Help turn my D800E into a D5100

Started Jun 20, 2012 | Discussions thread
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darinb Regular Member • Posts: 401
Help turn my D800E into a D5100

Here are a few questions for those of you more experienced with DSLRs:

First, a bit of background: I'm very familiar with using DSLRs in manual mode with manual focus primes and shooting RAW on a tripod, but have very little experience with zoom, AF, and shooting jpg (and all those settings that go along with it).

What I want to do is use the D800E is two ways--the way I usually do (manual everything, etc) and also in "point-and-shoot" mode. Toward that second goal I just bought a 28-300 Nikkor and have been testing it out.

A few questions:

1) What settings should I use if I want to mimic the results of a D5100? I haven't done a head-to-head comparison but when my wife shoots her 5100 (and the D40x before that) it sees that everything comes out well-exposed and perky. With my D800E set to "P" I'm getting poor results--if the light is the least little bit tricky it seems to make the wrong choice. Bright backgrounds seem to be a special problem, underexposing the backlit subject. I thought "Matrix metering" and all that on a semi-pro camera would be

2) Is there a way to bias the D800E to shoot at higher shutter speeds (and to move iso up if it needs to rather than move the shutter speeds down)? For example, on "P" and with auto-iso the camera seems hesitant to move the iso up very much and seems to be more eager to slow the shutter speed down. Not good if I'm shooting at 300mm! I would think that with modern sensors the program would be less hesitant to raise iso, at least up to a point. In other words, is there any way to control the "bias" or "curve" of what combinations it will choose--maybe a "sports program" mode, like I believe they used to have in the old days? I know I can set hard limits in the iso--but I don't want hard limits, just a different heuristic.

I'm getting shutter speeds that are consistently a bit lower than i would like in order to maintain image sharpness--I would have preferred to bump the iso higher.

3) Does the camera try to maintain higher shutter speeds if you zoom out to 300? Or is the zoom (and focus distance, for that matter) not taken into account?

4) Does the VR function do anything at higher shutter speeds? I'm finding that I need to shoot at least 1/640 to get a sharp image--anything lower than that seems to be a crapshoot. Doesn't seem like I'm gaining anything from VR here.


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Darin Boville

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Nikon D40X Nikon D5100 Nikon D800E
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