Nikon Coolpix P4 Review

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Nikon Coolpix P4



Record Modes & Screens


Nikon Coolpix P4


AUTO record mode offers no menu options, you set the image resolution/quality, ISO speed and White Balance from the Mode Dial. The "8M" icon indicates the image resolution is 8-megapixels at Fine quality and there's 237 pictures remaining at the current image resolution. The zoom lens gauge is shown for a few moments whenever the focal length is changed. The "VR" indicates the vibration reduction system is enabled in Normal mode.



Nikon Coolpix P4


When you half-press the shutter release the autofocus is locked and the exposure is calculated and set. If autofocus was successful the AF dot icon is green, if it fails it is red and blinks.



Nikon Coolpix P4

Program AE mode is also automatic but it allows the user full access to all the menu options (see below.) Icons are shown for image sharpening, image adjust, image saturation, white balance is fluorescent and the ISO speed is set at 100.



Nikon Coolpix P4

Aperture priority mode allows you to specify the aperture value for depth of field (focus) control. A larger number is more depth of focus, a smaller number is less. The 4-way selector is pressed "Right" to allow changing the aperture and the exposure compensation values.



Nikon Coolpix P4


Program AE/Aperture mode menu:

    White Balance - Auto, Custom WB, Daylight, Incandescent, Fluorescent 1 or 2, Cloudy or Speedlight
    Metering - Matrix, Center-weighted, Spot or Spot AF area
    Continuous - Shooting mode: Single frame, Continuous, Multi-Shot 16, Ultra HS, 5-shot buffer, Interval timer
    BSS - Best Shot Selector: On or Off (Shoots up to 10 frames and then automatically saves the best [sharpest/clearest] one)
    Bracketing - AE Bracketing or WB Bracketing
    Image Adjustment - Auto, Normal, More Contrast, Less Contrast
    Image Sharpening - Auto, High, Normal, Low, Off
    Saturation - Maximum +2, Enhanced +1, Normal, Moderate -1, Minimum -2
    Sensitivity - ISO Auto, 50, 100, 200, 400
    Image Quality - Fine, Normal, Basic
    Image Size - 8M, 5M, 3M, PC, VGA, 3:2
    AF Area Mode - Auto (11-area), Manual or Center
    AF Mode - Single AF or Continuous AF
    Fixed Aperture - The aperture remains constant as you zoom
    Noise Reduction - Long shutter noise reduction On or Off


Nikon Coolpix P4


The Menu option lets you display menu screens in icon or text format. You can call up HELP for any menu function by pressing the "T"elephoto zoom button.



Nikon Coolpix P4

Pressing the VR button on top of the camera lets you select the VR Normal mode, the VR Active mode or disable VR for time-lapse, long shutter or tripod mounted shots.



Nikon Coolpix P4


Pressing the 4-way selector "up" changes flash modes, "left" enables the self-timer and "down" changes the focus mode. You set these options via onscreen popups as shown above.



Nikon Coolpix P4

Scene mode options include: Face Priority AF, Portrait, Party/Indoor, Night portrait, Landscape, Panorama, Night landscape, Beach/Snow, Sunset, Dusk/Dawn, Fireworks show, Backlight, Closeup, Museum, Copy and Sports



Nikon Coolpix S3


Face Priority AF mode actually detects the presence of a human face in the frame and focuses on it. Some of the other portrait scene modes have onscreen framing guides to help you properly position your subject for the desired effect.



Nikon Coolpix P4


Macro focus mode allows you to focus on subjects as close as 1.6 inches. Without leaving macro mode the camera can focus all the way out to infinity.

Nikon macro tip #1 - a lot of people never read their user manuals and don't know the "secret of the sweet spot" - in macro mode run your zoom in and out until you see the macro flower icon turn green (or yellow on some Coolpix cameras). This is the setting that allows you to shoot the closest possible shots. And by all means, use a tripod and the self-timer for the sharpest possible shots. Although the P4 with this new VR enhancement will definitely help handheld macros like the one above.



Nikon Coolpix P4


Movie mode screen display. You can record QuickTime MOVie clips limited in length only by the amount of remaining available memory. Sound is recorded with the moving image, and the optical zoom can not be used during movie recording - it can be preset before recording begins.

The VR Normal mode can be selected during movie recording and helps compensate for hand and camera movement.



Nikon Coolpix P4


Movie mode options:

    TV Movie 640 - Color 640 x 480 pixels, 30fps
    Small Size 320 - Color 320 x 240 pixels, 15fps
    Smaller Size 160 - Color 160 x 120 pixels, 15fps
    Time-Lapse Movie - Capture up to 1800 images at specified interval and then create a silent 640x480 movie at 30 fps.
    Autofocus mode - Single or Continuous AF


Nikon Coolpix P3





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