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Old Mar 10, 2004, 1:34 PM   #1
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Default So frustrated, can anyone help? (Nikon 5700)

Hi all,
I've been reading this forum for a while now (during my search for the perfect camera) & just registered today

I'm very new to digital photography and I purchased a camera recently for my business (I make dolls) and mainly, to take pictures of my kids. After MUCH research, I got the Nikon Coolpix 5700 - after buying & returning the Kodak DX6490. My problem is that I have yet to get ONE good picture of my boys....they are ALWAYS blurry (I've had the camera for about 3 weeks!). I don't know much about the different manual settings, but I'm TRYING to learn.

I'm not trying to get pictures of them running around, they're 2 & 4 , but unless they are sleeping (statue still) I can't get a decent shot. I've been reading the manual and I'm not an idiot, but I can't for the life of me figure out what I need to set in order to get a good picture of something that isn't a life-less object.

I've seen postings here of people taking sports shots and there was one picture on Steve's review of this camera that is of a crowded lobby and it looks great.....I can't imagine that all those people stood perfectly still for him to take that shot, lol.

I knew that there would be much more to learn with this camra as opposed to the Kodak, but I DID think I'd be able to get some good pictures by now I'm so frustrated by this I could scream (again).
I'm putting the $#@& camera down for a while & going out for a bit.
Any help would be greatly appreciated by this photo-crazy mom I refuse to let this camera "beat" me, lol.
Thanks in advance
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Old Mar 10, 2004, 3:19 PM   #2
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Hi WaterLily...

You have an excellent camera but there is a learning curve with it.

Study your manual for shutter priority mode.

Set your 5700 to shutter priority mode.

Shoot at 1/125 shutter speed and use your flash
when shooting indoors.

Good luck
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Old Mar 10, 2004, 4:57 PM   #3
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Thank you so much Digcamfan I'll do some reading on that tonight....and try a few more pictures of my two little stuntmen :lol:

I took some beautiful pictures of my newest doll....but she was laying very still
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Old Mar 10, 2004, 5:43 PM   #4
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There are several reasons for getting blurred pictures of small kids. One is that they move toward or away from the camera between when you press the shutter and the camera takes the picture. Another is that you are using too slow a shutter speed and the kidís movements cause blurring. If you are getting blurred pictures with flash, Phil at dpreview thought the auto-focus in low light was poor on the 5700.

For the kids movement toward or away from the camera there is a feature called continuous focus which focuses all the way to shutter release. It allows you to pre-focus so you get very fast response yet the camera continues to focus. I have two cameras with continuous focus and two without it, and I really miss the feature on the cameras without it getting shots of my perpetual motion 2 year old granddaughter. It wasnít listed in any of the manufacturerís features on my FZ10, but I was pleased to find the camera has it. You might check to see if it is in the Nikon manual.

For blurring because of subject movement and too slow a shutter speed you have to get brighter light to get a faster shutter or use flash. The sports action mode will give you the fastest shutter speed for the available light. There are some inexpensive flash units that will reach out to 20 feet or so and freeze the action for you.

For the low light focus problem you have to pre-focus by holding the shutter halfway until the camera focuses before depressing the shutter all the way. For flash shots you can often pre-focus on objects the same distance away with more light and contrast, then aim at the target and get a focused shot Ė if the rugrats havenít moved. The difference in ambient light wonít make any difference with a flash shot.

I think most of the good camera reviewers donít often shoot rugrats. The continuous focus mode is an obvious advantage and it is hardly mentioned. I got some good pictures of my granddaughter when she was in the hospital last month with my C50. But if she isnít tied down I get a high percentage of blurred shots of her with it despite my frustrating attempts to pre-focus. The pictures from my FZ10 and D7i are almost always sharply focused with the continuous focus mode on despite her best efforts to blur them.
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Old Mar 11, 2004, 3:20 AM   #5
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Default shutter speed

Waterlily, are you able to tell the shutter speed used in the photos? That would answer what I'm pretty sure is the most likely cause of the blur.

If you edit your files on the computer, your software package might let you see the shooting data. If not, just start to take a typical photo, and take a look at the shutter speed in the display. You'll find that indoors, under normal household lights, there just isn't enough light to get a shutter speed above 1/15 or so. You cannot handhold the camera at that speed. A tripod and perfectly stationary subjects are needed (like dolls!)

You can increase the ISO or sensitivity of the camera to get faster shutter speeds, but with all digital compacts, you will notice an increased amount of noise (blobby coloured bits seen at high magnification), hold down the button on the left side of the body, the one that says ISO under it, and rotate the main wheel. Try out each of the settings and see if the results are a little better.

Alternatively, use flash!

Hope that helps
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Old Mar 11, 2004, 4:43 PM   #6
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I really appreciate all of the tips & advise you've all given. Digcamfan, I did exactly as you said & I got some NON-blurry pictures this morning I purposely didn't tell them to "stand STILL!" and there were no blurries at all - woohoo!!!

I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't realize the flash had anything to do with the focus ops: I've been shutting it off because I found the colors to be a bit un-natural when using the flash :? I know that has something to do with color saturation....but I wanted to solve the blur-factor first.
I'm really not an idiot, just 100% novice when it comes to anything other than point & shoot photography. One of the reasons I bought this camera was because I've WANTED to learn this stuff for a long time and I read alot of good things about it here.....so I'm sure I'll be asking alot of questions

I always try to figure these things out on my own & will only ask for help when I get desperate I'll do my best not to become a big pain in the you-know-what here :lol:

Again, thanks for all of the help, it's very appreciated! I'm hoping to have some nice picture contributions to that part of this forum eventually
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