Quick Start Video Guide for the Nikon D3200

So I get questions all the time from beginners who say they feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. I wanted to create a guide that would walk you through the essential settings to have a more enjoyable shooting experience with the Nikon D3200.

Whether you just got the camera or if you’ve had it for a while, I bet you’ll find these tips super helpful. Hope you enjoy them!

Tip #1 – Formatting vs Deleting Your Images

Find out when and how to format or delete images on your memory card.

Tip #2 – Lengthen Auto Off Timers

Whether you’re reviewing images or trying to locate a certain setting, lengthening the auto off timers on your Nikon D3200 will give you more time to interact with your camera.

Tip #3 – Increasing Monitor Brightness

If you’re having trouble seeing the LCD screen outdoors in broad daylight, increasing the monitor brightness can help quite a bit.

Tip #4 – Image Quality Settings

Choosing the right image quality settings depends on your end goals. If you’d rather share/print straight from your camera, then JPEG is the way to go. If you’d like to further post-process (edit) your images, the RAW is the better choice. For the best of both worlds, you can set up the Nikon D3200 to shoot in both JPEG and RAW at the same time. In this video, I’ll show you how.

Tip #5 – Using Scene Modes to Quickly Setup Your Camera

You can use scene modes to tell the Nikon D3200 exactly what you’re looking at. In doing so the camera will automatically adjust in-camera settings specifically for that particular scene, giving you much better results than shooting in Auto mode.

My Custom Settings

If you’re interested in getting out of Auto or preset Scene Modes and would like to experiment with Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority and Manual mode, then check out my cheat cards.

Nikon D3200 Tips for Beginners

My cheat cards will show you the exact settings I use for a variety of different shooting scenarios. Want to know how to capture portraits with blurred backgrounds? Or maybe you want to photograph wildlife and want to ensure you get tack sharp focus? In addition to the settings, I’ll also walk you through the setup for each shot and throw in some tips to help you get better results with your Nikon D3200. Check them out!

Tip #6 – How to Get Pinpoint Accurate Focus

By default the Nikon D3200 chooses the focus points automatically. This works generally well, but sometimes it fails to focus on your intended subject. Whether you want to focus on your subjects eyes or maybe a bird perched on a tree limb, I’ll show you how to get more accurate focus with Single-point AF.

Tip #7 – When to Enable or Disable VR (Vibration Reduction)

You might think using VR or vibration reduction all the time is a good thing, however, when mounted to a tripod it can actually blur your image. Find out when to enable or disable VR in this video.

Tip #8 – Using the Self Timer to Get Sharper Images

Most people assume the self-timer is only good for taking photos of themselves, whether alone or in a group. However, it can actually be used to get sharper images. I’ll discuss when to use the self-timer and how to customize the length of the countdown.

Tip #9 – Change the Image Playback Display

When you’re just starting out, it can be super helpful to see the settings that were used for a certain shot. Say you were shooting in Auto mode and you captured a beautiful portrait. By changing the playback display on the Nikon D3200, you can see the exact settings that were used so you can replicate them in one of the more advanced shooting modes, like Manual.

Tip #10 – Zoom In to Check Image Sharpness

Have you ever played back an image which looked great on your LCD screen, only to find the subject was a bit out of focus? In this video I’ll show you how to zoom in to check focus and make sure your subject is tack sharp.

I hope you enjoyed the getting started guide. I’m working on more video tutorials that take a deeper dive into shooting Portraits, Sports/Action and Landscapes, with image examples and also a first person point of view using a GoPro. So stay tuned! :)