Top of camera controls

On top of the camera you will find the power switch at the front surrounding the shutter release button. Directly behind this are the exposure mode and exposure compensation (audio clip) buttons. Behind these are the backlight and user programmable FUNC button. On the rear edge of the camera is the command dial, which is used in combination with a button press to change some but not all settings (which can be a little confusing at first).

Buttons (Record mode)

MODE Exposure Mode

Hold this button and rotate the command dial to select exposure / scene mode:

User setting 'Custom 1 / Custom 2':

 • Programmed AE [P]
 • Shutter-Priority AE [S]
 • Aperture-Priority AE [A]
 • Manual [M]
User setting 'Scene':

 • Portrait
 • Party/Indoor
 • Night portrait
 • Beach/Snow
 • Landscape
 • Sunset
 • Night landscape
 • Fireworks show
 • Close up
 • Copy
 • Back light
 • Panorama assist

Exposure Compensation

Hold this button and rotate the command dial to select exposure compensation in the range of -2.0 EV to +2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps.


Press the backlight button once to turn on the green backlight for the Control Panel display, it remains lit for approximately eight seconds.


Hold this button and rotate the command dial to change a custom setting, by default this button is programmed to select 'User setting' (memory). Although you can (via the Setup menu) program this button to change any one of the following settings:

 • User setting (default)
 • Focus / Self-timer mode
 • Flash mode
 • White balance
 • Image quality/size
 • Continuous

Buttons (Play mode)

Voice memo record / playback

Hold this button in play mode to record a voice memo which will be 'attached' the image. If a memo already exists pressing this button begins playback. To remove a voice memo press the delete button and you will be prompted to delete the image or just the voice memo.

Exposure modes

The exposure modes listed below are only available if the 'User setting' menu option is set to Custom 1 or Custom 2.

Programmed Auto Exposure

Camera calculates shutter speed and aperture for best possible exposure, turning the command dial in this mode allows you to choose from a "Flexible program" selection of shutter speeds and apertures which would achieve the same exposure (P* is displayed in this mode), turning to the right chooses higher shutter speed and larger apertures, turning to the left chooses smaller apertures and slower shutter speeds, for example a shot in medium light:

• 1/125 sec, F7.1 (turn left)
• 1/250 sec, F6.3 (turn left)
1/250 sec, F5.6 (metered)
• 1/250 sec, F5.0 (turn right)
• 1/500 sec, F4.5 (turn right)

Just like previous prosumer Coolpix digital cameras the 8700 only displays full stop shutter speeds (1/500, 1/250, 1/125 etc.) although checking the EXIF data after the shot shows that it actually has a much finer gradation of shutter speeds available.
Shutter Priority

In this mode you select the shutter speed and the camera will calculate the correct aperture depending on metered exposure, exposure compensation and ISO sensitivity. Shutter speed is displayed on the LCD / EVF and control panel, turn the command dial to select different shutter speeds. Available shutter speeds:

1/4000, 1/2000, 1/1000, 1/500, 1/250, 1/125, 1/60, 1/30, 1/15, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1, 2, 4, 8 sec

Bulb exposures are only available in Manual exposure mode. As commented on above the 8700 only ever allows the selection of full stop shutter speeds, it would have been nice to be given the option of third stop steps. The 1/4000 sec shutter speed is only available between F5.0 and F8.0 (wide angle) and F7.4 (telephoto).
Aperture Priority

In this mode you select the aperture and the camera will calculate the correct shutter speed depending on metered exposure, exposure compensation and ISO sensitivity. Aperture is displayed on the LCD / EVF and control panel, turn the command dial to select different apertures. Available apertures:

• Wide: F2.8, F3.2, F3.5, F4.0, F4.5, F5.0, F5.6, F6.3, F7.1, F8.0
• Tele: F4.2, F4.7, F5.3, F5.9, F6.6, F7.4

Manual Exposure

In manual mode you can select both shutter speed and aperture (switch between the two by tapping the MODE button). A value display on the control panel will indicate how much the image would be under or over exposed with a particular exposure setting as well as an on-screen exposure meter. Also, available in Manual Exposure mode are BULB exposures, with this, the shutter will stay open for as long as the shutter release button is held, up to a maximum of 5 minutes. *

* At shutter speeds slower than 1/4 sec the Noise Reduction feature (if enabled) will take an additional shot after the main shot which it uses to 'map out' hot pixel noise. Note that when Noise Reduction is enabled you can not use BSS, Bracketing or Continuous shooting.

Lens barrel controls

In the left of the camera mounted on the lens barrel are four control buttons which when supporting the barrel with your left hand are in easy reach of your thumb. Just as with other buttons on the camera some change a setting with a single press, some require a hold of the button and turn of the command dial, although at least here this is indicated diagrammatically. These buttons have no function in play mode.

One slight annoyance with these double-function buttons is that you must turn the command dial two clicks before it registers a change of setting. For example if you hold the image quality button and turn the command dial one click you would expect the image size to change but it will only change on the next click.

Buttons (Record mode)

Press button
Hold button and turn
command dial
Flash mode (Auto mode)

• Auto Flash
• Flash Cancel
• Auto Anti-Redeye
• Fill-in Flash
• Slow Sync

ISO sensitivity

• Auto
• 400
• 200
• 100

Image quality

• RAW (Nikon NEF)

Image size

• 8M (3264 x 2448)
• 5M (2592 x 1944)
• 3M (2048 x 1536)
• 2M (1600 x 1200)
• 1M (1280 x 960)
• PC (1024 x 768)
• TV (640 x 480)
• 3:2 (3264 x 2176)
LOCK Auto Exposure & Auto Focus Lock

Press and hold this button to lock Auto Focus and / or Auto Exposure.
No function
Focus mode

• Normal AF
• Landscape (Infinity lock)
• Macro Focus
• Macro Focus + Self Timer
Manual focus

As the command dial is turned a focus bar indicator is shown indicating the focus position between macro and infinity.