Your "set it and foget" settings...?
Tomorrow, my wife gets her new D60 (applause). After 7 years away from it, I may finally be able to get her back into SLR photography! Of course, havig been a D200/D300 owner for the past several years, I have become quite the snob (;)) and was horrified to notice the "Auto" setting on the main dial. "Auto? AUto!?!?!?! But but... You have A and S and M and..." OK, so my camera experience of learning the ins and outs of the camera will quickly tire my "I want to compose the shot, press the 'button' (we're working on "shutter release") and get on my computer what I saw through the lens" wife. And that's not a problem, because she does a good job.
So, what would you all suggest for settings that I dial in through menus, etc so I could just put it in her hands, wave and then unleash her upon an unsuspecting world? I don't want to set the camera up so "perfect" that she has to post-process it to death, think about DoF or worry about shutter speed and so on (I see "total control" as perfect while she sees "I never have to mess with it" as perfect). Or do "Auto" and all the various creative modes pretty much take that control away anyway, making most of the decisions for her? She really is far more artistically inclined than technique oriented.
This is my Nikon. There are many like it, but this one is mine!
#1. "RE: Your "set it and foget" settings...?" | In response to Reply # 0OrlandoRealtor Registered since 28th May 2008Thu 31-Jul-08 08:09 AM
Being a new DSLR and D60 owner myself, I find the Auto Mode and the pre-set modes take great pictures. I am beginning here and will slowly move into the other modes. Reading a book by Bryan Peterson called "Understanding Exposure". Gradually then I will experiment in the other modes as I learn what settings will do. Your wife will like the A-mode and presets/ to begin with as they do get excellent picture . As your wife wants to get more advanced she can experiment in the other modes with settings.
#2. "RE: Your "set it and foget" settings...?" | In response to Reply # 0HpyCampin Registered since 07th Oct 2007Thu 31-Jul-08 09:15 AM
The auto pre-sets are the "set it and forget it" settings on the camera.
As the previous poster mentioned, pick up a copy of Understanding Exposure or even "Digital Photography" by Scott Kelby (versions 1 & 2) for her as well.
Those three books are awesome reference manuals for taking manual, ap or sp photographs. If she wants to shoot beyond point & shoot, these books will have her in manual mode in no time!
#3. "RE: Your "set it and foget" settings...?" | In response to Reply # 0dave_gt Basic MemberThu 31-Jul-08 10:36 AM
Hey, the D40/60 cameras are really good tools and work quite well as a "point-and-shoot"! When I got my D40 to fill in the gaps around my D2H/D2X bodies, I set everything up as Ken Rockwell's website describes and it works great!
Don't let the negative comments on forums about Ken put you off as there is a lot of good information on his website.
Now, I do tend to use aperture priority and manual at times, but I bought the small digital body for easy of carry and "compose and shoot opportunities" with the kids running around. For that, the D40/60 bodies are hard to beat!
#4. "RE: Your "set it and foget" settings...?" | In response to Reply # 0Drbee Nikonian since 05th Aug 2004Thu 31-Jul-08 11:54 AM
Time to push the "reset button" on that snob function. The "Auto" mode is the set-it-and-leave-it function you are looking for. It's also the bail-me-out function for when experimentation in the other settings overwhelms someone trying to familiarize themselves with the camera. It may be the only setting some people need. The out of camera images are very usable - and stunning to the skill level of the photographer.
For experienced photographers, it's also the function you can use when someone hands you their camera and you haven't used one in a while, or forever. It's the setting that you use when you are jetlagged out of your mind after a 36 hour equipment-delayed flight to Bangkok and your mind won't allow decisions let alone grab your bags, passport, business gear, colleagues, family, customs, taxi, hotel and you have to force yourself to stay awake for two more hours because you aren't sure what happens if you fall asleep in the back of a cab and you want to get your photo - there wasn't an "auto" button on my camera there was one on my wife's. She has the grab shots to print. Mine are OK, hers are better; I forgot in haste to reset some functions used on the flight.
My wife's D70s is nigh permanently on "Auto". Her images can be stunning, they are exactly to her standards: good, sharable, documentary, fast, on with the next obligation - enjoyable.
It is still ISO, aperture and shutter speed, right?
#5. "RE: Your "set it and foget" settings...?" | In response to Reply # 0MotoMannequin Registered since 11th Jan 2006Thu 31-Jul-08 12:04 PM
I agree with the others here. Obviously you can do a lot more creatively with a D60 by learning to get out of the green mode, but any creativity you apply will require knowledge, experience, and thought. We could come up with some A or P mode settings that would approximate a "never have to think" group of settings, and it would probably do a pretty good job, but would it do a better job than auto? Would there be any real value in using this mode instead of using auto?
Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
My Nikonians gallery
#7. "RE: Your "set it and foget" settings...?" | In response to Reply # 6ruca2k8 Registered since 27th Feb 2008Sat 02-Aug-08 07:23 AM
I don't think she will be disappointed, and maybe you'll be surprised.
When I got my D40x, I "leant" my parents my existing F65, since my dad's FM is "all manual" and, with dwindering eyesight and slower reactions, they could never get pictures of their now-13mth grandson (my boy - proud daddy moment, lol).
I put the camera on AUTO and told them to wait for the focus-lock light. Thay have gotten great shots, even with the on-camera flash.
It does work out well. I also put it in auto or some pre-set when I pass my camera to someone to take a picture. Bad thing is, some have shown up better than my fussy-snob M-setting shots....oh well.
#8. "RE: Your "set it and foget" settings...?" | In response to Reply # 7lkmstone Registered since 20th Feb 2008Sat 02-Aug-08 12:05 PM
I set my D60 on "Auto" for "Idiot" when my daughter wants to use the camera. She gets fabulous shots that way at ISO 400 and I don't have to worry about a thing. On those rare occasions she can't quite get what she wants, she comes to me, ready to learn something, and asks me how to set the camera to get what she wants. This works out great for both of us. She gets to be creative with out me looking over her shoulder but I get to teach her a few things when she wants.
#9. "RE: Your "set it and foget" settings...?" | In response to Reply # 0
The "AUTO"-mode is my default setting. I alter between this and the other shooting programs. This makes the camera quick as a point and shoot. Learn the use of histograms!
I also only used these settings the first two months till I got used to the camera.
Now, when I have the time, I turn into manual M mode. Radio triggering flashes, selftimer and IR remote makes the M mode and MF a safe one. I love the feeling of Nikkormat and Nikon FE. But nowadays this is not the beginner's level. The AUTO is.
#10. "RE: Your "set it and foget" settings...?" | In response to Reply # 0
Given your original post, it appears your wife has some experience in SLR photography. I think you need to tailor her "set it and forget it" settings to her skill level and photographic goals.
If my wife picks up my D40, I just set it to "Auto" and she his happy. She is experienced with a manual SLR, but has not desire to learn the nuances of a more complicated camera.
Auto frustrates me because you can't alter the exposure comp and I find most shots from my D40 without some exposure comp come out overcooked. However, it's a powerful tool to get people started taking pictures with a dslr. I think the key is to be willing to move beyond
Auto, if necessary to accomplish your goals.
FWIW, here are my basic settings:
I usually use the auto ISO "trick" recommended by Ken Rockwell in his D40 guide, and set my base ISO as low as possible. I use auto WB because I shoot raw and auto gets me close enough. I like AF-S for the auto focus mode, because I usually shoot fairly static subjects and I like the control of the AF-S mode. I usually use aperture priority, because it;s the auto exposure mode I'm most comfortable with from using an F3 and an FE.
D300s D40 F3HP FE FM2n Nikkormat FTN
Everything is a subject. Every subject has a rhythm. To feel it is the raison d'être.
The photograph is a fixed moment of such a raison d'être, which lives on in itself.
- Andre Kertesz
My Nikonians Gallery
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
#11. "RE: Your "set it and foget" settings...?" | In response to Reply # 10JDMils Registered since 23rd Jul 2008Mon 25-Aug-08 12:36 AM
We recently decided to sell our couches so I asked my wife to use my D60 and take a few shots that night. Although she framed each shot really nicely, the Flash in Auto mode killed the image- they were all lacking in colour saturation and looked really bland. Not her fault- she's used to a P&S camera.
But then I stepped in and changed the mode to Aperture so that I could control the DOF. Of course, being at night, I had to setup the tripod because the camera suggested a 3 to 5 second shutter speed.
The results you can see here:
I'm not claiming that they are the best shots in town, but compared to shots I used to produce on my Fuji P&S, the D60 has made me look like a pro. Even our family and friends commented that the shots looked like magazine shoots.
And the difference was a turn of the dial. However, my wife realises that night shots are my job but the day shots she shoots are remarkable and in Auto!
But she doesn't have the patience to learn anything but Auto.
+-- AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR
+-- AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G
+-- HOYA 52mm Clear PRO1 DIGITAL Protector Filter DMC LPF (on the 18-55)
+-- HOYA 58mm Clear SKYLIGHT Protector Filter (on the 50)
+-- Navman forums at http://firstname.lastname@example.org