Nikon® D3100 / D3200 / D3300 Fast Start

Lesson 1/9 - Introduction


Nikon® D3100 / D3200 / D3300 Fast Start


Lesson Info


All right, welcome everybody to dslr fast start my name is john gringo and in this class we're going to be looking at the nikon d thirty one hundred we're going to be looking real closely at all the buttons and all the menus and everything else this is a camera that is a very, very capable camera of taking professional quality pictures in my opinion but it doesn't happen automatically you do need to know how to work the camera itself and that's what this class is all about learning how to work the camera itself and so I do want to throw out a quick thanks to be in a photo for supplying this camera for today's class they've been a great supporter of ours here it creative live and good source for cameras and lenses and all the other goodies that go along with photography and video and so thanks a lot to be innate so very good and here is the plan for the day we're going to be kind of breaking things up and doing things piece by piece to start with two to begin we're going to go with a pr...

oduct overview we're going to look at the camera we're going to look at what you've bought into perhaps you've never owned a digital slr perhaps you've never owned a nikon product, they just want to let you know kind of what you've got yourself into um next up, we're going to be talking about some photography basics, and as I said, some people are purchasing an slr for the very first time and they've never taken a photography class and I apologized, but there's going to be some things that maybe aren't super easy to understand because you do need to have a good understanding not only this camera but photography as well before you, khun really dive into photography itself and start getting a lot of great results on a predictable basis. And so we're gonna go through a few photography basics just to make sure everyone's up to a certain level of understanding of some of the basics. And then we dive into the camera full force with basically just going around the camera top all the sides, looking at every button and talking about what it's there for what it's important is when you would use it. And then after that, we're going to get into the menu system, which is where a lot of features are, quote unquote buried in the menu system and many things in there you will never, ever use and that's perfectly normal there's just a lot of options for a lot of different people with different types of photography, but we're going to go through each of those items one by one. And then probably my favorite section is the camera operation and this is where we put all these little bits of information that we have been learning throughout the class together all at the same time and this is where we'll set the camera up for different types of photography and so we'll talk about portrait photography, landscape and other types of photography how you would change the focusing system the meter and system or anything else on the camera to fit that situation the best and then we'll end up the whole day talking about some lenses and accessories there's tons of them out there, but we're going to kind of st narrow focused on just a few ones that I think are may be the most pertinent for someone who's just purchased the d thirty one hundred I hope it sounds like a good plan because it's, my only plan sounds like a plan. Excellent. All right, so first off with this camera you will get an instruction manual and it's got two hundred and eight pages and I figure if you been about two minutes per page, you're going to spend about seven hours reading this thing now the class that we have here today well, it's going to last about four hours, so how is it possible that we can take seven hours of information and sticking into four hours well, we could just pull out the instruction manual and read every other page, but that might not be the best way to do this. S o, I've had to go through the camera and go through the manual and go through these everything else on the camera to figure out what's most important for the most typical users. And so there are some things that we don't have time to get into there's some things that I'm going to pass over, I will kind of mention those things, and if that is something that interests you have at it, dive into that instruction manual and read up about all the technical specifications, but I'm going to kind of stay concentrated where most people would be using this camera. As I mentioned before, this class is not a photography wanna one class if you want to learn the fundamentals of photography, there are some very good class is out there, and in fact I will even mentioned one that I can recommend, uh, tto learn photography, and so we will cover it very, very quickly here. But if this is your first foray into come with somewhat serious photography this is a good place understanding the camera that you are working with is a great thing to do to start with if you enjoy working with the camera and you want to get better results I highly recommend a photography class and once you take one class there's always another class and another class and there's plenty of ways to expand on this it's a it's a lifelong learning thing I've been doing photography for more than twenty years now and I'm still constantly learning things and seeking out new books and new classes and it's a lot of fun because there's a lot of ways to grow in this so let's get started with a little product overview on what you have just bought yourself into with your new d thirty one hundred you have got yourself a nikon camera nikon is a japanese company that has been around for quite some time they specialize in making cameras and a variety of optical products they're probably most known for their consumer and professional cameras they like to be known also for their lenses they have binoculars scopes they have medical imaging instruments that's a reasonably large company in japan that is very good at what they do if you ask me just a very very brief history on them they were founded in nineteen seventeen it was actually a formation of three different japanese optical cos got off kind of kind of to a slow start with world war two interrupting business there. But after after the war, they got right into it. Started making consumer cameras their first thirty five millimeter range finder camera, which is a different type of camera than this was. It was introduced in nineteen. Forty eight. And then in nineteen fifty nine, a big year for nikon users, they introduced their first slr, and we're going to go into what an sl arias in just a moment here. But that camera has essentially the same lens. Mount has this camera right here in front of me. There is a kind of an evolution that has taken place with the lenses over a period of time. So you're not able to take this lands and put it on that nineteen fifty nine camera and vice a versa. But there's ah ah, great interchangeability with the nikon lenses. Nineteen eighty six. They brought out their first auto focus, slr, which is kind of a big change with the modern technology. And then in nineteen ninety nine, they brought out their first digital camera, the nikon d one. And for any of you have just purchased, this eighteen megapixel camera should probably cost well under a thousand dollars this d one cost five thousand dollars and had two point seven megapixels on it so what you are getting today just blows the doors off of what was available a little more in ten years ago the slr camera system is quite extensive nikon makes a collection of cameras from entry level two professional and the d thirty one hundred is very much on the entry level end of it so if you do plan to get into the system with plans to expand and grow you have lots of room to grow and with lenses that's one of the things that nikon is best known for is having lots of great lenses so pretty much anything you can think of doing they probably make a lens to do it it might be kind of expensive but they haven't they do have a wide fried influences from from inexpensive to very expensive and then one of things that nikon specializes in is in very, very good flash technology so if you have a need to add flash this camera does have a built in flash but it is somewhat limited with it's power you do have additional flashes that you could hook up as well as hooking up multiple flashes all at the same time so there's a great creativity that you could have with this camera with that flash system now the uh kind of the heritage of the d thirty one hundred it is a new camera it's been out on the market the taping of this show just for a few months, but it is very much based on predecessor cameras, and what they've done is they keep tweaking a, modifying a preceding camera and improving it as it goes along the line. And so everybody eighteen months to two years, you can expect a new version of this camera, and this is just the latest greatest of their entry level cameras. Now, when this camera first came out, some of the things that it was notable for is that it had fourteen megapixels. A lot of the previous night cons had either ten or twelve megapixel, so nikon is upping the ante a little bit on resolution. The high, the so the the highest rating that used to be able to go to was thirty, two hundred and it's gone up to twelve thousand eight hundred. So the cameras much better in low light conditions than previous cameras. The previous version did not have live you so that you could look at the lcd monitor in the back of the camera. This one has that which works out well for certain types of photography. The previous version did not have video. This one does have video at full hd resolution, so you can start shooting short videos with us. So we're going to a little box opening here, and we've got a lot of little different things in the box here, and we're gonna go ahead and just open this live and take a look at what we have in here, so you'll get a warranty card that kind of makes it official that you own that particular piece of equipment, and the serial numbers are from nikon in here will also be your instruction manual, and as I said, you want to have that out because we're not going to cover everything in the instruction manual there's usually a few things buried in there that you'll find if you go through it carefully, uh, let's, start with the lands so this's, a kit that is available from being h and other camera stores that comes supplied within eighteen to fifty five millimeter lands. It's a good general purpose, lands and it's the one we'll be using for our class here, take off the rear camp and the front cap, go for the camera body. Next wait, go! Our brand new nikon d thirty one hundred has been born, but we got to bring it to life, so we're going to put the lens on it, we're going to match up our white dot right here with our white dot right there and mounted on so that's good but we're not ready to shoot pictures yet because we need power so we're going to get in here and get the battery accessory package set this off to the side comes with a few little accessories we have the battery charger and this might be different depending what country you're in but it's got standard plugs for the united states here and we have a battery that we secretly went in and charge last night uh, we do have a camera strap in here, but hey, who needs this when we have the black rapid strap it's a nice trap though some people don't like it because it says nikon but some people love it because it says nikon uh we got some little accessories uh, this is a little high cap let me pop this open here a lot of people don't understand what this is for and actually I'll do this kind of a bonus here wasn't planning on doing this uh this eyepiece slides off and this is a cover that you would cover over the eye piece to prevent a light coming in from the back of the viewfinder and this is important if you're shooting a self timer because your eyes normally covering it and in a self timer it's not but the other solution if you find it irritating to take this on and off is to use manual exposure, which is something that I recommend for a lot of situations, so we're going toe install the battery here. Pretty simple operation. Make sure you got the contacts going in the right direction and loaded in and let's, go ahead and just get some of this stuff cleared off the desk, and so with the camera, make sure you get all this straightened out. The memory card on it is going to go right here in the side door like that, you make sure I get this all centered up, so we're in the right spot, and so that's our camera that's what you can expect to do in the batter in the box opening of the camp. It also comes with some software for downloading the raw images and some software from nikon for viewing images. And if you're like a lot of photographers, you may be interested in other software out there. One of my favorite pieces is adobes, light room, it's, a very good system, there's a lot of books, there's a lot of classes on it. It's, a great program for viewing your images for any team you're images and then developing your images, so if you want to improve them, whether it's just little crops or a little bit of saturation, in contrast, adjustment it's a great program for doing that but we're going to be concentrating on the camera today now the battery will remind you it takes about two hours to charge and depending on how you use the camera you could expect to get somewhere around four hundred to six hundred shots this may very according with how much live you and image review you do on the camera so when you go through the instruction manual you're going to hit upon a section that talks about care in handling of the camera and it's going to say things like don't drop it don't get it wet don't get too hot don't take it apart don't leave it by a giant magnet don't store it with lots of corrosive chemicals don't handle the power plug with wet hands don't fire the flash it's someone driving a car don't use around flammable gas and don't swallow the battery in essence yeah yeah yeah we get it don't be stupid with it but there's two things that people often have questions on the first one is the camera is not waterproof do not get it wet and people usually say what does that really mean? Don't get it wet the outside shell of the camera is mostly made of plastic and plastic doesn't really get harmed when you get it a little bit wet it's the electron ix on the inside and so this camera's not weather sealed so if water gets in the wrong area, it could potentially cause a problem with the circuitry of the camera so this is not a camera I would leave outside uh in a rain okay, now if it was raining and I really wanted to go outside and take pictures, I would be pretty careful and quick about shooting with it would be great if I had a friend with an umbrella or if I just stuck it under my coat until I actually needed a shot. If you do plan to be out in the rain shooting with the camera for an extended period time, there are rain covers that you can put that go over the cameron you can kind of reach in through holes or through the bottom to fire the camera and so ah very a very light rain for a short period of time is generally not going to be a problem. The other thing that we'll say it will say and there is use of non cannon accessories could damage the camera and may void your warranty. This is nigh cons way of saying that they're not going to be liable if you do something stupid and hook up some crazy device to your camera that damages your camera it's also them kind of saying that they would prefer that you buy the nikon accessories and there are all sorts of things that you're going to hook up obviously, we've already put on the lens we put in a memory card in a battery you could buy all of those from other manufacturers if you want, you can add on flash units and as we'll see in a moment, we can hook up gps units, different usb cables, avie hdmi cables to it so there's a lot of little plug ins and things that you could add on to the camera in general, you're probably not going to have a problem with most other accessories there's certain things that I would look real strongly at with nikon, I would look real strongly at the nikon lenses to see what they offer, or maybe they don't have something you need and there's another manufacturer that makes him in general, that is not going to damage your camera. The camera may not be able to communicate with the lens like it does a nikon lands, and so maybe there's a feature of the camera or some sort of data that isn't traveled back and forth, and so there may be something that you miss out on in that case, nikon makes great flashes, so I often recommend nikon flashes and so be aware when you are using some of those other accessories, they're probably not going to damage the camera, but they may not give you all the features of the nikon products. Okay, so for preparing preparing the camera there's a number of things that you want to do want to charge that battery hour and a half or two hours to charge the battery we've already attached the lens we put in a memory card we've go ahead and turn your camera on if you have your camera in front of you if you're watching online, go ahead and turn your camera on uh this may be the last time I ever, ever say this, but put your camera in that green auto mode right on top so you get your mode, I'll write an auto and go ahead and take a picture. I just want to make sure that everyone's cameras working and fired this camera pictures working, getting an image and back of our students there, and so I just want to make sure the cameras working before we hit on for the rest of this. Now there is one thing that would be handy if you want to follow along in this class, and we're gonna kind of dive ahead right now and do something really complicated is we're going to go into the menu system, so I'm gonna press menu and over on the left hand side, we want to get down to the setup menu, which is the wrench and so if the wrench turns yellow, you know you're in the setup menu you will then tab to the right and what we want to do is we want to go down about halfway to something called auto off timers see if I can find it here there we go auto off timers and it is set on normal right now and we want to change this too long because we're working with the camera we don't want the menus to turn off and so I go in there said it toe long and press ok you can just press down halfway on the shutter release so that our menus will not be turning off on us when we get into the menu section all right now to learn more about this camera you got to know the camera but you also have to know photography and I want to talk a little bit about some photography here I teach a class here a creative live called fundamentals of digital photography this is something that you can download from creative lives it's a ten week class it's got more than twenty hours of instruction it doesn't matter what camera you have it just teaches you the basics of photography so if you want to learn more about photography this is probably the best way that I know of to get started in it it's not particularly geared towards any type of photography but it's good base knowledge for anyone whether they're going to be starting to shoot weddings or shooting cars or horse races it doesn't matter on this is just good information that all photographers need to know and so this next five minutes is kind of a cut from that class if you will on first thing I want to talk about is just what is a digital single lens reflex camera? Well that's a camera that obviously has won one main lens on it and this is where light travels through you will have this one very high quality lens now there are a variety of lenses we'll talk a little bit about these in the accessory section but they may have a wide angle of you or they may have a very telephoto angle of u s o there's a wide variety of different lenses when you focus the lands the lens elements will move back and forth and that's why your lens will sometimes extend or you see the elements moving forward and back it's so that you can focus on different subjects within that lands is an aperture and this is an opening that opens and closes doesn't completely close but it changes its opening and so as you adjust the aperture or the f stop setting it lets in different amounts of light and this is one of the ways in which you can control how much light is coming in your camera now the f stops here, you'll notice it's not a huge difference between any one f stop but it isthe letting in actually double the light or half a light with each one of these steps and so it's a great way for controlling the light coming in your camera but it doesn't just control the amount of light it also controls the depth of field and so in this example we're going to go ahead and open the lens all the way to one point for this is what we call a very fast lens that lets in a lot of light and those two little red hash marks indicate what's in focus the near focus and the far focus and as we change the aperture on this lens each setting we get a little bit more depth of field and so were you started out it very shallow depth field and you can see that the a photograph of the yardstick is becoming more and more in focus the numbers down at the very bottom are becoming clearer and clear with each step in this aperture change and so memorizing these aperture numbers being very familiar with them knowing where to turn them for any given picture is very important it's one of those decisions that you want to be able to make very very quickly and so here we are at f twenty two getting as much depth of field is possible with went this lens in this particular situation and so that's how aperture and depth of field work together so once the light has travelled through the lands, it travels back a little bit further and we'll hit emir in the camera and this is where the reflex portion of the single lens reflex is it bounces the light upward into what's called a ground glass or focusing screen and a image is formed on this screen. Now from there it goes up through a prism system and this is so that it's nice and easy to see as you hold the camera straight up to your eye it bounces the light around and this is the path that it takes as the light travels to your eye. Now when you actually press the shutter release the mere needs to get up and out of the way so that the light I can travel back to the digital image sensor and this is what has replaced film in these cameras and this image sensor is abe big part about photography and we're going to talk just a little bit more about the size of this in a moment before it actually gets to the sensor it does need to pass through a shutter which is a two curtains system it has the first curtain which is actually a series of blades which slides away to expose the light to the sensor after a predetermined amount of time the second curtain will come and close behind it and that is exposing thie sensor for the picture, then the shutter unit will return to its original position in the mirror will come back down and I will do this every time you take a picture. So we have two ways of controlling light. We have the aperture as well as the sensor. Excuse me this with us. The shutter. We have two ways of controlling the light, the aperture and the shutter. And so being familiar with shutter speeds is the other thing that's very important here we have very fashion or speed at two thousandth of a second. Stopping a bird in flight a five hundredth of a second is good for stopping human motions. So whether it's sports dance or any sort of human activity of five hundred will generally do the job that stopping the action one hundred twenty fifth is kind of in between aperture good for something that's not moving too quickly like some camels here in the desert. But you take an animal and you start moving pretty quickly. Here it a thirtieth of a second, you're going to get a lot of blur and blur isn't always a bad thing. In some cases, it can be kind of a nice thing here at an eighth of a second, we have some people walking and you can see that they're not very sharp. The bridge is sharp because I used a tripod to take this photograph, but the people are blurry and this is the type of water that you can expect with people walking and an eighth of a second as we get down to some pretty slow shutter speeds. Ah lot of people like using this for photographing moving water it gives it that very soft cotton candy type look at a half second exposure and this camera you could do very long exposures go as long as thirty seconds on the camera quite easily. S o this is actually waves rolling in around the shores down in monterey, california cloud look is actually just water moving back and forth and so being familiar with the right apertures as well as the right cheddars shutter speed is very important now kind of getting back to that sense. Her thing when you go into the camera storing you look at all these cool cameras that are out today what's maybe not so evident but really important is the size of the sensor in the camera because that is really at the heart of its ability and there's a variety of sizes in a variety of cameras and they aren't always plainly listed on the camera. What size sensor is in there and there's a zoo I say there's a variety of sensors and with cameras that use interchangeable lenses, theirs three sizes that are quite common and the d thirty one hundred uses the middle of those three larger sizes. Now, if you'll recall using thirty five millimeter film in the past that had a certain size to it was twenty four millimeters by thirty six millimeters, and they do make sensors that are exactly twenty four by thirty six millimeters in size, and they call those full frame sensors and so it's very convenient. If you're used to using film, you just get a digital full frame sensor and all the lenses and everything stays exactly the same, and it has what we call a one point. Oh, crop factor, the lenses act exactly as they do on a thirty five millimeter camera. The small downside to the sensors is that they're really expensive, and so one of the things that nikon did is they produced a smaller sensor to make cameras more affordable. Now this sensor is smaller by a factor of one point five, and so it has a crop factor of one point five. And so if you're really using lenses, things are going to look a little bit different. You're kind of getting a cropped angle of view from your traditional end. This is the third of the largest size is is what's called a psc is something that has being used by cannon and it's, a one point six size crop on that, and so it's, just a little bit different inside. So it's, good to know what size sensor you having your camera. So you know what lenses to get and why they looked the way that they do. And this is just a little brief for on how a digital single lens reflex camera works. If you haven't taken a class on photography, I highly recommend looking into my fundamentals of digital photography class it's a good class. You can kind of steady at your own pace. We go through shutter speeds and apertures, just like we talked about, but much more thoroughly, and we talk about everything from lighting up to composition. So it's a good starting class. So take a look that with creative life.

Class Description

Join expert instructor John Greengo for an in-depth tour of the Nikon® D3100. John will offer a hands-on introduction to your camera's operations, detailed instructions on how all the menus work, and easy tips on how to shoot great photos.

In this Nikon® D3100 video guide you’ll learn how to operate all of your camera’s features and functions and find out which accessories are right for you.


Rick Erbach

I'm an amateur photographer. I decided to upgrade from my iPhone and point and shoot camera. I bought the Nikon D3300. I then found John's class on the D3300. His easy to follow course walked me step by step and button by button around and in my new camera. It was worth the money. His tips, tricks, and hidden gems took me from auto to the big 4-manual, aperture, shutter, and programming! Wow. With my new understanding of the camera, my pictures improved with each shoot. Practice makes better...but it was the confidence John gave me to go out and use the entire camera that is making me a better storyteller. This course is a must view for all new Nikon D3300 camera owners! Thank you John for a great learning experience!