|Looking back at the past digital photography period we see that it changed rapidly. At first everyone fully endorsed the claim that 3 and a maximum of 4 Megapixels were more than sufficient for the standard consumer, and now, not even a year later, we see that the 5 already is becoming 8 Megapixels. Is it necessary, we ask ourselves? Well, not for the average 10x15 print. But why stop the growing process from the digital camera to become a full digital one? In fact we already lived through this with the analogue camera: various changes and 'improvements' were constantly made. Whether or not useful, leaving aside. And in the end the 35mm camera grew out to be a productive problem-free mass product. Well, the Coolpix 8700 is the first generation 8 Megapixel Nikon camera and carries a lot of the good features from his little brother the Coolpix 5700. The very compact size is pleasant to work with and can be operated easily. It still is a tough job for the manufacturer to have all possible functions quickly and easily accessible for the consumer. Which function is important, which type of consumer will purchase such a camera? The Coolpix 8700 is a so called pro-sumer digital camera. A posh marketing word for a high quality camera.
Managing a digital camera with that much power on board can scare off at times. The Coolpix 8700 has a multiplicity of settings. Assuming a basic knowledge of the 8700 owner he will be able to grow to a high Pro-level for a long time with this camera. The 8 Megapixel resolution gives the consumer an almost unlimited printing possibility or editing possibility. From standard postcard size up to poster size from 50x57cm. The print possibilities nowadays are almost unlimited because of the various photo labs and local photo dealers.
The pop-out adjustable LCD monitor adds to the users' convenience. The one shot that looks impossible can still be made because of the monitor. The monitor standard shows all needed pictograms or other necessary information. Pushing the monitor button next to the screen a 'live' histogram will appear.
|The number of buttons on the back side of the camera is well organized and not exaggerated. Nine buttons including the dioptre setting. On top some 7 buttons, the multi-functional on/off button included. And on the side of the camera in line with the optical zoom we find 4 more buttons. This latter series of buttons always takes the longest to get used to, I am speaking for myself now! I always catch myself not only holding the camera in front of me to localize the buttons on the back but also turning it a quarter of a turn to find my way on the side buttons too. It takes a while before being able to find the button to set the resolution blindfolded. Once you are accustomed to the ergonomics and once you get to know the camera and it reacts well, it's like you never had another camera in your hands before! Just this one.
One who wants to enhance the features of the camera can benefit from all that Nikon has to offer. The Coolpix 8700 supports diverse converters to expand the zoom range. There is a special new Fisheye converter lens (0.2x), a Wide Angle Adapter (0.8x) and a Teleconverter that expands the zoom range 1.5x. Beside all this there is a battery pack, a handy accessory to create more body. Another advantage of the camera is the extra release button to take images vertically. The internal flash is sufficient for the indoor images. However if you are more demanding, have a look at one of the many Speedlight flashes that Nikon offers. The Coolpix 8700 supports the SB-series 800, 80DX, 50DX, 30, 28DX, 26, 25, 24, 22s. The only disadvantage of using an external flash is that zooming then happens with a manual setting of the flash head. For one or another reason it doesn't seem to be able to have the flash head zoom automatically together with the camera.
The Coolpix 8700 is a camera with an enormous power. Despite the many functions the Coolpix lets itself operate surprisingly easily. I admit, at first one shall have to get to know the camera having the little booklet at hand. But soon it will turn out that the Coolpix 8700 is a camera with almost unlimited obvious possibilities.