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Old Jan 12, 2004, 8:33 PM   #1
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Default Greetings, some newbie questions

Hi All,
My name is Paul and I live in Adelaide, Australia. So g'day to you all from down under! I was lucky enough to get a CP5700 for Xmas and in playing with it just about every free moment I have, I have a few questions for the collective consciousness!

1. In using the digital zoom, I do not seem to be able to get a clear picture even on the highest image quality settings. I thought it was my unsteady hands, but in taking lots pictures with the camera sitting on a rock solid fence post yesterday, they are still blurry. Is it unavoidable due to how the digital zoom works, and I need to invest in a telephoto convertor to expand my optical zoom range? Or perhaps there is something I am not doing right, any tips for optimal digital zoomed pics?

2. I am finding with flash pictures that they are always coming out overexposed, even with the white balance set on the flash setting. Similary, pictures outside in sunlight also seem to be overexposed in the bright parts and too dark in the shaded areas. Exposure adjustment just seems to make everything dark, is there something like a contrast setting, it seems I need to turn contrast down but can't find anything in manual for this?

I am aware these are fairly basic questions, so tips along the lines go and read this website are most welcome too!

Thanks for any advice,
Paul
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Old Jan 12, 2004, 9:15 PM   #2
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I don't have the 5700, so I can't give you exact answers. But here is what I think.

1.
The optical zoom is always better, but if you don't have a choice, use the digital (better than missing the pictures.) The zoom on the 5700 is fairly good (380mm or so?) so if you need reach, you must really be shooting at something far away. How far away is it?

Also, can you give an example of the shutter speed and apeture (f-stop) you're using when its blury? It would also be helpful to actually see a picture, but you might not have any place to post a picture.

2.
Most cameras have a contrast (and sharpness) setting. So poke around, I bet you'll find it. When you said the sky is over exposed and the darks are too dark, that is the same thing I thought of too.

Eric
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Old Jan 13, 2004, 9:21 AM   #3
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I would not use the digital zoom. It is not really a zoom but a method of cropping. You better off doing this with software.

You have three programable settings that you can program for different shooting requirements. You need to experiment with these settings to find the ones you want. The first 500 pictures I took with my 5700 were trying to learn different settings and the effect it would have on the picture.

With optical or digital zoom, you will find it more difficult to take clear pictures at the full zoom range without some type of support (tripod or monopod). I had a TCon 17 1.7x telephoto zoom that I use with my 5700. You will have to have an adapter tube if you want to add a telephoto or wide angle lens. I use one developed by Bernie Heinz. Here is a link to his adapter:

http://www.nextphoto.net/

The 5700 is a great camera but you will to invest some time in learning how to use the camera.
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Old Jan 13, 2004, 6:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: Greetings, some newbie questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul_Mo
1. In using the digital zoom, I do not seem to be able to get a clear picture even on the highest image quality settings.
When using digital zoom, the camera uses the center area of the image and blows it up to the full size of the image. Since no new details are introduced in the blown-up image, it will always look blurred. In general, avoid the use of digital zoom if it is possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul_Mo
I am finding with flash pictures that they are always coming out overexposed, even with the white balance set on the flash setting.
The flash white balance setting has nothing to do with exposure. If the flash exposure is too strong, you can use the Variable Power option to reduce the flash output. It is in the Speedlight Ctrl menu. You can increase or reduce up to 2 stops of the flash power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul_Mo
Similarly, pictures outside in sunlight also seem to be overexposed in the bright parts and too dark in the shaded areas. Exposure adjustment just seems to make everything dark, is there something like a contrast setting, it seems I need to turn contrast down but can't find anything in manual for this?
This is not a contrast problem. It is a problem of dynamic range. Sensors of digital cameras can only cover about 5 stops. If you include very bright sky and very dark shadow, it is likely the sky will become washed out and the shadow will become dark. Avoiding making such a large dynamic range (illumination difference) in your image at the same time. If it is unavoidable, you perhaps have to make a choice: highlight or shadow. If you decide to preserve highlight, meter at a bright portion. If you wish to preserve shadow details, meter at a darker portion. Or, you might want to use a gradual neutral density filter to block the highlight so that the dynamic range in your image would not be so large.

To adjust contrast, do the following: Press MENU, use the down arrow to move to the IMAGE ADJUSTMENT menu, use right arrow to select, and use the up and down arrow to select the contrast level you wish to use. It is ALL in your 5700 manual.

CK
http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam
Nikon Coolpix 950/990/995/2500/4500/5700 User Guide
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Old Jan 13, 2004, 6:47 PM   #5
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Hi All,

Thanks for all those responses.

OK with all the digital zoom comments, makes sense and will try to avoid using it then.

The images were taken on the coastline at the top off a cliff, ranging from looking back at the next set of cliffs on the horizon (so infinite focus) back to things a lot closer and below the cliffs I were on. I do have 10Mb of free server space with my ISP, I will have to post some pics there when I get the chance.

Thanks for the link to the lense adaptor site, good stuff.

I agree 100%, definitely need to do some more experimenting, and trying out all those settings. Haven't tried doing anything like BSS, or the sharpness or image adjustment or flash power yet, but will do so. I've read the manual 3 times now, probably another 3 or 4 to go before it has all sunk in! Sometime its hard to know which setting to use to achieve an end result, ad there's a lot to learn but I see that as a good thing and see years of fun ahead with this camera.

Thanks again for the advice, much appreciated!
Cheers,
Paul
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Old Jan 13, 2004, 8:08 PM   #6
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You need to look at shene website. There is a great amount of information that he has complied.

http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam/
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Old Jan 13, 2004, 8:14 PM   #7
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LOL, I just was.
Very good indeed CK!
Cheers,
Paul
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Old Jan 13, 2004, 10:10 PM   #8
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Paul

This is another good forum for Nikon owners:

http://forums.dpreview.com//forums/forum.asp?forum=1007

Phil
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Old Jan 15, 2004, 6:23 PM   #9
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Thanks Phil. Came across that one before, the review on that site was factor in me choosing the camera! Has also helped me understand it a bit better too.

Played around with the contrast setting last night too, getting there. 8)

Cheers,
Paul
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Old Jan 15, 2004, 7:36 PM   #10
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You will get there. You will have fun doing it or least I am.
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