I have a Nikon D5100 camera. I want to learn all its functions. I can't find any videos though - I have searched many online training sites for learning photography: Lynda.com, YouTube etc.

Please share learning resources....

  • Are you wanting to learn about basics of photography, or specifically about how to use the controls on your D5100? Your question and title seems fairly generic, but there ARE plenty of videos on learning photography. If you are looking for a D5100 video you should edit your title to be more specific. – MikeW Sep 5 '13 at 7:16
  • Hi Jasmine. This question is interesting, but is most likely to attract a fairly random collection of links, which won't be well-curated and which will eventually just be a target for the occasional spammer dropping by to promote their own site. So, I'm voting to close. Don't let that discourage you, though. This site is a good resource. Start with questions under "camera basics", and when you find something not answered, ask about that specific thing and we'll be glad to help. – mattdm Sep 5 '13 at 13:37
  • And don't be afraid to just start using your camera! That's how you really learn, and it's also how you identify the things you need to ask more about. – mattdm Sep 5 '13 at 13:39
  • Not worth an answer, but still learned alot from froknowsphoto.com – Chad Harrison Sep 5 '13 at 14:10

There are some very good online resources, but the free ones tend to be aimed at someone who is just beyond the basics. For a structured beginning approach, I think a couple of basic books are much better at being structured and covering all of the beginning basics.

Peterson's Understanding Exposure is probably the most recommended photography book anywhere. It covers all of the basics and then some regarding exposure. The latest edition is lest than $20 and the second edition can be bought on amazon.com for just over $10 including shipping. Well worth the investment.

Freeman's The Photographer's Eye covers composition as well as anyone. It is also available very reasonably from amazon.com.

You can buy both together for less than $40 and get free shipping, or go used and pick up both for around $25, shipping included.

These two along with other good books are mentioned in What are the first few photography books someone should read?

The best online resources, both free and paid are covered in What are the best online photo classes?


A really nice starting point is:


The website offers accurate explanations to all novice (and not) photographers questions. The forum is in addition a great place to ask questions and get answers from other photographers, both professional and amateur.


There is a good video tutorial on the newer D5200 on Kelby Training

B&H Camera Basics: Nikon D5200

It covers all the menus, metering and autofocus modes, flash and video.

These are not free videos, but you can sign up for a month for $25 and view all the videos you want, or you can watch the one video for $6.99


One thing is to learn your cameras functions and another very different thing is to learn how to take proper pictures.

For the first you have the reference manual that came with your camera. Yes, we all know that reading manuals is boring, but it is the best way to know everything about your camera.

Once you have used a few different DSLR's you will find that most of them (careless of the brand) operate very similarly and you will only need to check the manual for specific things like how to configure the different bracketing options or the intervalometer.

About the second; as for to become a writer one needs to read a lot first, to become a photographer one needs to see a lot of (good) photographs first. Not just the casual browsing, but a critical examination to understand what makes them special. Then you can try on your own pictures.

A good place to start is joining photographers communities (flickr, 500px, this one) and following the discussion forums. A nice thing about digital photograhpy is that you can check the EXIF data or even ask the authors about how did they make that stunning picture.

Try to avoid the self-complacent groups in which people just rate a picture and try to become involved in groups that make thorough critics to the members pictures.

In youtube you can find lots of interesting channels, like B&H's, Matt Granger's or Gavin Hoey's.


In my opinion the best way is by watching the video tutorials, there are lots of master out there to teach you from A - Z of photography, some of my suggestions are

Jared Polin

DigitalRev TV

Dave Dugdale

Adorama Photography TV

These are best place to start learning photography.

  • 1
    This is the only answer that fulfills the OP question as asked. Good stuff. – Stan Sep 8 '13 at 13:15
  • Also try: lifehacker.com/… for more links to tutorials and videos. ALL FREE. – Stan Sep 8 '13 at 13:16
  • A free Camera Simulator can be found at kamerasimulator.se/eng/?page_id=2 that combines ISO, aperture, shutter speed, and the light meter reading. – Stan Sep 8 '13 at 13:37

Digital Photography in the general aspect is really broad. As for my experience is concerned, I started out with the camera's manual. That is a good starting point and for my opinion, the very first step for everyone who's new to photography is to know his gear. I find it true, at least for my Nikon DSLR.

First, It teaches you the technicalities of your specific hardware, not just the knowledge about the Manufacturer (e.g. Nikon, Canon, Sony, etc) but the information needed for the specific camera model.

Second, introductions to photography which are generally available online, starts with the technical side of photography: Aperture, Shutter, ISO etc, which it in the manual itself, and it's handy, there are downloadable PDFs of it, which makes it portable without the need for internet connection.

Online videos helps, but just to remind that there are a lot of videos online that are misleading when you're not aware with the technicalities. When you're now equipped with the technical knowledge and have appreciated with, then you can proceed with the artistic side of photography.