I have a few questions that I can't find answers to in the D50 manual. I am hoping that all of you might be able to lend a hand (keeping in mind that I am new to SLR photography and I have the kit lens).
1 - While using spot metering and manual focus what spot does the camera meter? The center, or whichever of the 5 focus areas is selected?
2 - While using manual focus and either center weighted, or matrix metering what purpose do the 5 focus areas serve if they are not being used for focusing or metering? Does it matter which of the 5 focus areas I select when shooting in this mode.
3 - When in either shutter priority mode or manual mode why can't I get my shutter speed turned passed 1/500? From the manual I should be able to go all the way to 1/5000 but I am maxing out at 1/500. Does the max shutter speed have anything to do with the lens? I know that the aperture bottoms out at like 5.6 because that is a limitation of the lens so is the max shutter speed related to the lens? If not then how do I go faster than 1/500?
4 - Focus - from what I understand the camera selects AF-A as a default and AF-A automatically selects between AF-S and AF-C. AF-S is designed to focus on a stationary object like a portrait or scenery. Can anyone give me an example of how they use AF-C? I understands that it tracks the subject that is moving and can better focus on a moving object so I spent an hour or so last night waving my hand in front of the lens switching between modes trying to figure it out. In AF-C how do I take advantage of this setting for taking good pictures of kids, pets, or other things that are never sitting still?
5 - Book - has anyone seen or used a book, field guide, video, or website that gives better step by step instructions on how to put some of the features of this camera to use?
Sorry to be so long winded but I really like this forum and I know that if anyone will be able to answer the questions of a rookie it will be all of you. Thanks in advance for any help that you can offer!
#1. "RE: Metering, Focusing, and other rookie questions" In response to Reply # 0
1. Still meter from the center. 2. You are right, when using manual focus, those focus ring are basically useless. 3. I just check on that with my 50mm f1.8. I can set 1/4000s in both S and M mode. Did you have your flash pop up? since flash sync max out at 1/500s.
And I'll pass on question 4 and 5... I am a newbe to SLR myself, but loving every minute of it!!
#5. "RE: Metering, Focusing, and other rookie questions" In response to Reply # 4
I am not quite sure what this mean. Pg 96 of menu for spot metering: "camera meters active focus area only(if closest subjct is selected for AF-Area mode, camera meters center focus area).
I guess it will spot meter at focus area, if you select focus area manually. If selected closest subject, it will always focus in the center... interesting, since i always use manual select focus area option....
#6. "RE: Metering, Focusing, and other rookie questions" In response to Reply # 0
As the others are answered already, I will take on #5. I purchased the DVD from Blue Crane specifically for the D50. It will not teach you everything about getting great pictures with the D50, but it will guide you through all of the controls on the camera and give you the basics. It helped me a bit when I first got the camera.
#7. "RE: Metering, Focusing, and other rookie questions" In response to Reply # 6
No 4. There are several possibilities here. If you half press the shutter in AF-S or AF-C the camera will focus (and of course in AF-A). If the subject, or camera, moves in AF-S the focus stays locked on the original focus while in AF-C it will refocus. I know that seems pretty obvious but from that a/ if the subject(and camera) are stationary the result is the same when you fully depress ths shutter b/ if either move in AF-S the shot may be out of focus, in AF-C the camera will refocus but only take the shot if it refocuses. If the subject is moving (or the camera or both) half pressing the shutter in AF-S will lock the focus which is pretty useless, in AF-C it will continually refocus until you fully press the shutter. c/ AF-A is designed to detect the difference
If you want to take the shot as soon as you get a focus by pressing the shutter all the way it makes no difference, in either mode the D50 will be the same (the D70 is different). The shot will happen as soon as the focus is gained. The difference happens if you use burst mode a/ In AF-S the all the shots will be on the same locked focus b/In AF-C the camera will refocus as it goes, again only taking the shot if it gets the focus. c/ again AF-A is designed to detect what is going on. So far I haven't tried AF-A enough to see whether it offers any advantages
From the above I've figured my best usual setting is AF-C, burst mode on and AF-L on the AE-L/AF-L mode button. If I want to recompose the shot I can focus, press and hold the AE-L/AF-F button and then recompose, if I want to ensure I get a fresh focus I can release the half shutter press and repeat it.
I'm still learning my round the camera and there may well be better ways of doing things but this is working well so far and it allows me to leave the menu button to go straight to the metering option, the thing I change the most. Now I'm waiting patiently for Mr Nikon to send me my new battery so I can play some more