Chapter 2. Nikon D3100 Essentials

In this chapter I cover some of the most important settings of the camera, such as the exposure modes, metering, AF settings, and ISO. Knowing what all these settings do is essential because all of these settings control how your image is created and help reflect your artistic vision or simply make sure that your pictures come out exactly as you want, even in difficult lighting situations. Also covered in this chapter are Picture Controls and white balance, both of which affect the colors in your images.

Nikon D3100 Essentials

The combination of different camera settings determines how your images look.

Exposure Modes

Exposure modes determine how the aperture and shutter speeds are chosen to get the desired exposure. The standard modes — P, S, A, and M — allow you to control the exposure settings and let you set the others as you see fit. In some cases, such as with the auto and scene modes, the ISO, flash, white balance, and autofocus settings are decided by the exposure mode as well. The Nikon D3100 has quite a few options to help you get the exposure that is right for the scene you are photographing.

Auto modes

The D3100 has two fully automatic, or Auto, modes that do all the work for you. These are simple grab-and-go settings to use when you're in a hurry or you just don't want to be bothered with changing the settings. The Auto modes control everything from shutter speed ...

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