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Lesson 2 from: Nikon D7100 / D7200 Fast Start

John Greengo

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First off, you gotta have your camera on and just leave it on for the rest of class. You don't need to turn your camera on and off every time you touch the camera, so just leave it on for the rest of the class. You need to press down on the shutter release halfway because the camera likes to go to sleep. It is it is it. This is the laziest worker you'll ever be around cause after about six seconds, it wants to take a nap, all right? And so, in order to keep it awake, you just need to press down halfway on the shutter release. It does that to conserve battery powers to the battery last as long as possible. If you don't like that, you can adjust it when we get to the menu system. Later on the back of the camera is the command dialled. This is the main go to dial on the cameras, so if you want to change something, this is the place that you were probably going to do it. However, sometimes there are two things that you want to change, and there is a sub command I'll kind of on the opposite...

front side of the camera, and this is a secondary command I'll sometimes these dials do the same thing, sometimes you khun switch him around, but these are the kind of the go to dials for changing a lot of features on the camera for moving, focusing points around and navigating through out the menu system and some other areas the multi selector, which is just a hard name. If I forgive me, I might just call this the mouse or the up down arrow or the touch pad in the back those air all synonyms for may I have a hard time remembering multi selector, but you'll just be using that to help navigate and then of course, you have a little ok, but this is kind of like the enter button on a computer when you go to a menu setting and you're like yeah that's what I want to do you'd hit the ok button in order to enter that particular feature. All right, so with the on off button, one of things that happens when you turn the camera on or when you turn it off it's the camera goes through a sensor cleaning the camera, vibrates the sensor and tries to knock off any duck. This was a problem on the early digital cameras. Dust on the sensor will cast a shadow on the image and create a little black spot that you will then have to clean off in post and the camera does a very good job keeping the sensor clean, although it may get dust on it because if something gets a little sticky and get stuck on there, you'll have to physically clean that off. When we get into the menu section, I will talk about exactly how and what tools in order to do that with the shutter release is I mentioned this before, when you press halfway down on the shutter release, it turns the camera on. It also activates the meter ring system and the auto focus system on it, and so you'll find photographers it's not real noticeable, but they're constantly tapping down on the shutter release halfway just to make sure their camera is fully ready to go it's kind of like a teenager in a fast car at a stoplight, they got their foot on the gas just given it just a little bit of a reb ready to go in that turns green and so that's the way photographers are with their cameras. Then, of course, you'll press all the way down to fire the shutter, but be very comfortable with pressing the shutter release halfway down on the camera. Next up, over on the left hand side of the top of the camera is the mode alice is arguably one of the most important. Controls the camera this controls the exposure, the shutter speeds and the apertures in the style in which you adjust them. So let's, take a closer look at the mod ill in all of the options on the camera. All right, we got to start where it's easy and simple, right? The full auto mode, the green camera auto mode is, uh, yeah, just leave it there and we're done with class and we can go home. That isn't why you took this class. That is not why you are here to just leave your camera in the auto mode. The auto mode will set shutter speeds, it'll set apertures for you. The camera will auto focus for you, and it'll do a bunch of other things that you may or may not want. It will pop up the flash and fire the flash if it's dark out it's going to set a whole bunch of things in the menu. And one of the things that I find kind of irritating is it locks you out of a lot of the features of the menu. I call these child safety locks, so if you want to put your camera here, you're going to be limited with what you could do with the camera, and my guess is this if you're taking this class, if you're watching this that's not what you want to do with this camera now the fact of the matter is is that the majority of people who buy this camera will use it in the full auto mode and never leave and so I congratulate you on taking this beyond that most basic level because there is so much more that you can do outside of the auto mode I find it very, very frustrating in fact if if we meet at some point and I've met some of my students like down in yosemite national park or something like that I kind of just inherently I looked down to see where their camera set and and you don't want to be set here because you don't mean that you haven't learned anything from mike class s o this is a great mode for handing your camera to your brother or your sister who doesn't know anything about photography and you just want them to take basic pictures with your camera for yourself hopefully by the end of class you'll have so much more knowledge on what you want to do you won't want to use this mountain. One of the most frustrating things to me is that it pops the flash up all the time and it has no idea if it's appropriate for that type of situation whether you might be in a church where they don't allow flash or maybe you're in the upper stands of big baseball stadium and that flashes and going to do anything about illuminating the players down on the field and so the camera does have a flash off and this is the same as the full auto mode on ly the flash won't fire and so if you're going alone your camera to your brother in law to go go inside of museum and shoot pictures where they don't allow flash you could set it here on dh so they do have an option to turn that flash off but you're going to want to go beyond it all right the scene mode and I'm going to kind of throw in another mode here at the same time the effects mode are now let's go to this our ways that the camera will set the camera up for you and this isn't what a lot of serious photographers do you can put it in the scene or the effects mode turn the command aisle in the back of the camera and you can adjust the camera for a variety of situations seen modes tries to set the camera pus forest picking the right cheddar speeds apertures autofocus system eatery in system for all these specific little scenarios up there partridge landscape child sports and the list goes on and on and they mean they seem to have they're getting more and more of these scenes boats all the time and does this help out a little bit I don't particularly like these because whenever I put the camera to that mode the child safety locks for all the other features are still turned on and if something is really close to the way I want it but not exact I can't adjust it for those who don't know anything more than we've talked about so far these are better than the full auto boat but we're going to go much beyond these now the effects mode are different than the scene modes in that the effects are applying what I guess would vote we most commonly known as a photo shop effect it's like an instagram filter over your images and so you know if you want to do a color sketch of your friend it's not going to look like a photograph it's gonna look like a sketch that you would see on paper and it might be fun to play around with these modes but we're not going to spend a lot of time because anything that is done in the effects mode you can do better on your own later if you have the right tools in the right knowledge and how to use it so you can have some fun here nothing against having fun but this isn't where you want to capture your clean high quality images because most photographers want to capture you're clean high quality images so they can always go back and adjust and work from a good base level again. Now, when you do shoot in these affect modes, you are recording a jpeg on ly image. You're not recording a raw image, so be aware of that for those who are interested between shooting raw and jape, eh? All right, so let's, get back into the mod ill and let's get over into the more serious stuff, so one step more serious than the full auto mode is thie p for program out this o k. The dirty little secret on the p mode is that it is the same as the full auto mode, minus the child safety locks minus the flash popping up all the time. And so the programme mode simply sets the shutter speed and sets the aperture for whatever the light. And so if you want to take a quick picture every once in a while, I just want to take a quick picture and I know it seems surprising, but I don't care about shutter speed and I don't care about aperture. I just want a picture. I'll throw it in the programme mode and I know it's going to give me something reasonably pretty good and so that's a pretty good, quick shooting mode. The problem with it is is that yet when you said it there on dh? It's not quite right, you need to make adjustments to it. And depending on the light levels, it can fluctuate back and forth now when it is in the programme mode, one of the things you khun dio is you can go back to the command ill, and you, khun engage what is called a flexible program and you'll know you're inflexible program when you see the p star that indicates that you have changed the program from the preset program to something different. And so for instance, I'm goingto just let's see, I'm gonna get my camera out of the aussie pops the flash up whenever it thinks it needs. So I'm gonna put my camera in the programme mode right now, and I'm just going to make a quick little adjustment here for this studio purposes and if I put it in p and I pointed at my students here I am getting one four hundredth of a second at f five and let's just say I want more depth of field. For whatever reason, I can come over to the command aisle in the back of the camera and I could adjust it to f eleven at an eighth of a second, okay, now I put the camera down, we're gonna wait for just a moment. Okay, okay, now we're gonna go back to it, and now I'm gonna go over here and point it towards mallory and let's say, I want to shoot at a shallower depth of field. Well, my camera is still set where it was a moment ago, it did it reset back to the normal program, and so you have to kind of remember where it was at. And so if you're let's, say your traveling and you're taking your landscape picture and you can put your camera down, you want to take your portrait picture, you got to kind of remember to adjust back and forth, and so that program kind of is sticky there now, if I turn it off and I turn it back on, then it resets to the four hundred at f five, so then it resets, and so it doesn't reset if it goes to sleep, it does reset if you turn it off, so you have to kind of be aware of that any time I get engaged in a serious subject where I'm going to be shooting several pictures, I don't like the programme mode because the shutter speeds tend to kind of drift around a little bit, depending on the light levels, and we're in pointed out, and so if you have a very specific subject you're working with I would recommend one of the other mouths so let's go to those modes now s stands for shutter priority this is where you get to choose the shutter speed and so if you have your camera in the s mode right now, take it up to the fastest shutter speed by turning the command a dial in the back of the camera but being the shutter priority mount here and you'll go up too in a thousandth of a second, and if you go down to the slowest shutter speeds, you'll eventually get down to the seconds like one full second and just want to do this from why so you go down to thirty seconds that's the longest exposure that you could do with the shutter speed in a preset mode, you can actually get longer than that, but if you go one step beyond thirty seconds, you get to something called x two fifty this is a flash sink of two fiftieth it's called the x sake it was designed for people who worked in a studio and they wanted to set the camera at the fastest shutter speed that the flash that the camera would work with flash and it wouldn't get bumped around and so it's there it's the exact same is setting the camera at one to fiftieth of a second it's just a kind of the end of the dial and it's less likely to get bumped because it's at the end of the dial so you could set the exact shutter speed you want for something and the camera will figure out the aperture. I'm not a big fan of this mode, and I don't know a lot of photographers that use this very much. I know a few photographers who use it a little bit of the time, and the problem is is that you have something like eight eighteen different shutter speeds from one eight thousand down to thirty seconds and the amateurs, which we're going to get to next, you have a very small range of apertures and so in here, if I just randomly decided I wanted to shoot, it won four thousandth of a second, I would probably end up with a very dark picture because there's just not enough light in here to work with, and so you need to be very careful about win using shutter priority to make sure that you have your eyes open aperture set to an appropriate area when I am shooting sports, which is what a lot of people like to use thie s mode for I prefer to shoot in manual because most sports take place within a confined area basketball court soccer core. Velodrome and you know where the athletes are going to be and you know where you're going to shoot them? You khun test the light levels, shoot in manual and have your shutter speed aperture fully dialed in, and so I'm very careful with shutter priority. One option for maybe the slightly more advanced users is to use shutter priority and auto eso uh, to kind of help keep the camera collecting the correct amount of light, and so that is one option with shutter priority that does work quite well for a lot of photographers, including myself. The favorite simple mode is aperture priority, and so the sub command I'll on the front of the cameras what controls the aperture? And in this mode you can pretty safely set the aperture anywhere you want and the camera will find a shutter speed that works with it. Now you do have to keep your eye on the shutter speed to see if it's acceptable for the light levels urine and if you're on a tripod or not and so I'm going to turn my camera to aperture priority and I'm just going to go ahead and adjust my aperture to let's say, a portrait setting of two point eight on dh I'm getting a shutter speed a sixteen hundredth of a second I have my eyes so set up a little bit for anyone, who's wondering, and we've got new lights here in the creative live studio, which makes a little bit brighter in here a little bit easier to shoot pictures. And so the aperture party mode is a good, simple mode because you could just dial back and forth with that front dial more depth of field, lest up the field faster shutter speeds, slower shutter speed. And so I really like the aperture priority mode. Most photographers I know on ly use two modes on their camera, and that is aperture priority and manual. So in manual, we're going to set your shutter speeds on the back dial the main command ill, and you're going to set your apertures on the front of tile. What you'll then do is look below look in the viewfinder at the bottom for the light meter there's going to be a zero and a little scale with a plus on left and minus on the right, and you want to get this light meter in the middle and that's going to indicate an even exposure, at least that's a good starting point for many, many different exposures. And so for manual modes, let me go ahead and just put my camera here in manual let's just say that I want the good old f. Eight and be there so I'm going to choose f eight and I don't know what shutter speeds, so I'm gonna hold it up to my eye. I'm going to see that I am overexposed because the numbers are over on the plus side and so I'm going to adjust my shutter speeds until my meter is in the middle of zero and I am at deaf eight hundred twenty fifth of a second if I take that picture, I gotta focus on something just barely get my two students in there. I get a good look ng result on the back of my camera and so manual metering is a great learning tool that everyone should process that they should go through any time you're engaged with a subject, whether it's portrait sports landscape anything and you're shooting several pictures of the same thing. One of things you want to nail down is your shutter speed your aperture in your eyes so and when it's in manual as long as you don't physically bump the dials it's not changing on you, it will not ever change and that's always frustrating to photographers when the camera just wants to change something on you. And so working in the manual mode is something that everyone should be striving for on this camera you don't need to use it all the time, but it's a good tool for a lot of different things john I have a quick question from daily shooter karen's they ask in programme mode can you change aperture and shutter or just the aperture on my kid? And I don't think I can change anything when I'm in p but a nikon is it different? Well, nikon cannon are the same you can adjust on both of them but you're adjusting both of them at the same time okay and what's kind of weird is it z? It changes according to the light so let's just say you were trying to get to five hundredth of a second you could give yourself a faster shutter speed and open up the aperture, but if the light change it might dip down to two fiftieth of a second and so it's kind of always wavering back and forth, always trying to keep things bala and for anyone who is really trying to nail down a shutter speed or aperture it's very frustrating, but you can't adjust both you khun kind of hold it in as long as the camera's not moving around too much. For instance, if I put it in program and let's just say I want a sixtieth of a second right now I'm at a four hundred that at five and so I will turn the back dial of the camera down to sixty f but if I move over here it's a fiftieth over here, it's an eightieth there it's a fiftieth so now I gotta adjust it again to a sixtieth fi re compose a little bit it's at one hundred and it gets really frustrating that it you can't nail it down and pin it there, he might say, because the camera is constantly reading the light and adjusting for the light, which is both a good thing in a bad thing. Okay, so next up is the you one and you two setting. So if you go to a youtube concert, you definitely want to use thieve to city now you too, and you want stand for user settings and these air ones that you get to customize for anything that you do on a regular basis. And so if you constantly are working in the studio under particular conditions and there's a lot of changes to your camera, you could pre program the camera. However you want it to work and then go in and save these settings. And so what I have on the screen over here, this is what's called a shortcut. For those of you following along at home who have this pre recorded, you can stop the recording right now, you khun dive into the tool section in your menu into a setting called save user setting and what you can do is set your camera exactly the way you want it, and then go to save user setting and you register as either you one or you too and it's going to keep everything locked in. Where this comes in. Really handy, for instance, is a landscape photographer who's out shooting landscapes, and they have their camera all set up for subjects that are static. They're shooting from a tripod, but they're also a bird photographer, and a bird comes into the scene and they want to switch over to action. Shooting were auto focus and a fast shutter speed or really important, I can think off the top, my head there's, probably about four five camera settings that I would want to change. That might take me ten, twenty seconds to change by just switching from you one to you, too. You can change everything right away, and so those are some good settings for anyone who has kind of pre set things that they want to do that they want to lock in on their camera very, very handy. Some people use him, some people don't but it's just a nice advantage for, for those that have a lot of setting adjustments between two things they encounter in short periods of time, it's, kind of like the driver's seat aziz, he setting nick said here in class it's like those driver's seats that kind of remember exactly how far back how I up and maybe even what temperature you like to have your seat hat and so mallory maybe we can check now to see if there's any follow up questions dealing with mlle odile or basic operation so far let's see her not necessarily about that but we have a question from davor were used to calculating the aperture and many things actually for excuse me or with s o one hundred since the time of film when using the g n of a flash to do some calculation it's pretty much the same now many cameras he actually start at s o two hundred would going to l o o one two great the quality okay, I need to process all of that I think they were trying to impress me with their knowledge level when I have done a very good job well done davor thumped the teacher and so some of the older in icons had a low isso of two hundred this camera has I s o of one hundred and so that's your base city double check I sometimes have several cameras running through my brain any one given time and one hundred is as low as you can go so his question is kind of void because you can't do it on this camera and with the flashes if you want best quality is so is going to get one hundred we'll talk more about that when we get there sounds good and we've a question from barnacle with john cleese coming on whether or not light meters are still hopeful in general if yes which one would you recommend? Wow I have a light meter that is getting close to twenty years old I can't quite part with it but I don't need it very often and so I think it's pretty rare that photographer's need a light meter anymore and maybe I'm just lazy I'll just take a picture and I'll look at the back of the camera and see if it looks right on and the history graham the screens in the back of the camera are so accurate I pretty much never need a light meter and so if you're new to photography and you're wondering what's the best way to spend the next two hundred dollars you have in your photography fund it's not going to be a light meter for most people there are some situations I think if you're working in a studio environment that would probably be the most helpful if you're out working outside under natural daylight it's going to be less helpful for most of the people excellent and we have more kind of general questions would you like tio wrap up this section or do you want me to move to general questions let's, let's, keep moving through way. We got some. We got some slides to go through. Okay. All right. So back on the top of the camera, over on the right hand side, we have exposure compensation international symbol of plus and minus. All right. So what's going on here is if you want to make your picture lighter or darker, you can do that with the exposure compensation now, the only times that you'll be using this is in the programme mode, the shutter priority mode and the appetite remote in the full manual mode. You can just change your shutter speed er aperture and make it lighter or darker, but in the program modes you would use this and sometimes well, all the time. I should start with this all the time. The camera is trying to average the lights and the darks to a nice middle, even gray, you might say, but sometimes subjects are brighter. Sometimes they're darker and the quickest way for you to adjust that in those aperture, shutter priority and program modes is just with a little exposure compensation. You know, for instance, if you go up skiing and it's all white around you, you might need to add in a plus two thirds exposure compensation or a plus one. If you have a very dark background, you may need to add in a minus one because your camera's always trying to compensate with whatever light it sees and it thinks everything is middle tone grey. So that's how and when you can use exposure compensation now, generally on the nikon camera, let me show you on this nikon camera here the way that you just sit over here so I can get the camera over here, possibly get my controls on this right with nikon cameras. What you need to do is you need to press the button you need to hold the button down as you turn the dial. You don't just press the button pressing the button does absolutely nothing you gotta press and hold and turn the back dial. Some people think that pressing the button and turning the dial is too much work to go through and or they come from a canon camera and let's just say, in an aperture priority mowed the front dial is controlling the aperture. You can go in to this special shortcut. You see little shortcut on screen, the custom menu, b three we'll get to this in time for those you don't know what I'm talking about, but if you want to go in, you can customize your camera so you don't need to press this button all you do. Is turn the unused dial right now, my camera does not have this turned on, and the style back here will do nothing, but I could have it control the exposure of compensation, and so if you're constantly using the exposure compensation, you can customize the camera so it's even faster toe work. But for most people, I kind of like the safety precaution of pressing the button and turning the dial good way to make sure that you don't accidentally turn it next up front is an unlabeled little button with an orange dot in it, it is the movie recording, but we're going to talk about shooting videos with the camera on this little bit later, but it's just a little bit off the main shutter release, so that when you press when you're shooting video it's very easy button press to get teo and I should mention on the movie record, but it won't just start recording movies unless you are in the movie recording mode, and so if I press it right now, it does nothing, and so you have to be in the movie milk, which we'll get to a little bit later. Next up is a button that's got little pattern to it, and this is the media ring pattern this is the way the camera reads light there three different options matrix center waiting center waited, by the way is what cameras used to have, like in the sixties and seventies and then in the eighties, they started adding spot meters so that you can measure an area in a very tight circle in the middle of it. And this was really handy for people who didn't have digital cameras and digital cameras did not exist at the time. And you could read a small area in the portion of the frame right now for most the photography ay dio and for a lot of my classes, I just recommend matrix memory it's a really good all around me during system. There are some reasons why you might want to use a different meeting system, but I think for beginners and for most people, most of the time, the matrix metering will do a fantastic job and I'm fully happy with it. It's it's an awesome tool right there. All right, next up we have a little tiny symbol. It looks like saturn. Okay? And what this is it's, the focal plane of the sensor in the camera. If you need to know exactly where this sensor is and it's very unlikely that you'll need this, perhaps you've seen behind the scenes of how they make a movie and you see somebody measuring the distance from the camera to the subject's face that they're measuring is the distance to the focal plane and that's where you would measure it on this particular camera. The control panel on the top of the camera is just all the basic settings were not going to go through all the settings most remember pretty obvious, and we'll go through some of them a little bit later on one thing take note of is that in the brackets in the lower right hand corner indicated on screen is how many pictures you have left and this is an important number to know, but it comes at a cost, and this is a small complaint with ni con that I have in there, it's in the control panel, they don't show you what s so you're at, but in the menu system, you can choose whether you would rather see the s o or the frame count and I think I s o for general day to day shooting is more important than frame count because many, many photographers air putting in reasonably large cards that will get you hundreds and hundreds of pictures, if not thousands. And so running out of pictures is not as big a deal is a day as the days when we only got thirty six in the camera and so I'm going to recommend when we get to this menu setting to change it over to s o display so that you can see your s o right up there as well as in the viewfinder, as you'll see in a little bit, we have new stereo microphones on this camera stereo mic. So I kind of knew that might have been on the camera for a little while. This is the next generation of it, although if you are recording movies, you're probably and it's important to you, you'll probably want to add on an external mike, we'll talk about those later as well. The hot shoe on the cameras were you going about flashes were going to talk about. Flash is a little bit later on, you know, it seems like half my class, I say what we talking about that a little bit later on, we will get to it. Trust me, it's. Just that there's a number of times when you encounter features on the camera.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

D7200 Menu Recommendations
NikonD7100 - Outline

Ratings and Reviews


I'm sold. Can't wait to upgrade from my D5200 to the D7100. Thanks to John I have just been convinced of what I have been reading about this camera. And John is much more interesting than a manual. Since I now own this video, I can re-watch it when I get the camera. I have watched and purchased John Greengo's videos several times, and he never ceases to amaze me. I have been shooting for about 18 months, and really have developed a real passion for the art. At 65 years old, its not as easy as maybe it would have been years ago, but with the help with instructors like John Greengo, and others on Creative Live, I'm on my way to an exciting retirement.

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I think Nikon should supply this course as part of the purchase price, it's that good. John is a great ambassador for the Nikon brand and there can be no better way to get immediate confidence in your new camera. He has a calm engaging manner, is very fluent (no umm's & err's) and is a true inspiration. I owned the camera for a couple of months before I came across this course and my hit rate has dramatically improved with his instruction. I have gone on to purchase "The fundamentals of photography" and the fast start for my other camera OMD EM1, both equally excellent.


This is my first experience with a DSLR and John's class and instruction style is excellent and easy to understand his instructions. I purchases the D7100 and am happy that I can watch this video again and again to increase my knowledge of this wonderful camera. I am so satisfied with John's style of instruction I intend to purchase "Fundamentals of Digital Photography 2014" Thank you CreativeLive. eddyhc1

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