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Top of camera controls

On top of the camera you will find the power switch at the front surrounding the shutter release button. Directly behind this are the FUNC, flash mode and exposure compensation (audio clip) buttons. Just behind this is the backlight button. On the rear edge of the camera are the camera mode and command dial. Slightly confusing is the fact that some settings are changed by pressing a button (eg. flash mode), some by holding a button and turning the command dial (eg. exposure compensation).




Hold this button and rotate the command dial to change a custom setting, by default this button is programmed to select 'User setting' (memory). Although you can (via the Setup menu) program this button to change any one of the following settings:

• User setting (default)
• White balance
• Image quality
• Image size
• Sensitivity
• Continuous

Flash Mode

Press this button to move through the flash modes one at a time:

• Auto
• Flash cancel
• Auto with red-eye reduction
• Flash on (Fill flash)
• Slow-sync
• Rear curtain sync

Exposure Compensation

Hold this button and rotate the command dial to select exposure compensation in the range of -2.0 EV to +2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps.


Press this button to activate the Control Panel LCD backlight, this will stay on for approximately eight seconds.

Camera Modes / Settings (Mode Dial)


Enters a dedicated play mode, use the 4-way controller to browse through images, turn the command dial to change display detail / mode and the zoom controller to magnify.
Automatic Exposure

Camera has complete control over exposure, point-and-shoot operation, the majority of manual features are disabled, you can't alter exposure compensation, ISO or use RAW mode. You can set flash mode, macro and image size / quality.

Program Auto Exposure

Camera calculates shutter speed and aperture for best possible exposure, turning the command dial in this mode allows you to choose from a "Flexible program" selection of shutter speeds and apertures which would achieve the same exposure (P* is displayed in this mode), turning to the right chooses higher shutter speed and larger apertures, turning to the left chooses smaller apertures and slower shutter speeds.

Example (pressing * metered 1/50 sec, F4.0):

 • 1/125 sec, F6.3 (turn left)
 • 1/125 sec, F5.6 (turn left)
 • 1/125 sec, F5.0 (metered)
 • 1/250 sec, F4.4 (turn right)
 • 1/250 sec, F4.0 (turn right)

Just like previous Coolpix digital cameras the Coolpix 8400 fails to display the actual shutter speed, instead it displays the nearest stop but will in reality use a slightly different shutter speed (ie. it may show 1/60 sec but shoot at 1/56 sec).


Shutter Priority Auto Exposure

Shutter speed can be selected manually by turning the command dial, the camera calculates the correct aperture based on the reading from the current metering mode.

At shutter speeds slower than 1/4s the shutter speed is displayed in yellow to indicate possible noise in the final image. Possible shutter speeds (one stop increments) are:

1/3000*, 1/1500, 1/1000,1/500, 1/250, 1/125, 1/60, 1/30, 1/15, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1, 2, 4, 8 sec
* Only aperture F4.5 - F7.2 at wide angle, F7.7 at telephoto


Aperture Priority Auto Exposure

Aperture can be selected manually by turning the command dial, the camera calculates the correct shutter speed based on the reading from the current metering mode. Possible apertures are:

• Wide: F2.6, F2.9, F3.2, F3.6, F4.1, F4.5, F5.1, F5.7, F6.4, F7.2
• Tele: F4.1, F4.5, F5.1, F5.7, F6.4, F7.2


Manual Exposure

In manual mode you can select both shutter speed and aperture (switch between the two by tapping the FUNC button). As you change the shutter speed or aperture a bar meter display is shown on the screen which represents how much over or under exposed the shot would be compared to the metered exposure. Bulb exposures pf up to 10 minutes are also available in Manual Exposure mode.


Scene Exposure

Shoot using one of the Coolpix 8400's pre-programmed Scene Exposure modes, each mode optimizes the camera settings for a particular type of photograph. This includes aperture, flash, white balance, color and exposure. Available scene modes:

• Portrait
• Party / Indoor
• Night Portrait
• Beach / Snow
• Landscape
• Sunset
• Night Landscape
• Museum
• Fireworks Show
• Close Up
• Copy
• Backlight
• Panorama Assist
• Sports
• Dusk / Dawn

Movie Clip

Allows you to record a movie clip or time-lapse movie. Movie clips have two size options of TV movie (640 x 480, 30 fps, max 60 sec) or Small movie (320 x 240, 15 fps, limited only by storage) both with audio. A time-lapse movie is recorded by taking one shot at set intervals (30 sec - 60 min), no audio is recorded.

Enters the camera's setup menu where you can make changes to overall camera settings and customizable features.
Image Quality / Size

Displays a single menu which allows you to select the current image quality and size, use the command dial or 4-way controller to scroll through settings.

• Quality
      • RAW (RAW)
      • Hi (TIFF)
      • Extra (JPEG)
      • Fine (JPEG)
      • Normal (JPEG)
      • Basic (JPEG)
• Size
      • 8M (3264 x 2448)
      • 5M (2592 x 1944)
      • 2M (1600 x 1200)
      • 1M (1280 x 960)
      • PC (1024 x 768)
      • TV (640 x 480)
      • 3:2 (3264 x 2176)
ISO Sensitivity

Displays a single menu which allows you to select the current ISO sensitivity, use the 4-way controller to select a setting.

• 50
• 100
• 200
• 400
• Auto
WB White Balance

Displays a single menu which allows you to select the current White Balance, use the 4-way controller to select a setting.

• Auto
• White Bal Preset > [Take reading]
• Daylight *
• Incandescent *
• Fluorescent *
• Cloudy *
• Speedlight *
• Shade *
  * Can be fine tuned +/-3 levels by rolling the command dial
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