Hi, Everybody praises the coolpix 990 but it is too expensive for me on the other hand prices of the coolpix 950 have dropped so I'm considering getting a new or good second hand one, the resolution is good enough for my needs but after doing some research I'm still left with a few questions: Could anyone tell me what are the differences between the 950 and 990 except the pixel no. ? is there a difference in the lens design the metering and so.. I read that the 950 has manual focus, How does it work? if you use manual focus does it shorten the time lag when taking a picture ? Anyone who could share their experience pleas do. Thanks Danny
I can't recall all the differences between the 950 and 990, but the 950 actually has better low light noise performance.
Manual focus on the 990 must be enabled by holding down the manual focus button (a multifunction button below the color LCD) and turning the command wheel. You view the image via the LCD to judge focus. If you have the option set up in the camera menu system, there is a "focus assist" mode that exaggerates edge contrast to help you determine focus. Without this feature turned on, it's often very difficult to figure out focus. With the feature, it's easier, but still can be very difficult to use in some situations. The focus steps in manual mode are fairly coarse. Often the best method to use manual focus is to shoot a series of focus-bracketed shots and pick the best on your computer monitor. Also, the manual focus button is also the self-timer button and the functions interfere with each other in an annoying way.
You may have gathered that manual focus isn't a quicker way to go typically than autofocus.
Thanks for the help, I understand from your impression that the manual focus isn't very useful but is it good enough for hyperfocal distance setting? (in landscape etc..) Does the camera give information about depth of field or can it be seen on the LCD?
No hyperfocal information is provided. The LCD will display the manual focus distance interval you have chosen. Really, the best bet is to bracket focus since you can't really tell what you shot until you can see it on a monitor. The 990 also has a "best shot selector" function that I've never used. It supposedly automates the process of discarding blurred images from a series you shoot.
I don't mean to suggest the manual focus isn't useful. It succeeds when the AF mode can't be made to work. However, it's not nearly as easy or as accurate to use as manual focus with an optical viewfinder camera.