Nikon COOLPIX 8800
- Image quality, vibration reduction feature
- Menu system
If you want a camera with a powerful zoom, a long focal length, and extensive controls, but an SLR is too big or too expensive for you, the Coolpix 8800 makes an excellent choice. Be prepared to invest some time in mastering the controls, however.
Price$ 1,899.00 (AUD)
The Coolpix 8800 combines powerful (8-megapixel) imaging resolution and a long (10X) optical zoom. An update of the Coolpix 8700 (which has an 8X zoom), the 8800 looks and operates much like its predecessor, with the same bulky, black body and a lens barrel as wide as a soda can. Other holdover features include a fold-out LCD, pop-up flash, an electronic viewfinder, and the ability to accept wide-angle and telephoto converter lenses.
The 8800 improves on the 8700, however, with a more intuitive set of controls. Gone is the mysterious Mode button; Nikon moved all of the top-level exposure controls - aperture-priority, shutter-priority, and full-manual, plus scene, movie, and full-automatic modes - to a single clearly labelled dial on top of the camera. The menu structure is better, too, though still somewhat cumbersome to use. When you press the Menu button, you get a top-level list with six options (Metering, Continuous, Image adjustment, and others). A MyMenu option lets you replace items on this initial list of controls with ones you use more frequently, such as bracketing, ISO, or white balance.
To reach a control that's not among the top six, you select the "Show all menus" option and scroll though an extensive list of settings. This can be slow going, especially because the list has no readily apparent order.
In general, the fastest way to bracket exposure is to press the shutter once and let your camera take three to five shots in quick succession. Indeed, some cameras do this by default. But the Coolpix 8800 forces you to take the additional step of setting the camera to one of its continuous shooting modes--or (if you don't switch to continuous mode) to press the shutter three to five times for a complete bracket.
The image quality of our test photos was top-notch. In our high-contrast outdoor city scene, the 8800 beautifully reproduced a light blue sky without losing details in dark city streets. And our colourful still-life image delivered realistic skin tones and bright whites, reds, and yellows. All of the images had razor-sharp details. The 8800's only flawed output was a flash photo of our mannequin, which was about a half-stop underexposed.
The automatic vibration reduction feature seemed to help produce sharper photos, especially when the shutter speed was in the low range for hand-held shooting (1/250 second or less) and the lens was set to full telephoto.
The 8800's startup speed and shutter lag are about average for the cameras we've tested recently: You're ready to shoot about 4 seconds after turning the camera on. After a full press of the shutter release, there's a delay of 1 or 2 seconds before the camera takes the shot. But the delay can be longer if you're shooting in low light and the camera has trouble locking its focus (as it occasionally did). The zoom worked fairly smoothly, but it made an unpleasant grinding sound.
Like most other advanced digital cameras of recent vintage, the 8800 is easy for photographers of all experience levels to use. Set to fully automatic mode - which disables nearly all of the camera's exposure options - the 8800 becomes a very expensive point-and-shoot. Users of limited experience can select from among 15 scene modes that automatically tune the camera for specific types of shots, such as sunsets, beach or snow scenes, and panoramas.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD 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
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- 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
- FTBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTHelpdesk AnalystNSW
- FTAgile Scrum Master/TrainerNSW
- TPTechnical Support Officer (Unix/Linux, Windows and Mac)VIC
- TPSenior .Net DeveloperQLD
- FTWeb Developer | Parramatta | Initial 6 month contractNSW
- CCCitrix SpecialistVIC
- CCSystems Specialist - Network Systems l Port MacquarieNSW
- FTWeb Developers - .Net DevelopersNSW
- CCSolution Architect - Network Operations/Design - TelcoVIC
- CCUser ResearchNSW
- FTService Desk AnalystNSW
- FTElectronic Payments POS Business Analyst - Permanent - North Ryde areaNSW
- FTLevel 2/ 3 Systems AdministratorVIC
- CCBlue Prism DeveloperVIC
- FTSolution ArchitectACT
- FTSenior Desktop Engineer - SCCM / AD / 2012 ServerNSW
- FTSenior Project Manager (Wealth)NSW
- CCVMware AdministratorNSW
- FTSenior Solutions Architect - Network & Unified ComunicationsACT
- CCTechnical Requirements Architect - NV1ACT
- CCCitrix SpecialistNSW
- FTSenior IT Domain SpecialistVIC
- CCEnd User Services ArchitectNSW
- CCSAP CRM Functional AnalystACT