Nikon Coolpix 8400
Review Date: May 23rd 2005
The Nikon Coolpix 8400 has a 8.31 megapixel 2/3-inch type CCD that deliver 8.0 effective pixels. There are eight image sizes available (8M (3,264 x 2,448), 5M (2,592 x 1,944), 3M (2,048 x 1,536), 2M (1,600 x 1,200), 1M (1,280 x 960), PC (1,024 x 768), TV (640 x 480), 3:2 (3,264 x 2,176)) plus six image quality settings, including RAW and TIFF file formats. The Nikon Coolpix 8400 features a 3.5x Zoom-Nikkor optical zoom lens that is equivalent to a 24-85 mm lens on a 35mm format camera, and there is also a 4x digital zoom. Focusing range is 50cm to infinity and in macro mode the Nikon Coolpix 8400 can focus as close as 3cm from the subject. The camera supports Compact Flash Type I/II and Microdrive memory cards.
The Nikon Coolpix 8400 offers 15 different Scene modes (Portrait, Party/Indoor, Night portrait, Beach/Snow, Landscape, Sunset, Night landscape, Museum, Fireworks show, Close up, Copy, Back light, Panorama assist, Sports, Dusk/Dawn) plus a fully Automatic shooting mode. It also offers Program, Shutter-priority, Aperture-priority and Manual modes.
Exposure compensation of ± 2.0 in 1/3 EV stops is available on the Nikon Coolpix 8400. There are four different exposure metering controls (256-segment Matrix, Spot, Center-Weighted, Spot AF Area) plus a Best Shot Selector option for exposure. There are three types of focusing available (Center, Auto 5-area multi AF, manual 9-area multi AF selectable) with an AF-assist illuminator and the Coolpix 8400 offers 3 different focus modes (Continuous AF, Single AF and Manual).
The aperture range is f2.6– f4.9 and the shutter speed range is 8 sec. – 1/3000 second with a Bulb mode for exposures up to 10 minutes long. The ISO speed range is 50-400 plus an Auto setting. There are 6 different White Balance settings to choose from (Daylight, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Cloudy, Speedlight, Shade) Preset and auto settings plus white-balance bracketing.
The Nikon Coolpix 8400 has six continuous shooting modes - Continuous H (2.3fps; up to 5 frames), Continuous L (1.2fps; up to 11 frames), Multi-shot 16 (consecutive 16 frames at 1.6fps), Ultra HS (high-speed) (640 x 480 pixels; 30fps, up to 100 frames), 5-shot buffer, (0.7fps) and Interval Timer Shooting. There is also a self-timer which has either a 3 or 10 second delay. D-Lighting is a playback feature which fixes underexposed and backlit images without harming the properly exposed areas of the image.
To compose your images, you can use both the LCD monitor, which has 97% scene coverage, or the electronic viewfinder. The Nikon Coolpix 8400 Zoom has a 1.8 inch LCD monitor with 134,000 pixels and brightness adjustment. It also has a 0.44 inch electronic viewfinder with with 235,000 pixels and diopter adjustment of -3 to +1m-1.
The built-in flash offers a range of different modes (Auto Flash, 2) Flash Cancel (off), 3) Red-Eye Reduction (In-Camera Red-Eye Fix"), 4) Anytime Flash, 5) Night Portrait (Slow Sync Flash), 6) Rear Curtain Sync). The effective range is approx. 0.5-6.0m at the wide-angle lens setting, and approx. 0.5-3.0m at the telephoto lens setting. The Nikon Coolpix 8400 also offers an external hot shoe which connects to a Nikon Speedlight SB-800/600 flashgun.
The Nikon Coolpix 8400 can record movies of 640x480 pixels at 30 fps for up to 60 secs, or 320x240 pixels at 15 fps for up to 895 secs with sound. There are also three other movies modes - Time-lapse movie (640x480/30fps up to 35 secs (1050 frames), Sepia movie 320 (320x240/5fps up to 895 secs) and B/W movie (320x240/15fps up to 895 secs). They are recorded in the Motion JPEG format, a type of AVI format that can be played back by QuickTime 3 or later.
The video-output socket allows you to connect the camera to your television (PAL or NTSC) and the high-speed USB 2.0 port connects the camera to your computer via a USB cable. The Nikon Coolpix 8400 is PictBridge compatible, which is the industry standard for printing images from a digital camera without using a PC. The Nikon Coolpix 8400 dimensions are 113 (W) x 82 (H) x 75 (D) mm , and it weighs 400g without batteries and storage card fitted. The Nikon Coolpix 8400 is powered by a rechargeable Li-ion battery EN-EL7 or an optional AC adaptor.
Finally, the box kit that I reviewed contains a Lens Cap, Strap, USB cable, Audio Video cable, Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL7, Battery charger MH-56, Wireless Remote Controller ML-L3 and PictureProject CD-ROM. You will need to invest in some Compact Flash Cards to store your images on at the same time as buying the camera, as Nikon don't supply one with the Coolpix 8400 (and there is no internal memory).
PhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the Nikon Coolpix 8400 have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.