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Nikon Coolpix 8800 Review

January 2005 | By Phil Askey


Preview based on a production Coolpix 8800, Firmware v1.3

The Coolpix 8800 was announced along with the 8400 and 4800 on the 16th September in the run-up to Photokina 2004. It's the first ten times optical zoom eight megapixel digital camera and it's also Nikon's first consumer digital camera with Vibration Reduction technology. The 8800 takes the 8700's design and engine and builds on it, on top of the new lens and Vibration Reduction there are a whole raft of new features and improvements which are also shared by the Coolpix 8400 (the two cameras are virtually identical apart from their lens and body design).

Major changes since the Coolpix 8700

  • New 10x optical zoom lens (35 - 350 mm equiv.; F2.6 - F4.9)
  • Vibration Reduction stabilization system
  • New 'Extra' JPEG compression (larger JPEG, lower compression)
  • Movie clips at VGA 30 fps up to 60 sec, QVGA limited only by storage
  • Maximum sensitivity now ISO 400
  • Exposure mode dial
  • Removal of play / record switch
  • Nine focus areas in manual area select, five areas in auto
  • Additional scene modes: Museum, Sports, Dusk / Dawn
  • AF Assist lamp on camera body instead of pop-up flash
  • Maximum shutter speed down to 1/3000 sec from 1/4000 sec
  • Continuous shooting down to 2.3 fps from 2.5 fps
  • Flash range up to 6.0 m at wide angle (compared to 4.1 m) - Auto ISO
  • Flash hot-shoe supports i-TTL and flash zoom
  • Playback zoom up to 10x
  • Included Infrared remote control
  • No Compact Flash card included
  • USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
  • Higher capacity Lithium-Ion battery (8.1 Wh vs. 5.0 Wh)

Nikon Coolpix 8800 vs. Coolpix 8700 (differences)

 

Nikon Coolpix 8800

Nikon Coolpix 8700
Lens • 10x optical zoom "Nikkor ED " VR
• 35 - 350 mm equiv.
• F2.6 - F4.9
• 8x optical zoom "Nikkor ED "
• 35 - 280 mm equiv.
• F2.8 - F4.2
Image stabilization Nikon VR (lens element) No
Movie clips • 640 x 480, 30 fps, max 60 sec
• 320 x 240, 15 fps, unlimited
• With audio
• Timelapse movie also available

• 640 x 480, 30 fps, max 35 sec
• 320 x 240, 15 fps, max 3 mins
• With audio
• Timelapse movie also available

Image formats • JPEG (EXIF 2.2) - 4 levels
• RAW
• TIFF
• JPEG (EXIF 2.2) - 3 levels
• RAW
• TIFF
Auto focus • CCD TTL
• 9 area manual
• 5 area auto
• CCD TTL
• 5 area manual
• 5 area auto
AF Assist Lamp on camera body Lamp on flash (must be up)
Sensitivity range ISO 50 - 400 ISO 50 - 800
Exposure mode dial Yes No, exposure mode by button press
Play / Rec switch No Yes
Continuous • High (2.3 fps; up to 5 frames)
• Low (1.2 fps; up to 11 frames)
• High (2.5 fps; up to 5 frames)
• Low (1.2 fps; up to 12 frames)
Max shutter speed 1/3000 sec 1/4000 sec
Saturation levels • Auto, +2 to -2, B&W • +2 to -2, B&W
Flash range • Wide: 0.5 - 6.0 m (Auto ISO)
• Tele: 1.0 - 3.0 m (Auto ISO)
• Wide: 0.5 - 4.1 m (Auto ISO)
• Tele: 0.5 - 2.7 m (Auto ISO)
External flash • Hot-shoe
• Supports i-TTL and flash zoom
• Hot-shoe
• D-TTL, no flash zoom
Playback zoom Up to 10x Up to 6x
Power • Lithium-Ion EN-EL7 rechargeable
• 7.4 V, 1100 mAh (8.1 Wh)
• Lithium-Ion EN-EL1 rechargeable
• 7.4 V, 680 mAh (5.0 Wh)
Connectivity USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed) USB 1.1
Remote control Included Infrared Optional wired
Dimensions 116 x 85 x 121 mm
(4.6 x 3.3 x 4.8 in)
108 x 73 x 69 mm
(4.3 x 2.9 x 2.7 in)
Weight (inc batt) 680 g (1.5 lb) 512 g (1.1 lb)

Two cameras, the same heart

After a brief look at the specs and a hands-on it was clear that the Coolpix 8400 and 8800 shared the same heart; CCD, processor, menus, image processing) battery, LCD monitor, EVF, a similar control layout as well as other features. As a buyer therefore you can choose simply between a smaller 3.5x wide-angle zoom or for $100 more a large 10x telephoto-zoom with VR. The differences between the two cameras are detailed below.

Nikon Coolpix 8400 vs. Coolpix 8800 (differences)

 

Nikon Coolpix 8400

Nikon Coolpix 8800
Price US: $899 MSRP, $799 Street US: $999 MSRP, $899 Street
Lens • 3.5x optical zoom "Nikkor ED"
• 24 - 85 mm equiv.
• F2.6 - F4.9
• 10x optical zoom "Nikkor ED " VR
• 35 - 350 mm equiv.
• F2.6 - F4.9
Auto Focus Hybrid (external AF & CCD) Contrast detect CCD
Image stabilization No Nikon VR (lens element)
Flash • Pop-up (90 degree flip-up)
• Electronic release
• Range W: 0.5 - 6.0 m
• Range T: 0.5 - 3.0 m
• Pop-up (raises)
• Electronic release
• Range W: 0.5 - 6.0 m
• Range T: 1.0 - 3.0 m
Dimensions 113 x 82 x 75 mm
(4.4 x 3.2 x 3.0 in)
116 x 85 x 121 mm
(4.6 x 3.3 x 4.8 in)
Weight (inc batt) 470 g (16.6 oz) 680 g (1.5 lb)
Review Click here Click here


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this review (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

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This article is Copyright 2005 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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