Bird &Wildlife Setting For p900

Started May 17, 2018 | Discussions thread
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p900learner Senior Member • Posts: 1,682
Bird &Wildlife Setting For p900

Perhaps of interest to readers - my p900 bird/wildlife settings. Hope you find them helpful.

Learned from Stephen Ingraham's new book - Point and Shoot Nature Photography available @ Amazon. And from Stephen himself - I went to Honduras on his P&S Nature Photo Tour.  I felt like my photos improved noticeably after I started using these settings. I also post-process with FastStone Image Viewer - free with no nags, but I gladly contributed to see this fine piece of software continue to be developed.

  • Set the control dial on top of camera to P (Programmed Auto)
  • Go to MENU button lower left - outside of camera
  • In MENU - left click on the large center button on outside of camera - now you are in all the different options to change your settings. Make sure the P is highlighted - that gives you all the settings  to adjust for our Programed Auto (P) mode.
  • We will be scrolling through all the options one by one and making changes - some we will not be making changes to.

Begin with Image Quality setting - each time we make a change to a setting hit OK on the large wheel in center back of camera.

  • Set Image Quality to Fine
  • Set Image size to “full size” or “large” (4608 X 3456)
  • Nikon has several Picture Control programs which determine how your jpeg is processed in the camera. Set Picture Control to “Standard”.
  • Exposure area/mode on p900 it is called Metering - On Nikons it is in center by default in Program, and you can not change it. This biases the exposure for you subject, which for wildlife is generally near the center of the frame. Even when it is not, shift your aim and half press the shutter release to lock both focus and exposure on your subject, then while still holding the shutter release half way down, move the subject to where you want it in the frame.

Continuous (or Continuous Shooting). I find that for birds and other active wildlife you do not need more than 2-6 frames per second. Set it to Low

Speed ISO. Leave it on auto. That will ensure that you get the highest shutter speed and the widest aperture at the lowest ISO possible for each shot.

AF area mode - Auto-focus Area. This is where you set the area on which the camera will focus. Choose the smallest, or next to smallest area in the center of the frame. Smallest will give you the most control, but next to smallest will focus faster in most situations. This is called Manual (normal)

Auto-focus mode. You can generally choose either single shot, or full time. Full time uses more battery, but ensures that the camera will begin to focus as it comes up to your eye and will find focus faster. For wildlife it is well worth the extra battery drain

Noise Reduction Filter. Nikon gives you three choices. You will get the most detail if you set it to Low.

Active Dynamic Lighting. This is the function that analyzes the image before you take it to determine if the shadows are going to go black or if you are going to lose detail in the whites and brights. It automatically tones down the brights, and pumps up the shadows as the image in is processed in the camera, and removes almost all need for you to worry about exposure. Set to at least the Normal setting (or mid, or Auto, depending on the brand).

A setting not mentioned that you see in your menu, leave it on the default setting, as it came from the factory.

Set your EV Exposure Compensation (generally accessed by one of the wheel sides on the Multi-function control wheel on the back of the camera…it has a +/- in a square box, black on white and white on black) to -.3 or negative 1/3. This will tone down the highlights in every image, saving detail in bright areas.

Your camera will remember these Program settings, even if you turn the camera off, or switch the control dial to some other setting than Program. As soon as you come back to Program, these settings will be in effect until you change them in the Menu or Function Menu.

Many cameras, however, have a User Memory, or Custom Setting. It is the U on the Nikon Control Dial. For wildlife shooting, I set all the settings above, then zoom my zoom to full zoom (telephoto), open the Menu once more and find Save User Settings (or something similar. On Nikons you have only one user memory. Choosing Save User Settings will store all your current settings, plus zoom position, so that when you are in another mode and want to quickly reset for camera for wildlife, all you have to do is rotate the Control Dial to U.


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