Hi everyone, I am a doctor who has been recently introduced to the wonderful art of photography. My first camera was a Sony Nex 5r with 16-50 kit lens and I had a gala time with it. I mostly used to shoot in superior "Auto" mode and the pics were almost always great upto iso 3200.

The pics taken outdoors in bright sunlight by Nex 5R were absolutely stunning full of details and perfectly metered.I always shot Jpeg when I had the sony. I never had a problem with over or under exposure. Never needed exposure compensation or any photoshopping.

Unfortunately since the Nex 5R did not have a hot shoe and the lenses were also pretty expensive, I "upgraded" to a Nikon D3300, mainly for the 35 mm prime lens so that I can improve my flashless photography.

Alas while the D3300 is okayish indoors, It is an abolute disaster outdoors in good light even with overcast sky.

I have tried taking pictures in manual mode, and I do know my way around histograms. I have also tried all the semi auto and full auto modes. somehow the photos dont even look half as good as sony.

main areas where I have problems is:

focus while fast does not seem as precise as sony, for example my flower pics lack details when zoomed in foliage looks pretty disastrous. If I use a higher f no like f/8, everything is flare-y, thats with the hood on the whites are always washed away and the photos look dull out of the camera. I tried changing the picture styles and using custom WB, but still not getting the desired result.

here are some sample pics, from my nikon and then from my sony



Is there any problem with my Lens/sensor? If not kindly suggest some change of technique.

  • 9
    Do you have some other examples, preferably of a comparable scene? Neither of these looks particularly wrong (or, particularly great, for that matter).
    – mattdm
    May 26, 2015 at 19:22
  • 1
    Maybe the Sony was pushing saturation a lot. Try following Ken Rockwell directions, he is one who likes bright colors. kenrockwell.com/nikon/d3300/users-guide section "Picture control". Try the vivid preset...
    – FarO
    Oct 13, 2015 at 11:13
  • Are you shooting RAW with the Nikon vs. JPEG with the Sony? How are you post-processing?
    – inkista
    Oct 13, 2015 at 13:11

4 Answers 4


A lot of point and shoot cameras have their saturation and contrast as well as sharpness bumped up to make a photo look "better" straight out of the camera. You can achieve the same effect in Lighroom with your new cameras images if you so desire.

If the colours seem too washed out for you, you can either adjust that in your cameras menus or you can adjust it in post using a program like Lightroom. Welcome to the DSLR world :)

  • 2
    Can you elaborate on the process for making the photos more as the OP expected. May 28, 2015 at 13:48

You should see if the lightmeter in your camera is in the middle when you focus. Sometimes ignorance to a little reading of lightmeter makes a photo overexposed.

  • 1
    Can you please elaborate on how to use the light meter, where it is located, what it looks like etc. Jul 17, 2015 at 6:50
  • It's the meter that shows + and - values of exposure in your camera's LCD monitor as well as in viewfinder.
    – Federick J
    Jul 18, 2015 at 19:24
  • please add any information important to the answer into your post by using the "edit" link below the answer Jul 19, 2015 at 4:10

It's a tough one because we cant see all what you are doing, I'm sure it wont be the fault of the camera, and I agree with the other answer that the images shown don't look that bad , exposure wise anyway. They do seem slightly lacking in colour saturation, which makes me wonder if they are a "raw "image with no post processing ? or is that too obvious. I assume you have checked that, but if not, Try it.


Are you using RAW or JPEG? As JEPG is highly impacted by the internal camera setting (Contrast,exposure etc.) along with (A,S,I,F).

If you are using RAW then it boils down to Aperture,Shutter,ISO, FOCUS mode, metering (A,S,I,F) only.

Looking at the picture I can see the pictures are all washed out. This happens when the setting is perceived as a flat picture setting (low contrast) hence there you have to fix aperture and ISO and then use shutter as the key tool to adjust light coming in the camera, and if it's still not correct, then view the histogram and based on this use exposure compensation to balance the same

Next you can think of using card to optimize pure white and black. You car is white - hence if you are using matrix metering then definitely it will clip and provide a dull image as it samples the scene and averages out the light

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