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Old Dec 19, 2005, 10:37 AM   #1
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I know this has been discussed before about the coolpix 5400 focusing in low light but I just bought a coolpix 5400 and am haing a big problem getting shots in focus. I had suggestions to shoot in the "s" mode and that helped but I have to play with all kinds of settings. Ive also been told when inside to put it in the floiurcent lighting mode for whie balance. when I use the auto mode or the scene mode its very hard to get a shot in focus. over the weekend I was inside and had trouble getting shots in focus. I was hand holding the camera. any suggestions would be appreciated. Ive never had a camerathay required this much work to take a photo.
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Old Dec 21, 2005, 12:51 AM   #2
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This is a wide complaint about a lot of the coolpix cameras. One thing that I have heard people use as a focusing aid for the camera is one of those laser pointers with a shape head on it, as opposed to just throwing a spot of light. Shine that on the area you are trying to photograph and the camera's autofocus might "bite" on it.

Some people also try manual focus, but you have to have a good idea how far from the camera most of the action will take place so that you aren't constantly fiddling with the focus.

All this stuff seems too much like work to me. If Nikon would just put AF assist lamps on their cameras, you wouldn't have to jump through all these hoops.

Grant
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Old Dec 21, 2005, 2:30 PM   #3
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well I dont know if this is a good solution... Especially when taking family holiday photos.. they are candid. is there any settings to help with this? or do I have a camera I cant use....:O:O
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Old Dec 21, 2005, 8:15 PM   #4
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No, I don't think that there is a "good" solution. How low an ambient lighting are you talking about? I have a cp 5700 -- no focus assist lamp, either -- and I don't have that much of a problem in ordinary indoor lighting. I even used it last week to shoot outdoor Christmas lights in peoples yards at night and they came out fine.
If you use manual focus on the 5400, does it retain the focus as you zoom in and out? Some cameras do this and some don't. If it does, you can zoom all the way out and get a focus on any well-lit object and then just leave the focus alone and it will stay sharp through the whole zoom range. It would also help if you try to use the largest f/# (the smallest lens aperture) that you can get away with to maximize depth of field. If none of this does any good, try getting the camera to focus on an area of higher contrast that is close to the distance of the subject you want to shoot and then press the focus-lock button (if the 5400 has one), or press the shutter release half way and hold it there as you move the camera to the subject you want to shoot and then grab the shot.
The problem with these later suggestions is that they take a bit of pre-planning; difficult for candid situations.
If you a lot of this kind of shooting, you might find that you need another camera for these situations -- one with a good focus assist lamp and nimble autofocus.
Grant
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Old Dec 21, 2005, 8:16 PM   #5
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Sorry about the double post, but it didn't look like the first try went through.
Oh, well.
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 9:44 AM   #6
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l can someone recommend a camera with the features of the 5400 that takes compact flash and has the proper focusing? I only paid $199 for my coolpix 5400
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