Nikon D5200: From Snapshots to Great Shots

Nikon D5200: From Snapshots to Great Shots

by Rob Sylvan


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Now that you’ve bought the amazing Nikon D5200, you need a book that goes beyond a tour of the camera’s features to show you exactly how to use the D5200 to take great pictures. With Nikon D5200: From Snapshots to Great Shots, you get the perfect blend of photography instruction and camera reference that will take your images to the next level! Beautifully illustrated with large, vibrant photos, this book teaches you how to take control of your photography to get the image you want every time you pick up the camera.

Follow along with your friendly and knowledgeable guide, photographer Rob Sylvan, and you will:

  • Learn the top ten things you need to know about shooting with the D5200
  • Master the photographic basics of composition, focus, and depth of field
  • Use the D5200’s automatic scene and professional modes for more control over your images
  • Learn all the best tricks and techniques for getting great action shots, landscapes, and portraits
  • Find out how to get great shots in low light
  • Fully grasp all the concepts and techniques as you go, with assignments at the end of every chapter

And once you’ve got the shot, show it off! Join the book’s Flickr group, share your photos, and discuss how you use your D5200 to get great shots at

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780321913128
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Publication date: 05/22/2013
Series: From Snapshots to Great Shots Series
Pages: 275
Product dimensions: 7.20(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Rob Sylvan is a photographer, trainer, and author. In addition to serving as Lightroom Help Desk Specialist for the NAPP, he provides academic support to subscribers, and is on staff at Rob also writes the “Under the Loupe” column for Photoshop User magazine and blogs at He is the author of Nikon D600: From Snapshots to Great Shots, Nikon D3200: From Snapshots to Great Shots, and Taking Stock: Make Money in Microstock Creating Photos that Sell. Check out his stock photography portfolio at

Table of Contents

Introduction x

Chapter 1 The D5200 Top Ten List 1

Ten Tips to Make Your Shooting More Productive Right Out of the Box

Poring Over the Camera 2

Poring Over the Camera 4

1 Charge Your Battery 5

2 Adjust Your Auto Off Timer Setting 6

3 Set Your JPEG Image Quality 7

4 Choose Your ISO Setting 9

5 Set Your Focus Point and Mode 11

6 Set the Correct White Balance 13

7 Set Your Color Space 15

8 Know How to Override Autofocus 17

9 Review Your Shots 18

10 Hold Your Camera for Proper Shooting 22

Chapter 1 Assignments 24

Chapter 2 First Things First 27

A Few Things to Know and Do Before You Begin Taking Pictures

Poring Over the Picture 28

Choosing the Right Memory Card 30

Formatting Your Memory Card 31

Updating the D5200's Firmware 32

Cleaning the Sensor 33

Using the Right Format: RAW vs. JPEG 35

Lenses and Focal Lengths 38

What Is Exposure? 42

Motion and Depth of Field 45

Chapter 2 Assignments 49

Chapter 3 The Auto Modes 51

Get Shooting with the Automatic Camera Modes

Poring Over the Picture 52

Auto Mode 54

Auto (Flash Off) Mode 55

Portrait Mode 56

Landscape Mode 57

Child Mode 58

Sports Mode 59

Close-Up Mode 60

Scene Modes 61

Effects Modes 65

Why You May Never Want to Use the Auto Scene Modes Again 69

Chapter 3 Assignments 71

Chapter 4 The Professional Modes 73

Taking Your Photography to the Next Level

Poring Over the Picture 74

P: Program Mode 76

S: Shutter Priority Mode 79

A: Aperture Priority Mode 84

M: Manual Mode 88

How I Shoot: A Closer Look at the Camera Settings I Use 91

Chapter 4 Assignments 94

Chapter 5 Moving Target 97

The Tricks to Shooting Subjects in Motion

Poring Over the Picture 98

Stop Right There! 100

Using Shutter Priority (S) Mode to Stop Motion 103

Using Aperture Priority (A) Mode to Isolate Your Subject 105

The Auto ISO Sensitivity Control Trick 107

Keep Them in Focus with Continuous-Servo Focus and AF Focus Point Selection 108

Stop and Go with 3D-Tracking AF 110

Manual Focus for Anticipated Action 111

Keeping Up with the Continuous Shooting Mode 113

A Sense of Motion 114

Tips for Shooting Action 116

Chapter 5 Assignments 118

Chapter 6 Say Cheese! 121

Settings and Features to Make Great Portraits

Poring Over the Picture 122

Automatic Portrait Mode 124

Using Aperture Priority Mode 124

Metering Modes for Portraits 127

Using the AE-L (Auto Exposure Lock) Feature 129

Focusing: The Eyes Have It 130

Classic Black and White Portraits 132

The Portrait Picture Control for Better Skin tones 135

Detect Faces with Live View 135

Use Fill Flash for Reducing Shadows 137

Portraits on the Move 139

Tips for Shooting Better Portraits 140

Chapter 6 Assignments 149

Chapter 7 Landscape Photography 151

Tips, Tools, and Techniques to Get the Most Out of Your Landscape Photography

Poring Over the Picture 152

Sharp and In Focus: Using Tripods 154

Selecting the Proper ISO 156

Using Noise Reduction 158

Selecting a White Balance 159

Using the Landscape Picture Control 161

Taming Overexposure with Exposure Compensation 162

Shooting Beautiful Black and White Landscapes 165

The Golden Light 166

Where to Focus 168

Easier Focusing 169

Making Water Fluid 171

Directing the Viewer: A Word About Composition 174

Advanced Techniques to Explore 178

Chapter 7 Assignments 189

Chapter 8 Mood Lighting 191

Shooting When the Lights Get Low

Poring Over the Picture 192

Raising the ISO: The Simple Solution 194

Using Very High ISOs 197

Stabilizing the Situation 199

Focusing in Low Light 200

Shooting Long Exposures 203

Using the Built-in Flash 205

Compensating for the Flash Exposure 208

Reducing Red-Eye 210

Rear Curtain Sync 212

Flash and Glass 214

A Few Words About External Flash 215

Chapter 8 Assignments 216

Chapter 9 Advanced Techniques 219

Impress Your Family and Friends

Poring Over the Picture 220

Spot Meter for More Exposure Control 222

Manual Mode 224

Avoiding Lens Flare 227

Using the Sun Creatively 228

Bracketing Exposures 230

Macro Photography 233

Active D-Lighting 234

The My Menu Setting 237

Chapter 9 Assignments 239

Chapter 10 D5200 Video: Beyond the Basics 241

Video and the D5200

It's All About the Lenses 247

Accessories for Video 248

Getting Shallow Depth of Field 249

Giving a Different Look to Your Videos 250

Tips for Better Video 251

Watching and Editing Your Video 253

Chapter 10 Assignments 255

Chapter 11 Accessorize 257

Upgrades and Accessories to Expand Your Camera's

Creative Potential 257

Filters 258

Tripods 261

Remote or Cable Release 262

Macro Photography Accessories 263

Hot-Shoe Flashes 265

Diffusers 265

Camera Bags 266

Bits and Pieces 267

Conclusion 269

Index 270

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