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- Photography using Digital SLRs


 

Nikon Coolpix 8700 Experience Report

A review diary by Uwe Steinmueller @Digital Outback Photo

Also photos by Bettina Steinmueller

 

 

 

 
This review will be written again in the form of a diary. Most recent findings on top.
 
 
 
Note: This review is written from the perspective of a long time digital SLR user.
 
 

 
3/30/2004 Camera will go back
 

Our diary is over.

Summary

This camera can produce very serious quality images. We ourselves (coming from a DSLR background) did not like the handling. Some may find this camera just right in size. We find it to small and have our gripes with all electronic viewfinders today. If you are serious into photography then checkout the Nikon D70.

 

 
3/23/2004 Read other reviews
 

Especially readers that are not comparing digital SLRs with the Nikon 5700 should carefully read the reviews of our friends:

 

 

 
3/16/2004 Nikon 8700 Gallery Posted
 


Rock Colors at Point Lobos

 
We have now a Nikon 8700 gallery online. We like more and more the image quality we get from the 8700.
 

 
3/13/2004 Cactus Photos
 

Today we made some nice catus photos at the Stanford University cactus garden (all shots from raw).

The 8700 is capable of producing very nice photos once you get more used to it. If you shoot raw you just have to be patient to wait for the camera to write the files (the 8700 may be faster with other cards than my 1GB Microdrive)

 
 

 
2/29/2003 8700 at Capitola
 

We start with the good news. The 8700 can produce excellent images.


Capitola

Here are some more critical observations:

  • Overall handling is feels slower as with the Sony F828
  • Checking histogram takes too much time (Sony has a live histogram where you see before you hit the shutter what the exposure will be)
  • Manual Shutter speed can only be controlled in full EV steps (this is even more an issue as the 8700 has only one dial for f-stop and shutter speed. Means that fine adjustment via f-stop takes up some more time.
  • The camera does not come with a lens hood which is need to prevent some flair.

Note: of course lens hoods cannot be very effective for large zoom ranges. But still it may help some.

 

 
2/23/2004 Getting Started with the Coolpix 8700
 
This is now the second 8MP digicam we get in our hands. The Sony F828 will be our reference in this review.
 


Ristorante in Los Gatos


100% pixels


Some slight CA visible (at 200% magnification)

 

The image quality seems to be overall very good and the detail is there. The Coolpix 8700 is a very small camera and for our taste maybe too small. In terms of handling theSony F828 rules (feels actually big compared to the 8700).

Things we really miss or don't like:

  • Live histogram (Nikon misssed this important new trend)
  • Manual Zoom Ring
  • Manual Focus Ring
  • Slow Autofocus

Noise


ISO 50

ISO 100

ISO 200

ISO 400

 

Up to ISO 200 the results are very useable and even ISO 400 does not look too bad.

 
 
 

Digital Outback Camera Evaluation Chart Nikon Coolpix 8700

Criterion
Description
Prio
Nikon 8700
 
View Finder
Quality of the electronic Viewfinder
1
poor
ok (better than F828), smaller view
Swivel Viefinder The Konica Minolta has a nice Swivel Viewfinder
2
no no
Swivel LCD Swivel LCD can help viewing the LCD better
2
not need due to swivel body design yes
Resolution
How much detail can be represented
1
good
good
Color Quality
How well are colors rendered
1
good
good
WB
How well works the automatic white balance
1
good
good
Noise
Best detail does not help if you get too much noise. But we would not get noise neurotic either.
2
ok
ok
CA
Chromatic aberration shown
1
sometimes severe
yes (less than F828)
Purple Fringing
Extra purple fringing beyond CA
1
sometimes severe
not seen so far
Lens Range
What range is covered by the zoom (in 35mm equivalent)
1
28-200mm (good range)
35-240mm (missing 28mm)
Manual Zoom Ring Manual zoom rings feel nicer than electronic controls
2
excellent no

Manual Focus Ring

Manual focus rings feel nicer than electronic controls
2
yes (don't think the EVF is good for manual focussing though) no
Live Histogram
Showing a live histogram. Featuring a live histogram for all 3 color channels would be even better.
1
good (luminance)
no (we miss it)
Raw recording
How well is the use of Raw supported
1
poor (8-10 secs for each file the camera is blocked)
poor (4-6 secs for each file the camera is blocked))
Raw SW
Manufacturers Raw software. Many raw files can be opened by Adobe Camera Raw in Photoshop CS
1/2
poor (8bit only)
Nikon Capture (extra cost?)
Flash
We are no experts on flash
1
ok
ok
Flash Synch If you work a lot with flash check the flash connectors and flash synch speed
2
not tested not tested
RGBG/RGBE
Does the sensor use the classic three color RGBG Bayer pattern or like the Sony F282 a new four color RGBE pattern
n/a
RGBE
RGBG
Sensor Sensor type and manufacturer
n/a
Sony 8MP CCD Sony 8MP CCD
Startup Time to power up the camera
2
ok slow
Shutterlag Delay from pressing the shutter till the picture is taken
1
significant significant due to slow AF
Autofocus Autofocus quality (low light, low contrast)
1
good ok
AF Speed Autofocus speed
1
ok slow
Size Smaller does not mean better
1
excellent too small
Handling How does the camera feel in use. This is very subjective.
1
good not nearly as good as F828
Lense hood Lenshood is critical for best lens performance
1
in the box extra item, not in the box
1/3 f-stops Be able to controll f-stops by 1/3 EV in manual mode
1
yes yes
1/3 shutter Be able to controll shutter speed by 1/3 EV in manual mode
1
yes no (too bad)
 

Get a different perspective from these other reviews

 
 
 
Review methodology (or lack of :-)) here.
 
 
 

 

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