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Nikon Coolpix 8400 and preview

By dpreview staff on Sep 16, 2004 at 06:02 GMT

Nikon has today announced the eight megapixel wide angle zoom Coolpix 8400, the successor to the Coolpix 5400. It features an all new wide angle 24 - 85 mm equiv. 3.5x zoom lens, a 1.8" flip-out and twist LCD monitor, an electronic viewfinder, a higher capacity battery and USB 2.0. Internally it appears to be almost identical to the 10x Coolpix 8800 also announced today. We have had a pre-production camera for a few days and have produced a detailed preview, see inside. The 8400 will have an MSRP of $899 (£649) and will be available in September.

Click here for our detailed preview of the Nikon Coolpix 8400

Press Release:

NEW NIKON COOLPIX 8400 APPEALS TO SERIOUS PHOTOGRAPHERS WITH A 24-85 MM ULTRA-WIDE ZOOM LENS - THE WIDEST COVERAGE AVAILABLE FROM A COMPACT DIGITAL CAMERA

New Coolpix Digital Camera Answers the Call For High-Powered
Wide-Angle Photography

MELVILLE, NY, September 16, 2004 – In a time when long zoom cameras rule, many serious photographers have been waiting for a wide-angle solution for their photography needs. As of today, there is wide, wide world of digital creativity awaiting digital photographers as Nikon announced its new Nikon Coolpix 8400 digital camera (www.nikondigitalusa.com). The Coolpix 8400 has the widest angle of coverage available in a compact digital camera today, and the first to offer photo purists and creative photographers an answer to their search for true wide-angle photography from a compact digital camera. The Coolpix 8400 provides users with extremely high 8.0 effective megapixel performance and a versatile 24-85mm (35mm equivalent) zoom Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass lens for high quality images and the ability to capture expansive scenes in a single frame. And as a direct result of Nikon’s advanced technology, the Coolpix 8400 also offers extremely fast autofocus, with the all new ranging AF feature, an advantage that makes it easy to capture unexpected moments with clarity.

The Nikon Coolpix 8400 is the ideal compact camera for serious digital photographers who want to maintain maximum control of their picture-taking experience. Appealing to traditional SLR photographers, the capabilities and design of this new camera will expand the user’s creativity while greatly expanding their field of view.

“Nikon sees the 8-megapixel digital camera category as one of the potential growth sectors in the business mainly because of the scores of advanced photographers who are better educated about their cameras and, in the process, becoming more experienced shooters,” said Jerry Grossman, vice president, Marketing, for Nikon Inc. “The Coolpix 8400 is the answer to photographers’ call for a compact camera with a wider lens that allows for a more traditional style of photography, such as landscapes and portraits. The camera boasts a feature set that will surely guide photographers into a creative new approach to their own photography.”

Nikon has grabbed the lead in the popular and powerful 8-megapixel camera category with the announcement of the new Coolpix 8400, and the Vibration Reduction (VR) enabled Coolpix 8800, which at 350mm is the longest compact digital camera with VR available today. These remarkable new products combine 8.0-megapixel resolution with high quality Nikkor ED optics and framing and zooming options that complement today’s digital photographers.

Nikon Coolpix 8400 – The Ideal Tool for Creative Photographers

The Nikon Coolpix 8400 is the ideal camera for serious photographers who consider the lens’s quality and coverage as a critical factor in their regular shooting. The camera will also satisfy photographers that demand high level of quality and control from their compact digital camera.

The camera incorporates new features to help produce outstanding images straight out of the camera. The Nikon Coolpix 8400, and its counterpart Coolpix 8800, are the first digital cameras to offer Nikon’s D-lighting option. In Playback, D-lighting compensates for an underexposed or backlit area of an image while maintaining the properly exposed area of the same image. The result resembles a “digital fill flash” and salvages dark silhouettes into well-balanced album-worthy memories.

Another new feature, In-Camera Red-Eye Fix™, automatically corrects red-eye inside the camera in most instances when using the Red-Eye Reduction mode of the built-in flash. With Nikon’s In-Camera Red-Eye™ Fix activated, photographers will witness most common red-eye photos rapidly diminishing or disappearing entirely. With the red-eye reduction flash and In-Camera Red-Eye Fix, you may never see red eye again. The combination of these new features alone addresses two of the most commonly experienced problems in photography and corrects them with ease.

Serious digital photographers demand a great deal from their equipment. The Nikon Coolpix 8400 is well prepared to withstand the wear and tear that comes with frequent use. The camera is constructed with a compact, lightweight magnesium alloy body that has been designed for durability and portability, with a secure, comfortable grip for stability during shooting. Nikon has employed a high resolution (238,000 pixel) electronic viewfinder (EVF) for extremely sharp, through-the-lens viewing. In addition, users can use the large 1.8” vari-angle LCD panel to review shots on the go.

Legendary Nikkor Optics – The Lens Matters

No matter the type or size of a camera, great pictures begin with great lenses. More professionals choose Nikkor lenses, including the overwhelming majority of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographers. That very same quality is built into the Nikkor lens of every Nikon Coolpix digital camera, including the Nikon Coolpix 8400. The Nikon Coolpix 8400 has a zoom range of 24-85 mm (35mm equivalent) and its lens incorporates two ED glass elements to produce clear, sharp, colorful images. The design and precision of the Coolpix 8400’s Nikkor ED lens allows for incredible versatility, including Macro shooting from as close as 0.4 inches.

‘Broaden Your View’ – Accessories Push the Limits Of Compact Digital Photography

The Coolpix 8400 is a true system camera, which supports a complete series of affordable accessory lens converters, to greatly expand the camera’s zoom range, from an ultra-wide 7mm Fisheye to a sharp 255mm at full telephoto.

The Coolpix 8400 is compatible with Coolpix accessory lenses including the new TC-E3PF, an advanced and exclusive new 3x Phase Fresnel telephoto converter. Considerably shorter and lighter than any previous teleconverter, the TC-E3PF illustrates how Nikon is taking existing lenses and redesigning them for “on-the-go” convenience.. Furthermore, the widely-acclaimed TC-E3ED is also compatible with the Coolpix 8400.

Additionally, the Coolpix 8400 benefits from the 0.75x Wide Angle Adapter (WC-E75) (18mm) and the Fisheye converter lens (FC-E9) (7mm) to vastly expand creative shooting options and perspective.

In addition to accessory lenses, the Coolpix 8400’s accessory hot shoe now enables full TTL flash operation using the Nikon SB-800 or SB-600, including complete control of the flash unit’s zoom head. This combination of available additions makes the Coolpix 8400 and its accessories a complete and viable compact system.

Multiple Shooting Options

The Nikon Coolpix 8400 digital camera incorporates four exposure modes to give the photographer ultimate creative control over their image capture. These modes include Programmed Auto [P], Shutter-Priority Auto [S], Aperture-Priority Auto [A] and Manual [M]. The camera also offers an automatic mode, which makes the Coolpix 8400 an ideal tool in situations where operation needs to be ‘point-and-shoot simple.’ For added convenience, the camera incorporates 12 preset Scene Modes that allow for striking images in practically any shooting situation. The camera has the ability to capture images in RAW recording mode (NEF format) for maximum image control and manipulation after the picture is taken using Nikon’s new Capture 4.2 software available for download at www.nikontechusa.com. The camera also supports the newly adopted JPEG EXTRA file format, which offers higher image quality with less compression (compression rate: 1/2) in addition to its Basic, Normal, Fine, TIFF and NEF/RAW settings.

Nikon Coolpix 8400 Key Features:

  • 8.0 effective megapixels (3,264 x 2,448-pixels)
  • 3.5x optical Zoom-Nikkor ED lens with a zoom ratio of 24-85 mm (35mm [135] format)
  • 238,000-pixel high resolution through-the-lens EVF (Electronic Viewfinder), enhances user experience with backlight LED illumination
  • Programmed Auto [P], Shutter-Priority Auto [S], Aperture-Priority Auto [A] and Manual [M] exposure control modes
  • RAW data image mode - NEF
  • Fast, accurate Nine-Area Multi Autofocus
  • Macro shooting capability as close as 1.2-inches supported by Best Shot Selector (BSS) function
  • AE-BSS (Auto Exposure-BSS) for automatic selection of the best relative exposure — highlight, shadow or histogram
  • Quick response - instant startup, reduced shutter release time lag and fast image processing
  • 12 preset Scene Modes, including the new Panorama Assist Mode
  • Continuous shooting of up to 5 full-size images at 2.5 frames per second (fps)
  • Nikon’s exclusive 256-segment Matrix Metering, complemented by Center-Weighted, Spot and Spot AF area metering
  • Noise Reduction Mode for timed exposures
  • In-camera color control - Saturation control (5 steps and B&W)
  • Movie — TV movie (640 x 480 pixels; 30 fps) with audio, Small movie (320 x 240 pixels; 15 fps) with audio, or Sepia movie (320 x 240 pixels; 5 fps) with audio, or Time-lapse movie (640 x 480 pixels; 30 fps) without audio
  • Large vari-angle highly transmissible advanced TFT-LCD backlit monitor for greater visibility – even in bright sunlight

Software and Equipment – Value Matters

The Nikon Coolpix 8400 incorporates PictureProject™, the company’s next generation of photo software designed to be a management and activity center for all of your digital images. This new software package is aimed at creating a simple, intuitive and seamless photographic experience for digital photographers of all skill levels. PictureProject takes everything and puts it onto one screen helping people using the software to feel comfortable with its features within minutes.

Nikon also includes a software suite from ArcSoft® including VideoImpression™ to edit and share QuickTime™ movies taken with the camera and Panorama Maker™, which takes advantage of the Coolpix 8400’s wide-angle lens and Panorama Assist Mode to seamlessly stitch together multiple horizontal or vertical images to create beautiful panoramic photos.

The Nikon Coolpix 8400 provides users with all the equipment they need to begin shooting, which includes PictureProject image management software, USB cable, video cable, neck strap, the powerful new EN-EL7 rechargeable battery (up to 260 shots), and quick charger.

The Nikon Coolpix 8400 will be available at retail in September 2004 at an MSRP of $899.95. For more information about this and other Nikon Coolpix cameras, please visit www.nikondigitalusa.com.

Click here for our detailed preview of the Nikon Coolpix 8400

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