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05-28-2015, 10:33 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Got a Nikon P900 to put in my Pentax kit

Decided to try a P900 for those hard-to-reach places. The zoom and image stabilization are incredible but there's also some real bonehead problems. Like an analog zoom scale with no markings and a display that says "iso" without the actual iso number. I don't understand this at all, I know there's 'iso' in my picture, what I want to know is the number. Who decided to go to the trouble of putting the word there but not the number? No hood for a giant lens. Manual focus is painfully slow, almost unusable. No split image feature to help focusing and zooming to manual focus doesn't let you scroll around on the image. So if what you're trying to focus on isn't in the middle of the screen, you're SOL. And if you're trying to manually focus at 2000mm (eq), then you're on a tripod and it's not so easy to move the camera around and keep your image composed. Finally, there's no RAW support, the most painful of all my gripes. I don't blame Nikon, however, because I'm sure there's a lot of image processing going on to make the resulting jpgs look OK. The RAW images would probably be really distorted. All that said, it has proven to be very useful when I need to get that extra distance and when I'm in a huge hurry and have the wrong lens on my K-3. The Canon superzooms have better features and are more usable (I have the SX40) but I'll take the optical zoom and stabilization on this new Nikon any time. It's quite possible to shoot handheld at full zoom in reasonable light.

FYI

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05-28-2015, 10:42 AM   #2
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I had one of the originals back in the 90's. Can't say a good thing about it. POS
05-28-2015, 01:44 PM   #3
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I like the really old Nikons. I've been trying to snag an older black Nikon body on Goodwill for years but the auctions they just get too pricey for me. I have E-series Nikon lenses that I use on my M43 cameras but no proper old body. I'd really like an FM model or maybe an FE. I've never quite gotten over my Nikkormat getting stolen. I had a black Nikon, old style, for all of a month before someone ripped me off and took that and my SPII. I never even got a chance to load them up with film and take them out for a spin. The SPII I've long since replaced but not the Nikon, alas.

Later I got a Nikon EM, but that turned out to be non functional which was sad but not a tragedy because at least I got the lens off it. Frankly other than looks and size I didn't like that one much anyway. No full manual. It was pretty useless if attractive. It was one of those cameras that babies you. Not for serious photographers who like to control everything.

Nice shots. I particularly like the one of the black bird. Have fun and keep your hands on it. Cool old Nikons tend to vanish if you don't keep a close eye apparently and they can be rather too pricey to replace.
05-28-2015, 02:05 PM   #4
osv
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83x optical zoom? wow.

like those first two shots.

can the shutter speed be controlled independently? because 1/80th on the blackbird shot might be too slow, but maybe the light wasn't optimal there.

05-28-2015, 02:51 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by osv Quote
83x optical zoom? wow.

like those first two shots.

can the shutter speed be controlled independently? because 1/80th on the blackbird shot might be too slow, but maybe the light wasn't optimal there.
The camera is 24-2000 f2.8-6.5 (35mm equivalent)

The starling (3rd shot) was taken in very low light through my kitchen window and the flowers were taken at the long end (2000mm from 80 ft away handheld).

The moon was on a tripod and the second bird was handheld in better light.

Overall, it's for when a mediocre picture is better than nothing at all.
05-28-2015, 03:29 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by DoctorX Quote
Decided to try a P900 for those hard-to-reach places. The zoom and image stabilization are incredible but there's also some real bonehead problems. Like an analog zoom scale with no markings and a display that says "iso" without the actual iso number. I don't understand this at all, I know there's 'iso' in my picture, what I want to know is the number. Who decided to go to the trouble of putting the word there but not the number? No hood for a giant lens. Manual focus is painfully slow, almost unusable. No split image feature to help focusing and zooming to manual focus doesn't let you scroll around on the image. So if what you're trying to focus on isn't in the middle of the screen, you're SOL. And if you're trying to manually focus at 2000mm (eq), then you're on a tripod and it's not so easy to move the camera around and keep your image composed. Finally, there's no RAW support, the most painful of all my gripes. I don't blame Nikon, however, because I'm sure there's a lot of image processing going on to make the resulting jpgs look OK. The RAW images would probably be really distorted. All that said, it has proven to be very useful when I need to get that extra distance and when I'm in a huge hurry and have the wrong lens on my K-3. The Canon superzooms have better features and are more usable (I have the SX40) but I'll take the optical zoom and stabilization on this new Nikon any time. It's quite possible to shoot handheld at full zoom in reasonable light.

FYI
Congrats on the new P900. I've dabbled with a handful of superzooms over the last couple of years, but haven't found the exact right one for me. Often the problem is the EVF is either non-existent, or its too small or low-res. I think if the shooter has a realistic expectation level of what is possible with a small sensor, a good superzoom is a useful piece of kit and capable of decent photos. I really like your cedar waxwing.

For a little while I had a Fuji S1 (not the X-S1) which does support RAW, and is weather-sealed, but doesn't have that massive 2000mm reach. I believe it uses the same 16MP sensor as your Nikon. I hope you don't mind me posting a shot...

05-29-2015, 05:37 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
Congrats on the new P900. I've dabbled with a handful of superzooms over the last couple of years, but haven't found the exact right one for me. Often the problem is the EVF is either non-existent, or its too small or low-res. I think if the shooter has a realistic expectation level of what is possible with a small sensor, a good superzoom is a useful piece of kit and capable of decent photos. I really like your cedar waxwing.

For a little while I had a Fuji S1 (not the X-S1) which does support RAW, and is weather-sealed, but doesn't have that massive 2000mm reach. I believe it uses the same 16MP sensor as your Nikon. I hope you don't mind me posting a shot...
Agree completely. The EVF's are terrible though the Canon does have split focus for manual tuning. Otherwise, terrible. If you have realistic expectations, superzooms can be great. I would have paid extra for RAW and weather sealing. I think Nikon just wanted to get the 83X out ASAP for the wow factor.

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