Advice, opinions requested on Nikon Coolpix 8700

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by bousozoku, Feb 3, 2004.

  1. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    I've been looking for a camera to replace my Olympus C-2500L, which is an all-in-one digital SLR.

    I really like Olympus best but, with the price of the exception E-1, I don't think I'll be going there unless the lottery finds me. The E-20N seems to be going away and I might find one for the right price but I doubt that I should invest in a 5 MP camera, at this point.

    Nikon cameras are my second choice and I happen to like the all-in-one design of the 5700, so I think the 8700 will be all the better. The only problem I've seen is that, with all the buttons, the 5700 is busy and the 8700 hasn't changed.

    Thanks for your help!
  2. LimeiBook86 macrumors 604


    May 4, 2002
    Go Vegan
    I say if you can afford it stretch from the 5mp to the 8mp camera. 5 megapixels is great, but down the road you'll be kicking yourself when the 8mp camera is all the rage... :D
  3. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2003
    Dallas, Texas
    Re: Advice, opinions requested on Nikon Coolpix 8700

    I've owned the CoolPix 950 and 995, and I currently own the 4500. While they are great cameras in most respects, there are a few drawbacks which all Nikon's seem to share across the board.

    First off, Nikon, what's with these dinky 1.5" LCD screens??

    My 950 had a 2" screen, the 995 a 1.8" and now the 445 has the smallest of the lot, a ridiculous 1.5 inches. You'll regret getting anything smaller than a 2" screen in the long term.

    Secondly, while I find the menus fairly intuitive, there are a lot of them. Sometimes you need to scroll through 3 pages to get to the feature that you want to adjust. So if you're not that way inclined, you'll really grow to dislike the camera after a short while.

    Finally, and a huge no-no with me. Their low light focusing capabilities are useless because there is NO infra-red assist light, like on some Sony's and others.

    So what would I personally recommend?

    The 8700 and 5700 have tiny screens and the other shortcomings mentioned above, so I wouldn't recommend them.

    I would definitely go with either the new Nikon D70, one the Canon's, or one of the higher end Sony's which come with an outstanding Zeiss lens.

    I don't know much about the new Panasonics that come with Leica lenses, other than that they have too much noise in certain situations.

    Check out these sites for more specific info...

    Although there are not a ton of reviews here, Philip Greenspun's site is really one of the best photo sites around. Excellent reviews, forums learning resouces etc

    Good luck :)
  4. Datazoid macrumors regular

    May 10, 2002
    I agree with the above posting; I own the Nikon 5700 and, trust me, the low light focusing situation is a real deal-breaker. As in, even in a decently lit room, it takes upwards of 20 seconds, and sometimes even minutes, to focus on a subject 6 feet away. The features are great, especially if you know what you are doing with them, but it's practically useless for all but outdoor, sunny pictures. Even then, at extreme focal lengths (ie @ less than 1/4 zoom, or greater than 3/4 zoom) you can run into problems.
  5. bousozoku thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    Thanks so much.

    Well, Nikon have changed the wording in the auto-focusing from the 5700:

    Contrast-detect TTL AF; 5-Area Multi AF or Spot AF selectable

    to the 8700:

    5-Area Autofocus with Focus Assist - Flexible focus control with accuracy in extreme low light conditions

    It apparently uses a sensor on the pop-up flash unit to aid in focusing.

    As far as the LCD, I use it for menus only and 1.5 is smaller than the 1.8 inch unit that I already have.

    I thought about the D70, but that propels me from $999 for the Coolpix 8700 to somewhere around $2000 because of lenses. I might as well go all out and get the E-1. :D

    Anyone else?
  6. bousozoku thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
  7. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    Re: Advice, opinions requested on Nikon Coolpix 8700

    Olympus just announced a 8MP C8080 (?) that seems to fit your needs. Working in the Photo industry, I can only say that you need to see how the camera performs for your particular needs.

    Remember that a camera is only a tool to accomplish what you need to do.
  8. bousozoku thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    Re: Re: Advice, opinions requested on Nikon Coolpix 8700

    I guess you didn't notice my latest post and link. :D

    The only thing I really dislike about these $999 wonders is that they're using electronic viewfinders.

    I've had three manual 35mm SLRs in my time: a Fujica ST605, a Minolta SRT Super, and an Olympus OM-1N. One was stolen and the other two died. I bought an Olympus ZLR (Zoom Lens Reflex) camera and am satisfied with the results and the feel, which is how I also ended up with the C-2500L, a digital ZLR.

    The 2/3 inch CCD is the same size as the one in my C-2500L but produces 8 megapixels instead of 2.5. That sounds great, if busy and possibly noisy. It looks as though it's possible to use it at lower resolutions to get cleaner images:

    3264 x 2448 TIFF, SHQ, HQ
    2592 x 1944 TIFF, SQ1
    2288 x 1712 TIFF, SQ1
    2048 x 1536 TIFF, SQ1
    1600 x 1200 TIFF, SQ2
    1280 x 960 TIFF, SQ2
    1024 x 768 TIFF, SQ2
    640 x 480 TIFF, SQ2
    3264 x 2176 3:2 SHQ, HQ

    It's all a toss up, though.
  9. AtlantaGuy macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    I'd like to recommend the Coolpix, but the new Olympus C-8080 gets my vote instead, mainly on the strength of its true wide-angle zoom. My Coolpix 5000 goes out to a 28mm equivalent, as does the C-8080; the newer Coolpix models are strong on the telephoto end but only take it to 35mm on the "wide" end of the zoom. The C-8080 covers the spectrum with its versatile 28mm-140mm zoom, and with a 0.7x accessory will go to 20mm.

    I hope to make a full frame DSLR my next digital purchase, but if I were buying today, the C-8080 would be getting a close look.
  10. bousozoku thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    Yeah, the 8080 looks like a winner. I just wish they could have included the 10x zoom, but that would have pushed the price over $999. I'll probably end up with another tele-converter.

    It also looks like it will take my Olympus flash, which is a great thing.

    Minolta, Nikon, Canon, and Olympus all now have 8 megapixel pro-sumer cameras for $999. That should please everyone who wants one.
  11. Angelus macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2002
    New Zealand
    I would definitely recommend considering a camera that has 28mm abilities. I currently own a minolta 7hi and to have a range of 28-200mm is jsut a dream. It lets me cover wide-angle(landscapes) and telephoto without the need for add on lenses.
    I would also make sure that you read the reviews on some of the sites mentioned above as i found it very helpful in choosing my camera. Be careful with regard to these new 8Mp cameras as i have heard that some versions of the chips,while they have increased the pixels have also increased dramatically the amount of noise present. I also find for my needs that 5Mp is plenty but at the same time that was the best about a year ago and i wouldn't settle for anything less. I suppose what i'm saying is Megapixels are great but make sure you look at what else the camera has to range,lcd size,memory format,battery power and picture processing times. Also i find the manual zoom ring on my minolta to be a dream come true. I have far more control and it feels more like a proper slr.

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