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Battery & Charger

As noted above the 8800 uses the new EN-EL7 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery which provides 1100 mAh at 7.4 V (8.1 Wh). It is charged in the provided MH-56 battery charger, according to the 8400's manual it should take around two and a half hours for a full charge (from flat).

Compact Flash Compartment

On the right side of the camera (from the back) in the hand grip you'll find the Compact Flash compartment door. As with previous Nikon's the door is constructed from a lightweight plastic and has a spring hinge. Inside is a Compact Flash Type I / II slot and a bright yellow sticker warning to insert Type I cards carefully (label to the front).

Connections

The camera's connectors can be found on the left side (from the rear) of the camera behind a rubber door. At the top is the DC-IN connector (8.4 V) and below this the combined A/V Out and USB (2.0) connector (cables supplied).

Lens

The Coolpix 8800 becomes the first ten times optical zoom eight megapixel digital camera, but that's certainly not the end of the story. The 8800's lens is big, it has the look, feel and weight of a professional digital SLR lens it has an impressive F2.8 maximum aperture at wide angle (although slower F5.2 at telephoto). It's also the first time Nikon has used its Vibration Reduction technology in a consumer level digital camera lens. Nikon's VR works similarly to Canon's IS and Panasonic's OIS in that it moves a lens element within the lens (as can be seen in the diagram, third image below).

 

Lenses compared

Camera Zoom range
(35 mm equiv.)
Max aperture
(wide - tele)
Stabilized Zoom type
Nikon Coolpix 8400 24 - 85 mm F2.6 - F4.9 No Motor, lever
Nikon Coolpix 8700 35 - 280 mm F2.8 - F4.2 No Motor, lever
Canon PowerShot Pro1 28 - 200 mm F2.4 - F3.5 No Motor, ring
Minolta DiMAGE A2 28 - 200 mm F2.8 - F3.5 Yes, CCD Mechanical, ring
Nikon Coolpix 8800 35 - 350 mm F2.8 - F5.2 Yes, Lens Motor, lever
Olympus C-8080 WZ 28 - 140 mm F2.4 - F3.5 No Motor, lever
Sony DSC-F828 28 - 200 mm F2.0 - F2.8 No Mechanical, ring

Base / Tripod Mount

On the base of the Coolpix 8400 is a metal tripod mount surrounded by a rubber 'shoe'. The location of the mount is good for ensuring a flat placement on a tripod plate, however it's not in line with the center of the lens making it less useful when shooting panoramas from a tripod. As with the 5400 I don't think that the rubber area is big enough nor the support around the base of the hand grip, the camera does tend to wobble when placed flat.

Pop-up Flash

The 8800's pop-up flash looks similar to the 8700 however it raises higher and has a further quoted range of 6.0 m at wide angle and 3.0 m at telephoto (Auto ISO). It's also worth noting that the AF assist lamp is no longer beside the flash so you don't have to have it lifted to get AF assist (unlike the 8700).

AF Assist Lamp

On the left of the lens barrel near the top of the camera (from the front) is the AF assist lamp (bright orange light) which is used to illuminate the subject in low light situations.

Flash Hot-shoe

The Coolpix 8800's flash hot-shoe is of the ISO 518 standard type and supports Nikon's Speedlights. New to the 8400 is full support of i-TTL and flash zoom when used with SB-600 or SB-800 Speedlights.

 

Supplied In the Box

Supplied in the box are:

• Nikon Coolpix 8800 digital camera
• Battery Pack EN-EL7
• Battery Charger MH-56
• Neck strap
• USB Cable
• Video Cable (A/V)
• IR Remote Control ML-L3
• Lens cap
• CD-ROM (PictureProject)
• Manual
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