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D300s Whats the best settings

Nigel Gibbs , Jul 26, 2010; 07:25 a.m.

Hi I have just brought the Nikkon D300s.
With A AF s Nikkor 70-300mm 1:4-5:6 G VR SWM ED if lens.
And a AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED VR lens.
And a SB 600 flash.
I am new to digital cameras and was wondering what the best settings are for this camera any advice would be welcome.


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Howard M , Jul 26, 2010; 07:55 a.m.

This is a *very* good reference.......


Luis G , Jul 26, 2010; 08:10 a.m.

In the end, there are no best settings per se. You need to find out what settings to use to actualize your vision and workflow. Use anyone's recommendation as a starting point, but experiment, evaluate results, and customize the settings to suit yourself. The point behind all those choices is to make images that are your own. Start from the defaults and see where it takes you.

Carl Becker , Jul 26, 2010; 08:19 a.m.

Shoot RAW and post process. You may also look at setting the white balance if auto is not giving good results. I have Thom Hogan's manual for the D700 and there is good information about many things in it. I think it is a good purchase.

Robert K , Jul 26, 2010; 08:24 a.m.

Shoot RAW and post process.

As far as I know, Raw can't rescue out of focus shots. Check this thread and you will see what I mean:


Elliot Bernstein , Jul 26, 2010; 08:26 a.m.

Are you new to photography or just DSLR cameras?

Shun Cheung , Jul 26, 2010; 09:03 a.m.

There is no such thing as "best" settings; otherwise Nikon would have just provided those "best" settings and that is the end of the story. It is a matter of personal preferences and what type of subject you are shooting at the moment. In other words, I change my settings depending on what I am shooting; I have different settings for sports, children, landscape, wedding ....

Anyone with a camera at the D300S level should always keep a RAW file just in case you need it. If you find RAW difficult to deal with initially since you are new to digital photography, shoot RAW + JPEG fine so that you have the best of both worlds.

Two settings I would pay attention to first are Custom Settings a1 and a2. A lot of auto focus issues are due to wrong focus priority and release priority expectations.

Thom Hogan's D300S guide would be a good place to start. I was one of the volunteers proofreaders for his original D300 guide, but that was not a paid job and I have no financial relationship with him. Hogan is very thorough and has a lot of good advices for people who are new to digital. If anything, he may be providing too much information than you need.

Kevin Delson , Jul 26, 2010; 09:36 a.m.

I am new to digital cameras

A "guide book" is in your future. Notice they are called (Guide) books; not ("You gotta' set it this way") books. :)

The operational manuals that come with DSLR's are a wealth of info for people who understand how DSLR's work and experienced users who also know how to interpret the oft poor translation from one language to another. LOL

As a beginner, start with the basics; right? Program mode.
After a while you will ask yourself "Hmm, I wonder what this feature does?" At that point you dig in and focus your efforts in finding out.

As one of many examples:

(FV Lock) on the D-300/D-300s is a wonder button many beginners overlook. That's ok for now as you have your hands full learning such a feature rich camera. Later; you'll look at this feature again and say "How did I live w/o it."

Nigel Gibbs , Jul 26, 2010; 10:44 a.m.

This is the first camera I have owned for years my wife uses a Nikkon F801 film camera.
thx for all you advice

Peter Hamm , Jul 26, 2010; 10:55 a.m.

Get the byThom guide!

Also, for free, google "Ken Rockwell D300 Users Guide". Ken is a blowhard but his guides are very good.

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