Nikon D5200 Effects Modes


The Nikon D5200 Effects Modes are worth a look.

The Nikon D5200 offers a great selection of modes for both the beginner and the enthusiast/professional. Whilst the purists would prefer to stick to the three variables of ISO/Aperture/Shutter speed, sometimes it is actually fun to try out the modes, just to see how the camera can help you come up with something new. The options on the Mode Dial are split into Scenes and Effects.

Nikon D5200 front red


There are 16 scene modes in total, five of which have their own icon on the dial mode and the others reside within the SCENES option.

They begin with Portrait. This advises the camera that you are taking some sort of portrait and the camera responds by optimizing the skin tones and giving you a shallow depth of field.

Landscape should really be used with a tripod and slows the shutter speed to give you a wider depth of field. It also turns off the Flash.

Child speeds up the shutter and widens the aperture so that you can catch the little darlings when they fidget.

Sports will speed the shutter still further and either widen the aperture, or if it can’t, increase the ISO so that you can catch fast moving subjects.

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Close Up should be used with a tripod and tries to give you strong vivid images by lowering the ISO, keeping the aperture tight and slowing the shutter speed. A macro lens is a good idea for this one.

Then you come to Effects option, which contains the following effects which are either a bit gimmicky, or that you are unlikely ever to want for any serious photography. However, they are worth having a look at, not least because they can sometimes give you a new perspective on the sort of pictures you want to take.

Night Vision: Sadly not the kind of goggle view you get in Special Ops, but it is designed to be used in low light. It gives you a grainy BW image and will push the ISO to Hi level to do it.

Color Sketch: I feel that, if you wanted to take art classes, you would have bought some pencils and a pad – they are much cheaper. But this option does give you some ideas about how you image uses colors and that may lead onto better photos. Failing that, take a picture, print it out and pretend you drew it yourself. In Video it will give you a slide show.

Miniature: Remember when you were a kid and the ruler of all you surveyed? Yes, those toy cars and soldiers never knew what hit them did they? Well you can almost relive the experience with this effect which makes the objects in the middle of the photo seem far away and very small. It is probably more exciting in video mode, when it condenses the video to make people waddle across the screen with a Chaplinesque zeal.

Selective Color: This allows you to select and keep certain colors in the image whilst making the rest of the picture monochrome. It is a post shot function and can be quite effective. However, it is probably better to do this on a big screen.

Silhouette: lets you take better silhouette images, but you could probably get a similar effect with Photoshop or Gimp.

Hi Key: pushes the ISO, retains the highlights and reduces the shadows. Worth a look if you are shooting in bright conditions and want that reflected in your pictures.

Low Key: Does the opposite, increasing the shadows and reducing the highlights.

It is easy to belittle these functions, and you probably wouldn’t use them everyday. They are a bit gimmicky and not for the purists. But, now that darkrooms are few and far between, they do encourage inquisitive photographers to at least consider options beyond the normal realistic images that seem everywhere these days.

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