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craftyscraps

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Reply with quote  #1 
Do you have a point and shoot?  Do you leave it on auto or do you play with the settings?  I must admit that most of the time, I shoot on auto, but I know my camera is capable of SO much more.

I just upgraded from a Fuji FinePix S5200 to a Nikon Coolpix P600.  The Fuji was a great little camera and I got very good pictures from it, but I needed a more powerful zoom.  For that, the P600 rocks!  One week after purchasing it I went on vacation to south-central Oregon where there are a lot of wildlife refuges. Using the 60x optical zoom in bird watching mode, I was able to get some fantastic shots.  I still haven't ventured into fully manual mode, but I am determined to learn more of the features on this camera.

Here is one of my favorite bird pictures so far.  It is a Spotted Towhee.  I love the lighting in this picture.  It was taken late in the day using bird watching mode.
DSCN0082.JPG 
Bird watching mode gives you a fairly narrow field of focus which really makes the birds stand out against the background.  Add that to early morning or evening sunlight and you can really get some nice shots without too much effort.


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Dixie

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Reply with quote  #2 
Great shot!
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Lauri

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Reply with quote  #3 
Wow, gorgeous shot!  I have an Olympus point and shoot that's with me most of the time - a SZ-31MR.  But it doesn't have a bird watching mode!  That would be so handy.  It has various scenes, most of which I haven't even tried.  I just checked and found a pet mode - need to try that one with my kitties!!
craftyscraps

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thank you!

On the P600, bird watching mode enables you to focus on a very small area (the bird).  It might also adjust to a wider aperture, which would give a narrow depth of field, but since I was using my zoom, the depth of field was already pretty narrow anyway. I don't know what camera settings are available on the Olympus, but you can probably get very similar result by setting your Auto Focus area mode to Spot.  You could also play with the f stops, but if you're using your zoom, you probably won't need to.

Regarding depth of field, I found this article to be very informative: http://photography.about.com/od/takingpictures/ss/DOF.htm

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Lauri

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks for the link - I can always learn more about depth of field!  The coolest thing on this camera is that the LCD on back is a touch screen, and I can "point" to exactly what I want it to focus on.  This doesn't work well with the sports that I try to photograph (they are moving too fast) but things that stay relatively still I can catch pretty well.

So where in Oregon did you go for this photo?  My DH worked last summer as a park ranger at Crater Lake, the kids and I spent 10 days up there enjoying the area. 
craftyscraps

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Reply with quote  #6 
Oh, that is a really neat feature!  Mine has lots of settings, but no touch screen. [frown]

I took that picture on the Clackamas Community College campus just a few miles from where I live.  There are several miles of trails and my son and I walk there a lot.

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