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Murray, pay no attention to the banal (if not ignorant) response offered previously. I'm sure you will find users who can offer intelligent reviews on their experience with the camera. As for myself, I've a 8700 and am generally happy but would buy a D70 given the opportunity to purchase again.
I've had mine for about 2 weeks now - it's brilliant in almost every respect (sadly, the S-AF is a little slow, but I can work around that).
I was going to buy myself a wonderful Leica MP but can't really see a future for 35mm film, hence my decision to jump at the 8800.
1. I wanted a camera that I'm willing to carry around easily, I got it. 8MP, 35-350 zoom lens, Nikon build.
2. Good zoom length with a reasonable quality lens - nice and bright.
3. Superb exposure - I almost always use the Matrix metering (spot comes second).
4. 8MP - at last good sized prints are a viable option - the common purple fringing doesn't seem to be in evidence on the 8800.
5. VR - vibration reduction - WOW. With a steady hand I can now handhold the camera, with the lens set to 350mm, at speeds of down to 1/60th!!! My reasons for buying a Leica are almost gone ... the 8800 really does let you take candid photos!
6. Scene modes ... I'd normally not bother with these, but the Panaorama Assist Mode (with the bundled Arcsoft Panaorama software) is truly amazing. CloseUp mode is as good as any I've seen on any camera.
7. Good quality body and very well built.
8. Ergonomically sound - the most commonly used functions have 'hard' buttons on the camera body as well as being hidden in the menus.
9. Possible one of the best features is a new jpeg compression mode. You still have BASIC, NORMAL and FINE jpeg modes,in addition to HI (tiff) and RAW. Nikon have added 'EXTRA' (jpeg), to fit snugly between Fine and Hi. EXTRA is twice the size of FINE, compressed by 1/2 as opposed to 1/4. In use, a 1 Gb CF card gives you 250ish images in 8MP/FINE and 128 images when the camera is set to 8MP/EXTRA.
What could be improved?
1. AF is, as I said above, not up to SLR standards - and I know that's stating the obvious, but it's a fact.
2. 'ISO' range is 50 - 400. I'd have liked an 800 option too.
3. Even with a 1.0Gb Sandisk Ultra II (66x) it can sometimes be a little slow to write to the card.
4. Only 35mm at it's widest. Yes, you can buy additional WA lenses but the 28 equivalent is about $150 and the Fisheye is double that price.
I'm very happy with my buy - The results are outstanding and I can now realistically take shots at 350mm without a tripod and get a high percentage of good results.
I have heard that the write rate is slower with the faster cards (40x,80x) Nikon support said that the card to use that is the fastest was a 4x. I could not figure out why a slow card would be faster than the fast one. Any ideas?
We have been having this discussion on another forum. It would appear it is all to do with the speed the camera writes the data to the card. In other words it may be pointless spending money on faster cards as the camera will only write to that card at a certain speed. Nikon seem to be saying that using a 4x card is the optimum setup. Several people on the forum are timing different cards at the moment, so if any more information becomes available I will pass it on.
Word on the street is that the Nikon CP5x00 camera series wrote at 12x, and any faster card was squandered. I would certainly not expect the CP8x00 series to be 80x with Write Accelleration, but I also would expect them to be somewhat faster than 12x.
The cost of a fast card is not much more than a basic SanDisk - generally considered to be rather slow - and if one has a USB2 or FireWire reader, transfers to the computer may justify the additional cost.
Odd that write-speed is rarely used as a marketing tool, other than in cameras like the Nikon D2H and Canon 1D MkII that are designed for sports shooting.
I have had my CoolPix 8800 camera for about 3 weeks. I have used an older 128MB CF and a newer Sandisk UltraII CF card. While I do not have any sientific data The UltraII seems to be noticeably faster than my older sandisk 128 card (sorry I do not have any speed ratings for the older card). I find that still shots are fantastic. But forget about trying to follow a moving object as the viewfinder goes blank during the write phase and I often loose the subject for the next shot even with the quick response option. I am also having a bit of trouble using the manual focus. I just can't seem to get that right! Any thoughts?
After owning Coolpix 990, Coolpix 5700, Sony DSC-F828, and Canon Powershot1 over the years, it is clear that these PROsumer cameras are superb, but are not good for continuous shots and sports shots. Frankly, they never were intended do accomplish these tasks. However, you can improve your chances of capturing the moment by accelerating the writing speed to the compact flash card. The faster it does so, the faster you cantake the next shot. First, change the option in the menu for showing the picture you have just taken. You can always review it later, but if you allow the camera to show the picture immediately after taking it... many seconds will pass before you can take the next shot. The other important change is to go to the fastest cards you can afford. The ScanDisk II writes at around 7 megabytes per second. On amn 8 megapixel camera, that means 2 pictures per second, but ofcourse that is in a perfect world. If the camera has to go through a routine to produce the file to be sent to the card, this subroutine will slow the process. Lexar has an 80 times speed CF card that is supposed to be much faster.
The only way to be able to shoot fast and not miss the shot is to get yourself a Digital SLR such as the Nikon D70 which is an excellent camera. It will take 3 frames per second and has a pretty good sized buffer. Roughly 21 fine sized pictures before it slows down while writing to the card. Though you probable dont need 3FPS, it illustrates that the camera is ready to take the next shot. Plus, as the camera has a mirror, and you are viewing directly through the lens, you are ready to take the next shot.
Hope this helps.
> Posted by Paul Tchiloyans (Charlie) on Saturday, December 18, 2004 - > 1:23 am: > > The only way to be able to shoot fast and not miss the shot is to get > yourself a Digital SLR such as the Nikon D70 which is an excellent > camera. It will take 3 frames per second and has a pretty good sized > buffer. Roughly 21 fine sized pictures before it slows down while > writing to the card. Though you probable dont need 3FPS, it > illustrates that the camera is ready to take the next shot. Plus, as > the camera has a mirror, and you are viewing directly through the > lens, you are ready to take the next shot. > Hope this helps.
It helps a great deal.
Here we shooters thought that the great action and sports shots of the past century - prior to digital cameras - was due to skilled photographers who knew how to anticipate and lead action in order to expose at the peak, whether they were shooting with Graflexes, Speed Graphics, Big Berthas, Leicas, and all the manual Nikon Fs used on a daily basis.
I guess those hundreds of thousands of shots published in the newspapers and magazines, were just fortuitous accidents and the real era of action photography began last PMA with a cheap entry-level camera.
Well said Larry. You have no arguments here. I am sure many of your, including my shots were taken taking into account the lag time (which comes with lots of practice) in order to capture the moment. You simply learn the cameras ability and make the most of it.
Thank you Tom, you are right! I went back and re-read Larry's post, he is grumpy! I am used to reading his very complete posts that are always educational, and which I agree most of the times with. I missed his shot againtst my bow!
Larry, I know you love your Coolpix 5000 and probably by now your Coolpix 8400. I too, like you, don't agree that you have to have the most expensive camera to get the job done, that the photographers eye comes first, then the lens, and lastly the camera (you probably are now going to ad a few more to the list and that is OK). But that doesnt mean I have to go to the pinhole camera to make you happy and gain your respect. A perfect ex&le of what you are suggesting is equivalent to my flying experience. I learnt in the 70s, and had to do all calculations by hand, fly by old guages, and do dead reckoning to find my destinations. Now, with the technology advancement, I laugh at the new students that have computer screens in front of them that do most of the work for them (Yes, before you say it... a pilots common sence and pure flyng ability is like the photographers eye who sees perfect images). I regularly remind them of the OLD days when we had to do everything the hard way. Thats why we are considered experienced and not them yet. But if I bother to look at the bigger picture, all the technology has done, is to make things easier, more is accomplished, more efficient and safer. I think that is a good thing. The same thing applies to photography. Technology is good.
I have to say, you are one who I have always and still respect based on your experience and the time you take to help out others on this forum. You are an accomplished photographer.
You are however becoming cynical! If you had your way, we would all have to go back a century? Lol, Come on , stop seeing the negative in everyones comments.
Season Greetings to you.
Note to Santa: "Please bring a smile to Larry's face"
> > The only way to be able to shoot fast and not miss the shot is to get >
Yesterday, I was shooting some surfers with a G2 with 4 fps, and I know I missed several shots, perhaps all. I have had a 5 fps camera for 24 years that I always shot 1 frame at a time. I know I missed shots.
I am not a pro sports photographer, but I do know that it takes more than a camera.
> Posted by Tom Rains (Tom_rains) on Saturday, December 18, 2004 - 7:51 > pm: > >> Boy, are you cynical today, Larry.>
Not really. To a lot of readers on these an many other forums, seem to be chasing the "magic bullet" that if found will transform them into photographers. There is an excellent essay written by Kevin Bourque for largeformaphotography.info eloquently expressing this.
While excellent tools will extend the range of those with great expertise in the medium, they may be much harder for someone learning and actually produce worse results than entry-level tools. This is not by any means limited to photography, but pretty much true across all the media we use to create.
Bottom line is that it is not the medium that creates the art - it is the artist manipulating the medium. A skilled artist will use whatever medium is at hand to the maxiumum. Hand a great violinist a student fiddle and you will hear great music. Hand a beginning vioinist the finest Cremona instrument on the planet, and the screeches will be no less horrible.
Hand a Holga to a great photographer, and you will get great photography. Hand a D2X to a beginner and you will probably get results worse than if he a Holga in hand. The very limitations of the cheap camera protect him. A shooter can shoot with anything.
I work comfortably with my CP5000, and am in process of buying a CP8400. I am equally at home shooting with any of my very manual medium format stuff or with a large-format view camera. With my medium format equipment and a newly acquired scanner that will handle the film, I am back to shooting film again where appropriate. Through scanning, the medium format equipment is equivalent to 16MP and well above that resolution - and it is paid for.
Not cynical. In my early years of sports photography, I knew many old shooters with the Associated Press who indeed did shoot with Graflexes and aerial lenses. In fact my boss also did. I worked side by side covering the Montreal Expos with their photographer who shot nothing but Pentax67 - medium format and totally manual. If you think the CP5700 was slow to focus, try focusing his 800mm Pentax lens manually, assuming you have the strength to hoist it onto the tripod. He consistently produced outstanding photography both in content and quality. I generally covered college basketball with a Bronica ETR, again for top quality images - and hundreds were published. The CP5000 is vastly quicker and easier to use. See "Volleyball"
I don't always agree with Larry but this time he has it right. If I see one more post about some newbee who has a new D70 and wants some info about how he or she can set up a home studio so they can go into the business of doing portraits I think I'll scream. I don't think it's wrong to aspire to be a pro and start a new career but it does seem to be the camera makers who promote the idea if you buy the equipment it will do the job for you. Just press a button and it's automatic. I have to admit I did feel it couldn't be too hard to do this camera stuff when I started out. Was I wrong and I realize it's a life of learning and us old dogs can and have to learn new tricks. To produce a great picture it takes experience and hard work to make it work right.
Thanks for the resp. I also use an N90 and a CP5000. I guess I will stick to the N90 film camera and lens collection for my real action shots. Even with the N90, capturing the moment does take practice, but capturing the moment with digital is an even greater challenge. In retrospect what I really wanted from my digital was a unit where I did not have to lug a lot of stuff up and down the mountain trails. I agree I would have been happier putting the money toward a Digital SLR considering my expectations. However the landscapes coming off the CP8800, even printed at 13x19 are awesome. For now I will stick to the different camera for different situations approach..