I am assuming it is a TTL (Through The Lens) Viewfinder meaning a mirror, Prism and screen gives you the image. This is based on reality and not any settings. This question confuses me. If something gets in the way and the viewfinder darkens AND the image you take is dark this means there is something very wrong with the lens and possibly with the camera. The Viewfinder image is what bounces off a mirror and when you take the photo the mirror flips out of the way. What is left is the lens, some air space and the sensor. It may be that one of the aperture blades may be moving when it should not. I am close to saying send the lens in and ask for a quote..
Nowadays, some camera mfrs are protecting their equipment by ensuring that no third-party batteries can be used (presumably by incorporating some kind of firmware check). They say that using generic batteries will invalidate your warranty. You may have to spend the extra and get an own-brand battery, which should solve the problem - hopefully.
Forget about drivers for your computer. Buy an inexpensive (under $20) USB SD flash memory card reader and connect it to your USB port. Remove the SD memory card from your camera and insert it in the card reader. Open Finder if you have a Mac or My Computer for a PC. You will see your memory displayed just as if it were an external hard drive. Open the files on the SD card and copy them to a file on your hard drive. It is that simple. Professionals use this method. We almost never download directly from the camera.
Depending on what you broke, an external flash might not even work. The best solution is to send it to Nikon for repair. There number is 1-800-645-6687 9AM-8PM EST, Monday to Friday. The alternative is to find a local camera repair man. This is not a do-it-yourself job.
Recompose The Photo
This is probably the simplest solution. When taking a photo of a scene with very bright and very dark parts, move your camera to eliminate one of the extremes. In the case of the band, I would have either closed the curtains for the shot, or recomposed completely and photographed from the window looking at the band, and the crowd behind.
Use Exposure Lock
If you can't recompose the photograph, instead tell the camera what part of the image you would like to see. The rest of the photo will be either over or under exposed (too bright or too dark) but at least you will see your subject. You can dothis by placing the center of the image at your subject; half depressing the shutter to lock the focus and exposure; move the camera to re-compose the image; and fully depressing the shutter.
In the band image, the camera chose to correctly expose the scene outside, but even if the band member had been correctly exposed, the window would have ended up being over exposed and you would just have seen white.
Some cameras have an option called 'spot metering' to set the part of the image you'd like to be correctly exposed. If your camera has this setting, enable it before using the technique above.
Use Fill In Flash
If your scene has a sunny background, but your subject is in the shade (or has a hat on), turn on the flash (as I explained way back in tip number 9 - Using Flash During The Day). I know it seems wrong but it really does work! By using the flash, your subject will look as bright as the background. This would have worked well for the child shot above.
High Dynamic Range Imaging
This technique is not for the faintof hearted. It requires a subject that does not move; a good camera with the capability to set the exposure and output RAW images. A tripod and image editing software like Photoshop CS3 are also needed.
High Dynamic Range Imaging (or HDR for short) is a technique for placing both very dark and very light areas in the same photo. It requires you to take a number of photographs of thesame scene - each with a different exposure. First take the shot using the camera's recommended settings. Then, in manual mode and keeping the aperture at the same value as the first shot, take a sequence of shots - each shot having a different shutter speed (above and below the original). You'll have 5-9 shots of the same scene all in different exposures.
Merging the three images to the left creates the HDR image below. Thanks to Photomatix for the images.
Now import these into your favorite paint program. I use Photoshop, but you can as easily use a cheaper program designed specifically for HDR photos like Photomatix. Follow the HDR directions and the paint program will merge these images into one great looking shot!
Use a Filter
If your scene is of a brightsky and a dark ground (for instance at sunset, or on a cloudy day), you can use a graduated neutral density filter. This filter cuts out someof the light from one part of the photo (the sky). This will correctly expose the ground and the sky without needing to use HDR. These filterscan be complex to setup, so I don't usually recommend them for beginners.
Fix The Original Photo in an Image Editing Program
Finally, if you can't take another shot at the same location, you can fix the original image by changing the levels using a paint program. This works best when your subject is darker than the rest of the photo (because cameras lose detail in over-bright areas). I've brightened the band member in the top image using this technique and while it looks okay in thissmall shot, this technique can tend to amplify any noise in the image. The darker the subject, the harder time you will have fixing the image.
I discuss exactly how to use this technique in lesson 2 of my free Image Editing Secrets course. I have a tutorial for Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Paint Shop Pro and the free Google Picassa.
- See more at: http://www.digital-photo-secrets.com/tip/140/6-ways-to-fix-too-bright-and-too-dark-photos/#sthash.58eENOTt.dpuf
I dont know what you did or didnt do send it to nikon they will tell younwhat the problem is how much it cost to fix and how long it takes to fix then they send it back to you if its under their warranty they fix it free.
Consider NOT connecting your camera to your computer.
The best way to download pictures from your camera to your computer involves removing the memory card from the camera and plugging it into a card reader (either built-in to the computer or connected via USB). This is likely to be faster than connecting the camera to the computer, and won't run down your camera's batteries.
Once the card is plugged in, it will appear to your computer as a removable drive. You can use the operating system's drag&drop facility to copy pictures from the card to the computer's hard drive, the same way you copy any other files. Or you can use any photo management program such as Picasa ( http://picasa.google.com ).