The successor to the very popular Nikon D3200, the D3300 is a powerful DSLR with a lot of features to improve your photos over those taken in Auto mode. First, we'll give you a quick tour of the key controls, and then we'll explain how to use them for different effects. Starting at the top of the camera, you'll find a dial on the right side for a range of shooting modes. S – Shutter Priority: You set the shutter speed using the Command dial on the back of the camera, where your right thumb rests. A – Aperture Priority: You set the aperture using the Command dial, and the camera sets the shutter speed. The D3300 offers a number of special Effects shooting modes, such as Super Vivid and Miniature. If you decide to set the ISO manually, try to go no higher than 1600 for everyday shooting, and no higher than 3200 for low light and evening shooting. Using Aperture Priority again, go for a higher setting of f9 or greater to produce a deep depth of field. The D3300 has three light-metering modes, controlled from the settings menu that is accessed by pressing the "i" button.
This option pays more attention to the center of the image, but also considers the rest of the picture. Use this to have the camera measure just a small spot in the center of the image, ignoring the rest. Three settings — White Balance, Picture Control and Retouch — determine how colors appear in your photos. White Balance judges the overall color of the light in a scene in order to interpret colors accurately. Retouch is a better way to use color effects, as it applies them to a copy of the photo, leaving the original unaltered. The biggest help is when you use any of these links when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live.
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Many of these settings are locked-out when the D3300 is in the green AUTO mode, set on the big top dial.
Most non-Nikon lenses from Tamron, Tokina, Quantaray, Sigma and anyone other than Nikon may not autofocus at all on the D3300. The great news is that the D3300 is set-up right out of the box to work great under almost every situation.
I leave the D3300's autofocus settings as it came from the factory for most of my shooting. I'll go to one of these other settings only if the default settings of AF-A and Auto Area (explained below) aren't working for me.
For still subjects, I leave it as above, or might set it to AF-S and Single Point (explained below) if the default isn't selecting the correct things all by itself.
For sports and moving subjects, AF-A and Auto Area as set by default usually work, but if I'm going to be shooting sports all day, I'll set it to AF-C and 3D-tracking (explained below). Select an appropriate AF area with the D3300's Multi Controller to select your subject, then as you keep the shutter button pressed halfway and keep shooting, the D3300 will keep that subject in focus as it moves all around the frame! When I hand my D3300 to a non-photographer, I leave the D3300 at its defaults of AF-A and Auto Area.
You can set AUTO on the top dial and it will choose this AF mode, as well as reset a lot of other things back to default. Older AF and AF-D lenses have no AF Mode switch, but that's OK, because they can't autofocus with the D3300 anyway; they are always in Manual focus mode! Once the INFO screen is displayed, press the Multi Selector and highlight the first option along the bottom of the INFO screen. Set this on your lens if you can, not here in this menu, since if you select it on your INFO screen, you're now stuck in manual focus regardless of how you set your lens. I only use the settings below if Auto Area isn't guessing my subject properly, for instance, if it's focusing on a closer distraction instead. I use this (or 3D tracking below) if the Auto Area mode isn't picking the correct sensor for me.
This is an older tracking mode left over from earlier cameras; the 3D mode below is even better. These let you select which sensor to use to start, and then the D3300 is allowed to use any of the sensors around the one you selected as it sees fit. In these settings, the D3300 first uses whichever area you select with the rear multi-selector, and will use the other areas automatically if the subject moves away for a moment. You won't see which area is selected in the finder, but you can see it on playback if you use the right software. The rear multi-selector is also used to select the first AF area from which the D3300 tracks.
With 3D tracking, you may prefer always to focus with the middle sensor, and then move the camera to recompose.
The D3200 employs Guide Mode that enables you to take pictures and movies the way you want, even if you are a first-time user of a D-SLR.
Optical viewfinder shooting is convenient in high-speed continuous shooting or when tracking a moving subject. The D3200's shutter unit is tested for 100,000 cycles with the shutter actually loaded to prove its high durability. The D3200 detects the subject using information from all 11 focus points and automatically focuses on it. Live view shooting using an LCD monitor feels more like shooting with a compact digital camera. Convenient for shooting a moving subject which is usually difficult to focus on, such as a child or pet.
Convenient for shooting with pin-point focus for a designated position such as for a close-up of a flower. During live view shooting with the mode dial set to Auto or Auto (flash off), Scene Auto Selector* automatically activates the most suitable scene mode according to the shooting scene or subject. Lake Garda in northern Italy, the country's largest lake, is renowned for its first-class resorts and picturesque settings! My love affair with the Italy's Alpine region continues with a visit to Italy's Lake District, and this time we're going on a scenic tour of Lake Garda!
Lake Garda as seen from the top of Monte Baldo—Riva del Garda is to the far right and Sirmione to the left. Italy's largest lake, Garda extends approximately 32 miles from its northernmost resort town of Riva del Garda to Peschiera del Garda, the most picturesque village of all on its southern shores. Offering some of the most spectacular views of Lake Garda and the surrounding Italian Alps to the north, Riva is steeped in the history of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and survives today as testament to its plagued wartime past.
Moving along the west coast of Lake Garda on our grand tour, we land in Toscolano and Maderno built upon the Toscolano River delta. Just to the south of Toscolano is one of Lake Garda's most popular tourist destinations, Gardone Riviera.
Named after Arturo Hruska, the botanical garden is just a short walk from the waterfront promenade. Continuing our tour south along the western shore, we must stop by the Isola del Garda, the largest of Lake Garda's five main islands.
At the southwestern shores, you'll find Lake Garda's capital Desenzano del Garda with its spectacular views of the Alps, three expansive beaches, world-class hotels and restaurants, and the hub for all of the Lake Garda nightlife. Don't miss the Duomo aka Cathedral of Saint Mary Magdalene constructed at the end of the 16th century.
The Desenzano Duomo or Cathedral of Saint Mary Magdalene was constructed at the end of the 16th century. History buffs will revel in the Archeological Museum and the Villa Romana [more Roman history] with its ancient mosaic flooring. If you happen to be there on a Tuesday, you'll love the open-air market that has attracted residents and tourists alike since the 15th century!
Among the most beautiful places in all of Lake Garda, Sirmione has been attracting tourists for two millennia. The Castello Scaligera or Scaligera Castle was originally built for the della Scala family (Scaligeri) of Verona.
On its eastern shores, cross over the drawbridge to the 13th-century Castello Scaligera or Scaligera Castle originally built for the della Scala family (Scaligeri) of Verona and then remodeled by the Venetians during the 15th century.

The Catullus Grottos, named after the poet Catullo, are all that remains of the poet's stunning villa built in the first century B.C. Just beyond the castle, you'll find the medieval village with narrow alleyways lined with charming shops and sidewalk cafes. Pescheira del Garda at the southernmost point of Lake Garda is reminiscent of Venice with its quaint narrow streets and centuries-old canals. Moving east and located at the southernmost point where the Lake Garda's water drains into the Mincio River, Pescheira del Garda is reminiscent of Venice with its quaint narrow streets surrounded by the centuries-old canals replete with picturesque bridges and historic architecture. On the eastern shores of Lake Garda, our tour lands in Lazise— home to scenic ports and lakefront boulevards.
The Castle Lazise Burgtuerme, built in the ninth century, eventually landed in the hands of the prominent della Scala family, specifically Bartolomeo and Antonio. Train service is extremely limited to Lake Garda with trains making stops only in Peschiera del Garda or Desenzano del Garda along the Milan-Venice line. Most of the villages along Lake Garda are connected by ferry service so all you need to do is find your way to one of the villages above and pleasure cruise around the lake for quick stops in all the places mentioned above.
That's a wrap of this circuitous tour around the charming resort towns and quaint villages of Lake Garda in northern Italy. I hope you enjoyed this introduction to Lake Garda—one of the most picturesque regions in northern Italy.
To help you take great pet photos, we spoke with Josh Norem, a pet and landscape photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Josh Norem: There are many tricks of the trade, but in the end it comes down to patience and being ready for that special moment when it happens. At the local rescue organization where I volunteer, we usually do a play session when shooting shelter cats like Tommy (pictured above).
You also want to pay attention to the rule of thirds, so when cropping try to get the closest eyeball in the upper or lower quadrant of the frame to give it a pleasing composition. JN: To take a close-up shot of your pet with a smooth, blurred background, set your camera to aperture priority mode and your lens to the widest aperture possible (lowest f-stop number).
Blurry backgrounds are achieved by using a wide aperture, being close to your subject, and having them as far away from the background as possible.
The trick to capturing pets in motion – like a dog in midair – is a fast shutter speed and a camera and lens that can hold focus on a moving subject. Shooting animals in action takes patience, high shutter speeds, and lots and lots of practice.
So far, the tips mentioned revolve using a DSLR, but what about you point-and-shoot camera owners?
Having an expensive camera is not required for animal photography, but a goodlens will help with sharpness, clarity, and detail.
The camera adjusts the shutter speed and aperture, and gives you the option to adjust a few other settings (which we'll explain). The one we found most useful was the Easy Panorama effect, which automatically stitches together multiple images you have shot into a wide, panoramic photo. You adjust ISO manually by pressing the "i" button, then selecting ISO from the settings menu. An aperture of f5.6 or lower produces a shallow depth of field that blurs out the background, keeping focus on your subject.
Having more of the scene in focus is also useful when shooting a group of people or any scene with important subjects at varying distances from your camera.
Most of the time, you can leave this on Matrix mode, in which the camera judges the light in several parts of the image and picks the settings for an even exposure. Turn the Mode Dial to EFFECTS and then press the MENU button to access the Picture Control settings. My biggest source of support is when you use any of these links, especially this link directly to the D3300 at Adorama or directly to the D3300 at Amazon, when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. If you wish to make a printout for personal use, you are granted one-time permission only if you PayPal me $5.00 per printout or part thereof.
Most traditional (screw-type) AF lenses from 1986 through today will not autofocus on the D3300.
You have to hold the shutter down halfway so the AF system can focus and lock, and then the camera will fire instantaneously when you press the shutter the rest of the way. This is one of many ways the D3300 saves money so it can do pretty much the same thing for $650 as a $6,500 Nikon D4s does.
This clever AF-A mode looks at the subject: if it's holding still, the D3300 locks the focus in AF-S mode, and if the subject is moving, the D3300 tracks it as it moves nearer and farther in AF-C mode.
If you're like me, you'll forget you set this, think your lens or camera is broken and send it in for repair! It lets the D3300 track things as they move around the frame, and shows you which sensor is selected as it tracks your subject. I use the 3D mode for sports, running animals and birds in flight if Auto Select isn't working for me. A cross-type sensor covers the most frequently used center area to deliver superior subject-acquisition and focusing performance.
You can focus on the subject selecting one of the 11 focus points according to your composition. This mode is recommended for shooting when you want to capture decisive moments reliably such as for snapshots. In AF-A or AF-C mode, once focusing is achieved with the selected focus point, the focus point automatically changes to track the subject even if it moves or composition is changed while the shutter-release button is pressed halfway. This is convenient when it is difficult to use the viewfinder to take high-angle or low-angle shots, or when you want to determine composition using approx. Suitable for a subject for which autofocus is difficult, such as an animal in a cage or a person in the shade with the sun in the background. The camera automatically selects the most appropriate setting, ensuring beautiful pictures.
The icon of the selected mode such as Landscape and Portrait is displayed at the top left of the monitor.
This assistance makes it easy for even first-time D-SLR users to operate the D3200 while learning functions.
Cradled in the Italian Alps just south of the Dolomites Mountains and midway between Verona and Brescia, Lake Garda is surrounded by picturesque villages lining its shores, soaring Alpine peaks, verdant olive groves, sprawling vineyards and medieval castles towering high above the villages. And, extending two miles from its south shore is the sublime Sirmione peninsula—a must-see stop on our tour as well as yours.
The largest and most popular resort village on the shores of Lake Garda, Riva is world-renowned for its water-sport adventures, pristine beaches and first-class resorts, and despite its status as the "largest and most popular," you never feel overrun by the throngs drawn to other tourist-laden cities. If you're a Roman-history buff like me, you're going to love the 16th-century Church of San Pietro e Paolo where inside you'll discover two memorial plaques dedicated to the Roman Emperors Lucius Septimius Severus and Marcus Aurelius Claudius!
Actually, it's comprised of eight villages with picturesque promenades, piazzas extending to the lake, and quaint village streets offering visitors one sublime setting after the next along Lake Garda.
The striking yellow-ochre residential wings are quite stunning to behold and the site offers many attractions including the Arco dell'ospite or Guest's Arch, the Piazzetta della Vittoria del Piave or Plaza of the Piave Victory, and finally the Greek ampitheater with spectacular views of Lake Garda to the south. He designed and built these lavish gardens between 1910 and 1971 and today, it's owned by a foundation set up by Austrian artist, author and actor Andre Heller who has a temporary residence in the garden as well. Privately owned and inhabited by the Borghese-Cavazza family who built the stunning Venetian-Gothic villa at the beginning of the 20th century, Isola del Garda opened its doors to the visiting public 10 years ago. Inside, you'll find exquisite works by Andrea Celesti, Gian Battista Tiepolo, Veronese—among others. If you love medieval architecture, be sure to visit the Torre di San Martino or Tower of Saint Martin and the Castello di Desenzano—an imposing castle looming over the village with stunning views of Lake Garda. Accessed at Lake Garda's southern shores, this two-mile long peninsula offers panoramic views of the entire lake from a number of vantage points along its coastline.
Spectacular views await once you climb up 150 steps leading to the top of the crenellated walls and tower. Towering above it all and located in the Villa Bernini Park, the Castle Lazise was built in the ninth century and eventually landed in the hands of the prominent della Scala family, specifically Bartolomeo and Antonio, as evidenced by the coats of arms adorning two of its entrances. The former was completed at the end of the 13th century and dedicated to San Zeno, the patron saint of water and fishing. From there, decide which of the cities you plan to visit and seek additional routes to travel north along the western or eastern shores.
As you have read, this region of Italy appeals to the masses with its bountiful offerings of resorts, restaurants, beaches, history and spectacular vistas from nearly every point along the way. Norem started photographing animals when he first volunteered at local animal rescue organizations, which have a need for high-quality photos but don’t have the time or resources.

Unless you have spectacular natural light, the flash will fill in the shadows and also helps freeze the subjects, which is one of the reasons a lot of my photos look tack sharp – it’s the flash, and also a steady hand and good lenses.
It will make the subject look horrible in most conditions, and can also cast shadows around them and it will look ugly. Besides focus and composition, you need to worry about your exposure; if the exposure is too dark or too bright, adjust it using exposure compensation.
That usually means laying on the floor, but it adds a unique perspective and lets you see details you might not normally notice. The problem with automatic point-and-shoot cameras is shutter lag, which is the time between when you press the shutter button and the picture being taken.
Here are the main controls for the Nikon D3300 and how you can harness them to get better pictures. You can raise the ISO in dim or dark lighting situations, but this produces graininess, called noise, in the images, so proceed with caution.
If Matrix isn't giving you the results you want, you can try Center Weighted or Spot Metering mode, or adjust the exposure compensation. But in low light, photos can have an orangey cast that you can fix using a custom white balance. We recommend staying with the default SD (Standard) setting, as this produces the most-accurate and true-to-life colors. Then select Retouch to apply effects like Monochrome and Color Sketch, plus Filter effects that can enhance some (or all) colors. It cuts out the 100s of pages typical of user manuals and dedicated photography books, and gets straight to the point. These places have the best prices and service, which is why I've used them since before this website existed.
With Scene Recognition System, the D3200 shows enhanced subject identification and composition change detection.
The Quiet shutter release mode is convenient when you want to shoot with reduced shutter-release sound for occasions such as a school play or when taking pictures of wildlife, insects, or a sleeping child. This mode is convenient when you want to focus on a desired point when shooting flowers or portraits. In AF-A or AF-C mode, if the subject briefly leaves the selected focus point, the camera will focus based on information from the surrounding points. Renowned for its world-class luxury resorts and breathtaking scenery, Lake Garda is just 40 minutes away from Verona and Brescia and approximately two hours from the timeless city of Venice. Our journey begins in the north and travels south along the west coast, along its southern ports and back up the east for a complete circle-tour of Lake Garda. Seek out the Santa Maria Assunta church with its baroque interiors; and the San Tommaso church, a 12th-century edifice that features a spire-topped bell tower and 14th-century frescos on its exterior.
Don't miss Dalmatian Plaza or Piazza Dalmata, or D'Annunzio's private home, the Prioria or priory.
Be sure to stroll along the scenic paths leading to picturesque settings, streams and a few modern art sculptures you'll discover as you meander through. You can reach Isola del Garda via a 10-minute motor launch from Barbarano di Salo or Gardone Riviera. With so many highlights that Sirmione has to offer its visitors, I am only going to feature a few of them and leave the rest of the peninsula for you to discover.
Dominating the village is the 15th-century fortress built upon Roman foundations which originally contained a group of residential buildings surrounded by its turreted walls.
San Nicolo, completed even earlier during the 12th century, was dedicated to San Nicolo Bari, the patron saint of schools and fishermen.
While the A22 will whisk you up the east coast of Lake Garda, I recommend the more scenic route SR249 which hugs the shoreline and allows for many stops along the way. But with a few simple tricks and camera settings to keep in mind, it’s not impossible to capture amazing, professional-looking photos of these important family members, worthy of hanging on the wall next to pics of the grandparents. If you don’t have an assistant, try using squeaky toy apps on your phone [to draw the animal’s attention] – I use Human-to-Cat Translator and Dog Squeaky Toy on my iPhone, which are both free. This keeps the focus motor active the entire time, so I just hold down the back focus button, but you can also do it by holding down the shutter halfway.
It can be a few seconds on some cameras, which is too long in most cases unless you have a very patient animal. However, as you get more comfortable with photography, Manual mode can help you get difficult shots in which you want a particular effect that the camera can't execute on its own. One thing I would like to better understand about the D3300 is why under extremely bright light it will use a higher-than-expected ISOs (~320)?
In Auto-area AF mode, the D3200 achieves focus at the appropriate focus point by detecting background, foreground and subject. If you're planning to visit any of these northern cities, then consider a day tour through Lake Garda! And after all the hustle and bustle of the major sights, find a nice patch of sand on Riva's spectacular shoreline to kick back and relax.
The Il Vittoriale degle Italiani museum is housed in a building originally intended to be the poet's residence but he never lived to see it completed. Keep in mind that only groups between 25 and 60 are permitted at any one time but once you're here, you'll find exquisitely manicured English gardens which is where the tour begins. Five bastions and other renovations were completed by the Venetians during the 16th century. Although its storied past includes being used as theatre, barracks and home, it was finally consecrated in 1953.
If you're traveling up the west coast, seek out via Republicca to the SP38 or SS Gardesana Occidentale which meander along its western shores. The second part of the equation is a fast shutter speed, which requires a lot of light to work properly.
Most point-and-shoots will also use the onboard flash in a lot of cases, which always looks terrible.
Then point the camera at a white or gray object, such as a piece of paper, and press the Shutter. In 3D-tracking (11 points) mode*, the focus point automatically changes to track the subject even if it moves or composition is changed while the shutter-release button is pressed halfway. From there, you venture inside the manor to tour a few of the rooms and at the end, the Borghese-Cavazza family themselves offer up refreshments and invite you to taste the local wines and olive oils.
Making a strange noise will sometimes be enough to get the cat or dog to look at you for a brief second – this is where it pays to be ready. If you have good focus and exposure, you’re very close to the goal of getting a great image.
My advice: Turn off the flash and set the camera to burst mode so you can take many pictures at once. Also, the camera employs superimposed indicators for bright and easy-to-see viewfinder information. Use portrait mode if your camera offers it, and if you can control the aperture put it at its smallest number. Just remember to switch back to Auto White Balance or measure a new white balance when you move on to a different setting. In one review for this model I note a comment that the camera in AUTO mode is set to assume the flash is ON regardless of whether it actually fires, and that zooming in when this is the case can result in blurry photos. For close-up shooting of flowers and other small subjects using a tripod, you can magnify images up to approx. It is true to my experience that with the kit zoom lens, even in very bright light (not backlit), I'm having a horrible time getting the camera to focus short of leaving it in sports mode or mounting it on a tripod.
Does this suggest a faulty lens, faulty metering or both?One type of shooting scenario that seems particularly difficult with this camera pertains to shooting birds.
This makes it nearly impossible to capture a bird in a tree in focus short of a completely unobstructed view.
Unless the bird is sitting perfectly still and I use the center-point method, I don't get good focus shooting into a tree even when the subject is brightly lit.Does the aforementioned difficulty have to do with the fact that the D3300 apparently has only ONE cross-lined AF sensor (at the center)? Generally I find that with any subject using any other AF method other than center point is lacking.
Taking a bird in a tree off the center AF where the cross-link is located generally results in loss of focus quality!

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