P6oo and D800e comparisons...

Started Mar 17, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Photo Geezer
Photo Geezer Contributing Member • Posts: 552
P6oo and D800e comparisons...

Here are my first impressions of the P600 along with some examples comparing some similar shots done with a D800e at the same time. Not scientific but just for fun...

First of all, WOW on the zoom lens range.

I love the Birdie custom scene setting, but keep in mind that it is NOT for BIF. It is incredible for roosting birds, which is what it says in the in-camera instructions. When using this mode, it turns off noises too which was a really great idea. I have found that the focusing can be a bit pesky in lower light when at longer zoom ranges though.

My first impressions of this camera were very positive and I was able to make images within 5 minutes of opening the box. The battery had plenty of charge on arrival and topped off in less than 30 minutes of charging. Of course my first impulse was to try the full zoom range and then extend into the digital zoom too. This was really scary to see what can be done. I think this camera will be in every spy kit from now on. It is great fun to sit down at any available picknick table and just explore the environment with the extreme tele settings. It's amazing how your creativity comes alive when you are able to see in a new way.

Some Bummers: Playback info doesn't include zoom mm in playback anywhere, so you must wait until you load your images onto your computer to find out what mm you shot at. This info is included in the exif data though so no problem and it includes the usual 35mm equivelent info for comparison.
Also, finding some shooting features are buried deep in the menus and are hard to access quickly. For instance, I was looking for the grid lines to appear in the viewfinder and had a heck of a time to find the setting but finally did.

I did this entire review without reffering to the manual and relied totally on my "instincts" to make all of these settings. I found that alomost everything was intuitive on this camera, even though there were a few gotchas that I will talk about.

The command dial under your thumb would be more useful if it had more functions. It does nothing when in the standard mode and it would be great if it would vary exposure, shutterspeed or something.

The rocker-OK button is fairly sensitive and I found myself tapping it occasinaly accidently and jumping into some mode that I didn't need. This never was a problem though as it didn't change anything unless I wanted it to.

Image rotation is not automatic so be prepared to rotate your verticals manually after downloading.

A very interesting thing happened when I used the custom Birdie scene mode and then used the usual default mode when photographing birds. The focus-confirm chirping actually ATTRACTED some birdies to come over closer to me which was really cool when using the standard mode, but for birds in the trees and roosting birds the Bird setting is best and very useful. It goes to the center spot for focusing and does a great job when trying to focus between branches or around tree limbs etc.

I have had some frustrations when trying to focus on closer objects in lower light. It is a bit anoying when the focus passes through the sharpest point and then stops way out of focus and no matter how many times you try you can't get it to lock in. Some of this is pilot error I am sure,but it was still irritating.

Since the days have been overcast I upped the saturation level in the custom settings for my own taste. This is very mild though and if you love very heavy saturation increases like you have in the Canons you can boost it more.

I also changed the quality setting upwards to FINE so that I was using the highest 16mp resolution. You only have two choices here, Normal and Fine. This was easy and intuitive in the menus.

To be sure, when working in these extreme tele ranges camera shake is of concern but with good technique and using support, very rewarding results are attainable.

To make up for this, the camera fits perfectly face down in a standard vehicle cup-holder and is always handy!

I also noticed that when working in these tele extremes, camera leveling was difficult and I have a number of images that I wish were more level. This often happens when you are looking to brace the camera on some support in the field like a fense post or tree limb and miss the fact that you are off level. Usually this isn't a big deal but I found it distracting when there is water in the picture or the horizon is included. Again, this is pilot-error and is a challenge that I will work on.

D800e settings were on the basic quality mode and DX crop mode to approximate the Coolpix 4x5 mode. I used a Nikon 28-300mm lens.

Anything you would like me to check I will. Hope this was helpful...

BTW, the dates are wrong on the P600 images due to user error...

Bill G

Bird On Hand indoors

Also BOH indoors

Slightly underexposed for depth of field... my bad 135mm

200mm equivalent in 35mm

With onboard flash

Slight digital zoom

Maximum digital zoom too.

Max with slight digital zoom

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Photo Geezer

 Photo Geezer's gear list:Photo Geezer's gear list
Sigma DP3 Merrill Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF Nikkor 135mm f/2D DC Nikon AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D ED-IF +7 more
Nikon Coolpix P600 Nikon D800E
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