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Old Oct 3, 2007, 11:06 AM   #1
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Sorry I have too many Questions maybe :?! After buying a Pentax K100D I found it not very good to use and as a newbie to DSLR cameras hard to get any good results heavy noisy bad battery experiances not for me just felt wrong, I sold it and bought a recon as new 6 months warranty NikonD40 to try just once more feels nice and prefer its form factor and why I dont know but its nice to handle butstill complicated me a very average joe,want to take all my future shots with a DSLR ifI can master the beast, I do need advice on setting it up if there is a good way people have tried and found ,not on auto, but P or Apeture , Seems so many settings and below F11 some shots are not clear no depth of field is it , any help would be most gratefully recieved , Also one other thing is it ok to put the camera with kit lens atached facing down in my crumpler bens pizza M bag that way it fits fine and the lcd is facing up so not to get scratched , Got to find some really good in the Uk lcd protectors for the lcd but some i tried before are not very clear any advice again many thanks a million times, Rodo uk .( Bad speller and grammersorry.)
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Old Oct 3, 2007, 12:03 PM   #2
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Rodo,

Glad the new camera is working out for you. Unfortunately there is no master setting to use. P mode works essentially thee same as full auto - the only real difference is it allows you to provide exposure compensation. Absent doing that, you'll get the same results in P as you would full auto.

When you start getting into TV, AV and Manual exposures - again there is no one correct setting. In order to use those modes effectively you need to gain an understanding of some basic photographic principles:

Depth of field - how much of the image in front of and behind the focal plane is in focus. This is affected by the focal length of the lens being used, the distance from you to your subject and the aperture of the lens (how much light is beiing let in). All those components work together to determine how much of the image is in focus. As a photographer you need to decide for a given photo how much of the image you WANT to be in focus. This is why AV mode was created. It allows you the photographer to tell the camera what aperture to use. You as the photographer also choose the focal length and distance to subject. So therefore you are deciding what depth of field to use. The camera then selects a shutter speed to provide a correct exposure.

Camera shake / motion blur: These are controlled by shutter speed. In a given image, do you desire a specific shutter speed to show motion? Example- a stream. Do you want the water frozen or do you want to show it flowing? You might use TV mode to enforce one of those two methods. Again, no right answer to the question. Also you have to find out what shutter speeds YOU can hand-hold at and still not have camera shake. The principle states 1 over focal length (200mm lens requires at least 1/200 shutter speed). That's a very loose principle. For example a 200mm 2.8 lens weighs a lot more than a 200mm 5.6 lens. And different people have different abilities to hand-hold.

The best advice is to get a book or take a class that teach the basics of photography - exposure, composition etc. They haven't changed from film to digital so even old books apply. With that in hand you can experiment with ISO, aperture, shutter speed under the different environments to gain a personal preference for what settings work in what conditions. One of the biggest things you can only learn from experience is exposure compensation - whether you use AV, TV or P sometimes the camera will meter incorrectly. It isn't as smart as your brain. So, thru experience you understand when that is going to occur and you can compensate the exposure to actually get the shot.


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Old Oct 3, 2007, 2:09 PM   #3
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How does the D40 compare with the K100D? I have been scratching my head as to which of these two DSLR's to buy.

Try here for D40 info:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d40...uide/index.htm
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Old Oct 3, 2007, 2:42 PM   #4
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JohnG wrote:
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Rodo,

Glad the new camera is working out for you. Unfortunately there is no master setting to use. P mode works essentially thee same as full auto - the only real difference is it allows you to provide exposure compensation. Absent doing that, you'll get the same results in P as you would full auto.

When you start getting into TV, AV and Manual exposures - again there is no one correct setting. In order to use those modes effectively you need to gain an understanding of some basic photographic principles:

Depth of field - how much of the image in front of and behind the focal plane is in focus. This is affected by the focal length of the lens being used, the distance from you to your subject and the aperture of the lens (how much light is beiing let in). All those components work together to determine how much of the image is in focus. As a photographer you need to decide for a given photo how much of the image you WANT to be in focus. This is why AV mode was created. It allows you the photographer to tell the camera what aperture to use. You as the photographer also choose the focal length and distance to subject. So therefore you are deciding what depth of field to use. The camera then selects a shutter speed to provide a correct exposure.

Camera shake / motion blur: These are controlled by shutter speed. In a given image, do you desire a specific shutter speed to show motion? Example- a stream. Do you want the water frozen or do you want to show it flowing? You might use TV mode to enforce one of those two methods. Again, no right answer to the question. Also you have to find out what shutter speeds YOU can hand-hold at and still not have camera shake. The principle states 1 over focal length (200mm lens requires at least 1/200 shutter speed). That's a very loose principle. For example a 200mm 2.8 lens weighs a lot more than a 200mm 5.6 lens. And different people have different abilities to hand-hold.

The best advice is to get a book or take a class that teach the basics of photography - exposure, composition etc. They haven't changed from film to digital so even old books apply. With that in hand you can experiment with ISO, aperture, shutter speed under the different environments to gain a personal preference for what settings work in what conditions. One of the biggest things you can only learn from experience is exposure compensation - whether you use AV, TV or P sometimes the camera will meter incorrectly. It isn't as smart as your brain. So, thru experience you understand when that is going to occur and you can compensate the exposure to actually get the shot.

Thanks for greatreply and nice advice. just wondered if there was a set of favorite settings to dial in say focus mode / single point or not . exposure comp or not lowest shutter speed,flash set on autosharpness saturation contrast vivid or not ect ect , Also how about pointing the camera nose down ie lens is at the bottom is that ok ? again thanks for what you say I aim to get a book on amazon I saw about DSLR photographyRodo uk.
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Old Oct 3, 2007, 3:06 PM   #5
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Von Ryan wrote:
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How does the D40 compare with the K100D? I have been scratching my head as to which of these two DSLR's to buy.

Try here for D40 info:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d40...uide/index.htm


I could not get on with the K100D but had hoped too, I am not an expert as Im answering questions on here ref the D40 myself, The K100D hasIS in the bodybuilt in thats what drew me to it , apart from that it has negative issues that I did not like and to me it feels old generation the D40 new generation much better to use and own. First it is heavier than D40 has 4 xAA bateries that seem to run down too much allways charging a second set . The kit lens is not so good imo as the D40 kit lens and the IQ of the D40 is superb imo better than the K100D after using just auto and printing some 50 photos 8x10 size, Saying that I am learning my way around the D40. Pentax K100D has very loud mirror really ,has toosmall buffer, and is bigger than D40 not much but seems next size up, I want small also for me D40 is nicer to handle imo. I will add a 55-200 vr lens about £165 in uk and I am done , Flash on the D40 is imo more powerfull than K100D and I think good enough not to have to buy a seperate unit also the D40 focuses faster and is a joy to use imo, You should go handle them both , If I had took more time in store I would have known the Nikon D40 was a nicer( for me )camera a little bit better all round and nicer to use more polished might describe it,but thats just me and now I will have to learn it,good luck with your choice but handle the D40 before you buy the K100D is best advice.
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Old Oct 3, 2007, 4:06 PM   #6
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Thanks for the reply; I will have to find somewhere to compare both cameras side by side.


Hope you found the link useful.

Cheers and good luck with the D40
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Old Oct 3, 2007, 4:07 PM   #7
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Keeping the camera pointed down isn't an issue but if that's a permanent thing (i.e. it will always be in the bag like that and the bag will be in that position) you want to be sure the lens is resting on something - in other words you don't want the lens mount supporting the weight of the camera 100% of the time. Most bags when you're not wearing them lay on their side so the lens would be resting on the bottom or side of the bag so it's not an issue. But for walking around for sevarl hours it isn't an issue with most lenses - especially kit lenses (it's only an issue with larger / heavier lenses - i.e. you wouldn't want to have a 300mm 2.8 lens hanging from the camera).

As to the other quetion the answer is a big fat "it depends".

Take focus points - single vs. all. The answer depends on how precise you need to be. Let's say you're taking a landscape shot at infinity focus - it really doesn't matter if the lens focuses on a tree 300 yars away or the tree 10 feet next to it (at 302 yards away) - so all focus points works fine. But let's say you're taking a shot of an individual in a group and you don't have enough depth of field to get the whole group in focus. Then you will very likely select a single focus point and force the camera to use it.

Exposure compensation - again it depends. If you have a white object or a dark object in the frame it will skew the camera's metering. How much it skews it depends on what metering mode you're using and where in the frame that object is and how large it is. For example, in the Canon system (I'm a canon user) the metering is geared toward protecting highlights. So I know if I'm taking a photo of a person in a white shirt (and if I happen to be using a metering mode that will include that white shirt in the metering) I will likely have to use 1/3 or 2/3 exposure compensation. I also know that if a person is wearing a hat in bright sunlight (so their face is in shadow) - I either need to use fill flash or use exposure compensation (how much depends on how deep the shadows are). But, in so doing, I may blow the highlights on their clothes (assume they're wearing a white shirt). Some people may not want to blow those highlights - they may prefer a face in shadow (or if you really want the best shot - you expose to protect the shirt and use fill flash to remove shadows on the face - but some people hate flash).

Slowest shutter speed: For what? To prevent camera shake? To get a good motion blur on a cycle wheel or a prop plane? To prevent motion blur in a 2 year old playing or in a basketball player? It depends. As an example - I'm a sports shooter - different sports require different shutter speeds. Want to shoot a prop plane? 1/60 - 1/125 is the range. Want to stop trunk motion of a human - 1/320 will do it but there will be arm/leg blur. Want to stop most basketball action - 1/500 will work. Want to stop bat speed of a HS age baseball player - 1/2000. Want to stop arm motion of a major league pitcher - 1/4000 . Go a different route - take the stream shot. 1/1000 will freeze the water. Let's say you want to show motion - 1/15 will look different than 1/60 than 1/125. Which is right? No single answer to that question.

I can hand-hold my 70-200 2.8 lens at 1/60. Other people might do it in 1/30 - still others might be 1/320 (the general rule of thumb say 1/200). You'll have to find out for yourself what speeds you can hand hold at.

So there are all sorts of nuances - it really depends. There really isn't a cheat sheet.

What I can say is this - once you start playing around - post your shots where you're running into issues. People here can then help you understand what you can do to correct the issues you're encountering. That's where the forums are a huge bonus - and augment the books. But I encourage you to post in non-gear specific forums. If you take a wildlife shot you want to improve upon - post it in the wildlife section and ask for advice. 99% of these types of things are going to have resolutions that aren't gear specific - what you really want is advice from people who shoot that type of thing. So if you take a group shot and there is something about it you don't like - guaranteed the issues and potential resolutions don't require another Nikon user to solve. So a pentax user that does a lot of group photography will likely be able to provide very valuable advice as opposed to a Nikon user who never takes group shots. So, don't fall into the trap of just seeking out help from Nikon folks (and there are some very knowledgable nikon folks don't get me wrong) - but when you want advice on how to shoot a hawk - talk to a wildlife shooter, when you want advice on how to shoot a wedding - talk to a wedding shooter, etc. The system they use is really only relevent when the discussion turns to what gear to use.
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Old Oct 4, 2007, 12:49 AM   #8
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Von Ryan wrote:
Quote:
Thanks for the reply; I will have to find somewhere to compare both cameras side by side.


Hope you found the link useful.

Cheers and good luck with the D40


Yes do that you might know in a moment its what feels right ive been told with DSLR cameras ,, I bought a ebay K100Dseconhand mint £229 to try it really and a nikon refurb D40 £249 both with kit lens, they come up a lot on e bay uk both cameras, The idea is /was I could resale them for aboutas much as I paid for them but worth alittle expence maybe to try them both I lost about £15 total e bayfees ect but well worth finding out what was the best for me .. As you kinow I sold the K100D no way did I want to own and use it aftera head to head with the D40 but thats just my take others will differ for sure ,I thought I would try them out and it worked , After say a week Nikon D40 was the one do doubt but I think I knew that the second I picked it up good news was it takes crisper shots and isa silky smoothto operate camera :love:, Rodo uk.
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Old Oct 4, 2007, 12:55 AM   #9
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JohnG wrote:
Quote:
Keeping the camera pointed down isn't an issue but if that's a permanent thing (i.e. it will always be in the bag like that and the bag will be in that position) you want to be sure the lens is resting on something - in other words you don't want the lens mount supporting the weight of the camera 100% of the time. Most bags when you're not wearing them lay on their side so the lens would be resting on the bottom or side of the bag so it's not an issue. But for walking around for sevarl hours it isn't an issue with most lenses - especially kit lenses (it's only an issue with larger / heavier lenses - i.e. you wouldn't want to have a 300mm 2.8 lens hanging from the camera).

As to the other quetion the answer is a big fat "it depends".

Take focus points - single vs. all. The answer depends on how precise you need to be. Let's say you're taking a landscape shot at infinity focus - it really doesn't matter if the lens focuses on a tree 300 yars away or the tree 10 feet next to it (at 302 yards away) - so all focus points works fine. But let's say you're taking a shot of an individual in a group and you don't have enough depth of field to get the whole group in focus. Then you will very likely select a single focus point and force the camera to use it.

Exposure compensation - again it depends. If you have a white object or a dark object in the frame it will skew the camera's metering. How much it skews it depends on what metering mode you're using and where in the frame that object is and how large it is. For example, in the Canon system (I'm a canon user) the metering is geared toward protecting highlights. So I know if I'm taking a photo of a person in a white shirt (and if I happen to be using a metering mode that will include that white shirt in the metering) I will likely have to use 1/3 or 2/3 exposure compensation. I also know that if a person is wearing a hat in bright sunlight (so their face is in shadow) - I either need to use fill flash or use exposure compensation (how much depends on how deep the shadows are). But, in so doing, I may blow the highlights on their clothes (assume they're wearing a white shirt). Some people may not want to blow those highlights - they may prefer a face in shadow (or if you really want the best shot - you expose to protect the shirt and use fill flash to remove shadows on the face - but some people hate flash).

Slowest shutter speed: For what? To prevent camera shake? To get a good motion blur on a cycle wheel or a prop plane? To prevent motion blur in a 2 year old playing or in a basketball player? It depends. As an example - I'm a sports shooter - different sports require different shutter speeds. Want to shoot a prop plane? 1/60 - 1/125 is the range. Want to stop trunk motion of a human - 1/320 will do it but there will be arm/leg blur. Want to stop most basketball action - 1/500 will work. Want to stop bat speed of a HS age baseball player - 1/2000. Want to stop arm motion of a major league pitcher - 1/4000 . Go a different route - take the stream shot. 1/1000 will freeze the water. Let's say you want to show motion - 1/15 will look different than 1/60 than 1/125. Which is right? No single answer to that question.

I can hand-hold my 70-200 2.8 lens at 1/60. Other people might do it in 1/30 - still others might be 1/320 (the general rule of thumb say 1/200). You'll have to find out for yourself what speeds you can hand hold at.

So there are all sorts of nuances - it really depends. There really isn't a cheat sheet.

What I can say is this - once you start playing around - post your shots where you're running into issues. People here can then help you understand what you can do to correct the issues you're encountering. That's where the forums are a huge bonus - and augment the books. But I encourage you to post in non-gear specific forums. If you take a wildlife shot you want to improve upon - post it in the wildlife section and ask for advice. 99% of these types of things are going to have resolutions that aren't gear specific - what you really want is advice from people who shoot that type of thing. So if you take a group shot and there is something about it you don't like - guaranteed the issues and potential resolutions don't require another Nikon user to solve. So a pentax user that does a lot of group photography will likely be able to provide very valuable advice as opposed to a Nikon user who never takes group shots. So, don't fall into the trap of just seeking out help from Nikon folks (and there are some very knowledgable nikon folks don't get me wrong) - but when you want advice on how to shoot a hawk - talk to a wildlife shooter, when you want advice on how to shoot a wedding - talk to a wedding shooter, etc. The system they use is really only relevent when the discussion turns to what gear to use.
Quote:
THANKS WODERFULL REPLY AND INFO I WILL GET A FEW BOOK AND ASK ANY QUESTIONS AS YOU MENTION TO THE EXPERTS ON WHATEVER FORUM, YOU HAVE BEEN MOST HELPFULL MANY MANY THANKS. Rodo uk.
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Old Oct 4, 2007, 3:23 AM   #10
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Von Ryan wrote:
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How does the D40 compare with the K100D? I have been scratching my head as to which of these two DSLR's to buy.

Try here for D40 info:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d40...uide/index.htm
I have both cameras. The K100D and D40. They are both good cameras. The D40 by far has the best jpeg processing between the two. I just basically use it for on the go point and shoot style type shooting and also use it for taking shots for a friend of mine that is in real estate. She loves the shots that come out of the D40 and I don't mind going to wherever she needs me to do this for her.

As far as flash goes the D40 has the SB400 which costs about $ 120 US. The Pentax uses the Promaster 7500DX which I have and does a very good job but not as good as the SB400. The Promaster costs about $250 US. The K100D sits as of late and has some issues battery wise as well. Outright the battery life for the D40 is absolutely one of the best out there.

If you want to be more creative in your shots with focus points and spending a bit more time with post processing then the Pentax is for you.
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