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23 October 2014
The Real Uncle Mike came all the way from Rochester with his wife Amy and two of his sisters-in-law plus one niece (making the travel and hotel arrangements for them, too) for last weekend's wedding. He also brought along a brand new Nikon D3200.
We've probably set the Guinness World Record for digicam reviews. And we've handled quite a few dSLRs and their film SLR ancestors as well. You'd think we would know our way around a new entry-level dSLR.
But as we told the Real Uncle Mike, the simpler they try to make them, the more obscure they become. The D3200 is so obscure that right off the bat the two of us were wondering if the D3200 he had just bought was defective.
Here's a list of the more obscure problems we ran into:
- The first problem was that the thing wouldn't always focus.
- The second was that, in green Auto mode, the flash kept popping up in bright daylight. Mike thought it peculiar that the flash never popped up in any other mode, too.
- The third problem was getting the thing to shoot video. Pressing the Movie shutter button did nothing.
Unknown to each other, we both downloaded the PDF version of the manual and started hunting around.
Here are the answers:
- Not sure about that focusing problem. We reseated the 18-55mm kit lens, tried manually focusing, used different modes. But every once in a while the D3200 just failed to find focus.
- The flash always pops up in green Auto mode. And never in any other mode. In any other mode, you have to press the Flash button to pop it up
- You have to enable Live View before you hit the Movie shutter button. Live View is the required viewfinder for video.
Throughout the weekend, we would pick up the camera and take a test shot or two to see if it focused. And one of those test shots was of a rose that had been given to the mother of the groom by her son and his bride as part of the ceremony.
We shot it as a JPEG at a party the day after the wedding, framing it against a picture on the wall, lit only by the sunlight.
The image you see above was edited in Photoshop CC 2014.2 using the Camera Raw filter. But the truth is that very little changed beyond the 16:9 crop (which let us straighten the skewed capture). That D3200 created quite a nice little JPEG all by itself.
After, that is, the lens found focus.