Nikon Coolpix 8700 Review
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 exposure mode and exposure compensation (audio clip) buttons. Behind these are the backlight and user programmable FUNC button. On the rear edge of the camera is the command dial, which is used in combination with a button press to change some but not all settings (which can be a little confusing at first).
Buttons (Record mode)
|MODE|| Exposure Mode
Hold this button and rotate the command dial to select exposure / scene mode:
Press the backlight button once to turn on the green backlight for the Control Panel display, it remains lit for approximately eight seconds.
Buttons (Play mode)
Voice memo record / playback
The exposure modes listed below are only available if the 'User setting' menu option is set to Custom 1 or Custom 2.
| Programmed 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, for example a shot in medium light:
Just like previous prosumer Coolpix digital cameras the 8700 only displays full stop shutter speeds (1/500, 1/250, 1/125 etc.) although checking the EXIF data after the shot shows that it actually has a much finer gradation of shutter speeds available.
In this mode you select the shutter speed and the camera will calculate the correct aperture depending on metered exposure, exposure compensation and ISO sensitivity. Shutter speed is displayed on the LCD / EVF and control panel, turn the command dial to select different shutter speeds. Available shutter speeds:
Bulb exposures are only available in Manual exposure mode. As commented on above the 8700 only ever allows the selection of full stop shutter speeds, it would have been nice to be given the option of third stop steps. The 1/4000 sec shutter speed is only available between F5.0 and F8.0 (wide angle) and F7.4 (telephoto).
| Aperture Priority
In this mode you select the aperture and the camera will calculate the correct shutter speed depending on metered exposure, exposure compensation and ISO sensitivity. Aperture is displayed on the LCD / EVF and control panel, turn the command dial to select different apertures. Available apertures:
* At shutter speeds slower than 1/4 sec the Noise Reduction feature (if enabled) will take an additional shot after the main shot which it uses to 'map out' hot pixel noise. Note that when Noise Reduction is enabled you can not use BSS, Bracketing or Continuous shooting.
Lens barrel controls
In the left of the camera mounted on the lens barrel are four control buttons which when supporting the barrel with your left hand are in easy reach of your thumb. Just as with other buttons on the camera some change a setting with a single press, some require a hold of the button and turn of the command dial, although at least here this is indicated diagrammatically. These buttons have no function in play mode.
One slight annoyance with these double-function buttons is that you must turn the command dial two clicks before it registers a change of setting. For example if you hold the image quality button and turn the command dial one click you would expect the image size to change but it will only change on the next click.
Buttons (Record mode)
Hold button and turn
|Flash mode (Auto
RAW (Nikon NEF)
8M (3264 x 2448)
5M (2592 x 1944)
3M (2048 x 1536)
2M (1600 x 1200)
1M (1280 x 960)
PC (1024 x 768)
TV (640 x 480)
3:2 (3264 x 2176)
Exposure & Auto Focus Lock
Press and hold this button to lock Auto Focus and / or Auto Exposure.
Landscape (Infinity lock)
Macro Focus + Self Timer
| Manual focus
As the command dial is turned a focus bar indicator is shown indicating the focus position between macro and infinity.