Best settings for a Nikon 8700?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Hummer, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. Hummer macrumors 65816

    Hummer

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2006
    Location:
    Queens, New York NY-5
    #1
    Tomorrow I'm taking tennis pictures for my school yearbook and I'd like to be able to take the best pictures possible under the best settings. I'll be using a Nikon Coolpix 8700 with no tripod.
     
  2. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #2
    What type of photos, exactly, under what lighting conditions? That is, are you looking to shoot head-and-shoulders portraits of members of the tennis team? A group portrait? Action shots of people playing tennis? Indoors or outdoors? Natural lighting or fluorescent lighting?

    If you're planning to shoot action shots, the CP 8700 isn't going to cut the mustard. It'll be fine for posed portraits, though. To effectively capture action, you will need a DSLR.
     
  3. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    #3
    As much as I hate to, I really would have to disagree with Clix Pix here. The Coolpix 8700 was a top of the line prosumer model back in 2004, and even today it can hold its own.

    For action shots, assuming that's what you're after, you need fast shutter speed in order to capture...well, the action. On the 8700, there should be an S setting, which stands for shutter priority. This basically will let you set the desired shutter speed, and the camera will do the rest for you. While this really isn't the optimal way to take pictures (or learn about photography), it should do the job for you. Make sure that you're shooting at at least 1/400, and most things should come out OK.
     
  4. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #4
    The problem with both the CP 8700 and the CP 8800 is the camera's shutter lag and more importantly, its slowness in reading-to-buffer. There is an unacceptable pause between shots, regardless of whatever shutter speed one is using. Shooting fast action with either of these cameras is very difficult to do. On the other hand, each of them has a superlative lens and does quite well when one is shooting something static and has a lot of time to spend.... The macro feature on these lenses is excellent, too, and wonderful results can be obtained. As I said, action photography is just not the forte of these two cameras.

    It was my frustration with the CP 8800 that only a few months later led me to the doors of my local camera shop once again, to purchase the D70. I couldn't believe the difference in the responsiveness of that camera when I was shooting. The CP8700 and the CP8800 are now languishing in the closet....
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #5
    In sports action photography there is a rule that says the "peak moment" is when the action "stops" for example at the apex of a jump when the person is floating before s/he begins to fall. or when the ball is inside the racket and is stopped as it changes direction. Shutter lag makes these moments hard to catch.

    But some point and shoots, even my lowly Canon A80 can be used in full manual mode. Manual exposure and manual focus with any pre-flash turned off. In this mode shutter lag is nearly zero.
    I would suggest a high ISO so you can get good depth of field, manual focusing is hard with a P&S so you need the DOF. But if you enable "auto anything" the lag is greatly reduced. Lag will kill any
    "peak action" shots

    Look at some good tennis photos before you do the shoot. Pick a few that you like and try to duplicate them. No shame in a student copying a pro. That's how to learn.

    I once set out to find the exact spot where Ansel Adams made one of his famous images. (It's actually pretty easy as they were all near places where you can park a car.) I was in the area and noticed the weather and light was about the same so that's why I tried. Ansel wrote up how he printed the image in the darkroom in detail. I followed his instructions. I don't claim any talent, just was following a formula. You can do the same. Remember to trip the shutter at the "peak" of the action. Rule of thirds. uncluttered background and if you follow all the rules you will have an acceptable image
     
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #6
    I agree about the lag. That's a killer. but slowness in handling is not so bad. I have a P&S that I use under water in full manual (so as to reduce shutter lag) in a housing with think neoprene gloves many times at night after work (I live five minutes from the ocean) Believe me, It's slower than shooting sheet film. Having to use the histogram display to check exposure and then the f-stop is in a menu and the strobe power is on the strobe and gloves don't help. But still I can capture some animal behaviors, or trip the shuter just as the fish turns the right way.

    What slow handling means is that I get FAR fewer shots off and miss many good opportunities that occur while I'm setting up the next shot. But still I can get one or two exposures every minute. 30 or 40 frames is enough.

    So when shooting tennis with a slow handling P&S it's set a shot, miss three, get a shot, miss two, get a shot miss a few,.... But after an hour you have enough. So you miss most of them but you go home with 50 and of those may 5 are keepers. That is all you need. I gues the bottm line is that quality CAN still be there buy quantity will be reduced.
     

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