Nikon - Coolpix 8400 Digital Camera

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Robbie, Oct 12, 2005.

  1. Robbie

    Robbie Guest

    I have a friend that has a Nikon - Coolpix 8400 camera. I have a DSLR (20D).
    I was looking at all that his Coolpix offers, and it is pretty close to what
    I have.
    From what I can see, the difference, other than being able to swap the lens:
    20d vs 8400

    Shutter speed of 8000 vs 3000
    ISO up to 3200 vs 400
    5fps vs 2.3
    8.2MP vs 8.0MP
    9 point focus system on both
    35 metering zone vs 4 metering zone
    4 focus modes vs 3
    dof preview versus none
    color adjustments versus none
    no movie vs quicktime movies

    I was surprised that the coolpix has Automatic, Aperture Priority, Shutter
    Priority and Full Manual Settings. It touts a lot of bang for the buck. In
    my comparison, am I missing other points? I am trying to make a fair
    comparison, and I am a newbie in the DSLR scene, so I hope I am not missing
    the obvious. Anyway, all feedback is appreciated.
    Robbie, Oct 12, 2005
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  2. Robbie

    Colin D Guest

    Big difference, 266% faster.
    Another big difference, 8x faster
    Yet another big difference, over twice as fast
    But, sensor size very different, 22mm x 15mm vs. 8.8mm x 6.6mm. This is
    the reason for Nikon's ISO 400 max. Noise at 400 is probably worse than
    Canon's at 3200.
    35 zones are far better.
    Dof with small sensors is a non-issue - it is always too much.
    Plus RAW for Canon

    Other points: Canon has interchangeable lens capability, optical reflex
    viewfinder, low-noise CMOS sensor.

    While the Nikon is well specified, I cannot see how you can consider the
    two cameras to be 'close', unless you don't think these major
    differences have any effect on your photography.

    If that is the case, then, with respect, I think the 20D is way more
    camera than you need.

    Colin D.
    Colin D, Oct 12, 2005
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  3. I have a Nikon 8400 and find it to be an excellent camera producing good
    quality images. Of course, compared to the DSLR you can't change lenses,
    so I bought a Panasonic FZ5 with an image stabilised 432mm f/3.3 lens for
    telephoto shots. Compared to the DSLR, it has a limited ISO range, and I
    need to apply software noise reduction on images taken at ISO 400. It is
    also slightly slower in use than a DSLR, although it is fast for a point
    and shoot.

    It really depends on what you want to do, and what your aims are. The
    slow lens and limited sensitivity of the Nikon 8400 would limit its use in
    lower light conditions - will that matter to you? Movies add a lot to a
    subject - is the lack of movies important? Do you think you will want to
    invest a lot in the inevitable lens collection which you will gather with
    a DSLR? Do you know that some lenses you buy today won't work on the next
    generation of full-frame DSLRs?

    Questions, always questions!

    David J Taylor, Oct 12, 2005
  4. Robbie

    Robbie Guest

    Thanks for the comparison!

    Yes, I am aware that I really do not want to buy the "S" or Digital only
    lenses. Good points on the low light conditions, as I really like to
    photograph using existing light and rely on the ability to crank up the ISO
    with low noise. The lack of movies does not bother me.


    "David J Taylor"
    Robbie, Oct 12, 2005
  5. Robbie

    Robbie Guest

    Thanks for the comments! I realize those points make a big difference. I was
    not sure if I had left something out. The Coolpix does seem to be worth the
    price. I will stick with my DSLR though :)
    Robbie, Oct 12, 2005
  6. Robbie

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    You should be informed that you can either have the D70 locked
    to a fixed ISO (which you can change by pressing the "ISO" button
    with the left thumb and rotating the thumbwheel with the other (or by
    going into the menu)), or you can set it in the menus to automatically
    switch up in ISO if necessary to maintain the shutter speed above a
    user-selectable (another menu) floor value. I generally keep it in the
    auto mode, except when using unusual lenses or dealing with unusual
    lighting conditions -- usually in manual mode where the auto-ISO doesn't
    trigger anyway.
    Nor is it a problem for me -- though the D70 doesn't really do
    movies at all -- just a relatively few frames per second in burst mode.

    DoN. Nichols, Oct 13, 2005
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