Nikon has been a noticeable absentee from the big zoom compact camera market. In fact, the use to have some of the best cameras in there class in the 8800 and the 8400. Then they just dropped the models and went missing in action.
They have finally released the consumer level zoom camera in a slim body. It has the 14 Megapixel sensor, 10x zoom 30-300mm equiv lens,720p HD video recording and 3.0-inch LCD with 920,000 dots resolution.
The image quality of the coolpix is mid level average. Again, it is let down by the 14MP sensor that plagues the other cameras that have the same image sensor. It simply is too many MP’s for such a small sensor and this badly effects the image quality.
This is a shame, since the lens itself is actually quite good. There’s very little chromatic abrasion and you can see in very good light and low ISO that it performs well. The problem is that there is so much detail smearing as to make the camera disappointing. When will the manufacturers learn.
The video is 720p HD and has it’s own dedicated button. It’s placement near the thumb is a problem though. There is a stereo microphone on this camera too.
The S8000 has bizarre image quality. It’s below average at low ISO, but Nikon do a decent job in maintaining the detail at high ISO (for this class of camera).
As a ‘point-and-shoot’ the Nikon actually does ok. Their white balance is pretty good and the metering system is as you would expect from this company (good). The user interface is not great though, and they have again gone missing in action. We struggled to use it for another reason, they keep changing were things are. That’s not bad if things are improving, but they are not. Some settings are hard to find, some are only available sometimes (and you don’t know whyor when), some you have to face north to get working (that bit I’m joking about).
It is quick to start up, very quick actually, and the auto focus is better than some previous Nikon cameras. In use, the Nikon Coolpix S8000 was quite nice to use. It doesn’t have the features of some other cameras, but overall it was a decent camera.
- The 920,000 dot high contrast LCD
- Good lens
- Fast start-up
- Fast auto focus
- Reliable white balance
- HD video
- Image quality on the lower end
- No manual shutter or aperture control
- Menus are below average
- Lens could be wider
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