This is primarily about photography and a camera (Nikon P1000) and post-processing. There are photos but if you’re not interested, watch this video and then go look elsewhere for something that interests you more.
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In the previous two posts, I wrote about the issues one might encounter when photographing distant subjects in various lighting conditions. It was specific to the Nikon P900 but, to be sure, those issues — to various degrees — are present with any camera or camera/lens combination. I also touched on some of the tools used to enhance and making less-than-stellar images passable. I mean passable for the blog, not necessarily for printing or more demanding applications.
All the while, I had the Nikon P1000 in mind. Meaning, how much quality can I get out of using the P1000 (if I should get one) given that it shares the same small sensor as the P900?
No matter what I do with my P900 files, they aren’t the same as files from the P1000. Not only is the camera physically different, but the output is also different. Meaning, the P1000 can save RAW files.
Note: these are a new format of RAW files. You need to upgrade your file manager’s raw reader. That’s not necessary if you have Adobe’s Photographer’s plan as both Lightroom and Camera RAW will read the new files. Also, if you use Nikon’s own transfer software, you can open and edit the files as well as save them with different formats.
You can’t just grab files all willy-nilly-like and use them. Well, you can, but you shouldn’t. Images on the web are copyrighted and have restrictions on their use. Of course, you’d never know that from the looking at sites like Pinterest or many private blogs. People grab whatever they want and use the images without even acknowledging where they came from, let alone actually getting permission.
That’s not me, Bob.
I wrote both sites and asked if I could use some of the sample images as part of evaluating post-processing the P1000 RAW files. Happily, both sites gave me permission with the proviso I credit the original source.
Lest people worry, I’m not planning on showcasing all of the photos. I limited my samples to photos toward the high end of the zoom, high ISO values, poor lighting conditions, and combinations of the above.
One final caveat before I proceed. I presume people who snapped these photos have a higher skill level than I do and I also don’t know the distance of the subjects from the photographers. Both of those details could affect the results one might expect from the camera.
Wait . . . one more caveat: I don’t know the shooting settings of the cameras used. Things like noise reduction, sharpening, and other settings can affect the output of even RAW images. I’m working with what I got and assume I could get the same or better if I tweaked the camera.
That’s the JPG output from the unmodified RAW file. I will show each photo as a pair; original and modified to my tastes using tools I commonly use.
The photo was shot at ISO 100, 1/640 sec at f/5.6, and a zoom of 144 mm (~800 mm equivalent).
Other things I don’t know is what kind of focus was chosen and what metering mode was used. Overall, I’d call that a nice image for the blog and even for some printing (perhaps even larger than an 8″x10″, I’d guess). I don’t currently have a quality inkjet printer but the print from a color laser I have access to looks pretty darn good and that’s on plain paper and without the use of color profiles.
The photo was shot at ISO 180, 1/500 sec at f/5.6, and a zoom of 180 mm (~1,000 mm equivalent).
I’m not especially fond of the shallow depth-of-field (DOF) and would prefer for the entire subject being in focus.
One more thing . . . I didn’t take note if the images were taken hand-held or on a tripod. The reviews do speak about it so anyone interested can go to the site and read the descriptions.
The photo was shot at ISO 200, 1/500 sec at f/8.0, and a zoom of 539 mm (~3,000 mm equivalent).
Hard to argue with the camera’s ability to work wonders with relatively little information. Here’s another shot at full zoom.
The photo was shot at ISO 100, 1/500 sec at f/8.0, and a zoom of 539 mm (~3,000 mm equivalent).
I should also mention the galleries where I got these photos present both the JPG and RAW original files as downloaded from the cameras. A few of the samples have an additional JPG showing the editing done by the author but since I prefer my own editing, I didn’t bother grabbing any of those.
The JPGs are not that much different from the RAW until you start editing them or if you zoom in at the pixel level. Also, JPG in-camera processing can be adjusted significantly. I’ assuming those were at the default settings but I don’t know.
Also, I can’t see me using the JPGs all that often if the RAW output is available.
The photo was shot at ISO 100, 1/160 sec at f/8.0, and a zoom of 359 mm (~2,000 mm equivalent).
The P900 and P1000 are often sold as Moon Shooters. The above shot is at the approximate zoom of my P900. Here’s one of my P900 processed shots for comparison but be aware: comparing files from two different shooters and cameras is not all that useful. That said, getting the above result from the RAW file was much easier than my usual efforts with the JPGs from the P900. Note: my image is slightly cropped to fill the frame. The P1000 image is not cropped.
Here is another shot from the P1000 at full zoom. I also don’t know if they used the “moon mode” or shot with some other settings.
The photo was shot at ISO 100, 1/125 sec at f/8.0, and a zoom of 539 mm (~3,000 mm equivalent).
The last of the Imaging Resource photos is a pretty challenging one . . .
The photo was shot at ISO 1250, 1/320 sec at f/8.0, and a zoom of 252 mm (~1,400 mm equivalent).
Yes, there is a lot of noise. But, perfectly fine for a blog post. Note that I have tools that can improve the background but I didn’t want to play around with more than I did for all the other photos.
OK, we now switch to the images from Digital Photography Review (DPReview).
I wanted two sources and this gallery has mostly hand-held images which is what I shoot 95.83% of the time. Also, I start with a JPG.
The photo was shot at ISO 180, 1/500 sec at f/6.3, and a zoom of 324 mm (~1,800 mm equivalent).
I’m not sure what the intent of this shot was. I know my P900 does well with local metering when I’m fully zoomed in on the moon but doesn’t do as well as I zoom out. Also, as the subject gets smaller, less information is captured as far as details go. I probably should’ve picked a different JPG to work with or even do a comparison of RAW vs. JPG processing for the same photo but, as I said, I would shoot RAW all the time.
That said, here’s my processing of the above JPG . . .
I’d say I’m better off cropping an image from my D7000 with the 80-400mm lens. Mind you, it’s not bad, especially viewed at the larger resolution.
Some might call me on how much I process these photos. I
would remind them I process photos for my tastes.
The photo was shot at ISO 100, 1/250 sec at f/3.2, and a zoom of 8.5 mm (~50 mm equivalent).
The P900 has trouble rendering red and orange so I don’t know what the scene actually looked like. However, I’m impressed with the dynamic range and end result.
Same for this next photo.
The photo was shot at ISO 400, 1/30 sec at f/2.8, and a zoom of 4.3 mm (~24 mm equivalent).
Other than straightening out the photo, I’d be pleased with that shot. One strange thing is that I don’t see the typical wide-angle problem with the verticals not showing parallel side-to-side. Weird that because on a shot like that I’d have to use DxO View Point to straighten the walls.
That aside, as I said, I’m impressed.
The photo was shot at ISO 400, 1/200 sec at f/8.0, and a zoom of 539 mm (~3,000 mm equivalent).
That’s the kind of image one shoots (I shoot) to show the capability of the camera. Meaning, it’s impressive one can zoom in that far on a distant subject, but it’s not something one would use for any other purpose. That said . . . wow.
The photo was shot at ISO 200, 1/125 sec at f/8.0, and a zoom of 539 mm (~3,000 mm equivalent).
Another impressive shot. That’s pretty good for full zoom. The golden hour image is more attractive to some but I wanted to see if I could bring back a decent white balance and retain the pinks and reds. The processed image still looks (to me) a bit yellow. I have something like ten versions of it and at the end, I just picked one. I set the initial WB using the whites of the eye and then tweaked to find a balance between the skin tone and lips.
That said, I’d be happy with either photo and it points out something people forget about the P900 and (likely) about the P1000 . . . you’re not limited to using the 3,000mm zoom capability to shoot at things that are miles away.
The photo was shot at ISO 100, 1/1000 sec at f/2.8, and a zoom of 4.3 mm (~24 mm equivalent).
Again, for a wide-angle shot, the verticals are pretty good. Also, a shot that is not in full sun so I’m happy that I can resolve the fine detail. You can easily read the sign (even more so on the full-size version).
The photo was shot at ISO 1600, 1/500 sec at f/5.0, and a zoom of 83.9 mm (~470 mm equivalent).
It’s not a great shot but if you are a birder and this was your only opportunity to shoot this particular bird, you’d be happy with this shot. Just don’t zoom in too much.
The photo was shot at ISO 560, 1/125 sec at f/5.0, and a zoom of 117 mm (~655 mm equivalent).
This is another photo where I edited bot the RAW and the JPG and the RAW had an advantage because the JPG has more sharpening and hence is more difficult to work with. As an aside, that’s about the same zoom I would get from my 80-400mm lens. I plan to do some comparison tests using the D7000 with the 80-400mm lens versus the P900 at its maximum zoom. Yes, another future post about photography.
The photo was shot at ISO 1600, 1/30 sec at f/5.6, and a zoom of 198 mm (~1,100 mm equivalent).
The author of the review (Jeff Keller) went to the zoo which is an excellent place to get all sorts of different shooting situations. The above image is, once more, one that impressed me. I would be very happy with that shot. In fact, it’s about the quality of some of my own shots at the Cheyenne Zoo. Mind you, you’re limited with regard to large prints, but that’s pretty darn good for the blog. Click on it to see a larger version.
The photo was shot at ISO 110, 1/400 sec at f/6.3, and a zoom of 306 mm (~1,700 mm equivalent).
It could be argued I used a heavy post-processing hand. Then again, I also wanted to see just how much I could push the post-processing. I could push it pretty far.
Once more, I would remind readers to click on the images to see them at the larger resolution. The reason? Because WordPress compresses the photos when it fits them to the width of the blog . . . hence the “press” in WordPress.
The photo was shot at ISO 560, 1/320 sec at f/5.0, and a zoom of 539 mm (~3,000 mm equivalent).
Again, one of those shots that are fine for a blog narrative but not much else. The noise is pretty bad and there’s a bit of blur to the image. According to the photographer, this monkey was a long way off. I imagine other mortals — using ordinary cameras — did not get this shot.
OK, one more . . .
The photo was shot at ISO 100, 1/200 sec at f/5.6, and a zoom of 216 mm (~1,200 mm equivalent).
As my readers might know, I’ve been shooting herons lately. I would be happy with that shot. OK, I sound like a broken record but it’s the truth.
. . . at least, until I see a D500 photo taken with the Nikon 200-500mm lens. I’ll probably have to hunt those down as well.
Here is the gallery of the above images:
That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.
Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website. Could be they also torture small mammals.