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Old Jul 2, 2010, 12:23 PM   #1
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Default Nikon CoolPix P80 : Help with camera settings

hello everyone !

I bought the Nikon coolpix p80 after searching all the possible options. I missed my chance on the p90 from 2 days of buying p80. But now i have to work with what i have. I am a regular guy wanting to shoot good photographs, the best that this particualr model can offer. I have used the Auto mode, scene and sports mode. I understand that Sports continous H , L and M are for how quick the photos will be taken but the quality is compromised. So i use the normal Continous mode if using a sports motion picture.

I need to learn the settings for best image quality i can achieve with this camera. What are the P S A M modes ? how can i use them. What to do when taking indoor photographs or taking a night outdoor picture or a scenic view.

Any help or support documents that i can read. or sample settings of aperture, ISO and things in this camera would be deeply appreciated.

Warm Regards

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Old Jul 2, 2010, 8:58 PM   #2
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Put the camera in the "p" mode, keep the ISO below ISO 400. Use good light, the P-80 does not do well in low light, and you will do fine.

Flash photos using the P-80's built-in flash: Stay at 8 feet or less. You can press your luck and go to 10 feet but you are going to see some grain in your photos.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Jul 3, 2010 at 11:27 AM.
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Old Jul 2, 2010, 9:06 PM   #3
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You can also go here http://dryreading.com/camera/index.html and play to your hearts content to see what the different settings do.
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Old Jul 12, 2010, 10:01 AM   #4
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thanks a ton ! I must say, the zoom is very good and it clicks very good pictures sometimes. I think the 8feet or less thing is really working ! will try the links.

Thanks again !

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Old Jul 12, 2010, 11:48 AM   #5
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Here is a new quick tutorial that I just wrote that might be helpful to you:

The easiest way to get started is to first read completely through the Owner’s Manual and charge the battery. When you are ready to take your first photos, do this:

(1) Set “P” on the Mode Selector. “P” stands for Programmed Auto Mode. It is an Automatic Mode that allows the user to make adjustments to the ISO, to the Exposure Compensation, the Flash Compensation, the WB or White Balance, the Burst Mode, the Scene Modes, and the Focusing Options.
(2) Set to ISO to “Auto ISO. You probably want to consider limiting how far the camera can increase the ISO setting by itself. I would recommend that for outdoor photos that you limit the ISO increase to ISO 400. For indoor use limit the ISO increase to ISO 800.
(3) Set the WB to White Balance to “Auto WB” when shooting out doors. If you are shooting with flash indoors you can keep the Auto WB in place. If you are shooting indoors without flash, use tungsten or incandescent WB, it is indicated by the small logo symbol of a light bulb. Set the Flash mode selector to the Auto Flash position. This is not a perfect mode and there are two instances where the camera can be confused on when to deploy the flash.
(4) Set the focus point initially to center point focus. This allows you to select
exactly where the camera will focus. Focus is attained by gently pressing the
shutter release to the half way point. When the camera locks focus, it will signal
that focus lock to you. Now, while holding the shutter release at the half way
point, re-frame your photo as necessary, using the EVF, or Electronic View
(5) When you at pleased with the photo framing, gently depress the shutter to its full length. The emphasis here is on the word gently. Some users refer to the action as squeezing the shutter slowly. The main thing you want to avoid is jabbing at the shutter, as this will cause sudden camera movement overpowering the IS or image stabilization system and blurring the photo.
(6) After the photo has been recorded, check how the exposure looks on the cameras LCD screen. If it is to light, it is over exposed. If it is too dark, it is under exposed. You are looking for the midway point where the properly exposed photo looks like are properly tuned TV set. A photo that is too light can be correct by using Minus Exposure Compensation. Make the initial Minus Exposure Compensation setting EV-0.7, take the photo, and check the result on the camera’s LCD screen. Then increase or decrease the Exposure Compensation to attain the proper LCD screen appearance. If the photo is too dark, you will have to apply Positive Exposure Compensation. Begin with a setting of EV+0.7, and then again adjust the Exposure compensation again, as required to attain the proper LCD screen appearance.
(7) After the photo is taken, you will notice that a flashing red light will blink on the camera. This is an indication that the camera is recording the image to the camera’s flash memory card.
(8) If you are indoors and desire to take a flash photo using the camera’s built-in flash unit (a) check that the Flash Selector is still selected to the Auto Flash mode. (b) recheck that the WB is still set to Auto ISO. (c) Keep the camera to subject distance at 11.5 feet or less to achieve the proper exposure. If you are photographing a group and you must increase the amount of light projected from the camera’s built-in flash unit so that the Flash Range can be increased from the normal maximum Flash Range of 11.5 feet, to a greater value. The adjustment on the Flash Compensation scale works in the same way as Exposure Compensation did. Positive Flash Compensation increases the flash output and the Flash Range. Negative Flash Compensation reduces the flash output and the Flash Range.
(9) If you want to take a close up photo, where the camera to subject distance is 30 inches or less, you will have to select the Macro or Close-up Mode whose symbol is a small Tulip logo. Again the same photo taking procedure will apply. Gently depress the shutter release to the half way point, the camera locks the focus and give you the focus locked signal. Re-frame your focus as necessary after allowing the camera to focus on the exact point desired. If the photo environment’s lighting is low, select the flash, WB , and Auto ISO, as previously described. The built-in flash unit will reduce the light output of the flash due to the reduced Flash Range between camera and subject in this Macro or Close-up mode. After taking your close-up photo check the camera’s LCD screen for proper exposure. If the exposure is too light or too dark you will use the Exposure Compensation procedures outlined above. If you are taking the Macro or Close-up photo while employing flash, once again check the LCD screen for proper exposure. If the result is too light or too dark, you will use the Flash Compensation feature as described previously.
(10)As lighting conditions change you will have to adjust your camera’s WB to get
the correct color in your photo. There are fixed WB settings for bright sunshine,
cloudy or foggy conditions, tungsten or incandescent lighting, and for fluorescent
lighting (several varieties).
(11)Keep in mind that there are indeed minimum focus distances for each lens
position. In the Macro or Close up mode, the minimum focus distance is 2.5
inches. In the normal focus mode, without any zooming, the minimum focus
distance is 36 inches, or 3 feet. As the camera zooms out further, expect the
minimum focus to also increase. So, if the camera will not lock focus, the
problem is most probably that you are at less than the minimum focus distance
for that lens setting.
(12) The better the light, the better your photos will be. As the light level decreases
measurably you will find the photo quality will fall and the camera will have a
harder time recording your photo. So good light is essential to good photos.
(13) Photographers are like concert pianists: the more you practice and learn the
better your photo will be.
(14) Take your time and learn how the changes that you make to your camera,
directly affects your how your camera records your photo.
(15) Here is a quick review of the options on your Mode Selector:
P=Programed Auto. This works just like Full Automatic only it allows you to make some changes to ISO, flash options, Exposure Compensation, Flash Compensation, White Balance etc.
S=Shutter Priority. You select the shutter speed and the camera adjusts for the proper exposure by adjusting the aperture.
A=Aperture Priority. You select the aperture and the camera automatically sets the proper exposure by adjust the shutter speed.
M=Manual Mode. You select the shutter speed and aperture and the camera reports if your selection will produce the produce the proper exposure, by displaying the wrong exposure in red color and the correct exposure in green color. So understand that using the Manual Mode will require some manual adjustments on your part.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 25, 2010, 5:27 AM   #6
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hi !

This is really a big help. I was searching for something like this. Thanks a lot. I am deeply overwhelmed. I really appreciate this.

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Old Jul 28, 2010, 8:46 AM   #7
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I agree, very helpful thread, I have the Nikon P100 and pretty much has same settings, I find the P and Auto work best for me.

One thing I could use some advice with, is taking outdoor photo's at night. Example, fireworks.... not sure what the best settings would be, I found I put it on S and that worked best for me. Problem I was having in Automode or P was the sky is dark (was about 10pm) and when i took the pic in automode it appeared as it was still light out, sky was bright still in the pics. But switching to S mode and that solved it.
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Old Jul 5, 2011, 8:37 PM   #8
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Default Fireworks

There is actually a setting specific to fireworks. If you put the mode on scene, and then press the menu button you can scroll down to the fireworks setting. While scrolling you will see settings for sunsets, close-ups, panorama, etc. Some of these settings work really well but others aren't great. The fireworks setting has worked well for me.

I am curious if there is a way to us the p80 to take rapid pictures but not in the sports mode. When in sports mode the quality of the pictures is compromised for the rapid rate of pictures. Any advice?
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