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Nikon CoolPix 8800 - Nikon CoolPix 8800

By Cliff Smith

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Nikon CoolPix 8800

Summary

Our Score:

9

The list of features and options available on the 8800 is too long to explore in detail in a short review, so I’ll just concentrate on the highlights. Naturally, it features a full range of manual exposure options, as well as program, auto and 15 scene modes. The range of shutter speeds goes from 10 minutes on ‘B’ setting to 1/3000th of a second, which while not quite up to SLR standards is still one of the fastest on any digital compact.

Like most SLR-style compacts the 8800 has an electronic viewfinder, but it is an exceptionally high resolution 235,000 pixel unit with a very fast refresh rate. It also has a flip-and-twist LCD monitor, which although only 1.8 inches in size is also very sharp, with 134,000 pixels.

The flash hot shoe has full TTL metering compatibility with Nikon’s excellent SB-600 and SB-800 Speedlite flashguns. However, you may not need one because the built-in pop-up flash has a range of 6 meters at wide angle and 3 meters at telephoto, more than enough power for most situations. However it has to be said that the flash does feel very flimsy when popped up, and seems to be mounted on rubber.

The AF system features a 9-point manual AF target grid, and the exposure meter can also be set to take a spot reading from the AF point, ideal for awkward compositions with unusual lighting conditions. Standard metering is a 256-point matrix.

However the best feature doesn’t relate directly to picture taking at all. With a camera this complex, controlling it all could be a nightmare, but Nikon has given the 8800 an awesome fully customizable menu, which lets you copy your most often used settings to the front page, and then adjust them with the data input wheel. It’s easily the fastest and most versatile menu system I’ve seen on any camera. White balance, ISO and image quality can also be adjusted via the top dial.

In terms of overall performance however, things are not all so rosy. Thanks mainly to that gigantic lens, the start-up time is a leisurely 4.5 seconds. Once it’s had a stretch and put its shoes on however, actual shot-to-shot times are quite respectable, at least in JPEG mode. In continuous mode it can fire off a burst of 5 maximum quality shots in around 2.5 seconds, or 11 fine quality shots at 1.9 frames per second. An additional Ultra HS mode shoots 100 640x480 pixel shots at 30fps and saves then to a separate folder, presumably for use as animation frames.

Graham Walker

January 25, 2009, 10:48 pm

I just wanted to say that I agree with all the comments that Cliff made concerning the Nikon Coolpix 8800, it is indeed a superb piece of equipment, I own several digital camera's, but the 8800 outshines them all and I have yet to see better image quality. In fact, fearing that something untoward might happen to my 8800, I went on Ebay and found a spare just in case...the seller described it as 'in superb condition', in fact it was in mint condition, all credit to him, and all for 𧶏...if anyone is thinking about starting out on the digi trail then I can thoroughly recommend that they seriously consider this camera, they won't be disappointed.


Best regards.


G,Walker

Artist nr 1

May 17, 2009, 7:51 pm

Please, tell me how can I sett Adobe RGB (1998) on my Nikon coolpix 8800? I'll configure colors on my camera.Thank you. I. Raic

Graybeard

October 28, 2011, 10:33 pm

October 28, 2011. Just surfing around and saw this review about my trusted old Nikon 8800.
When talking about "Best" camera, you have to ask, "Best for what". I have carried my 8800 through 30 countries (with a Nikon 8700 backup). The camera is superb for traveling. I have printed 16x20 inch prints of Meteora in Greece that the lab could not believe came from a 5-year old 8-MP camera.

It may not be the best "Studio" camera, but I don't care.
LA Wilson

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