SLR nOOb, a continuing saga by the Uncle

by the Uncle on December 18, 2007

in Equipment, the Uncle

Continuing my story of learning to use my new Nikon D40…. I am still somewhat boggled by the numerous settings possible. I knew I would be, of course, but in ways it turns out even more confusing for me than I had expected. Even the “auto” settings have adjustments that can be made.

But I am actually starting to pick up a few things.

“Metering” for example. This looks at the available lighting and lets the camera choose just how to adjust for differing conditions. MOST of the time, having this set to “matrix” seems to work best, especially in low-light, outdoor shots.

“Center-weighted” takes into account the whole scene but gives the center of the frame more priority, and sometimes gets better results. I am still trying to figure out exactly WHEN this is the case- right now it is hit or miss for me.

“Spot” only looks at light level on just what is the center of focus. I have yet to get better results with this for any pictures yet, although I am sure there ARE circumstances when it will.

Part of my difficulty lies in the fact that I am so deeply OUT of practice with a good camera. So many settings, so few that I really remember what has what effect.

Spot metering MIGHT get the best results for some of the pictures I have taken if I had other settings adjusted differently. However, with the plethora of combinations available for just the AUTO settings, I am trying to isolate just a few to get the hang of at once so spot metering will have to wait.

Right now my main focus…. (sorry for the pun) has been on exposure and speed, and getting decent light levels in my photos. I am having some decent results with this although lately my subject matter has not really been picture-worthy, which is why I am posting none.

Next time!

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