Nikon Coolpix 8400

  |   by DigitalCameraReview Staff

Building on the success of the amateur range of Coolpix cameras, Nikon has introduced the Coolpix 5700 in an attempt to bridge the gap between the amateur and professional markets. This time around Nikon has gone for a semicompact feel, combining an almost palm-size unit with a powerful features one would expect to find on a high-specification midrange digital camera.

swing-out screen of the CoolPix 5700
The swiveling, swing-out screen on the Coolpix 5700 makes it easier to frame self-portrait, overhead, and floor-level shots.

The Coolpix 5700 comes equipped with an automatic pop-up flash, plus a hot-shoe for additional flash units. The bundled NikonView 5 browser software makes it simple to download, organize, and print images. The package includes a lens cap, camera strap, 16 MB CompactFlash card, AV cable, USB cable, rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and battery charger. It is compatible with CompactFlash memory cards (Type I or II), as well as IBM Microdrives.

The 5700 allows the use of the viewfinder or the LCD monitor (which rotates through 180 degrees after it’s opened out) for framing a picture, providing full freedom of movement and allowing you to capture a picture at any angle–no matter how obtuse. Zoom capability has been increased on the 5700, and the camera features an impressive 8x optical zoom, the results from which are good at all levels and distances. Supporting a maximum resolution of 2,560 x 1,920 (4.91 megapixels), an ISO range of 100 to 800, and a top shutter speed of 1/4,000, this camera is definitely a good all-rounder, providing you with great flexibility under different conditions.

The 5700 performs admirably, producing results way above expectation. Color balance is good, and the overall results are of a very high quality. We did have a middling complaint about its size, which actually feels a bit on the small size. With an extra couple of centimeters added to the bodywork, the 5700 would have felt much easier to handle and control in everyday usage. The position of the camera strap attachment also seems awkward, being as it is located on the upper right quadrant of the lens housing, making it sometimes difficult to gain a good grip when in use.

These criticisms aside, the Coolpix 5700 is bound to be another sure-fire hit for Nikon, balancing the huge 5-megapixel image size against a competitive pricepoint. For those not yet ready to move up to the professional level of 35mm digital SLRs such as the Nikon D100, the Coolpix 5700 proves to be a worthy alternative. –Elly Russell

Pros:

  • Palm-sized 5-megapixel camera with a powerful feature set
  • Includes sizeable 16 MB memory card–can accept IBM Microdrives
  • 8x optical zoom

Cons:

  • Could be slightly larger for easier handling

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