This may be a good place to ask for some coaching on improving my moon photos. I am pleased with the quality I get of moon shots. I think I have hit the capability of the P1000 pretty well. Here's a link to a couple photos as an example of what I'm asking. moon | Flickr
The two that show lots of detail of the moon surface are what I can typically get. I find the Moon Mode gets as good of shots as trying to be more specific in A or S priority or manual. I generally leave the ISO in Auto, and the Moon mode generally sets around 1/320 - 1/500th sec shutter and usually F/7 or F/8 and I use autofocus. I generally zoom out far enough to almost fill the frame or I crop quite a bit. But I consistently get this level of quality, even without a tripod. I figure I've pretty much gotten to the limits of the P1000 technology and I'm quite happy with it.
With the eclipse this morning, I set up with with a tripod, tried the Aperture priority, ISO auto, and couldn't get an auto focus. I assume there wasn't enough light and contrast, so I shifted to manual focus. Still didn't get focus worth a darn. Tried the Moon Mode and got the same. Shifted to manual focus with Moon mode and it was the best I could do (see the two photos on the Flickr link) but I didn't think I was getting a very good focus to show details that I am accustomed to getting. I couldn't find any settings that gave me better detail and clarity than these two photos. When I try bumping the ISO up a lot higher, it gets grainy real fast.
So, my question is: Are there settings I should be using that will allow me to get better detail and better focus in shots like this? I suspect the low light and low contrast are the limiting factors. Have I hit the limit of the P1000 or are there settings I should be trying for better detail at higher zoom? I'll add that I still get a massive amount of appreciation when I posted these photos this morning of the eclipse, but I am yearning for better.
I am attaching one of the eclipse photos below, but the rest are on the Flickr link.