Replacement for Nikon Coolpix 8800 Coming Soon?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by BobL, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. BobL

    BobL Guest

    Does anyone know if Nikon is about to release an upgrade/replacement
    for the Nikon Coolpix 8800? If so, any information on how it will
    differ from the 8800?
    BobL, Sep 20, 2005
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  2. BobL

    ThomasH Guest

    Well, lets hope the lens will be better...
    These barrel distortions are on 8800 are really, really bad.
    ThomasH, Sep 20, 2005
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  3. BobL

    CDBarney Guest

    I have a 5700 that has been great.
    Bought an 8800 in August, hate it.
    Bought a D-50 2 weeks ago, love it!

    Outie go to the 8800 for me!
    CDBarney, Sep 21, 2005
  4. Today spoke these views with conviction for everyone's

    I find my 5700 to be quite noisy even at ISO 100 both in
    daylight and indoors with flash if there is even a hint of
    underexposure. And, for me, anything higher than 100 is just too
    noisy to use.
    All_Things_Mopar, Sep 21, 2005
  5. BobL

    Ed Ruf Guest

    Have you given any of the software noise removal programs a try. I
    regularly used Neat image with my 5700 and found I could get useful
    results to ISO400. Still using NI with high iso on my D70.
    Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 ()
    See images taken with my CP-990/5700 & D70 at
    Ed Ruf, Sep 21, 2005
  6. Today Ed Ruf spoke these views with conviction for everyone's
    Yes, definitely.

    The first thing I tried was turning on NR in the camera. I've
    taken several dozen test shots intentionally designed to
    create noise and cannot discerne a difference whether NR is on
    or off. I did find that changing sharpening from "auto" to
    "off" produced less noise and sharper, more detailed pictures
    which is counter-intuitive for sharpness but I can clearly see
    it when looking at either a 5 mega pixel or 2 MP image.

    On the post-processing side, I find that PSP 9's DCNR works
    quite well but only to ISO 200 on car pictures. I've done a
    few at 400 but it is a real chore to kill the noise without
    also killing the fine detail in a car itself or turn parts of
    the background to mush.

    When the problem is particularly egregious, as when I get a
    bad underexposure using flash, I'll typically apply mild noise
    reduction using PSP's EPS, then select just the car or parts
    of the car to work on it some more with DCNR.

    When I evaluated the 8800 in April, I found it to produce
    sharper images with far less noise all the way to its maximum
    ISO of 400. I've been told that Nikon intentionally eliminated
    800 as they allegedly knew it would be too noisy. I also found
    color balance and daylight exposure accuracy to be superior to
    my 5700, as well as the 8800 having superior egonomics.

    Alas, what killed the deal was that it was even worse in car
    museums using flash than my 5700, so I'm still mulling over
    what to do next. My local camera store, the one that is
    promoting the Rebel XT, will let me do a 7-10 day test drives
    but I don't want to overuse the currency lest the manager
    think me a gadfly.

    From what I've gleaned here, on the DSLR NG and from, I'm confident that there are many advantages to
    a DSLR, notably much less noise at a given ISO. My hangup,
    though, is lack of a EVF to preview flash pictures. Yes, I
    know that can be done on the LCD but all I can do is judge
    overall exposure and a little on the composure side, but the
    LCD is too small to detect an out-of-focus situation or other
    subtle image defects.

    So, still looking and learning. Any advice you might have for
    me would be appreciated.
    All_Things_Mopar, Sep 21, 2005
  7. BobL

    Nostrobino Guest

    What do you hate about the 8800? Just bought one myself, very impressed with
    it so far.

    How is the 5700 better?

    Nostrobino, Sep 22, 2005
  8. BobL

    Ed Ruf Guest

    Remember it only works for exposures greater than 1/30s. Also, this is
    only dark frame subtraction. The camera takes a dark frame image at
    the same setting and subtracts it.
    Not counter-intuitive at all. One always wants sharpening to been done
    as the last step, do all other work before. If you leave sharpening
    on, then you are also sharpening the noise. Better to remove and then
    I typically batch process with NI first with specific camera profiles
    set, then selectively use the plugin afterwards.

    I moved from a 5700 to a D70, for these and other low light shooting
    concerns. I still filter images with NI, just nowhere near as many.
    Though downsampled by a factor of two this is an ISO1600 image shot at
    1/125 handheld at 400mmwith a 2x TC behind my stabilized 70-200mm

    To be honest I don't know how you could use the 5700's evf to
    determine whether of not things are really in focus, or even the lcd
    for that matter. I don't/can't use the lcd on the D70 for this
    either. It's too small and my eyes aren't that good.
    Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 ()
    See images taken with my CP-990/5700 & D70 at
    Ed Ruf, Sep 22, 2005
  9. Today Ed Ruf spoke these views with conviction for everyone's
    I agree that sharpening as the last step visually is the way
    to go. The counter-intuitive comment was why turning off Auto
    sharpening actually made the unedited images look sharper and
    more detailed as well as slightly less noisy.
    Good info, thanks. I haven't been considering even the D70s
    because I'm soured on Nikon right now. As to generalized noise
    reduction, I don't like to do that in batch mode unless I know
    that the entire batch needs some threshold amount of tweaking.
    The resolution of the 5700 EVF is pretty low, but easily
    enough that I can spot errors such as focus problems, /not/
    while composing, but in looking at the 3-second in-viewfinder
    preview after every shot. Since I have my face stuck on the
    camera, back lighting is rarely a problem and I don't have to
    find a shady spot to look at the LCD. The LCD clearly cannot
    be used for out-of-focus determination and is even problematic
    for exposure problems due to differences in ambient lighting
    and the nominal brightness of the LCD compared to what I see
    on my PC monitor. Also, leaving the LCD on all the time much
    more quickly drains the battery.
    All_Things_Mopar, Sep 22, 2005
  10. BobL

    Ed Ruf Guest

    Sure you also didn't turn off any of the other image optimization
    settings? Back when I initially got my 5700 there was a lot of
    discussion the best way to get the most detail, if shooting jpgs was
    to turn all that off and saturation to -2. I don't remember if I
    really went all the way to turning the sat down, but the camera is
    definitely still set for no image optimization/constrast/sharpness, to
    this date.
    Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 ()
    See images taken with my CP-990/5700 & D70 at
    Ed Ruf, Sep 22, 2005
  11. Today Ed Ruf spoke these views with conviction for everyone's
    Yep, I'm sure. Everything of meaning is at the factory defaults,
    except for sharpening. I've not messed much with the various
    photometric controls as it is difficult for me to judge the
    effect without being able to see it. The two big exceptions are
    EV and flash control, both +/- 2.
    All_Things_Mopar, Sep 23, 2005
  12. BobL

    BobL Guest

    I was at my favorite camera store in Chicago yesterday (9/24/05) and I
    got the answer to my question that started this thread. Nikon is
    ending the 8800 series that started several years ago with the Coolpix
    5000, because they are offering an entry level Digital SLR at the 8700.
    8800 price point level, and have decided that prosumers would rather
    purchase an interchangeable lens SLR system camera. So the point and
    shoot models will offer less prosumer features than the XX00 Coolpix
    series cameras offered.
    BobL, Sep 25, 2005
  13. Today BobL spoke these views with conviction for everyone's
    Interesting. That's both good and bad news to me, at least until
    I get over my morbid fear of DSLRs or ever consider a Nikon
    again. I am sorry to hear, though, that Nikon is apparently
    abandoning the pro-sumer EVF market. I'd hoped that maybe an
    all-new design might be coming to overcome the flash
    shortcomings I found in the 8800.
    All Things Mopar, Sep 26, 2005
  14. BobL

    Nostrobino Guest

    The flash shortcomings being what? Failure to use the AF assist lamp on an
    SB-600/800 of course, reviewers all complain about that, but anything else?

    (That seems to be a characteristic of this type of camera. The Minolta
    DiMAGE 7i and 7Hi don't use the assist lamp on Minolta flash units either.
    That leads me to assume that such lamps are just not suitable for this kind
    of AF, but I don't know about other brands.)

    I recently bought an 8800 and really like it a lot so far. I got an SB-600
    also and so far, so good; admittedly my experience is not yet extensive with

    Nostrobino, Sep 26, 2005
  15. Today Nostrobino spoke these views with conviction for
    everyone's edification:
    I really don't want to rehash old news, but I shot over 500
    pix with the 8800 and SB-800, and carefully documented what I
    was doing. As I was seeing things I didn't understand and
    couldn't correct on my own, I went back to the camera store
    and got some tips that helped but didn't solve the problem.

    Suffice to say that as I was told to use this camera and flash
    amplified from reading the instruction manuals and testing, it
    could not fulfill my expectations of reliable flash pictures,
    specifically of cars in the Walter P. Chrysler Museum.

    I don't recall changing anything on how the AF light worked,
    so I can't comment on that.
    I'm confused by this and your other comment above. Does "AF"
    not mean "Auto Focus" assist, rather than "auto exposure", or
    do I have this wrong? Or, does AF alter how the SB-800 or
    these other cameras determine how to "meter" flash exposures

    FWIW, the camera store manager correctly predicted that I
    would not be satisfied with the 8800/SB-800.

    In any event, I wasn't in anyway criticizing any small feature
    issues with either the 8800 or the SB-800, just that the
    combination did not perform reliably for me.
    Obviously, I'm in no position to dispute this. Quite the
    contrary, I'm happy that you're pleased with your purchase. I
    liked the 8800 in every other possible way /except/ flash of
    cars in a museum. But, that is such a big part of what I do,
    it doesn't matter how well this camera or any camera performs
    in daylight or available light.
    All Things Mopar, Sep 26, 2005
  16. BobL

    Nostrobino Guest

    If your photos were properly in focus then you didn't need the AF assist
    anyway, so that's moot.

    Autofocus assist, yes. The red lamp on the lower front of the flash unit
    doesn't work with digital cameras that accept that flash unit (in the case
    of either Nikon or Minolta at least), as it does on a 35mm SLR. This annoys
    some reviewers but I'm not sure it matters anyway.

    No, the AF assist lamp only has to do with helping the camera focus
    properly. It has nothing to do with exposure.

    Did he say why?

    I will say that taking photos of cars in a museum by on-camera flash can be
    a very, very difficult proposition, and if that was your chief or only light
    source I can well imagine that you weren't happy with the results, nor would
    you have been regardless of the make and model of camera and flash used.
    With or without flash you would need a good deal of ambient light and/or a
    tripod to get satisfactory results.

    I will fairly soon be taking photos of airplanes in a museum, which should
    be a somewhat similar situation. I'll be using my 8400 rather than the 8800
    because I know I'll want the wider angle. I'll also be using a tripod, and
    while I'll be using the SB-600 flash also I'll be using it very judiciously,
    just enough to highlight the plane in front of the camera but not relying on
    it for the overall exposure, which I know would give horrible results. Most
    of the lighting I'll be using will be whatever is there in the museum, hence
    the tripod. The great thing about digital is that I can see the result
    immediately and make adjustments as required.

    Nostrobino, Sep 26, 2005
  17. Today Nostrobino spoke these views with conviction for
    everyone's edification:
    Well, let me say that he is pretty opinionated. But, I have no
    particular reason to distrust him. True, he's out to make a
    sale but it shouldn't make much difference to him what a
    customer buys except that a Rebel XT and Canon's big flash is
    maybe $1,000+ higher than the 8800/SB-800 was if I get a
    bigger zoom range lens than the XT kit lens (IIRC, the 8800
    was the same $900 as an XT and the SB-800 was about $50 less
    than Canon's flash, but bigger Canon zoom lenses get expensive
    really fast).

    His main rationale was that nothing significant was done to
    the entire TTL metering system since the 5700. I have no way
    of judging that except that my 5700 sucks and result of those
    500 8800 test shots I told you about earlier were actually
    worse, if that's possible!

    What bugs the hell outta me is the almost 100% dirth of good
    experience from people who've tried and succeeded in doing
    what I want to do. Maybe it is patently impossible, but I'm
    still optimistic that I can improve on what I've got, even if
    it is never perfect. Again, I'm much more tolerant of the
    obvious defects in flash images than many folks are.

    For reasons I don't fully understand technically, but you may,
    he thinks that Digic II technology, which is in the Rebel XT,
    has something to do with flash as well as daylight exposure.

    I should also hasten to add that it strongly appears to me
    that the very sophistication of modern TTL flashes makes them
    suseptible to being what I call "fooled" by anything that
    catches the flash pulsh and reflects it back to the sensor on
    the flash unit or built-in flash, whichever.

    Lest I start a flame war with the above unfounded assumption,
    I base it solely on the very consistent exposures I used to
    get with my 2001 vintage FujiFilm 4900 in the very same
    museums as well as tests I made with my wife's $150 Kodak 6330
    P & S. Within the short range of both camera's puny flash
    units, exposures were always within about +/1 1 f/stop. It has
    been pointed out to me that both these cameras used something
    less sophisticated than TTL, but I have no way of judging
    that, either.
    I highly agree with your assessment here. Museum pictures of
    most anything is problematical because of low ambient lighting
    and the usual presence of overhead spots. Flash just makes it
    worse, as there's seldom walls or ceilings to help contain the
    flash energy or permit bounce flash. And, cars are far, far
    more difficult because of the obvious multipicity of
    reflection problems.

    Once I decide in which part of the fire I intend to jump into
    as I jump out of my current frying pan, I strongly suspect
    that I will have to resort to full manual flash exposures
    using the external's GN.

    For all the reasons you already know, tripods are not only
    very slow and cumbersome to use, they are also often severely
    frowned upon by museum management. Ditto for monopods. That
    leaves trying to shoot in ambient lighting at ISO 800, 1600 or
    even higher but my current information strongly suggests that
    this will require a good DSLR to accomplish with minimum

    Your comments on any of the above are welcomed.
    I've tried airplanes, also, such as those at the Henry Ford
    Museum. They are pretty tough as without the very wide-angle
    of the 8400, it is almost impossible to get enough flash
    energy on the plane for a good exposure.

    I'm somewhat surprised to hear you chose the SB-600 rather
    than the SB-800, even though the latter is more expensive. My
    current external is a Sunpak 433D Nikon compatible with a GN=
    125. IIRC, the SB-800's GN=100 and the SB-600 was maybe 80 or
    less. Assuming an average maximum aperture of f/3.5, I chose
    the 800 to get the longer 28 foot range, which I sometimes
    need when standing back with a telephoto shot of a detail I
    couldn't get close to (although, then, the aperture likely
    jumps to 5 or smaller).

    Let me close by saying that I've been doing photography long
    enough to know that it will /never/ be possible to do the job
    correctly with only a single flash. Multiple primary and
    slaves are clearly superior, as are multiple lights,
    reflecting umbrellas, and tripods. But, even if a museum would
    let you or I do that kind of stuff, the amount of subjects we
    might want to shoot can get into the 300 range in the space of
    a day or even fraction of a day, which totally precludes
    complicated setups.

    Again, thank you for the insights and advice/recommendations.
    And, thank you for not emphasizing my dumbness in not wanting
    to do car photography the "right" way.
    All Things Mopar, Sep 26, 2005
  18. BobL

    ASAAR Guest

    FWIW, ATM's problem was occasionally having pictures that were
    *severely* underexposed. I came across a comment on a website
    several days ago that could explain his results, although his
    underexposed shots may have had an entirely different cause,
    especially since they seem to only happen in the auto museum. This
    is what I copied from the website::

    I doubt that either ATM or the camera shop owner would be much
    interested in another go'round with the Nikon 8800 and flash. :)
    ASAAR, Sep 26, 2005
  19. BobL

    Iain Lea Guest

    I have a 8800 and have been happy with build, features and pic quality.

    Shortcomings are flash, low light conditions without flash and a slow
    pic to pic and sports mode.

    I would have hoped that Nikon would have built on the basis of the 8800
    and added/improved the following (for me) wishlist:

    - faster sports mode
    - better in low light conditions
    - reposition the W-T zoom key or add focus ring to barrel
    - stop the stupid! 60 sec limit on 640x480 movie mode
    - (pet-wish!) WiFi batch and real-time image transfer

    All things considered Panasonic seem to be developing the FZ series
    in the way to attract a loyal userbase and the fz30 is tempting but
    maybe I hold out for what I would hope to be an incrementally better
    fz40 :)

    Would have to be an amazing offer/spec to get me to buy Nikon again.

    Iain Lea, Sep 27, 2005
  20. Today ASAAR spoke these views with conviction for everyone's
    Yes, you quoted me correctly. But, I do not now and have never
    blocked the sensor on the 5700 or 8800's speedlight. It is
    immediately apparent if that is done, as the image goes almost
    to pure black with a really severe shift towards yellow/orange
    from the daylight white balance setting without flash.

    My problem has been and still is that about 1/3 of my museum
    car pix are OK, another are with a couple f/stops under but
    fixable, while the rest are the "severe underexposure"

    More testing since my last request for advice on what to buy
    next reveals that the 5700's speedlight sensor isn't at all
    affected by how the daylight metering mode is set and also
    doesn't know what focal lenght is being used. That, coupled
    with my beginning to notice the particular kind of reflection
    or glare that results in bad exposures clinched the deal.

    But, simply knowing what causes it does not provide a fix.
    And, everyone's advice to me to go full manual also won't
    work, as I found out and verified with Nikon tech support that
    the 5700's manual aperture and shutter speed controls are 100%
    overridden by the TTL flash system.

    So, to even begin to get better pictures in the way I'm
    currently shooting is to get some camera that does flash
    exposure differently or at least can go full manual.
    All Things Mopar, Sep 27, 2005
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