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Old Nov 1, 2003, 9:14 PM   #1
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Default Nikon Coolpix 2100 - a big letdown

Note that I'm a novice in the digital camera field (intermediate at best with SLR's). This is my first digital camera and some of my complaints could very well be operator error - but... despite the rave reviews here and elsewhere about this camera I'm really disappointed with it. I got it yesterday. The first one was a dud. I got the replacement today and here's a list of complaints I have about it:

1) The term "point and shoot" for this camera should really be: "Point. Wait for focus. Shoot". You're cat (dog, kid, friend, whatever) is doing something cute, forget trying to capture a particular moment because by the time the camera focuses, you've lost the moment.

2) Out of the 75 or so shots I've taken so far I'd say at least 20 of those would not come into focus at all. Period. And for no apparent reason.

3) The camera goes into "pause" after 30 seconds of inactivity so let's say you've got the camera powered up, you see a potentially good shot - Oh! Criminy! First gotta reboot the power, then gotta wait for the &*%#@ thing to focus - oh! Time's up! You miss another shot.

4) The "macro mode" sounds like little bits of metal grinding around inside the camera the moment you turn it on. Apparently the second it's on it's working it's little heart out trying to find something to focus on. You don't just turn this mode on and then go around the garden getting "macro shots". First you find the shot you want to hone in on, THEN you turn on macro mode, take your shot, then turn off the macro mode. The "auto pause" is even quicker in this mode (15 seconds?). By the way, this mode isn't part of the "dial options" but has to be obtained by going thru the LCD menu. It's relatively quick to get to but it's still a pain, especially considering the way it operates after it's on. With an SLR, you want a macro, you just hone in on something and take your macro.

5) Flash! The flash seems to be required for just about every shot I took - even outside! And basically destroys (washes out) the image!

I'm afraid to install any of the software that came with this because this needs to go back though I would like to see the definition potential outside of the LCD screen, which doesn't appear terribly impressive. All in all I'm having a really hard time coming up with anything good to say about this camera! I thought it was going to be able to capture sharp detail for use on ebay - which it just might - that is, when it feels like focusing and the flash hasn't obliterated the image but it doesn't even seem to be good enough for ebay use. I think if you were interested in taking shots of things that don't have fine detail (architecture, landscapes, groups of people maybe) it'd be okay - but otherwise, beware.

Since the 2100 is so close to the Coolpix 3100 in every detail except megapixels, I'm curious about the owner's of those. Maybe this camera is just another lemon?
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Old Nov 2, 2003, 4:25 AM   #2
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The 2100 is an affordable point & shoot, period. I bought one for my girlfriend fully knowing it would not work as fast or be as accurate as my SLR cameras. On the other hand, we haven't had the same auto-focus issues you are having, nor the lengthy shutter lag, unless there isn't enough light, then the camera has to hunt for focus. This goes for any camera, even professional ones. If you think the 2100 is slow, you should try a Gateway DC-M40, and only then will you know the meaning of slow :roll: Images from the 2100 are pretty good (sharpness and color wise) out of the camera imo, I was pleasantly surprized by that.
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Old Nov 2, 2003, 4:00 PM   #3
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It just seems like a digital should work at least as good as a "point and shoot" 35mm camera. The pictures that have turned out look pretty good. I'd really like to see them in another format besides on the LCD but I'm afraid to bust open the software in case I want to take the camera back. Since I've never used a digital before I'm not sure if there's something wrong with the camera or if it's just me. I've never had these kinds of issues with "point and shoot" 35mm cameras or SLR's though...

This is pretty frustrating!

Thanks for your input.
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Old Nov 3, 2003, 10:55 AM   #4
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Default Re: Nikon Coolpix 2100 - a big letdown

Quote:
Originally Posted by Becky0669
1) The term "point and shoot" for this camera should really be: "Point. Wait for focus. Shoot". You're cat (dog, kid, friend, whatever) is doing something cute, forget trying to capture a particular moment because by the time the camera focuses, you've lost the moment.

Every digital needs to focus, but have you tried Sports Mode ? This should be the fastest focussing mode. Also, normally you focus on the distance by pressing the shutter halfway and then wait for the moment you want before you press completely. That way you avoid focussing time.

2) Out of the 75 or so shots I've taken so far I'd say at least 20 of those would not come into focus at all. Period. And for no apparent reason.

I get an out of focus one once in a while, and even then the camera's green dot kept flashing to indicate it wasn't focussed, but I guess I didn't pay enough attention to it. Also when using zoom, do you have a steady hand ? Try to keep the camera perfectly still, even a second or so after pressing the shutter button, see if it helps.

3) The camera goes into "pause" after 30 seconds of inactivity so let's say you've got the camera powered up, you see a potentially good shot - Oh! Criminy! First gotta reboot the power, then gotta wait for the &*%#@ thing to focus - oh! Time's up! You miss another shot.

In the Setup, you can change the 30 seconds in 1 minute, 5 minutes or even 30 minutes before shut-off.

4) The "macro mode" sounds like little bits of metal grinding around inside the camera the moment you turn it on. Apparently the second it's on it's working it's little heart out trying to find something to focus on. You don't just turn this mode on and then go around the garden getting "macro shots". First you find the shot you want to hone in on, THEN you turn on macro mode, take your shot, then turn off the macro mode. The "auto pause" is even quicker in this mode (15 seconds?). By the way, this mode isn't part of the "dial options" but has to be obtained by going thru the LCD menu. It's relatively quick to get to but it's still a pain, especially considering the way it operates after it's on. With an SLR, you want a macro, you just hone in on something and take your ma

You do not need the menu for macro mode. Just press the multi selector button downwards (flower) and set to macro mode. I do not get a grinding sound switching over, unless you mean the lens motor noise (same sound when zooming in or out) The lens motor does make more noise then my Sony Cybershot.

5) Flash! The flash seems to be required for just about every shot I took - even outside! And basically destroys (washes out) the image!

The 2100 does seem to use the flash more then my Sony and also has more problems with not fully lit places or objects (doesn't want to focus, flashing green dot), but the flash never comes on outside though. Do you have it in automatic mode or forced on mode ?

I'm afraid to install any of the software that came with this because this needs to go back though I would like to see the definition potential outside of the LCD screen, which doesn't appear terribly impressive. All in all I'm having a really hard time coming up with anything good to say about this camera! I thought it was going to be able to capture sharp detail for use on ebay - which it just might - that is, when it feels like focusing and the flash hasn't obliterated the image but it doesn't even seem to be good enough for ebay use. I think if you were interested in taking shots of things that don't have fine detail (architecture, landscapes, groups of people maybe) it'd be okay - but otherwise, beware.

I never installed the software. I just connect the 2100 to the pc, open its folder and drag the pictures to a folder on my HD. Then I erase the memory card by dragging the pics to the garbage bin. After that, I just use any picture program like ACDSEE or Adobe Elements to look and/or adjust - print the pictures.

Since the 2100 is so close to the Coolpix 3100 in every detail except megapixels, I'm curious about the owner's of those. Maybe this camera is just another lemon?

Overall, I'm happy with the 2100 for it's size and price. It doesn't handle certain things as well as my Sony, but the Coolpix was only a fifth of the Sony's price too. My advice is to read the manual a few times instead of glancing through it, it makes you better aware what can and can't be done and how to do it, and to take lots of pictures to get familiar with it (don't cost nothing to develop anyway). Also, get a charger and 4 AA batteries, I took Maxell charger/batteries (2100 mA) and it works great.
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Old Nov 4, 2003, 12:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Every digital needs to focus, but have you tried Sports Mode ? Also, normally you focus on the distance by pressing the shutter halfway and then wait for the moment you want before you press completely. That way you avoid focussing time
That sounds like a good idea. I'm not really trying to capture "action" shots per se - just "moving objects" (cats). I'll give it a try.

Quote:
I get an out of focus one once in a while...Try to keep the camera perfectly still
I get the "out of focus" flashing green light quite a bit. I'll try to pay attention to whether that's during zoom or not. I have a fairly steady hand but I'm sure nowhere near a tripod!

Quote:
In the Setup, you can change the 30 seconds in 1 minute, 5 minutes or even 30 minutes before shut-off.
Thanks for pointing this out - it was really driving me nuts!

Quote:
You do not need the menu for macro mode. Just press the multi selector button downwards (flower) and set to macro mode
May be being too critical here but I noticed last night that the macro mode on the Coolpix 775 is obtained just by pressing it's own designated button right underneath the screen. That'd be real nice! It doesn't take too long to get to macro mode but something like that designated button would be nice (I use macro a lot).

Quote:
The 2100 does seem to use the flash more then my Sony
This and the focus problem are my greatest concerns right now. I did figure out what I was doing wrong in the macro mode, but to take pictures for ebay, even in nice weather, most likely will be done indoors where flash is required and my main criteria for a camera right now is being able to capture sharp detail for ebay. The picture's are so washed out with the flash that they miss the whole point of having macro to begin with. The pictures that *have* turned out look pretty darn nice - and this could be a good little camera but the flash problem is a biggy. There's a flash accessory that attaches to the camera via a long plate - but it looks like it would be awkward to use the camera with this thing attached. And I don't really know exactly what applications they've made this thing to be used in. It might not help with the macro closeup's. I don't know. I've stood corrected so far so maybe there's still hope with the flash and focus thing!

I just got an idea for toning down the flash and it works okay. I took a sheet of fabric softener and cut it into a long strip, quadripled it up and taped it over the flash. Pretty rinky dink but it does seem to help.

Thanks very much for your input!
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Old Nov 4, 2003, 2:19 PM   #6
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try to focus on an area of higher contrast - it should speed up the focus process.
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Old Nov 4, 2003, 11:51 PM   #7
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try to focus on an area of higher contrast - it should speed up the focus process.
I'm not sure what you mean. Focus on something about the same distance but of greater contrast before moving the camera to what I want to capture of lesser contrast?
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