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Top of camera controls

Top of the camera is the main command dial for switching between exposure modes, playback and setup. This is different from the way the 990 and last years 800 handles mode changes, Nikon have gone the same route as many other manufacturers in separating the power and mode switch. The power switch as you can see now surrounds the shutter release.

Mode Description

Play - review images on storage card. Immediately displays last image shot.

Auto - Full automatic exposure. "Point and shoot", no access to MENU options, you can set exposure compensation, focus mode (not manual focus) and flash mode.

Scene - Shoot using predefined exposure defaults for shooting a particular type of scene or situation (covered in detail on the features section of this review).


Programmed Auto - Very similar to AUTO mode, camera automatically calculates exposure, however you now have access to MENU options (such as white balance, sharpness, tone) you can also manually focus, select focus points etc. etc.


Aperture Priority - Aperture can be selected manually by holding the exposure compensate button and pressing the 4-way controller left or right, the camera calculates the correct shutter speed. If the selected aperture would lead to under or over exposure the aperture will flash on both displays when the shutter release button is pressed halfway. Possible apertures are:

Wide: F2.8 and F7.8
Tele: F4.2 and F11.3

So, unfortunately the 880 only has two aperture stops.


Manual - In manual mode you can select both shutter speed and aperture by holding the exposure compensate button and pushing the 4-way controller either left / right (aperture) or up / down (shutter speed) a display on the control panel will indicate how much the image would be under or over exposed with a particular exposure setting, in addition there's a exposure meter on the main LCD: A perfect exposure would indicate +/- 0 (like the one below).

CSM Custom Mode - Identical to Programmed Auto in operation but all settings made in CSM are stored and do not effect settings for P, A or M. This means you can set CSM up for a particular "favourite" group of settings without affecting the main settings.
SETUP SETUP - Enters the main camera setup menu (detailed later).

Rear of camera controls

Rear of the camera extends the obvious design changes Nikon have made, there is now a row of four multi function buttons above the LCD and the MENU and MONITOR buttons are moved to the right side of the LCD above and below the 4-way controller. Zoom control sits comfortably under your thumb, so no problems there.

At first it's a little confusing as to what combinations of button and 4-way controller does what, though after a while you do get used to it. Below we've compiled a table of the combinations of button actions either simply pressed or held and used in combination with the zoom or 4-way controller.

Button actions in Record mode (P, A, M or CSM)

Button  Pressed Held + Held +
  ISO Sensitivity
• Auto
• 100
• 200
• 400

Exposure compensation
Up / Down: increase / decrease exposure compensation by 0.3 EV. Mode A/M: adjust aperture / shutter speed.

Focus mode
• Normal
• Self-Timer
• Landscape
• Macro
• Macro & Self-Timer
Manual Focus
Current focus position is displayed on LCD viewfinder
Flash mode
• Auto
• Flash cancel
• Anti redeye
• Flash fill
• Flash slow sync
Quick review mode
• Quarter size review
• Full size review
• Cancel review
Enter record menu    
Change LCD mode
• Normal & info
• Normal, no info
• LCD off

Button actions in Play mode (PLAY)


Erase current image
• (Yes/No prompt)

Exposure information display
• Normal info (date, time, filename etc.)
• Exposure info page 1
• Exposure info page 2
• Basic exposure info & histogram
• Basic exposure info & focus point / focus confirmation sharpening
Thumbnail mode
• Normal
• 3 x 3 thumbnails
• 2 x 2 thumbnails
Movie playback
• Start
• Stop
Enter play menu
Change LCD mode
• Normal & info
• Normal, no info
• LCD off
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