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Nikon® D300s For Dummies®

Book Description

Harness the power of this versatile camera and maximize every feature

Your Nikon D300s is known for its awesome performance in low-light conditions, its super-powerful 51-point autofocus system, and the really, really long list of ways you can customize it. This friendly guide is known for making it easy to use every one of these features. Get the scoop here, and you'll start getting excited about what you can create!

  • When quality counts — learn when to shoot RAW and when to use JPEG or TIFF

  • Master exposure — enjoy the ease of Programmed Auto mode, then step up to shutter-priority auto, aperture-priority auto, or manual exposure

  • Capture perfect color — create custom white balance settings, choose the best color space, and fine-tune colors

  • Decipher the lingo — make sense of technical terms such as bit depth, compression, metadata, and more

  • Flash forward — take advantage of Flash Compensation, FV Lock, commander mode, and other flash options

Open the book and find:

  • How to set up your camera for the way you shoot

  • Tips on controlling depth of field

  • How to capture action with Dynamic Area autofocus

  • Steps for processing RAW files in the camera

  • How to use dual memory card slots

  • Help with recording HD movies

  • Advice on handling tricky lighting situations

  • How to include copyright information and text comments in picture files

Learn to:

  • Get the most from every menu option

  • Adjust the camera controls and shooting modes to get the results you want

  • Manipulate exposure, focus, and color to suit your creative vision

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. About the Author
  3. Author's Acknowledgments
  4. Publisher's Acknowledgments
  5. Introduction
    1. A Quick Look at What's Ahead
      1. Part I: Fast Track to Super Snaps
      2. Part II: Taking Creative Control
      3. Part III: Working with Picture Files
      4. Part IV: The Part of Tens
    2. Icons and Other Stuff to Note
    3. Practice, Be Patient, and Have Fun!
  6. I. Fast Track to Super Snaps
    1. 1. Getting the Lay of the Land
      1. 1.1. Looking at Lenses
        1. 1.1.1. Checking lens compatibility
        2. 1.1.2. Factoring in the crop factor
        3. 1.1.3. Getting shake-free shots with vibration reduction (VR) lenses
        4. 1.1.4. Attaching and removing lenses
        5. 1.1.5. Setting the focus mode (auto or manual)
      2. 1.2. Adjusting the Viewfinder Focus
      3. 1.3. Ordering from Camera Menus
      4. 1.4. Decoding the Displays
      5. 1.5. Working with Memory Cards
        1. 1.5.1. Using two cards at the same time
        2. 1.5.2. Formatting cards
      6. 1.6. Exploring External Camera Controls
        1. 1.6.1. Topside controls
        2. 1.6.2. Back-of-the-body controls
        3. 1.6.3. Front-left controls
        4. 1.6.4. Front-right controls
        5. 1.6.5. Hidden connections
      7. 1.7. Asking Your Camera for Help
      8. 1.8. Reviewing Basic Setup Options
        1. 1.8.1. Cruising the Setup menu
        2. 1.8.2. Browsing the Custom Setting menu
          1. 1.8.2.1. Adjusting automatic monitor shutdown
          2. 1.8.2.2. Customizing shooting and display options
          3. 1.8.2.3. Customizing controls
          4. 1.8.2.4. Restoring default settings
    2. 2. Fast and Easy: (Almost) Automatic Photography with the D300s
      1. 2.1. Preparing for Automatic Shooting
      2. 2.2. Taking the Shot: The Basic Recipe
      3. 2.3. Tweaking the Recipe: Easy Adjustments for Better Results
        1. 2.3.1. Adding flash
        2. 2.3.2. Changing the shutter-release mode
        3. 2.3.3. Adding some creative flavor with flexible programmed auto
    3. 3. Controlling Picture Quality and Size
      1. 3.1. Diagnosing Quality Problems
      2. 3.2. Considering Resolution (Image Size)
        1. 3.2.1. Pixels and print quality
        2. 3.2.2. Pixels and screen display size
        3. 3.2.3. Pixels and file size
        4. 3.2.4. Resolution recommendations
      3. 3.3. Understanding the Image Quality Options
        1. 3.3.1. JPEG: The imaging (and Web) standard
          1. 3.3.1.1. JPEG pros and cons
          2. 3.3.1.2. Customizing your JPEG capture settings
        2. 3.3.2. NEF (RAW): The purist's choice
          1. 3.3.2.1. RAW pros and cons
          2. 3.3.2.2. Customizing your RAW capture settings
        3. 3.3.3. TIFF: A mixed bag
        4. 3.3.4. Summing up: My take on which format to use when
    4. 4. Monitor Matters: Picture Playback, Live View, and Movie Recording
      1. 4.1. Customizing Basic Playback Options
        1. 4.1.1. Adjusting playback timing
        2. 4.1.2. Enabling automatic picture rotation
        3. 4.1.3. Customizing the Multi Selector's role during playback
      2. 4.2. Viewing Images in Playback Mode
        1. 4.2.1. Viewing multiple images at a time
        2. 4.2.2. Zooming in for a closer view
      3. 4.3. Viewing Picture Data
        1. 4.3.1. Enabling hidden data-display options
        2. 4.3.2. File Information mode
        3. 4.3.3. Highlights display mode
        4. 4.3.4. RGB Histogram mode
          1. 4.3.4.1. Reading a Brightness histogram
          2. 4.3.4.2. Understanding RGB histograms
        5. 4.3.5. Shooting Data display mode
        6. 4.3.6. GPS Data mode
        7. 4.3.7. Overview Data mode
      4. 4.4. Deleting Photos
        1. 4.4.1. Deleting images one at a time
        2. 4.4.2. Deleting all photos
        3. 4.4.3. Deleting a batch of selected photos
      5. 4.5. Hiding Photos during Playback
      6. 4.6. Protecting Photos
      7. 4.7. Exploring Live View Shooting
        1. 4.7.1. Choosing your Live View shooting mode
        2. 4.7.2. Customizing the Live View display
        3. 4.7.3. Taking still pictures in Tripod mode
        4. 4.7.4. Taking pictures in Handheld mode
        5. 4.7.5. Recording movies
          1. 4.7.5.1. Customizing sound recording
          2. 4.7.5.2. Shooting your movie
          3. 4.7.5.3. Playing a movie
          4. 4.7.5.4. Editing movies
  7. II. Taking Creative Control
    1. 5. Getting Creative with Exposure and Lighting
      1. 5.1. Introducing the Exposure Trio: Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO
        1. 5.1.1. Understanding exposure-setting side effects
          1. 5.1.1.1. Aperture affects depth of field
          2. 5.1.1.2. Shutter speed affects motion blur
          3. 5.1.1.3. ISO affects image noise
        2. 5.1.2. Doing the exposure balancing act
      2. 5.2. Meet the Exposure Modes: P, S, A, and M
      3. 5.3. Reading (And Adjusting) the Meter
      4. 5.4. Setting ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed
        1. 5.4.1. Adjusting aperture and shutter speed
        2. 5.4.2. Controlling ISO
      5. 5.5. Choosing an Exposure Metering Mode
      6. 5.6. Applying Exposure Compensation
      7. 5.7. Using Autoexposure Lock
      8. 5.8. Expanding Tonal Range with Active D-Lighting
      9. 5.9. Exploring Flash Photography with the D300s
        1. 5.9.1. Setting the flash mode
          1. 5.9.1.1. Front-curtain sync (normal flash)
          2. 5.9.1.2. Red-eye reduction flash
          3. 5.9.1.3. Slow-sync and rear-curtain sync flash
        2. 5.9.2. Adjusting flash output
        3. 5.9.3. Locking flash exposure on your subject
        4. 5.9.4. Exploring a few additional flash options
          1. 5.9.4.1. Enabling high-speed flash (auto FP)
          2. 5.9.4.2. Using manual, repeating, or commander flash mode
          3. 5.9.4.3. Firing a modeling flash
      10. 5.10. Bracketing Exposures
        1. 5.10.1. Bracketing exposure and flash
        2. 5.10.2. Bracketing Active-D Lighting
    2. 6. Manipulating Focus and Color
      1. 6.1. Understanding Focusing Basics
        1. 6.1.1. Choosing a Focus mode: M, S, or C?
        2. 6.1.2. Choosing an AF-area mode: One focus point or many?
        3. 6.1.3. Selecting (and locking) a focus point
        4. 6.1.4. Autofocusing with still subjects: Single Point+Single-servo AF
        5. 6.1.5. Focusing on moving subjects: Dynamic Area+continuous-servo AF
          1. 6.1.5.1. Customizing the Dynamic Area focusing operation
          2. 6.1.5.2. Preventing focusing miscues with tracking lock-on
        6. 6.1.6. Basic autofocus with Auto Area+Single Point AF
        7. 6.1.7. Putting the AF-ON button to work
        8. 6.1.8. Exploring a few last autofocus tweaks
      2. 6.2. Manipulating Depth of Field
      3. 6.3. Controlling Color
        1. 6.3.1. Correcting colors with white balance
        2. 6.3.2. Changing the White Balance setting
        3. 6.3.3. Fine-tuning White Balance settings
        4. 6.3.4. Creating White Balance presets
          1. 6.3.4.1. Setting white balance with direct measurement
          2. 6.3.4.2. Matching white balance to an existing photo
          3. 6.3.4.3. Selecting a preset
          4. 6.3.4.4. Managing presets
        5. 6.3.5. Bracketing white balance
      4. 6.4. Choosing a Color Space: sRGB versus Adobe RGB
      5. 6.5. Taking a Quick Look at Picture Controls
    3. 7. Putting It All Together
      1. 7.1. Recapping Basic Picture Settings
      2. 7.2. Setting Up for Specific Scenes
        1. 7.2.1. Shooting still portraits
        2. 7.2.2. Capturing action
        3. 7.2.3. Capturing scenic vistas
        4. 7.2.4. Capturing dynamic close-ups
  8. III. Working with Picture Files
    1. 8. Downloading, Organizing, and Archiving Your Picture Files
      1. 8.1. Sending Pictures to the Computer
        1. 8.1.1. Connecting the camera and computer
        2. 8.1.2. Starting the transfer process
      2. 8.2. Downloading and Organizing Photos with the Nikon Software
        1. 8.2.1. Downloading with Nikon Transfer
        2. 8.2.2. Browsing images in Nikon ViewNX
        3. 8.2.3. Viewing picture metadata
        4. 8.2.4. Organizing pictures
      3. 8.3. Processing RAW (NEF) Files
        1. 8.3.1. Processing RAW images in the camera
        2. 8.3.2. Processing RAW files in ViewNX
      4. 8.4. Copying Pictures Between Memory Cards
    2. 9. Printing and Sharing Your Pictures
      1. 9.1. Preventing Potential Printing Problems
        1. 9.1.1. Match resolution to print size
        2. 9.1.2. Allow for different print proportions
        3. 9.1.3. Get print and monitor colors in synch
      2. 9.2. Preparing Pictures for E-Mail
        1. 9.2.1. Creating small copies using the camera
        2. 9.2.2. Downsizing images in Nikon ViewNX
      3. 9.3. Creating a Digital Slide Show
      4. 9.4. Viewing Your Photos and Movies on a Television
  9. IV. The Part of Tens
    1. 10. Ten More Ways to Customize Your Camera
      1. 10.1. Creating Custom Menu Banks
      2. 10.2. Creating Your Own Menu
      3. 10.3. Adding Text Comments to Your Files
      4. 10.4. Embedding a Copyright Notice
      5. 10.5. Choosing Your Own File and Folder Names
      6. 10.6. Customizing a Trio of Buttons
      7. 10.7. Locking Exposure with the Shutter Button
      8. 10.8. Changing the Behavior of the Command Dials
      9. 10.9. Customizing the Multi Selector Center Button
      10. 10.10. Uncoupling the Buttons and Command Dials
    2. 11. Ten Features to Explore on a Rainy Day
      1. 11.1. Applying the Retouch Menu Filters
      2. 11.2. Removing Red-Eye
      3. 11.3. Shadow Recovery with D-Lighting
      4. 11.4. Two Ways to Tweak Color
      5. 11.5. Creating Monochrome Photos
      6. 11.6. Cropping Your Photo
      7. 11.7. Two Roads to a Multi-Image Exposure
      8. 11.8. Exploring Automated Time-Lapse Photography