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Design

Looking strikingly similar (yet even more rounded and stylized) to its smaller brother the 775 the new 885 takes on last years 880 design and refines it. The entire case is made from moulded plastic yet it all feels strong and creak free. The use of plastic has also helped to keep the 885 light, fully loaded with its Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery the camera weighs just 285 g (10.1 oz), that's just 50 g (1.8 oz) heavier than the 775.

One thing which has been sacrificed is the top status LCD, while some people may miss this it's not something we usually find on a compact digital camera and if it helps get the camera size down then I think it's a sacrifice worth making.

Unlike some compact cameras Nikon have paid attention to the every day use of the camera, that big chunky hand grip makes the camera easy to hold and carry and gives the camera a feeling of being better integrated with the photographer. Around the back of the camera there has been a rearrangement of the buttons which now run beneath the LCD monitor, the two button zoom controller has also been changed for an all in one rocker type. The 885 is one of the nicest compact cameras to hold and use.

Here is the 885 between the 880 and Sony's DSC-P5. You can see that Nikon have managed to shave quite a bit from the 885 while also adding that 3x optical zoom lens. It's also fairly clear to see the larger (deeper) hand grip.

The little Coolpix 885 is probably one of the most ergonomic and comfortable cameras to use. The hand grip is just the right size to fill your palm and the new rounded edges are a snug fit to your shutter release finger. Most compact cameras forgo comfort for design, with the 885 Nikon have managed to create a stylish and ergonomic body shape.


LCD Monitor

On the back of the 885 you'll find a smaller 1.5" LCD, it appears to be the same unit used on the 775. Despite its smaller size it's bright and sharp with good contrast and colour reproduction.

Unfortunately Nikon still appear to feel that there's no need for an anti-reflective coating.

The diagram below gives a breakdown of all information overlaid on the LCD monitor in record mode.


Viewfinder

The Coolpix 885's viewfinder is the normal basic 'optical tunnel' type, unusually there are no center frame brackets or parallax error lines (there were on the 880), the view is completely clear. The 885's viewfinder provides only 80% frame coverage (approx. 1640 x 1230 pixels).

The lights beside the viewfinder indicate:

  Flash ready
  Flash charging
AF  Focus good, ready to shoot
AF  Focus bad, cannot auto focus
AF  Taking photo (recording)
AF  Digital zoom


Battery / Compartment / Charger

The Coolpix 880 was the first Coolpix digital camera not to use AA batteries, it instead used 2CR5 Lithium or Nikon's own EN-EL1 Lithium-Ion rechargeable (which was an option for the 880). Just like the 880 the 885 can take either the EN-EL1 or 2CR5 Lithium (non-rechargeable) battery. For my review I was sent a European model which includes the EN-EL1 battery and charger, in the US this will be a $49.95 option.

The actual compartment door is opened by pressing on a the small embedded button, the spring loaded compartment then pushes the battery out. The door is well constructed with a full metal hinge mechanism.

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