DSLR newbie: Looking for help

webgenius

Ambassador of Buzz
Hi guys,

I bought a Nikon D5200 last week with 15-55mm kit lens and 8GB class10 SDHC card with camera bag.

I have never used a DSLR before, but interested in enhancing my photography skills. Need your help with these questions (please don't laugh at these questions, I'm too new to DSLRs):

1) How do I charge the battery? Do I take it out, put in the external charger provided by Nikon, and then place back in the camera? Can't I charge the battery while it's still inside the camera? I can charge my point-and-shoot battery without removing it from the camera.

2) How to safeguard the lens? The front part of the lens is a fingerprint magnet.

3) Any must-buy accessories?

4) I'm currently shooting in Auto mode since I'm new at this. Will move to manual mode soon. The flash pops up every time I take a snap in Auto mode. Any way to turn off the flash without leaving the Auto mode?

5) How do I get Bokeh? I believe I need to set to 'Macro' setting (as told by a friend). Where do I find this?
 

nac

Aspiring Novelist
Congrats for the purchase. :)

Not long ago you bought a compact. Quick upgrade uh... ;)

1. Yes, you can charge using external charger. I don't know about D5200, but I don't think DSLRs coming with in-camera charging.
- Generally, in-camera charging is seen as "con". It puts the photographer to carry spare battery all the time and when charging, photographer can't use the camera or you have to buy an external charger. It's better this way (external charging).
2. You can keep the lens cap ON when not shooting. If you want something to stay there all the time whether you are shooting or not, you can use UVA filter. But that degrades image quality.
3. Unless your photography demands it, you don't have to buy any accessories. For now, you can buy lens cleaning kit. It's must :)
4. There may be an option. Nikon DSLR users can help you in this regard.
5. I doubt there is any macro mode in DSLR. As this is an entry level camera, there will be some scene modes. Check if there is any mode can help you get bokeh (close up, defocus or something similar to these names). Just make sure that you're close to the subject (as close as possible) and background is well away from the subject.
 
OP
webgenius

webgenius

Ambassador of Buzz
Congrats for the purchase. :)

Not long ago you bought a compact. Quick upgrade uh... ;)

1. Yes, you can charge using external charger. I don't know about D5200, but I don't think DSLRs coming with in-camera charging.
- Generally, in-camera charging is seen as "con". It puts the photographer to carry spare battery all the time and when charging, photographer can't use the camera or you have to buy an external charger. It's better this way (external charging).
2. You can keep the lens cap ON when not shooting. If you want something to stay there all the time whether you are shooting or not, you can use UVA filter. But that degrades image quality.
3. Unless your photography demands it, you don't have to buy any accessories. For now, you can buy lens cleaning kit. It's must :)
4. There may be an option. Nikon DSLR users can help you in this regard.
5. I doubt there is any macro mode in DSLR. As this is an entry level camera, there will be some scene modes. Check if there is any mode can help you get bokeh (close up, defocus or something similar to these names). Just make sure that you're close to the subject (as close as possible) and background is well away from the subject.

Thanks for the quick response. Yes, bought a compact a year back. Had to upgrade since I'm getting more and more interested in photography.
Will try to get the bokeh effect like you suggested. I have seen many online tutorials for the same and it is way too complicated with terms like depth of field, focal length and more. Since I'm net to this, I find difficult to digest all these terms. Maybe with time, I might get a good grasp of it.
Thanks again for your response.
 

kkn13

Cyber Genius FTW
Thanks for the quick response. Yes, bought a compact a year back. Had to upgrade since I'm getting more and more interested in photography.
Will try to get the bokeh effect like you suggested. I have seen many online tutorials for the same and it is way too complicated with terms like depth of field, focal length and more. Since I'm net to this, I find difficult to digest all these terms. Maybe with time, I might get a good grasp of it.
Thanks again for your response.

also a way to protect the lens is using a lens hood but it has its own set of pros and cons
see this video for a better opinion
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_m0MfAjNsk
 

axelzdly1

mR.coNfusEd
Congrats on your purchase.!

1) Nope, you cant. But you can transfer photos over USB.

2) You need to be very careful with front glass of the lens. Keep the lens cap in your pocket and keep it on whenever camera not in use. Don't expose the lens to dirty air. and try to clean it after evry shoot. U can use a lens pen just to swipe off all the tiny speckels on it. Never use water.
and about the rear end., I always keep the camera with the lens on in the bag. If you dont, make sure you keep them with their caps on. and its better to keep the camera mount face down while changing the lens, so no dust can go into the sensor area.

3) Lens cleaning kit it is a must. Kit should have a lens pen, a cloth and a blower. Follow some youtube videos about cleaning. Dont over-do cleaning in case of glass parts of the camera i.e, lens, sensor anything. . Do go chasing one or two specs that wont go off. Instead go to the Nikon service guy.

4) While in AUTO., hold the Flash button (on the left side of flash), and turn the dial.

5) Set the Aperture to lower values( f/4 - 5.6 ) ( = large aperture ) to obtain DOF. You can change aperture by turning the dial in AP or by holding the exposure button (right side of shutter)and turn the dial in M mode.
When the background lights are too far you will get bokeh. Watch some youtube video to know more about bokeh.

How to take care of your gear, although he does the opposite. :-D
How to Take Care of Your Gear (the Photo Snob Way) - YouTube

Bokeh tutorial
Bokeh Photography Tutorial - YouTube
 
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OP
webgenius

webgenius

Ambassador of Buzz
Can you recommend some good lens cleaning kits? There are so many out there. And how do I remove the fingerprint on the lens safely?
 

Hrishi

******************
[MENTION=125321]nac[/MENTION] , what do you mean by using in built macro mode in dslr ?
I do have a dslr with scene as macro mode.
I have kit of macro lens as well. ( well its kind of macro and tp in one )
Using the macro scene will make any difference ? Since , I mostly shoot at lowest possible aperture when making macro shots .
 

nac

Aspiring Novelist
In compact, when they say "macro" mode, it means that you can focus at closer distance than normal. That they call macro mode. In DSLR, lens's MFD stays the same. But when using macro/close up/defocus mode kinda works like (I guess) keep the aperture as wide as possible and there may be some processing involved to blur the background.

- - - Updated - - -

Since you guys have DSLR with you. Why don't you try and share how the macro mode works in your DSLR??? And how it differs from A or M mode @ wide open aperture.
 

sujoyp

Grand Master
you basically need a good lens pen and a blower...nothing else...I have that big kit with liquid and cleaning cloth and blower and pen....not too useful...I used only blower and pen
 
OP
webgenius

webgenius

Ambassador of Buzz
I got a camera bag for free with the camera, and it is so ugly looking. Any other bags recommended for carrying the DSLR safely? Which one are you guys using?
 
@OP Could you possibly write up a summary on your experience with the D5200 so far? I'm about to buy a new camera and would like to hear comments from someone who's not an expert (myself NOT being one :p).

Regarding bokeh, you can do that by making the background of a subject longer in distance (i.e. move closer and use the least "zoom"). If you do it right, you can even get them in shapes of your own with masks :D
 

nomad47

Cyborg Agent
[MENTION=22610]hsr[/MENTION] myself and [MENTION=121890]kaz[/MENTION] own this camera and we both can vouch for its quality. For begineers its really easy as the shutter speed, f stop and iso are displayed in the same screen. Lack of a deducted iso key is a bummer but you can always program the function key for that.
As for image quality the sensor is pretty good with low noises even in the 1000 iso range. And with a lot of auto focus points the focusing is faster and precise. Also the tilt screen helps in awkward angle photography. Hope this helps

@OP get a UV filter. No difference in photo quality but definitely saves the lens from scratches. I use a Lowpro toploader zoom bag with the same camera. (Can be used with 55-200 mm lens also)
 

kaz

right here
I got a camera bag for free with the camera, and it is so ugly looking. Any other bags recommended for carrying the DSLR safely? Which one are you guys using?

Lowepro 250 AW
It fits my laptop also...

- - - Updated - - -

Buy a lenspen also...
 
OP
webgenius

webgenius

Ambassador of Buzz
Hi guys,

Just came back from my trip. Took about 500 snaps from the DSLR. Retained about 250. On the final day, it ran out of battery for about 200 snaps itself. Otherwise it's pretty good.

The snaps look amazing, however they're not as god as the ones we see in flickr and other sites. Are such photos post-processed?
 

nac

Aspiring Novelist
So soon we will be seeing some good clicks :)
Yes, most of the photographs are processed to make it little better. But that's not the sole reason...
Photographer's skills, subject, lens choice, lighting...
 

nac

Aspiring Novelist
I don't know much about filters. But...
Filter is for lens, not for camera. Check your lens spec to know the filter size... And UV is not much of a use.
 
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