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I have a nikon D3200 but when i set it up on the macro setting ( selecting the flower icon on the dial) I don't seem then to be able to adjust the aperature or any other settings eg ISO, exposure compensation,shutter speed, does anybody know if it is possible to adjust these settings whilst set in macro or does the camera just select automatically what it thinks is best.
Grateful for any advice
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Someone with that specific camera may be along soon.
Meanwhile, think about using aperture priority (or manual) so that you take greater control of your camera. Using modes where the camera makes all or most of the decisions is fine when starting out but to progress you need to step out into the wider world.
The forums and the Critique Gallery are good places to learn more.
If it's anything like the Canons, then selecting the flower icon (or any of the others) automatically presets the camera & you can't change the settings.
If you want to have your own control of the variables you have to use either manual, apeture priority or shutter priority settings.
As Keith says, the presets are OK when starting out, but you soon find you need have some control of the shot to progress.
Exactly as Adrian comments. The flower icon for macro is a pre-set.
Much better to experiment and learn exposure control and depth of field via Av or manual settings. You will achieve much more this way.
Scene modes like the macro, sports, landscape etc.. on the camera only adjust the aperture, shutter speed and ISO as normal, but assign a weighting to those values. So for macro its trying to get as small an aperture as it can (bigger f number); whilst for sports its going to try and get as fast a shutter speed as it can.
However the camera has no idea what you're taking a photo of nor what end result you want, so whilst its ok for someone not thinking; if you want control you've got to use the proper modes.
Aperture priority lets you set the aperture to what you want and the ISO as well; the camera then meters the scene and sets the shutter speed based on those components.
Shutter priority lets you set the shutter speed and ISO whilst the camera then balances the aperture based upon those criteria and the meter reading.
Full manual lets you define all the settings youself
For macro aperture priority is ideal; however if you are using flash as a major part of the exposure then full manual is the only way to go because the camera can't meter for the flash, so the settings will be based upon ambient light only with the flash - if in auto mode - will just be giving fill lighting. If the flash is more dominant in teh scene then shift to manual mode and force the settings you want and let the flash add the needed light.
Myself when shoooting macro and using a flash I'll oft be around f13, ISO 100, 1/200sec
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