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Thread: Anyone familar with Nikon Coolpix P6000?

  1. #1

    Anyone familar with Nikon Coolpix P6000?

    Hi - I've just joined the forum and I wondered if there is anyone here who uses or is familiar with the Nikon Coolpix P6000?

    I recently upgraded from the Fuji Finepix f31 to the P6000 as I need a high quality but unobtrusive camera that is small enough to live permanently in my bag, and it does have a lens conversion option.

    Most photographs I take are of flowers, moss and lichens - primarily as record shots and for species identification when I get home and can see details on the computer screen that I haven't a hope of seeing in the field.

    The camera has 13mp so I can happily crop hard and still have a usable image, but I need to be able to see good detail at actual pixel size. Unfortunately many shots have the additional challenge of being small low-contrast subjects in low-light situations and I'm not doing too well at the moment!

    A large part of the problem must be my technical inexperience so I'm obviously not getting the best from the camera, but am I also looking for results from the P6000 that its not capable of?

    Jenny

  2. #2
    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone familar with Nikon Coolpix P6000?

    Jenny,

    Whilst I appreciate wind and movement of the subject are a major issue, have you considered using a mini pocket tripod to support the camera and then taking longer exposures, which will assist with the low light situations?

    Ian

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    Re: Anyone familar with Nikon Coolpix P6000?

    Hi (again!) Jenny,

    The quality of an image is the net result of the capabilities of the camera AND the photographer. If you're not getting the results you need then we need to figure out if it's the equipment - or the person holding the camera - or a bit of both.

    Many aspects of protography revolve around managing competing issues, like how getting closer to the subject allows the camera sensor to record more detail, but also how the closer you get, the less depth of field you get - so the backgroung gets blurry and you can't see the detail that you went closer to capture - so you use a very small aperture to compensate - but that means a low shutter speed - and camera shake then becomes an issue etc. So it often all becomes a big balancing act. Often we can suggest techniques that help a lot (like Shreds suggestion of using a mini tripod), but at other times it's like trying to get blood out of a stone - which sometimes means better equipment is required whereas at other times people are trying to do things that just can't be done with the current state of the art at any cost.

    Point-and-shoot cameras (like yours) can take very nice shots - but as a rule the "downside" is that they struggle a lot more than SLR cameras whenever the environment is less than ideal (poor lighting etc). At this stage I have no idea if this is the case with your camera - but you might need to be prepared for the fact that it might be something far better suited to an SLR camera with a Macro lens - but lets not get too far ahead of ourselves here!

    Probably a good place to start would be if you could post us a sample image (or two) of the results you're getting so far (you'll have to down-size them a bit to display them here though). Or if you're keen, I'd be happy to have a look at some full resolution samples for you (if you're interested, just send a private message to me via this site and I'll send you my eMail address).

    Hope this helps,

    Cheers,

    Colin - pbase.com/cjsouthern

  4. #4

    Re: Anyone familar with Nikon Coolpix P6000?

    have you considered using a mini pocket tripod to support the camera and then taking longer exposures, which will assist with the low light situations?
    Hi Ian - I've got a gorilla pod but unfortunately at the moment a lot of what I'm photographing is halfway up tree-trunks .......see below!

    Probably a good place to start would be if you could post us a sample image (or two) of the results you're getting so far
    Hi Colin - below is a sample image from today, first the full shot plus data, then a crop to usable and finally a crop showing near enough actual pixel size at the centre of the image.....

    Anyone familar with Nikon Coolpix P6000?

    Anyone familar with Nikon Coolpix P6000?

    Anyone familar with Nikon Coolpix P6000?

    My usual settings are image quality at Fine, ISO at Auto 64-100, White Balance on 'Cloudy' (whenever possible I avoid sunlit shots as the colours get blown) and focus on Macro. Distance from the subject is often only a couple of inches (very approx) as whenever possible I try to stabilise myself against the tree......though I was further away in this one.

    The quality I want to achieve probably does need a SLR but the reason I decided not to go that way is that I need a camera that is permanently with me. I can get a converter (not sure if thats the right term) for the P6000 so I can add an additional lens, but I haven't yet been able to find out what macro lens would be compatible.

    Looking forward to your comments,
    Jenny
    Last edited by gardener; 17th January 2009 at 12:13 AM.

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    Re: Anyone familar with Nikon Coolpix P6000?

    Hi Jenny,

    Thanks for that.

    Can you give us a bit of an insight into what it is about these that you'd like to see improved. From what I could tell from what you posted, the actual image quality looked pretty good (much better than I was expecting from what you said) - and you've got the camera setup pretty much how I'd expect.

    Only thing I picked up on was what looks like a small depth-of-field issue, and perhaps some better sharpening required. Are you doing any sharpening at all in PP (post-processing)?

    Cheers,

    Colin - pbase.com/cjsouthern

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    Re: Anyone familar with Nikon Coolpix P6000?

    Hello again Jenny,

    I think that you have pretty much a top of the range compact already and as Colin sort of suggests; your next jump quality wise would probably need to be to detachable lenses (on a DSLR).

    The P6000 is a great little camera with lots of functions, although take a long hard look before you dive into to buying lens adapters. I know of people who have bought these and because it means carrying around cumbersome extras, the utility of having a small compact is somewhat lost.

    Add to that the fact there are usually only a limited range of adapters available which are usually not available at discount (unlike lenses) and you might see what I mean.

    Good glass lenses will inevitably be better quality than adapters which have some degree of compromise built into them and such compromises may be more evident with the type of macro photography you are doing.

    However a lot of photographers will carry a small compact with them as you never know when a good shot will present itself, but if you know you are going out on a specific shoot, then this is where the DSLR can show its colours.

    Ian

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    Re: Anyone familar with Nikon Coolpix P6000?

    at the moment a lot of what I'm photographing is halfway up tree-trunks ...
    Depending on how far up the tree trunk you actually are, maybe a monopod might help steady your shot? These are much easier than a tripod and can double as a trekking/walking stick, indeed some are available akin to the kind that hill walkers use specifically with a tripod screw integral to them.

    Have a look here: www.warehouseexpress.com

    Ian

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    Re: Anyone familar with Nikon Coolpix P6000?

    with subjects like the ones you show, there could be a problem making sure the camera is focussing on what you intended it to. Its a long way on from the E4500 I started digital life with, but with that I used to carry around a small piece of card with some very small pecise lines/colours on it. Focus on the card at correct exact distance, depress 50%, then remove card and complete.

    Compacts tend to have less DOF problem than DSLRs. As it shoots RAW, maybe try that as well rather than rely on auto-settings. Looks like you are in Nikon View NX and you will find that generates quite well optimised previews upto 100% scale pretty quickly from nef without bothering about extra jpg. I go onto Capture NX after preview & sort where you can retro-adjust all setting sin the camera menus.

    NB DO NOT set the camera to maximum sharpness, 'medium high' is a far as you should go, then do final sharpening on only area(s) that matter.

    13.5 MP makes my mind boggle, but you should always aim to shoot correct and not rely on cropping, thats a route to bad habits. I find a mono-pod a pain rather than a help. For either photography or walking, but mine cost 4 and is worth 10x that for the adjustable head that can be used on a mini-tripod or my steam-age big one.
    Last edited by crisscross; 24th January 2009 at 09:19 PM.

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    Re: Anyone familar with Nikon Coolpix P6000?

    PS Jenny

    with subject matter this specialised, do you know the WildAboutBritain forums? It has got huge and it takes an effort to get the hang of making best use of it. But it includes some members with encyclopaedic knowledge of both nature subjects and the technicalities of photographing them

    (but come back here for a bit of fun too)

  10. #10

    Re: Anyone familar with Nikon Coolpix P6000?

    Thanks for all the replies, and sorry its taken me so long to get back - I unexpectedly found myself with neither the laptop or internet access for 10 days!

    Colin:
    That was a 'better' photo from that day, there were some with very over-exposed backgrounds, but I've now set metering to 'Matrix' rather than 'Spot' which has improved things.
    The image hadn't been sharpened before posting but they get the Levels adjusted and bit of sharpening etc in PhotoShop. I'm trying moving back slightly to help with the DoF.


    Ian:
    take a long hard look before you dive into to buying lens adapters. I know of people who have bought these and because it means carrying around cumbersome extras, the utility of having a small compact is somewhat lost.
    That combined with the loss of quality factor is a very good point!
    I'd need to bring a stepladder to reach far enough up the tree trunks for the lichens I gazed longingly at today....


    Crisscross:
    there could be a problem making sure the camera is focussing on what you intended it to
    In anything other than good conditions it isn't and that is my biggest problem with it.
    In-camera sharpening is set midway but its the inability to focus on low-contrast subjects in less-than-ideal situations thats doing my head in!

    Yesterday was overcast but good light - no problem, good focus, decent shutter speeds..... today poor light and in woodland - seriously disappointing results (even in the open). Daft thing was I'd taken a bit of card with me to focus on but forgot to use it
    And yes, the WAB forum is a good resource.

    I've a horrible feeling I might have to learn to live with a compromise here - for the image quality I want I need a dSLR, good quality glass and a tripod but that won't live with me like a compact does .... arrghhhh!

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    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone familar with Nikon Coolpix P6000?

    Welcome to the wonderful world of compromise.....

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