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Old Jan 14, 2005, 7:27 PM   #1
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Hello, I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Deborah. I live in Bay Shore, NY. I have six kids and I'm a stay at home mom.

After two returns and lots of researching I became the proud and nervous owner of a D70, with the kit lens and Nikon 70-300mm lens ( I know I'm saying this all wrong)

Okay, so now I have this nice new camera which I am afraid to use. It sits in its way major cool Nikon bag a safe distance away from me. In an act of what is obviously avoidance and some passive aggression I spend copious amounts of time reading about my new camera online. I have also managed to collect a decent library of books about photography in the last two weeks. If both of your hands are holding a book chances are you will not be able to hold your camera too. I am now the proud owner of: "Digital Photography Hacks", "The Digital Photography Pocket Guide", "Understanding Exposure", and speeding through the mail to me "The Thom Hogan D-70 Ebook". I also have ventured into multi-media learning with my purchase of "The Blue Crane Video DVD" about the Nikon D-70. My brand new PSE sits unopened dangerously close to that way major cool Nikon bag. The more I read the more frightened I become of using this camera.

Maybe I should take some pictures... Maybe I should take a class... Maybe I should return this big scary camera and learn to sketch... Maybe we've all just had this nasty flu bug a little bit to long...

Thank you for listening to me whine.

I'm hoping that someone here might be able to advise me on the best staring point for a new camera owner. I feel like I'm suffering from info overload ( my own fault) I've been reading the manual with the Digital Photography Pocket Guide so I can get a description of photographic term and then consult the manual to see how and where it applies to the D70.

I enjoy reading this forum very much. There is a wealth of information here and the pictures posted amaze me.

Thanks,

Deborah
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Old Jan 14, 2005, 9:17 PM   #2
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hey I know the feeling,I got it when I first went digital.

My advice is this,go to Walmart or whatever you have and buy some flowers,go home and put them in a vase. Get you d-70 handbook,camera and read that manual until your eyes bleed. As the manual explains things,take a picture of the flowers,and keep doing this over and over. This will at least make you feel comfortable about handling the camera,and you can see the results as you move along which will help put things in perspective.

Six kids huh? You still sound somewhat sane,,lol,,kidding.

Oh and if you have any questions,these people here are great.

Have fun!

Laney
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Old Jan 14, 2005, 11:23 PM   #3
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Living in Wisconsin is like living in GRAY world. Not really perfect weather for taking pictures.

What you need are assignments. You need direction - right now you are overwhelmed with so much stuff.

SO - with that said. Take some pictures of you kids. One at a time and then as a group. If I may suggest something

This eBook is all on the D70 and is GREAT - better then the manuals - AND - it has assignments and how to take the photos, it's very very good and might be what you need to get your feet off the ground.

http://www.gmbooks.com/Merchant2/mer...Store_Code=gmb
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Old Jan 14, 2005, 11:42 PM   #4
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I know EXACTLY what you are talking about. I've been reading the manual, Thom's e-book, and scanning/searching forums. There is so much to learn and almost a new language with digital.

Wonderful advice from Laney. Read the manual!

I'm very much a amateur. I used an SLR many (15-20) years ago when just out of college, but didn't use it much since. I recently bought the D70 as a Christmas gift to myself (lucky me - my wife even understood).

I have one more suggested item to purchase: a memory card read. Specifically a SanDisk 8-in-1 . There are many out there, but I really really like this one. It only costs about $26. It has a very small "footprint" on our cluttered PC table and can come off of the little podium for traveling. Transferring pics via this little wonder is much faster and you don't have to find a place to set your camera next to your computer.

Next, PLEASE install Photoshop Elements 3.0 on your PC. It is a wonderful package for a beginner (or an expert?). PE3, along with your memory card reader will automatically download all pictures taken to a very easy to use organizer. You don't have to do anything extra. Hook the reader to a USB port - the PC finds it. Stick the card into the reader - PE3 senses it is there and offers to get the pictures. They are placed in PE3 where you can view them, create tags and assign tags to them (I have tags for my each of my kids, for each major event, cool places we've gone, etc...). PE3 even offers to delete the pics from your memory card, if you want. Regardless, it is recommeded you re-format the card each time you download pics.

It is recommended that you use Windows Explorer to "eject" the drive before removing the memory card. I'm not sure how important that is, but I want to be good to my expensive card.

PE3will automatically store your pictures in file folders with a yyyy-mm-dd-hhmm-ss format in a My Pictures\Adobe\Digital Camera Photos folder. So, you can easily find your pics using either PE3 or simply using Windows Explorer.

Put your camera on Auto at first using the big knob on the left side (I can't remember what it is called), if it helps getting you taking pictures. On Auto, the on-board flash will automatically popup and light when needed. Eventually you'll get bold and flip it to P (Program). Using A or S isn't far behind. In the P, A, or S modes the flash symbol in the viewfinder will tell you if you need flash - and you'll have to manually popup the flash by pushing the flash button near the front on the left side.

At first, I wouldn't worry about whether you're using RAW or JPG formats. Use whatever comes out. If you read the manual, you'll learn how to select amoung the formats and sizes (small, medium, large jpeg). Eventually you'll learn about the advantage of RAW (.nef) format, but don't worry about it right now. By the way, one advantage of RAW is that many of the camera settings don't matter with RAW, since the RAW file is the unprocesses sensor data. When you edit the RAW file in PE3, you can then play with all the settings to make a nice looking picture. Some of the forums tend to make me feel like a fool if I shoot jpg, but it does have its place.

When using PE3, you may read a lot of people arguing whether to edit using 8-bit or 16-bit or whatever. Ignore that - at least for now (hint: read the Archive articles at Earthbound Light. Short - well written - and a great level of detail for beginners). I especially like his intro to using Levels and Curves in PE3. They can make a pretty bad looking picture down right acceptable. Cool!

Start by taking pics of the flowers. Then start taking pics of your kids (what better subjects!!). When you get bold, you can point your camera outside and take pics. At some point, you can build the courage to actually walk outside and take pictures with it.

Ibought a SB-800 external flash - it is wonderful. Yes, the manual is complicated, but don't worry about that. Stick it on your camera and click away. You can learn about all that detailed stuff later. Try sticking the diffuser thingy on it and point it at your kids and see if you like that better.

One more thought - just in case you are worried what others will think when you bring your D70 to take pics at your kids' school events, etc... Well, several parents bring nice SLRs to my kids events and nobody even blinks at it. OK, those of us who know cameras are thinking "Wow, that lady is using a nice camera. I wish I had one!!" (that's how I bought my D70).

If you have questions - ask them here. People will love to help you. If someone barks at you for not searching through old posts before posting - ignore them. Other good forums for the D70:

http://www.nikonians.com -- follow the Discussions link, register (free), and then look for the D70 forum.

http://www.dpreview.com -- click on Forums and look for the Nikon D70 forum

Again, when asking questions on some of these forums, most are very nice, but others might scold you for re-asking a question that had already be answered. Ignore them.

Ken K. (from Grayslake, IL - father of 2)
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Old Jan 15, 2005, 7:38 AM   #5
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You all have given me some hope!



Laney -
Quote:
You still sound somewhat sane
Sanity is in the eye of the beholder. Just last night my 14 year old told me how crazy I was for not driving her to a poker and pizza party at 7:30 PM!

Flowers are a good idea, I'll have to try that out today.

Grinder - You know,I debated the iNova book or the Thom Hogan book for a week! I will buy the Inova book, too. Then all I have to do is figure out how to print them!

Ken - I did get a card reader with the camera, so I'll start using that today. I'll install my PSE, and pray!
Quote:
Ibought a SB-800 external flash
i want one, too, and I don't even know why. I have to drive my 15 yo to a concert today. This just happens to be right down the road from the camera store. I'm trying to practice self control...but it would be friendlier the environment to just buy it while I was in the neighborhood, rather than making an extra trip, right?

My kids have a long weekend, so they will be at my photographic mercy

I have five girls - 18, 15, 14, 12 and 5, and one boy - 4. Thank goodness for little kids, they make loving your teenagers easier!

I'm going to print out all of your responses, they are so encouraging!

Thanks again,

Deborah
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Old Jan 15, 2005, 8:51 AM   #6
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Unless you are REALLY big into flash units and semi-pro and will be using multiple flash units in the future you only need the SB-600. For 95% of the photographers the 800 is just overkill! GREAT unit but save some money.

If you HAVE one - I'm not cutting it down - it's just more then MOST people will need or ever use! Why buy a Cadillac for around hte town trips.

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Old Jan 16, 2005, 1:51 PM   #7
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Congrats on a great new camera. I wish the D70 had been out when I bought my 5700, but will have to wait another year or so before I can justify a new camera. You neglected to say in your post if you are just new to digital, or to photography in general? It might help folks to know your experience level, if they are to give you good advice. Regardless though, put the battery in and start shooting, it's digital so no film to waste. Just shoot anything you see, look at the photo's delete em if you hate em and try again. Pick a section of one of the books, say on depth of field. Then take the same shot at every available apeture and look at the results, you can only learn by doing. Read, play, then read again.. understanding will follow. Most of all enjoy yourself, its a great hobby.
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Old Jan 16, 2005, 8:39 PM   #8
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Fellow mother of 6, though mine range in age from 42 to 51, I too have been going through what you are experiencing.

Am I surmising correctly that you are not new to photography—only new to digital photography? Until I purchased the D70 in July, I used an Olympus 3040 for 3 1/2 years, so I have made the transition to digital. I can assure that that it took TIME for me to transfer from film to digital.

I am a little further ahead in the use of my D70, but not very much. I've made mostly mistakes, a time-consuming learning process.

Perhaps we could swap our learn-as-we-go experiences and be helpful to each other. If this strikes your fancy, click on my profile. You will notice I am a new member. Actually, I'm not. My 4-year-old membership is no longer in Steve's database, so I registered again.

Whether or not you wish to corrrespond, I wish you the greatest fun with your camera.

Suzie
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Old Jan 16, 2005, 11:07 PM   #9
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Don't let the camera sit there, I got a canon rebel 6 months ago and found the easiest thing to start with is to put it on auto and just go out and shoot anything and everything, it's fun:-) You should have an auto with and without flash setting on it, once you get used to handling the camera then you can look into other settings, surprisingly the auto settings do a reasonable job. Good luck:-)
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Old Jan 17, 2005, 1:01 AM   #10
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And there's www.d70users.com, for topic specific help and guidance with the D70.
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