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Shooting with the Nikon D800

What is an SLR?


From:

Shooting with the Nikon D800

with Ben Long

Video: What is an SLR?

All cameras have at least one thing in common. They have a lens that sits in front of a focal plane. On that focal plane is a recording medium, either a piece of light-sensitive film or paper or a digital image sensor. The focal plane needs to sit directly behind the lens, because the lens is used to focus light onto that recording medium. Another way to think of it is that the recording medium looks through the lens. What's tricky about camera design is that if the recording medium is sitting there looking through the lens, how is there room for you to look through the lens to frame your shot? Camera designers have wrestled with this problem since the beginning of photography, and they've come up with lots of solutions.
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  1. 9m 28s
    1. Welcome
      2m 16s
    2. What is an SLR?
      5m 18s
    3. Using this course
      1m 54s
  2. 30m 59s
    1. Exploring basic camera anatomy
      6m 34s
    2. Attaching a lens
      3m 28s
    3. Inserting media cards and a battery
      6m 14s
    4. Powering up
      2m 8s
    5. Working with menu navigation and factory defaults
      3m 1s
    6. Setting the date and time
      1m 50s
    7. Setting the language
      1m 20s
    8. Formatting the media card
      2m 15s
    9. Holding the camera
      4m 9s
  3. 26m 35s
    1. What are shooting modes?
      2m 11s
    2. Exploring the viewfinder display
      4m 41s
    3. Using the LCD screen protector
      46s
    4. Autofocus basics
      2m 42s
    5. Metering basics
      1m 31s
    6. Reviewing images
      2m 21s
    7. Working with image playback
      7m 16s
    8. Adjusting beeps and timers
      1m 52s
    9. Changing button behavior
      2m 2s
    10. Using screen tips
      1m 13s
  4. 26m 58s
    1. Exploring Program mode
      50s
    2. Working with exposure compensation
      4m 16s
    3. Changing ISO
      2m 30s
    4. Using auto ISO
      4m 25s
    5. Exploring Flexible Program
      2m 49s
    6. Exploring image format and size
      6m 18s
    7. Setting a virtual horizon
      2m 17s
    8. Setting the color space
      1m 22s
    9. Configuring multiple media cards
      2m 11s
  5. 12m 49s
    1. Exploring focus modes
      2m 6s
    2. Exploring autofocus area modes
      4m 50s
    3. Using focus points
      1m 57s
    4. Using manual focus
      3m 56s
  6. 9m 57s
    1. Using auto white balance
      1m 1s
    2. Working with white balance presets
      3m 8s
    3. Adjusting white balance manually
      5m 48s
  7. 11m 54s
    1. Exploring Continuous mode
      5m 56s
    2. Exploring Quiet mode
      53s
    3. Using the self-timer
      3m 26s
    4. Locking the mirror up
      1m 39s
  8. 34m 40s
    1. Exploring metering modes
      3m 4s
    2. Using the auto exposure lock
      4m 35s
    3. Exploring Aperture Priority mode
      3m 3s
    4. Using depth of field preview
      2m 50s
    5. Exploring Shutter Priority mode
      2m 32s
    6. Working in Manual mode
      2m 40s
    7. Exposure bracketing
      6m 40s
    8. Using Active D-Lighting
      1m 19s
    9. Using the Vignette Control feature
      1m 6s
    10. Using the Auto Distortion Control feature
      58s
    11. Using long exposure noise reduction
      1m 41s
    12. Using high ISO noise reduction
      1m 22s
    13. Using the Bulb setting in Manual mode
      1m 2s
    14. Using the Info button
      1m 48s
  9. 19m 54s
    1. Adjusting LCD brightness
      2m 31s
    2. Protecting and deleting images
      4m 43s
    3. Hiding images
      1m 35s
    4. Toggling the Rotate Tall feature on and off
      50s
    5. File naming
      1m 21s
    6. Creating a file number sequence
      2m 35s
    7. Creating storage folders
      2m 3s
    8. Adding copyright info
      1m 50s
    9. Using in-camera retouching
      2m 26s
  10. 7m 14s
    1. Using the fill flash
      1m 48s
    2. Using Flash mode
      3m 18s
    3. Working with flash exposure compensation
      2m 8s
  11. 22m 25s
    1. Understanding high-dynamic range (HDR)
      5m 38s
    2. Creating multiple exposures
      3m 38s
    3. Using the interval timer
      5m 42s
    4. Shooting time-lapse photography
      1m 19s
    5. Working with the image area
      4m 25s
    6. Using the remote control
      1m 43s
  12. 8m 33s
    1. Defining picture controls
      2m 7s
    2. Selecting a picture control
      1m 38s
    3. Modifying a picture control
      2m 38s
    4. Using the monochrome picture control
      2m 10s
  13. 15m 42s
    1. Activating Live View
      8m 9s
    2. Focusing in Live View
      5m 27s
    3. Reviewing some Live View drawbacks
      2m 6s
  14. 17m 27s
    1. Configuring and activating video
      4m 34s
    2. Focusing and working with exposure
      7m 11s
    3. Using Playback mode
      3m 17s
    4. Customizing movie controls
      2m 25s
  15. 12m 44s
    1. Using menu banks
      3m 31s
    2. Using the My Menu feature
      2m 12s
    3. Customizing controls
      4m 0s
    4. Autofocus fine-tuning
      1m 25s
    5. Saving and loading settings
      1m 36s
  16. 14m 5s
    1. Working with custom settings
      51s
    2. Using the Focus Priority feature
      2m 15s
    3. Using the AF Activation feature
      1m 34s
    4. Controlling the number of focus points
      36s
    5. Using ISO sensitivity step value
      1m 8s
    6. Working with EV steps for exposure control
      1m 7s
    7. Using exposure flash compensation step value
      1m 1s
    8. Turning on easy exposure compensation
      1m 31s
    9. Using Exposure Delay mode
      1m 20s
    10. Using the Assign FN button
      2m 42s
  17. 6m 45s
    1. Camera sensor cleaning
      3m 29s
    2. Exploring operating conditions and temperatures
      1m 57s
    3. Getting firmware updates
      1m 19s
  18. 15m 43s
    1. Exploring focus and composition
      4m 55s
    2. Using an exposure strategy
      6m 50s
    3. Controlling exposure through Program mode
      3m 58s
  19. 22s
    1. Goodbye
      22s

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Shooting with the Nikon D800
5h 4m Beginner Nov 08, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, photographer and author Ben Long details the features, controls, and options in the Nikon D800 digital SLR. The course begins with an overview of what a digital SLR is and a tour of the camera's basic components. Ben then discusses the camera's basic operation: changing lenses, navigating the menus, shooting in automatic mode, reviewing and managing photos on the camera's LCD screen, and transferring photos to a computer.

Next, the course introduces more advanced exposure options: program mode, exposure compensation, ISO adjustments, and more. After Ben briefly defines each option, he shows how to adjust it using the camera's controls.

Ben also discusses white balance options, advanced metering and autofocus controls, flash, live view, and video shooting. The course ends with a chapter on maintenance, including sensor- and camera-cleaning and care tips.

Topics include:
  • What is a DSLR?
  • Attaching lenses
  • Powering up and down
  • Formatting the media card
  • Holding the camera
  • Shooting in the Auto and Program modes
  • Changing the ISO
  • Controlling autofocus and white balance
  • Using a self-timer
  • Working with the exposure control options
  • Activating Live View
  • Shooting video
Subjects:
Photography Cameras + Gear
Software:
D800
Author:
Ben Long

What is an SLR?

All cameras have at least one thing in common. They have a lens that sits in front of a focal plane. On that focal plane is a recording medium, either a piece of light-sensitive film or paper or a digital image sensor. The focal plane needs to sit directly behind the lens, because the lens is used to focus light onto that recording medium. Another way to think of it is that the recording medium looks through the lens. What's tricky about camera design is that if the recording medium is sitting there looking through the lens, how is there room for you to look through the lens to frame your shot? Camera designers have wrestled with this problem since the beginning of photography, and they've come up with lots of solutions.

For example, with a view camera, you actually take the recording medium off so that you can look through your lens to line up the shot and then you put the recording medium back on. Needless to say, this doesn't make for particularly speedy shooting. In a twin lens reflex camera, you look through one lens and a second lens exposes the film. However, if I am shooting up close, my framing might be off due to the parallax shift between the two lenses. Similarly, in a rangefinder camera, I look through this viewfinder while the camera looks through this lens.

I still might have parallax issues, but with a camera like this, I can actually change lenses and still have a viewfinder that works. The SLR, or Single Lens Reflex, solves all of the issues with these other designs. With an SLR there is just one lens, a single lens, and both you and the recording medium look through that same lens. So how is it that both your eye and the sensor can see through the same lens? If I turn the camera sideways, you can see that my viewfinder here is actually not at the same level as the lens. Well, you probably guessed already that it's all done with mirrors.

The way this work is light comes in through the lens, enters the camera body, and bumps into a mirror that's parked right here at a 45-degree angle. So then it bounces up here into this area, where there's a weird five-sided prism called a pentaprism, and the light bounces around in there and then comes out here. So I am effectively looking through this lens. When I press the shutter button, the mirror flips up. Now, that cause my viewfinder to go blind. That's why the viewfinder blacks out when you take a picture, because with it up, light can't get up here; instead light passes into the camera body, past the mirror, through the open shutter, and onto the image sensor.

When the exposure is done, the mirror comes back down and now my viewfinder is restored. So, with this single lens--that's the SL part of single lens reflex--and the moving mirror-- that's the reflex part of SLR-- I can have an image sensor that can see through this lens and a viewfinder that can see through this lens. Now, you can actually see the mirror in your camera if you just take the lens off, which I'm going to do right now. I've also configured the camera so that I can get the mirror and the shutter open and they'll stay there, and put in bold mode and I have set it for mirror lockup.

So, this is the mirror right here. It's sitting inside the mirror chamber. And watch what happens if I put my hand behind the viewfinder. It's only behind the viewfinder, and you can see it actually reflecting in the mirror, so you can see that light's coming in the viewfinder and bouncing back off that mirror. So, I'm going to press the shutter button to flip the mirror up, and I'm going to shine flashlight in here so you can see this. That thing right there is the shutter of your camera. It's sitting in front of the mirror. And now I'm going to open the shutter, and there's my image sensor, and it's got this cool prismatic, holographic thing happening, because every individual pixel on the sensor--and there are millions and millions of them--every individual pixel has a tiny little lens on top of it to help focus the light.

So, all those millions of microscopic lenses are reflecting and refracting light in weird ways. So now I'm going to let go and the mirror comes back down and the shutter closes. Obviously, when I am taking a picture, all of that happens very, very quickly, and we have a slow motion view of that right here, showing the mirror and shutter of a different SLR. So what's the downside? Well, SLRs are larger than a typical rangefinder camera, which makes them little less convenient. They can't have the giant media sizes of the big view camera. They have got a lot of mechanical parts that break down.

They can be noisy. But overall, today's SLRs, particularly digital SLRs, offer the best all around camera design, allowing for incredible flexibility of lens choice, shooting options, portability and ease of use, while all giving you a nice big bright viewfinder. While there are a lot of great point-and-shoots on the market-- a point-and-shoot is often the best camera choice depending on the shooting situation-- SLRs score over their smaller point-and-shoot counterparts both in terms of image quality and shooting flexibility. With their larger sensor size they provide quality, better low-light performance, and the ability to shoot with shallower depths of field. With there interchangeable lenses, fast burst rates, and advanced features, you can shoot just about any subject with an SLR.

Now you just have to learn how to use it, and that's what you're going to do in this course.

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