Introducing The Nikon Coolpix S8000

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You probably know Nikon if you were ever interested in photography at any point in your life. This manufacturer has won the hearts of amateurs and professionals alike by providing cutting age technology at an affordable price. The Nikon Coolpix S8000 is one of the cameras that bring something new to the table, and in this case it is the travel zoom camera.

The first of its kind, it has a 10x zoom lens with versatile focal range of 30-300mm. It looks great and it is quite easy to handle and it is only 27.3mm thick thus making it the slimmest camera that has a 10x zoom. It has 14 MP, an LCD screen which measures 3 inches and 720p high definition movie mode as well as VR which Nikon has made us get used to. You can have one if you are willing to take almost 300 euros out of your pocket and you can choose from the three available colors, Silver, Brown and of course Black; the latter looking best over the metal case.

The Coolpix S8000 is very easy to use and for a camera so small it has everything you might need at a switch of a button which are only 11 in total. When you start it up it will instantly come to life and you will never have to wait for it once you decided to start shooting. The design is a bit conservatory but it has a metal case that looks great with a black finish and you won’t believe how slim it is. The weight of 183g makes it easy to have around and you won’t even notice it in your shirt pocket but you will know it is there.

Nikon Coolpix S8000 is an impressive camera and it has NIKKOR ED lens like previous models from Nikon which makes it deliver amazing color and takes sharp images. The level of detail of the pictures but also of the movies made by this camera are truly great and can be seen on its own superb LCD or can be transferred by just using a cable to your PC/MAC or HDTV.

Fast start of the Nikon Coolpix S8000

As I mentioned earlier, the camera starts immediately as soon as you push the button and the LCD is turned on in half a second but the truth is that you will have to wait an extra 3 seconds until you can actually use it and access the menu or even take a picture thus making this ultra fast camera a bit slower than Nikon states. Once you are past the start up you will see why Nikon S8000 is considered to be a speed demon. It can focus amazingly fast (in almost .02 seconds) on your subject and the 10x zoom provides versatile focal range of 30-300mm.

The S8000 also includes the great Vibration Reduction image stabilization system that will make sure the camera won’t shake when you take a picture and you can choose to turn it off if you wish from the main menu. As you use your camera, you will start to see the difference that the Nikon VR makes and how it can provides better quality images.

Nikon Coolpix S8000

Nikon Coolpix S8000

The back of the S8000 seems to be normal with not ground breaking design but it is also quite practical. The LCD screen is not a touch screen as seen on other cameras but it is quite easy to use with a 912k dots resolution that puts other similar screens in a bad situation and the menu can be accessed with the buttons that are on the right of the screen. The brightness can be adjusted with the help of five different settings and the screen also has an anti reflection coating and a wide viewing angle.

On the top of the camera you will find the necessary buttons for fast controls and at the bottom, the S8000 has a SD compatible memory card slot in which you can fit SD or SDHC cards to add to the existing internal memory that has 32 MB. Next to this slot, you will notice the battery compartment and also a port for A/V out.

Taking photos and videos with Nikon S8000

Nikon is used to offer D-Lighting as a basic technology that can bring brightness to an image that has a bit too much shadow. The S8000 also has this feature and it can be used on a picture as soon as it is taken. It can also detect up to 12 faces but only if they are looking into the camera and it can automatically remove the red eye effect from the photo, but a good thing about is that it has Blink Warning that can tell you if someone in the group picture had their eyes closed.

Another funny feature is the Smile Timer that automatically takes a photo when it detects a smile directly at it and also the skin softening function that will make you look a decade younger; this can be applied to taken pictures to remove imperfections in the skin.

Not only is it a great and fast way to take picture, the S8000 is also a good way to record videos in 720p HD with stereo sound which are offered in .mov format at 1280x720 and 640x480 pixel movies at 30 or 15fps. It can be easily connected to a HDTV by a simple cable to share the movie clips which sadly, can only be made at 2x zoom and not at the 10x zoom available for taking pictures.

No other great features are available like wind cut or in camera editing but this camera is advertised as being a fast and accessible one rather than a complex new gizmo.

Once the Sport Continuous shooting mode is active, the camera becomes impressive offering 3fps for 45 shots with a resolution of just 3MP. The standard mode only has 1fps which is not very good for a camera of this stature but it makes up for it in other fields like being easy to use and super fast on command.

The options available once the picture is taken are quite a few and well organized in the menu. The LCD screen makes it easy to browse through the photos and select from the options available: apply D lighting, Skin Softening, Quick Retouch as well as basic other options like zoom in or out, set print order, make a slide show, delete, move, rotate etc.

Nikon Coolpix S8000

Nikon Coolpix S8000

The views can be changed in the menu and the Monitor Settings option will toggle various views like showing detailed settings information about the photo you captured as well as ISO rating and shutter speed, frame line or you can just choose to show no information.

Image quality of the Nikon Coolpix S8000

There are few things that the Nikon S8000 can’t do and it is recommended to read the manual when upgrading for a more basic model because unlike other companies, Nikon hasn’t set aside this detail and produced a well written and easy to learn manual so that you can get the most out of your camera.

Let’s talk a bit about the image quality which you can get by suing the Nikon S8000. The basic format is JPEG which you can select from the settings and this will result in an image of 5.5 MB. Compared to other cameras, the S8000 can produce images of a quality which is above average and the 1/2.33 inch, 14 MP sensor is used to produce ISO 100 and 200 and also ISO 400 which looks good. The 10x zoom lens will surely be of much help offering versatile focal range that is truly impressive. There are two image quality settings to choose from and Fine is the highest with obvious results from the Normal setting.

Another great setting that can be found at the Nikon S8000 is the Macro setting that can allow you to focus on something that is just 1cm away from the camera. There are a few settings for the flash like Auto, Red-eye Reduction, Off, On and Slow Sync/Red-eye reduction.

As a result of all these things, the Nikon S8000 is a good DSLR with an incredible zoom that is also the slimmest camera that offers 10x zoom. It is quite quick once you get past the start up procedure that can be an annoying 3 seconds more than when Nikon advertise. The truth is that Nikon are revolutionizing the speed of a camera and it offers better and improved features for a wide range of consumers at a reasonable price and with constant improvements to models and accessories.

As far as the noise goes, this may be acceptable in ISO 100-400 but it becomes noticeable at ISO 800 and even worse with faster settings like 1600 and 3200. The anti shake system does come in handy quite often as well as the 1cm macro mode witch proves to be an excellent feature.

It does however get some things wrong one of them being the slow start up in contrast with the fast functionality of it past that point so it may be best to leave it on because the battery is quite good. The lack of zoom in movie mode is also a draw back thus only reaching 2x digital zoom which may prove to be annoying at times.

Overall it is a good attempt on what will surely become a highly contested category for cameras from different manufacturers. The camera itself is an excellent model and although it has some draw backs it still manages to be quite successful because it more than makes up for them as a whole.