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Entry-level DSLR ideas #photography

Last week I wrote about the settings in a Nikon D3200 which is an entry-level DSLR. A full frame camera with a 35mm sensor is considered a professional camera but full frame cameras haven’t been out that long. Previously cameras like the D3200 would have been considered professional cameras. The cropped sensor is 2/3 of the width of a full frame sensor but still much larger than on a bridge camera or phone so can capture more light.



Despite these cameras being called entry-level as you can see from this image, they take quite a good picture. For this shot, I had to choose the aperture and although the building wasn’t too far away I needed a narrow aperture to bring it into focus. I could have set the camera on S then set the shutter speed to 1/100 of a second and let the camera set the aperture. Remember I wanted to capture the light being reflected off the building. The building was actually in a shadow and most of the light was coming through those trees. I decided on f/7.1 on aperture priority. In retrospect, I would have been better on shutter speed priority. The camera set the shutter speed on 1/320 which is very fast. The image turned out a little too dark and I needed to make the building lighter in editing. I wasn’t shooting directly into the sun but the light coming through those trees was very bright. The camera adjusted the shutter speed to reduce the amount of light entering the camera. The shot would have been better had I used centre weighted metering and metered the light being reflected off the building rather than the light across the whole frame. I didn’t have much time to check my shot in the preview screen or I would have probably taken it again. The shot isn’t a bad shot and I learned something. Every shot you take you should be able to learn something from it and improve your photography. Even with an entry-level camera, you can get a professional picture with practice.

Photographers triangle

The photographer’s triangle is aperture – shutter speed – ISO. We can set the aperture wider to let more light into the camera or narrower for less light. We can have the shutter open for longer for more light or a fast shutter for less light. If the image is still too dark then we can make the sensor more sensitive to light by raising the ISO setting. Those are the basic settings and with practice, you can get great images even with an entry-level camera like the Nikon D3200.

As we have seen in the above example, sometimes we need to change the metering so we meter the light in the centre of our frame or even on a single spot in our frame. We can also change the focusing for different situations. We are exposing the sensor to light to get an image and with experience, we can get just the right amount of light for a good image. The reason I took the above image was the quality of the light. As the sun was beginning to set the light was warmer and the fact that the building is in shadow actually adds to the subtle shadows and makes it more defined.

That’s all for this week. If you would like to follow my blog just enter your email address at the top of the sidebar or you can find links to the latest posts on my Facebook page.

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