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Old Sep 16, 2005, 8:37 AM   #1
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Are you planning to use your Nikon for focussing and shooting in low light? Don't waste time. Nikon doesn't build in infrared focus assist (God knows why). So if you're trying fo focus in a low light situation you'll be frustrated like hell. If you attach Nikon's Speedlights (I've SB 50DX) you still don't get anywhere although these things have the infrared assist. That's because Coolpix cams (like my 5400) can't use most of the sophisticated functions of the geeky Speedlights! Please Nikon.. at least provide full compatibility between your own products.

But there's a workaround for focussing in low light. You get these small hand held lasers. Use one of them to light up your subject and then focus. Works well in most situations.

Any better technique known to anyone? Post it here and ease my agony.
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Old Sep 16, 2005, 5:16 PM   #2
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Hi,
Nikon 8800 has lowlight autofocus problems, too. I get around this inconvenience through zooming in on the subject, doing a manual focus, then zooming out again. While zooming out, the camera doesn't lose the focus information. After some practice, I found myself using manual focus more and more each day. Hope this helps.
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Old Sep 18, 2005, 9:33 AM   #3
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This is news to me. I'll check that one out and let you know.
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Old Sep 18, 2005, 10:13 PM   #4
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berkant_atay,

I am new at using Nikon 8800. The advice you gave on focusing went completely over my head. Would you please take me through those instructions step by step?. I don't understand the "Manual Focus" very well.

Sorry to bother you, but I sure would appreciate any suggestions about using this camera.

Thank you for your time.

divertwo
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Old Sep 20, 2005, 2:14 PM   #5
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Hey Divertwo,
Let's assume that you are in a large room that is dark enough for 8800 to fail to autofocus, but light enough for you to see objects through the electronic viewfinder of it. You try your best to help the 8800 to autofocus with no results. Only flashing green indicating an unsuccessful autofocus..
You must now divert to manual focus, now.
Why should we use the manual focus?
Under ambient light the 8800 will autofocus on the nearest object it sees. Manual focus (or manual mode of autofocus) will let you choose other objects that are farther away or off-center.There is the focus mode selector button on the left side of the lens barrel. While pressing the button and turning the data jog-dial (under your right thumb) at the same time, you can manually adjust focus. You see the focal distance indicator in the EVF (the line with the flower and the mountain icons, unfortunately without actual focal distance in numbers). The manual says that the objects in focus while manually focusing are "outlined", however I never seen such an outline or anything. But you see through the EVF that the target object gets sharper. Then you release the focus button and then press the shutter release to take the picture.
However in darker conditions, as in the above dark large room, the target object is far from you and is usually very dark with little contrast to the surrounding, therefore you cannot see the object getting sharper or softer while turning the jogdial. Now using the zoom lever, zoom in (get closer) to the object till you see the details, usually all the way up to 10x. Now you see the outlines of the object, but with no focus. Now apply the manual focus technique that I described above.After you obtained a satisfactory focusing, zoom out again. The focal length you just adjusted manually will remain there without being changed with the zooming out process. Press the shutter release button.
By the way, another nice but more complicated method (sometimes a little bit dangerous) is to use laser pointers. The laser pointer you will use should be able to draw simple shapes, like hearts, diamonds or geometrical figures etc. I tried this but could not find a way to attach the laser pointer to the 8800, it is awkard trying to hold the camera and the laser at the same time. Some sony cameras have this thing internally.
Hope this helps.
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Old Sep 21, 2005, 6:30 AM   #6
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berkant_atay : I am agree with you, from the first day I got my CP 8800, the low light and focus was a terrible situation. Many user has the same problem, I supouse is for the inside machanical VR. bacause some others cameras has the same .So, for some type of pic. I use any other camera..... to bad for Nikon. Bay the way, If you try to use the manual focus, how you can if is low light ???? From Panama. Carlitin :evil:
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Old Sep 21, 2005, 7:20 AM   #7
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berkant_atay,

Thank you so much for your Great instructions. This worked just fine for me. I still have a very "shaky" hand. I guess I need to use my tripod a lot more. A lot of "fine tuning" is in my near future. I am going to practice til' the mechanics of this camera yell "STOP". /ha/ha

And, I thought the flashing green light meant "It's Okay" to shoot. I told you I was really dumb.

You sure do know your Nikon camera. I am so thankful I found this WebSite. Everyone is so helpful. In twenty years, or more, maybe I will be able to help someone take some good photos......I hope. /ha/ha

I didn't see the "outlined" object either. I did see what looked like a flower box that turned red or green, according to the increase or decrease on the jog wheel.

There was a reddish' light that came on, like a laser light, just before I snapped a photo. What was that?

I can't thank you enough for your help. You are Greatly appreciated.

Could you attach the laser light to the camera with Velcro strips?

Much Respect,

divertwo




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Old Sep 21, 2005, 8:09 AM   #8
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berkant_atay : For the laser pointer and 8800 you can use a small piese of Velcro, remember you can get a laser pointer small as keyholder. Gene Rhodes with is experiments has another type of solution at http://www.photoprojects.net/index.html Carlitin
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Old Sep 21, 2005, 4:04 PM   #9
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Hi,
Honestly, 8800 is not good for night action shots. It hardly captures night stills.
I had the opportunity to try my friend's D70. This is a nice camera indeed. It is very fast and of high quality. I was really impressed with the indoors night performance of the D70. I thought, people thinking that "this is the CAMERA!" were right. I am aware that this beast is able to do much more than I anticipate, but I have to read a really thick manual to appreciate that.
But then in the morning I got out and took both the D70 and the 8800 with me. The d70 had the 70-300 mm lens on. It was not only heavy but very big and difficult to hold as well. The daylight performance of the two machines was indifferent. Actually the zoom with VR worked better in 8800 than the d70. But the shutter release response was much better with the d70 (always set the shutter release to quick response on the 8800 for faster results). I then realized that I was not able to take wide angle shots of my neighbourhood with the d70. I had to change the lens. Whatsmore, d70 cannot ever never do macro work without an expensive special lens. I left the d70 home and went on a 40 km mountain bike ride with the 8800. I took over a hundred pics. I didnt even put the 8800 in its Lowepro case, just hung it across my neck and shoulder, didnt even feel it was there till I needed to use it, I gave myself and my 8800 all the freedom we can have...
I then thought having the 8800 was not that bad after all, since you have a very flexible camera in a very compact format. I decided I can live without night action shots. One more small notice: ALWAYS USE A TRIPOD. This will change your style and the quality of what you do. Thanks for reading. (Attached is the last night's moon from my window, shot with the 8800 handheld with 40x zoom VR 1/125 and f5.28)
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Old Sep 21, 2005, 4:31 PM   #10
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Hi Again,

You have really been busy huh? I looked at the D70 but thought I should get the 8800.....since I knew absolutely nothing about photography. I thought maybe I could get some good photos on "Auto" and still have a lot of resolution. I'm glad I settled on the 8800.

I have taken some real good daytime photos of the mountains around here.....but I am still not proficient with low light photos.



I found something that might work for you for the night shots. Check this link.They have a laser on the bottom of a coolpix 4500.

http://www.photoprojects.net/laserbk.jpg

I started using a tripod today. Have used it before to take family pictures, but I think I'm going to use it for everything.

I also learned today to turn off the Anti Vibration switch when using a tripod. What a difference. I was getting a lot of blur til' I turned off the switch. Using my remote may have had something to do with that too.

When I am able to travel again I intend to wear out all the mountains with this camera. /ha/ha

Thank you for all the good advice. You have helped me a LOT.

divertwo






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