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.
Nikon D3200 – Learn Photography Everything a budding photographer should learn to make the basics right. A digital SLR camera gives you the power to capture some amazing effects, once you know how to use it. If you have grown up with a ‘point and shoot’ camera and have just taken the plunge with a new digital SLR, don’t just leave it on auto. To try this out, you can set your camera to Shutter Priority, in which case you can set the shutter speed and the camera will take care of the aperture for you.
Here are five ideas for great capturing great motion effects, simply by slowing down your shutter speed to capture the movement of the subject. First, I wait for a storm (at night) with lots of lightning; in particular, fork lightning that will appear well defined in a photo.
The movement effect of water in a waterfall can also be applied at the beach, although you don’t see it so often in photography. The misty appearance of fast moving water captured with slow shutter speeds can be most effective where waves are crashing over, or swirling around rocks.

A crowd of people moving in different directions can create a fascinating motion effect in a photo. For a really impressive image, have a friend stand very still, while everyone around them is moving. 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. That is a waste of good technology; it means you are still using your equipment as a point and shoot camera.
You have certainly seen the silky effects of flowing water in photos, but perhaps you have wondered how it is done. If you try shutter speeds of one second, two seconds, ten seconds, and even longer, you will see some amazing results. Some people imagine it takes superhuman reflexes to snap the picture at just the right moment. I set the shutter to the ‘B’ setting, which lets me open the shutter for any length of time I choose. 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.
Although we usually try to freeze our subject with the fastest shutter speed possible, you can get some great effects by using a slower shutter speed to capture movement effects.

Just remember to keep your exposure balanced by compensating each movement in the shutter speed setting with a corresponding movement of the aperture setting.
Just set your camera to a very slow speed; about one second or a half-second, and see the results. The lights of the vehicles will create streams of bright colour, stretching away into the distance.
Sometimes you will find that soft movement effects are just as satisfying as freezing everything with a fast shutter speed.
And of course it will force you to get to know your camera a little better, which is guaranteed to make you a better photographer.
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)? I can capture just one flash of lightning, or several flashes, just by leaving the shutter open for longer.
Then point the camera at a white or gray object, such as a piece of paper, and press the Shutter.
For each waterfall you should try a few shutter speeds to see which one works best for that particular subject. 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.
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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