New camera

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New camera

Post by Hooli @ Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:17 pm

I've been given a Nikon Coolpix P500 https://store.nikon.co.uk/coolpix-p500/VMA670E1/details

As you all probably know I know very little about photography, reviews say it's a bit lacking in sharpness & slow to autofocus on fast moving stuff - so typically all I've done so far is take pics at an airshow with it. What's the best way to get into using it semi-manually? I'm not going fully manual as I don't do much plant/slow moving stuff & the manual focus is halfway down the menus & slow to use.

Here's a couple of pics I got with it last week, any obvious suggestions to get better from it? I run it fully auto one day & then cleaned the lens, found how to change the autofocus to centre-weighted & went for a fast shuter priority the following day which seemed to help reduce blur. These are all hand held.

DSCN1914.jpg
36x zoom...
DSCN1914.jpg (13.49 KiB) Viewed 1682 times

DSCN1977.jpg
Slower so easier to capture
DSCN1977.jpg (19.72 KiB) Viewed 1682 times

DSCN2000.jpg
Hurri
DSCN2000.jpg (14.4 KiB) Viewed 1682 times
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Re: New camera

Post by Strawman @ Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:41 pm

A tripod/monopod, when using maximum zoom any slight movement of the camera = blur. It's almost impossible to hand hold a camera completely still.
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Re: New camera

Post by Hooli @ Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:46 pm

Yeah that's very true. The onboard anti-shake is pretty good though, all of them would have been blurs without it.
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Re: New camera

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:49 pm

Hey don't look like a fast shutter.
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Re: New camera

Post by Hooli @ Mon Aug 28, 2017 4:07 pm

I think I picked a fast shutter anyway 1/200 I think it was, sounded fast anyway. Only ever had compact cameras before so was just guessing really.
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Re: New camera

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Mon Aug 28, 2017 4:51 pm

Probably worth reading a bit about the relationship between aperture and shutter (and ISO) etc then.
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Re: New camera

Post by Hooli @ Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:05 pm

Yeah, I was wondering if anyone had seen good articles on that sort of thing. I've read the manual but I didn't really get it.
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Re: New camera

Post by Aesgarth @ Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:17 am

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Re: New camera

Post by CJ+ @ Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:45 am

I think the challenge with this camera is as follows (fellow CTF togs, please correct me if I've fcuked it up):

It's not very fast (f/5.7) at max zoom
It also has a low maximum ISO setting (3200)

What this means is that it doesn't let a lot of light in at max zoom, but you can't compensate for that very much by increasing the ISO setting (i.e. sensitivity), so that forces you to a slower shutter speed (1/200 is not very fast for a moving object and a long zoom). Slow autofocus doesn't help.

A tripod would help, but these constraints, which are inherent to the camera, mean you are pretty much where you are.
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Re: New camera

Post by CJ+ @ Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:45 am

Double post.
Last edited by CJ+ on Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New camera

Post by Hooli @ Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:56 pm

Aesgarth wrote:http://www.techradar.com/how-to/photography-video-capture/cameras/the-exposure-triangle-aperture-shutter-speed-and-iso-explained-1320830


Ta, I'll have a read.

CJ+ wrote:I think the challenge with this camera is as follows (fellow CTF togs, please correct me if I've fcuked it up):

It's not very fast (f/5.7) at max zoom
It also has a low maximum ISO setting (3200)

What this means is that it doesn't let a lot of light in at max zoom, but you can't compensate for that very much by increasing the ISO setting (i.e. sensitivity), so that forces you to a slower shutter speed (1/200 is not very fast for a moving object and a long zoom). Slow autofocus doesn't help.

A tripod would help, but these constraints, which are inherent to the camera, mean you are pretty much where you are.


That's the impression I get from reviews of it, it was however free & a lot better than the compact I had. So I'd like to understand why it's still shit & how to get what I can from it. I find learning with crapper things can help as they are poor enough that a little skill helps. Get a great camera & it'd never need to come out of auto for me to be happy with the results.
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Re: New camera

Post by Disastrous @ Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:17 pm

There is also a rule of thumb that the maximum shutter speed you can handhold without suffering from camera shake/blur is the same as the focal length you are at.

So if you are shooting at 50mm, you need your shutter to be at 1/50th, minimum (and in fact, some argue that modern cameras need even faster speeds due to all the detail the pickup, whatevs).

Your Nikon at 32x zoom is at 810mm equivalent, according to the link, so you would need a shutter speed of something approaching that to successfully handhold it.

What you could try, is sitting the camera on a hard surface, zooming to max and trying on some static subjects to see if it produces satisfactory results there (set the self timer so your own hand pushing the shutter doesn't add any shake). If it does, then you need a tripod, but you won't be able to really track moving stuff with that. If it doesn't, there might be something else wrong with it...

But also, as others have said, you need to understand the triangular relationship between ISO, shutter speed and lens aperture (f-stop). If you push one, then one of the others needs to take up the slack. In this case, you have a combination of a slow lens (so narrow aperture, not letting much light in) with the requirement for a high shutter speed (also not letting much light in) so would need to compensate that with a massively high ISO. That introduces noise, so for that sort of imagery, you really need fast glass that lets loads of light in so you can have a fast shutter speed safely.
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Re: New camera

Post by Hooli @ Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:24 pm

Cheers Dis, that makes sense about lots of light for a quick picture. I kind of knew that anyway, but I couldn't say what a fast shutter speed is for example.

I'll read the article someone posted earlier later on.
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Re: New camera

Post by CJ+ @ Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:40 am

Disastrous wrote:There is also a rule of thumb that the maximum shutter speed you can handhold without suffering from camera shake/blur is the same as the focal length you are at.

I thought it was double the focal length.

ETA: http://www.gavtrain.com/?p=3960

Turns out we're both right. Yay us! >man hug<
Last edited by CJ+ on Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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