Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital Cameras (Point and Shoot) > Nikon

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Oct 14, 2003, 7:56 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 274
Default 5700 in low-light ??

I once tried the Nikon Coolpix 5000 in low light and could NOT get a decent picture. This was in a restaurant under low-lighting. I even tried with the Nikon SB-28 speedlight but with NO success. I really like the Coolpix 5700 look-n-feel but without an AF assist beam, how can I take pics in low-light?
agiaccio is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Oct 14, 2003, 12:43 PM   #2
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 7
Default

I've copied a previous reply that I posted about this several days ago:

After years of using a Nikon SLR (film) camera, I started taking digital photos with my first digital camera, a CP 5700. Since I had not used any other digital cameras, I had no preconceived notions about how they should function or unusual expectations of the CP 5700. After 3 months of using it, I've found that it is a remarkable camera that can take good photos under all conditions in which I've used it.

Take low-light, or, low-contrast conditions, for example. There have been many complaints about the CP 5700's lackluster performance under these conditions. If you go into Shooting Menu #2, select Focus, and then turn AF Area Mode to Off, you'll find that the 5700 will lock on focus when the light is very dim. This is due to the camera selecting the central area, or most sensitive area, as its focusing area.

If this fails you, then resort to Manual Focusing. Just depress the MF Button on the left side of barrel, hold it down and rotate the Command Dial. You will see the Manual Focusing Bar move to the right or left as you rotate the bar. Rotate the Command Dial until the white bar just reaches the "Mountains" on the right side. The 5700 is now focused at 7 feet. Turn it one more click counterclockwise (CCW) and the 5700 is focused at 8 feet. Another click counterclockwise and it's focused at 9 feet. Turn it one click clockwise (CW) from the 7 foot starting point and the 5700 is focused at 6 feet.

Drawing upon information that others had written, I compiled a table, which I shared on the Nikon Talk Forum. If you didn't see it there, here it is:

From starting point: MF Bar set at ~~~Flower[][][][][][]Mountain
where CP 5700 is focused at 7 feet,

CW Clicks-------------------Focus Distance, feet
4-----------------------------------5 feet
1-----------------------------------6
0-----------------------------------7

CCW Clicks-----------------Focus Distance, feet
1-----------------------------------8 feet
2-----------------------------------9
3----------------------------------10
4----------------------------------13
5----------------------------------16
6----------------------------------23
7----------------------------------33

Remember that when you take your finger off the MF Button and then depress it again, the first click (either CW or CCW) won't change the focus distance. It just restores the White Bar to the screen. Assume that you focused manually at 7 feet and took your finger off the MF Button. If you wish to change the focus to 8 feet, you have to depress the MF Button again and rotate the Command Dial 2 clicks CCW.

This method of manual focusing works almost as well as if the CP 5700 had manual focusing numbers on the lens barrel. Using this system for flash photos, you can estimate the distance to your subject, set the focus distance by MF Button-Command Dial and take your photo. You'll get a well focused shot just about every time. Of course, the photo will be as good as your estimate of the distance and other factors, like the depth of field. If you're not sure of your estimate, just change the focusing distance manually so that you take a photo on each side of your estimated distance. You can take well-focused photos in almost total darkness with this method.

I don't know why the writers of the CP 5700's manual did not include information such as this table of manual focusing distances relative to clicks of the Command Dial. If they had included tables such as this one, there might have been fewer complaints about the 5700's lack of an AF Assist Light, and slow focusing lock under low-light conditions.

For those of you who think in Metric terms, here's the table in Metric Units.

From starting point: MF Bar set at~~~Flower[][][][][][]Mountain
where focus distance is 2.1 meters

CW Clicks--------------------Focus distance, meters
4-------------------------------------1.5 meters
3-------------------------------------1.6
2-------------------------------------1.7
1-------------------------------------1.9
0-------------------------------------2.1

CCW Clicks------------------Focus distance, meters
1-------------------------------------2.4
2-------------------------------------2.8
3-------------------------------------3.0
4-------------------------------------4.0
5-------------------------------------5.0
6-------------------------------------7.0
7------------------------------------10.0

Try it. It will prove to you that the CP 5700 does not have any low-light focusing problem.
Larry Loo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 5, 2003, 9:08 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Bob Nichol's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Eastern Ontario Canada
Posts: 822
Default

Larry, you're a genius! I tried your suggestions on my 5700 and they work great. Just one point to add, if you forget where to start with the clicks or lose the chart you can just fire off a shot and check in the EXIF data. It will show "AF" when in autofocus and the distance in meters in manual.
Bob Nichol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 5, 2003, 11:12 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,585
Default

Thanks for the info.


Phil
gibsonpd3620 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 5, 2003, 11:19 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,585
Default

Larry you are a genius. I echo Bob's comments. It really is amazing.
gibsonpd3620 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 7, 2003, 1:43 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Loo
From starting point: MF Bar set at ~~~Flower[][][][][][]Mountain
where CP 5700 is focused at 7 feet,

CW Clicks-------------------Focus Distance, feet
4-----------------------------------5 feet
1-----------------------------------6
0-----------------------------------7

CCW Clicks-----------------Focus Distance, feet
1-----------------------------------8 feet
2-----------------------------------9
3----------------------------------10
4----------------------------------13
5----------------------------------16
6----------------------------------23
7----------------------------------33
Hello Larry, a Phillip from the Nikon Talk Forums at DPREVIEW linked me to this thread, and I have to say, the information you provided is quite helpful, to say the least.

However, I have a question about your diagram. As you can see, I've included in my post your diagram, above. My question is in the "starting point" you've indicated.

Is the "Starting point" we use to reference your chart when the white bar is filled up to the mountain, or when the bar is not filled at all?

Thank you VERY much...
aceattorney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 7, 2003, 3:16 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 7
Default

Ace, the arbitrary starting point I picked for my table is that at which the "White bar" just touches the "Mountain" on the right side of the bar graph.

You can do a little bit of experimenting that may be helpful in your understanding of manual focusing. Depress the manual focusing button (on the barrel's left side) and turn the command dial until the white bar just touches the mountain. Then take a photo. After the image has been stored, press the "Quick" button twice. On the review screen that appears, you will see "2.1 m" in the figures on the left side. This is the distance at which the camera's lens was focused. Rotating the command dial (without depressing the manual focusing button) will give you more EXIF information. Then while holding the manual focusing button down, rotate the command dial counterclockwise several clicks and take another photo. Press the quick button twice again and read off the focus distance at which your lens was set. Remember that once you take your finger off the manual focus button and depress it again, the first click doesn't count.

I feel that blanketing your estimated distance can assure you of getting at least one sharply focused speedlight image. Estimate the distance, set the manual focus distance, and take a photo. Then depress the manual focusing button and rotate the command dial 2 clicks clockwise and take another flash photo. Finally, take a third photo after you've rotated the command dial 3 clicks counterclockwise. Of course, after a while the guests at a party may get a little annoyed at all of your speedlight shots going off in their eyes. ;<D

Hey, thanks for your compliments, but, I'm not a genius. The table I drew up was an extension of a method that others (like "BAW" on NTF) laid out on that forum. I think that I just simplified it for shooting at the more common distances under low light conditions.
Larry Loo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 8, 2003, 2:24 AM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 62
Default Re: 5700 in low-light ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by agiaccio
I once tried the Nikon Coolpix 5000 in low light and could NOT get a decent picture. This was in a restaurant under low-lighting. I even tried with the Nikon SB-28 speedlight but with NO success. I really like the Coolpix 5700 look-n-feel but without an AF assist beam, how can I take pics in low-light?

Not sure if this helps...so here goes....

first, make sure you have an external flash

second, don't worry about autofoccus...the flash will freeze
anything and everything. I discovered this quite by accident that you can get away with a lot of stuff with the 5700.

third, even in real dark situations. such as a camp fire setting, youi can get absolutely great shots.

now, the downside of all this is that you won't be able to see in the viiewfinder or the LCD what you're shooting at. so you have to aim the camera in the general direction of the subjects and shoot in a wide angle mode.
pixrus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 11, 2003, 11:32 AM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 24
Default

Thanks will give it a try!! :lol:
blkhotrod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 21, 2003, 9:50 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 62
Default

forgot to mention. your only proof of a perfectly crisp/focused pic is when you do a post-view of the shot or shot confirmation.
pixrus is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:51 AM.