Checking out the infrared capability of the Nikon Coolpix 990, 25 November 2022

I’ve been suffering from GAS again. This time it’s this unusual looking camera, the Nikon Coolpix 990 from 2000. I actually wanted the first of this range of cameras, the 900, for the #ShittyCameraChallenge #1990sCameraChallenge but I couldn’t find it. So this one will have to do (and I’m actually very happy with it).

Of course,  what I wanted to do with this camera is use it for some digital infrared photography, but I was not sure how well it would perform.

After several (many) rainy days, this morning the sun rose into a cloudless sky and I knew that I had to make the best of this opportunity. I mounted the camera onto my little travel tripod and headed across the road to photograph the well and orange trees that I always use to test out a new camera.

The first image was taken with the camera on program mode where the camera chose all of the settings, and I have to say it was rather nice.

Next, I turned the Nikon to manual mode (a fiddly procedure that the manual didn’t seem to explain clearly) and selected ‘black and white’. The first image here was taken on the program option, before I found manual.

In manual mode I set the shutter speed to 2s, the aperture was set to f2.5 as I couldn’t figure out how to change it. I fired off a couple of shots with a 720nm Infrared filter held in front of the lens. The results were mixed, one frame looked underexposed, while another seemed fine. 

On the whole, though, the infrared sensitivity of the Nikon Coolpix 990. Was perfectly satisfactory, and I’m looking forward to using it again. 

Finally, I took a couple of photos in program mode with the camera set to black and white. At the time I thought it hadn’t worked, all I could see on the monitor was a blank screen, but when I came to upload and process the images, in fact they were the best of the lot.

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Published by Keith Devereux

'Let me close my eyes and sense the beauty around me. And take that breath under the dark sky full of stars.' Mira Furlan

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