This is John again, the original poster of the question. First, I'd like to note that I went over most of the reviews I read about the S 6500 again after I posted my question, and I realized that I INTERPRETED the idea that the S 6500 has less noise and graininess in the ISO settings than the S 3600. Both cameras apparently have automatic electronic reduction systems that reduce noise and graininess, although this also results in loss of sharpness/definition in the higher ISO ranges. The noise/graininess is traded off for this loss. These ideas are all based on my reading of the reviews. In any case, for me to write that the S 6500 takes better quality photos than the S 3600 was completely unfounded, and I owe Nikon an apology. I really don't know which camera takes the better photos. This doesn't matter when one takes the perspective that more goes into a photo than the camera itself. The skill of the photographer and the content of the photo are both important. I imagine that a store like Walmart has cameras that can be used to take great photos, almost whatever model the consumer buys. Therefore, getting the S 6500 or S 3600 probably won't make or break a photographer's adventure in terms of whether one camera is purchased over another. Incidentally, both cameras were said in the reviews to take great photos in the lowest ISO settings, say around 100. These photos would be taken in very light conditions.
Now, on to the business of using a tripod to take photos of one's self, I came up with two ideas for the S 6500 that do not require getting BEHIND the camera. First, the photographer might be able to set the Wi Fi option to view the image screen in an android tablet, for example, from the spot in front of the camera where the individual plans to stand. Next, if the Wi Fi operation will allow the acquiring of a focus and activating the self timer, all that remains is to get the tablet out of sight while the timer counts down the seconds. If the position is known, the subject can move away from it to put the tablet somewhere else and return. I haven't tried this technique, so it is only a theory I have at this time, and depends on what the Wi Fi option will allow. Here the focus is LOCKED after being acquired.
Second, I have another idea. The individual starts a 1080 movie with continuous auto focus and takes his/her time posing. Next the movie is turned off. I read that a single frame or photo can be extracted from a video. One has 30 frames per second to choose from at the 1080 option. If the video is a few seconds long or more, perhaps hundreds of photos are available, and I'm guessing the main pose might last for about a second or even less. One drawback is that these extracted frames/photos might not be the highest quality that the camera takes in the normal photography options. I don't know, although I think they might not be.
Mainly I was looking for a way to be auto focused on from in front of the camera while the self timer counts down. This idea was stated or implied in my original question. To me, if this isn't possible, I see a weakness in these digital small cameras that probably spans many brands and models. I will be hoping that somebody provides a good answer as to how to take photos of one's self using a tripod. Knowing where to stand in reference to some position indicator determined by the individual seems like a valuable idea. Such an indicator might be a coin of the floor to stand on, therefore also covering it up so it won't be in the photo, etc., etc. Acquiring the focus for the same distance and locking it might be pretty easy too. This is up to the imagination, and many ideas are possible.
Hopefully somebody will respond with a good technique and/or knowledge of the S 6500's capabilities.
Nov 7, 2014 by
Belleville, Illinois, USA
Belleville, Illinois, USA
Favorite Subject: Landscape
Nikon Family: 0-1 years
Experience: Less than a month
Role: Serious passion, hobbyist