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to Use the Nikon D50
CONTROLS AND SETTINGS: TOP PANEL back to top
From left to right:
Exposure Mode Dial (Left side): I use "P" for program auto exposure. In this mode the camera chooses the f/stop and shutter speed for you. If I want to use different apertures or shutter speeds I rotate the rear command dial, which selects alternate combinations of f/stops and shutter speeds which give the same exposure. Nikon calls this "Program Shift." A "*" is added next to the P on the top LCD to let you know you've chosen a different combination for exposure.
If you want to use only one aperture or one shutter speed then use S or A mode. If you want to set it the hard way, use M, manual, mode.
Self timer (looks like a little clock): Hold this and spin the rear dial. You'll see the same icon appear on the top LCD to set self timer mode. If you turn it a little further you'll see a a little black rectangle with a whiter dot in it. That's a picture of the remote control. Set this mode to let the camera fire from the very handy (but optional) ML-L3 remote control. I got mine here for $16.95.
* Green Dot (combined with self timer button). This resets many of the camera's controls to their defaults when held in along with the other green dot button on the top left of the back of the camera. This is handy at the beginning of each day, since it will reset everything from whatever whacky ISO, white balance, file format and other settings you were using the night before.
Power Switch (right side around shutter release): ON, unless the camera is put away in a case. The D50 only wakes up when you tap the shutter, so it's off even when the switch is set to ON. There is no battery drain unless the shutter is tapped and the camera wakes up.The only thing the OFF position does is act as a lock against unintended operation.
+/- Exposure Compensation. This makes the picture lighter or darker. Hold it and spin the rear dial to change the brightness of your pictures. Remember to set it back to zero when you're done. If you don't you'll see a "+/-" in the viewfinder and the top LCD. You can read the value of this setting on the top LCD and through the viewfinder, which is great!. See more at How to Set Exposure. Ignore Nikon when they suggest you don't use this with Matrix Metering; I do it all the time.
Aperture Button (icon of a camera iris, this is also the same button as the compensation button above): Hold this and spin the rear control knob to change the aperture setting in Manual (M) exposure mode.
If you find this as helpful as a book you might have had to buy, feel free to help me write more with a donation. Thanks! Ken.
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