rfi: Nikon Coolpix 4500 digital

To: Arron Davies <>
Subject: rfi: Nikon Coolpix 4500 digital
From: David Burren <>
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 2002 10:08:39 +1000
Arron Davies <> wrote:
> I'm intrested in purchasing a digital camera and have seen the new
> Nikon coolpix 4500, and wondered if anyone here owns it or its
> predecessor and can give some warning or recommendation.
> One of my main interests would be to use it for digiscoping, so this
> not entirely an off-topic post.
> A couple of years ago I was on a digiscoping maillist, and the Nikon
> coolpix 950/995 seemed to be the weapon of choice at the time. Is this
> still the case, or has this style of camera been superceeded now.
> Would the coolpix 4500 be a good digiscoping camera ?

I expect the 4500 will be an excellent digiscoping camera.  One of the
reasons the 9xx cameras have been popular for digiscoping is that their
zoom is entirely internal.  It doesn't change length as it moves, and
there is a convenient thread on the end of the lens quite close to the
front element.  The 4500 has the same 28mm thread on its lens, so all
the attachments for the Coolpix 950/990/995 should suit it.

Have you looked at the website of Eagle Eye Optics in the UK?  They have
lots of information about what camera suits what scope and can probably
sell you the appropriate adapter.

One thing to check out is whether a remote shutter-release cable is
available for it.  With the 99x cameras I think this is a device that
connects to the camera's USB port.  With a camera attached to a scope
you will introduce lots of vibration when you touch the camera.  Without
a remote release cable you will have to use the camera's self-timer
(which I think on the 4500 can be set to 3 or 10 seconds).  A bird can
move a long way in 3 seconds...

> Can anyone give some further guidance as to whether it is also a good
> all-round camera.

The camera is still quite new so there's limited experience with it to
draw on.  Have you checked out the review of a pre-production unit at ?

Based on my experiences with a 950 (which I have owned since 1999) and
friend's and relative's 990/995s, I would expect the 4500 to be an
excellent camera.  BTW, the reason I still haven't upgraded my
2-megapixel 950 is that it's now become my "pocket camera" whereas most
of my photography these days is done with digital SLRs.  The 950 is
still a very capable camera.

> I notice that it is 4 'effective' megapixels. Do those who own digital
> cameras use the highest megapixel setting much, or is it like the high
> setting on my desktop scanner (something I never use because the image
> file is just too big to store or view).

Typically yes.  If you don't select the highest setting then that limits
your ability to crop-n-zoom the picture later.  And when you take that
picture-of-a-lifetime you'd be kicking yourself if you couldn't enlarge
it for large prints.  You never know it's going to be a great picture
until you've taken it, and by then it's too late to change setting...
Also, if you're a stickler for quality, the downscaling from top
resolution (which is the native resolution of the sensor) in the camera
may introduce some amount of blurriness, as it doesn't have the same
capabilities as the software in a desktop machine.

The only time I've selected lower settings has been either when I'm just
taking test shots, or when I was travelling with limited data storage
(for a week in the wilderness).  These days I simply make sure I've got
enough storage.
David Burren
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