About to throw my camera away

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ChristianMommy's picture
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About to throw my camera away

Ok...Need help....As you ay know I have a Nikon D3000....does anyone have any comments on Nikon? Should I take this back and get the Canon Rebel? I am just so frustrated with the pictures....I have not purchased the 35mm lens yet, all I have is the 18-55mm lens. My daughter was in a pageant last night. Of course, all pics are underexposed as usual. Dark and no better than my digital point and shoot. Then I take some pics in stage lighting, overexposed. Then just a very well lit school hallway, and her face is blurred. Took some outside in the sunlight, overexposed. All this time my light meter says perfect exposure...I am to the point where I want to return it since I'm obviously not able to take any better pictures than I can with a disposable one.....Can't seem to NEVER get catchlights either...so sad Sad

ps, I didn't use any ss low enough to cause her face to be blurred either....

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I know what the problem is .......Sorry your pics were ruined though.

Ok you've changed the exposure comp.
look at your +/- at the bottom, it should read 0 but chances are it doesn't. Change to A mode, on the d60 there is a +/- button, press and hold while turning the wheel you normally change ss

AmberBella's picture
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Wow, really? You have only had the camera for a few weeks. This is not the camera's fault...this is user error. Remember...it is not the camera that takes good pictures, it is the photographer. If I gave you the best violin in the world, that doesn't guarantee that you would make amazing music on it. By the same token, a cheap violin in the hands of a master could sound amazing.

Catchlights have ZERO to do with the camera....there is a girl here who is using a point and shoot and has recently started getting amazing catchlights. She is learning her point and shoot and using it to its best advantage. Months ago, her images were a mess...now...she's getting really good quality.

It takes time to learn this tool. I started with an Xti...and all my pictures were underexposed for months until I learned the idiosyncrasies of my camera.

That said, these lower end DSLR's have their limits. You have to know how to work within those limits and use your tool to its best advantage.

ETA: You also need to learn to understand lighting. What seems like a "well lit hallway" will likely never be enough lighting for a low end DSLR without flash. Our eyes adjust and make lighting seem equal....but it's not. On the other hand....stage lights are extremely harsh and complex. Very bright in some areas and really dark in others. It really encourages blown highlights and blown color channels. Using an automatic mode in that situation is out of the question...unless you're using flash at a close enough distance to make it matter. You need to know how to work the light using your camera as a tool. To figure out exposure, the camera interprets what it's looking at as 18% gray. The camera cannot POSSIBLY figure out 18% gray when looking at stage lighting. All it sees is black black black...so it will want you to over expose the image to try and make all that black gray. This is where the photographer comes in. You know what you are looking at, so when you have enough experience, you can set the camera to the appropriate setting to get usable images.

Amy_&_Eva's picture
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I agree, you can't get this frustrated so early in the game. You've only been using these techniques (manual) for a short time. It's not the camera's fault. Like Amber said, the human eye (as I was just commenting about to my hubby the other day) balances and brings in light in low-light rooms better than probably any camera (generally speaking). You have to learn ALL the features and settings and when a pic doesn't come out right, stop and think what each thing is set at and what could possibly need adjusting.

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I had bought the nikon d3000 and tried it for a few weeks and I didn't like it. To me it wasn't very user friendly so I took it back and got the canon rebel xs and I love it.

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I 100% agree with Amber. You can't just pick up a DSLR and expect it to take photos like a pro, when you've never had experience with a DSLR before.

First off with your meter. Are you spot metering, centre weight? Every different option will make your meter read something different and you have to adjust your exposure based on that.

There is NO way that you will exposed images on a stage without a flash, by handholding your camera. In order to do that, you have to move up to a professional D700 (at least). When I shoot stage shows with my D300, my ISO is jacked, on a tripod and I'm shooting with a remote.

What's your aperture with the blurred images. SS isn't the only thing that will cause images to not appear in focus.

Sit down, take a deep breath, grab a great beginners book and learn how to use the camera before throwing it away.

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ditto!

ChristianMommy's picture
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Thanks! I really think I am just not understanding exposure, lighting, DSLR cameras in general. I have been looking into classes but could only find tutorial DVD's by Nikon at relatively cheap prices. I understand that there are tons of different combos of ap and ss that will zero out my light meter and say it is perfect exposure, but I think the combo's I'm picking may not be the appropriate settings for the picture I am wanting. I know it will take time, but it seems the more I practice, the worse I'm getting. I wasn't saying it's my Nikon's fault...I know it's user error. But I was wondering if maybe the Canon Rebel would be easier for me to understand and learn.....I researched both for at least 6 months before choosing the Nikon, but now I'm second guessing my choice as far as ease of use goes. Thanks for all the comments. Smile

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Hi, I normally lurk here but had to pipe in and say I just bought my first DSLR this weekend, took it out of the box, set it on manual and snapped pictures that I was thrilled with... and I got a Rebel XSi. I think it's super easy to use and understand but I had another Canon before this and though it wasn't a DSLR, I was able to shoot in manual and for the past year and a half, I have been practicing at that before jumping into the DSLR world... So I don't know if it's my practice on my old camera or that the Rebel seems extremely user-friendly, but I've only had my Rebel for two days and it already feels like a long-lost friend. Smile

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Canon and Nikon work the exact same way. Buttons are in different spots, but they do the same thing. It will most likely not be easier to start from the very beginning on a Canon vs Nikon.

And to re-iterate my comment from above....zero-ing out your light meter isn't always the right choice.

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100% agree you need to give it time. I love my nikon
You def need to master the basics. Check out camera stores, I know here in Canada they offer classes. I took one and while for me I already knew most of it from here I did learn about exposure compensation which yes I was stuck on for a few days wondering how the heck I was going to figure it out since I felt like I was guessing.

(just out of curiosity, did you check to see if you had any compensation? It's so easy to do if you're switching btwn M and another setting......zeroing your meter may not always be ideal but it should give you a general idea of where you're at unless you're in a completely wacky situation)

Get the understanding exoposure book, join ILP (i love photography) and there is a study group on there that goes through all the chapters........if I have more time to pick up my camera on a almost daily basis I will def start reading through that.

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"ChristianMommy" wrote:

Thanks! I really think I am just not understanding exposure, lighting, DSLR cameras in general. I have been looking into classes but could only find tutorial DVD's by Nikon at relatively cheap prices.

:lurk:

I am taking an online course through MLK studios that just the 1st week alone has taught me alot. You may want to look into it. It's self paced 8 wk course but can take up to a year to complete if you need too. He is a super nice guy and may work out a payment plan with you if needed, that's how I am doing it.

http://mlkstudios.com/MOPC/

Good luck Smile

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"Inked_Mama" wrote:

http://mlkstudios.com/MOPC/

Good luck Smile

fyi he also gives discount to ILP members I don't remember how much

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"LJB07" wrote:

fyi he also gives discount to ILP members I don't remember how much

It's $250, $100 off, totally worth it IMO.

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Thanks! I will definitely look into that! I've been on the phone most of the day looking for classes locally. I love photography so much...I really want to learn and understand this. LJ, I did zero out my exposure comp...then I played with it to see what it would do, but the default setting was zero anyways. I never messed with that previously...I only mess around with ap and ss. I think I am also going to learn the preset settings (landscape, macro, portrait, etc.) on my camera too so I can see the difference in settings and what I need for certain picture environments. Photography is fun but totally not a piece of cake lol

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That's good. I only suggested b/c at least on the D60 it's super easy to change if you go into the other modes. I did it without even realizing.

gl hope you found some local classes, I'm going to take at some point too