Nikon COOLPIX 8700
- Long zoom, Good performance, Upgraded movie mode, Time-lapse movie mode
- USB 1.1 connection Purple fringing around high-contrast
The 8700 is a great enthusiast's camera, delivering excellent, detailed images and a long zoom lens in a light, compact package
Price$ 1,999.00 (AUD)
Nikon's 8Mp Coolpix 8700 combines high resolutions, long lenses and stacks of features. It is capable of delivering the same 3264x2448-pixel images as its 8Mp peers - around 25 per cent more than a 5Mp camera offers, and enough detail to make good-looking A3 colour inkjet prints. Images are saved to CompactFlash cards, though you'll have to supply your own. However, IBM's Microdrive is also supported. Photos can be stored in TIFF, RAW or JPEG formats and, of the three JPEG levels available, photos at the highest quality measure around 2.8MB each.
Despite its compact dimensions, the 8700 houses a long 8X optical zoom lens with a 35mm equivalent range of 35-280mm and an average focal ratio of f2.8:f4.2. This makes it narrower than the 28mm settings of its rivals, but the 8700 makes up for it by being at least 40 per cent longer at the telephoto end. During power-up the lens extends 3cm in as many seconds - and, thankfully, it takes the cap along for the ride if you don't remove it first.
Both the zoom and manual focus are motorised. Close-up performance is especially good, with virtually distortion-free coverage of just 30mm across the frame.
Unlike its 8Mp rivals from Canon, Sony and Olympus, Nikon has essentially reused the body and optics from an earlier model - the 5Mp Coolpix 5700. And the 8700 inherits many excellent qualities: a surprisingly light, compact body considering its long lens, a 1.8in flip-out-and-twist LCD display, electronic viewfinder, backlit status display, pop-up flash, and fully functional hotshoe. On the down side, you are still limited to a USB 1.1 connection.
The electronics enjoy some enhancements from the Coolpix 5400, including the time-lapse and interval modes, 12-scene presets, live histogram, five-shot buffer at 2.5fps, and optional display gridlines. Most impressive is the upgraded movie mode which offers VGA video at 30fps, albeit only in 35-second clips.
There are Auto, Program, Manual, Shutter and Aperture Priority modes, with exposures ranging from 1/4,000 to eight seconds, plus a bulb option of up to 10 minutes. Sensitivity runs from 50 to 400 ISO.
In use, the 8700 inevitably feels similar to its predecessor, the 5700, and handles well. Optically, the 8700 resolves an acceptable level of detail, although there's a little purple fringing around high-contrast areas such as trees or rooftops against an overcast sky. Images are fairly smooth although, as with all cameras using this 8Mp chip, electronic noise becomes a serious problem above 200 ISO.
One of the Coolpix 8700's neatest features is its time-lapse movie mode, first seen on the Coolpix 5400. Images can be taken at intervals between 30 seconds and 60 minutes, then automatically assembled into a 640x480-pixel movie clip at 30fps. The sequence starts and ends when you press the shutter button up to a maximum of 1050 frames, which translates into a 35-second video.
The 8700 is a great enthusiast's camera, delivering excellent, detailed images and a long zoom lens in a light, compact package. As always, though, personal preferences will sway you towards certain features. For example, its rivals all sport wider lenses, although none gets as close when fully zoomed-in.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- Camera app makers tap into RAW power with iOS, and look forward to dual lenses
- Google Camera 3.2 lets you snap pictures while recording video
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- TPIT Document Writer And TrainerVIC
- CCSenior Business Analyst, Wealth ManagementNSW
- TPSolution Architect | HRISQLD
- TP.NET Developer (Sitecore)QLD
- TPMicrosoft Dynamics CRM Developer/ AdministratorWA
- FTTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- TPInfrastructure Project ManagerVIC
- FTUX DesignerVIC
- FTLevel 1/2 Service Desk AnalystQLD
- CCInformation Security ConsultantNSW
- FTSystems Engineer - Managed Service ProviderVIC
- FTHelpdesk Support- LANNSW
- CCSAP Hana and UI5 ConsultantsACT
- FTSupport EngineerNSW
- FTSecurity Operations EngineerNSW
- CCTest Lead : Perth BasedVIC
- CCSalesforce DeveloperNSW
- FTDesktop Support Team LeaderVIC
- FTAndroid Technical Lead (Work From Home 2-3 Days)NSW
- CCElectronic Medications Management Solution ArchitectQLD
- CCSolution Designer - Investment/Trading PlatformNSW
- FTSME Senior Financial Planner - MelbourneVIC
- CCSAP HR & Payroll Project ManagerACT
- FTHead of User ResearchNSW
- TPAutomation Test EngineerQLD