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Old May 5, 2010, 9:57 PM   #1
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Default More newbie questions... camera settings

Ok, so far everyone's been great, excellent advice, this forum is endless with material, loving it so far.

Some more settings questions that I have after playing around with my new camera that are very basic but I like to hear what others use...

Image Quality... Fine or Normal? Fine is better for larger prints (1:4 ratio) where as Normal is 1:8 ratio... so the file size will be doubled or so, but will this affect any blurring while taking the photo? With my settings at 10M and Fine, I still get 1500+ photos with my 8GB card, so the file size is not an issue with me, so is it best to set it to FINE??

Vibration Reduction.... Is it best to have it set to On (Hybrid) or just to On ? Not sure of the difference between the two. I read what the manuel says but still confused, lol.

Motion Detection... is it best to have this ON as well as the VR? Or just the VR on?

Sports Continuous... when it comes to High-Speed mode, should I have Pre-Shooting Cache On or Off? ... Manual says... Note: High Speed Mode and Pre-Shooting Cache can't be set simultanously, so which is best to have it on? There is Auto, 120 and 60, I mostly just doing Auto right now, but curious about the Cache?

And thats it for now... also just getting into the Macro photos for first time, havin fun with that!!!

Thanks for your help!
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Old May 5, 2010, 11:02 PM   #2
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raiderfan-

Firstly, because camera specifications do vary from camera to camera, let indicate that you own a Nikon P-100 camera.

For Image quality, the Fine setting is preferred because it will capture the most detail, no matter what size print might be made.

Vibration Reduction, which is Nikon name Image stabilization
should be left on all the time. It will prevent blurring of your photos when slow shutter speeds are used. It has no effect on the motion component of your subject.

Yes, Motion Detection should be left on because that will speed up focusing speed and target tracking of an "in motion" subject.

Sports Continuous, the High Speed Mode, and the Pre-Shooting Cache
are all independent features and are not all designed to be used simultaneously. Therefore they are selected as needed, and only when taking fast action sports photos. For example you would not make use of any of these three features, when taking family photo.

We are sure this is all covered in your P-100 Owner's Manual. Is the problem that these terms are not properly explained, or are they unfamiliar to you? Perhaps we should temper our explanation as well.

Sarah Joyce
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Old May 6, 2010, 8:19 AM   #3
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Yes, sorry it's a Nikon P100.... I am pretty familiar with each term but I'm just not sure what the best setting is. I would figure that Fine, and highest setting is always best, but I'm not 100% sure so thought I would ask, and yes I've never really dealt with all these settings before, as earlier I just had a crappy camera with less menu settings and didn't get the luxury to play around with all this, lol.

I had it set to Fine, VR on always, I left the motion detection off because I wasn't sure if that is ok with the VR on as well, and basically the only one I was confused with is the Sports Continuous, as I take alot of moving objects (sports), so is it best to leave on Auto or enable the Pre-Shooting Cache for when taking for example a person running?

And the VR, best to set at just ON or ON (Hybrid) ?

Thanks for your reply Sarah! Appreciate it
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Old May 6, 2010, 8:29 AM   #4
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I'd like to elaborate on mtclimber's excellent responses.

First, on Image Quality, the camera takes the same photo whether you use the Fine or the Normal setting, but when it saves the photo in the JPEG image file format, it compresses the image. The amount of compression you select affects the size of the file, but it also affects the amount of detail that is sacrificed in order to reduce the size of the file. Unlike other compression methods that you might be familiar with, the compression used in JPEG files is 'Lossy', which means that the detail that is lost can't ever be regained. If you ever intend to do any post-processing of any kind, even something as simple as cropping, the compressed image will be compressed again, so even more detail will be lost. So, it's always better to start with as little compression as possible.

Second, the Nikon P100's Sports Continuous Mode, captures images at a rate of up to 120 frames per second, but it does this magic by significantly reducing the image size. (See the P100 User's Manual, page 62) Instead of capturing 10MP images like the P100 is capable of normally, it captures images that are less than 2MP. While this is sufficient for images that will only ever be viewed on a computer screen or television, if you want to make prints larger than 4X6, I suggest you forego the Sports Continuous Mode.

(As for the Pre-shooting cache, the P100 starts taking photos when you press the shutter button halfway to set the focus and exposure. When you finally fully depress the shutter button, the camera deletes all but the last 5, and will continues taking photos until it has taken another 20, for a total of 25, unless you release the shutter button first. The photos are taken at a rate of 15 fps, but are still of limited resolution that is inappropriate for large print sizes.) (See page 64)

If I had the P100 and might want to make prints larger than 4X6, I'd avoid the Sports Continuous Mode, and use P, S, or A Modes instead (A Mode would be my preference. See page 70.) and use Continuous H Mode (page 86) with the image quality set to Fine (page 75) and Large (page 76).
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Old May 6, 2010, 9:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raiderfan View Post
And the VR, best to set at just ON or ON (Hybrid) ?
The P100 has two methods it can employ to combat motion blur due to camera shake. The first is sensor shift image stabilization, where it actually moves the iamge sensor around within the camera so that the image is projected onto the same photoreceptors throughout the duration of the exposure. This is the one you get with Vibration Reduction ON. The second is the electronic VR, where the camera automatically increases the ISO sensitivity, so that it can reduce the exposure time, thereby reducing the amount of motion blur. This second method is commonly used in video recording and lower resolution still image capture. This method isn't very good all by itself, and isn't actually employed shooting continuously, so even if you did try the Hybrid setting, the camera probably wouldn't ever use it. But I wouldn't use it anyway.
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Old May 6, 2010, 9:28 AM   #6
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Wow, thanks so much for the excellent and detailed response TCav!!

one last question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
If you ever intend to do any post-processing of any kind, even something as simple as cropping, the compressed image will be compressed again, so even more detail will be lost. So, it's always better to start with as little compression as possible.
I sometimes do cropping afterwards on my computer, so it's FINE that uses less compression?

thanks again!
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Old May 6, 2010, 9:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
If I had the P100 and might want to make prints larger than 4X6, I'd avoid the Sports Continuous Mode, and use P, S, or A Modes instead (A Mode would be my preference. See page 70.) and use Continuous H Mode (page 86) with the image quality set to Fine (page 75) and Large (page 76).
That's what I was testing with yesterday and seemed to like that better as well...... even the Continuous L Mode I also liked...
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Old May 6, 2010, 9:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
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I sometimes do cropping afterwards on my computer, so it's FINE that uses less compression?
Yes. Some cameras allow you to bypass JPEG compression entirely by permitting you to save the image as RAW or TIFF, but most cameras don't have that option.
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Old May 6, 2010, 10:00 AM   #9
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That's what I was testing with yesterday and seemed to like that better as well...... even the Continuous L Mode I also liked...
Yes. The only difference between Continuous H and Continuous L is the rate at which the camera captures images. But Continuous H pushes the limits of the camera's processing ability, and is probably more affected by other settings, such as image size and quality. Continuous H is supposed to capture 10 fps with large normal images, but that will probably slow down when the image quality setting is changed to Fine.

I used to shoot equestrian sports with a camera that could only do 3 fps, and often wished for a camera that could go faster. Now I have one that can go up to 5 fps, but I usually leave it set to 3 fps.
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Old May 6, 2010, 2:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
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...I used to shoot equestrian sports with a camera that could only do 3 fps, and often wished for a camera that could go faster. Now I have one that can go up to 5 fps, but I usually leave it set to 3 fps.
Could you explain why? I think it would be instructional to all.

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