The Nikon Coolpix 8700 is equipped with a CCD that offers 8 Megapixels of resolution. The last few months a lot has been written about the use or uselessness of a high resolution CCD and the related higher noise values. Remarkable is the emphasis that one puts on the noise and the enlargements that are made to show that there is noise visible. In practice it usually is a different story. Ok, the noise values at high resolution digital cameras are usually higher compared with the low resolution models. A fact that is almost forgotten is that noise not only has a negative value but that it also contains relevant information when printing the file. Noise values can be made clearly visible on the TFT or CRT screen, but if we finally hold the print in our hands from this file, it looks absolutely perfect and can even be enlarged and still look wonderful and true-to-life. In short, noise is present but can be approach from a positive point of view.
Coming back to the Coolpix 8700 I see a digital camera with an excellent color reproduction at which the white balance functions far above average: extremely well! The exposure likewise. The automatic exposure hardly gets it wrong, hardly any failures and shadow or bright parts are well reproduced. The detail sharpness can be called very good, the structure of certain objects is captured excellently for example the structure of a towel. The clearness of Macro images is high class after setting the right aperture. The large aperture could give some unclearness at the corners. What we notice often when taking macro shots and using the flash at the same time is the phenomenon that the flash jumps over the object because of the short distance to the object. This also happens with the Coolpix 8700; the flash is also partly obstructed by the zoom lens.
The Nikon Coolpix 8700 is a true muscleman. The camera is the present top model and knows how to handle its position. The results simply can be called: excellent. Many automatic options take over from manual settings. When I look at the test images, and compare the images taken in automatic mode with the images taken when using my own preferred settings, the first lot has my preference. The optical range in such a compact camera is a joy to work with. It would be nice if the Nikon design department is able to develop a bright lens to give the telephoto range a good lift.
I hardly have any negative comments to place on this Coolpix 8700. The camera is highly recommended for those who really want to get everything out of digital photography and improve their skills, but don't want to travel with a digital SLR camera and the required separate lenses to come to the same focal range as the Coolpix 8700. In short: a digital camera that is real value for its money!
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It is recommendable to use the Coolpix 8700 in combination with a minimum of 256MB storage memory card, but preferably a 512MB or 1GB. The JPEG images can be stored in different compression factors and beside that the uncompressed TIFF and NEF (RAW) formats. The TIFF as well as the RAW formats are only available in the highest resolution (8 Megapixels).
Considering a 512MB CompactFlash memory card:
640 x 480 pixels (Fine) - approx. 2600 images - 190KB
640 x 480 pixels (Normal) - approx. 3950 images - 110KB
640 x 480 pixels (Basic) - approx. 5200 images - 80KB
1024x768 pixels (Fine) - approx. 1200 images - 420KB
1024x768 pixels (Normal) - approx. 1950 images - 230KB
1024x768 pixels (Basic) - approx. 3100 images - 130KB
1280x960 pixels (Fine) - approx. 790 images - 630KB
1280x960 pixels (Normal) - approx. 1400 images - 330KB
1280x960 pixels (Basic) - approx. 2600 images -190KB
1600x1200 pixels (Fine) - approx. 500 images - 960KB
1600x1200 pixels (Normal) - approx. 990 images - 500KB
1600x1200 pixels (Basic) - approx. 1750 images - 270KB
2048x1536 pixels (Fine) - approx. 310 images - 2MB
2048x1536 pixels (Normal) - approx. 620 images - 800KB
2048x1536 pixels (Basic) - approx. 1200 images - 420KB
2592x1944 pixels (Fine) - approx. 200 images - 3MB
2592x1944 pixels (Normal) - approx. 390 images - 2MB
2592x1944 pixels (Basic) - approx. 720 images - 650KB
3264x2176 pixels (HI) - approx. 22 images - 21MB
3264x2176 pixels (Fine) - approx. 140 images - 4MB
3264x2176 pixels (Normal) - approx. 280 images - 2MB
3264x2176 pixels (Basic) - approx. 560 images - 900KB
3264x2448 pixels (RAW) - approx. 40 images - 12MB
3264x2448 pixels (HI) - approx. 20 images - 23MB
3264x2448 pixels (Fine) - approx. 120 images - 4MB
3264x2448 pixels (Normal) - approx. 250 images - 2MB
3264x2448 pixels (Basic) - approx. 480 images - 1MB