To anyone who can offer me advice on the subject, I could use it desperately.
To give some background info., I shoot indoors, use the s2 pro, a Nikon 28-120 AF lens and usually shoot at ISO 200 in P mode. I have a Nikon sb800 flash, but have found that the shots look better with the settings I'm using without the flash (as with the flash everything is black when trying for distance). The problem I'm having is blur when people are moving. Still shots are beautiful, but any movement (e.g. walking) results in a blurred shot.
My questions are: What are typical settings for capturing movement in low light situations without blur? And, with the equipment I have, what would you suggest to accomplish capturing favorable results.
Any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
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Re: s2 Pro User Questions-Focus Issue
With the camera you have, noise isn't much of an issue when pushing the ISO to 400, 800 or even 1600.
Try setting at ISO 400 and change it to manual mode or shutter priority and then choose a faster shutter speed. Take some test shots. If it's still blurred, increase the shutter speed and ISO to 800 and try again.
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What you want is a limited depth of field. There are three factors that control the depth of field: subject distance, lens focal length, and lens aperture. The greater the distance, the wider the DoF. The shorter the lens, the greater the DoF. The smaller the aperture, the greater the DoF.
One problem with compact cameras is that they have very small sensors. This means that they have short lenses. And short lenses mean they have wide depth of field. This is often an advantage, in that more of the scene is in focus. Unfortunately, this works against you when you don't want a wide DoF.
At the short end, the S2's lens focal length is 6mm. This will put just about everything in focus. Even at the other end, the focal length is 72mm. With a 35mm film camera, most portrait photographers use lenses at least 85mm in focal length in an attempt to minimize DoF to draw attention to the face and blur the background.
Unfortunately, the best you'll be able to do is to set the camera to the portrait mode, get as close to the subject as possible, and zoom in as much as possible. I realize the last two conflict with each other, you'll just have to find the proper balance for whatever you're photographing.
Portrait provides extra sharp focus on the subject. It also opens the aperture some, and may in SOME cases give you a blurred backbround depending on the distance of the subject and background to the camera.
If outdoors, consider setting the camera to manual flash so that it will lighten the subject. If indoors, consider turning off the flash. You may need to provide better external lighting on the subject, or use a tripod and ask the subject to hold still during the picture.
Try increasing the zoom (best is to set it to maximum), and then adjust your distance from the subject to get as close as possible. Note that you still might be standing relatively far away because of the zoom.
Another way to experiment further with focus and blurred backgrounds is to use aperture priority (Av) mode on your dial. Use the right/left button to set the lowest "f-number" on your screen. The lower the number, the greater the aperture. All other functions of your camera will automatically compensate. Again, use max zoom in taking closeups with low "f-numbers". Also experiment with the manual focus to pay particular attention to achieving sharp focus on your subjects eyes.
You have a very capable camera. It can do what you're thinking of. You just need to practice with it. It's digital, experiment with the above techniques. Throw away the bad pics and keep the good, noting which technique worked best for the lighting and situation.
hello! Yes, you can since the Coolpix L100 has a 15X telephoto lens, you can use the second method described below.
Bokeh is a photographic term used to describe a lens effect wherein the background of the photo is out of focus. This effect is used to blur out distracting backgrounds and give emphasis to the the primary subject of the photo.There are two ways to get bokeh when taking pictures. The first is by using a very large aperture to get a shallow depth of field. You can set your camera’s aperture to f/5 or below. This will effectively throw everything behind your subject out of focus. You can also blur out the background of your photo by using a long telephoto lens. There is no hard rule on how long your lens should be but the longer its reach, the more pronounced the bokeh is going to be.
You might be able to compensate for the flash from within the camera, under lighting. I've already found that setting it for fluorescent while using tungston works well, depending on what main colors you are shooting. Reflectivity can really change a final product.
Best thing you can do is focus manually, using the little green dot in the bottom left hand corner of the viewfinder for assistance.
The 'lag' is due to the camera deciding the focus point, passing it to the motor in the lens, by which time the subject hs moved and so it tries to fix again by moving through the range.
Its annoying, but focusing manually, although not a solution per se, is the only option.
I have never heard anyone mention a backfocus problem with this lens. In my experience, most of the backfocus issues that I have worked with to help people resolve have panned out as user error and/or a misunderstanding of the AF modes and performance of the camera. You sound like you know what's up, so that may not apply to you...you may have a real issue. The best thing for you to do before proceding to having is service is test the lens thoroughly on both bodies to see if this is a consistent, reproducable problem or just an anomaly.
I'm not sure what shooting options the P72 has. But, even in Auto you should be able to do this (Auto usually picks a wide aperture). The key is to fill the frame (at least 50%) with your subject. So zoom in and focus on the face and then while 1/2 pressing, zoom back out a little. Then fire away. You should get an in-focus subject and slight blurring of the BG.
You have to experiment with this. If you fill the frame too much, you might get such a small depth of field that the subject's nose is in-focus but the eyes aren't.
The camera uses a precise auto focus mechanism, but under the conditions and with the subjects described below the auto focus function may not work well.
Subjects moving at high speed
Very shiny subjects such as a mirror or car body
Extremely low contrast subjects (such as subjects dressed in the same color as the background, etc.)
When there are objects in front of or behind the subject
(such as an animal in a cage or a person in front of a tree)
Subjects with little reflection, such as hair or fur
Subjects with no solidity, such as smoke or flames
Subjects viewed through glass
In addition, the focus is set on the center of the frame, so if the subject is not at the center (when shooting two people standing side by side, for example), the focus is adjusted on the background and the desired subject (the two people) may be out of focus. In such cases, do the following:
Point the camera so that one of the persons is at the center of the viewfinder.
Half-press the shutter button. (The focus is locked on the person.)
Holding the shutter button in the half-pressed position, reposition the camera to achieve the desired composition.
Take the photo.
If the focus cannot be adjusted, it is locked to infinity (1.5 meters when using the flash).