Last night I was shooting indoor(and dim light) with D3200 and 18-55mm kit lens on. It was set to 18mm, f/3.5 and ISO at 6400, I was able to get pretty nice shots when the live view was on but as soon as I turned it off, I wasn't able to shoot. The camera keeps showing Subject is too dark. Is this normal or is there any problem with the camera?


I'm not familiar with the D3200 but I do know that DSLRs have an "AF assist" for low light conditions.

This shines a light (sometimes green, orange or white) from the body to illuminate the subject for more accurate AF because phase detection performance starts to degrade low than about 6LV (depending on model).

D3200 AF assist

However, in live view, it's possible it is boosting the sensor data (similar to increasing the ISO) and it might be that it performs better than the AF assist. Quite a few of sensors now have phase detection intergrated into the sensor but generally live view (and compact cameras) use contrast detection, while DSLRs use phase (also, generally considered better).

Check that the AF-assist is on and see what happens. You might have found out that live view has more powerful AF in low light conditions.

Although, it might be a different story for sufficiently lit conditions.


It appears this happens when metering detects there is not enough light for a standard exposure. Note that there may still be enough light for a usable exposure, but that it won't reach a standard exposure with full intensity. There is more detail available about how to "fix" the error in the manual on page 196. Basically, it just involves increasing sensitivity or available light, either by using a flash, increasing ISO, decreasing shutter speed or opening the aperture further.

If you want to force less than a standard exposure, I suggest trying manual mode. It is worth noting that in dark environments your phased detect AF may also fail to operate, so you may have to manually focus.


Nikon D3200

I have had the same problem except i was trying to photograph lightning and wanted to leave the shutter open for longer than 30 secs, using the remote control. When i set the Release Mode to Remote, the Bulb changes to Time, but when i clicked the Remote it simply took a quick photo, like 1/30 or something. I then tried this:

switch dial to M (manual)

put it in Bulb setting using 'wheel'

changed to Manual focus on the camera and attempt to focus on distant object

In Release Mode, choose Delayed Remote and press remote once to start(which will be about 2 seconds) and then press remote again to stop.

Unfortunately it took me so long to work this out, i missed the lightning and now only have the rain to listen to, and have only tested the manual focus indoors... what a bloomin palava

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