Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Shooting in scene modes, part of Up and Running with the Nikon D3200 and D3300.
- Now, if you'd like to strike the balance between shooting in auto mode and more advanced controls, well, your camera offers six different creative photography, or scene modes. Each mode is going to influence the camera's decision-making process, making it a bit more optimized for certain shooting situations. To see which scene mode is active, just press the info button. Then to choose a scene, simply rotate the command dial. Now scene modes don't really unlock any special features, rather they're more like recipes.
They make it easier by choosing the right menu options, shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and flash performance. Keep in mind that most scene modes will force you to shoot JPG files. You won't be able to use RAW when using a scene mode, which can be very limiting if you like to do post-production. Now, use the scene modes as you're building competence with your camera. For example, maybe you want to quickly snap some pictures and you don't have time to dial in the right settings, or you want to look at those settings and learn from them and then practice dialing them in yourself.
For example, let's choose the portrait scene mode. The camera is going to enhance the color for skin tones. It will also tend to use a wider aperture for a shallower depth of field. This will help blur the background and bring more attention to the subject. If we switch the camera into landscape mode, the camera will favor settings optimized for these types of shots. The camera will use smaller aperatures for deeper depth of field. Options like the flash, auto focus, light and others will be disabled, as they're not needed.
The six different modes are very self-explanatory as they're named for the situation in which you'll shoot. The six are as follows: portrait, landscape, child, sports, close up and night portrait. Be sure to use the night mode when shooting at night to get the right balance of settings for lower light, reducing the amount of contrast and helping get the right exposure. Your camera manual will detail what each of these does. Remember, scene modes are JPG only.
What you see is what you get. Now, you can always adjust the settings, like aperture and ISO on your own, to get the same look with much more control and the ability to shoot RAW, but until you get to that point or if you're feeling a little unsure and you don't want to miss the shot, well in that case, scene modes are a great backup or teaching opportunity to help you learn about your camera and get more confident.
Knowing how your camera works will always help you get the best results. Watch this course to learn how to adjust settings of the D3200 or D3300 for the best exposure and focus in any shooting scenario.
- Getting ready to shoot with Nikon D3200 or D3300
- Shooting in scene modes
- Working with the built-in flash
- Focusing with modes or by hand
- Changing ISO
- Using autofocus
- Understanding shutter release modes
- Switching exposure measuring modes
- Shooting video
- Working with optional wireless and GPS add-ons