DigitalCameraReview.com
Users Speak Out About the Nikon Coolpix 8800
by Ben Stafford -  7/10/2005

Welcome to another installment of "Users speak out..."  This time, we're going to take a look at the  Nikon Coolpix 8800 The opinions will be chosen based on the value of the information (in our opinion) to our readers.  We won't necessarily pick only the "positive" opinions or only the "negative" opinions.  We'll pick the opinions that we think will be most helpful to you as you shop for and compare cameras.   To see all opinions, click through to the product detail, and click the "View Opinions" link.

Has replaced my D1X and 6 lenses

Pros: Well built. Easy to pick up and use if you've owned a Nikon digital before. AF acceptably fast and acceptable shutter lag. Accurate White Balance. High quality lens with Vibration Reduction better than 24-120 and 70-200 VR. Results straight out of the camera vey impressive, especially landscapes at dawn and sunset. Battery life very impressive. Electronic viewfinder is surprisingly clear making framing and composing spot on with no need to crop in Photoshop. Brilliant camera to take on a hike in the hills.

Cons: Slow AF, start up and shutter lag compared to DSLR but better than comparable cameras from Konica Minolta Canon and Olympus. However, delays surprisingly acceptable once you become accustomed to this. These delays (which are increased by camera lock up during writing to card) mean you are disciplined to take time over coposition and choice of shots which produces better end results. Background blur for portraits and macro have to be added in Photoshop. Macro with camera's pop-up flash not acceptable as shadow is cast on subject by camera body (external lightsource essential. Full range of accessories not yet available in UK.

First PointAndShoot that gives SLR's a run for their money

Pros: 10x, 8meg, Tilt and swivel LCD, good round of functionality. The quality of the lense allows true depth of field photos with a Digital POS. If you don't want the hassle of juggling multiple lenses, and want light video abilities, this is the camera to get. Vibration Reduction Systems is a dream. It allows me to take quality shots at 1/15sec without a tripod. Color quality is very good.

Cons: Custom filter size is VERY annoying. First thing I did was go to NextPhoto.net and order an adaptor to allow it to accept standard filters. First filter I need is a standard UV to protect the lense in the camera from dust, dirt and scratches (rather replace a filter than a lense any day). Responsiveness of the zoom lever is a little problematic when speed is of the essence. Manual focusing is very difficult, instead of using the extra wheel, they should have used the arrow buttons for fast adjustments left/right and micro adjustments up/down.

Good Outwieghs the Bad

Pros: Excellent image quality in most situations. Amazing lens focuses to 1.2" on macro and zooms to 10 power optical on telephoto. Vibration reduction means fewer blury pictures. High resolution is great for cropping. Fully articulated LCD. Feels and looks like a high quality camera. Lots of options and controls can be used by experienced photographer, while 15 preset scene modes make shooting a snap for the neophyte.

Cons: Slow focusing in very low light situations. Once focused, however, shutter lag is minimal. Slow write speed at top resolution and quality settings. There is some purple fringing in certain situations. In some cases, images are underexposed when using the fully automatic mode. This underexposure is easily remedied by using the appropriate preset "scene mode".

Will make semi-pros that haven't converted to digital CRY!!!

Pros: After two months of use, I can say that this camera is as close to flawless as any camera I've ever owned: including both high-end digital Nikons, Minioltas, Canons, and Olympus models, and film-based classic Liecas, Nikons, Canons, Rollies and Crown Graphics. The 10:1 zoom let me shoot a cat from 8' away and see the mucous coating the cat's eyes in an 8"x10" produced in a matter of minutes. It's also as comfortable and easy-handling as any 35mm SLR; and the tilting viewing screen brings back the days of the classic twin-lens reflex designs. Also the menus are intuitive and easy to use; much better than the earlier "twist-and-shoot" Coolpix's.

Cons: The zoom control should be placed where the on/off switch is now. If I haven't used the camera for a few days, I find myself turning it off when I mean to zoom it. The off/on switch should be more out-of-the-way.

Very good picture quality, nice lens

Pros: 10X lens with good macro close ups and also strong 35-350mm telephoto with Vibration Reduction. Lots of exposure options, good manual controls. Had amera for over a week now, tried out closeups, product photography - studio conditions and night photography. Excellent photo quality and sharp black night exposures w/ very little to no noise. Normal compression gives good results with 1.4-1.8MB per picture for the 8Megapixel 8x10, 300dpi images. HQ stores 4.5 - 5.0MB per picture, but the Normal compression still looks very comperable even at 200% magnification..

Cons: The only 2 issues I've noticed are 1) manual focus doesn't provide any ft/m distance numbers, just a bar from close to far (flower to mountain). If ft/m number is provided (like 2ft, 5ft, 10ft, 20ft) they you can better judge the focus - esp when its ****. The image does not magnify to aid your focus. 2) minor issue is that if you use the flash for macro photography at the wide angle 35mm position, you will get a shadow of the lens barrel created by the flash in the photo. However, this can be eliminated using external lighting.

Spend the money on a Canon digital rebel!

Pros: Loaded with point & shoot features and then some. Big plus is the so called 10x zoom. Feels good and solid like it should for a Nikon P & S $1000. camera!

Cons: Way too slow to focus especially in low light situations. EVF same type as used in a low price digital cams, not very professional. My money is on my Canon digital Rebel. I returned the 8800 in 3 days!

Excellent picture quality

Pros: Excellent 10X 35-350mm zoom lens with great marco capabilities and Vibration Reduction for telephoto stabilization. I've had the camera for a little over a week now and have shot over 500 photos from night tripod long exposures to studio product photography to outdoor closeups and indoor candid shots. Pictures have a high degree of detail and Normal JPEG compression averages only 1.5 - 1.8MB per photo. Zooming in to review shows that the camera picks up lots of detail, even the line screening on printed magazine pages! I thought that 8MegaPixels might be over kill, but the small photo sizes are only 200 - 300K over my past favorite 4MP Canon S45 and G2. The 8800 is larger than the Nikon 8700, but has a good 35mm camera like feel with all of the digital camera benefits (swivel LCD screen, instant review) plus lots of metering, focus and white balance controls in addition to Auto, Speed, Shutter and Manual modes. Studio product photography shows excellent detail (including small scratches and dust). Closeups macros can be taken very close and yield excellent results. Very impressive night long exposure quality with little noise, due to its noise reduction technology that "erases" the white specks in the black sky. The Coolpix 8800 has a much better 10X lens and is easier to use than the Nikon 8700. The top dial selector now works like normal vs the spin wheel on the 8700. This camera definitely can replace my 35mm. I was very impressed with the quality of the night photos. Now you can have excellent photo quality as well as digital camera features - even the 640x480 30fps movies up to 1min long, so it doubles has a half decent camrec as well.

Cons: The only 2 negatives I notices so far is 1) the manual focus does not provide any ft/m guide numbes, just a scale from close to infinite (flower to mountain). Other cameras give a 2ft, 5ft, 10ft, 20ft scale so you can better "guess" the distance, especially when its dark. 2) the 2nd issue is with macro closeup photography while using the built in flash. If you are on wide angle (35mm) you will get a shadow from the lens in the photo from the flash light getting blocked by the big lense barrel. However, this can be eliminated by zooming to a mid range or by using external lights and not using the flash.