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Camera Reviews > Nikon Coolpix 8700
Nikon Coolpix 8700 Review
Date: June 21, 2004
Tuesday, June 1, 2004 - Here's what I receive
in the box:
- Coolpix 8700
- Lens Cap with retaining string
- Li-Ion Battery EN-EL1 & Battery Charger
MH-53 with power cord
- Cables: USB & A/V
- Neck Strap
- Documentation (English & French): Nikon
Guide, Quick Start Guide
- CDs: Nikon View 6.2, Adobe Photoshop Elements
2.0, 123 of Digital Imaging
The Nikon Coolpix 8700 comes with a rechargeable
Li-Ion battery and battery recharger. In my review
kit (though I don't believe it is part of the
purchase kit), I also received a 256MB Ultra II
SanDisk CompactFlash memory card to test the camera
Besides the two CDs included: Nikon View 6.2
(with its reference manual on a separate CD) and
Adobe Photoshop Elements 2, also included in my
kit is a CD entitled "the 123 of Digital
Imaging" (essential edition) by Vincent
Bockaert. Vincent is one of the very first
web sites we added to our Links
section, so we are glad to be able to feature
one of his works here on Photoxels.
You have to register to receive a password before
you can access the 123 of DI CD contents. If you
find the essential version useful, the CD also
tips you to what the full version of the eBook
contains, and the latter may be purchased online.
The 123 of DI covers all the subjects you might
ever want to know -- and then some more -- about
digital photography. Believe me, it is pretty
comprehensive and meaty. If you love learning
and understanding the technology behind the functionality
of your digital camera, this CD will illuminate
you. I think what I like the most about the 123
of DI are the animated simulations that explain
how certain things work. The textual material
itself is great, though its presentation could
be updated to a more modern user interface.
With Windows XP, you don't need to install any
software to transfer images from camera to PC.
Just plug the USB cable into your camera and PC
USB socket, and the camera is recognized as an
external drive. Then use Windows Explorer to transfer
your images. Transfer is pretty fast at about
3-4 sec. per 8M Fine image. It takes about 10
sec. to transfer a RAW (NEF) image.
[My PC is a Sony VAIO PCV-RX650 P4 running at
1.60GHz with 512MB of RAM.]
The User Guide is well illustrated and written.
A Quick Start Guide is all you need to get started
with the basics of using the camera.
13.7mm, Programmed Auto, Partial, 1/28.5 sec.,
F3.1 and ISO 50
Though you can shoot at the Programmed Auto mode,
I would recommend using Shooting Mode 1 which
is basically the same, plus you can customize
other settings. One of them is the Manual Focus
Areas. Not to be confused with manual focus, there
are 5 manual focus areas and you use the Multi
Selector to select one of them for the auto focus
to lock on. This beats the pre-focusing
technique, and is invaluable in macro shooting.
A Quick Review button displays the last image
taken. The first press of the Quick Review button
brings up a thumbnail of the image; a second press
displays it using the full screen. A half-press
of the shutter release allows a quick return to
A live histogram is available in Shooting Mode.
However, the histogram is not transparent, so
it does obscure a part of the image. It is a good
idea to learn to read the histogram if it is available
on your digital camera. It is not difficult and
we explain it clearly in this tutorial.
You can rely on a histogram display to tell you
whether your shot is underexposed or overexposed
-- no matter how it looks on the LCD screen.
There are so many more features that I have not
had time to cover adequately: Best Shot Selector
(BSS) that you can use in normal and macro mode;
12 Scene Modes; 5 shot buffer mode; and 640x480,
The Nikon Coolpix 8700 is a full-featured prosumer
digital camera, and does require some time to
master all its features. The photographer who
does so will be rewarded with excellent images.
It is an enjoyable digital camera to use, and
its compact size is a bonus to those who are tired
of lugging large cameras around -- or worse, leave
them at home, and miss out on opportunities for
recording great images.