Camera Basics: Nikon DSLRs By Scott Kelby and RC Concepcion

1 hr 2 min
Difficulty Difficulty Difficulty

This class is designed to accelerate your entry into DSLR photography with a focus on the fundamental skills and concepts you need to take your photography to the next level. While this class is not focused on any one Nikon camera model, Scott and RC have created this class specifically with the Nikon user in mind. By customizing the language and terminology of photography basics around the Nikon family of DSLRs you’ll be able to follow along more closely with your Nikon camera in hand.

Video transcripts available with a subscription.

There's no better way to get started with your DSLR than learning how to hold it correctly.
Choosing the right shooting mode for the situation your are in has a big impact on your ability to capture the peak moment.
Placing the focus point on the most important part of the scene is critical to getting great photos.
It is important to understand the differences between shooting in Auto and Program modes.
There are a number of scene modes built-into the camera that are designed to choose the optimal settings for different scenes.
The aperture setting has a big impact on the depth of field in your photo, which determines how much of the photo is sharply in focus.
Sometimes the light meter in the camera can be fooled by extremely bright or dark areas in a scene, so it is important to know how to use the exposure compensation setting to correct the exposure.
The ISO setting controls how sensitive the sensor is to light. Understanding how this setting impacts your shutter speed is important for getting sharp photos in low light.
The camera uses the information under the focus point to determine the proper exposure for the scene.
There are different auto focus modes that are designed to be used in specific situations.
The white balance setting is important for telling the camera to correctly adjust for the color temperature of the light in the scene.
Lean the differences between shooting in raw versus JPG mode so that you can make the right choice for your needs.
Most DSLRs can display the view through the lens on the back of the LCD screen, which is called Live View mode.
After covering all of the basics Scott and RC leave you with a few additional tips to take your photos to the next level.
Profile photo of Scott Kelby

Meet your instructors

Scott Kelby


Scott is the President of KelbyOne, an online educational community for photographers, Photoshop and Lightroom users. He's editor and publisher of Photoshop User Magazine, Editor of "Lightroom magazine"; Conference Technical Chair for the Photoshop World Conference & Expo, and the author of a string of bestselling Photoshop, Lightroom...

Scott's Courses

Profile photo of RC Concepcion

RC is an award winning photographer and author of the best selling books “Get Your Photography On the Web” and “The HDR Book” by Peachpit Press. He is an education and curriculum developer for the National Association of Photoshop Professionals, hosts the popular podcasts “Photoshop User TV” and “Photography Tips and Tricks...

RC's Courses


Join the Discussion
  1. Profile photo of wldbluyndrrnch wldbluyndrrnch

    Thanks guys. You really helped me to FOCUS.
    GOD Bless you!!!!!

  2. Profile photo of dayende2003 dayende2003

    Great course. Thank you so much.

  3. Profile photo of Regina Regina

    Well I’ll fully admit it. I’m a PRE-beginner. Yep, I don’t even have my camera yet. I guess I should just buy something and get started, but it is quite possible that I will only have 1 camera for the next 5-7 years (since I see many dollars going down ye accessories tube). And also, I am primarily a digital painter who wants photos for reference (or collage).
    So, this course was a great place to start. Now when I’m looking at all those stats and features, I’ll have a clue what they mean.

  4. Profile photo of Marie Marie

    Just brilliant guys thanks you….

  5. Profile photo of ramonica ramonica

    Good job giving the basics…It was very helpful.

  6. Profile photo of Peggy Peggy

    Thanks so much for this class. I wish I would have taken it a year ago! Looking forward to the more in-depth follow-up classes. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  7. Profile photo of Bill Bill

    Great work as always! Thanks Guys. What are the chances of doing a short video on what color space to shoot in and if it would matter if you were shooting in RAW or jpeg. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  8. Profile photo of cwschulz cwschulz

    I’ve read numerous books and taken several web-based training classes but can honestly say I learned more in the Camera Basics class than any of the others. Very nicely done in a clear and concise manner. This was money well spent to advance my photography skills. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  9. Profile photo of rahreed rahreed

    This was so incredibly helpful! Why did I wait so long to become a subscriber?? Thank you, thank you. For the longest time, my new Nikon DSLR just sat on my desk because after reading the manual and trying to figure it out on my own I became so frustrated I just put it away. I am beginning to feel empowered again… I love the way you simplify and bring it down to layman terms. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  10. Profile photo of Randy A. Eckert Randy A. Eckert

    I thought I would check out the beginner course to see what it is all about. Well you know what – It is what you learn after you think you know it all that really counts!! All kidding aside I did learn quite a few tips that were really helpful. Scott and RC this is not just for beginners, it is great for review and learning a few more tips to improve your photography. I guess I am in and will be watching some more action. Great job and I look forward to the rest of the training. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  11. Profile photo of Joan Petersen Joan Petersen

    I have to say, I initially skipped over this class thinking there wouldn’t be much that I could learn. However, I did watch Kelby’s Beginning Photography where Scott and his team talked about revamping their approach to training. I said why not watch it what would I lose. I’m glad I went back. Scott and RC reminded me of some things that I had completely forgotten about. I actually read the manual way back when but at the time it was information overload. Scott and RC did a great job at highlighting some aspects of my camera I completely forgot where there. Thanks guys great job! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  12. Profile photo of Venkata S.Nagireddi Venkata S.Nagireddi

    Even though this is a basic class, I learned a few important things like turning my highlights on. So, I always learn some things new from these classes. Excellent! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  13. Profile photo of ravidotiyal ravidotiyal

    It was an awesome class. Perfect one even for an amateur enthusiast like me. Most of the things I already knew but the way it was presented gave more depth to what I already knew.
    Great class. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  14. Profile photo of trajsh trajsh

    Very nice class. I learned certain tips even though I know pretty much all basics of nikon DSLRs.

    TRS —- Yes, please post my feedback —- Yes, please post my feedback

  15. Profile photo of aliya.z aliya.z

    Just the class I needed to better understand the basics!! Thank you very much!! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  16. Profile photo of pgcprado pgcprado

    Excellent. Great tips. Thanks —- Yes, please post my feedback

  17. Profile photo of Stuart Elwing Stuart Elwing

    I found the course valuable because I am experiencing and loving my first full-frame Nikon DSLR. Being a convert from many years of shooting with another brand, all the way back to my first 35 mm SLR, Some things are just arranged differently. Some modes have camera-specific differences. But … I’d rather view a basic course like this at home than travel to a day-long really basic class probably at a camera store.

  18. Profile photo of michaelvincent64 michaelvincent64

    I love your work Scott. Your books on Photoshop “Down and Dirty Tricks” inspired me to take your class on Nikon photography. Recently purchased a D90 and now I feel confident to move out of Auto mode as a result of your first class, Nikon Camera Basics. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  19. Profile photo of Jorge Campa Jorge Campa

    Excellent, really really easy to understand. Now, what I need is time to see all courses!!! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  20. Profile photo of JCam1964 JCam1964

    Excellent Class ! Nice to go back to the basics for a refresher every once in awhile. —- Yes, please post my feedback

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