I'm just starting out with my Nikon D5100… I have no idea but all you G+ photo people inspire me so… The settings are still very confusing to me.. So I came across this little cheat sheet.How good is it?

You might need to click the image to read some.. its pretty "tall".

#photography #nikonD5100

Google+: Reshared 353 times
Google+: View post on Google+


Amanda Blain

Business Owner, Super Hero & Geek Girl. Likes Google, Technology, Video Games & Social Media. Over 4 Million followers on GooglePlus. I am the owner of Girlfriend Social the website.

Related Posts

Select which comments you prefer...


  1. sofia Al-Bidir    

    good idea for beginner ! have fun :)

  2. William Wells    

    I just bought the exact same camera too! did you get the deal with the extra telefoto lens?

  3. Paul Lyon    

    Being able to see whether or not the image turned out or not right away also helps. 😉

  4. Don DeCaire    

    Best way to improve is shoot, Notice the changes and shoot some more taking those changes into account and then shooting some more! Have fun! :)

  5. Tris Hussey    

    +Amanda Blain yeah that's a good one. Luckily with digital cameras you can experiment to your heart's content and not "waste film".

  6. Diego Zamberlan    

    I turned Auto ISO On on my camera, and use P mode most of the time, S 100(or higher) to freeze a subject. To isolate a subject with a big aperture, you might need to get a prime lens (50mm f/1.8 is a great to do that)

    I don't worry too much on technical details, I focus more on composition. A technically sound photo with nothing interesting going on is pretty boring.

  7. Steven Streight    

    It's all about angle, framing, lighting, and unposed subjects.

  8. Amanda Blain    

    I do hear the "just keep shooting things" a fair amount.. but then im forgetting what settings i shot on.. and i also had no idea that certain things would produce lighter or darker… Guess im kinda visual to see it person.. Maybe thats why I like G+ so much O_o I'll keep shooting though.. :)

    +William Wells yuppers… extra lens… still no idea what im doing.

  9. Jonathon Barton    

    I'm going to have to give this a whirl with the vintage '43 Kodak camera I have sitting on the shelf at home.
    With no training whatsoever (Just dropped some B/W film into it and guessed), I got some pretty decent vintage shots from a WWII Re-enactment I attended…
    I was astonished when I got the prints. I thought they definitely had a "war correspondent" thing going on, when it was really just an "I got this camera yesterday" thing. =)

  10. Don DeCaire    

    I still experiment all the time…that's what makes photography an art form it's ever changing!

  11. William Johnston    

    +Amanda Blain Yep, that will work , gives the novice an inside into how the shutter speeds encompasses light

  12. Derek Osborne    

    Pretty good although I think it's missing tips about shutter speeds as far as stopping action vs long exposures for "smoothing" effects. Although now that I'm writing this post I see that it could be just a problem of trying to word it the right way.

  13. Tris Hussey    

    +Amanda Blain here's a good trick … Lightroom, iPhoto, and Aperture all can let you see the settings for a photo. So you can go back and see what the settings were. Even better you can do it on your iPad right away!

  14. Amanda Blain    

    Hmmm No Ipad here +Tris Hussey … but a neat tip :)

  15. Shane Corning    

    I took a class of classic photo (B&W 35mm) at the Community College I graduated from. That class was worth every penny because not only do they explain how these settings determine one another, they gave me lab time too (professional darkrooms are not the cheapest things).
    I found it easiest to start with ISO and go from there.

  16. Paul Hood    

    I'm pretty new to photography and have only recently got an old digital SLR looking forward to playing with this card. Thanks

  17. Tomas Rojas    

    Just buy J1, this camera is amazing, and low cost.
    is Nikon J1

  18. Chee Yow    

    +Don DeCaire advice is good, but +Amanda Blain will want to download Picasa to manage and view your pics on big screen, so you can better observe the effects of changing aperture and speed. Start by setting it to "Auto", then bring your camera with you wherever you go, and shoot away.

    Upload the pics from your camera to Picasa, view each picture on big screen, and note the metadata information of each shot, displayed by Picasa on right column. Don't obsess with the technicals, just enjoy the occasional shots that really stood out, and delete the 'duh' ones. After a while, you will get a sense of what aperture and speed functions do.

    Then, you can experiment by switching from "Auto" to "A" for aperture. Take pictures at different aperture settings and note the background. You will begin to see some pictures will have a nice blurry background that you like. It is called "bokeh", and soon you will appreciate what aperture settings do to change the "mood" or "depth of field" of a picture. So the same for the "S" or speed settings, only, try this out in a sporting event. Photography is one helluva personal enjoyable past time, and when you get a great shot and share it, you will feel really good about yourself. Enjoy, and I apologize for the long post.

  19. Brett Bjornsen    

    That's definitely a handy little pocket guide to help remember all those little details.

  20. James Lawson-Smith    

    Is there a link to the original

  21. Steven Streight    

    I agree with +Chee Yow and I greatly appreciate his "Start by setting it to "Auto", then bring your camera with you wherever you go, and shoot away." advice.

    So very true. I take my digital Canon camera with me literally everywhere I go. Even if I just take my dog for a walk, I've got my camera on me.

    You learn this lesson eventually, due to missed opportunities. Several weeks ago, a jet airplane flew over my house so low I could have thrown a potato at it and hit almost.

    It was truly bizarre. It was at night and I could actually see the guys in the cockpit and the plane was all lit up from its lights. I called the airport and asked them WTF was going on. Got an evasive reply of course.

    If I had a photo of that jet, I would have an amazing picture.

  22. Runar Bell    

    +Amanda Blain Even "simple" tools like Picasa lets you see what settings you used for a photo. (It's stored as exif information in the image file, and most photo-viewing software can show that information)

    Depending on which camera you have I'm pretty certain you can attach your camera directly to your Android tablet and have all photos show instantly on the tablet for a portable big screen to see your photos on.

    One problem with learning to take good photos is that you have to keep on doing it, or else you just forget everything you have learned… :-)

  23. Eric Branch    

    +Runar Bell – So true! I am trying to break myself of the Auto presets on my Canon and trying to learn to use manual settings. I will tinker and play, get a couple decent shots and then completely forget what I did to get the shot.

  24. Ian Albrecht    

    +Radical Something – I'm sure this could come in handy!

  25. PJ Rosenberg    

    I needed this!! nice! nice! did I say NICE!!

  26. Runar Bell    

    +Eric Branch exactly my problem as well! So I have basically given up and shoots most of my photos in P/Auto 😉 (Although the Sony alpha-77 has some interesting features in Auto+ as well)

  27. Jacob Mensah    

    I am new in this world i need a trusted friend to mentor me

  28. Ramses Del Campo    

    Love it! Thank you so much!!

  29. Abraham Dominic    

    That is great always work with your camera incase.

  30. Ray Case    

    That chart is good and all but it doesn't really tell you anything – it is like a ruler, if you know what you are measuring it makes more sense.

    I haven't really taken pictures since 35mm was the ruling camera of choice, but here I go…

    I miss the days of taking pictures outside in the summer with ISO 100 film – that was beautiful color and pictures. AND no more Kodachrome :(
    is there even an ISO on a digital camera? i thought that ISO was a film characteristic. high iso film is a lot more sensitive to light, but it gets grainy fast – it also can get hazed by airport xrays.

    Some simple rules I keep in my head:

    * shutter speed = how long is the apeture open.

    You can't hold a camera steady (by hand) if the shutter speed is slower than about 1/30 of a second (and 1/30 is pushing it).
    If something is moving, you will probably need something faster than 1/30 of a second to 'capture' it.

    * f/stop ~= how much light the camera lets in while the shutter is open. also how much is in focus.

    a big f stop lets in more light so you need less shutter speed to capture the same image. BUT…
    if you have a big f stop (like f/2) ONLY what you have focused on will be in focus

    Using big f/stops makes what you have focused on the focus of the picture – everything closer OR farther away will be blurry.

    If you use a small f/stop, mostly everything will be in focus, but you will need a longer shutter speed to get enough light to be able to get a good photo of your subject.

    * You have to trade focus depth for light and vice versa. You can have both light and focus depth, but then NOTHING can move or you will see 'ghosts'
    REALLY old school cameras only had a big f/stop so that is why everything is out of focus that the camera wasn't focused on. Closer or farther away is out of focus.

    Note that all of these things that appear to be rules can be used to create neat effects if used effectively.

    You might want to throw a polarizing filter on that lens too. taking out the 'crooked' light makes better pictures!

  31. Ray Case    

    +Shane Corning 's solution of taking a photo class is the best idea. I knew someone that developed his own color and b/w film and he mentored me on my picture taking.

  32. Skottlinde Rice    

    This is a very practical and useful #cheatsheet for #photographers who are in the beginning phases of their career, or for the easy going enthusiast looking to capture the perfect moment.

  33. Oliviero Shawn    

    quite useful for DSLR rookie users~~

  34. Matthew Ibbs    

    Everyone already said everything. The chart is basically correct but you need to know it by heart and understand it. In short, practice makes perfect.

  35. joshua ben-ami    

    lol, a bit more complex with film , but digital just set on auto at first then play with settings and see the result

  36. Theodore Ts'o    

    I suspect you'll find that the cheat sheet is information you'll have internalized very, very quickly. The way I suggest that most people get started is to start by using Aperture Priority (A). That means you select the aperture, and the camera will select the speed. Controlling the aperture means that you get to control the depth of field; the larger the aperture (meaning the smaller the f/ value) the smaller the range of distances that things will be in focus. This is often a good thing; for example, if you have a lot of clutter in the background — for example, a wedding reception at a hotel ballroom — you can keep your subject sharply in focus, while keeping the rest of the photo nicely blurred so that the viewer focuses her attention on the what's most important. This also means you don't have to worry about the rest of the visual elements being perfect; just the subject of interest.

    In other cases you may want to keep multiple objects at different distances from the camera in focus; in that case you will need a smaller aperture (meaning a larger f/ stop number). Note, however, that if you use too small of an aperture, your pictures may end up getting degraded due to diffraction. This is mostly an issue with DSLR's, where you should try to avoid f/ stop values greater than f/8 — f/11. It's less of an issue on point-and-shoots, because the small sensor means it's almost impossible to avoid diffractive losses anyway.

    As far as the speed is concerned, the reason why I suggest letting the camera select the speed is that unless you are doing sports photography (in which case you might need a fast speed to "stop" the action of a fast-moving subject), shutter speed doesn't matter as much, as long as the shutter speed isn't too slow. A good rule of thumb is that the speed should be faster than the reciprocal of the focal length of the lens in 35mm equivalent. So if you are using a 50mm lens on a Nikon D5100, that's has 1.6 magnification factor and so it has an effective focal length of 80mm. So you will want to make sure the shutter speed is at least 1/80th of a second or faster. Whether it ends up being 1/100th or 1/200th doesn't really matter unless you are doing sports photography.

    If it's too dark and the camera tells you it needs a shutter speed slower than 1/80th of a second, then you will need to use a tripod or some other way of stabilizing your camera so you can minimize camera shake bluring your picture. Or you could use a larger aperture, but that means reducing for depth of field, which might or might not be acceptable.

    If it's a very bright day outdoors, it's possible that for a given aperture value, the required shutter speed is faster than what your camera can handle (1/4000th of a second is the fastest shutter speed on a D5100), so you might need to use a smaller aperture. This has tradeoffs, though — if you're worried about diffractive losses or you want a tight depth of field, you may need to use a Neutral Density (ND) filter to reduce the light entering your camera, so you can continue to use wider aperture.

    A slightly more advanced topic is what happens if the camera misjudges the exposure. In general the camera will try to adjust the exposure (in aperture priority mode, you control the aperture, so the camera will adjust the shutter speed to compensate) so that the average brightness across the entire photo is equivalent to 18% grey. However, if you are taking a picture of snow field, then it's supposed to be mostly bright white, and you may need to tell the auto exposure system that you want to "over expose" the picture, so that the result looks (on average) more white. On the opposite side, you may be taking a picture where everything is supposed to be relatively dark (say, a picture at twilight), and you don't want the camera making the picture look too bright. So in that case you might tell the camera to "under expose" the picture by half a stop or a full stop of light.

    See? Simple!

  37. John Lemery    

    It will help you. Nice visual. Enjoy your camera!

  38. Greg Marshall    

    That's great! It's a great reminder, especially about fstops.

  39. Gregory Block    

    That's a beautiful object and a lovely chart. :)

  40. Josue Vasquez    

    excellent camera choice, you will not regret it. I have mine combined with a sigma 18-200mm lens perfection.

  41. Joshua Conlon    

    Just got the same camera. I love it!!!

  42. Victor Abbott    

    Nice! Have you got one for photoshop handy?

  43. Abhishek Bagaria    

    can you email me the file pls?

  44. Michael Matteson    

    Good if you aren't familiar with manually setting these.

  45. Eduard Ihnat    

    +amanda blain you might start to follow #jphotonotes former Jaiku users chat there about photography, share ideas, tips and tricks. :)

  46. Stefan Wi?niewski    

    The Digital Photography Book vol I by Scott Kelby- easy and very good book when you starting with good camera, highly recommended. If you invested in good camera get the most of it.Have fun.

  47. Peter Tegza    

    good idea posting this +Amanda Blain hopefully we will see more nice pictures w/o being altered by all those "great photo-styling" apps.
    sorry, I just hate them and could not resist :-)

  48. Lloyd Metcalf    

    The info is accurate. However, if you spend a little time, google or read up on one aspect at a time until you really understand what it is doing…. this will be unnecessary.
    It's how I learned. Just pick one thing at a time… like today : ISO, what it is, and where to find it on my camera and how to set it quickly.

  49. Alisha Smith Watkins    

    It's a good guide, and a good camera :) i've got the same one, and I looooove it. have fun experimenting!

  50. Kaz Szydlo    

    How do I disable the "hot on g+" postings, like yous?

  51. Bill Street    

    I find it interesting that the ISO rating of the film goes up to 3200. I remember 800 film and heard about 1600 film, but did not know that 3200 film was common enough to put on a chart.

  52. Lloyd Metcalf    

    It's more common in the newer DSLRs. most just go to 1600

  53. Peter Tegza    

    +Kaz Szydlo you can individually mute each thread (use that small arrow in right top corner to open a thread menu)
    to disable it all you press "explore"s croll down to What's Hot and move that small circle toward left

  54. Alisha Smith Watkins    

    Bill the D5000's ISO goes even past 3200 and the next setting after that is HI. Just depends on the maker, I guess.

  55. Giselle Vanessa    

    how cool, I just got my Nikon D5100 too a week ago. This is great! thanks for sharing it. Anything helps when you're a beginner. =)

  56. Nathan Amos    

    +Kaz Szydlo click the "Hot On Google+" link in the header above the post, and adjust the slider that appear next to the "What's Hot" title

  57. Glen Schlueter    

    Now take the camera of "green zone" and go for it girl !!

  58. Rarineta Iongaa    

    hi im rarry . ionga from kiribati island

  59. Will Cooper    

    It's a pretty good cheat sheet :) Wish I had it way back when!!

  60. cecilia FXX    

    +Kaz Szydlo :click on the "?" on the upper right of this post and all will be revealed.

  61. Amanda Blain    

    Goodness.. some great tips in here.. thanks everyone :) will have to check them out

  62. Ashlan Nathens    

    +Amanda Blain It's actually very good! The B on the left of shutter speed is 'Bulb': manually opening AND closing the shutter.

    Looking forward to seeing some photos:)

  63. Norma Carolina Rodriguez    

    i giggle when my students show me this cheat sheet.

  64. Tom Mitchell    

    About: "but then im forgetting what settings i shot on." Google for exif — all the settings used by the camera get saved as part of the image. Many tools can display these for you find one for your system. Also set the clock and date on the camera. You can match notes to the date-time stamps saved in the EXIF info.

  65. Diego Chapa    

    Omg so useful! And it's based on how bright the image can/could be: yay for that!

  66. Manuel Viet    

    It's a nice sum up, but it misses the "sunny 16" rule to make sense.

    The sunny 16 rule is the relationship between speed, aperture, and iso, and it is usually spelled : outside on a bright sunny day with no clouds in the sky, when the aperture is set at 16 on the lens, the correct speed for normal exposure is 1/iso.

    The more clouds, the more you open the aperture or/and you drop the speed.

  67. J C Gunn    

    Two great web sites, Ken Rockwell and Thom Hogan, lots of great info, read up and get out and "burn film"

  68. Trey Lingenfelter    

    F/2.8 looks like the Aperture Science logo.

  69. Christopher Hill    

    I found this simulator helpful…for the visual person like yourself:

  70. Tim Berry    

    Amanda, thanks for sharing. I love cheatsheets like this

  71. Bruce Anthony    

    Awesome! I just got a Canon Rebel T3, this will make things easier to get acquainted with it.

  72. Patrick Phillips    

    Kinda looks like the poster behind my wife's hospital bed when she gave birth.

  73. Mathew Varghese    

    These are fundamentals. If you understand these then you are as good as a pro. Photography is all about craeting moods with light. Watch the following clip to know more about seeing light.
    Photography Lighting Lesson – Remember the EGG
    The picture you have posted displays the tools for controlling light

  74. David Brisco    

    old school, but still very relevant. nice find fo sho

  75. Larry Ham    

    Only way to win is to cheat

  76. Melvin T    

    For shutter speed, you may wish to add for slower shutter, a tripod or more steady hand is necessary.

  77. Frye Jones    

    Good luck to you. #yessirr

  78. Rahul Kaushal    

    Very Well Explained manual settings of camera, it was really helpful for starter like me

  79. Phiroz M    

    eheh great cheat sheet!!!

  80. sundar R.M    

    Won't it be nice if every gadget has such things.Thank you Amanda.

  81. Robert Ölei    

    Is there also an Instagram Cheat Sheet? :-)

  82. Vedran Milic    

    I'm starting with Nikon 5100 too. Keep going. :)

  83. Noze P.    

    it looks very simple, which is good to explain some things. Have fun +Amanda Blain :)

  84. Ray Ray    

    After all the research and practice I ended up using the "Auto" setting :)

  85. Paul Kover    

    Some time, the auto setting needs tweaking…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

nine − = five

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>