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I am not familiar with the Coolpix line ( have a D300s) but if your color isnt right..can you adjust the white balance on that camera? The type of lighting shows up different on the camera sensor than it does to our eyes.
If using the tripod you do not have to use a large aperture..a smaller one ( f/8 ,f/7.1) will give you more depth of field.
Remember that if you let the camera make the decisions, it will always try to expose an image to a mid tone because that is 'correct exposure' to it. ( snow looks grey, dark things to light) You have to override it to get the effect you want ( snow needs to be white, add a stop or two exposure..black cat needs to be black , dial in some negative exposure
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