Nikon D3300 Topside Controls - dummies

Nikon D3300 Topside Controls

By Julie Adair King

Scattered across your Nikon D3300’s exterior are numerous controls that you use to change picture-taking settings, review your photos, and perform various other operations. Here is just a basic “what’s this thing do?” guide to each control.

Your virtual tour begins with the bird’s-eye view shown in the figure. There are a number of features of note here:

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  • On/Off switch and shutter button: You may not be aware that you need to press the shutter button in two stages: Press and hold the button halfway and wait for the camera to initiate exposure metering and, if you’re using autofocusing, to set the focusing distance. Then press the button the rest of the way to take the picture.

  • Exposure Compensation button: This button activates Exposure Compensation, a feature that enables you to tweak exposure when working in the P (programmed autoexposure), A (aperture-priority autoexposure), or S (shutter-priority autoexposure) modes.

    To set the amount of Exposure Compensation, press the button while rotating the Command dial (the black dial on the upper-right corner of the camera back). In M (manual exposure) mode, press this button while rotating the Command dial to adjust the aperture setting.

  • Info button: This button performs two functions depending on whether you’re using the viewfinder to frame shots or taking advantage of Live View, the feature that enables you to see the live scene on the monitor.

    • Viewfinder photography: Press the Info button to display the Information screen, which displays the most critical picture-taking settings. To turn off the screen, press the Info button again.

      You also can display the screen by pressing the shutter button halfway and releasing it.

    • Live View photography: After you press the LV (Live View) button on the back of the camera, the viewfinder goes dark, and the live scene appears on the monitor.

      During Live View photography, press the Info button to change the amount and type of data displayed along with the live scene. You can turn the monitor off only by exiting Live View mode (press the LV button again).

  • Movie-Record button: After shifting to Live View mode, press this button to start recording a movie. Press again to stop recording. (You can’t use the viewfinder when recording movies.)

  • Mode dial: With this dial, you choose the exposure mode, which determines how much control you have over camera settings. For normal shooting, you can choose from fully automatic, semiautomatic, or manual exposure control.

    By turning the dial to Effects, you can apply special effects as the image or movie is captured.

  • AF-assist lamp: When you use autofocusing, the camera may emit a beam of light from this lamp in dim lighting; the light helps the camera find its focus target. The lamp also lights when you use Red-Eye Reduction flash and the Self-Timer shutter-release mode.

  • Flash hot shoe: A hot shoe is a connection for attaching an external flash head.

  • Speaker: When you play a movie, the sound comes wafting out of these holes.

  • Focal plane indicator: When you need to know the exact distance between your subject and the camera, the focal plane mark is the key. The mark indicates the plane at which light coming through the lens is focused onto the camera’s image sensor.

    Basing your measurement on this mark produces a more accurate camera-to-subject distance than using the end of the lens or another external point on the camera body as your reference point.