Photo Basics


Nikon® D5 Fast Start


Lesson Info

Photo Basics

Okay folks, so this honestly feels a little weird to me right now. I'm talking photo basics with the top of the line professional Nikon camera, but you know, what the heck, I got all the material, let's just walk through it real quickly. Alright, so this is a digital single lens reflex camera, which means we have interchangeable lens on it. There's obviously lots of different lenses, wide-angle lenses, telephoto lenses. And inside each of the lenses is an aperture unit which controls the amount of light getting into the camera. And so on the old Nikon lenses, you used to be able to open 'em and close 'em with their aperture rings and see it, but this is what happens when you take a photo. F-22 is a very small opening. F 1.4 is a really big opening and this is the first of three different ways of controlling the amount of light coming in your camera. Beyond just controlling the amount of light coming in the camera, it also controls the depth of field. So if you have a lens that shoots a...

t 1.4, it's gonna have the ability to shoot with very shallow depth of field. Those red lines over on the right indicate the front edge and the back edge of focus. And then as we stop our aperture down we get more and more depth of field with each setting on the aperture. It doesn't change dramatically from one number to the next but it continues to grow and it has a pretty significant difference from one end of the spectrum to the other end of the spectrum. F/22 you're gonna get great depth of field. So that's what's going on in the lens. Now the whole reflex portion means that this device has a mirror in it. And so that mirror is there so that we can see what's going on through the lens. It bounces the light up to the focusing screen and then so we can see things nice and easily. It bounces it through a prism system and out the view finder. And so that's what you're looking at when you hold the camera up to your eye. When it's time to take a photo that mirror needs to get up and out of the way so that light can get on back to the image sensor. Before it gets to the image sensor, its gotta get past the shutter unit, which is in two parts. There's a first curtain and a 2nd curtain. The first curtain blocking the light opens, lets light into the sensor. That's your exposure time right there. And that shutter unit, the second part of it closes and it does so in that manner so that each pixel is exposed for exactly the same amount of time. And so we have the aperture and then the shutter controlling thing. So the shutter controls the amount of light and it also has the ability to stop moving subjects, freezing the action. We have shutter speeds ranging from an eight thousandth of a second to 30 full seconds. And you will use these for a variety of purposes and so we have ones ranging from super fast to super slow, to fit a wide variety of needs. And we can actually go beyond this, in the, beyond 30 seconds as I'll talk about later in the class. So there's a lot of different cameras out on the market and one of the most important differences in these cameras is the size of the sensor. And the sensor that is used in the D5 is the largest of the common sizes that are being used in the photographic world out there. And there are lots of smaller ones so that you can have smaller cameras at lower price ranges. So the sensor in the D5, is known as a full frame sensor because it is the same size as 35 millimeter film. Now, not a lot of 35 millimeter film is being shot anymore and there's nothing magical about 35 millimeter other than the fact that it was really, really popular. This is something that was the most common type of film used in the history of photography. And so it's a standard that a lot of photographers know about even though they've never even shot a roll of film in their life. And so this uses that same size, which means all those photographers who made that transition from film to digital did not need to go out and buy new lenses. And so this has a crop factor of 1.0, which is to say it is the same size as 35 millimeter film. In other Nikon cameras, they use what they call a DX sensor, which is in the industry known as APS-C sensor. It has a crop factor of 1.5 because it magnifies the view by about 1.5. Other manufacturers also use something called APS-C but it is a slightly different size at 1.6 on the crop factor. And so those are a few basics of how the cameras works. And if you're interested in more about that sort of information, I have a ton more of it in a class called Fundamentals of Photography. This is I think Creative Live's longest class. It's a five day class, there's 20, 24 hours of information and if you want a good general photography class, it's not just basics, much, much, much more than that we get into. We get into tilt shift lens and focus stacking and composition and all sorts of other things. You may wanna check into that class. That's one of my most popular classes here at Creative Live.

Class Description

We know what it’s like to dive right into taking pictures with your new camera. But dense technical manuals make for a terrible first date. Get the most out of your new Nikon D5 camera with this complete step-by-step walkthrough of the camera’s features. 

Join expert photographer John Greengo for a fast-track introduction, and unlock your camera’s full potential. In this Fast Start class, you’ll learn:

  • How to use the new 53 point AF system
  • How to understand and use the autofocus system for great photos
  • How to incorporate video into your shooting using the 4K advanced video capabilities.
John is a CreativeLive veteran instructor and an experienced photographer. He has extensive experience teaching the technical minutiae that makes any camera an effective tool: aperture, ISO, the Rule of Thirds, and the kinds of lenses you’ll need to suit your camera body. This Fast Start includes a complete breakdown of your camera’s exposure, focus, metering, video and more. John will also explain how to customize the Nikon D5's settings to work for your style of photography.


Michelle Mealing

As usual, John Greengo has provided me with a wealth of information, this time to decide on my next Nikon camera purchase. John has a talent for explaining technical aspects in a simply to understand, yet intelligent, language. I feel very lucky to be able to tap into the knowledge of such experts and thank the day I found out about Creative Live. Unfortunately I had to miss a little part of the live broadcast due to international time differences. I will definitely be watching the class again and again (there's so much content). Thanks John and Creative Live. Looking forward to my next class.

a Creativelive Student

Already set the Fn3 button for Voice Memo - easy peasy thanks to this and so many other "buried" ( in the manual ) treasures. Notwithstanding three years with the D4 and one year with the D5, I am substantially more familiar and comfortable with the available tools / features of this amazing camera, Nikon's D5. Thank you, John, for the relaxed, easy-to-follow yet informative, professional instruction - well done!

Silvio Mayorga

The course is quite comprehensive and helpful. It is a great course. Good guidelines to arrange camera set up.