Thursday, January 12, 2012

DSLR for Dummies

I’m not big on New Year’s Resolutions.  I stink at follow through.

What do you do when you stick with follow through?  You start two blog series in one week.

I REALLY need to learn how to use our DSLR.  Every time I shoot in auto, I can hear the camera laughing at me.  Or is that Nate?  We’ll never be sure.

I know there are a bunch of you out there that are in the same position.  We are going to learn how to use our cameras together in 2012. Deal? Deal.  Every Thursday, Nate will give us a camera lesson.  He isn’t a pro but he has taught himself a lot.  (The photo department at Sam’s wanted a copyright release form when Nate’s mom wanted to print pictures that Nate took of our niece.  True story.)  We encourage you all to chime in with your wisdom as well!  We might even do a little Flickr group for everyone to share what they are learning!

I can’t read the DSLR owner’s manual.  I’ve tried. I fall asleep or I decide I need to clean the bathroom instead.  Or alphabetize the books in the office.  I am going to try to have Nate teach me instead.  This could be a very big test for our marriage.  At least we have 5 1/2 years of commitment to help get us through.

Nate will be represented in blue.  I will be represented in pink.  Oh, the gender stereotypes.

Today we are starting from the beginning and the lesson is boring…but supposedly important.  Wake me up with this is over.  I mean, learning is fun.

What does DSLR even stand for?  DSLR stands for: Digital single-lens reflect

Did you Google that?  No. Maybe.

What kind of teacher are you?  Focus.

What kind of DSLR do we own?  Nikon D5000 body and lenses (we’ll cover lenses later).

via Nikon

Why did you choose Nikon?  I have heard that Canon’s are cooler.  Kind of like the IPhone. Can I get an IPhone?  No, Android is better. Instagram is coming to Android.  You’ll survive until then.  Focus.

The Nikon vs. Canon decision is a big debate.  I choose the Nikon after reading reviews on Steve's Digicams and DP Review.  I could get more features in the Nikon for a few hundred dollars less than the Canon.  This was 2 years ago.  I haven’t looked recently. I also like the Canon brand.  At the time, I could get more for my money with the Nikon.  Both brands are great, just depends on your personal preference.  The Nikon D5000 is a good mid-level consumer grade camera.

When do we get to learn fun stuff?  Next week I’m going to teach you about lenses.

Bleh.  Do you want to learn how to use this thing or not? 

Yes, master. 

Overall, good first lesson?  Weigh in on the Nikon vs. Canon debate!  Who’s thinking auto is just fine?  Would you partake in the Flickr group if I’m not too lazy to set it up?


  1. Ok...I swear I'm not a stalker, but this post made me laugh.

    Not ONLY do I suck at reading my manual, I actually paid for a class coming up in Feb.
    Auto for me is my go to, but gah, I hate to use it. The pics never turn out like I want them to or how I imagined they would. I've had my Nikon D5100 for less than 2 months and I'm excited to learn more about it.
    Flicker group...of course.

    Oh...and I had a droid and loved it but get an Iphone it rocks.

    Pet Ike for me :)

  2. Haha. This post was great! I've also resolved to learn how to use my camera this year.
    I am totally going to follow this series and I would post to flickr and join the fun - if you aren't too lazy to set it up. haha. I have a Nikon D60. I think that model is similar to yours? Maybe we could ask Nate.

  3. This series is going to be awesome! Thanks Nate.

    I loved this one "Why did you choose Nikon? I have heard that Canon’s are cooler. Kind of like the IPhone. Can I get an IPhone? No, Android is better. Instagram is coming to Android. You’ll survive until then. Focus."


  4. "What kind of teacher are you?" it. Rick surprised me with a Nikon DSLR in October that I've been playing around with and do shoot with on manual. However, I am in NO WAY an expert, so this series sounds awesome!

  5. I swear by my Nikon. It's quite old and I still love it. I am an auto gal and fear manual. Thanks for starting this!

  6. You two are hilarious. Even though I don't have a DSLR, I will be reading this series just for the laughs. :)

    Also, I will be the happiest girl ever when Instagram comes to Android. I really wanna jump on the instagram bandwagon, and I don't have an iphone! It better happen ASAP.

  7. Great!!
    Thank you so much for doing this.
    I would sure partake in the Flickr group, though i have a Canon......
    Thanks again. Looking forward to the next lesson!!

  8. Haha! This is going to be really fun! You guys are a hoot!

  9. I'M SO EXCITED FOR THIS! I have "learn how to use my camera" on my goals list....for the 2nd year in a row. Whoopsies. So I'm all in. I have a Canon, but that's only because my dad was upgrading to a fancier Canon so I snagged his old rebel for almost nothing. Plus this way I can borrow his lenses, which I do every time we go on vacation. Win.

  10. We have a Nikon, too, and love it! I want to invest in a wide-angle and zoom lens but haven't gotten around to buying them yet (oops). I took a lot of photography classes in HS and college but seem to have forgotten most of what I learned. Here's hoping that this jogs my memory! :)

  11. Ohh! THe classic debate Nikon vs Cannon is like PC vs Mac for sure. I've owned both. I'm a Nikon lover. I think their interface is more user-friendly. I aso have an iPhone. sorry :( I love it! The "Be Funky" app is better than instagram. Not sure if they have it for droin, but it's free & has so many filters & effects.

  12. I take pictures on my (android) phone. lame-o.

  13. I'm a Nikon person all the way! From what I hear, most professionals use Nikon, have you guys heard about the new $6000 one coming out ( or is it $7000)?

    As for i-phone vs android, my husband has the I phone, and HATES it! He always says my android is much faster.

    Can't wait for next week.

  14. All I saw in this post was: INSTAGRAM IS COMING TO ANDROID.
    That makes my day.

  15. Love this series. Thank you! The best book I ever bought to learn my DSLR was David Busch's guide. I actually read the whole thing because it was written specifically about my model. But I'm sure you guys will be much more entertaining.

  16. Hahaha, funny! I can't wait - I'm sure I can learn something as I'm still fairly new to non-auto modes...

  17. You guys are nuts! I like it :) I would totally use Flickr if you set a group up. I use the auto setting on my Canon (Canon was cheaper than Nikon in the UK when I bought it). I bought a big fat book on how to take cool shots. First page starts talking about aperture. Huh?! Lost already. Nate is right, Android rocks - can't wait for Instagram! :)

  18. Woooot! I am on Team Nikon and Android, too. I just got a Nikon D3000 for Xmas and have been playing around on my own to try and figure things out instead of reading the manual (snooze) or even the "Nikon D3000 for Dummies" book I bought (oops). I can already tell that your series is going to be a way more fun way to learn! Can't wait! Oh and I would use Flickr too...until I lose my camera cord/the Bachelor comes on/I start YouTubing puppy videos, etc etc... :)

  19. I just got a cannon for Christmas so I am looking forward to learning how to use it out of auto.

    I have the iphone so I seem to be in the minority iphone/cannon group.

    As to flicr group, sure sounds fun!

  20. You and Nate Rock! I love Nate's pics so I'm totally in for a lesson from the master! :)
    I would especially like to learn how to do that blurry thing (Haiku? Bocu?) whatever it's called. I'm assuming that might be further along in the lesson.

  21. I can't read manuals either. Eyes glaze over, words blur together, manuals get thrown at husbands to translate. Also, instagram is coming to android?!

  22. Ooh this series is going to be fun! We're getting a new DSLR camera soon (Canon 550D - very similar to your Nikon) and I need to learn to use it too, can't wait! :) xo Kirsty

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  24. This post is great! It reminds me of my husband and myself. We have a Canon 40D and I'm constantly shooting in auto because it's just so much easier. He always wants to teach me but it's always RIGHT when I want to take a picture!

  25. This is a riot. I'm excited to follow along. But, I've tried to learn before and it didn't go well. Hopefully your master can teach us. ;)

  26. I am ridiculously excited for this. I'm pretty sure I didn't even save my manual because I know my eyes will just glaze over should it find its way in my line of vision. And I'm pretty sure I wouldn't even get this excited if you had said that you had any other model of camera because I have the exact same one. So I'm gonna go ahead and act like this whole thing was just set up for my benefit.

  27. I can totally stalk your photo lessons! I'm a Cannon girl personally and like to shoot in either the av or tv modes so I can pick a few things, but let the camera do the rest of the work! So far not too bad on the results. Keep the lessons coming! Thanks guys!

  28. I'm so excited about this! I just got a Canon 2ti and naturally have no clue what I'm doing. I picked a Canon because of a recommendation on Pioneer Woman- I guess the lenses are cheaper? Yay for Nate teaching us how to use our cameras!

  29. This is SOOO funny! I can totally relate about reading the manual and wanting to clean bathrooms instead.

    BTW Nate, iPhones rock!

  30. I have the exact same camera and the exact same desire to learn how to use it as if I weren't a total dummy.

  31. I am not quite ready for the DSLR cameras yet. Perhaps your blog will inspire me to step away from the point and shoot once and for all...

  32. I cant wait for Instagram to come to android, I love my phone and android its also much cheaper a month then having an Iphone, but I do like this one app for the camera called Retro Camera and its free.


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