Are you new or experienced at photography and using a Nikon camera?
Do you feel overwhelmed by all of the buttons, settings, and menus on your camera?
Don’t worry – you’re not alone!
This guide will walk you thru how to use your Nikon camera like a pro, from setting the exposure to taking photos in manual mode.
By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to take beautiful photos with ease.
Let’s get started!
3 Ways On How To Use A Nikon Camera
Way 1: 8 Easy Steps to Learn Manual Mode for Nikon DSLR Cameras
8 Simple Steps to Learning Nikon DSLR Manual Mode
Manual Mode in DSLR Camera is thought to be an out-of-this-world setting that few people consider testing. Many folks I’ve met have had DSLR cameras for many years but have never used them. The most common explanation is that it necessitates technical knowledge of Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO settings, which has a steep learning curve.
If this logic rings a bell with you, let us address it right now. Within a few minutes, you’ll find yourself experimenting with Manual Mode like you’ve never done before.
Are you pressed for time?
Don’t be concerned. You can read the pdf version of this article whenever you have time.
In this article, I utilized Nikon D7100 DSLR camera settings. It is much the same for all Nikon DSLR cameras. If you possess a Canon DSLR, please read DSLR Basics: 8 Simple Steps to Learning Manual Mode for Canon DSLR Cameras.
If you follow these methods exactly as I indicate, you will never have to use Auto mode again.
Step 1: Take out your camera and set the timer.
This is the most crucial stage. If you only read it in your job, a restaurant, or a coffee shop, you will never learn it. Stop here if you don’t have access to a camera right now. Return home, retrieve your camera, and then proceed with the next steps.
Start the timer right now. Let’s see how long it takes you to grasp the manual mode.
Step 2: Set the Mode dial to M, which stands for Manual Mode.
Turn the mode dial, which is normally located on the top left hand side, to M. The mode dial may be located on the upper right side of some models.
Step 3: Point the camera in a location with good lighting.
This is a critical stage. Do not skip this step. If you haven’t already, turn on the camera and point it at a subject or object that has enough light. To ensure that the composition does not alter, keep the camera on a sturdy surface.
Read DSLR Photography Basics: Manual Mode to learn how to use it in all lighting circumstances. Using Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO to Achieve Perfect Exposure
Step 4: Examine the Crucial Camera Settings
Pressing the info button displays the current settings in the LCD.
Note: If the LCD screen display times out after a few seconds, hit the info button to restore it.
There are far too many options there. For the time being, we are simply concerned with aperture (F number) and ISO.
Images depicting the Aperture Value and ISO value in the Nikon DSLR camera’s camera settings.
The left image depicts the Aperture value as F with a number, and the right image depicts the ISO value as ISO with a number.
If you haven’t altered any of your DSLR’s camera settings, the F number should be quite modest, such as F2.8, F3.5, or F5.6, indicating the maximum aperture of the lens attached. If not, adjust the aperture dial (typically on the front) to the left to obtain the lowest possible F number.
Image of the Nikon D7100 DSLR’s aperture dial, which is used to modify the aperture setting to increase or reduce the depth of field and also to achieve proper exposure.
On the Nikon D7100 DSLR, the aperture dial is used to modify the aperture value or the lens opening to regulate the amount of light falling on the camera sensor.
If your ISO value is 100, which is the lowest possible value, you are fine. Otherwise, press and hold the ISO button while turning the dial (located in the top-right corner of the back panel) to the left (or counter-clockwise) until it reaches ISO 100. The minimum ISO setting on various Nikon DSLRs is 200.
Step 5: Examine the Camera Metering indication.
Examine the camera metering indication, which shows a dotted line with – and + on either side.
It doesn’t matter which way it is currently pointing because you’ll figure out how to cope with it in a matter of minutes.
Learn about Camera Metering Modes to get optimum exposure in every situation.
Learn in Simple Steps
Step 6: Select the Shutter option.
Press the shutter release button. I really mean it… Simply do it.
This is a critical part of learning. Take action, make mistakes, and learn from them. If you just learn the correct way to do things, you will become afraid to try anything different.
Let us now discuss the photograph you took.
You’re probably dissatisfied with what you got. Perhaps it isn’t what you expected? Let us now examine it.
Is it extremely dark? The sensor is underexposed since there is less light hitting it. It signifies the meter’s indicator was set to -.
Overexposure occurs when there is too much light hitting the sensor, resulting in a brilliant or washed-out image. Does this imply that the meter’s indicator was pointing in the right direction? You are aware of this.
You may have already solved the problem in your brain. Have you done so? Isn’t it obvious what you should do? Carry it out.
Step 7: Obtaining the Appropriate Exposure
To return to the settings on the LCD panel, press the info button once again.
If the image was underexposed or the arrow was pointing to -, move the secondary dial (top-right corner of the back panel) to the left (counter-clockwise direction).
As you turn left, the blinking signal or arrow below the dotted line will move closer to the center. Continue moving the dial counter-clockwise until the blinking indication reaches the center (0 mark) of the dotted line.
The image on the left indicates that there is very little light, implying that the photograph will be underexposed. The image on the right depicts proper exposure.
If the image was overexposed or the arrow was going towards +, turn the slider to the right (clockwise direction).
As you turn right, you’ll see that the blinking signal beneath the dotted line gets closer to the center. Continue moving the dial clockwise until the blinking indication reaches the center (0 mark) of the dotted line.
Camera Metering Mode on the Nikon D7100 DSLR demonstrating overexposure and appropriate exposure when using Manual mode.
The image on the left indicates that there is too much light, implying that the photograph will be overexposed. The image on the right depicts proper exposure.
To acquire the optimum exposure, you altered the Shutter Speed in this stage. The shutter speed is measured in seconds. In most cases, it will be in fractions of seconds such as 1/30 or 1/60 all the way up to 1/4000 or 1/8000.
Unless you have chosen a topic that is far too dark or far too brilliant, the arrow should always point to the center.
Step 8: Shoot your first photograph in Manual Mode!
Again, press the shutter button. Did you obtain a sense of what you were longing for?
Congratulations! on your first shot taken in manual mode You’ve taken control of your camera, and there’s no turning back now.
Way 2: How to Make a Nikon D5300 Work as a Webcam for Zoom Calls or Live Video Streaming
You can utilize a Nikon D5300 as a webcam or for real-time capture to a computer while setting up your home office or constructing a rudimentary web-streaming studio. However, it is not as simple as simply connecting your camera into a USB port. Here’s how to do it and what you’ll need to get started.
A Nikon D5300 may be used as a webcam for Zoom or Skype meetings, as well as for real-time video capture to a computer for filming how-to video tutorials. It’s not the best option for it, owing to a hard-coded maximum 30-minute time-out for the camera’s Live View capability. That means you’ll have to refresh the Live View manually every 30 minutes. It’s simple to do–just tap a button–but it’s a little inconvenient. But it’s not a dealbreaker for everyone, especially if you already own a D5300 (which I’m assuming you do if you’re reading this).
With that restriction in mind, a Nikon D5300 can technically be used as a webcam for Zoom or Skype meetings, or for real-time video capture to a computer for filming how-to video tutorials.
However, it is not as simple as simply connecting your camera into a USB port. So here’s a step-by-step explanation on how to accomplish it and everything you’ll need to get started. It’s essentially the same procedure as connecting other Nikon DSLRs, with a few small differences.
So why would you go through the trouble? After all, many PCs nowadays include a built-in webcam. It’s usually immediately above the screen on laptops, giving you that upward-looking viewpoint. Some desktop monitors include a built-in webcam, while others require the addition of a webcam as an external device. However, the trouble with regular webcams is that their quality isn’t always outstanding, and there’s not a lot of versatility in how they may be used. They might be in a fixed position, with a fixed field of view, and with a fixed focus. However, employing a DSLR or mirrorless camera can potentially provide you with far more quality and flexibility than a standard webcam. You’ll still have complete control over things like focus, depth-of-field, and zoom as usual. And, by connecting with a cable, you gain a lot more control over where the camera is positioned, as well as the ability to move it about if necessary.
You can use your D5300 as a webcam for videoconference meetings or seminars using Zoom or Skype. Or for home vlog broadcasting. Perhaps you’re a teacher who wants to film home-schooling classes or tutorials. Alternatively, you can make a virtual visit to your doctor or a family member. Or perhaps you’re an artist or craftsperson doing how-to movies in your studio or workshop. Basically, there are a variety of reasons why you might wish to use your camera as a webcam. It is technically possible with a Nikon D5300, with the critical caveat that you must manually reset the Live View every 30 minutes, as I said at the top.
There’s one more snag. That is, you will require an additional attachment to make it work. You’ll need the following items:
1.Video Capture Device (HDMI-to-USB)
So there is some cost involved, but it may end up being less expensive than purchasing a new camera for the purpose, and you gain a lot more versatility.
Way 3: Using HDMI to connect a Nikon D5300 to a desktop or laptop computer
Most cameras will not link to a computer immediately. At least, not to send a live video feed—most smartphones can charge or transfer saved photographs and movies over USB. But, in order to access that live video feed, you’ll need something in the middle that converts the video stream from the camera into something that the computer can deal with via the USB connection.
Once the video stream is connected to the computer, it becomes available as a video input source to the computer. That means you can use your favorite software or service to interact with it. None of these necessitate the use of specialized software. I’ve listed a few software alternatives below, but I’m mostly concerned with delivering the video stream to your computer so that your program or service, whether Zoom, Skype, VLC, QuickTime, or a high-end video editing suite like Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere Pro, can use it.
Tethered Shooting vs. HDMI Out
It’s worth noting that this is not the same as tethered shooting. Tethered shooting allows you to connect the camera to a laptop or desktop computer via a connected or wireless connection. This allows you to control the camera’s settings, remotely press the shutter, and swiftly download photographs to your computer. They’ll also provide you with a live preview feed. You might be able to use that for live streaming in a pinch, but there are two major concerns with that. The video feed is frequently choppy, has a low framerate, and has lag. All of these things can be distracting to you and the individuals with whom you are conversing. Another difficulty is that it can be difficult to make that video feed available to other apps like Zoom or Skype. Tethering is very beneficial in a studio situation, as well as for macro and product photography. However, with live video streaming, which is what I’m concentrating on here, you’re only transferring video and audio signals from your camera to your computer. There’s usually less lag and jerkiness, plus it makes the stream easily accessible to other apps. 1 So, while tethering and the type of video output I’m focusing on here are comparable, they are not the same.
Video Capture Cards for HDMI
Modern cameras transmit visual signals using HDMI video connections.
2 It is also the standard for high-definition televisions, projectors, and screen displays. The Nikon D5300 features an HDMI-out connector that allows the video signal to be sent out of the camera. However, most computers are unable to accept an HDMI video stream in its current form. (Some laptops have an HDMI-out port, which is excellent for connecting a laptop to a projector or display for Powerpoint presentations, but what is required here is an HDMI-in, which most computers lack as normal. 3
So, in order to transfer the video signal from your camera to your computer, you’ll need additional hardware: an HDMI video capture device. It’s a little device that connects your camera to your computer. It converts the HDMI video signal into a USB signal. The first versions were cards that could be inserted into the internal slots of desktop computers. You may now obtain self-contained external devices that operate with laptops and can be simply moved between machines.
There are several HDMI-to-USB converters available on the market. They’ll operate with any camera, computer, or game console that has an HDMI output, so they’re not limited to the Nikon D5300. Some that I’ve discovered to work well and have used with the Nikon D5300 are:
4K Elgato Cam Link
HDMI Capture Card MavisLink
Magewell USB HDMI Capture Gen2
All of these function in the same way: connect your camera to the device, and then the device to your computer.
4K Elgato Cam Link
The Elgato Cam Link 4K is my best selection for a balance of performance, features, and affordability. There are less expensive and fancier (as well as more expensive) possibilities, but this is a nice combo that I’ve found to perform consistently. It has the appearance of a somewhat bigger USB thumb drive. It connects straight to your PC. The camera is then connected to the Cam Link through an HDMI connection.
As the name implies, it is capable of capturing HDMI at up to 4K resolution. However, when linked with the Nikon D5300, you’ll only be able to shoot at 1080p30.
With so many more individuals working from home late, capture devices are in high demand, and stock levels at shops are occasionally low. However, Amazon and B&H Photo are nice places to check to see whether they’re in stock.
It doesn’t need an extra power source because it gets its electricity from the computer’s USB port. It does not contain an HDMI cable, so you’ll need to purchase one separately (see below), but it does offer a short USB extension cable, which is useful if your computer has a congested row of USB ports.
OUR FINAL THOUGHTS
You can now take picture of your food before you eat it! This is perfect for the social media obsessed. Now, go out and capture all those moments that make life worth living.
FREQUENTLY ASK QUESTIONS
How do I use my Nikon DSLR?
Activating or deactivating the camera
To turn on the camera, press and hold the movie button for around 3 seconds.
When you switch on your camera and push the video or photo button, the shooting begins.
When you turn on the camera, the power-on lamp illuminates.
For novices, how does a camera work?
1.Learn how to correctly handle your camera.
2.Begin shooting in RAW.
3. Recognize the exposure triangle.
4.A wide aperture is ideal for portrait photography.
5.A narrow aperture is ideal for landscape photography.
6.Learn how to use Aperture and Shutter Priority modes.
7.Do not be frightened to increase the ISO.
8.Make it a habit to check the ISO before you begin shooting.
How do you photograph portraits?
Image as a result
Here are a few photography tricks
ks you may apply to improve your photographs and turn them from decent to great:
Diffuse the light source.
1.Make use of a longer lens….
2.Look for a different position….
3.Please bring your own lights.
4.Change the aperture.
5.Try using props.
6.Make use of gels.
7.Finish up with editing and post-production.