Using the Camera
The camera’s menu system is simple and easily navigated. As shown in Figure 10, the on-screen menus are large enough to read and maneuver easily.
This Nikon Coolpix has four shooting modes. In the Auto mode the camera selects the aperture and shutter speed, but the users can control the ISO, white balance, color saturation, and exposure compensation.
In the scene mode the camera selects the setting for the appropriate shooting situations. There are pre-set scene modes for: Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Night Portrait, Party/Indoor, Beach/Snow, Sunset, Dusk/Dawn, Night Landscape, Close-Up, Food, Museum, Fireworks Show, Copy, Backlight, and Panorama Assist.
The Smart Portrait mode is an amazing little mode that helps you take a grea
t portrait. When this mode is on, the camera uses a Skin Softening function to smooth out the skin and minimize blemishes on the skin. This mode will also automatically activates the Smile timer which takes the picture when the subject is smiling. Two sequential photos are taken just in case the subject is blinking. This mode also has a special Subject Tracking in which the camera automatically tracks the main subject to make sure he or she stays in focus. Although this all sounds a bit complicated, we found that everything functions automatically and this mode really does help you take good portraits.
The last mode is the Movie mode which takes video clips at 640×480 at 30 fps or 320×240 at 15 FPS. The audio is mono rather than stereo. You can take movies up to 25 minutes long as long as you have enough room on your memory card to hold them. The optical zoom is not available in the movie mode and there is no HD movie quality. Although short movies are adequate, we found that we used this camera mostly for its still camera capabilities. If you are looking for a still camera that takes exceptional movies, you will have to look elsewhere.
The camera takes excellent close-ups with the Macro shooting mode functioning as close as 0.8 in (2 cm).