wedding dress review Nikon COOLPIX Digital Camera Location
I waited almost 6 weeks to get this camera at a reduced price and it has been well worth the wait. The reference manual alone is over 260 pages long, but if you plan to take shots using other than Intelligent Mode, it's worth the read to familiarize yourself with this camera and its many functions.
I've read the previous reviews on this forum...the criticisms centered around focusing problems, stability at the zoom's far ranges, short battery life, difficulty downloading shots using a memory card and motor sounds that can be heard during playback while panning during motion picture photography. I'll go over each one.
I took shots of birds in our backyard utilizing the the zoom at full range. I was able to get clear shots of the bird feeder but in order to get a clear shot of the sparrows, I had to focus elsewhere. I was able to take these shots without using a tripod, something my old Olympus 800UZ from two years ago could not do because using the zoom at maximum would cause instablity. In short, I had no stability problems using the Nikon, but to get the autofocus to hone in on a small bird, I had to focus on something else for it to work. Although I've experienced similar problems with the Sonys, Panasonics, Olympus and Samsung digital cameras I've owned in the past, the Nikon autofocus problem was only resolveable if you focus on another object.
I tried motion picture shots of the same birds in the yard, panning in and out without hearing any discernible motor sounds during playback, which means the motor problem mentioned in earliler reviews has been corrected, or the sound mentioned was barely discernible to begin with.
As far as battery life goes, I have sadly come to the conclusion that this may be correct. The original battery with the lower MaH rating(storage capacity) lasted for several days and conked out without much notice. I used an aftermarket battery as replacement with a higher MaH rating and it didn't last more than a few hours on a full charge. Using the EVF, editing features, autofocus without taking a lot of shots can drain your battery quickly even with the power saver set at 30 seconds to go in standy mode. By the way, using a higher rated battery also means it will take longer to charge that battery, in much the same manner as having a larger gas tank on your car takes longer to fill than a smaller one.
A word about battery chargers: It is not necessary to use the supplied camera cable to charge your batteries in-camera. Ebay has higher rated batteries and wall chargers that also charge your batteries using a ciagarette lighter in your car, a handy accessory if you're down to your last spare battery while on a road trip.
It is not necessary to use the supplied camera cable to computer port to download photos. I've found that an SCHC memory card reader can also read and download photos to your hard drive, although using the Nikon software supplied with the camera to download your photos is slow and cumbersome. I used Webshots desktop and downloads take a fraction of the time but with drawbacks: There are no editing features like the Nikon software on Webshots, and motion picture photos taken on the memory card will not download using this method, nor can you use the many editing features included in the Nikon software even if you download videos using Real Player.
There is no in-camera guide to explain various functions like my Oly had, and it would take another camera bag to lug around the 260 page instruction manual that can be downloaded from the Nikon web site.
The sweep panorama is a technological breakthrough compared to the assist panorama (also an available option here) which requires the user to take up to 3 separate photos while panning across 180 or 360 degrees and using a floating target to ensure the pictures are stitched together correctly by the camera's computer. The net result often was that photoshopped or stitched together look instead of the smooth look you get from the sweep panorama function.
The in-camera GPS function is only good when you're outdoors and able to get GPS signals. To make a GPS log, the camera's reference manual tells you to download it from their web site using a card reader and a memory card every week or two. Click on the My Computer link before you insert the card reader so you can determine which removable drive it can be found on your computer. If you download it to your desktop, right click your mouse and transfer the file to the removable drive on your computer where the memory card is located. If you click on one of those two drives while the card reader is insterted, you can see the NCFL folder where the info is being stored. Right click your mouse on the file created by the download and drag it to the NCFL folder. Insert the memory card into your camera and your camera will update the A-GPS file in about two minutes.
Two years ago, I thought we had seen the last of the EVF, but Nikon has brought it back. For those that prefer a monitor for composing shots, it is adjustable for those hard to reach shots at concerts.
If you still prefer the convenience of AA batteries instead of Lithium-Ion, I see no evidence that any major camera manufacturer plans a return to that standard again now or in the near future.
I would have preferred a time-lapse photography function, but given the numerous features included here, I won't quibble. While I have no intention of retiring my tripod, I won't have to use it as much for wildlife shots and sunrises and sunsets from Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park.
I've never owned a Nikon before, but after this camera, I will give serious consideration to owning another one in the near future. I just hope next year's model can resolve the autofocus issue encountered in the P510.