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Nikon Coolpix S8000 - Features and Design

By Cliff Smith



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User Score:

Despite its slim profile the S8000 handles well. The square shape is easy to grip, and there is a good indented and textured thumbgrip on the back, which also doubles as a speaker grille. The controls are very basic, following the pattern of Nikon's simpler compacts. There are buttons for shooting, video and playback modes, a delete button, a menu button and a four-way D-pad which also has four secondary functions.

The S8000 has only four main shooting modes, selected by pressing the green Shooting Mode button and using the D-pad to choose between Auto, a Scene mode with 16 fairly typical scene programs, a Smart Portrait mode which includes the Smile Timer option and blink detection, and a Tracking AF mode which includes face priority tracking. Menu options can be displayed and a list or as icons.

The main shooing menu is very brief, with just seven entries; image size, white balance, ISO setting, drive mode, autofocus mode and metering mode. There are only two metering options, matrix or centre-weighted, with no spot metering available. There are four AF modes; auto, face priority, manual area selection and centre, with single or continuous AF available. Drive modes include single, continuous, Nikon's useful Best Shot Selector, which picks the sharpest of a sequence of shots, and the somewhat less useful Multi-shot 16, which shoots a sequence of 16 low-res shots and then presents then as a grid in a single image. Also available is the Sports Continuous mode, which can shoot up to 45 frames at 3fps, but only at 3MP resolution.

The S8000 has a few simple but useful features in playback mode too, including the options to apply D-Lighting for high-contrast shots, Skin Softening for portrait shots, and a three-level Quick Retouch feature which increases contrast and saturation. All of these produce good results, and can improve some lacklustre images.

The monitor is worthy of special mention. It has a 7.5cm (3.0 inch) screen with an exceptionally high resolution of 921,000 dots. It also has a very wide angle of view in all directions, and a good anti-glare surface, which I'd be delighted to test in full sunlight if only we had any.

Also of note is the S8000's video recording mode. It shoots at a maximum resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels at 30fps, recording in MPEG- AVC/H.264 format. Audio is recorded in AAC stereo via two microphones on the top of the camera. Video quality is very good for a compact camera. The stereo separation isn't brilliant as you can imagine, but sound quality is definitely better than average.


August 27, 2010, 2:32 pm

On screen images look processed.


August 27, 2010, 11:50 pm

Not sure what to make of this review. I had two of this model both of which had very poor image quality. The shots here are no different. I thought the first one I had was a one off maybe. Took it back to the shop and exchanged. The next one was the same if not slightly worse. The overall image quality is possibly the worst I have seen in a compact. I am not even comparing quality to that of a dslr as no compact can match one but to see image quality getting rated 8/10 is almost laughable.

Not only is the image quality poor the video quality is another league altogether. The video quality is by a long shot the worst I have seen. For HD it was comparable to that of a 1mp camera phone type of quality. Also in video mode there is a loud ear piercing noise that's quite similar to the sound that a mosquito repeller gives off...only problem being it's quite noticeable to the human ear. Both cameras had this fault. Contacted Nikon and they are apparently aware of that issue yet have no plans to remedy it.

I own 2 Nikon dslr's and there is no doubt both are excellent quality. I only bought the S8000 as a carry around camera when using a dslr is not needed but I regret that decision. I have found that the overall quality of the dslr's and the compacts are worlds apart. Given the current price of the S8000 I’d highly recommend saving your money and buying another camera. I have seen cameras half the price that are twice as good.

Sorry Nikon but a big step up in quality control of your compact cameras is urgently needed.


September 2, 2010, 11:37 pm

@Darren - glad you mention the HD video. Makes me feel less guilty about buying a Panasonic SD60 reviewed here earlier in camcorder section

Jerome Nolas

September 12, 2010, 1:35 pm

I can't believe these pictures were taken with Nikon camera!!! They are so bad!!! Are you sure they are from S 8000? My cheap Fuji makes better pictures....


October 2, 2013, 11:32 am

Inexplicably, my camera does not switch on even after hours of charging, removal and re-insertion of battery. It briefly light up but I have to keep my finger on the on/off switch. Has anyone experienced this and how did they overcome it?

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