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Nikon Coolpix S8000 - Performance and Results

By Cliff Smith

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

he S8000 boasts Nikon's EXPEED processor, which gives it quite creditable performance. It was able to start up and take a photo in less than two seconds, or a shot with flash in just under two and a half seconds, which is very quick. Shot-to-shot time in single shot mode is approximately 1.9 seconds, while in standard continuous mode it can manage approximately 1.2 seconds, although annoyingly there's no audio cue when it takes a picture in this mode.

The autofocus system is very good in normal lighting conditions, and while it does slow down somewhat in lower light it never hunts and nearly always gets a lock. It has a good AF assist lamp with a range of at least three metres, and will focus reliably in most lighting conditions. The flash is also very good, fulfilling its claimed 5.5m range at wide angle, but is also well metered for close range shots.

The S8000 has optical image stabilisation, essential for a long zoom lens. Due to the camera's all-auto operation it's hard to measure accurately, but it produced sharp pictures at moderate zoom at shutter speeds as slow as 1/8th of a second. Combined with the Best Shot Selector it's easy to get sharp results even in quite low light.

Image quality is on the whole very good. The Nikon ED lens is particularly good, producing distortion-free results at wide angle, with excellent edge-to-edge sharpness with minimal chromatic aberration. The level of detail is about average for a high-spec 14MP camera, with relatively low image compression producing high quality files of around 4.5-5.5MB. Colour reproduction is quite natural, producing plenty of detail without over-saturating. Dynamic range is better than expected, with good shadow and highlight detail, improved still further by applying D-Lighting in playback.

Noise control is also very good, with minimal noise at 400 and 800 ISO, and printable results even at 1600. The maximum 3200 ISO is a bit of a mess as it nearly always is, but even then the results are usable for small images.

Verdict

While it may lack all of the contemporary bells and whistles, the Nikon Coolpix S8000 is a solidly made and well designed camera that offers a wide range of easy-to-use high-end features and produces reliably good results in a wide range of situations. It is a superb all-rounder and excellent value for money.

Jazzyboy

August 27, 2010, 2:32 pm

On screen images look processed.

Darren

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.

cliche

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....

ininichaiye

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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