Nikon D780 For Dummies book cover

Nikon D780 For Dummies

Author:
Doug Sahlin
Published: July 28, 2020

Overview

Join the photographers who turn to the For Dummies series for useful guidance 

Nikon D780 For Dummies provides Nikon D780 users and owners with in-depth knowledge and practical advice about how to get great shots with their powerful camera. Written by professional photographer Doug Sahlin, this book gives quick and convenient answers to Nikon D780 users’ most frequent and pressing questions.  

Nikon D780 For Dummies covers the topics you’ll need to get started with your new D780 camera. The book includes clear guidance on topics like: 

·         Exploring the Nikon D780 body 

·         Getting to know the settings options 

·         Seeing results from auto modes 

·         Taking control of exposure 

·         Looking into lens options 

·         Using the flash effectively 

Written in the straightforward and pragmatic style known and loved by For Dummies readers around the world, Nikon D780 For Dummies is perfect for people just starting out with digital SLR photography as well as those who know their way around a camera.  

Join the photographers who turn to the For Dummies series for useful guidance 

Nikon D780 For Dummies provides Nikon D780 users and owners with in-depth knowledge and practical advice about how to get great shots with their powerful camera. Written by professional photographer Doug Sahlin, this book gives quick and convenient answers to Nikon D780 users’ most frequent and pressing questions.  

Nikon D780 For Dummies covers the topics you’ll need to get started with your new D780 camera. The book includes clear guidance on topics like: 

·         Exploring the Nikon D780 body 

·        

Getting to know the settings options 

·         Seeing results from auto modes 

·         Taking control of exposure 

·         Looking into lens options 

·         Using the flash effectively 

Written in the straightforward and pragmatic style known and loved by For Dummies readers around the world, Nikon D780 For Dummies is perfect for people just starting out with digital SLR photography as well as those who know their way around a camera.  

Nikon D780 For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Your Nikon D780 is the latest and greatest digital camera on the market—with a stunning 24.5-megapixel capture, live view, high-definition video, and much more. But all this technology can be a bit daunting, especially if this is your first real digital single-lens reflect (DSLR) camera. Discover how to get the most out of your camera’s shooting and metering modes, as well as how to assemble a makeshift tripod. In addition, find out the steps to take after a photo shoot to ensure your camera is ready for the next photo. [caption id="attachment_271918" align="alignnone" width="556"] The front of the Nikon D780.[/caption]

Articles From The Book

10 results

Photography Articles

How to Shoot Macro Photography on the Nikon D780 Camera

If you have lush flowers or small critters in your yard or live near a botanical garden, you have a rich resource for wonderful close-up photographs on your Nikon D780. You can take a nice photograph of a flowerbed or create something really special by photographing a flower up close and personal. A close-up of a flower or a small animal like a lizard reveals the beautiful architecture of the flower, or the symmetry and unique appendages of the animal. When you see a compelling photograph of a flower, you can almost smell that flower. To create a great macro photograph of flowers, you need great-looking flowers, the right light, and a good eye for composition. Add the settings and techniques discussed in this section, and you’re well on your way to creating great photographs of flowers or other small things.

How to set the Nikon D780 camera

When you photograph a close-up of a flower, small animal, or insect, you take the picture almost like you’re shooting a portrait of a person. In both cases, you carefully compose the image and choose the proper camera settings to get a great photograph. When you shoot in aperture-priority auto (A) mode and use a large aperture (a small f/stop number), you get a shallow depth of field that draws the viewer’s attention to the subject. With a single autofocus point, you can lock focus on any part of the subject so that you draw attention to the stamen, a flower petal, or an insect on the flower. A low ISO gives you a crisp image that has little or no digital noise. A focal length of 90mm or longer lets you get close to your subject. However, you can get your best results if you have a macro lens. If your lens has image stabilization, enable the feature. When you capture close-ups of any subject, the slightest bit of operator movement can result in an image that doesn’t look sharp.

Many lenses come equipped with a macro mode, which lets you get really close to your subject and still keep it in focus. If you don’t have a macro lens, consider buying one if you enjoy photographing close-ups of objects such as flowers. You can also buy an extension tube for close-up photography.

Don’t use image stabilization if you mount your camera on a tripod.

Camera settings: Macro photography

These are the settings I recommend for macro photography:
  • Metering mode: Matrix
  • Release mode: Cl (continuous low speed) or Ch (continuous high speed)
  • Shooting mode: Aperture-priority auto (A) mode
  • Aperture: f/3.5 to f/5.6.
  • ISO: 100, 200, or the lowest setting that gives you a shutter speed that’s the reciprocal of the focal length you’re using to photograph the flower
  • Focus mode: AF-S (single AF)
  • Autofocus point: Single-point AF
  • Focal length: 90mm or longer macro lens
  • Image stabilization: On, unless using a tripod

Zooming in to take the picture

You get your best images if you photograph your subject in flattering light. Harsh overhead light is not flattering. If you’re faced with those conditions, use a small diffuser to soften the light. You can photograph flowers indoors or outdoors. If you photograph flowers outdoors, take your photos early in the morning or late in the afternoon because that’s when the light is most flattering. The same rule applies when photographing small insects or animals. Also, cloudy overcast conditions offer soft, diffuse lighting that can be great for this type of photograph.

When photographing flowers, photograph a light-colored flower against a dark background and photograph a dark-colored flower against a light background.

If you’re shooting indoors, try placing the subject near a window that’s not receiving direct sunlight so that you can get soft, diffuse light, which is perfect for photographing small objects such as flowers. If you’re taking a picture of the entire object, make sure you leave a bit of breathing room around the subject.

Use your flash to add a kiss of light to the image. This extra light warms the image and adds light to the shadows. If your camera has flash exposure compensation, use it to determine how much light the flash adds to the image.

If you want to create a photograph of a flower dappled with pearls of dew, but the flower doesn’t have any dew on it, carry a small spray bottle with you and mist the flower prior to photographing it. But don’t mist flowers in the heat of the day, when the afternoon sun can quickly heat the water and hurt the flower.

You can create a very intimate flower portrait if you zoom in tight and capture fine details of the flower. When you zoom in this closely, make sure you compose the scene in your viewfinder to create an aesthetically pleasing picture.

Photography Articles

How to Photograph Nature and Wildlife on the Nikon D780

If you live near a state park or wilderness area, you can capture some wonderful photographs on your Nikon D780 camera of animals such as deer, raccoons, and otters in their natural surroundings.

You can easily spook these kinds of wild animals because they’re relatively low in the food chain. They have a natural fear of humans, which means you have to be somewhat stealthy to photograph them. Patience is a virtue. If you’re patient and don’t do anything startling, you can capture great images of animals such as deer.

If you live near a state park, go there often to find out which areas of the park you’re likely to find your subjects and to get to know the habits of the animals who live there, including their feeding habits. After you know the habits of the animals you want to photograph and get familiar with the lay of the land, you can capture some wonderful wildlife images by using the following settings.

How to set the camera

The goal of this type of photography is to capture a photograph of an animal in the wild. You use aperture-priority auto (A) mode for this type of photography to control depth of field. The animal is the subject of your picture, so you use a large aperture to create a shallow depth of field and draw your viewer’s attention to your subject. Use a smaller aperture when photographing a group of animals. AF-C (continuous autofocus) enables the camera to update focus while the animal moves. You also use the Cl (continuous low speed) or Ch (continuous high speed) release mode to capture a sequence of images of the animal as it moves through the area. The focal length you use depends on how close you can safely approach the animal. Use image stabilization if you have to shoot at a slow shutter speed.

The slowest shutter speed you should use when handholding your camera is the inverse of the focal length. For example, if you’re using a 50mm FX lens on your D780, the slowest shutter speed you should use when holding the camera by hand is 1/60 second.

Camera settings: Nature and wildlife

These are the settings I recommend for shooting nature and wildlife:
  • Metering mode: Matrix
  • Release mode: Cl (continuous low speed) or Ch (continuous high speed)
  • Shooting mode: Aperture-priority auto (A) mode
  • Aperture: f/3.5 (which gives you a shallow depth of field) when photographing a solitary animal or a bird; a smaller aperture (larger f/stop number) when photographing a group of animals
  • ISO: The lowest ISO setting for available light conditions that gives you a shutter speed fast enough that you can handhold the camera with the focal length you’re using
  • Focus mode: AF-C (continuous AF)
  • Autofocus Point: Single-point AF
  • Focal length: A long focal length so that you can take the photograph from a safe distance without endangering the animal or yourself
  • Image stabilization: Optional

How to capture compelling images of nature and wildlife

When you’re taking pictures of animals in their natural habitat, you have to stay out of the open so that you don’t frighten the animal. I also recommend wearing clothing that helps you blend in with the surroundings.

The one exception to this suggestion is if you photograph in an area where hunting is permitted. Do not try to photograph wildlife in an area where hunting is permitted during hunting season.

Go to a place where you’ve previously sighted the species you want to photograph, hide behind some natural cover, and wait. Photograph during the early morning or late afternoon when the light is better and animals are out foraging for food.

When you see an animal, zoom in until the animal fills the frame, and then zoom out slightly. When you see an animal you want to photograph, and need to get closer, don’t make eye contact with the animal. Walk slightly to the side of the shortest distance to the animal. Change course once or twice, and when you get close enough, compose the image and take the picture. Your goal is to make the animal think it’s not in danger.

Position the autofocus point over the animal’s eye. Zoom in tight on the animal to capture an intimate portrait and compose the image according to the rule of thirds. This kind of photo is as close as you’ll get to shooting a portrait of a wild animal.

Common problems with nature and wildlife photography

Wildlife photography is exciting, but you may also find it challenging. Here are some problems you may encounter, as well as their solutions:
  • The image isn’t sharp. Make sure you’re shooting with an ISO that’s high enough to enable a relatively fast shutter speed, and use image stabilization if your lens has this feature. If you don’t have the image stabilization feature, mount your camera on a tripod or monopod. Don’t use image stabilization if the camera is mounted on a tripod, though — you may get undesirable results because the lens will try to compensate for operator motion when the camera is, in fact, rock steady.
  • The animal blends into the background. The coloring of some animals causes those animals to blend into the background. Try shooting from a different angle. You can also use the largest aperture to blur the background as much as possible. If you use a large aperture, make sure you get the animal’s eyes in focus. If you don’t, the entire picture will appear to be out of focus.
  • The animal disappears before you take the picture. Make sure you’re well-hidden and not upwind from the animal.

Photography Articles

How to Capture Sporting Events on the Nikon D780

Photography is a wonderful pastime. You can use your Nikon D780 camera to capture memories of the things that interest you. If you’re a sports fan, you can photograph your favorite sport. You can photograph individual athletes, but sports have more to them than just the athletes. Whether your favorite sport is football or auto racing, each one has its own rituals. And every sport includes a supporting cast. When you photograph a sporting event, you photograph each chapter of the event, from the pre-games festivities to the opening kickoff to the winning touchdown. Your creative mind, your knowledge of the sport, and the settings in this section give you all the tools you need to tell a story. Begin at the beginning, before the athletes flex their muscles or the drivers start their engines.

How to set the Nikon D780 camera

This section gives you a couple of different shooting scenarios. When you’re photographing the pre-event festivities, shoot in aperture-priority auto (A) mode. When your goal is to photograph an athlete preparing for the event, you want a shallow depth of field, so use a large aperture (a small f/stop number). When you want to photograph the crowd, or a group of athletes practicing, use a small aperture (a large f/stop number) to ensure a large depth of field. When your goal is to stop action, shoot in shutter-priority auto (S) mode at a speed fast enough to freeze the action. For an athlete, you can freeze motion with a shutter speed as slow as 1/125 second. To stop a racecar dead in its tracks, you need a fast shutter speed of 1/2,000 second. To capture the beauty of a speeding racecar with a motion blur, you pan the camera and shoot with a shutter speed of 1/125 second. The focal length you use varies depending on how close you can get to the action. If you’re photographing a large crowd before the event, use a wide-angle focal length of 28mm to 35mm. If you’re photographing individual athletes, zoom in.

Camera settings: Sporting events

These are the settings I recommend for shooting sporting events:
  • Metering mode: Matrix
  • Release mode: Single frame, Cl (continuous low speed), or Ch (continuous high speed)
  • Shooting mode: Shutter-priority auto (S) mode or aperture-priority auto (A) mode
  • Shutter speed: 1/250 second or faster
  • Aperture: Varies
  • ISO: The lowest possible ISO setting for the lighting conditions
  • Focus mode: AF-C (continuous autofocus)
  • Autofocus point: Single-point AF
  • Focal length: Varies
  • Image stabilization: On, unless using a tripod

How to capture the event

When you photograph a sporting event, you have to be in the moment. Before the event starts, you can capture interesting pictures of the crowd, the athletes performing their pre-event rituals, and the athletes warming up. When the event starts, you can capture the frenetic action. When the event is well and truly underway, keep alert for any interesting situations that may arise and, of course, any team player who scores. If you’re photographing a car race, be sure to include pictures of pit stops and other associated activities such as a driver change during an endurance race. And you probably want a picture or two of the winning driver spraying the champagne.

Arrive at the event early and take pictures of anything that piques your curiosity. Remember to change settings based on what you’re photographing.

Photograph the pre-event activities, such as the introduction of the players, athletes going through pre-event rituals, the coach meeting with her team on the sidelines, or pictures of the drivers getting ready. You can get creative with your composition when you photograph the pre-race events. Don’t be afraid to turn the camera diagonally or venture to an interesting vantage point. Let your inner child run amuck and capture some unusual pictures. The action can get a little crazy when an event begins. Each team is trying to gain an advantage over the other. If you’re photographing a race, drivers may battle fiercely to achieve the lead by the first corner. You never know what may happen. Stay alert for any possibility. Hold the camera and be ready to compose an image when you anticipate something interesting about to happen. Be proactive: Have the camera to your eye a split second before the crucial moment. The middle of any event is a great time for photographers. If you’re photographing an event such as a basketball or football game, you can get some shots of substitutions. You can also photograph the fans to capture their reactions to a winning score and so on. If you’re photographing an auto race, the cars are now a little battle weary, with tire marks, racer’s tape, and other chinks in their armor.

Be on your toes, especially if the score is close. In the final minutes or final laps, it’s do or die. Athletes give their all to win the event, which gives you opportunities for some great pictures.

Take photographs of the winning team celebrating and capture the glum looks of the losers. Take photographs of any awards ceremonies. Tell the complete story of the event.