Read these 8 Nikon Digital Cameras Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Digital Camera tips and hundreds of other topics.
For many years, Nikon's commitment to the photographic community has gone beyond selling cameras. One of Nikon's best-known efforts is the Nikon School – classes and workshops held in various venues around the country, and taught by experts who are mostly working professionals. If you've just purchased a Nikon digital SLR, two 1-day classes will especially appeal to you.
Introduction to Digital SLR Photography provides an overview of the entire digital process, from terminology to digital printing. The class also includes instruction in photographic basics such as light and composition.
Next Steps in Digital Photography: Streamlined Workflow Techniques covers more advanced topics, including workflow management; organizing, editing and enhancing your digital images; setting up your computer system and working with file formats.
The Nikon School offers a variety of classes for beginners to experts. Search online and take to your retailer about classes near you.
The sheer number of models available - and the variation of features from model to model – can make selecting a digital camera a real headache. But if you favor the Nikon brand, you're in luck. Nikon offers a simple, nearly effortless and genuinely helpful interactive guide.
The Nikon Coolpix “camera finder” available on their website asks eight simple questions that you answer by selecting either “very important,” “important” or “not important.” The questions determine which camera features are most important to you and match those features to the Coolpix line of 17 cameras.
Based on your responses, the camera finder returns the 3 models that best fit your requirements. One of these three will almost certainly be the Nikon Coolpix for you. Then, search online retailers for the best price and start shooting right away.
If you've been hesitating to go digital because you've already invested heavily in lenses for your Nikon film SLR, the D50 is an affordable way to make the transition to digital… and virtually all your Nikon AF lenses are compatible.
If you haven't taken the SLR plunge yet, but would like to, the affordability and flexibility of the D50, along with access to Nikon's extensive line of lenses, means you'll have plenty of opportunities to explore the world of creative photography.
The D50 features a 6.1 effective MP CCD, 2.5 fps shooting (up to a remarkable 137 frames), Nikon's 3-D Color Matrix Metering and seven scene modes (Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Child, Close Up, Sports, or Night Portrait) – as well as Programmed Auto, Shutter-Priority, Aperture Priority and Manual for total photographic control.
Five flash modes, three AF area modes, selectable focus area, and three metering options provide tremendous flexibility for an entry-level SLR. And the D50 can save images in true RAW format, as well as JPEG.
Nikon's swivel design digital cameras have always been popular for their ability to frame shots at unusual angles. Thanks to the two-part body, photographers can shoot over people's heads and know they got the critical shot. Or shoot unobtrusively on the street at waist level. All in a very small package.
The Nikon Coolpix S4 carries on this tradition – with a particularly nice bonus: an internal 10x optical zoom (equivalent to 38 – 380mm in 35mm terms). In a camera only 4.4” x 2.7” x 1.4” that's no mean feat.
Of course, the S4 offers more than just a great zoom. The 6 MP CCD provides more than enough resolution for sharp 8” x 10” enlargements. The 2.5” LCD monitor is bright – and rather large for such a small camera. There are 16 scene modes (including Panorama Assist and Sunset), plus movie capability.
Using rechargeable NiMH batteries (AA size), you can get up to 290 shots on a single charge.
One nice new feature available on three models of Nikon Coolpix camera is wireless photo transfer. Currently, only one other manufacturer offers Wi-Fi capability.
The Coolpix P1, P2 and P3 digital cameras are able to transfer pictures via Wi-Fi to computers with Wi-Fi capability (or an available adapter), or directly to PictBridge-compatible printers using Nikon's P-20 adapter.
For photo buffs who want instant gratification – or who prefer not to have to wrestle with one more cable – this is a very handy feature. Before you buy, make sure your computer is capatible with the camera's adapters.
If you like to share your pictures, and do it with a little style, Nikon digital cameras make it remarkably easy – in-camera. Several Coolpix models offer Nikon's Pictmotion in-camera slide show. Here's how it works:
First, select the photos you want to include in the slide show from those in your camera's memory. Then select the music, the style of show and the playback order (random or in order). Finally, select whether to fit the song to the length of the show (by repeating), or to fit the show into the length of the song.
The entire show plays back on your camera's LCD screen.
One reason to consider purchasing a Nikon Coolpix digital camera is a professional camera feature that's now available on the Coolpix P3 and P4 models: vibration reduction (VR).
Nikon's adapted the same VR technology used in their 200 – 400mm VR zoom lens… and packed it into these two compact models. Basically, sensors in the camera measure both vertical and horizontal movement and compensate for image movement on the CCD (image sensor).
This is great news if you shoot in low light or take a lot of action photos. Nikon claims the technology can eliminate blur from camera shake enough to allow you to shoot three stops slower. (That is, a handheld picture that normally would have to be shot at 1/60 second to avoid blur, could be shot as low as 1/8 second.
For those seeking pro SLR features – without the pro price – digital camera options have been few. Nikon's D100, which bridged that gap four years ago, has aged. The features that once made it cutting edge are now commonplace on entry-level digital SLR's.
The new 10.2 megapixel Nikon D200 more than fits the bill for those seeking an affordable near-pro-level d-SLR. The D200 shares many features with Nikon's flagship D2x, but is priced thousands less. (And several hundred less than the D100 when it was first introduced.)
Unlike most mid-level dSLR's, the D200 has a magnesium alloy body. It captures 5 frames per second for up to 22 (RAW) or 37 (JPEG- fine) frames. The D200's AF sensor module is also brand new. And, of course, the D200 is compatible with virtually all of Nikon's AF lenses.
Industry response to the D200 has been very strong. Japan's Camera Press Club has awarded this model their top honor: the 2006 Camera Grand Prix award. The Technical Image Press Association named it the 2006 Best Expert dSLR. And American Photo magazine named the D200 it's Camera of the Year in the “Advanced D-SLR” category.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|