Converting bird/wildlife settings to the FZ1000 (way long)

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p900learner
p900learner Contributing Member • Posts: 667
Converting bird/wildlife settings to the FZ1000 (way long)

As a non-technical, “I don’t really know what I’m doing” point and shoot nature photographer the settings I learned for birds and wildlife for my Nikon P900 have been very helpful. From the book “Point and Shoot Nature Photography” by Stephen Ingraham - https://psnp.info/psnp_/?page_id=391 Stephen is also an active participant at the Sony CyberShot community here.

I am converting my P900 birds and wildlife settings to my new Lumix FZ1000. Below are listed the conversions plus bits on why these settings are selected. I would be appreciative if readers might be willing to review what I have noted as the comparable FZ1000 setting, function, or control for the different menu items. I wish to use basically the same settings for the FZ1000 that I use with the P900. However, I’m open to suggestions.

Perhaps these setting may be of interest to other new FZ1000 users.

Set Control Dial to P (programmed auto) - I shoot almost exclusively in P

Image Quality to Fine (or the highest setting). This will improve your image quality, but at the cost of writing larger files to the SD card. FZ1000 - Rec Menu - QUALITY top one give priority to picture quality.

Set Image size to “full size” or “large” FZ1000 - Rec Menu - Picture Size L 17.5m

Picture Control programs which determine how your jpeg is processed in the camera. Set

Picture Control to “Standard”. Rec Menu Photo Style set to Standard

White balance on Auto - FZ1000 - On the right side of the control dial.

Exposure area/mode - CENTER. FZ1000 in the Rec Menu it is called Metering. 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.

Continuous (or Continuous Shooting). For birds and other active wildlife you do not need more than 2-6 frames per second. Set it to Low Speed Continuous. Set the drive mode dial on the top left to MULTI PICS. Then go to the Rec Menu and select Burst Rate - Set to Low which is 2 FPS.

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. ISO setting is on the top of the cursor button.

Auto-focus Area (or something similar). 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 setting is a bit tricky because…. From Camera Ergonomics - Direct Focus Area, On or Off Custom Menu Page 3. This is an important decision as it affects the way the camera operates. If Direct Focus Area is ON the AF box can be moved directly by pressing any cursor key. There is no need to press another button to activate the AF box. The benefit of Direct Focus Area is fast, efficient access to changing position and size of the AF box.

The downside is you have to locate access to ISO, WB, AF Macro and Autofocus Mode elsewhere, generally on a Fn button or in the Q Menu. This is not really a problem as there are plenty of options available.

I set Direct Focus Area ON as it streamlines camera operation in the Capture Phase.

Those users who in the past have become familiar with the "focus (with the center AF area) and recompose" style of use might find that Direct Focus Area brings new speed and efficiency to the AF process.

I elected to turn it OFF and program the FN2 button to do the Direct Focus Area because its easy to get to and allows me to still have the WB, ISO, Macro

Noise Reduction Filter set to low - FZ1000 menu under picture adjust it has a scale of High, Standard and Low.

Active Dynamic Lighting - FZ1000 it is iDynamic - 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 is processed in the camera, and removes almost all need for you to worry about exposure. Many cameras have a function which seeks to improve both highlight and shadow detail in one shot JPG capture. In the FZ1000 i-Dynamic is in the Rec Menu, Page 3/7. This works by slightly underexposing the picture to reduce the risk of highlight clipping then applying a tone curve correction to lift brightness in the shadows and mid tones. I set it to Auto but don’t know if this is the best option.

Anything else can stay to factory settings

Additional Settings not on the Nikon p900 -

Zebras These diagonal black and white moving stripes indicate areas of the frame which will be exposed above a certain level.

Zebra 1...Displays areas above a certain luminance level by a right-leaning zebra pattern.

Zebra 2...Displays areas above a certain luminance level by a left-leaning zebra pattern.

I read somewhere a setting of 100%-105% works well for many types of still photos. If there are substantial areas showing zebras you can apply negative exposure compensation to protect the highlights.

Recommendations for JPG shooters:

  1. Probably always use i-Dynamic (unless someone finds a circumstance in which that setting would interfere with some other camera function).
  2. Switch Zebras On and use them to prevent highlight overexposure (clipping).
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Other FZ1000 Notes

The least processed jpg is the Natural settings in Picture Control.

Graham - uses:

Noise Reduction (NR) minus 5

Sharpness +2

Contrast +2

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Thanks in advance for the effort to slough through all this, and as usual all comments/suggestions appreciated greatly. To note the main reason I like these established settings, and shooting in P mode is I don't have the skill or understanding to futz around with settings when I'm shooting. Thus, I only have to attend to: steadying myself and the camera, get the bird in focus, and if time allows adjust exposure compensation. I have to keep it simple.

ev

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https://evsphotos.smugmug.com/

 p900learner's gear list:p900learner's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P900 FastStone Image Viewer +1 more
Nikon Coolpix P900 Panasonic FZ1000
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