Nikon Coolpix 8800 review updated to full production status|
(Friday, November 26, 2004 - 15:39 EST)
Based on our initial review of a prototype sample of the Coolpix 8800, we concluded that it was one of the best prosumer cameras Nikon has created to date.
Having now had the opportunity to fully test a production-level sample of the 8800, that conclusion still largely holds, although we did manage to find a couple of minor complaints. Other than a few very minor niggles, the 8800's controls and ergonomics were really just right, its long-ratio zoom lens was impressive, and its VR (Vibration Reduction) technology seemed unusually effective at reducing the effects of camera shake.
Image quality was generally excellent, with loads of resolution, in-camera sharpening that struck a good balance between perceived sharpness and minimal artifacts, good (if somewhat bright) color, and a lens that kept chromatic aberration largely in check yet maintained good sharpness in the corners of the frame.
Areas where we'd like to see improvement were in tonal control (the contrast adjustment works well, but needs to have another step or two of control in the low-contrast direction), buffer-clearing speed, and shutter lag when the camera's writing to the memory card.
Even with due weight given to our niggles and complaints, the Coolpix 8800 is a clearly fine camera and a powerful photographic tool, with excellent optics and image quality. Clearly a Dave's Pick. It's also the first Nikon prosumer camera with VR (vibration reduction ) technology, a huge plus in a long-zoom digicam.
No question, if you're shopping at the high end of the "prosumer" digicam category, the Nikon Coolpix 8800 deserves your serious consideration! Read our Nikon Coolpix 8800 review for all the details.