Record mode display (CSM mode)

Below you can see an example of the live preview image on the LCD just prior to taking a shot, overlaid over the live view image are the current camera settings. In this example we have: Flash cancel, Incandescent white balance, ISO 100 sensitivity, FINE image quality, Matrix metering, Program exposure, 1/30 sec shutter speed, F3.7 aperture, +0.3 EV exposure compensation and 153 frames available on the storage card.

The only difference between the left and right image are the AF Area brackets overlay, in Automatic AF Area Mode the camera selects the AF Area closest to the camera (which is indicated only when you half-press the shutter release). In Manual AF Area Mode (my preference) you select the AF Area manually (using the 4-way direction pad), the camera will use this area for focusing.

Automatic AF Area Mode Manual AF Area Mode

All possible information overlaid in record mode is detailed in this diagram:

1 Scene mode 2 Self-timer / countdown
3 Zoom / Ultra HS 4 Digital zoom magnification
5 Clock not set warning 6 Focus distance in manual focus mode
7 Flash mode 8 Current folder
9 Lens converter selection 10 Best Shot Selector / Noise reduction
11 AE Lock / White Balance lock 12 Exposure / White balance bracketing
13 Continuous shooting 14 Battery power (low power indicator)
15 Spot exposure metering / AF area 16 Image sharpening mode
17 White balance indicator 18 Sensitivity (ISO equiv.)
19 Image adjustment setting 20 Image size
21 Image quality 22 Metering mode
23 Exposure mode (P/A/S/M) 24 Shutter speed
25 Exposure meter (only in M mode) 26 Aperture
27 Exposure compensation value 28 Remaining exposures / movie time

(Reproduced with permission from Coolpix 885 manual)

Immediate Review after shooting

After fully depressing the shutter release the 885 gives you a review of the image as it is saved to the storage card (you can disable this), at this stage you can cancel the save (delete) or pause to decide:

Image review just after shooting. Option to delete image before it is finally saved to the storage card

Quick Review

Quick Review is a now standard feature which we've seen on the 880, 995 and 775. It provides you with two different ways to review the last image taken. Pressing the Quick Review button selects the different modes: mode one (quarter) > mode two (full) > shooting mode.

Mode one simply displays a quarter size "thumbnail" of the last shot, mode two switches to a full screen display which can be used to view image information as well as magnification and browsing through images (it's essentially the same as Play mode). During either of these review modes the camera is still in "shooting priority", that is a half-press of the shutter release will cancel them and return to shooting mode.

Quick Review mode one, quarter size thumbnail, live view remains in the background. Quick Review mode two, full size review with all the same functionality as full Play mode (detailed later).

Focus Confirmation

As with the 990 and 995, the 885 has the excellent focus confirmation feature, this works by applying a strong sharpening mask to the live image preview to "highlight" the current focus point. It could be likened to a "digital ground glass". It works surprisingly well and is a feature I'd like to see more manufacturers implement. By default, focus confirmation is only used in manual focus mode, though you can enable it in auto focus mode.

Focus confirmation off Focus confirmation on

Manual Focus

The 885 has a total of 50 focus points in manual focus mode, while focusing the camera applies the same focus confirmation sharpening described above, this makes picking the exact focus point surprisingly easy (see below).

Focused towards the back (right) of the scene (6.7 in / 17 cm) Focused closer, towards the left of the scene (4.3 in / 11 cm)

Record mode display (Other exposure modes)

The 885's other record modes have a more basic (yet very similar) information overlay. As you can see the AUTO exposure mode still displays the metered exposure, as do both SCENE and MOVIE modes. There are no menus in AUTO or MOVIE modes.

AUTO exposure mode No menus available in AUTO mode
SCENE exposure mode (note scene icon in top left corner) MOVIE record mode, indicates QVGA resolution (320 x 240) and maximum clip length of 40 seconds