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Old Dec 20, 2004, 3:07 PM   #1
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I just got the 8800 a few days ago and can't seem to figure out what settings I should be using. I'm mainly using it for birding and for the life of me the silly thing won't focus. It says it is focused but when I view them they are slightly out of focus.I'd thought the image stabilized would help but I'm not seeing that it is..I know the problem is me and not the camera but if there are some basic settings that work best that I can start with, I'd really appreciate any pointers. I'd hoped to take my camera with me to Florida in two weeks but I think I'll take my other camera that I'm familiar with.I've got an adapter on order so I can attach my Olympus 1.7 tele lens and I'm hoping that will help. At this point it won't help for me to post any pix cause nothing is in focus. I'm using P mode cause that is what I used with my oly 730..Please don't tell me to search all these post to find the answer cause I'm cross eyed from reading..Oh and is there a PDF with the owners manual for the 8800 some where I can download? I find it easier reading from my PC than the little manual that came with this camera.thanks in advance.
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Old Dec 20, 2004, 4:31 PM   #2
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OkieBirdNerd (Great Name!),

I feel your pain. I tried for days with the 8800 to get good bird photos here in Northern France, but was frustrated beyond words about the inability of the 8800 to focus inless-than-ideallighting conditions.

So, it might not be your settings at fault, it might be an issue with the camera itself. I really don't wish to be the bearer of bad news with you, but to tell you the truth, I ended up returning my8800
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Old Dec 20, 2004, 4:45 PM   #3
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Thanks for the fast reply. I was hoping for a better answer though. I'm hell bent at learning this camera since the word 'can't' isn't in my vocabulary I just need time to play with it and this is a bad time of the year with Christmas this week and so much to do. If I had time to take 1000 pix I'd have it down pat but I'll be doing good if I take 200 before Saturday.Hopefully someone else will post some useful suggestions.
happy holiday!
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Old Dec 20, 2004, 5:15 PM   #4
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"Hope it helps"

SteveCz... let us for a minute assume that okiebirdnerd couldn't return his camera... Then how on earth does anything of what was said actually help him tackle the problem - focusing on a subject at distance?


Okie, the problem with bird photography is they move so damn fast. Any professional will tell you that it's one of the hardest things to get right.

Focusing on objects such as an obvious perch where a bird will more than likely land (watch for them flying overhead) will have you prepped and more likely to get the shot you want.

I suggest using the manual af selector so that you select yourself what is being focused on because the camera apparently aims to focus on the closest object (regardless of where on screen the object is) so quite often it may just end up being a branch closer to the screen that ends up in focus.

Where the bird appears to be the only thing on screen, I must admit I've struggled to capture super-clear shots, though I've found that zooming out a tiny fraction from the furthest out helps the focusing on more of the total image, allowing for some decent cropping of the 8megapixel image and resulting in a good final result anyway.

I would also suggest you peruse the forums at dpreview and the thread going at the imaging resource because they have a lot of useful comments on bird photography. Steve (Scuppler) on these forums also has some fantastic grabs of eagles which proves just how good the final result can be with a little bit of effort.
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Old Dec 20, 2004, 5:35 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info. I did have it in manual AF and it gave me fits...I was just now able to get a decent pic of my Christmas tree in focus.(which isn't moving) When I got my Oly 730,I had to make 10 changes in the setting before the camera was able to do as it was told I'm wondering if I should turn the image stabilizer off cause I can take the same pic with my oly and it will be clear so I know I have a steady hand...at first I hated my 730 cause I was used to my E10...it just takes time and lots of mistakes in learning a new camera so it is wishful thinking to expect someone here to save me the agony of learning from my mistakes.
Thanks for your time.
Oh has anyone had experience with off brand batteries for the 8800? I'm thinking of ordering one....and if so, what is a good price?
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Old Dec 20, 2004, 6:03 PM   #6
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Okie - at full zoom, regardless of how steady you are, the image stabilisation will make a difference, so unless you are mainly shooting at wide angle (or shooting at tele with VR off and getting diamond sharp pictures) I would keep it turned on for those occasions.

Don't know about the batteries though because Nikon have been slow off the mark for getting their own out, don't know if other brands have capitalised on this by making their own as yet. All I know is UK pricing for a nikon-branded battery for the 8800 is going to be around £40.



Capt RB wrote:
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I just think that Nikon's consumer stuff is still evolving. The 8800 is a class leader for optical quality and given enough light I think it's the best around. I know that's a backhanded compliment, but the 8800 IS good for some types of shooting and for certain folks. No, it's no wildlife camera. A DSLR is best for that because you simply need longer faster glass in too many cases. But that's not a fare comparitive unit for the 8800.
Spot on.

I agree that the Sony F828 may well fare better with auto focusing, but it suffers from image quality issues, which although they can be overcome in editing, requires one to do so to end up with a quality image. To me that is an equally fatal issue because the problem can occur in any condition, just as the AF can struggle on the 8800. I don't buy a car and then expect to have to tune the engine so it will run properly. If I buy a camera, to take pictures, I sure don't expect to *have* to do post processing. Yes, if I take a iso 400 shot, I expect to have to remove noise, but I'm sure you know what I mean.
It's all relative, I don't think that the new 8meg prosumers are anywhere near perfect, each has it's faults and each it's advantages. Like you say, with good light, the 8800 is hard to beat. Though I disagree with you that in less than ideal lighting one can struggle and never get it quite right. Granted it's not ideal but there are also workarounds using hyperfocal which works great for a lot of people.
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Old Dec 20, 2004, 6:16 PM   #7
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Okiebirdnerd : I can understan you , to take a bird pics.is realy dificult, so,take your time, youneed to practice and axperiment with the 8800, change the settings, scene modes, exposure compensation, and the ISO. and start to take,take, and take photos, to see the best combination. Hera are some example. in the first one, I use full digital zoom, VR on , and f. +0.7 stop.you can see thenoisebut is Ok. The second is full optical zoom, VR on, and f.-0.3 stop.is more clear right ! I hope, this can help your. Carlitin PS.- Try, no to use so mane the AUTO.
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Old Dec 20, 2004, 6:18 PM   #8
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Okiebirdnerd : this is the second one. Carlitin
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Old Dec 20, 2004, 6:21 PM   #9
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The second shot is lovely Carlitin! You're posting some fantastic shots!
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Old Dec 20, 2004, 6:50 PM   #10
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Jakob G : Let me tell you a secret !, in some time I need a 40 minuts or maybe more to get a bird pics. some days good, some day bad. and a lot of light. I am traying for month to get a " honey birds " ??. this small one thath fly like a jet ! and until now .............. nathing. If you like some great pic. like a dream, go to http://www.digitalphotocontest.com/ . All of them are digital, diferent cameras a diferent clasification. and you can send your pic. Is OK page for inspiration. Carlitin
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