I'm constantly on the hunt to better nail highest quality out of this camera(D5000).
1. When on "A" mode , try "sunny day" on white balance.
Still - the best range of exposure-for brighter colors and exposure in darker areas(say the grass,bushes,and shadow areas-in a scene that has some sky)...seems to be (for me),to use the dial atop the camera...
2. When on Dial modes,(say no flash or Landscape)...where the apperature comes up at an auto size (say 5.6),and you wanted a smaller apperature - for more inclusive DOF ; try ;I up my ISO. This gives a smaller auto apperature (say f11). Keep in mind with this "baby"(D5000),I can get awesome low to no noise images to ISO 2000.
Note ! in #2 , say I'm useing my 55-200...I want/demand smaller apperature.Because I get VERY disappointed when there is not enough DOF,which I mostly want. Though not nessary - I consider f/16 to be my base apperature for my 55-200.
Do you have some fun secrets to share for 'best quality images out of this camera'(D5000 or similar D3000)? !?
Another thing for poss. better images ; before I download - I go through all the images recorded to see if any IN CAMERA TOUCH UP will help.
And the last thing I know is ; once they are on the computer ; DO NOT under-estimate the POWER of these programs we use, to correct and adjust AND convert these images.(say ;to B+W, or Artcy etc.)
This camera is able , now-if I could just work together with it...
#1. "RE: 2 things to try to improve image record" In response to Reply # 0
Seattle, WA, US
It is always good to see someone willing to experiment with the camera so see how it affects the resulting images!
For white balance you normally want to try to match the camera with the actual lighting conditions. The sunny setting is great for sunny days. However, it is also a fun way to warm up or cool down the colors when purposely mismatched.
When dealing with the scene settings, one of the things to do during post processing is to use an EXIF viewer to look at the settings that the scene settings set the camera to. That way you can start to see the effects so that you can then start choosing them manually when you want to deviate from the defaults that the scene modes set.
---------+---------+---------+ Joseph K Seattle, WA, USA
#2. "RE: 2 things to try to improve image record" In response to Reply # 0
I'm really surprised you didn't mention anything about active d-lighting or set picture control. These two features were added specifically with the intention of providing not only better color reproduction, but also, more flexible contrast, saturation, and hue options.
Set Picture Control: used to control sharpness, contrast, color saturation, and hue
There are several predefined settings, these are: standard, neutral, vivid, monochrome, portrait, landscape, and custom
each of the settings are calibrated to optimize picture reproduction for various subjects. you should experiment with these if you are unfamiliar, I have found the results to be very pleasing, and believe you may find one or more of the settings beneficial.
my favorite Picture control option is VI - Vivid
please note that you can manually create your own picture control format or make adjustments to the factory ones.
Active D-Lighting: this is an amazing feature that helps uncover highlights and shadows in very detailed lighting
for instance, if you are shooting a subject in hard light and you are having issues with too much shadow being cast across some fine surface details and the shadows are washing out those details you want to capture, and you have no control over the physical lighting, you can use active d to reduce the amount of shadow and increase the detailing of the subject.
I shoot with the setting normal the most it seems to be very well balanced.