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Design

There will be two different colour models to the 880 a silver cased one (such as you see here) and a black case with blue buttons - see other sites reviews. These two different coloured bodies will be available worldwide. Note, the casing material is not the same magnesium alloy used on the 990 but a more traditional high impact plastic.

With it's almost square looks the 880 is also a break from the previous 800's body design, although similar the 880 is 20 mm narrower (width) and 8 mm shallower (depth) it's also 40g lighter (most likely thanks to the Lithium battery). If you're looking for a size / design comparison it's almost identical to the Olympus C-3030Z.

Everything is where it should be, the hand grip is just big enough to be comfortable, the small thumb indent in the back making it easy to grip the 880 without worrying about accidentally hitting any buttons. A nice arrangement of controls on the outside of the camera means you won't have to delve into the menu system too often during a normal shooting session.

Carrying the 880 the camera is "palm sized", with the wrist strap wrapped around your arm it's secure, and light enough to have that portability factor that the larger 990 can't match.


Top Information LCD

The top information LCD provides information about current camera settings, modes and available frames (at the current image quality and resolution combination).

Smaller than the 990's display but still packed with enough information to use the camera without the rear LCD.

Full details of information displayed shown in the diagram below.


Rear LCD

I'm not able to exactly confirm this but the LCD would appear to be identical to that found on the 990, 1.8" and about the same brightness. It suffers from a common digital camera ailment, a lack of an anti-reflective coating on the protective cover means that in bright light situations reflections on the screen may become a problem.

As with the 990 there's plenty of information overlaid (which you can remove if you wish), full details shown in the diagram below.


Viewfinder

Standard digital camera viewfinder, no dioptric adjustment, that said you're not missing much.. No major breakthroughs in viewfinder technology, just the normal compact digital camera optical viewfinder. A parallax correction frame is visible in the viewfinder for use when shooting closer than 90 cm (1 yard). Lights beside the viewfinder indicate the status of:

Red Steady Flash will fire when photograph is taken
Red Blinking Flash charging
Red Off Flash not required or flash set to �off�
Green Steady Subject in focus
Green Flashing rapidly Camera unable to focus using auto focus
Green Blinks Camera recording image(s) to CF card
Green Blink slowly Digital zoom in effect, use LCD monitor


Battery compartment

Here's the battery compartment, sensible door which works well enough, the battery size equates to a smaller hand grip. This compartment takes the 2CR5 Lithium batteries or Nikon's optional EN-EL1 rechargeable battery.


Battery, Charger & AC Adapter

Nikon have gone the way of other manufacturers (notably Canon with the S10/S20/S100) in switching to a more compact battery pack which makes the camera smaller and lighter, but it also means you're tied into using 2CR5 batteries (an expensive proposal) or purchasing Nikon's optional EN-EL1 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery pack (something I'm sure most buyers would do).

I'm not totally opposed to manufacturers using a proprietary battery pack rather than the standard AA's, certainly in the case of the 880 it makes the camera smaller and lighter, however I'd have hoped Nikon would have considered the inclusion of their rechargeable battery pack and charger as standard.

It's worth noting that if you do go for (or get included) the charger also doubles as an AC adapter for powering the camera when you're near a socket (like when transferring images via USB).

It always seems to be the case that the bundling of rechargeable battery packs with the camera varies from region to region (although it's not clear where the battery and charger would fit into the retail box, certainly not the one I had).

Here's the extract from the Coolpix 880 manual:

"Although the COOLPIX 880 can be used with non-rechargeable 2CR5 (DL245) lithium batteries, available at a wide variety of retail outlets, we recommend the rechargeable Nikon EN-EL1 Li-ion battery, available separately from Nikon. This lithium-ion battery, for use exclusively with the COOLPIX 880, can be recharged with the EH-21 AC adapter/battery charger, which doubles as an AC adapter. While the battery recharges, you can connect the camera to the EH-21 and use an AC power source for shooting or playback."

UPDATE: Quest are also supposed to be working on a rechargeable 2CR5 but it's not yet available.

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