Nikon 8800 vs Nikon 990 vs Canon 8MP Rebel vs Nikon D70

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by fj40rockcrawler@gmail.com, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. Guest

    I have a old Nikon CoolPix 990, camera has been a workhorse, taken
    dozens of thousands of pictures with it, most were great, some I'd say
    were a bit soft at times, but colors were always solid, saturated, etc.
    The camera is ofcourse 3.3MP, so I'm finalling looking at something
    bigger/better, etc.

    The seemingly obvious choice is the Nikon 8800, it is the flagship
    model, just like my 990 was many years ago. I have read dozens of
    reports about how it's so slow, focusing sucks in low-light, etc. My
    990 is slllllooooow, I didn't realize how slow it was until I saw some
    newer cameras (it wasn't considered slow when it came out), but I have
    been able to deal with the slowness and it has rarely been a problem.
    My 990 has what appear to be similar focusing issues the 8800 has, in
    low-light it can hunt and sometimes never get to a solid focus. With
    my 990 I just flip to manual focus and I have ft numbers to go with (or
    just hit infiniti focus which is faster). I know the 8800 does not
    have a useful manaul focus, I have actually written Nikon directly
    about this and the response I got was that no CoolPix camera in the
    future will ever have a useful manual focus. The problem is with long
    zooms (my 990 is only a 3X) to predict what the focus range will be is
    very tough and to facilitate this on my 990 an extra icon was added to
    the LCD that would turn red (little flower icon) when the focus number
    was not accurate. Well apparently there were literately hundreds of
    cameras returned to Nikon because of improper focusing because nobody
    read the user manual and didn't notice/care the red icon. So the Nikon
    rep who sent the response said do not expect any CoolPix cameras to
    have an actual distance number on manual focusing from now on
    (apparently it was a bigdeal to Nikon at the time).

    Anyway, fast-forward to today, all that means no ft numbers for manual
    focusing, which seems mostly worthless to me then, I guess I could do
    some tests myself, at no zoom, what does 2 notches up the focus scale
    get me as far as distance and just try to remember, still a mess.

    I went to a camera store and played with the 8800 a bit, didn't take
    any pictures (it didn't have a card in it, who the hell has a camera
    store with a demo camera you play with and not put atleast a 128meg
    card in it...that just seems retarded...Mike's Camera, Englewood, CO).
    The camera seems far more lively than I expected from many reviews,
    zooming was rather quick I thought, and certainly faster and more
    precise than my 990. I have read many reports of people dissing the
    zoom-by-wire, which is fine, but that's what a pro-sumer camera does,
    all zoom-by-wires are slow and inaccurate, but useful for taking
    pictures with only one hand (I am often holding my son so only have one
    hand to do everything on the camera).

    So, to those experts out there is the 8800 slower than my old 990? I
    can't imagine it is, but honestly I don't know.

    I have no SLR lenses (well some old Pentax and Minolta stuff going on
    Ebay soon) at all, so if I was to go the dSLR route I could jump to
    either Canon or Nikon. I'm leaning towards Nikon, it sounds like the
    D70 is a bit more camera than the Rebel XT is, even though the XT is
    8MP and the D70 is only 6MP. I have friends with both a Canon 10D and
    Nikon D100, they both love their cameras, but both have had issues with
    dust on the sensor, so that is scaring me a bit away from the dSLR
    route. I want to be able to take great/awesome pictures, and not throw
    my money away (i.e. spending $600 on a 8800, when I could get a D70
    with (apparently a very good) lens for $850 or so, the lens isn't a
    35-350mm lens like the 8800 has, but critics say it's very good.)

    Decisions, decisions, decision...

    (yes a bit of rambling now)

    I like the live-picture of a 8800 (and my old 990) since I often take
    pictures over my head, above a crowd, etc...however I've figured I
    could do that too with a dSLR, just don't know what I'm looking at but
    I could still get a picture of something easy enough. I recently
    looked up some sample pictures and wow do the dSLRs really have the
    edge there, even way up to ISO 1600 (highest the Rebel XT goes IIRC),
    it looked good. Argh...tough to decide what to get...

    Any insight (other than "don't post here you moron" and "try putting a
    cover on that book nexttime")? :)
     
    , Jun 6, 2005
    #1
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  2. Paul Rubin Guest

    I don't see much reason to get an 8800-level camera. Get a
    point-and-shoot that fits in your pocket, or get a DSLR. Don't freak
    out too much about sensor dust; just be careful and resist the urge to
    swap lenses 100 times a day. The 18-70 is a good lens and has enough
    zoom range for normal shooting.
     
    Paul Rubin, Jun 6, 2005
    #2
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  3. bmoag Guest

    The 8800 is actually a very good camera for most users but is not perfect.
    The main usability issue with cameras of its class is the electronic view
    finder. The EVF can be difficult to use in bright light or for tracking
    small objects. Most of the criticisms about these 8mp EVF cameras are by
    people who have never used them or seen the awesome image quality these
    sensors can deliver. If you like the coolpix you may be very happy with the
    8800 and find it handles faster than the 990. The 8800 is so vastly more
    sophisticated than the 990 you will not be sorry if you purchase one. and
    use it as your main digital camera.

    The D70 is a very different breed than what you are used to. It is
    technically a superior solution in that it handles almost as fast as a film
    slr, has direct (if somewhat dim) through the lens viewing and a plethora of
    sophisticated menu options. It is big and heavy and if you are going to use
    it as a jpeg snapshot camera and don't have a compelling reason to be able
    to switch lenses I would recommend getting the 8800 (or another of its
    class). The D70 is prone to moire and does not show its real abilities
    until you start shooting and manipulating RAW images. If you want a dSLR and
    have no backlog of lenses in your closet then it is a toss-up between Canon
    and Nikon. The truth is, having used 8mp cameras, I would lean toward the
    Canon.

    As an owner and frequent user of an old Coolpix 990, an 8mp EVF camera and a
    Nikon D70 I am astounded at much of what gets posted in this newsgroup by
    people who clearly have never used some of these cameras or are overwhelmed
    by some bizarre prejudice, hung up on some technical specification or have
    some irrational axe to grind. The D70 is a great camera but I could list so
    many "problems" -starting with a strong tendency to moire--that you would
    wonder why anyone ever bought one of them.
     
    bmoag, Jun 6, 2005
    #3
  4. Paul Rubin Guest

    "bmoag" <> writes:
    > The D70 is prone to moire and does not show its real abilities
    > until you start shooting and manipulating RAW images.


    If the D70 is really prone to moire, then shooting RAW won't help.
    I've heard it can have some visible moire with some very specific types
    of subject.

    > As an owner and frequent user of an old Coolpix 990, an 8mp EVF camera and a
    > Nikon D70 I am astounded at much of what gets posted in this newsgroup by
    > people who clearly have never used some of these cameras or are overwhelmed
    > by some bizarre prejudice, hung up on some technical specification or have
    > some irrational axe to grind. The D70 is a great camera but I could list so
    > many "problems" -starting with a strong tendency to moire--that you would
    > wonder why anyone ever bought one of them.


    Because there are tons of D70 shots with no moire problems. However,
    I mostly agree with you that someone without an existing collection of
    Nikon lenses should probably consider a Canon over the D70.
     
    Paul Rubin, Jun 6, 2005
    #4
  5. I still have a Coolpix 950 and 800 plus a Canon S500. After agonizing
    like you, I recently bought an 8800 and would again if I had to do it
    all over. I've taken over 500 pictures in a variety of situations and
    feel it has many strong points you won't find on a dlsr. I also
    considered a Canon 350XT, Nikon D70, and and Canon 20D.

    The lens is extremely good. On many images I am limited only by pixel
    sampling, and with 8 Mp, that means there is an incredible amount of
    detail in the picture. I make full use of the long zoom. It's nice to
    have it there always without changing lenses. The image stabilization
    is great, and for me, makes up in many ways for the lack of higher ISO.
    The BSS feature also helps in that regard. I assume you have that on
    the 990. I used it to take some interior hand-held shots of a train
    station last week with 1/4 second exposures, and the ones that BSS
    picked out were as sharp as if I had used a tripod. The movie feature
    works very well. The faults, or rather, features you mention are there,
    but really haven't bothered me. I am used to pressing the shutter
    button half-way while composing a shot, so the shot fires immediately
    when I press it the rest of the way. I don't take action pictures that
    much, so all lags don't really bother me. I have not had much problem
    with low light focus in real-world use, though I can create situations
    where it has problems. The Canon 350 XT that I tried side-by-side with
    the 8800 had almost the same trouble focussing in low light.
    Incidentally, with some experience it is possible to maually focus the
    8800 quite accurately- you just have to know how to evaluate the image
    either on the EVF or LCD display. I find the EVF ecellent, and this is
    the first camera I have had that did not have an optical view finder.

    In addition to the issues you brought up, under some conditions you can
    see a bit of chromatic aberration at very high enlargement. It depends
    on the lighting, f number, zoom amount, etc. I find it quite
    acceptable, and besides, there is simple software to remove it if it
    bothers you.

    If you are interested, I can email you some pictures that I think yuo
    will find impressive. I still find it hard to believe the "dynamic
    range" of detail in a picture.

    Joe
     
    Joseph Miller, Jun 6, 2005
    #5
  6. Guest

    Quote: "If you are interested, I can email you some pictures that I
    think yuo
    will find impressive. I still find it hard to believe the "dynamic
    range" of detail in a picture. "

    Sure, I'd love to see any pictures...

    fj40rockcrawler [at] gmail [dot] com
     
    , Jun 6, 2005
    #6
  7. wrote:
    > I have a old Nikon CoolPix 990, camera has been a workhorse, taken
    > dozens of thousands of pictures with it, most were great, some I'd say
    > were a bit soft at times, but colors were always solid, saturated,
    > etc. The camera is ofcourse 3.3MP, so I'm finalling looking at
    > something bigger/better, etc.


    We went through a similar process recently. We felt the 8800 was
    restricted by the small aperture at maximum zoon (f/5.2?), and instead my
    wife purchased a Panasonic FZ20 and I got the Panasonic FZ5. These are a
    lot cheaper than the Nikon and they are "only" 5MP - but that's enough for
    us and significantly better than the 990. We have both been really
    pleased with the results. A swivel viewfinder would be an improvement,
    though.

    I used to have an SLR, but found it was so heavy with the lenses and flash
    that I ended up only using it when I was forced to, but with the FZ5 it's
    so light and compact you can take it anywhere. If you don't need the long
    image-stabilised zoom of the FZ5/FZ20/8800, and wide-angle is more your
    thing, then the Nikon 8400 with its 24mm wide-angle is worth a look.

    Cheers,
    David
     
    David J Taylor, Jun 7, 2005
    #7
  8. SimonLW Guest

    "Paul Rubin" <http://> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "bmoag" <> writes:
    > > The D70 is prone to moire and does not show its real abilities
    > > until you start shooting and manipulating RAW images.

    >
    > If the D70 is really prone to moire, then shooting RAW won't help.
    > I've heard it can have some visible moire with some very specific types
    > of subject.
    >
    > > As an owner and frequent user of an old Coolpix 990, an 8mp EVF camera

    and a
    > > Nikon D70 I am astounded at much of what gets posted in this newsgroup

    by
    > > people who clearly have never used some of these cameras or are

    overwhelmed
    > > by some bizarre prejudice, hung up on some technical specification or

    have
    > > some irrational axe to grind. The D70 is a great camera but I could list

    so
    > > many "problems" -starting with a strong tendency to moire--that you

    would
    > > wonder why anyone ever bought one of them.

    >
    > Because there are tons of D70 shots with no moire problems. However,
    > I mostly agree with you that someone without an existing collection of
    > Nikon lenses should probably consider a Canon over the D70.


    I have the Fuji A330. It too is tuned for sharper pictures (weaker anti
    aliasing filter) and it rarely shows the color moiré, but with some subjects
    with fine repeating patterns, it can show. Canon has got it nailed with
    image quality. I have the original digital rebel, and while the new version
    has higher pixel count, that is not the reason to upgrade. Lower noise, and
    less sharpening halos (not to mention the smaller size and more features)
    make the Rebel XT at the top for budget dSLR cameras for image quality. I'm
    not sure they could do any better with a Bayer sensor. IMHO, there is no
    better option than a Bayer type sensor without giving up something large in
    return.
    -S
     
    SimonLW, Jun 7, 2005
    #8
  9. SimonLW Guest

    "Paul Rubin" <http://> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "bmoag" <> writes:
    > > The D70 is prone to moire and does not show its real abilities
    > > until you start shooting and manipulating RAW images.

    >
    > If the D70 is really prone to moire, then shooting RAW won't help.
    > I've heard it can have some visible moire with some very specific types
    > of subject.
    >
    > > As an owner and frequent user of an old Coolpix 990, an 8mp EVF camera

    and a
    > > Nikon D70 I am astounded at much of what gets posted in this newsgroup

    by
    > > people who clearly have never used some of these cameras or are

    overwhelmed
    > > by some bizarre prejudice, hung up on some technical specification or

    have
    > > some irrational axe to grind. The D70 is a great camera but I could list

    so
    > > many "problems" -starting with a strong tendency to moire--that you

    would
    > > wonder why anyone ever bought one of them.

    >
    > Because there are tons of D70 shots with no moire problems. However,
    > I mostly agree with you that someone without an existing collection of
    > Nikon lenses should probably consider a Canon over the D70.


    I have the Fuji A330. It too is tuned for sharper pictures (weaker anti
    aliasing filter) and it rarely shows the color moiré, but with some subjects
    with fine repeating patterns, it can show. Canon has got it nailed with
    image quality. I have the original digital rebel, and while the new version
    has higher pixel count, that is not the reason to upgrade. Lower noise, and
    less sharpening halos (not to mention the smaller size and more features)
    make the Rebel XT at the top for budget dSLR cameras for image quality. I'm
    not sure they could do any better with a Bayer sensor. IMHO, there is no
    better option than a Bayer type sensor without giving up something large in
    return.
    -S
     
    SimonLW, Jun 7, 2005
    #9
  10. On 6 Jun 2005 13:09:42 -0700, wrote:

    <snip: 990 --> 8800 / D70 / XT ?>
    >
    >Any insight (other than "don't post here you moron" and "try putting a
    >cover on that book nexttime")? :)


    I went through something similar shortly before christmas; in my case this
    was to be my first serious foray into digital, but I started looking at the
    8700/8800 and got dragged towards the D70 (which I got and am very happy
    with). I won't rehash it all -- see:

    http://groups.google.co.uk/group/re...eb8f3/a5d6a8d25088bc9f?hl=en#a5d6a8d25088bc9f

    (or http://tinyurl.com/cmc4z)

    and many of the responses (particularly, I think, Frank ess' and Joseph
    Miller' [and not _just_ because they like what I wrote :)].

    My _personal_ conclusion was that the 8700/8800 wasn't the way to go FOR ME
    -- I'm NOT saying it's a bad camera, just wasn't right for me. The size is
    "up there" among the DSLRs, so you lose out on a more compact p&s's
    portability, and the cost is (or was, I've not been keeping track), close
    enough that it was getting into the "don't spoil the ship for a ha'peth of
    tar" territory (i.e., when you're into the £700-900 range, the extra £100
    or so isn't that much different).

    As I said at the end of my account above, if I had to choose again, I would
    probably choose not between an 8800 vs. D70/XT; but between a really good
    ~4/5M p&s (which in many situations will take as good photos, and -- being
    more compact -- will be more likely to be available), vs. a D70/XT (which
    offer the open-endedness of a dSLR system, but probably won't be carried as
    much as a p&s might be).

    Hope this helps somewhat.


    Regards,
    Graham Holden (g-holden AT dircon DOT co DOT uk)
    --
    There are 10 types of people in the world;
    those that understand binary and those that don't.
     
    Graham Holden, Jun 7, 2005
    #10
  11. An additional comment.

    You can't overestimate the importance of making the choice of camera in
    the context of the intended use. There is no "best camera." There is
    only the camera or cameras that most suit your needs. I wanted the 8 Mp
    becuase I wanted the ability to crop severely, and I wanted a long zoom
    always available. However, I fully expect that the day will come when I
    will find that I need, for some uses, the performance that only can be
    found in a dslr, and I'll probably get one. I know a professional
    photographer who makes his living selling fine photographs, and one of
    his most stunning photos was taken with a Coolpix 950. He was torn
    between an 8800 and a Nikon D70, and since he had so many Nikon lenses,
    he went with the D70. In short, think carefully about your needs.
    Compact, 5 Mp, 8 Mp, long zoom, fast focus, etc., in the context of how
    you will be using the camera. This has been said many times on this forum.

    Joe

    Pictures will coming soon.
     
    Joseph Miller, Jun 7, 2005
    #11
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