Nikon's CoolPix S8000 Actually is Rather Cool

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I'm always on the lookout for digicams that stand out from the crowd, and considering how crowded the marketplace is, most digicams tend to blend into the masses rather than stand out. An exception to this sad situation is Nikon's CoolPix S8000, a little hottie I've had an opportunity to tool around with for the past week or so. Clad in a brushed - but not brash-looking - red aluminum housing, the S8000 passes muster on several counts. First off, the camera features a 5.4 - 54mm/3.5-5.6 ED VR zoom lens that takes in the equivalent field-of-view of a 30-300mm lens.  Anybody looking for a good pocket-sized travel camera?

The second item that stands out for me is the 921,000-dot LCD, which in my book is big medicine. As with most compact digicams, the LCD is the sole viewing/editing mechanism, and after years of peering at pedestrian-res 230,000-dot screens, composing pictures off a screen containing just under a million dots is impressive, especially if you're into eyeballing the details in playback mode.


To compliment the camera's 10x zoom the S8000 features a 14.2Mp, 1/2.3" CCD to record the action, ISO sensitivities up to 3200,  a 4-Way VR image stabilization to reduce camera shake at slower shutter speeds, and 3 fps continuous burst-rates for up to 45 frames (@3Mp). Stills aside, the CoolPix S8000 also captures 720p video @ 30 fps with stereo sound.

Like most cameras of this genre, the buttons and menu icons are kind of tiny, but after a brief tour with my reading glasses they were easy  enough to maneuver on the fly.

And for the fashion-conscious among you, the Nikon CoolPix S8000 is available Black, Red, Champagne Silver (as opposed to plain vanilla Silver), and Bronze.

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 Alan,

What a line, "Clad in a brushed - but not brash-looking - "  totally got me hooked to read your review. Aside from the screen, was there any other features that jumped out at you? Aside from the color? What would you compare it to in the point and shoot category? 

Classic

I've had many of the Coolpix cameras over the years, but have settled on the Coolpix S10 for the last couple of years. Do you consider the S8000 to be a step up?

Why is Nikon getting a free ad?!? I feel that they have the worst point and shoot cameras on the market. 1:Canon 2:Panasonic 3:Sony.

I haven't used Nikon Cool Pix in years. From what I remember they were always lagging behind in many respects. First the shutter lag was always atrocious. While Panasonic and Canon where pushing faster cameras, with wide angle, lithium batteries, higher cleaner ISOs, NIkon kept their cameras with AA batteries, grainy pictures above ISO 400, and worst of all, their menu was extremely difficult to work around. They usually had one camera in the 500 dollar range that tended to be better, but it just couldn't compare with the Canon G or Panasonic LX3s of the world,

The main advantage of NIkon was image quality in low ISO and the Nikon name that drew the majority of the customers.

Maybe the new CoolPix are different.

Please tell me what Nikon camera can compare to the Fuji F200 in ISO or Panasonic ZS3 in speed, compact size, wide angle, lithium battery, etc. What Nikon camera can compare to the Panasonic LX3 with aperature of 2.0?

In my opinion they tend to always keep their cameras in the "me too category" and never push the ********.

How about releasing compact cameras that accept their wonderful macro ******* of decades ago?

How about releasing a camera the has a smaller zoom range but greater aperature?

How about developing a sensor with greater sensibility instead of just buying off the shelf sensors you can get in any Samsung, Olympus, or Sony camera?

Nikon has a lot to create before I will jump in their bandwagon.

I have to disagree about Nikon point and shoots are lagging.  I have used them for years.  After buying my first one, my daughter and wife wanted one of their own.  I just recently bought a canon.  It was the worst camera I have ever owned.  I took it back, exchanged it and the second one was just as bad.  I have gone back to Nikon, the s8000 is an amazing point and shoot.  And my opinion, Nikon's macro can not be beat.  

I recently purchased an S8000 to use as a carry around when I don't want to be burdened with with my DSLR. I find that itb takes great shots wsoecially in macro mode. I have captured shots that are as good as and sometimes better than with my Canon XTI. I have to force myself to use my DSLR. My brother says that a good point and shoot will make you lazy.