New P950 - no knowledge of camera settings (help please!)

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JuliaG16 New Member • Posts: 8
New P950 - no knowledge of camera settings (help please!)
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Hi everyone! I got into birding and bird photography about 5 years ago. Since then, I was using a Panasonic Lumix superzoom camera. I never took the time to understand any of the settings and basically always shot on the auto mode (I did get plenty of good pictures with it!)

Now, I've upgraded to the P950 and figured I should actually figure out how to work the camera to get the best pictures out of it possible. I primarily photograph birds, but sometimes other wildlife or nature scenes. This could range from quickly flitting warblers in trees to waterfowl far out on a lake to sleeping owls in a nearby tree. I'm going to Sax-Zim Bog in a month, where I will only have a few days to get the best pictures possible of many species I've never seen before.

So here is my long list of questions...please explain in the simplest terms, because I am not a photography expert! Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

1) Shooting RAW - what does that mean? How do you do it? What post-processing is needed after the photos are taken (to allow me to post the picture on Facebook, Instagram, to print the picture, etc.)?

2) Auto mode vs. P, S, A, M, birdwatching modes - Should I avoid Auto mode at all costs? Which one of the other modes would be best for bird photography? Should I attempt to change the shutter speed and f-number values on one of these modes or can the camera figure it out for me? (Worried I'll totally screw up the settings.)

3) Are there other settings to change other than the shutter speed and f-number? I hear ISO thrown around a lot.

4) Autofocus - are there multiple modes? Is there one I should set it to for birds?

5) Image stabilization/vibration reduction - is it on automatically?

6) Continuous shooting - I saw this mentioned in the manual. Is this something I should turn on, rather than just one picture per press of the button?

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