Nikon today announce the Coolpix 800, a half-way ground between the Coolpix 700 and Coolpix 950. The 800 features the same proven 2.11 megapixel CCD with an all new 2x optical zoom lens (38-76mm, 35mm equiv) in a similar small package to the Coolpix 700. The 800 also has a couple of new interesting (if questionably useful) features. Competition to the upcoming Canon S10 ?.. Probably. MSRP $700.

Nikon Coolpix 800 (front & back)
(click for larger image)

Styling wise as you can see the Coolpix 800 is very similar to the Coolpix 700, main differences are the extended lens barrel (to accomodate the 2x optical zoom) and the shifted viewfinder (upwards), again to accomodate the lens. Otherwise controls, layout and dimensions are pretty similar (although the 800 is about 1 inch thicker than the 700).

New features (over the Coolpix 700 / 950)

  • Ultra High-Speed Continuous mode allows you to shoot up to 40 320 x 240 pixel images at approx. 30fps. You can also alternatively choose your favourite from the 40 images captured. (I question the usefulness of this mostly because you can in reality only capture 1.3 seconds of action)...
     
  • Slightly faster startup time: the 800 is promoted as having a 2 second startup time which is about 1 second faster than the 700 / 950.
     
  • Improved manual focus selection: the 800 has 45 manual focus steps between 7cm and infinity vs. the 700 / 950's 10 steps
     
  • Self-timer: you can now choose 10 or 3 seconds self-timer (and we presume also in macro mode)

Noteworthy

  • Lens does not extend during zooming allowing optimum performance of both lens and converters.

Specifications

  • CCD: 1/2" 2.11 megapixel CCD (1600 x 1200 or 640 x 480)
  • Lens: 2x optical zoom lens (f7mm-14mm) (35mm equiv. 38mm - 76mm), 7 elements in 5 groups. Aperture: F3.5 - F4.8
  • Digital Zoom: 1.25x, 1.6x, 2x, 2.5x
  • Auto focus: 480-step autofocus (contrast detect TTL) - Normal & Macro
  • Focus modes: Continuous, Single, Manual (45 steps between 7cm and Infinity)
  • Shooting distances: 30cm (11.8") in Normal, 7cm (2.6") in Macro.
  • Sensitivity: ISO 100, 200 or 400 equiv. (Curious note: where's the 80 / 100 / 160 / 320 of the 700 / 950 ?)
  • Shooting menu: Exposure metering, Capture mode, Sensitivity, White Balance, Tone compensate (contrast+/-, brightness+/-), B&W, Converters, File numbering
  • Capture modes: Single, Continuous (1.5fps @ 1600 x 1200), Multiple (16 images on one 1600 x 1200, Ultra High-Speed Continuous (30fps @ 320 x 240 - 40 images max)
  • Metering: 256 segment Matrix, Center-Weighted, Spot
  • Shutter speed range: 8 seconds - 1/750 second
  • Exposure compensation: +/-2EV in 1/3EV steps
  • White balance: Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash, Manual Preset
  • Flash modes: Auto, Off, Forced On, Slow-Sync, Anti-Red-Eye
  • Self-timer: 10 or 3 seconds
  • Optical viewfinder: approx 80% coverage
  • LCD: 1.8" TFT
  • Storage: TIFF / JPEG (Fine: 1/4, Normal: 1/8, Basic: 1/16)
  • Media: Compact Flash (8MB card included)
  • Communications: Serial PC / Mac, Video out
  • Power: 4 x 1.5V AA batteries (not included, NiMH rechargeable recommended)
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 119 x 69 x 61mm (4.7" x 2.7" x 2.4")
  • Weight (no battery): 270g (9.5 oz)
  • Standard accessories: Soft case, lens cap, wrist strap, video cable, 8MB CompactFlash Card, Serial cables, batteries, Nikon View Ver.2 CD-ROM.
  • Expected release date: November 1999
  • MSRP: US$700

Optional accessories

  • Telephoto Converter TC-E2 (2x telephoto converter, only usable at focal lengths greater than 60mm)*
  • Wideangle Converter WC-E24 (wide-angle converter produces 24-48mm)*
  • Fisheye Converter FC-E8 (converts to 8mm providing approx. 183 degrees view angle)
  • AC Adapter EH-30
  • PC Card Adapter EC-AD1

* focal lengths are 35mm equiv.

Full specifications available in our digital camera comparison database

Nikon Press release:

Nikon Coolpix 800 Debuts in Time for the Holidays
Nikon's Newest Two-MegaPixel Digital Camera: An Optics Marvel That's Easy to Use

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, Nikon today announced the newest addition to its popular two-megapixel Coolpix Digital Camera series: the compact, fully automatic, easy-to-use Coolpix 800. The new camera provides holiday and business users with high performance, versatility, and high image quality, thanks to its 2x Zoom Nikkor lens and refined electronics. Small enough to slip into a pocket or Christmas stocking, and weighing only 9.5 ounces, the easy-to-use Coolpix 800 provides unparalleled value for under $700. It will be on retail shelves in early November, 1999.

Built in the award-winning tradition of Nikon's highly successful, fun-to-use Coolpix family of digital cameras, the rugged Coolpix 800 continues to shatter the two-megapixel resolution standard and create the vastly superior images that Nikon is known for worldwide. Not only is the camera small and light weight but it's hot new 2x Zoom Nikkor lens offers unprecedented sharpness, clarity and color. And, with the touch of a button, picture lovers can zoom from 38 to 76 mm (35mm equivalent) and a further 1.25x to 2.5x digital zoom, letting them zero in on all the holiday action. Users can even shoot subjects as close as 2.8 inches away with the Macro setting.

``The hot new Coolpix 800 is the perfect holiday choice for that photo lover on your gift list,'' said Nancy Carr, general manager of marketing for Nikon consumer digital products and compact cameras. ``It's fun to use, fast, flexible and captures unbelievably beautiful pictures in the blink of an eye. It's the ideal choice for anyone who wants Nikon's award-winning optical excellence and easy handling, but who doesn't need all of the more extensive photographic features of the Coolpix 950,'' Carr explained.

Superior overall picture quality is further enhanced by Nikon's new on-board software and electronics. This revolutionary new system operates automatically to make sure that every image is perfectly balanced and color reproduction is vivid and true to life. With one touch, users can select ultra-high-definition, rich, full-sized 1600x 1200 pixel images, 1/16-size frames, or easy-to-store 640x480 VGA-sized images. A choice of Nikon exclusive 256 element matrix metering, center-weighted and spot metering is built in to the Coolpix 800. Three optional converters for telephoto, wide angle and fisheye lenses are available -- all designed to let the business or home photographer take the best possible pictures.

For photographers on the run, the Coolpix 800 features Nikon's exclusive Best-Shot Selector (BSS). The program allows users to shoot ten frames in five seconds, then it instantly analyzes the image frequencies, selects the best one and discards the others. This works especially well at eliminating the effects of camera movement and minor vibration that otherwise can blur or ruin the perfect business, holiday, family or vacation action picture. What's even more special is the new high-speed continuous mode, which will shoot up to 30 frames per second for up to 40 QVGA-sized (320x240 pixels) pictures.

Designed for easy use and foolproof results, the Coolpix 800 features a clear, sharp 1.8 inch LCD that displays images and all operating menus. There is also an optical viewfinder with a diopter to adjust the viewing for the user's individual comfort. The camera's fast, high-precision autofocus (480 steps) ensures razor-sharp pictures every time. And, the built-in Speedlight offers a variety of high performance flash modes including Auto Flash, Flash Cancel, Anytime Flash, Slow Sync and Red-Eye Reduction, so even amateur shutterbugs can get perfectly exposed shots under tough lighting conditions.

The Coolpix 800's versatility is second to none. Even with the LCD turned on, it offers an unprecedented extended battery life of approximately 100 minutes using four AA-alkaline batteries. It's also fast, booting up in two-seconds. Images captured on the 2.11 megapixel CCD can be saved in an uncompressed TIFF format plus three JPEG compression modes. The Coolpix 800 ships with an industry standard 8MB Nikon CompactFlash(TM) memory card which stores up to 200 images, depending on image size.

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