"Control Panel" LCD display
The Coolpix 5700 has a status "Control Panel" LCD display on the top of the camera. This is almost identical to the panel used on the rear of the Coolpix 5000. The main difference is the addition of the 'RAW' image quality indicator and the new backlight. The backlight comes on for approximately six seconds after pressing the backlight button beside the display.
Below you can see a detailed diagram of all possible information displayed on this panel:
Reproduced with permission from Coolpix 5700 manual.
The Coolpix 995 broke the Coolpix mold by having a 4x optical zoom lens, all previous Nikon Coolpix cameras had a 3x or less zoom lens. That makes the 5700's new lens all the more remarkable, the 5700 is fitted with a compact 8x optical zoom lens. It provides you with a 35 mm equiv. range of 35 to 280 mm with a respectable (but still not the fastest) maximum aperture of F2.8 at wide angle and F4.2 at full telephoto.
The lens takes just 1.2 to extend at power-up and approximately 1.0 seconds to retract (when at wide angle). Total power-up time however is around 5 seconds (more detail can be found later in this review). Of course a big zoom lens needs to extend at full telephoto, zooming all the way to telephoto adds 22 mm (approx. 1 inch) to the lens length at wide angle.
Here's a quick comparison of the characteristics of lens systems between the current range (at the time of writing this review) of five megapixel digital cameras:
(wide - tele)
|Nikon Coolpix 5700||35 - 280 mm (8x)||F2.8 - F4.2||14 elements in 10 groups|
|Minolta DiMAGE 7i||28 - 200 mm (7x)||F2.8 - F3.5||16 elements in 13 groups|
|Sony DSC-F707||38 - 190 mm (5x)||F2.0 - F2.4||Unknown|
|Olympus E-20||35 - 140 mm (4x)||F2.0 - F2.4||14 elements in 11 groups|
|Nikon Coolpix 5000||28 - 85 mm (3x)||F2.8 - F4.8||9 elements in 7 groups|
Battery Compartment / Optional Battery pack
The 5700's battery compartment is in the camera's hand grip, the door fits flush into the base of the hand grip and is held closed by a sliding clip. Just like the 885, 995, 4500 and 5000 the 5700 takes Nikon's Lithium-Ion EN-EL1 battery (7.4 V, 650 mAh = 4.8 Wh) or non-rechargeable 2CR5 Lithium batteries. The EN-EL1 battery and charger (new model) are included with the 5700.
Shown directly below the pictures of the battery compartment is the optional MB-E5700 portrait grip / battery pack unit. This attaches to the bottom of the camera with a tripod mount thread and connects to the camera through the battery compartment (door must be removed) and a row of contacts along the bottom of the camera. This enables the camera to be powered by six AA batteries, it also adds a vertical shutter release and zoom control.
Compact Flash Compartment
On the right side of the camera (from the back) in the hand grip you'll find the 5700's Compact Flash compartment door. The door is constructed from a lightweight plastic and has a 'half way' spring mechanism.
Inside you'll find a Compact Flash Type I / II slot and a bright yellow sticker warning to insert Type I cards carefully (label to the front). Just like the recent Coolpix 4500 and 5000 the 5700 officially supports the IBM Microdrive (at least the newer MKII models; 512 MB or 1 GB).
The eject button is of the spring loaded variety (some of you may have had experience of such used in Notebook computers), press once to pop the button out, press again to eject the CF card. This did turn out to be a pain sometimes as it's possible to eject the card without re-engaging the eject button into its retracted position, this will block the door when you try to close it.