Any tips?

'Didn't realise there's a photography section on this board until the last few days. I've read through a few posts, and thought it could be an idea to share some knowledge on how to make the best of images. 'Particularly interested to hear from anyone with some insight on how to get more detail in an image.

I have the Nikon P950 for bird photography. Three reasons for that: firstly, it's 800 quid's worth of camera compared with a few grand for the DLSR set up; secondly, I like the flexibility that comes with using a bridge camera; thirdly, I like the extra zoom (P950 versus other bridge cameras), so I went for longer zoom/smaller sensor versus say the new Sony with a large sensor/shorter zoom.

What I do with my pictures is shoot RAW, upload to Nikon's free software (NX Studio), make a few minor changes and save as TIFF. There are some noticeable advantages of doing this before post processing in third party software, which I'm happy to share with anyone who has a Nikon camera.

I then post process in Affinity including resizing in a manner that doesn't impact image quality. The most useful tool is the sharpening using bi-lateral blur as it's the only sharpening tool I've found that doesn't give that crunchy look, even when notching up the sharpening. Again, I'm happy to share any of this information and other bits I do in Affinity, which for me was 23 quid by the way and doesn't require any further annual payments. For even serious photographers, Affinity is an absolute bargain.

I don't like to do too much with my images as I don't want to be posting or keeping pictures of birds that look unrealistic.

So, anyone got any tips to share?

I'm aware of the importance of camera technique, by the way, and I'm quite happy with that. I'd just like to get a bit more out of my images from post processing and maybe someone reading this has really good insight that I'd never thought of.

Cheers.
 
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chrismisterx

Midfield
'Didn't realise there's a photography section on this board until the last few days. I've read through a few posts, and thought it could be an idea to share some knowledge on how to make the best of images. 'Particularly interested to hear from anyone with some insight on how to get more detail in an image.

I have the Nikon P950 for bird photography. Three reasons for that: firstly, it's 800 quid's worth of camera compared with a few grand for the DLSR set up; secondly, I like the flexibility that comes with using a bridge camera; thirdly, I like the extra zoom (P950 versus other bridge cameras), so I went for longer zoom/smaller sensor versus say the new Sony with a large sensor/shorter zoom.

What I do with my pictures is shoot RAW, upload to Nikon's free software (NX Studio), make a few minor changes and save as TIFF. There are some noticeable advantages of doing this before post processing in third party software, which I'm happy to share with anyone who has a Nikon camera.

I then post process in Affinity including resizing in a manner that doesn't impact image quality. The most useful tool is the sharpening using bi-lateral blur as it's the only sharpening tool I've found that doesn't give that crunchy look, even when notching up the sharpening. Again, I'm happy to share any of this information and other bits I do in Affinity, which for me was 23 quid by the way and doesn't require any further annual payments. For even serious photographers, Affinity is an absolute bargain.

I don't like to do too much with my images as I don't want to be posting or keeping pictures of birds that look unrealistic.

So, anyone got any tips to share?

I'm aware of the importance of camera technique, by the way, and I'm quite happy with that. I'd just like to get a bit more out of my images from post processing and maybe someone reading this has really good insight that I'd never thought of.

Cheers.
Hi mate, no tips but can I pick your brains, would the p950 be handy for taking shots of the planets and such and what's it like with regards motion? thinking some distance shots of my dogs when we are out and about.
Looking to get a camera as a little hobby, have always been so impressed with the photos I see here and on other sites and always wanted to jump in, few years ago bought a second hand camera but the pins on the card slot were bent and had been straightened so didn't last long, so after a camera I can learn with as a complete novice.
Always wanted to get a new camera and the wife and kids want to get me a "big present this year" so would be a choice between the camera or laptop and your post above is pushing towards asking for a camera lol
Something that I can use when me and the wife go on some bike trips next summer, so a handy light setup would be ideal, but with a long range so your camera sounds perfect as a starting point.

Any advice or thoughts very welcome.

Cheers.
 
Hi mate, no tips but can I pick your brains, would the p950 be handy for taking shots of the planets and such and what's it like with regards motion? thinking some distance shots of my dogs when we are out and about.
Looking to get a camera as a little hobby, have always been so impressed with the photos I see here and on other sites and always wanted to jump in, few years ago bought a second hand camera but the pins on the card slot were bent and had been straightened so didn't last long, so after a camera I can learn with as a complete novice.
Always wanted to get a new camera and the wife and kids want to get me a "big present this year" so would be a choice between the camera or laptop and your post above is pushing towards asking for a camera lol
Something that I can use when me and the wife go on some bike trips next summer, so a handy light setup would be ideal, but with a long range so your camera sounds perfect as a starting point.

Any advice or thoughts very welcome.

Cheers.

I only take pictures of birds, mate, so I'd be out my depth talking about planets. Generally speaking though, if you're taking night shots you want a larger sensor to cope with low light, which the Nikon P950 doesn't have. But, large sensor bridge cameras are shorter zoom and so you lose some detail, and at that distance it matters. I reckon you'd need to pay good money for a DLSR set up for quality images of planets as you'd have both the large sensor and the long zoom, but, as I say, I would do your own research on this one as I don't take pictures of planets.

The Nikon P950 is a bulky camera by bridge camera standards, but 'round your neck it still feels like a small camera and is hardly an irritation.

In terms of dogs, the Nikon P950 will give you excellent images, providing your camera technique is good. For people who have never owned a camera as a hobby, they won't realise how important it is to keep the camera still, the fact it's not easy, and that it will take practice.

As I've said, I have some beauty pictures of kingfishers, wheatears, owls and the like as a result of being able to get close and camera technique. Pictures that at the very least compare with forums I post on and people using much more expensive equipment.

In sum, the Nikon P950 is good value in my opinion and is the best of the bridge cameras I've owned. The only thing I would say is that you don't necessarily need that longer zoom because your dog will stay close. The reason why that extra zoom is so important for birds is because they're small and they're not overly keen on human company and so they won't always come close.

What I would say about the Nikon P950, is that it's menu is pretty simple to follow, and not all bridge cameras are, and when you see the amount of options on these cameras then you really want it kept simple, particularly when it's your first camera of that sort.

'Nothing to lose mate. Knowing what I know now the P950 is the best of the bridge cameras. But, if I just wanted a camera to take some good quality images of close up subjects such as dogs, I'd go for the Panasonic FZ330 which is about a third of the price and nowhere near the zoom but that doesn't matter if your subjects don't mind being close up. It has a very well respected Leica lens, and while it is hopeless in bad light it is a camera that really shines when the light is good.

The science of these cameras and lenses means you can't get an 800 quid camera which will suit both very long distance photography, such as planets, and closer stuff such as dogs. On the other hand you don't need to pay 800 quid for a bridge camera in order to get very good images of your dog and other close by subjects. The Panasonic FZ330 will give you that, and I bought that for 230 quid second hand and I bought the Panasonic 1.7 converter for a hundred and thirty quid to go with it, which basically turned a 600mm zoom into 1000mm.

Also, in the world of photography, there are some very good second hand shops that you can order from online who when they say: "this is a second hand bit of kit in good condition", you can trust it's in good condition. If I were you I would dip your toes in to something second hand from one of these sites, e.g. Wex Photography, as you'll save yourself a few quid, it will be in good working order and look new, and if you find you don't really fancy photography then you haven't wasted too much money. What I'd do first though, is work out what the majority of your subjects will be and how close they will be - that is very important in choosing the right camera.

If you're looking at this would like certain things explained a bit further, just ask away, happy to help.
 

chrismisterx

Midfield
I only take pictures of birds, mate, so I'd be out my depth talking about planets. Generally speaking though, if you're taking night shots you want a larger sensor to cope with low light, which the Nikon P950 doesn't have. But, large sensor bridge cameras are shorter zoom and so you lose some detail, and at that distance it matters. I reckon you'd need to pay good money for a DLSR set up for quality images of planets as you'd have both the large sensor and the long zoom, but, as I say, I would do your own research on this one as I don't take pictures of planets.

The Nikon P950 is a bulky camera by bridge camera standards, but 'round your neck it still feels like a small camera and is hardly an irritation.

In terms of dogs, the Nikon P950 will give you excellent images, providing your camera technique is good. For people who have never owned a camera as a hobby, they won't realise how important it is to keep the camera still, the fact it's not easy, and that it will take practice.

As I've said, I have some beauty pictures of kingfishers, wheatears, owls and the like as a result of being able to get close and camera technique. Pictures that at the very least compare with forums I post on and people using much more expensive equipment.

In sum, the Nikon P950 is good value in my opinion and is the best of the bridge cameras I've owned. The only thing I would say is that you don't necessarily need that longer zoom because your dog will stay close. The reason why that extra zoom is so important for birds is because they're small and they're not overly keen on human company and so they won't always come close.

What I would say about the Nikon P950, is that it's menu is pretty simple to follow, and not all bridge cameras are, and when you see the amount of options on these cameras then you really want it kept simple, particularly when it's your first camera of that sort.

'Nothing to lose mate. Knowing what I know now the P950 is the best of the bridge cameras. But, if I just wanted a camera to take some good quality images of close up subjects such as dogs, I'd go for the Panasonic FZ330 which is about a third of the price and nowhere near the zoom but that doesn't matter if your subjects don't mind being close up. It has a very well respected Leica lens, and while it is hopeless in bad light it is a camera that really shines when the light is good.

The science of these cameras and lenses means you can't get an 800 quid camera which will suit both very long distance photography, such as planets, and closer stuff such as dogs. On the other hand you don't need to pay 800 quid for a bridge camera in order to get very good images of your dog and other close by subjects. The Panasonic FZ330 will give you that, and I bought that for 230 quid second hand and I bought the Panasonic 1.7 converter for a hundred and thirty quid to go with it, which basically turned a 600mm zoom into 1000mm.

Also, in the world of photography, there are some very good second hand shops that you can order from online who when they say: "this is a second hand bit of kit in good condition", you can trust it's in good condition. If I were you I would dip your toes in to something second hand from one of these sites, e.g. Wex Photography, as you'll save yourself a few quid, it will be in good working order and look new, and if you find you don't really fancy photography then you haven't wasted too much money. What I'd do first though, is work out what the majority of your subjects will be and how close they will be - that is very important in choosing the right camera.

If you're looking at this would like certain things explained a bit further, just ask away, happy to help.
fantastic mate, explains quite a lot.

At the moment my wife just uses her phone for the dog shots when close, so landscapes and wildlife would be the number one use for the camera, the planets was more the chance on the longer distance trips to take a few shots without the light pollution, pity it seems not the best for that, but at the price point I suppose you cant expect everything.

Going to go and do some further reading as you have give me some food for thought, but will 100% be back to pick your brains later on, such a complex subject and I bet easy to get bamboozled by all the tech out there.
 
fantastic mate, explains quite a lot.

At the moment my wife just uses her phone for the dog shots when close, so landscapes and wildlife would be the number one use for the camera, the planets was more the chance on the longer distance trips to take a few shots without the light pollution, pity it seems not the best for that, but at the price point I suppose you cant expect everything.

Going to go and do some further reading as you have give me some food for thought, but will 100% be back to pick your brains later on, such a complex subject and I bet easy to get bamboozled by all the tech out there.

It is at first but it's surprising how quickly you learn if you're interested.

Landscapes and wildlife? Depends how much you want to spend, but you don't need to spend thousands on expensive set ups.

Decent bridge cameras are in the range of 300 to 1500 quid, but as I say that FZ330 at about 350 quid brand new will get you some beauty shots, and with a bit of post processing you'll have amazing images. I'd just bear in mind that if you want decent images of subjects at more of a distance then that 600mm lens on the FZ330 won't be enough.

When you've done your research, happy to help.
 

MuttonShutters

Central Defender
Like Locke's SAFC has said, the science of being able to shoot everything well with one setup is against you.

Shooting planets is going to be tricky with a P950 I would have thought. I have a P900 and while it is fairly straightforward to shoot the Moon, shooting Saturn or Jupiter is a very different proposition but still possible. Be aware though, that while you can make out Saturn's rings and Jupiter's moons (well, some of them) I do not think you are going to get superb images.

Part of the issue lies in the vast distance between you and your subject. The P900 has good zoom and am sure that the P950 will be better. On maximum zoom though, the slightest shake in the camera even mounted on a tripod means that Jupiter or Saturn will whip out of the viewfinder super fast and can be difficult to re-find. Add in the fact that they are moving and you can begin to appreciate the difficulty you face. Forget it without a tripod. But like I said already, if you just want to see them then that is very possible. It can be blurry, but you can see Saturn and her rings and Jupiter and some moons.

I do not have photos of Saturn or Jupiter but I did go out to see what I could make with the moon, so have attached a couple here.

Moon 1
Moon 2

There is quite a lot of detail to be seen and it was great to see it so close but there is still some camera shake present even on the tripod as they are not pin sharp images.

For this reason, pre owned equipment is worth looking into I think. I took this photo with an old Nikon D700 and a slightly less old 14-24mm lens both from here. Even so old a camera like the D700 will wait for any camera shake to settle before firing after you shoot. I like that image much more than my moon shots.

I hope this helps. Please post some images here with whatever kit you decide to buy and whatever subjects you decide to shoot.
 

chrismisterx

Midfield
Thanks for the replies,

the moon photos are great @MuttonShutters , showing some very nice detail, but the photo you took from Cape Schanck is just stunning and the exact type of thing I was hoping to capture when we head to places without light pollution. This I don't think would be often mind, more likely wildlife and landscape shots, also saw a thread someone where on the net of urban shots which was stunning, the mood of old buildings was just inspiring and I remember a thread on here where a picture was took of a wreck at low tide ( sorry cant remember who ) early morning which I loved a lot.

The camera I got in the past was a cannon eos40d ( still have it ) with a efs 18 - 55mm lens ( i think would have to check, memory isnt as good as it was lol ), before I got the chance to get to grips with it ended up with the damaged pins, the first time I removed the memory card that was it, card would never go back in, guy I brought it from said it was fine, but I had a nasty feeling the pins were bent and he sort of managed to get the memory card back in to flog it on and of course as soon as i took the card out problem reared its ugly head.

I was advised by a repair shop to replace the camera as it would likely cost way to much to fix, this kind of put me off things and my new hobby failed at the first attempt as i felt a bit foolish at buying a dud.

I managed 4 shots worth keeping before I took the card out and the camera went puff ( I was told I can still use the camera if its directly linked to a computer, but never tried that )

Logon or register to see this image

https://imgur.com/j3wViJd
https://imgur.com/6nS1S09


( cant seem to get the links to work )

I always fancied trying again, but could never afford a new camera and really didn't want to go second hand again, but its always been an itch, really wanted to give this hobby ago, I might not be very good, but even the couple of daft shots I took I enjoyed and was weirdly chuffed, I might never be a david bailey but that doesn't matter so long as I can improve and most importantly enjoy it.

But the choices are insane and I see it can become quite an expensive hobby and to be honest its the one reason why I think I have waited so long since my failed attempt, too many choices, from being told its best to get a dslr camera so it can grow with you and you get the lens to suit what you end up wanting to use as a subject to just get a decent camera phone and start with that, being I tend to over think things, ending up getting nothing lol.

But now I have the option of the "big present" this xmas, was all set on a new laptop but thinking maybe this is the perfect time try again, so all the advice and tips is super helpful, so I can avoid any costly mistakes.
 
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MuttonShutters

Central Defender
Thank you.

You already have the right attitude I think - “so long as I enjoy it.” This for me is the most important part.

With landscape and wildlife shooting, there are many good members on this forum to ask for help, @Blackfell Mackem has some very great photos on his thread.
I have never really tried landscape or wildlife, always people and planets. Maybe I will dig out the P900 again and see what I can find.

Under lockdown and a 5km radius with a 9pm curfew, I have to find something to do and spring is just here…

Oh also. I do not know for sure but does your old and bust camera have a wireless transmitter available? I think Canon make such items but have no idea if it would work on a 40d. You would need your laptop with you of course but it might work out cheaper for you than a new camera while you decide what big gift you will choose…
 
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Like Locke's SAFC has said, the science of being able to shoot everything well with one setup is against you.

Shooting planets is going to be tricky with a P950 I would have thought. I have a P900 and while it is fairly straightforward to shoot the Moon, shooting Saturn or Jupiter is a very different proposition but still possible. Be aware though, that while you can make out Saturn's rings and Jupiter's moons (well, some of them) I do not think you are going to get superb images.

Part of the issue lies in the vast distance between you and your subject. The P900 has good zoom and am sure that the P950 will be better. On maximum zoom though, the slightest shake in the camera even mounted on a tripod means that Jupiter or Saturn will whip out of the viewfinder super fast and can be difficult to re-find. Add in the fact that they are moving and you can begin to appreciate the difficulty you face. Forget it without a tripod. But like I said already, if you just want to see them then that is very possible. It can be blurry, but you can see Saturn and her rings and Jupiter and some moons.

I do not have photos of Saturn or Jupiter but I did go out to see what I could make with the moon, so have attached a couple here.

Moon 1
Moon 2

There is quite a lot of detail to be seen and it was great to see it so close but there is still some camera shake present even on the tripod as they are not pin sharp images.

For this reason, pre owned equipment is worth looking into I think. I took this photo with an old Nikon D700 and a slightly less old 14-24mm lens both from here. Even so old a camera like the D700 will wait for any camera shake to settle before firing after you shoot. I like that image much more than my moon shots.

I hope this helps. Please post some images here with whatever kit you decide to buy and whatever subjects you decide to shoot.

Mutton Shutters,

The P950 isn't much different to the P900. The only usable difference for me is shooting RAW, but the other extra bits and pieces I don't use. As the P950 is a newer model, there is a chance that some newer technology has been used in the glass or something, but I haven't see that specifically stated anywhere. The P900 would be a great entry level camera for someone wanting to dip their toes in, where shooting JPEG isn't a problem, particularly as it is half the price. The only problem with the P900 is you can't get hold of them from anywhere, either brand new or second hand.

As for shooting RAW with a Nikon, besides the extra detail, there is the option to use Nikon's own software (NX Studio) which is free. It is made for compatibility with Nikon's cameras and estimates colours and the like far better than any third party software can do. So, I shoot RAW and modify a little bit before saving in TIFF and post processing in Affinity. NX Studio applies the camera settings to RAW images. I have the camera settings on neutral picture control, and 0 sharpening, contrast and saturation; so NX Studio isn't doing much to those RAW images but they look a mile better than RAW images in say Affinity. The other advantages are that you can change the level of Active Dynamic Lighting in NX Studio which I've found very helpful. I usually have my camera on normal ADL, but invariably find the images look better at low level when I upload to NX Studio. I also like my pictures looking a little bit underexposed and I find NX Studio's white balance adjustment to be effective in doing that without any distortion of the image, which I find you get by adjusting say brightness or contrast in third party software. On the whole, Nikon's own software is great for just adjusting the colours and such on a RAW image before using more professional third party software for post processing.

Chrismisterx: whatever you do, it's meant to be enjoyable, so initially don't get lost in the technical aspects of it all as it'll frustrate you. You'll soon pick up the knowledge you need as you go on.
I see it can become quite an expensive hobby

It can be, but it doesn't have to be, Chrismisterx.

I like bridge cameras because they give you flexibility and a chance to get close to your subject, which for me is birds. With a bridge camera you can very quickly adjust your position depending on what is in the background of your subject and that can make a world of difference to your images.

The most you'll pay at the moment for a brand new bridge camera is around 1,300 quid for the new Sony. The next most expensive is the P950 which is around 800 quid.

So for me, based on what I like, it isn't going to get more expensive as the new Sony doesn't have the zoom I like. Unless new technology means someone develops a bridge camera with a large sensor and long zoom, then I'll be with the P950 for a quite a while.

I'm happy with the images I get from it and there's always more to learn and try, such as getting more interesting images from various angles and the like. Just because it looks like I'll be using the P950 for a good few years, it doesn't mean I've got nothing else to learn and won't enjoy learning as I go along.

And, on a nice day I'm out 7 in the morning til 7 at night. In that time, I spend next to nothing, only my petrol money and I largely stay in the North East so not much at all. The money I would have spent in those days since I've had this camera, would easily outstrip the 800 quid for the camera, and it would have gone on things I don't really need and would have given me nowhere near the enjoyment I've had from being out with the camera.

It also gives you the chance to develop new skills, e.g. photography, and so I look at it as investment rather than an expense.
 
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chrismisterx

Midfield
Mutton Shutters,

The P950 isn't much different to the P900. The only usable difference for me is shooting RAW, but the other extra bits and pieces I don't use. As the P950 is a newer model, there is a chance that some newer technology has been used in the glass or something, but I haven't see that specifically stated anywhere. The P900 would be a great entry level camera for someone wanting to dip their toes in, where shooting JPEG isn't a problem, particularly as it is half the price. The only problem with the P900 is you can't get hold of them from anywhere, either brand new or second hand.

As for shooting RAW with a Nikon, besides the extra detail, there is the option to use Nikon's own software (NX Studio) which is free. It is made for compatibility with Nikon's cameras and estimates colours and the like far better than any third party software can do. So, I shoot RAW and modify a little bit before saving in TIFF and post processing in Affinity. NX Studio applies the camera settings to RAW images. I have the camera settings on neutral picture control, and 0 sharpening, contrast and saturation; so NX Studio isn't doing much to those RAW images but they look a mile better than RAW images in say Affinity. The other advantages are that you can change the level of Active Dynamic Lighting in NX Studio which I've found very helpful. I usually have my camera on normal ADL, but invariably find the images look better at low level when I upload to NX Studio. I also like my pictures looking a little bit underexposed and I find NX Studio's white balance adjustment to be effective in doing that without any distortion of the image, which I find you get by adjusting say brightness or contrast in third party software. On the whole, Nikon's own software is great for just adjusting the colours and such on a RAW image before using more professional third party software for post processing.

Chrismisterx: whatever you do, it's meant to be enjoyable, so initially don't get lost in the technical aspects of it all as it'll frustrate you. You'll soon pick up the knowledge you need as you go on.


It can be, but it doesn't have to be, Chrismisterx.

I like bridge cameras because they give you flexibility and a chance to get close to your subject, which for me is birds. With a bridge camera you can very quickly adjust your position depending on what is in the background of your subject and that can make a world of difference to your images.

The most you'll pay at the moment for a brand new bridge camera is around 1,300 quid for the new Sony. The next most expensive is the P950 which is around 800 quid.

So for me, based on what I like, it isn't going to get more expensive as the new Sony doesn't have the zoom I like. Unless new technology means someone develops a bridge camera with a large sensor and long zoom, then I'll be with the P950 for a quite a while.

I'm happy with the images I get from it and there's always more to learn and try, such as getting more interesting images from various angles and the like. Just because it looks like I'll be using the P950 for a good few years, it doesn't mean I've got nothing else to learn and won't enjoy learning as I go along.

And, on a nice day I'm out 7 in the morning til 7 at night. In that time, I spend next to nothing, only my petrol money and I largely stay in the North East so not much at all. The money I would have spent in those days since I've had this camera, would easily outstrip the 800 quid for the camera, and it would have gone on things I don't really need and would have given me nowhere near the enjoyment I've had from being out with the camera.

It also gives you the chance to develop new skills, e.g. photography, and so I look at it as investment rather than an expense.
Some very good points,

I am leaning towards the bridge camera and I am very interested in the p950 for the ability to get distance shots, I am upgrading my phone this month to a Samsung s20 and from i understand it has a half decent camera in it, so maybe that for close shots and the p950 for distance could have me well covered for being out and about.

I have so much to learn and discover but as you rightly say that's a positive in its self, Also its a good point that the upfront costs maybe a little pricey but over the lifetime of use would end up being quite reasonable.

I don't drive so carrying a lot of lens around and equipment would be hard, I would be walking, buses or on my bike, so a simple set up would be ideal.

Do you happen to have a couple of your bird shots online anyplace for me to have a little look at by chance?

you also made some good points with regards software, which is something I didn't really think about before.

Edit*

on another forum someone mentioned bridge cameras suffer from shutter lag and you can miss shots due to the delay, is that a big problem or is it just something an expert would notice?
 
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Some very good points,

I am leaning towards the bridge camera and I am very interested in the p950 for the ability to get distance shots, I am upgrading my phone this month to a Samsung s20 and from i understand it has a half decent camera in it, so maybe that for close shots and the p950 for distance could have me well covered for being out and about.

I have so much to learn and discover but as you rightly say that's a positive in its self, Also its a good point that the upfront costs maybe a little pricey but over the lifetime of use would end up being quite reasonable.

I don't drive so carrying a lot of lens around and equipment would be hard, I would be walking, buses or on my bike, so a simple set up would be ideal.

Do you happen to have a couple of your bird shots online anyplace for me to have a little look at by chance?

you also made some good points with regards software, which is something I didn't really think about before.

Edit*

on another forum someone mentioned bridge cameras suffer from shutter lag and you can miss shots due to the delay, is that a big problem or is it just something an expert would notice?

I'd just consider what distance exactly you're thinking about when you say 'distance shots'. For example, in the field there is a world of difference between a 600mm zoom and a 2000mm zoom. And, no bridge camera can ever give you that image quality that a DSLR set up can once you get beyond a certain distance. You wouldn't want to spend 800 quid on a camera and find that what you really want to do with a camera is not what a P950 can give you. With good camera technique and an ability to get close to your subject, you can close the gap between the quality of a bridge camera and a DSLR set up, but at a distance outside of the range of your zoom there's not much you can do to replicate image quality that more expensive camera gear will give you.

The shutter lag is probably correct, but I don't notice it because I've never owned a DSLR set up to compare it with. There are imperfections with bridge cameras which is why they average around 600 to 700 quid, but none of these will prevent you getting good quality images.

Chris, if you want to PM me your e-mail address I'll send some pictures across to you. The other thing I could do is upload some on here but that would mean resizing, as my pictures are above RTG size limits, before I could do that. I suppose I could but it will take a bit of time, and I'd do that tonight.
 

MuttonShutters

Central Defender
Mutton Shutters,

The P950 isn't much different to the P900. The only usable difference for me is shooting RAW, but the other extra bits and pieces I don't use. As the P950 is a newer model, there is a chance that some newer technology has been used in the glass or something, but I haven't see that specifically stated anywhere. The P900 would be a great entry level camera for someone wanting to dip their toes in, where shooting JPEG isn't a problem, particularly as it is half the price.

I hope you have not misunderstood my thoughts, maybe I am not clear also. I do not want to discourage anyone from photography or from buying a certain camera. I only want to explain that in my opinion the P900 is not well suited cameras to making high quality photographs of planets. I have not used a P950 but if the cameras are as same as you say, then I do not think the P950 would make great planet photographs either.

I am sure they could be very good cameras for wildlife or landscapes but as I do not shoot such subjects, I can not really say anything about this. I have tried tried shooting Jupiter and Saturn and I did not think the P900 to be very capable for this, other than shooting the Moon which was quite fun.

I only wanted to perhaps warn someone looking to make good photographs of planets that these cameras were perhaps not the best equipment to do so.

If they are having fun and getting outside and taking photographs then that is great.
 

chrismisterx

Midfield
I'd just consider what distance exactly you're thinking about when you say 'distance shots'. For example, in the field there is a world of difference between a 600mm zoom and a 2000mm zoom. And, no bridge camera can ever give you that image quality that a DSLR set up can once you get beyond a certain distance. You wouldn't want to spend 800 quid on a camera and find that what you really want to do with a camera is not what a P950 can give you. With good camera technique and an ability to get close to your subject, you can close the gap between the quality of a bridge camera and a DSLR set up, but at a distance outside of the range of your zoom there's not much you can do to replicate image quality that more expensive camera gear will give you.

The shutter lag is probably correct, but I don't notice it because I've never owned a DSLR set up to compare it with. There are imperfections with bridge cameras which is why they average around 600 to 700 quid, but none of these will prevent you getting good quality images.

Chris, if you want to PM me your e-mail address I'll send some pictures across to you. The other thing I could do is upload some on here but that would mean resizing, as my pictures are above RTG size limits, before I could do that. I suppose I could but it will take a bit of time, and I'd do that tonight.

Thank you for sending me the photos Just been looking at them mate, beautiful pics and the sort of thing I would hope to capture on my walks in future, my favourite is the common sandpiper, just screams to me "hot rock" hehe, its the ability to see a story in photos which has always drawn me to that and to art, you really have an eye for a good bird photo, I enjoyed them, thank you for sharing.

I thought I would reply here to get others input with the tech side of things, So with that in mind, how far away would you say you are when you get these shots, when you talked about distance, finding it hard to work out what size zoom is needed for what distance?

I did a google for an "all round bridge camera" and the sony cyber-shot rx10 iv came up as the best, but pricey and the panasonic fz2000 was also on the list with the p950

With no really experience its hard to tell what to go with to give me the most options when out and about, i like the idea of going out dawn and dusk when things are a little quiet, would light be a problem?

anyway I know I am like 100's of others after the perfect camera that does everything and i know that's not possible, but a good newbie set up to give me the best chance to find my feet and find what I like to capture without making a massive mistake and having to get something else too soon. I hope you understand what I am getting at.
 
Thank you for sending me the photos Just been looking at them mate, beautiful pics and the sort of thing I would hope to capture on my walks in future, my favourite is the common sandpiper, just screams to me "hot rock" hehe, its the ability to see a story in photos which has always drawn me to that and to art, you really have an eye for a good bird photo, I enjoyed them, thank you for sharing.

I thought I would reply here to get others input with the tech side of things, So with that in mind, how far away would you say you are when you get these shots, when you talked about distance, finding it hard to work out what size zoom is needed for what distance?

I did a google for an "all round bridge camera" and the sony cyber-shot rx10 iv came up as the best, but pricey and the panasonic fz2000 was also on the list with the p950

With no really experience its hard to tell what to go with to give me the most options when out and about, i like the idea of going out dawn and dusk when things are a little quiet, would light be a problem?

anyway I know I am like 100's of others after the perfect camera that does everything and i know that's not possible, but a good newbie set up to give me the best chance to find my feet and find what I like to capture without making a massive mistake and having to get something else too soon. I hope you understand what I am getting at.

No bother.

If I can do it, anyone can. I'm the sort of person who when on holiday rarely took a camera, and so my knowledge of cameras was pretty much zero.

I wouldn't worry about massive mistakes, if you're interested and what to learn you'll soon get the hang of it, and you have people on here who will have a look at your pictures and give you some advice.

In terms of what to go for, it really depends on what you can afford and how likely you are to stay interested. Knowing what I know now, I'd have gone straight for the P950 because that extra zoom matters, I could afford 800 quid, and I absolutely love being in nature and trying to get some good images; and so I'm going to keep going with it.

In terms of light, yes, it does matter, but only to an extent; you can still get some good images when it's overcast. The linnet, redpoll and robin I sent you were all taken in dull light. The Kingfisher was taken on the River Gaunless at Bishop Auckland and he is under a tree, with no sunlight whatsoever: in fact the shutter speed is about 1/50 which is more or less as low as you can get. There are lots of other factors which influence image quality apart from light, which I won't go into here as it will get too technical.

In terms of the Sony, it's an extra 500 quid and doesn't have the zoom, but it utilises a large sensor which gives better image quality generally speaking, but only if you're closer to your subject as it has a 600mm zoom. There is more to it than that, but's that the bare essentials. I've also spoken to experienced photographers who have moved from a DSLR set up to the Sony bridge camera because they were sick of lugging heavy equipment around and they had trouble getting to grips with the Sony menu, which is worth bearing in mind because when you start off there is loads to get to grips with and a complicated menu set up is just going to get on your nerves.

I wouldn't worry about the light. In my experience we get enough sunlight, and I reckon the best days are in the winter as we get more beautiful, clear blue skies. In the summer, you'll notice that a lot of hot days have hazy skies and that has a detrimental impact on image quality when you're shooting up into the sky. Also, you're going to need some time to reflect on what you've learned, do some reading and learn to post process. If you want to get yourself into a position where you can take decent images on a regular basis and improve them through post processing then it's going to be time consuming, and we all have busy lives and as a result you just can't be out all the time with the camera which means we don't need to be living in a country with loads of sunlight to do this.

I'd be asking myself: am I really going to keep at this? If the answer's yes, I'd skip the budget entry models and go straight for something like the P950, providing 800 quid isn't going to be a problem. I could never go back to 600mm because I have the experience of both and it's just not enough for me.
Oh, and I didn't answer your main question.

In terms of distance, I would say with most of those pictures I'm not quite filling the frame, so I'd say most are around 15 to 20 metres.
Thank you for sending me the photos Just been looking at them mate, beautiful pics and the sort of thing I would hope to capture on my walks in future, my favourite is the common sandpiper, just screams to me "hot rock" hehe, its the ability to see a story in photos which has always drawn me to that and to art, you really have an eye for a good bird photo, I enjoyed them, thank you for sharing.

I thought I would reply here to get others input with the tech side of things, So with that in mind, how far away would you say you are when you get these shots, when you talked about distance, finding it hard to work out what size zoom is needed for what distance?

I did a google for an "all round bridge camera" and the sony cyber-shot rx10 iv came up as the best, but pricey and the panasonic fz2000 was also on the list with the p950

With no really experience its hard to tell what to go with to give me the most options when out and about, i like the idea of going out dawn and dusk when things are a little quiet, would light be a problem?

anyway I know I am like 100's of others after the perfect camera that does everything and i know that's not possible, but a good newbie set up to give me the best chance to find my feet and find what I like to capture without making a massive mistake and having to get something else too soon. I hope you understand what I am getting at.

I didn't answer you main question.

In terms of distance, I'm not quite sure to be honest.

In most of those, I'm not filling the frame so certainly more than 2000mm.

At a rough guess I'd say most of them around 20 metres - although my judging of distance is not the best!
I hope you have not misunderstood my thoughts, maybe I am not clear also. I do not want to discourage anyone from photography or from buying a certain camera. I only want to explain that in my opinion the P900 is not well suited cameras to making high quality photographs of planets. I have not used a P950 but if the cameras are as same as you say, then I do not think the P950 would make great planet photographs either.

I am sure they could be very good cameras for wildlife or landscapes but as I do not shoot such subjects, I can not really say anything about this. I have tried tried shooting Jupiter and Saturn and I did not think the P900 to be very capable for this, other than shooting the Moon which was quite fun.

I only wanted to perhaps warn someone looking to make good photographs of planets that these cameras were perhaps not the best equipment to do so.

If they are having fun and getting outside and taking photographs then that is great.

All agreed. I can't imagine that the P950 will deliver quality images of planets.
 
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