Steve's Digicams


Shutter and Aperture Priority

The MODE button allows you to select Programmed AE, Shutter Priority or Aperture Priority mode. Once the Shutter or Aperture Priority mode has been selected you vary the shutter speed or aperture values by rotating the Command Dial.

Onscreen Display of Settings

The exposure mode, image resolution & quality, shutter speed, aperture, metering mode, BSS, AE override value, flash mode, image adjustment, white balance, lens focal length, lens option, battery level and pictures remaining are displayed on the color LCD. The small white rectangle in the center of the LCD indicates the area where the spot metering will base its exposure on.

(Some icons are not displayed when set to default values.)

Manual mode function and settings are displayed on the top info LCD so they can be adjusted in brightly lit conditions without using the main LCD. Pictured above is Aperture Priority mode with f/3.9 setting.

Image Resolution/Quality

The QUAL button lets you select from a wide variety of different image resolutions and JPG quality settings or the uncompressed TIF mode.

  • Full (1600x1200)  Fine, Normal or Basic

  • Hi (1600x1200)  uncompressed TIF (5.6MB)

  • XGA (1024x768)  Fine, Normal or Basic

  • VGA (640x480)  Fine, Normal or Basic

JPG compression (approx.) is: Fine = 1:4, Normal = 1:8, Basic = 1:16

Variable ISO Sensitivity

On top of the camera are two buttons (flash mode and focus, macro & self-timer functions) that become dual-function buttons when held depressed and used with the Command Dial.

The ISO sensitivity of the Coolpix 950 in A-Rec mode is fixed at ISO 80.  In M-Rec mode you hold the flash mode button down and rotate the Command Dial to boost the ISO up to +2.0EV in 0.5 steps. The display shows "def" for default ISO 80, "100" for ISO 100, and "+1" and "+2" when extending the speed for low-light shooting situations.

Manual Focus

Rotating the Command Dial while depressing the focus button in M-Rec allows you to manually focus the lens. The focus distance is selected from a list of preset distances (0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 1.0, 1.5, 3, 10ft and Inf). The measurement values can be displayed in meters or feet.

When using manual focus the macro (flower) and infinity (mountain) icons blink on the top LCD display. To go back to autofocus you press the focus mode button.

Manual focus can be used to eliminate the shutter delay time due to autofocusing. If shooting an action event simply use the appropriate manual focus distance and the 950 will trip the shutter immediately when you press the release. The "Inf"inity setting is good for landscapes or open-sky shots where most autofocus cameras have problems finding something to lock onto.

Picture Review & Delete

After taking a picture the review image on the LCD can be held for up to 10 seconds by pressing the MODE button. During this time it can be deleted by pressing the +/- button.

Variable 2.5x Digital Zoom

The variable digital zoom function has four settings (x1.25, x1.6, x2.0, x2.5). It is activated by holding the Telephoto zoom button down for 2 seconds after the lens has reached full telephoto position.

Shooting Menu

Pictured above is the Shooting Menu displayed when in M-Rec mode.

    • AUTO - Suited for the widest variety of lighting conditions
    • WHITE PRESET - Manually SET and lock the white balance by using a white reference. Preset allows for setting the white balance for each picture or you can select PREVIOUS to use the balance data stored from the last picture taken
    • SUNNY - Used outdoors in bright sunlight
    • INCANDESCENT - Used indoors under incandescent lighting
    • FLOURESCENT - Used indoors under flourescent lighting
    • CLOUDY - Used outdoors in overcast weather conditions
    • FLASH - Used when taking pictures with the flash

    • Matrix - calculates the exposure based on a matrix of 256 areas of the frame.
    • Spot - measures the light only in a small area of the center of the image and bases the exposure on this data.
    • Center Weight - measures the entire frame but assigns a greater weight to the center portion of the image.

    • Single - Only one picture is taken when shutter is depressed
    • Continuous - Pictures are taken one after another as long as the shutter is depressed (approx. 1.5 fps)
    • 16-Shots - Up to sixteen 400x300 pictures are captured and saved in one image as a collage (approx. 2 fps)
    • VGA Sequence - Up to 10 consecutive 640x480 Normal quality images will be captured (approx. 2 fps)

    • STANDARD Default, no adjustment
    • CONTRAST+ Increases contrast, making the difference between light and dark portions of the image more apparent
    • CONTRAST- Used to reduce the contrast for a "softer" image
    • LIGHTEN Increases the overall image brightness
    • DARKEN Decreases the overall image brightness

  • BESTSHOT Selection - BSS

    Best Shot Selection (BSS) is a new function that causes the camera to take 5 shots automatically (at approx. 1.5 fps) and records the most detailed image of the 5 shots using anti-jitter logic. This is useful for telephoto shooting and macro shooting. The speedlight is not available in BSS mode.

    It is not perfect but it often allows you to capture a picture at slow shutter speed that otherwise would not be possible without the use of a tripod. I have gotten excellent results shooting handheld down to as slow as 1/15th of a second using the BSS mode of the 950.

  • DIGITALTELE Enables or disables the digital zoom functions

  • B&W Turns the black & white mode on/off

Setup Menu

  • LCD BRIGHT adjust brightness of LCD, does not affect pictures saved

  • SOUND turns the beeper on/off when taking a picture

  • LCD ON/OFF (& Autofocus Controls)
    • ON&C-AF (Always on with continuous autofocus)
    • ON&S-AF (autofocuses only when shutter is half-depressed)
    • FAST REVIEW (for burst/sequential mode)
    • REVIEW ONLY (off but comes on for review)
    • LCD OFF (always off)

    • FLASH SAVE - Flash settings saved between power OFF and ON
    • FOCUS SAVE - Current focus mode setting is saved
    • MODESAVE - Exposure mode in M-Rec is saved
    • +/- SAVE - AE override value in M-Rec is saved
    • INTFLASH - Turn off internal flash, used with external flash
    • MENU DIR - Reverses the roles of the UP and DOWN zoom buttons for selecting menu items
    • DIST Ft - Focus distance will be displayed in feet when checked or in meters when unchecked.

  • AUTO OFF - Set auto sleep to 30s, 1m, 3m, 5m or 30m

  • SEQ. XFER - When on the filenames increment automatically even between memory cards

  • DATE - Set time and date

  • LANGUAGE - Set the language for the menu displays

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