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Top of camera controls

On top of the camera you'll find new spring loaded power switch surrounding the shutter release button just flick it clockwise to power the camera on or off. Behind this are the mode and FUNC buttons and right at the back (overhanging the rear slightly) the new larger silver coloured command dial (looks metal but is plastic).

By default the FUNC button is programmed as exposure compensation, although it can be set to any one of five controls (see below).

FUNC Button

Each of the five possible FUNC controls are described below:

FUNC programmed as
Press FUNC
&
Hold FUNC and turn
command dial
Exp. Compen
(default)
No action. Exposure compensation:
 • -2.0 EV to +2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps
Continuous No action. Continuous shooting:

 • Single
 • Continuous
 • Multi-shot 16
 • Ultra HS
 • Movie
Quality Image quality:

• HI
• FINE
• NORMAL
• BASIC
Image size:

 • 2272 x 1704
 • 1600 x 1200
 • 1280 x 960
 • 1024 x 768
 • 640 x 480
 • 2272 x 1520 (3:2 aspect)
White
Balance
No action. White balance:

• Auto
• White balance preset
• Fine
• Incandescent
• Fluorescent
• Cloudy
• Speedlight (Flash)
Metering No action. Metering mode:

• Matrix
• Spot
• Center-Weighted Average
• Spot AF Area

Again, it's nice to see a manufacturer leaving the photographer with a degree of flexibility. For example some will prefer to program the FUNC button to white balance (my preference).

Mode Button

Button
Press button
&
Hold button and turn
command dial
MODE Toggles between shutter speed and aperture in manual exposure mode. Record mode (as described below):

• Auto
• Scene
• Programmed Auto (P)
• Aperture Priority (A)
• Shutter Priority (S)
• Manual (M)

Record Modes

Hold down the MODE button and roll the command dial allows you to scroll through the various record modes.

Mode Description
Auto Auto Exposure

Fully automatic point-and-shoot mode. Options available: Image Quality / Size, Focus mode, Flash mode, Exposure Compensation. Auto mode has no access to the set-up menu and you can not change settings such as white balance, tone, sharpening etc.
Scene

Scene Exposure

In Scene mode the camera is set-up with the optimum parameters for a particular scene or event. There are sixteen different scene modes to choose from, each applies a different combination of flash, focus, tone, white balance and exposure. A description of the each Scene mode is included later in this review.

Programmed Auto Exposure

More advanced, but can still be used to point-and-shoot. Camera calculates shutter speed and aperture for best possible exposure, rolling the command dial in this mode allows you to choose from a "Flexible program" selection of shutter speeds and apertures which would achieve the same exposure (P* is displayed in this mode), rolling to the right chooses higher shutter speed and larger apertures, rolling to the left chooses smaller apertures and slower shutter speeds, for example a shot in medium light:

Shutter Aperture
P* (turn anti-cw) 1/125 s F3.3
P* (turn anti-cw) 1/125 s F3.7
P 1/125 s F4.2
P* (turn cw) 1/125 s F4.7
P* (turn cw) 1/60 s F5.3

Just like the Coolpix 5000 although the Coolpix 4500 has a very fine graduation of shutter speeds between the actual displayed shutter speed. For instance the camera may display 1/60 sec but checking the EXIF data later will reveal the real exposure of 1/56 sec. This is also true in aperture priority mode.

Shutter Priority

Shutter speed can be selected manually by rolling the command dial, the camera calculates the correct aperture based on the reading from the current metering mode. If the selected shutter speed would lead to an exposure outside of the camera's range the shutter speed will flash on both displays when the shutter release button is pressed halfway.

At shutter speeds slower than 1/4s the shutter speed is displayed in yellow to indicate possible noise in the final image. (In continuous mode Ultra HS the slowest speed is 1/30s, in Movie mode the slowest speed is 1/15s). Possible shutter speeds are:

 • 1/2000, 1/1000, 1/500, 1/250, 1/125, 1/60, 1/30, 1/15, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1, 2, 4, 8 sec *

BULB exposures are only available in Manual exposure mode. I find it odd that although the 4500 can clearly use 1/3 stop shutter speeds (and finer) it only provides 1 stop steps in shutter priority mode. It would have been nice to have the choice of a finer gradation of steps.

Aperture Priority

Aperture can be selected manually by rolling the command dial, the camera calculates the correct shutter speed based on the reading from the current metering mode. If the selected aperture would lead to an exposure outside of the camera's range the aperture will flash on both displays when the shutter release button is pressed halfway. Possible apertures are:

 • Wide: F2.6, F3.0, F3.7, F4.2, F4.7, F5.3, F6.0, F6.7, F7.5
 • Tele: F5.1, F5.8, F6.5, F7.3, F8.2, F9.2, F10.3

Manual Exposure

In manual mode you can select both shutter speed and aperture (switch between the two by tapping the MODE button). A display on the LCD monitors indicates how much the image would be under or over exposed with a particular exposure setting. Also, available in Manual Exposure mode are BULB exposures, with this, the shutter will stay open for as long as the shutter release button is held, up to a maximum of 5 minutes. *

* At shutter speeds slower than 1/4 sec the Noise Reduction feature (if enabled) will take an additional shot after the main shot which it uses to 'map out' hot pixel noise. Note that when Noise Reduction is enabled you can not use BSS, Bracketing or Continuous shooting.

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