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White Balance

The 8700 performed well and the 8800 (as well as the 8400) show very good automatic white balance performance. In natural light white balance is virtually always perfect, under fluorescent light there's a slight cast but it's hardly visible and incandescent which was slightly pink is still considered very good. Kudos Nikon.

Outdoor - Auto WB
Red -0.1%, Blue -0.2%
Excellent
Fluorescent - Auto WB
Red -0.2%, Blue -1.4%
Excellent
Incandescent - Auto WB
Red 1.8%, Blue -2.6%
Good

Flash Performance

The 8800's pop-up flash unit has a specified range of 6.0 m at wide angle and 3.0 m at telephoto which is pretty impressive, although these figures are at automatic ISO sensitivity. In use the flash proved to work well with no noticeable color cast although our white wall did fool the flash metering system to under-expose slightly (the 8800 does feature flash compensation so this could have been corrected).

Color chart - good exposure, no color cast, slightly under exposed Skin tone - no color cast, under exposed

Night exposures

The 8800 has manually selectable long exposure noise reduction which when enabled causes the camera to take a second exposure which is used to subtract noise from the main exposure. The longest manual exposure shutter speed is eight seconds although it is possible to achieve exposures of up to ten minutes via the 'timed release' option on the record menu. In our tests noise reduction was often not required for eight second exposures but certainly anything of a minute or above. For these extra long exposures (three minutes below) the 8800 had a strange purple glow from the top of the image, this was removed with NR enabled (interference from electronics near the CCD?).

Thumbnail 100% Crop
ISO 50, 8 sec, F3.6 (manual exposure), Noise reduction Off
ISO 50, 8 sec, F3.6 (manual exposure), Noise reduction On
 
ISO 50, 180 sec (3 mins), F8.0 (manual exposure), Noise reduction Off
ISO 50, 180 sec (3 mins), F8.0 (manual exposure), Noise reduction On

Macro Focus

As with all recent Coolpix digital cameras the 8800 indicates the optimum macro range (the 'sweet spot') on screen by turning the macro icon and zoom indicator bar green. As you'd expect from a 10x optical zoom lens its macro sweet spot is fairly small and we got identical results at either end of it. We got quite similar results at about 3.6x zoom but with much less barrel distortion.

Wide macro - 61 x 46 mm coverage
53 px/mm (1353 px/in)
Distortion: High
Corner softness: Average (with some CA)
Equiv. focal length: 35 mm
Mid-zoom macro - 61 x 45 mm coverage
53 px/mm (1353 px/in)
Distortion: Average
Corner softness: Average (with some CA)
Equiv. focal length: 46 mm
 
Mid-zoom macro - 62 x 47 mm coverage
52 px/mm (1321 px/in)
Distortion: Very Low
Corner softness: Average (with some CA)
Equiv. focal length: 127 mm
 
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