I Have a Nikon D70 DSLR? Questions

fivethreeSeptember 4, 2013

Hello Im new to this kind of camera and I'm going to be honest this is so overwhelming to me and this thing is huge? My husband bought it for me when it came out I think when 2005 or 2006 but this is my first time using it? I know that sounds silly but it's true, I've always just had a user friendly digital camera but my question is can I take a class to learn this camera and does it take nice clear photos? Sorry if I sound like an idiot but I'm clueless to what this DSLR can do? I may sell it because I'm not sure if I will ever really use it. Id like to take photos of my kids and shots of flowers in our garden etc...Guess my husband was saying I needed a hobby(not sure why I was busy raising 5 kiddos!) But anyway is there a guide or someone out there that can lead me in this type of camera? We have never used it and I'm ready now LOL

Thanks for your time

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I got my first DSLR about 6 months ago. Youtube has TONS of tutorials, and they are all FREE! Check out your community for meet-up groups involved in DSLR cameras. Just google: DSLR meet up groups in....whatever town you live in. We just attended two different free classes yesterday that I found online, both basic/beginner/intermediate use friendly. Play with your camera...a lot! Read the manual. Ack...that was not my favorite thing to do.
One of the things I learned yesterday, was to not rely on my LCD screen. Use the viewfinder.
Exposure is crucial. Shutter speed/aperture/ISO all combine to make correct exposure. I have a Canon, and it has an light meter right inside the viewfinder when I half press the shutter release. It tells me if the exposure is too dark or light, and I can adjust it without even taking my eye away, by scrolling the shutter speed wheel that's right near the release button. Not sure about Nikon, but a Youtube tutorial could certainly tell you about that.

So......get your camera out, pop in a fresh battery, and start playing with it! It should take BEAUTIFUL pictures!
Most of all.....have fun with it!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 12:06PM
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fivethree, are you still around? I just saw your post. If you still have questions, ask away. I shoot Nikon and I might be able to answer your questions.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 7:02PM
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That's a very nice camera.

Before you ditch it, may I suggest that you take a beginner's course at a local trade/technical school. Usually, the tutition is low cost especially if you are retirement age. Our local trade school has courses as low as $5 for seniors.

If you do not want to 'mess' with taking a class, work your way through the user's manual. There should have been one in the box. If you do not have a manual, very likely you can find one on-line using Google.

Don't be afraid to take many test shots - its very inexpensive. Unwanted shots can be erased and the memory card used again, in fact, you can selectively delete individual images - the card system will automatically re-use space occupied by deleted images.

Since you will be making a lot of test shots just to see how various adjustment affect the image, I suggest that you invest in rechargeable batteries and a charger. For starters, get two set of batteries. One set can be recharging while you use the other set. When I go on trip or on a camera hike, I have at least a fully charged battery in the camera and at least 2 sets of charged spares. Rechargeables do have a limited number of cycles and I have yet to see any meet the advertised amount (that was acomplished under ideal conditions). The lithium-ion batteries are pretty good at holding charge; Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) looses charge at about 10% per week, and some self discharges faster. There is a "hybrid NiMH cell that is much better at holding charge.

Now that you are set up with recharging capabilities, shoot away knowing that it will be very inexpensive since the batteries can be refreshed. This is one of the big advantages of digital cameras. You can take lots of pictures and toss out the bad ones without wasting money.

If your camera has an 'auto' selection on the mode dial, you can set the dial to this selection and use the camera as you would a simple point-and-shoot camera.

Now, we are going to check on another feature. Look in your manual to see if your camera has a 2 step shutter button, or with the camera turned off, simply push the button down and feel for the two detents. if it is there, you will feel a small resistance when the button is half way down - that is the first detent - and then with the botton fully down, the second switch is activated. The purpose of the first detent is to engage the auto-focus feature. Hold the button at the first detent until the lens has focused and then make the exposure by pushing the button all the way down.

By default, the camera may have been shipped with the auto-focus feature set to "continuous". That means that the auto-focus is active all the time and places an extra drain on the batteries. I recommend to dig into the setup menu and set the auto-focus to operate only when the shutter button is pushed to its first detent. This will give you a longer time before the batteries run down. However, you can operate in either mode - If the auto-focus feature is set to intermittent, be sure to allow time for it to focus before making the exposure.

It is a good practice to make a habit of pausing the shutter button at the first detent irregardless of which mode the auto-focus is set at because if you are swinging the camera around, the lens is continually changing focus as it picks out objects in its view. It will attempt to focus on the nearest object that fills the largest portion of the view and if it is still hunting when you click the shutter, you may get an out of focus picture.

It is difficult to fully automate the focus function, however digital cameras made in the last 2 to 3 years are doing a creditable job of it, but automation can not cover all situations and on those occasions, you will need to set the camera to manual and take over the focusing.

I'm guessing that 90% or more of your needs can be met by setting the auto-focus to intermittent and remember to allow time for the focus to work before making the exposure.

There are some instances when auto-focus fails or is slow. The auto-focus works by 'seeing' a hard edge or a sharp change between two details. When it can't decide what to use, the old Nikons would default to a near infinity setting. (I do not know 'what the newer Nikons do.) One of the cases where auto-focus fails is a sky view with no clouds or soft edged clouds. A default to infinity usually is ok for that case.

Auto-focus becomes slower as the light dims and can be quite slow in low level lighting. If you plan to do after dark, long time exposures, you'll likely need to set the camera focus fucntion to manual and take over that function. It wouldn't do to have the focus feature to keep changing focal length while for searching for something to home in on. The thing to do is to dig into the depths of your manual and find recommendations for this case.

Play with your camera before selling it a low price. Its a good camera and I hope that you can enjoy it.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 4:30AM
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