For today’s article, we are going to be going over what we feel are ten Nikon p900 tips and tricks that you are able to quickly and easily implement to help ensure that you are able to get the best image quality possible when using your p900. As the Nikon p900 is a very popular bridge camera with one of the largest core customer bases of all modern bridge cameras we see a whole bunch of people reaching out with various questions on how to get the best image quality possible.
Due to this, our tips and tricks below are actually based on a number of different things that you are able to use to your advantage. Some of them are niche dependent meaning that there is likley no need for you to implement every single tip but we would still highly recommend that you read all ten of them. The extremely high zoom capabilities of the p900 offer some unique photographic opportunities for you and in our opinion, a few small tweaks to your settings or camera accessories can actually make a massive difference.
Pick Up The Nikon P900 Bible
In our opinion, no matter what level of experience you have as a photographer, the absolute number one thing that you are able to do to help improve your performance as a photographer using the Nikon p900 is to purchase and read The Photographer's Guide to the Nikon Coolpix P900 by Alexander S. White. Although Nikon has done an absolutely outstanding job of putting the Nikon p900 together and made an excellent little camera body, it’s no secret that the user manual is extremely basic when compared to what the camera is actually able to do for you.
This book has affectionately been dubbed as the p900 bible as it covers absolutely everything that you can think of for the camera. The book is extremely easy to read, covers everything that you could ever want to know in pretty much every photography niche you can think of, and has over 350 full-color images to help get its points across. The book also has an absolutely excellent reputation amongst the Nikon p900 owning community with many independent photographers choosing to publish their own third part reviews of the book.
We would highly recommend that you spend some time at least skimming over those reviews as some of them have been published by experienced photographers with decades of experience and sing the book’s praises. Those independent reviews really do offer a great example of why so many p900 owners consider it to be the p900 bible and essential reading for anyone who owns the camera. On top of this, the kindle version of the book is available for less than ten dollars at the time of writing and covers all the same information as the paperback making it an absolute steal.
This is why, no matter what level of experience you have, no matter what photography or videography niche you are working in, we would definatley consider The Photographer's Guide to the Nikon Coolpix P900 by Alexander S. White essential reading and the most important camera accessories available for the p900.
Invest In Suitable Image Stabilization
As it is highly likley that you will be using the upper zoom ranges of Nikon p900 when capturing your photographs, our next suggestion is to add some solid image stabilization to your collection of p900 camera accessories. Now, everyone instantly defaults to thinking of a tripod when we mention investing in your cameras image stabilization but there are usually three different areas that you can improve upon to help get the best image quality possible.
The first one is most definatley adding a solid tripod to your collection of camera accessories and in our opinion, the Manfrotto 475B is one of the best options available at the time of writing while the Zomei z818 can potentially serve as a more budget-friendly tripod if needed. That said though, chances are if you are using something like the p900, you already have a tripod that you are happy with so let’s move onto our next way to improve your image stabilization.
Next up, we have a decent video head for your tripod such as the Manfrotto 502 that offers some excellent performance and functionality while also having earned itself one of the best reputations amongst the community. Now, some of you may be wondering why you need a video head when using the p900 for photography but it can make your life so much easier to be able to adjust the positioning of your camera via the handle on the video head when using the higher zoom range of the p900 beating a standard ball head any day.
Depending on the photography niche that you work in as well as the level of experience you have as a photographer, you may already have our next suggestion but a large number of people that we see reachout for advice with the Nikon p900 don’t. Our next suggestion is a solid little telephoto lens support like the Manfrotto 293 that can do wonders for your image stabilization and is a massively underrated camera accessory in our opinion, especially for bridge camera users and they are well worth adding to your collection of camera accessories.
Protect Your Forward Lens Element
Next up we have one of the most basic yet underrated tips for anyone who uses a Bridge camera or expensive lens and that is to pick up a cheap yet robust and tough UV filter. We would highly recommend that you go with the Gobe filter range if possible as they tend to be much cheaper than the Hoya or Tiffen alternatives on the market right now while offering the same levels of protection. On top of this, if you have the budget for the three peak version rather than the one or two peak UV filter it really does help increase the levels of protection offered to your Nikon p900.
With the camera being a bridge camera with a permanently fitted lens to the camera body, if you do end up accidentally damaging your forward lens element on the p900, it can result in a very pricey repair bill. A cheap, tough UV filter can help protect the forward lens element on your p900 to prevent this without having any negative effects on the level of image quality that you are able to capture either.
Your Nikon p900 comes with a 67mm lens filter thread as standard so if you do choose to add a lens filter to your collection of camera accessories, be sure to choose a 67mm UV filter so it can seamlessly mount directly to your p900 without the need for a converter. The Gobe three peak UV filter range uses the highest possible quality German Schott glass that has been coated sixteen times for optimal performance during use. This helps ensure that it can take an absolute ton of punishment that would otherwise have to be taken by the much weaker forward lens element on your p900 helping to potentially avoid any expensive repair bills.
Invest In A Wireless Remote Control
Our next tip to help you get the best image quality possible out of your Nikon p900, especially when working at the higher zoom ranges is to add a cheap wireless remote control to your p900 camera accessories. This removes the need to actually touch your camera body to capture your photographs during use and thus removes the small vibrations that can have a surprising effect when using higher levels of zoom.
Although there are a number of compatible wireless remote controls for the Nikon p900, we always recommend the Foto and Tech remote as it has an excellent reputation amongst the Nikon owning community and is only around $10 while performing flawlessly. It is also very easy to use and allows you to zoom right in on your subject and then capture your photograph without ever having to touch your camera body and risk altering the aim of your lens.
Practice Your Freehand Technique
One of the most underrated Nikon p900 tips and tricks is to simply practice your freehand technique and although this will depend on the niche that you are working in, it can be a great technique to improve on. It allows you to track your subjects such as birds or wildlife much quicker than many tripods, even if you are using a video head.
As you will probably already know, even the slightest movement of the camera when working at higher zoom levels can have a surprising effect on the aim of the p900. This adds some unique challenges to developing your freehand technique when compared to most other types of modern cameras. There are a large number of tutorials on sites such as YouTube going over some simple, quick, and easy techniques that you can implement to improve your freehand image quality.
Trust Your Autofocus
Although some of the older Nikon camera bodies did have issues with their autofocus that could result in poor image quality when tracking a subject quickly, the autofocus system on the Nikon p900 is surprisingly good and can definatley be trusted for niches such as bird photography. Although some photographers have managed to build up the talent of being able to manually adjust their autofocus while tracking a bird in flight, the system on the p900 can usually be trusted to do this for you.
Although the conditions in your location and the niche that you are working in will definitely end up coming into play, testing how your autofocus performs and getting used to using it is a quick and easy task that can easily be developed. Even if you just sit in your yard and track some birds in your local area as they fly around it can help you get used to using your autofocus to track your subjects and help to improve the image quality that you are able to capture when out on a real photography session.
Manually Adjust Your F Stops
Again, this is going to depend on the conditions that you are using your Nikon p900 in as well as the niche you are working in but manually setting your F stops on the p900 is another simple task that we often see overlooked. Learning to quickly and easily adjust your F stops as required as you work your way up the zoom range of the p900 can help to improve the overall image quality that you are able to capture when using the camera with ease.
Although this is one of the trickier tips and tricks on our list, especially if you are also tracking a fast-moving subject with freehand it is a talent definatley worth developing as soon as possible. Although you will have to tweak them to meet your needs as well as the conditions for your area, the below settings are our basic recommended F stops for the Nikon p900.
- 24mm – f2.8 / f8
- 105mm – f4 / f8
- 200mm – f4.5 / f8
- 2000mm – f6.5 / f8
Again, you can usually spend some time in your yard tracking local birds flying around and practice the technique of adjusting your F stops if needed. Don’t let it get you down if you find it difficult at first, everyone usually does at first but it is well worth working on in our opinion, especially if you are into bird or wildlife photography with your p900.
Test Various Shutter Speeds
Just like most things in modern photography, there is no one size fits all solutions for your camera settings and we have lost count of the number of entry-level photographers who stick to the same shutter speeds no matter what they are doing. We would highly recommend that you play around with testing various shutter speeds for various tasks with your p900. It is actually really surprising the change in image quality that something as simple as changing a single setting can achieve for you.
Although we mentioned it way back at the start of the article, The Photographer's Guide to the Nikon Coolpix P900 by Alexander S. White offers some excellent advice on making simple changes like this to get the best image quality possible from your p900. We just wanted to quickly touch on it again as it really is worth picking up and you can read a ton of third-party, independent reviews of the book by clicking here to see how highly the Nikon p900 community think of the book too.
Manually Set Your Settings
This is another area where the photography niche that you are working in, as well as your own personal circumstances, are going to have a massive effect but tweaking the settings on your p900 can be another quick and easy way to help ensure that you are getting the best image quality possible. As a basic template, we would recommend that you start with the below set up and then adjust accordingly as required.
- Image Quality – Fine
- Image Size – 16M (4608 x 3456)
- Picture Control – SD (Standard)
- White Balance – Auto1 (Auto normal)
- Continuous – Continuous H (high speed burst)
- ISO Sensitivity – ISO Fixed Range Auto (100-400 outdoors) or (100-800 indoors)
- Autofocus Mode – AF-F (full time)
- Noise Reduction Filter – Low
- Active D-Lighting – Normal
- Zoom Memory – ON
- Startup Zoom Position – 50mm
- Vibration Reduction – Normal
- AF Assist – Auto
Play With Single Shot And Burst
The final Nikon p900 tip that we want to go over is to try single shot and burst shot modes in a number of situations. Both modes can produce some excellent photographs but personal preference will come into play on what you feel is best. On top of this, the photography niche you are working in as well as if your subject is moving at a fast pace or stationary will all come into play too.