A dual review on dpreview for the Nikon Coolpix 8400 and Coolpix 8800. Phil decided to publish the review of both camera’s at the same time. Probably because they share a lot in common. The CCD, processor, menus, image processing) battery, LCD monitor and EVF are the same. Even the control layout is similar. For a few buck difference you can decide to have a wide angle zoom starting at 24mm or an image stabilized zoom (Nikon’s VR lens element).
Big difference with the 8400 compared to the 5400 is the electronic viewfinder, the — really — wide angle lens and obviously the 8mpix sensor. Another improvement seems the orange AF assist light and an additional AF sensor which estimates subject distance. It still needs quite a lot of light to focus right especially compared to the Olympus C-8080. Also in the noise area the C-8080 seems better, however it uses a fairly agressive noise reduction which tends to result in “water color” images.
“The 8400’s wide angle zoom lens put in an impressive performance with essentially no visible fringing even at wide angle and maximum aperture. Kudos Nikon.” — Phil Askey
The Coolpix 8800 is very similar to the 8400. An interesting observation was made in the Vignetting / Lens Shading test. There was a negative reading — no light fall off — at the corners opf the telephote. So it looks like a correction mask is applied to the image.
“I was particularly impressed with the 8800’s VR (Vibration Reduction) implementation which works best with either slow shutter speeds at wide angle or moderate at telephoto. Obviously it can’t compensate for the almost impossible combination of slow shutter speeds at long focal lengths but where expected it did the job.” — Phil Askey
Conclusions are that both camera’s offer interesting features (24mm and 10 times zoom with VR) which aren’t available with other prosumer brands. However the is still a lot to improve on noise and startup times.