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Nikon D610/D600 - DSLR Fast Start

Lesson 1 of 8

Introduction to Digital Photography Basics


Nikon D610/D600 - DSLR Fast Start

Lesson 1 of 8

Introduction to Digital Photography Basics


Lesson Info

Introduction to Digital Photography Basics

Welcome to the d six hundred class. This is a very, very good camera, very solid offering from nikon. I know some of us are kind of overwhelmed with a number of cameras that have hit the market in the last twenty four months and that's, partly due to the tsunami that happened, and there was kind of a whole bunch of cameras that were planned to come out that didn't come out at a certain point, so they kind of got rushed on that. And so now we've got a lot of these cameras, and so a lot of people are comparing this against the eight hundred, and if I had to offer just a quick tip as to which camera two by the eight hundred is a better camera, it's got more features on it, but it's a thousand dollars and for many people on a little bit of a budget, that thousand dollars would be better spent on lenses in most cases. And so, unless you really need the d eight hundred, I think the d six hundred is a good value, especially for someone who's just getting started because that thousand dollars ...

could mean potentially either one really nice lands or even a couple of nice little primes s so one of the things about this is that sometimes creative life post. This initial video on youtube or free on their website and if you're wondering why this twenty minute class doesn't explain the entire camera this class is going to be about five hours in length uh and so this is not the whole class so let's get into the nikon d six hundred kind of talk about what we're gonna be doing today here here's kind of the outline what we're going to be doing I want to go for a little bit of product overview just to let people know who maybe you're getting into night gone for the first time what they've got themselves into I know a lot of you already know that the basics of photography but we're just going to spend a few minutes on it to help bring up some of the new bees up to a nice conversational level a few of the most important things and then we're just basically going to go through the camera from the outside to the inside and we're going to talk about pretty much everything in the camera but it's going to be thoroughly well covered by the end of the day so first off I would like to start off with the fact that this camera does come with a very lengthy and thorough instruction manual and you can spend a lot of time reading this instruction manual there's a lot of good information in there that is not in this class after all this class is on ly five hours and the instruction manual to take at least eleven hours to read. So how can I fit five hours into a eleven hours of information into a five hour class? I can't I have to pick and choose what I think is most relevant to the typical photographer and so there's a number of things that I'm not going to get into. I'll talk about the gps unit, but I'm not going to talk about the exact specifics on programming the gps unit or tethering this camera. Those are all nice, important things that the camera does, but we do kind of have to limit things to what most people are doing, so I apologize if I don't talk about your favorite subject, but we're going to hit all the highlights that is for sure. The other thing is, is that this class is not a photography wanna one class? If you are looking to learn the basics of photography, I will quickly cover a few things, but it is not a full on class. There are other classes that are much better for learning photography. We're going to stay focused on the d six hundred in this class, so let's talk about what you've got yourself into. So if you're new to nikon, welcome to nikon, nikon spin around for a long time they've been making cameras for quite some time and they're one of the most respected names in the photographic industry. They started with little range finders back in nineteen forty eight kind of their legendary, you know, the first big hit on the market was there f camera and you might even find film shooters still shooting with this camera today because it was just built like a tank and they're still out there and they're wonderful, very simple basic cameras by today's standards and that's what a lot of professional started using things changed a lot in eighty six when they introduced the auto focus lenses and auto focus cameras, and they kept the same lens mount, which is one of the reasons why I've always liked nikon is that they have a evolution on their lenses and camera bodies so that no matter when you buy a camera body you and almost always by a lens that's into the future or behind it in time, and so you can kind of grow with the system, which is a great thing about nikon. Then in nineteen ninety nine they were kind of the first to market the professional digital camera kodak was taking the nikon cameras and modifying them, but this was an icon's first or little jump into the digital market and it's so funny to think back, you know, this camera had a crop frame censor it had two point seven million pixels hunted pretty close toe one tenth the number that is in this little guy here. And it sold for fifty, five hundred dollars. And so, you know, compared to the two thousand dollars rough price of this one, we've we've come a long ways in that time. So the d six hundred I was kind of like to start off what's, new and great, and with the d six hundred, there isn't anything that's revolutionary about this camera. There is nothing that's really stopping everyone going. Wow, look what it does that no other camera does. The fact of the matter is, is that they just put existing technology into a mortar, affordable size package. And so it's just the most affordable full frame camera at this time. Twenty four mega pixels is still really good. I mean, it's it's, amazing how good that is compared to we were just a few years ago. And so if it wasn't for the big brother, you might say this camera the d eight hundred twenty for mega pixels well, that's, what the nikon d three access, you know that's literally there are figuratively their top of the line camera next up they do have a very good focusing system it's not their best focusing system but it is a very good focusing system and in general it's just smaller and lighter so for somebody who has a d eight hundred maybe let's say there are wedding shooter and they need kind of a second shooting camera this would make a nice second camera just being a little bit lighter weight a little bit less money but still getting great low light ability, great detail and a lot of performance out of it in fact, I would argue that you're going to get more performance for the dollar out of this camera then the hunt er do you hundred in my opinion is clearly a better camera so one of the things I like most about nikon is that they have a large range of cameras and so wherever you are in your budget there's probably going to be a camera for you and they'll probably be a camera for you to upgrade to on if you want to buy camera for somebody else in your family at the entry level price that you can share lenses on you have a full collection of beginning to very professional cameras nikon lenses are legendary they have a huge collection of lenses pretty much anything you want to do they're going to have great lenses for you they're also known as and I would argue to say that they have the best flash system on the market today so if you want to work with on camera flash t t l work, they have an awesome system camera does have a built in flash, and I'll talk about some specifics and I'll have some recommendations when it comes to a flash units as well. So as far as position and little heritage of the d six hundred, it sits fairly high up in the lineup of nikon cameras, and it is clearly related to the g eight hundred and clearly related to the g seven thousand it's got the full frame sensor of the eight hundred, but it has pretty much all the features of the d seven thousand, with some features of the eight hundred thrown in there, and as the taping of this, they introduced the d seventy one hundred, which has introduced some kind of newer features that are not in this camera, but we're not going to really be discussing that camera in this class. I was kind of funny. I find it funny when you go through the instruction manual and you get to these pages and pages of warnings about don't do this, and, you know, they could just simply write one line that says don't be stupid with it and save themselves pages of information in there, because we know that we're not supposed to drop the camera and telling us not to drop it isn't going to help us not dropping the camera. One of my favorite ones in the nikon book is when adjusting the diop ter don't put your finger in your eye so be very careful about that kids you know don't hurt yourself where safety goggles when operating this piece of equipped the question that people do actually have serious questions on is aboutthe waterproof nous of the camera and the camera is well built it is well sealed it's very similar to the eight hundred in the sense that it is it does have a magnesium alloy top and rear plate but what's different is that it's got a polycarbonate plate on the front now who is actually going to notice that and who is going? Who is that going to make a difference to probably just about nobody but that's where there's a little bit of weight savings in that in that aspect right there and as far as the weather resistant it according to nikon is equivalent to the eight hundred in its weather ceiling it's the type of camera that if if I was the owner of my camera and it was raining and I needed to go out and get a shot I would not hesitate for a moment to go out and get a shot in the rain but I want it just leave it out there for a period of time I would try to work with an umbrella or try to keep it under a cortex coat or work under a rain cover or if I had to go shoot say a football match I would probably have some sort of rain cover that I would leave on it if it was either lightly raining or it had a good chance of raining I'd have it ready to put on so don't get it excessively wet if you do get it wet what you can do take the lens off pop the flash up open the car door take the battery out and just kind of let the camera air dry don't take a blow dryer to it or anything just let it air dry and it might recover if water didn't get anyplace too sensitive the other warning in there that people have a lot of questions on it's about using non nikon accessories and they say it could void your warranty it could damage the camera and I don't think I can think of a single case where it has damaged the camera using an aftermarket flash lens battery or memory card there are a number of ways that the camera communicates with lenses like auto distortion control it knows how much the lenses distort it convicts that and if it doesn't know the lens it can't communicate that fact on there which is a relatively small fact and there's other ones that are maybe more important in general, I would stick with nikon flashes. They cost a bit more money. But flash is the most complicated area photography and their flash system is really, really good. So I would strongly recommend staying with an icon flashes as far as other lenses. Token a sigma tamara there's, some other really nice choices out there. And if there's one that does what you want at the price you want, I would not hesitate for a moment to put that lens in my nikon camera. I would generally stick with the nikon batteries. There are some cheap after market ones out there. They're not as good there. A little bit less money on dh kind of depends on your budget is to what you think is important and so forth. One of the other ways that we rate durability on these cameras is how many shutter firings the camera can supposedly handle. Their raided. This one's rated for one hundred and fifty thousand firings. The nikon d eight hundred is two hundred thousand. So if you are going to be a heavy user of a camera, you might get a little bit more life out of the d eight hundred, although if you were to break it down in a cost per shot. The d a hundred is thirty percent more money but you're only getting twenty five percent more life and so it's kind of in need of a little bit of a pretty close to an even trade off right there all right so for those of you in the class that have your camera get your camera's in your hands I want to make sure that your camera's ready hopefully you charge your batteries which take about two and a half hours it's estimated you'll get about nine hundred shots on that mileage does very according to how much you review your image is how much he used flash image stabilization and playing around looking at your images and in the menu system and you've all got your lenses on go ahead take your lens caps off because you're going to take some occasional pictures in here I don't know of what but whatever you want let's go ahead and turn our cameras on and you know this just totally kills me to say this but just put it in the green zone right now the little green auto mode and go ahead and I'm going to take a picture of you guys and there we gook so just things are generally working just make sure go ahead take a picture nice okay I just wanna make sure everyone's camera is working it's a good time to address any issues of oh they forgot to charge the battery all right, so very good. Okay, so you guys can totally relax now, and I'm going to go through just some basics. And, you know, I am feeling a little feisty today because I have been reading some of the comments sections of my classes, and I love to get feedback to know what I'm doing right and doing wrong. And I've had a number of complaints recently about me spending time explaining something that they already knew, and in reality, I spent, like ten seconds explaining a feature they already knew, and all I can say is, calm down, young jett, I have patients, we have people of all different levels that are learning, and if you're watching this on tape and you know all the basics, just skip forward five minutes, but I just want to spend five minutes and take some material for my class fundamentals of digital photography, just to make sure everybody can talk basic photography here. All right, so you're d six hundred is a single lens reflex, digital camera dslr and these air great cameras, because we get to look through the lens of the camera itself, we get to see what angle of view, whether it's wide angle, whether it's, telephoto, whether the lens cap is on our camera, what type of filter and how it's adjusted on our camera we can see exactly what our camera sees and that's because the light comes in through one great linds now lens elements will move back and forth in order to focus the light for eyes and for the censor in the lens itself is an aperture unit, which is an opening that light travels through and we can adjust the size of this opening by changing our f stop or are aperture and so a very fast lands a lens like the one I have on the camera in front of me here is a one point four and the example you can see here is we're stopping our lens down to let in less light or we're opening the lens up toe let in more light now each setting were either doubling or cutting the light in half and that's how photographers often liketo work. We're doubling the light and we cut it in half now beyond just affecting how much light is leading through the lens. This also affects the depth of field how much is in focus so you can see that we're focused on the number seven here and other numbers are much more out of focus and as we change your aperture we're closing it down we're letting in less light, but we're also getting more and more depth of field you can see those red hash marks on the right side are getting larger and larger and so when we stopped down to f twenty two that's as much depth of field as we can get out of this particular lens in the situation so there's a lot of things going on in the lands now in order for us to see what's going on the light comes in to the mir and while a lot of people don't completely think about this and realize it the mere is why this is called a single lens reflex camera it's reflecting the light upward and that's where the word reflex comes from its bouncing the light upward as in twin linds reflects uses of mere system just like that bounces the light up to a focusing screen and in order for us to easily see what's going on we bounce light through the prison system and out the viewfinder so that we can clearly see what is going on now when we press the shutter release that mere needs to get up and out of the way so that light can come back to the image sensor now the image sensor is a huge part about these digital cameras now one of the great thing about film cameras is if you wanted to upgrade the quality of your images you either got new lenses or new film but now it's all embedded into the camera so we will talk more about the image sensor in a few minutes in front of the image sensor is a focal plane shutter now the shutter has two parts it's a first curtain and second curtain and they used to be called well they still are called curtains because they used to be made out of a cloth curtain but now they're metal blades so the first curtain when you're ready to take a picture will drop down and get out of the way so that light well come on to the sensor and then the second curtain will come down and block it, making sure that each pixel on screen is exposed for exactly the same amount of time the mere returns so that you can see what's going on and one of the key things to note is that you can't see what's going on when the picture is being taken. This is why photographers are very good at anticipating the moment now the shutter in the camera is very good for controlling the light as well because we can use a very fast shutter speed t let in less light but also to stop action. A bird in flight will be stopped at around two thousandth of a second if it's a big bird like this great blue heron a good cheddar speed to keep in mind is five hundredth of a second which is very good for stopping human action that's moving pretty fast so dance sports photographers generally, you're going to want to be at one five hundredth of a second or faster one hundred twenty fifth of a second israel, but more of a casual pedestrian type shutter speed good for stopping some camels walking in the desert as we get down to one thirtieth of a second, we're getting into a little bit slower shutter speeds, and here I'm panning the camera with the horses and there's a lot of blurred because there's a lot of movement going on in this picture at one eighth of a second, the camera's on a tripod and you can see that the bridge is nice and sharp, but people as they're walking at a casual pace, are going to be blurred a little bit at an eighth of a second, getting pretty slow here at one half of the second wave crashes over iraq, half second exposure water kind of looks like a cotton candy smoothed out because of the long shutter speed. You can use a very long shutter speeds all the way down to thirty seconds built into the camera here, and this may look like fog or mist and it's, not it's, actually just water rolling in waves rolling in and out on the shoreline, and so a lot of different shutter speeds for a lot of dough. For types of purposes, all right, let's, kind of get back to that sensor unit that's in the camera. So the d six hundred uses what is known in the industry as a full frame sensor and other cameras, like the new d seventy one hundred, uses a smaller size sensor as well as some other canons and all those other little point in shoots and marylise cameras are often using smaller size sensors. So the full frame sensor in the d six hundred just when we want to talk about at first and for those of you old enough to remember thirty five millimeter film it's, exactly the same size is thirty five millimeter film. And for those of us photographers that went from film to digital, it was really, really convenient just to get a digital camera with a full frame sensor, and we could keep all of our lenses and everybody everything worked justus we had expected it to. And so this is what we call a full frame sensor, and nikon likes to call it f x so that's kind of their full frame and they just they have different names for their different sensors, and this has a crop factor of one point o, which is a really fancy way of saying it's. The same size is thirty five millimeter film. Now, in order to save money, there are other cameras from nikon that use a smaller size sensor, notably the d seven thousand seventy one hundred and the whole three thousand five thousand siri's. And so the cropped factor on that is one point. Five crops into this size of the full frame sensor by a factor of one point. Five it's. A funny name, but we're not going to get into it right now, and you do have additional bragging rights over cannon because they use a one point, six crops answer. All right, so thanks for hanging in there for everybody who knows what they're talking about. We just wanted to cover a few of the basics. If anything, in the last five minutes, you said, I didn't know that, uh, you might want to take a look at the fundamentals of digital photography, because that's, where I do a lot more of that basic explanation.

Class Description

Join John Greengo for an in-depth step-by-step tour of the Nikon® D610/D600. With a hands-on introduction to your camera's operations, detailed instructions on how all the menus work, and instruction on how to shoot great photos with this specific camera model.


  1. Introduction to Digital Photography Basics
  2. Buttons

    Go on a tour of the Nikon® D610/D600 and get to know the functions and features of this DSLR camera.

  3. Buttons Continued
  4. Displays
  5. Menu
  6. Camera Operation
  7. Nikon® D610 Update
  8. Next Steps



What can I say John Greengo is the best photography instructor and the best prepared instructor I have ever witnessed. His visual aids are second to none along with his presentation style and years of experience you can't ask for any thing better. He covers the D600/D610 from top to bottom and doesn't miss a thing. If you have this camera and don't feel you are using it to the best your ability, then try this course. You will come away with a much better understanding of how to better use your D600. If you are new to digital photography or if you might need a little reinforcement of the basics then I highly recommend his 5 day course "Fundamentals of Digital Photography 2014." He covers everything in this course from what different camera brands offer, along with exposure to composition, and from focusing to lenses and lighting. He doesn't miss a thing and neither will you with John's clear and concise teaching style.


I am a fairly experienced UK user and wasn';t sure what to expect, but was very impressed. I like the slick CL website and well produced HD videos. John is certainly a very good teacher, who is clearly spoken and tells you what you need to know about the D600. I was able to sit with my camera in hand and go through all of the controls and picked up some very good tips, which I will use in Bhutan tomorrow! So I like my new teacher and on that basis will be coming back to take John's Fundamentals of Digital Photography and also the Olympus EM1 courses, which represent good value for money.

Thomas Lanik

I am about half way through this D600 course. Like many people it turns out I learn significantly better visually (and hands-on). Thanks to John's well spoken and clear style absorbing his presentation is very effective. I have already applied even simple D600 features. Even if you are thinking about this model I strongly recommend this course- If you're like me, you already made the plunge. That's O.K.- this will maximize your experience. Do it.