Review of the Nikon CoolPix 8700 Digital Camera

Whether you just want to take some great family photos or you want to pursue a job as a photographer, the Nikon CoolPix 8700 may be the camera for you. Featuring eight megapixels and eight times optical zoom, this camera gives you large sized photos great for all print sizes and more reach than most digital cameras. My favorite feature of this camera is the unique LCD screen, which conveniently rotates.

Many people are under the impression that more megapixels means that the digital camera is better. This is not necessarily the case. For over 5 years, I used the Nikon CoolPix 800. The Nikon CoolPix 800 was a 2 megapixel camera. However, it had a great lens, great macro, and many other nice features. When people were buying cheap 4 and 5 megapixel digital cameras, I had noticed that these cameras still had inferior quality compared to the Nikon digital camera. Yes, the photo sizes were larger, but the Nikon still had superior macro and the picture quality was far better. This doesn’t mean that all cameras with a lot of megapixels are bad, not at all. Just make sure you look at more than just the number of megapixels when you buy a digital camera. In the case of the Nikon CoolPix 8700, it is nice to have 8 megapixels for when you want large size prints (up to 20″ x 30″). Larger size photos also may be easier to sell if you are into micro stock photography.

The 8 times optical zoom is great for photos of your kids at the park, wildlife photos, sporting events, and more. If you’ve seen those new binocular cameras, many of those have 8 times optical zoom. Well, you’ve got that and much more.

The camera also uses your standard CompactFlash memory card. So if you had another digital camera previously, you likely already have a memory card you can use with this camera. If you don’t already have a memory card and need to buy one, I recommend a 1GB card. It allows you to take a reasonable amount of photos before you need to unload them on your laptop (okay, maybe not everyone thinks two to three hundred full size jpg photos is a reasonable amount). Now, you may also have a couple hundred AA batteries on store because of your last digital camera. Well, you can’t use those with this camera. Not to worry though, the lithium ion rechargeable battery lasts a really long time (generally, at least until my 1GB card was full, even if I was using the in-camera flash and was using the LCD screen).

Now, for my favorite feature: the swiveling LCD screen. If you have a digital video camera, you may already know and love this feature. This is where this digital camera really stands out. There may be another digital camera out there with this feature, but I have not seen it. If you have a regular LCD screen on the back of your camera, for one thing it is left out there and vulnerable at all times in most cases. Well, with the Nikon CoolPix 8700, the screen rotates so that you can have it covered while it is not in use. Have you ever had the problem that your screen is at the wrong angle for the lighting conditions you are in? The screen can be difficult to see in the wrong lighting on most cameras, which can be frustrating. This is not a problem with the Nikon CoolPix 8700. Just flip out the screen and rotate to the desired angle. If the lighting conditions change, just rotate the screen so that you can see what you are shooting. Now that seems cool enough, but there’s more. Say you are at a wedding and you want to take a photo of the cake. The cake looks great from the side, but you want a top view as well. You see everyone lining up and taking photos, looking at their screens, trying again, until they finally have an acceptable shot from above of the cake.

You hold up your Nikon CoolPix 8700, flip the screen around so that you can see the photo as you take it, and get the perfect photo on the first try. This feature is also great for self-portraits, or when you want to run into a shot when you have set the timer. As a pet photographer, I have used this feature a lot. If the owner is unable to control their animal, I can get in there and help, have the screen rotated towards me, and see what photos I am getting while not having to be behind the camera. Now that’s convenience.

So when you’re looking to buy your next digital camera, consider the Nikon CoolPix 8700. If it proves to be out of your price range, the Nikon CoolPix 5700 is a very similar 5 megapixel version and costs a couple hundred less generally. You may also want to look into refurbished cameras. This camera is well worth the money. You will wonder how you ever lived without all of these great features previously.

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