. Additionally, if you know you are going to be emailing them, you can batch downsize them if you elect in the conversion process.

In terms of NON-FUZZY pictures when enlarged to 100%, that suggest camera shake. Ideally, carry and use a tripod or monopod, but at a minimum, make sure you are fully supporting the camera, ankored agaist your body and avoid using live view. Try this experiment. Take the identical pictures with tripod, handheld, and live view. Now view each of them at 100%.

Finally, to suppliment the 3 types of pictures you plan to take, get to know the movie mode. You can stitch each segment together into a single movie. Some things you can capture better than a still. A scene like oil still rising to the surface then panning to the fuller view of the USS Arizona, and perhaps ending with the genuine emotions of sorrow expressed by the Japanese tourist as they throw a lea in the water. Obviously take stills as well.

Good luck.

TCav Mar 21, 2010 1:55 PM

The primary advantage of RAW (NEF) is the ability that you have to recover images when the camera's settigns are inappropriate. For instance, if the white balance or exposure settings aren't optimal, you have greater flexibility to correct the final image, and with greater precision. In addition, if you intend to make large prints, a RAW file contains a more precise image than a JPEG, and so can be enlearged more with less loss in quality.

But that comes at the cost of storage space, and in the case of continuous shooting, longer and more rapid sequences.

So, for "once-in-a-lifetime" photos, the extra storage space is usually worth the extra latititude you get with RAW files.

mtclimber Mar 21, 2010 7:07 PM

In my opinion, the OP's image quality can also be improved with a different lens as well as a tripod. The Nikon 18-70mm lens does have some compromises. Even the inexpensive Nikon 35mm F 1.8 would give you better image quality.

If you want photos of yourself and your wife that tripod could be quite useful when used with the self timer. But then perhaps you are making this to Hawaii with friends.

Sarah Joyce

tizeye Mar 21, 2010 8:43 PM

I'm thinking the lens were a typo...
" Nikon D5000 with stock lens 18-75 i believeand I also got the Nikor 75 - 200 lens."
Nikon doesn't make a 18-75 nor a 75-200.
The do make a 18-55 which is the kit lens, as well as an 18-70. The also make the related kit lens, 55-200 for around $250. I doubt that he has the fast glass 70-200 f2.8 that sells for around $2000.

pbjunkiee Mar 21, 2010 9:47 PM

low iso/asa
high f-stop for pictures of your wife infront of scenery, and a medium low f-stop for scenery my itself.

then set the shutter for desired exsposure.

oh and a tripod :)

Mark1616 Mar 22, 2010 5:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SCossio (Post 1067939)
Hello everyone, I am a newbie to this forum and I hope I can get some good tips. Im going to Hawaii next friday with my wife and will be taking some pictures. I will be mostly be taking 3 types of pictures

1)Pictures of my Wife closeups. I guess you can call it a portrait
2) Me & wife with exotic scenery in the background, waterfalls, mountains, nature
3) just landscapes

My question is.....How do i get optimum quality out of my pictures? Should i shoot in JPEG or NEF only or Both JPEG + NEF?
The reason i ask is because this is one of those once in a life time trips and I want to make sure to capture as much detail as possible.
I have noticed that when taking pictures of my daughter or wife back at home, when i blow up the picture to 100% size its always a tad bit blurry or grainy. How do I get the crystal clear non blurry photos that professionals get from portraits?

Equipment being used is Nikon D5000 with stock lens 18-75 i believeand I also got the Nikor 75 - 200 lens. Can any one be kind to share some insight. Maybe settings and or tips on whats worked out the best. user experiences. All I want are clear NON FUZZY pictures. probably to blow up on like 8x10

This is not a simple situation as it will depend on the light etc that you are working with.

The grain you are seeing is noise from the sensor when you use it at higher ISO settings. This is always a trade off. Higher ISOs will give more light sensitivity which allows for a higher shutter speed or smaller aperture (bigger f number) which is often desirable, but there is a loss of quality in doing so. There is noise removal software that will help to reduce this, but if you do too much it will make the photo soft so find a good balance. Personally on the D5000 I would be happy using ISO1600 for prints of 10 x 8 if edited properly. We nearly all look at 100% photos, but actually this is going too deep compared to actually printing the photo.

Now for the blur, without knowing where you shot it could be focus, a low shutter speed or the lens being a little soft. It would be great to see a couple of samples to help advise more.

OK, now the difficult part, trying to give you the photo skills needed in only a few days.

Shutter speed is your friend in trying to get a sharp photo. I'm going to assume you have the 18-55 VR lens which is the common kit one, but please double check, like tizeye says, the lens you mention isn't something made by Nikon. If it is this lens then you have VR which will help with camera shake, but I'm still going to suggest conservative settings to help out. If it is VR then whatever focal length the lens is at then to be safe make sure the shutter speed is directly related to that or faster, so when at 20mm use at least 1/20s, if at 50mm then at least 1/50s. This will only help with camera shake and not moving subjects, so assume we are talking stationary scenes/people. Now to get below these shutter speeds you are going to be in pretty low light so that is good. With the longer lens, again if it is VR then stick to the same rule, if not then double this rule...... 150mm doubled = 1/300s.

You can put the ISO in auto mode, then the camera is generally going to give you these shorts of shutter speeds anyway in most cases, the downside is you might get a little more noise than if you set everything yourself, the plus side is you don't have to think about changing everything.

As you are limited on learning time, I would suggest using the scene modes. Generally I'm not a fan of these as it is better to take as much control away from the camera as possible, however in your case where time is an issue they are probably going to be your best bet.

I would focus on mainly using the shorter of the two lenses, then you don't have so much to learn. Each lens requires different techniques and you have enough reach with that lens to do the majority of holiday shots. If you see something further away, then go for the longer lens, but my theory is keep it simple.

I would suggest spending a few hours playing with the different scene modes ASAP and posting some of the results so you can ask questions and then try out the solutions again before it is too late.

Honestly with a few pointers you should be able to do fine. Getting good holiday snaps isn't too hard with a bit of practise and working withing the limitations of experience and kit.

One thing I really wouldn't do is add another lens to your setup. That will add confusion and also there are specific things to be aware of when shooting with a fast prime lens such as the 35mm f1.8 which would not be helpful to you at the moment.


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