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Coolpix 700

Phil Askey's CP700 Review

Manufacturer: Nikon Electronic Imaging
Product Model: Coolpix 700
Official Website: Coolpix 700 Home Page
Resolution: 1600x1200
Zoom Capability: 2.5X Digital Zoom
Auto Focus? Yes
Macro Capability? Yes
Flash? Yes
Manual Control of: Exposure compensation, ISO, focus.
Storage Method: CompactFlash (8MB card included)
Storage Capacity: 1-32
LCD Screen: Yes/1.8"
ISO Equivalent: 80
Video Out?: Yes
Software Included: NikonView 2.0, Hotshots PictureWorks, IPIX Interactive Pictures
Computers Supported: Mac/PC
Miscellaneous Notes: Can review a shot before it's saved to the memory card. Uncompressed TIFF mode. Best-Shot Selector (BSS) automatically selects the "sharpest" among up to ten consecutive shots of a subject.

MSRP: $600
Lowest Price*: Visit Shopper.Com to find out now!

DCRP Reader Reviews

Brian Lanier (7/26/99):
This camera is fantastic. Nikon has done it this time, with the combination of resolution, color quality, camera size, and price, this camera can not be beat.

I checked out loads of cameras, and quite simply, the quality is unbelievable! I have tested the macro capability, flash, non flash, high contrast situations, and more and have found that the camera really delivers.

Being a still photography hobbyist for years, I all but refused to even look at a digital camera. I am a 3d artist by trade, and am tired of scanning photos or slides to get the textures that I need. The nikon is so easy and quick! I purchased a USB Compact Flash reader with the camera, and it takes about 15 seconds to go from taking a picture to popping the card in, to accessing the pictures. Incredible!

Things I like about the camera:

1. The camera is small. It fits in my hand perfectly and feels very secure with the red rubber 'grip strip' on the front.
2. It is very easy to use. I have barely looked at the manual on the CD - the menu systems are so intuitive and easy to use!
3. Great quality. Colors, exposure, everything.
4. High resolution. 1600 x 1200 wow! It is a higher resolution than my monitor (1280 x 1024).
5. Price. For the money I truly believe this camera cannot be beat.

Things I don't like:

1. The 8 meg Compact Flash card. It's too bad they shipped this camera with this card. It can only hold 8 high res files.
2. There is a little (very little) color bleeding at the upper left hand side of the image. It is very noticeable, but it is a iritation.
3. The funky plastic swing doors for the card and access panels. They don't work well.
4. Battery life. With an alkaline battery, it's pretty bad. But then again I'm new to digital photography - maybe that's the way all cameras are. [Jeff's note: NiMH batteries are definitely the best option for digicams]
5. The macro feature could be better, it should allow closer focusing distances. Not a big deal. 9cm is okay.

That's it. Nikon has a hot ticket. I bet they sell out of these guys within 3 months.

Ted Weller (7/26/99):
The Coolpix 700 is a marvelous instrument for those users who have no need for an optical zoom and can do without the niceities of the swivel lens and manual shutter and aperture adjustment. But it has many of the better qualities of its big brother, the 950, and thus far none of the drawbacks (firmware update).

The image quality is nothing short of excellent with 8x10 photos looking as good as someof the custom lab work I've had done (after some minor tweaking in Photoshop). With the Epson Photo 750, you get images that are stunning. Also, to get even further artistic quality, try using Lumijet inkjet photo paper which comes in a wide variety of surfaces such as canvas and Belgian linen. Beautiful! They even make archival inks that work with Epson printers.

The camera is very comfortable in my hands (medium) and all controls are easily accessible and intuitive. I do wish Nikon had included some method of lens cap retainer or storage as the thing is easily lost. My only other minor gripe is the wrist cord which is rather flimsy. It would have been nice to have included a meatier strap (perhaps leather - guess the price would have reflected that). But it is extremely unobtrusive and it makes it easy to get candid street shots without drawing any attention - particularly if you frame using the monitor.

I'm using an 80MB Sandisk card which lets me shoot 81 pictures in the Fine mode which I use almost exclusively excepting when I see a real ganga photo and then I'll switch to Hi. A large capacity card is an absolute necessity as far as I'm concerned. You don't want to be swapping out cards at a crucial moment or run out of space. I have two sets of Quest Gold NiMh batteries which will take me through a 100-200 plus photos using the monitor almost all the time before recharging.

I think anyone who wants the best image quality currently available (under $1,000) would do well to look at the 700. It's got to be one of the best buys currently on the market!

Paul Hankins (6/19/99):
Waited a while to see this camera, tested the Olympus C2000 but found a few areas I did not like - mostly personal but a soft picture result and some bright light blue flaring being the main ones.
Nikon 950 dismissed due to price, split design of lens and placing of control buttons.
Fuji 2700 dismissed due to no Tiff saving mode only jpeg and poor focus - same as my mx-700.
So I went for the 700 which I had seen some shots on the net and they had the detail and more important focus acccuracy that I wanted. Bought a 64Mb card, Ni-Mh batteries - Must Have.

Camera works well - my complaints:-
You have to remove the batteries to charge them even though I bought the Nikon power adaptor - common to most cameras.
Firmware bug that re-starts the file numbering to Dscn0001.jpg even though you tell it to continue the sequence - this is corrected by taking the first shot of a new card / re-formatted card in manual mode, so no big deal.
Download time useing lead supplied and Nikon View very slow - get a card reader as with most other megapixel cameras.
Watch you don't lose the lens cap - attach it with a cord. Thats it !

Pictures are great, need to sharpen up tiffs by one notch in Paint Shop Pro for full size prints. Focus is fussy but you don't get duff shots, exposure is good with various modes to use which I wanted. Its small but conventional camera layout easy to operate once you understand it. It feels better quality than most.

NiMh battery life is good for 100's of shots if you leave power save to 30 seconds. Not sure about the two plastic/rubber hinged covers for connection panel and Flash Card access though.

Regrets - NONE

Paul B. (6/7/99):
My first day with my Nikon 700.

I really love this camera. It's my 3rd Digital camera. I wanted the Quality of the 950, but didnt think I would need all those extra options for the extra money.

I took some pics of some shiny metal parts in direct sunlight with shaded area's in the same shot. The photos came out great. The Detail is stunning!!!

It fits very nice in my hands. I can operate the camera with just one hand. The camera feels very nice in the hands. Nice weight and balance.

The only gripes:
1. Manual is on a CD ( At least they give ya a small pocket manual for the basic getting started stuff )
2. The memory card is not big enough 8mb ( High detail shots eat memory )

Price was $465 - I just ordered a 48mb card, a sandisk USB card reader (Download time is pretty long with just the camera) I HIGHLY HIGHLY urge you to check this camera out. Has to be the best bang for the buck!

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