About My New Toy – Nikon D3200

Maybe you’ve noticed that some of the pictures I’ve been posting have been taken with **gasp** a DSLR. Now, I’d love for this post to be chock full of all types of interesting tips & super informative how-to’s but unfortunately, it won’t be.

My sexy new Nikon D3200 & I have had a tomultious love affair. A relationship which mostly consists lots of cursing & frustation on my behalf, while the camera just sits there in Manual Mode, totally indifferent. We always seem to be just slightly on different levels when it comes to important matters like exposure or apeture. Sometimes, we can find a happy middle ground & those pics are the ones that I’ve shared with you.

Oh, sure. Everything was great in the beginning when we were in Auto mode(s)! We took beautiful pictures together ALL OF THE TIME. I was so exciting about all of the things he could do that I my iPhone couldn’t. In fact, I barely bothered with my iPhone since the D3200 became mine. Then I started reading about all of the amazing things that could be achieved by going Manual. Naturally, I wanted more.

What I find is most of my shots end up being under or over exposed & by the time I figure out how to correct it, I miss the moment!! Let’s not even begin to discuss lens flare, sun spots, hand shake and those slightly out of focus shots &/or noise! It’s so frustrating & I REFUSE to throw the towel in…

Here is where I ask YOU for any tips/advice/suggestions/etc from experienced DSLR users or even recommended websites or books or videos to help me find happiness in my new relationship.

10 thoughts on “About My New Toy – Nikon D3200

  1. Thanks for the post!
    I looked for D3200-related articles on wordpress to know whether it was the best camera for me.
    I stumbled on this post,and I looked at your other pics! They are really really great! 😀
    They’ve convinced me to buy the camera. 🙂

  2. sorry for your frustration…I am in the market for a camera…have an old canon and Nikon … want to take really good pics 🙂

  3. A tip that has been very helpful for me is the sunny 16 rule: which means if it is bright and sunny outside, your aperture should be set to f/16 and your shutter speed to the speed of the ISO (ISO400 would be 1/400, etc.). From there, it’s easier to gauge where you should be shooting at and understanding the light that’s coming in.

    Also, and maybe this isn’t an option for you, but something that really has begun to teach me about learning manual is working with a fully manual camera. It’s slower going for sure, at least at first, but once you get the hang of it it can be easier. It helps you to start understanding the light better when you’re consciously thinking about it instead of gazing at the light meter all the time. (I’ve been spending quality time with a 1950s Rolleiflex Automat).

    Lastly, every camera has a ‘sweet spot’. Usually, perfect exposure is not going to be in the center where the light meter says it is. Mine is a couple of stops to the left of the center. Also, keep practicing. What jedsonphoto said is something I try a lot, is going a stop up and down and getting several shots quickly to see which one works best. You’ll get faster at switching the speed, etc. (although I’m not sure how you do it on a Nikon :P)

    Happy shooting! Your camera sounds like it is drool-worthy.

  4. Hi,

    A quick fix would be to use aperture-priority control unless you’re certain you have lots of time to measure the light. If you want to make the whole image (or parts of it) darker or lighter later on, you can do that in post-processing – Photoshop, Lightroom, Nikon CaptureNX2, or whatever.

    Another quick solution is to stay with manual but bracket your exposures: if your meter, for a given aperture, suggests 1/250 second, then take that picture, then one at 1/125, and one at 1/500. Hopefully one of them will be useful.

    There are many other solutions to the exposure question alone, which involve making decisions on how to measure the light (matrix, centre-weighted, spot, or a hand-held incident-light meter), and choosing your shutter – aperture – ISO sensitivity settings, in relation to how much noise you are prepared to accept. Also be careful of camera settings that automatically boost the ISO sensitivity in low-light situations; be aware of when the boost is occurring and how that will affect your noise levels. As you say, there is lots of reference material out on the web that can help a lot better than I can write in this space.

    Don’t be so sure that all your wrongly-exposed pictures are worthless. There are so many photographs in galleries that are extremely light, or dark. Granted, they may be the product of many hours of editing, but some are the result of conscious decisions to break from the original vision of what the photograph was to be, and see the material, a few weeks later, in a different light (pun intended).

    Hope this helps.


  5. Oh that camera is CRAP!!!! It is THE worst DSLR out there. You’ll have to swap it for my trusty D3000. I can’t have you put up with that. I’ll take the burden for you.

    Seriously, I would love one of those. I have cheat sheets on my blog for photographing. Most of them came from the Nikon magazine I get monthly. I love the nikon. There are so many possibilities with it. What lenses do you have with it?

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