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Auto Exposure Lock

AE Lock allows you to lock exposure and white balance settings based on the first shot of a sequence. It is extremely useful for producing panorama shots (a series of stiched images) which depend on having the same exposure level for each image. My personal favourite stitching software is PanaView Image Assembler. The panorama below was produced using PanaView Image Assembler from five images taken by the 995 in AE lock mode.

Click on the image for a 3115 x 663 pixel panorama
or here for a 6229 x 1325 pixel panorama; 2 MB (8 megapixels!!)


Pop-up Flash

The 995's flash is probably its most distinguishing feature, sitting atop the lens portion of the camera it's both obvious and a little unsightly (personal opinion; the 990 was so well styled). Nikon's thinking behind it's location and new pop-up design is to fight the dreaded red-eye which has plagued the "9 series" Coolpix's since their inception. The new flash unit is also rated as less powerful than that found in the 990, a quoted range of 7 m (22 ft) vs. the 990's 9 m (30 ft).

Skin tone test, good colour balance but very obviously under-exposed.
Wall coverage test shot, 2 m away from wall at full wide angle, coverage is pretty good, but again the shot seems under- exposed. Colour chart flash test, pretty good performance, still a little under exposed but good colour balance with no obvious cast.
 
Skin tone test with a +1.0 EV flash power adjustment. Wall coverage test shot with a +1.0 EV flash power adjustment.  

The 995 also allows for control over the output level of the flash, it can be set to one of twelve levels +/-2 EV in 0.3 EV steps. The example below shows a portion of these settings:

Flash level -0.7 Flash level -0.3 Flash level 0
 
Flash level +0.3 Flash level +0.7  


Movie clip mode

The 995 has a movie clip mode which allows you to record up to 40 seconds of video at 320 x 240, 15 fps in Apple QuickTime (motion JPEG) format. Unfortunately Nikon haven't graced the body of the 995 with a microphone, thus you're limited to recording "silent movies".

PLEASE NOTE: The clip below is 31 seconds long and weighs in at 8.8 MB, please help to conserve bandwidth, only click on it if you really MUST see what the 995's movie clip mode is like.

8.8 MB (.MOV)


Ultra HS continuous mode

The 995's Ultra HS continuous mode shoots up to 70 frames (320 x 240) at 30 frames per second. Unfortunately because it's taking the image from the CCD in "video mode" (normally reserved for the live view on the LCD monitor) it does suffer a little from interpolation errors and smearing (highlights causing vertical lines on the image). The sample movie file below was generated from 70 Ultra HS frames and plays at half the capture speed.

5.6 MB (.MOV)

One slightly interesting note is that the cars wheels don't look as though they're rotating, they myst have been perfectly in sync with the 30 fps frame rate!


Night exposures / Noise Reduction

Another new feature on the 995 is long exposure noise reduction, this feature must be first enabled (through the record menu), it then takes effect only on long exposures (greater than 1 second) where "hot pixels" may otherwise be a problem. To fully test this new feature we took night shots at ISO 100, 200 and 400 and with noise reduction off and on. Samples below are 100% crops of the same portion of each image.

Noise Reduction Off Noise Reduction On
ISO 100, 8 secs, F4.3
ISO 200, 4 secs, F3.5
ISO 400, 4 secs, F3.5
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