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Nikon Coolpix P5000 Operation

The Coolpix P5000 is controlled by an easily grasped system of physical controls for frequently adjusted options, a Menu system for options that are changed less frequently and a Setup mode for basic camera behavior. The addition of a Command Dial to scroll through an option's settings is particularly useful even though the Multi-Selector duplicates much of that functionality. The five small buttons are easily made friends with and the Multi-Selector sits by itself, easy to access with your right thumb. It's such an intelligent layout you could operate the P5000 blindfolded.

Operable blindfolded, of course, until you need to use the Menu system. Even then, the large type makes it easy to read and the gray/black/yellow color scheme is pleasant to view -- and is especially clear about what is and is not selected, unlike the colorful menu systems on so many other digicams.

Record Mode Display
In Record modes, the Display button just below the Function button in the column of five buttons alongside the LCD, toggles through up to four display settings. Those include Current Settings (essential camera settings overlaying the scene), Framing Guides (which divides the frame into nine sections using bold yellow grid lines), No Information other than the Record mode, Monitor Off (in PASM modes only).

Playback Mode Display
In Playback mode, the Display button toggles through three display modes including Photo with Information (essential file and exposure information), Shooting data display (a small thumbnail above a histogram with file information and exposure data to the right), and Photo with no information. The T position zooms in or magnifies an image up to three times while the W position display captured images in index mode in groups of 4, 9 or 16 images.


Nikon Coolpix P5000 Modes and Menus

Auto Mode: Indicated on the Mode dial with a green camera icon, Auto mode puts the camera in control over the exposure. You can still set Flash, EV, Focus mode, the Self-Timer, Image Size, Image Quality, and Zoom.

Anti-Shake Mode: Vibration Reduction and Best Shot Selector are both turned on and ISO Sensitivity raised to a maximum of ISO 1600 to reduce camera blur when the flash is off or you zoom in.

High ISO Mode: In this mode, the camera automatically raises ISO sensitivity to a maximum of ISO 1600ro reduce blur in low light or when the subject is moving. This mode is preferred over Anti-Shake mode when shooting indoors or under low light.

Programmed Auto Mode: Indicated by a 'P' on the Mode Dial, this mode sets both the shutter speed and aperture based on the meter reading. Turning the Command Dial sets alternate combinations of shutter speed and aperture for the same exposure, providing control over depth of field and motion blur.

Aperture Priority Mode: Indicated by an 'A' on the Mode Dial, this mode automatically sets the shutter speed for the meter reading based on the aperture you select with the Command Dial.

Shutter Priority Mode: Indicated by an 'S' on the Mode Dial, this mode automatically sets the aperture for the meter reading based on the shutter speed you select with the Command Dial.

Manual Mode: You set both the aperture and shutter speed independently using the Command Dial, switching between the two with the Exposure Compensation button (Right arrow).

Scene Mode: Indicated by the word 'SCENE' on the Mode dial, Scene mode provides access to the P5000's Scene modes, designed for specific situations. These include Face-Priority AF, Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Night Portrait, Party/Indoor, Beach/Snow, Sunset, Dusk/Dawn, Night Landscape, Close Up, Museum, Fireworks Show, Copy, Back Light and Panorama Assist. In addition, the Voice Recording option allows you to record voice memos.

Movie Mode: A Movie camera icon on the Mode Dial marks the Movie mode option to capture AVI format movies with monaural sound. Options available from the Menu system include 640x480 at 30 fps or 15 fps, 320x240 at 15 fps, 160x120 at 15 fps, Sepia at 320x240 at 15 fps, B&W at 320x240 at 15 fps. In addition, a Time Lapse option takes up to 1,800 stills at specified intervals, creating a silent movie as long as 60 seconds. Available recording time is shown on the LCD. Broadcast quality (640x480 at 30 fps) uses 3:40 per 256MB.

Setup Mode: This mode, indicated by the word 'SETUP' on the Mode Dial, accesses the Setup menu options described below to set the general behavior of the camera.

Record Menu: These options, available when you press the Menu button with the camera is in a Recording mode, may include:

Playback Menu: Accessed by pressing the Menu button in Playback mode, these options include:

Setup Menu: This menu, which sets basic camera behavior, is only available on the Mode Dial.