Automatic bracketing is the exposure of an odd number of frames, typically three or five, over and under exposed by equal steps to enable the photographer to select the best exposed frame at a later time. The 995 offers six different combinations of 3 or 5 exposures at 0.3, 0.7 or 1.0 EV steps. The sample below was shot using the 3, +/-0.7 option.
|+0.7 EV||0.0 EV||-0.7 EV|
Peter iNova has a neat trick on how to squeeze more dynamic range out of a scene using exposure bracketing. Click here.
White Balance Bracketing
The 995 has a new and (potentially) useful feature, when White Balance bracketing is enabled the camera saves three images for every one shot taken, the first with a slightly warmer white balance (towards red), the second the normal white balance shot and the third with a slightly cooler white balance (towards blue). This unique feature is extremely useful if you're not sure (or can't tell from the LCD) if the current white balance is exactly right, you can then select the image you deem most accurate once the images are loaded onto your computer.
|Slightly warmer WB
White patch: (R G B)
78% 75% 65%
White patch: (R G B)
76% 75% 68%
|Slightly cooler WB
White patch: (R G B)
73% 76% 70%
NOTES: White balance bracketing cannot be used in AE Lock, continuous
or BSS modes. It takes three times longer to write each shot away with
WB bracketing enabled (obviously).
White Balance Fine Tuning
The 995 inherits a great feature from the 990 and D1 (and something we've not, to my dismay, seen on any other brand digital camera), that is the ability to fine tune the camera's pre-programmed white balance settings (Fine, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Cloudy, Flash) by up three levels positive (cooler; bluer) or negative (warmer; redder)
|Incandescent +3||Incandescent +2|
|Incandescent +1||Incandescent 0||Incandescent -1|
|Incandescent -2||Incandescent -3|
A few people have commented that this feature isn't useful for them, well for me at least it is. It allows me to set up the pre-programmed white balances to be most closely matched to the lighting I use every day, for instance Incandescent +3 is virtually spot on for use with my studio lights without their dichroic filters.
Aperture Priority (DOF control)
Aperture priority is where you designate the aperture and the camera calculates the best shutter speed. Used properly Aperture Priority can be invaluable as it has a direct effect on depth of field (the distance in front and behind the focal point which will be in focus when taking the shot). The 995 allows the selection of the following apertures in aperture priority mode:
- Wide: F2.6, F3.0, F3.3, F3.7, F4.2, F4.7, F5.3, F6.0, F6.7, F7.5
- Tele: F5.1, F5.8, F6.5, F7.3, F8.2, F9.2, F10.3
The sample below is a simple demonstration of how aperture can effect depth of field.
|1/27 s, F3.3, narrow DOF|
|1/3s, F9.3, larger DOF|
The previous "9 series" Coolpix cameras are well known in the digital photography world as being the kings of macro, the ultra close 2 cm focus distance at middle-position zoom combined with the relatively large depth of field offered by digital camera's small focal lengths resulted some stunning macro shots you'd be hard pressed to reproduce using 35mm SLR equipment. The 995's new 4x optical zoom lens does not let the series down, it too has a minimum focus distance of 2 cm (in macro focus mode) and feature where the macro indicator (on the LCD monitor) turns yellow at the optimum zoom distance.
We measured the minimum possible frame coverage as 19 mm (0.7 in) which is identical to the performance of the 990.
The 995 provides 50 manual focus positions from 2 cm (0.8 in) to Infinity. Selecting the correct focus position is made easy by the excellent focus confirmation feature which sharpens the focus position on the LCD monitor to make it more obvious, a sort of digital ground glass effect. In the sample below we have chosen to focus on the beginning of the ruler on the first shot and the yellow crayon on the second.
Low Light Focus
In a new addition to our reviews we'll now be measuring the minimum amount of light under which the camera can still focus. The focus target is our lens distortion test chart (shown here on the right), camera is positioned exactly 2 m (6.6 ft) away. Light levels are gradually dropped until the camera can no longer focus.
This test target is the optimum type of subject for most "contrast
detect" AF systems (as it has a vertical line at its center), if
the subject were less easy to focus upon then you would need more light.
- Nikon Coolpix 995 best low light focus: 2.2 EV (11.5 Lux / 1.07 foot-candle) *
* At any ISO sensitivity
It really is a shame Nikon didn't put an AF assist lamp on the 995, there must now be some room in the lens portion since the repositioning of the flash. By contrast Canon's G1, which has an AF assist lamp, can focus accurately up to approx. 6 m (20 ft) in complete darkness.
Readers of my reviews will know I'm not a huge fan of digital zoom as it's often a badly implemented and seldom used (by owners) marketing "ploy" to sell cameras which don't have an optical zoom. The 995 does indeed have optical zoom, and a range of digital zooms which can be used on top of the standard 4x optical zoom. They are however simply cropping (selecting the mid part of the image) and sampling-up, the only advantage in doing digital zoom inside the camera is (a) if you don't have any photo software to magnify (and interpolate) the image or (b) to digitally zoom without zooming the JPEG artifacts. Digital zoom positions available:
- x1.2, x1.4, x1.6, x1.8, x2.0, x2.2, x2.4, x2.6, x2.8, x3.0, x3.2, x3.4, x3.6, x3.8, x4.0
The samples below are 100% crops of an image shot at different levels of digital zoom.
|Full optical zoom (152mm equiv.)|
|Full optical zoom (152mm equiv.) plus 2x digital zoom|
|Full optical zoom (152mm equiv.) plus 4x digital zoom|
Digital Zoom can be useful when shooting at lower resolutions: Shooting XGA images, any digital zoom magnification factor less than 2.0X will benefit the shot without causing enlarged pixels. And at VGA you can use a digital enlargement of up to 3.2X while maintaining the original pixel quality or better. It's only when the ratio of digital zoom exceeds the ratio of the smaller format frame compared to the full frame that digital zoom produces less-detailed results.
A Bay Area startup offering a pay-by-the-photo camera service cleverly addresses the pain points photographers experience when they pick up their first DSLR. But can it survive the smartphone?
It's been a big year for software innovations, dual cameras and huge displays. Take a look at our picks for the top smartphone cameras and why we think they stand out.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #7 spot is the ready-for-any-weather Olympus Tough TG-5.
By combining his skills as a time-lapse filmmaker and an engineer, Julian Tryba created this out-of-this-world creative 'layer-lapse' of New York City that alternates between night and day in time with the music.
Canon Japan's new lineup of novelty camera-themed gifts was just revealed online, including a lens mug and lens thermos, two retro camera-themed USB drives, and a picnic mat.
The Profoto A1 most certainly isn’t for everyone [...] But for those who are used to using the Profoto systems, and want something that pairs seamlessly with the strobes you already have, there is no better companion.
Fujifilm has asked a US district court to clear it of any wrongdoing, after allegedly being threatened with trademark litigation by Polaroid.
While a couple of our reviewers are out testing the Sony a7R III in Arizona, back in Seattle we slapped the camera in front of our studio scene to get a close look at its image quality. See how it stacks up against the competition.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and the #8 ranking belongs to the Nikon D7500.
B+W has announced a new aluminum filter holder that offers three slots so users can use multiple filters at the same time. The holder goes with the 2mm thick 100mm square filters it launched earlier this year.
8K video is coming a lot faster than you think, and Blackmagic is ready for it. Meet the DeckLink 8K Pro, a new high performance PCI-E capture and playback card built to handle 'real time high resolution 8K workflows.'
"Glass is everywhere in photography. From Eugène Atget’s reflective vitrines to Lee Friedlander’s sly self-portraiture, photographers have long been in thrall to the visual complications glass can inject into a composition."
Former Apple Aperture lead developer Nik Bhatt has designed an iOS app called RAW Power that lets you edit raw photos from your professional camera using your phone and tablet.... color us intrigued.
Advertising photographer Blair Bunting got his hands on the new Microsoft Surface Book 2, and it blew him away. Bye bye MacBook Pro...
The OnePlus 5T retains many of the 5's features and specs, but comes with an edge-to-edge display and a dual-camera that is optimized for low light.
Sony's recently announced IMX461 backside illuminated medium format sensor will bring 100MP resolution and almost 2x the speed to the next-gen Fuji GFX and Hasselblad X1D.
With the ‘Rent a Hasselblad’ camera equipment renting program, the camera makers is aiming to give enthusiast and professional photographers easier access to its medium-format photography products.
They say seeing is believing, and that's exactly what happened when one DPR staffer took the Google Pixel 2 out for an afternoon shooting under challenging conditions.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #9 spot we have the Fujifilm GFX 50S, a medium-format camera that took CP+ 2017 by storm.
Instagram is testing a new feature that lets you follow hashtags in addition to people, making it possible to keep track of your favorite #landscapes or #portraits without leaving your home feed.
Despite the gigantic volume of second hand film bodies in existence, it seems there is still a demand for new 35mm SLRs with a retro feel. The latest is a remake of the Ihagee Elbaflex from the 1960s, but with a Nikon F mount.
The Polaroid Insta-Share Moto Mod straps an instant printer directly to your Moto Z smartphone, so you can print your photos as soon as you've captured them.
The Mitakon Speedmaster 135mm F1.4 lens is being relaunched in 7 different mounts, including: Sony A, Sony E, Canon EF, Nikon F, Fujifilm G, Pentax K, and Leica L. Got an extra three grand lying around?
In January, Kodak announced it would bring back the beloved slide film Ektachrome. The timeline has been pushed back a bit, but Kodak says you can expect to purchase Ektachrome again in 2018.
Instagram popularity is threatening some of the most beautiful landscapes in the US, as hordes of 'nature lovers' trample over the same spots over and over again in search of the same exact shot.
You’d have to be pretty brave to immerse your $50K RED cinema camera underwater. But if you've got the guts, Gates just released a new housing you can be pretty sure won't wreck your unbelievably expensive toy.
Adobe has released a 'Lightroom Downloader' app for Windows 10 and macOS High Sierra that allows you to download all of your images from the Adobe Cloud, all at once.
After releasing a popular 4K action cam and an affordable mirrorless M43 camera, Chinese camera maker YI is diving into yet another market: 360° VR. Meet the YI 360 VR: a powerful little two-lens camera that can shoot and stream in 4K.
The DJI Spark has received a lot of attention thanks to its diminutive size, but how does it stack up? In our review, we take a look at what it's like to fly this pint-sized drone, as well as what's in it for photographers.
Between now and the end of the year we'll be counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. Coming in at #10 is a fast wide prime and part of the highly-acclaimed Sigma Art series.