Thanks for the pointers. I would bet it was shot at high ISO because she was messing with both ISO and shutter speed that evening. We (her mostly) are trying to figure out everything that camera will do. She is very much a novice when it comes to cameras. But i do know for a fact that she was mostly messing with ISO and shutter speed that night, because I had to explain ISO and shutter speed about 15 times to her that night. The glass was Nikon 15-55mm or 55-200mm Nikon autofocus and VR. I would guess it was the 55-200mm zoomed in. I bet I can get on the camera and check the ISO if I can remember. They are good lenses, at least they are Nikons and I think they are good. They cost enough they better be! She doesn't have a good photo editing program yet, but thats something for the future. Right now she has a high end camera, but has no real clue how to use it. I must say she is loving it though and is getting better. She takes it everywhere with her.
Sounds like she's got some fun times ahead of her. A good resource for tutorials on how cameras work, including ISO, shutter speed, aperture, exposure control, DOF, white balance, etc., etc., etc. is http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials.htm
Is that first lens an 18-55mm
, maybe? I can't find a 15-55 from Nikon. If so, I hate to break it to you but those are both cheap lenses. They're fine while she's learning, but she'll probably be bumping up against their limitations pretty soon, so you might want to budget for some upgrades in a year or two. Yes, they're Nikons, but Nikon and Canon both make some cheap stuff that's not very good. Their high-end glass is spectacular, of course, but for pretty much anything under $500-700, the third-party manufacturers (Tamron and Sigma, mainly) are better. My walking-around lens is a $350 Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8, and it matches my friend's $1K+ Canon L-series glass for sharpness, color control, distortion and speed. It doesn't focus as fast, isn't built as rugged, and doesn't look nearly as cool, but for the cost difference I can deal with that.
If the prices of better lenses seem exorbitant to you, consider that the general recommendation is that you should spend at least two to three times as much on glass as you do on the camera body. If your camera is worth more than your lenses, then you mis-allocated your photography budget; should have gotten less camera and more glass. Common mistake, though. I see lots of people walking around with a $800 camera and a $100 lens, not realizing they could take the same pictures with a $100 camera, because their lens is holding them back.
It's like mounting a $1000 scope on one of the lower-quality AK-47s -- the scope is capable of phenomenal precision, has all sorts of adjustments for windage and elevation, but at 400 yards the gun sprays bullets in yard-wide groups. With cameras, the lens IS the camera -- the body is just the thing that aims it and catches the images.
As for a photo editing program, I highly recommend GIMP
. It's got a funny name and some people think the user interface is klunky compared to Photoshop (after using GIMP for years, I find Photoshop's interface cumbersome), but Photoshop costs $600 and GIMP is free. Featurewise, GIMP is now where Photoshop was four or five years ago, but given that Photoshop was already very mature four or five years ago, the difference is smaller than you might think. I use GIMP for all of my editing and I've never felt limited by it.
Either tool has a major learning curve associated with it. Photo editing is arguably harder than photography.
Anyway, your wife is going to have a lot of fun, I'm sure. I'm a Canon afficionado, but Nikon makes some great cameras and the D80 is a powerful platform.