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 back, which is the opposite of the 5400 and the new 8800).


The camera's connectors can be found on the left and right sides (from the rear) of the camera behind rubber doors. On the left side we have USB (2.0) and A/V Out connectors, on the right side the DC-IN connector (8.4 V).


The Coolpix 8400 has the widest angle zoom lens of any eight megapixel (and any prosumer digital camera) its range is an impressive 24 to 85 mm which will be highly prized by many creative photographers and especially useful to certain professions such as real estate. The only downside could be that it's a little slow at telephoto (F4.9).

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 8400 has a new electronically released pop-up flash unit. It's mounted in the front of the camera and is hinged at the back so that it actually rotates upwards through 90 degrees. You can set the flash to pop-up automatically when required or released manually by pressing the flash button. The flash has a quoted range of 6.0 m at wide angle and 3.0 m at telephoto (Auto ISO) which is a fairly substantial improvement over the unit used on the 5400.

External AF Sensor / AF Assist Lamp

On the top right edge 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. Below this is the new external AF sensor which is used to give the AF system an estimated subject distance, this is then combined with the standard contrast detect system of the camera's CCD to find the exact distance.

Flash Hot-shoe

The Coolpix 8400'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 8400 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