Record mode display

Below you can see an example of the live preview image on the LCD just prior to taking a shot (in manual record mode P, A, S or M). Overlaid onto live view image are the current camera settings. In this example we have: User Set 1, Macro focus, Flash cancel, +0.7 EV compensation, ISO 100 sensitivity, Normal image adjust, FINE image quality, Program exposure mode, 1/60 sec shutter speed, F3.9 aperture and 551 frames available (at this image quality) on the storage card.

The only difference between the left and right image are the AF Area brackets overlay, in Automatic AF Area Mode the camera selects the AF Area closest to the camera (which is indicated only when you half-press the shutter release). In Manual AF Area Mode (my preference) you select the AF Area manually (using the 4-way direction pad), the camera will use this area for focusing.

After taking the shot (fully depressing the shutter release) the camera briefly displays a review of the final image (this can be disabled). Unlike other Coolpix digital cameras the 4500 doesn't seem to allow you to delete the image at this stage, that must be done in play mode.

Automatic AF Area Mode Manual AF Area Mode

All possible information overlaid in live view mode:

   Visible in Auto, Scene and Manual recording modes
   Visible only in Manual recording mode and some Scene modes

(Reproduced with permission from Coolpix 4500 manual)

Quick Review / Play Mode

Unlike the 995 the 4500 doesn't have a dedicated play mode, instead you access play mode by pressing the Quick Review / Play button twice. Quick Review shows a quarter sized thumbnail of the last shot overlaid in the top corner of the live view. Press the Quick Review / Play button again and you enter full play mode. In both Quick Review and Play modes the camera remains on "shooting priority", this means that a half press of the shutter release returns the camera to shooting mode.

Quick Review mode one, quarter size thumbnail, live view remains in the background. Quick Review mode two, full size review with all the same functionality as full Play mode (detailed later).

I personally would have liked a menu option which allowed you to disable the quarter size Quick Review mode so that the Play button simply jumps straight into full screen play mode. Ninety percent of the time that's where I wanted to go and so I had to get into the habit of pressing the play button twice which wasn't intuitive.

Other Record Mode displays

The 4500 has a wide range of manual focus points from macro to Infinity. In manual focus mode (and auto focus if you choose) the camera enhances the live view image by adding a strong sharpening filter. This improves the visibility of the current focus position. Here you can see an example of manual exposure mode (where you set both the shutter speed and aperture). Note the exposure meter which indicates the difference between the camera metered exposure and the currently selected exposure.
Auto shooting mode, simple display with little overlaid information. Essentially a point and shoot mode. Scene shooting mode. The 4500 features no less than 16 scene modes, each of which set up the camera so that it is optimized to take a particular type of shot.
Here you can see an example of the new "Panorama assist" scene mode. In this mode the first shot locks white balance and exposure. A part of the previous frame is overlaid when taking the next to assist in getting a correct alignment. The arrow on the monitor indicates the direction of the panorama (left to right, right to left, down to up, up to down).