How to Take a Picture with Live View in Auto Mode on Your Nikon D5300 - dummies

How to Take a Picture with Live View in Auto Mode on Your Nikon D5300

By Julie Adair King

Your Nikon D5300 can make life easier with the Live View Auto exposure mode. Most aspects of shooting in Live View are the same as for viewfinder photography. Autofocusing, however, works quite differently. Here are the steps to take a picture in the Auto Exposure mode using the default settings:

  1. Set the Mode dial to Auto.


  2. To engage Live View, rotate the Live View switch.

    The viewfinder goes dark, and the scene in front of the lens appears on the monitor, along with some shooting data.


  3. Frame your subject in the monitor.

  4. Check the position of the focusing frame; if necessary, recompose or adjust the frame so that it’s over your subject.

    The autofocus frame that appears depends on your subject:

    • Portraits: The camera uses an autofocusing option called Face Priority AF-area mode. If it detects a face, it displays a yellow focus box. In a group portrait, you may see several boxes: The one including the interior corner marks indicates the face that is used to set the focusing distance. You can use the Multi Selector to move the box over a different face, which determines the focusing distance.

    • Other subjects: Anytime the camera can’t detect a face, it switches to Wide Area AF-area mode, with the focus point indicated by a red box in the center of the screen. Again, you can use the Multi Selector to move the focus box over your subject. Press OK to move the focus box quickly back to the center of the frame.

  5. Press the shutter button halfway to set focus and initiate exposure metering.

    When focus is set, the focus box turns green and you hear a beep (assuming that you didn’t disable it via the Custom Setting menu). In dim lighting, the built-in flash pops up.

    In Live View mode, the camera always locks focus when you press the shutter button halfway, even if the subject is moving. If you want the camera to track focus on a moving subject, you must shift from the default Focus mode option AF-S (for single-servo autofocus) to AF-F (full-time servo) mode.

  6. Press the shutter button all the way down to record the picture.

    The photo appears briefly on the monitor, and then the live preview reappears.

After you press the shutter button halfway, the camera may shift automatically to one of four Scene modes that are designed to capture specific types of subjects. The exposure-mode symbol is your cue that this switch was made.

Here are a few important pointers to remember when you use Live View mode, whether you’re shooting photos or movies:

  • Press the Info button to change the type of data that’s displayed on the monitor. You can choose from five displays:

    Show Photo Indicators: Reveals extensive shooting data for still photography. The display uses this mode by default.

    Show Movie Indicators: Displays data related to movie recording. The transparent gray bar that appears along the top and bottom of the screen shows how much of the vertical image area is excluded from the frame if you set the movie resolution to a setting that produces a 16:9 frame aspect ratio. (The only setting that doesn’t produce this ratio is 640 x 424, which captures a 3:2 frame.)


    Hide Indicators: In this display mode, as well as in the next two, you may see four tiny, horizontal markers near the corners of the display. They take the place of the shaded bars indicating the 16:9 frame area that appears in Show Movie Indicators mode.

    Framing Grid: Adds a grid and the 16:9 framing marks.

    Show Basic Photo Indicators: Presents only the basic exposure settings plus the aforementioned movie frame-area markers.

  • Cover the viewfinder to prevent light from seeping into the camera and affecting exposure. The camera ships with a cover designed for this purpose. Slide the rubber eyecup that surrounds the viewfinder up and out of the groove that holds it in place; then slide the cover down into the groove. (Orient the cover so that the Nikon label faces the viewfinder.)

  • The monitor turns off by default after ten minutes of inactivity. When monitor shutdown is 30 seconds away, a countdown timer appears in the upper-left corner of the screen. You can adjust the shutdown timing via the Auto Off Timers option on the Custom Setting menu.

  • Using Live View for an extended period can harm your pictures and the camera. In Live View mode, the camera’s innards heat up more than usual, and that extra heat can create the proper electronic conditions for noise. Perhaps more importantly, the increased temperatures can damage the camera. For that reason, Live View is automatically disabled if the camera detects a critical heat level.

    When the camera is 30 seconds or fewer from shutting down, the countdown timer appears in order to let you know how many seconds remain for shooting. The warning doesn’t appear during picture playback or when menus are active, however.

  • Aiming the lens at the sun or another bright light also can damage the camera. Of course, you can cause problems by doing this even during viewfinder shooting, but the possibilities increase when you use Live View. You can harm not only the camera’s internal components but also the monitor.

  • Some lights may interfere with the Live View display. The operating frequency of some types of lights, including fluorescent and mercury-vapor lamps, can create electronic interference that causes the monitor display to flicker or exhibit odd color banding. Changing the Flicker Reduction option on the Setup menu may resolve this issue. At the default setting, Auto, the camera gauges the light and chooses the right setting for you.