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View Full Version : Very Unhappy With Nokin Coolpix 8700 ~ Want Better



MariaWilkes
05-20-2007, 06:26 AM
I have a Nikon Cooplix 2800 (or my husband does rather) and I've found that I don't really like it much. No matter how many times I read the manual and try different things, I can't get good photos.

It has a lot of features, and the macro is great, but I can't seem to figure out how to take other types of photos with it.

The auto focus doesn't focus very well, the wait between photos is horrible and it doesn't take good indoor photos at all.

I have a cheap old Olympus D-545 that takes better indoor photos than the Nikon, and I didn't even pay a hundred dollars for it.

I thought a Nikon would mean better photos but I'm sadly disappointed in it, mainly due to the focus and time between photos, and the fact that the color isn't very vibrant when I take landscape photos.

I would like to get a camera that meets the following specs:

Budget: From $200 to $500 but can go higher if needed.

Size: Doesn't matter

Mega pixels: I don't know, I know nothing about digital camera specs. My Olympus is 4 the Nikon is 8.

Optical Zoom: I don't know what this is, whatever it takes to get the types of photos I want.

Image Quality: 10

Manual Controls: Um, I still don't know, just whatever it takes.

What is camera going to be used for:

Well this is the tricky part; I do crafts so macro is a must. I can get this with my Olympus and the Nikon though if needed. I want something that will take vibrant and colorful landscape photos, and good photos of buildings and stairs in black & white mode. I like to take pictures of stairs and landscapes mostly for postcards.

I would also like something that will take photos of my children at play, which shoots fast without a long lull between shots.

I mostly take outdoor photos, but I also like to take pics of my tropical fish indoors, and something that can focus better up close without the flash going off (I have lighting so I don't need flash for indoor use and the Nikon flashes no matter what, indoor, outdoor, it just isn't as bad outdoors).

Will you be making big prints? Mostly postcard sized prints, but 8 by 10s would be nice.

Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos: Some of my fish, but if I have to take the fish outside I will.

Will you be taking sports or actions photos: Yes, of my children playing

Particular brands you like or hate: Um, I am not liking Nikon very much at all. I refuse to buy Kodak.

Sorry if I sound like a complete idiot when it comes to specs, but I'm not a photographer. I just want something that takes good pictures without much hassle.

My Olympus has a small wheel where I can choose a "mode" and the images taken are actually good compared to the Nikon, the colors are vibrant and very pretty, but when printed the quality sucks.

The Nikon on the other hand has good print quality, but the colors suck. My greens are muted, dew isn't noticed and the rainbow I took a pic of last week did not take, there is no rainbow. It does well enough for buildings because I want dull when I take photos of them sometimes, and it makes crisp photos of stairs that I can convert to black & white in PSP, but for landscapes and wildlife the color is lacking a lot. Also, fireworks look white or yellow, not red, blue, green etc.

Basically I want something than can be set-up once for outdoor use, action shots and vibrant images with true (or as close to true as I can get) coloring. Also a good zoom would be a plus, I like to stand about 20 feet from the children when they play and I also like to take photos from a distance, my Olympus zooms very well.....the Nikon doesn't zoom well at all, it's tries to focus and then focuses on the wrong point, not a centered point like my Olympus does.

I tried reading the forums but the specs get to me, I don't understand them.

I want something that can capture outdoor color well, like I have seen in the galleries here.

The Nikon may be able to do better; maybe I'm just not setting it up right.

I love my Olympus, it does great for photos that are not printed (basically that go on my websites) but it isn't that good for postcards and greeting cards.

I hope my post makes sense, sometimes I can't get my thoughts right when trying to write.

For example, my Sony camcorder is perfect for my needs, and I wnat a digital camera that can do the same as the camcorder does.

Example of camcorder purchase, I wanted a camcorder that would take great indoor and outdoor videos. Someone recommended the Sony HDV 1080i.

I was hesitant about buying it because of the many features (I was afraid there was a steep learning curve), but once I got it, the ease of use is astonishing. I set it up once, and use it in doors with lighting and outdoors with natural light and it takes better videos than what I see in most commercials and even some a lot of TV shows.

Great quality, easy to use, and easy to operate.

I thought I would get the same with a camera but I am finding this to be more difficult to achieve. I just want to set it up once, and go with it. I'm not smart enough to memorize a zillion features that need to be changed for every setting. Basically I want great outdoor photos, and good photos indoors of my fish, without that blasted flash going off every time I try to take a picture.

I want the images to be of good enough quality that they will look well when printed. I know the printer isn't the problem with my Olympus. I have 3 printers and the Nikon photos print exceptionally well on all three printers even at 8 by 10, but the Olympus ones do not if they are larger than 3 by 3 inches.

The Olympus would be perfect for me if the print quality was better.

The Nikon would be more than perfect for me, if the colors were better, if it would take photos faster and if that blasted flash would just stop going off everytime I take a photo.

mcenut
05-20-2007, 11:03 AM
I could sugar coat this response and just recommend the Canon Powershot S3. But that just would not be fair to the Nikon Coolpix 8700.

Your complaints about the Nikon range from not knowing how the use the camera to legitimate limitations with that model.

Yes, to some, the colors on the 8700 seem muted using the standard setting. However you can modify the color saturation settings in the camera to improve them.

The picture quality is poor. Well try adjusting the ISO settings and stop using full auto settings. The above Canon's image quality will also look poor if full auto is used especially in low light.

You say the flash goes off with every picture. Did you ever think about turning the flash off? All digital cameras have that option.

Center focusing. Again is probably a setting that can be changed on the Nikon. The 8700 has focus zones to give the photographer greater creativity. So it can focus on objects not just in the middle.

You say the Nikon is slow. Well the model is three years old. Cameras have come a long way in three years. Today's cameras are much faster than ones from three years ago.

MariaWilkes
05-21-2007, 03:15 AM
I will admit I do not know how to use the Nikon, I do not even know how to turn the flash off. The learning curve for it is too steep for my tastes.

That's why I said I would like to find something easier to use, as I illustrated with the camcorder example.

I don't have time to learn how to use a camera with a zillion features meant for professionals, I am not a professional and I never will be. I don't want to work for Magazines or National Geographic. I just want to take good pictures for postcards, if there isn't a digital camera on the market that can do that much with an easy learning curve, then I'll go back to film. At least with film I get good colors and pretty much any size prints that I could ever need.

I saw the thread of Canon S3 images, I'll look into that more, thanks for the help.

Rooz
05-21-2007, 04:27 AM
oh come on, be serious, learning how to turn the flash off is not "a zillion features". i imagine all you do is switch it to "P" mode. if you cant even be bothered to learn how to deactivate a flash then fair dinkum...

coldrain
05-21-2007, 04:42 AM
You say the Nikon is slow. Well the model is three years old. Cameras have come a long way in three years. Today's cameras are much faster than ones from three years ago.
Not all cameras have become faster. I just now finished reading about the 5000 from nikon on dpreview.
They sort of like the camera, if it not were for the SLOWness of the focussing.
They really are very disappointed about the speed of that particular camera.

Plutonius
05-21-2007, 09:35 AM
I saw the thread of Canon S3 images, I'll look into that more, thanks for the help.

I doubt the S3 is the camera for you. I don't believe any of the images listed were taken using the auto mode and you would have to learn to use the different modes and settings to get the great images you saw. The flash would also go off every time if the camera thought it needed it unless you turned the flash off (like every other camera now).

http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=30981

My advice to you is to go on-line and read the manual for every camera you might be interested in. That way, you could determine which cameras you think are beyond your ability. In general though, the camera is just a tool and it's up to the person using the camera to put in the effort to get good photographs (The S3 gallery looks great because of the people behind the camera). Any camera is not going to take good consistant printable pictures without you learning how to get the most out of it.

I think that a Fuji camera might be the best fit for you (f30 or f31fd).

coldrain
05-21-2007, 10:26 AM
It is not hard to look in the manual to see how to make the camera not flash or flash...

But the colours can not be so easily be changed to more pleasant ones.
Cameras that usually have good colours are the Canon SD series and A series. They also show on the display what flash mode is used (for instance, flash always, flash when the camera thinks it is needed, flash with red eye reduction pre-flash, don't flash ever). Maybe they will be more to your liking usability wise and colour wise, check the usability out in a shop where you can take your time to look at a camera.
The Canons also are quite speedy in operation.

MariaWilkes
05-22-2007, 04:55 AM
oh come on, be serious, learning how to turn the flash off is not "a zillion features". i imagine all you do is switch it to "P" mode. if you cant even be bothered to learn how to deactivate a flash then fair dinkum...

Rooz, that wasn't very helpful. Flash is just an example, I do not have time to learn how to use a Nikon and it's just too advanced for my needs.

My Olympus is easy to use, so easy that there is no learning curve. It's just old, and suited my needs perfectly for years, I want something that simple.

I never had to learn how to turn the flash off on it, because it automatically flashes in low light and doesn't flash outdoors, not even in shade.

As I stated, I'm NOT trying to be a professional, I just want a camera that's easy to use. Turning off the flash was just ONE example of the problem I have with the Nikon, I won't go into the zillion other details if I'm just going to be mocked by a know it all who thinks everything should be simple for everyone to know. The Nikon manual is NOT helpful.

MariaWilkes
05-22-2007, 05:11 AM
Coldrain and Plutonius, Thanks for the help.

I have been reading manuals that I can find, the Canon isn't too much to my liking because it uses AA batteries, which I'm going to try to avoid, but I may select it, I'm not sure.

The Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-H9 is another option I am considering as well as the Olympus SP-550UZ.

I went to best buy and had the sales person show me each of those and the Canon, and I am really liking the Sony and Canon best, because of the ease of use.

The sony doesn't have a long drawn out list of steps to take to turn the flash off, all you do is hit a button. That's the type of ease I'm looking for.

Not to mention the quality of the pictures set on Auto for the Canon and Sony are what I am looking for.

The Olympus was a bit confusing, like the Nikon, to me. But the other two look about like what I am looking for.

As for the images I saw in the Canon thread, I KNOW I won't be able to take those kinds of images with just point n shoot, but I'll never learn how to use a Camera where I can take photos that well, if I don't like the Camera. To me the Nikon was a chore to use, only as needed for my websites.

The Canon and Sony look like cameras I can happily use for all sorts of things.

I guess I should have just went to best buy only, without seeking the help of people who actually use cameras. I just figured a sales person would try to sell the most expensive without caring about the features I wanted.

When I told the guy at best buy the same things I posted here, what I was looking for in a Camera, he led me straight to the Sony and a Panasonic.

He was very helpful and by trying each camera hands on, I can decide which to get once I look up some more things about them online.

And really, thanks for your help. The Sony and Canon FLIES when it comes to taking shots, that alone is enough to convince me that my husband is the one that really needs the Nikon since it sometimes takes him 30 minutes to frame a shot just like he wants it. The slowness of it is fine with him, he's just as slow.

He is a professional photographer, but he said he didn't know enough about other brands to help me choose. Me, I just want a camera for hobbies and family photos, I really do not need or like all the extras in the professional cameras.

But I'll shup now, thanks for the help and for being more understanding about what I am looking for.

Sometimes patience with the newbs pays off in the end.

MariaWilkes
05-22-2007, 05:17 AM
Plutonius, I just read the thread you pointed me to. If that's what a newb can get with an S3 at first try, a photo as good as the baby shown in that thread, it's still much better than I can get with the Nikon.

At this point I don't care about shadows, the coloring in that is great and that's good enough for me.

If I were to upload some of my Nikon pics, some here would probably cringe and tell me to keep my hands off all cameras for good. They are pretty horrible.

Rooz
05-22-2007, 05:25 AM
Rooz, that wasn't very helpful. Flash is just an example, I do not have time to learn how to use a Nikon and it's just too advanced for my needs.

My Olympus is easy to use, so easy that there is no learning curve. It's just old, and suited my needs perfectly for years, I want something that simple.

I never had to learn how to turn the flash off on it, because it automatically flashes in low light and doesn't flash outdoors, not even in shade.

As I stated, I'm NOT trying to be a professional, I just want a camera that's easy to use. Turning off the flash was just ONE example of the problem I have with the Nikon, I won't go into the zillion other details if I'm just going to be mocked by a know it all who thinks everything should be simple for everyone to know. The Nikon manual is NOT helpful.

i'm a "know it all" cos i know how to turn a flash off which is probably on p2 of the manual ? :rolleyes: anyhow...i wish you luck on your journey to find something to suit your needs. maybe a polaroid ? :)

MariaWilkes
05-22-2007, 05:37 AM
Ok, you have me on that, but if you have not used this Nikon, then you probably don't know how many steps they make a person take to change settings. After trying to learn all the steps for everything, I just got frustrated and gave up.

And no it's not on page two of the manual, it's on pages 34, 35 and 36, the manual is over 130 pages.

A polaroid would actually be perfect, but I want to save money without having to buy film. I do have one that I still use though on some occasions, and I scan the results to get them into digital format.

Maybe the Olympus spoiled me, that one was so easy to learn I never even used the manual, it's still sealed in it's bag.

I have a Palm Treo 700WX that takes better images than the Nikon, at least for me, and it would be perfect for my needs except it doesn't do too well for action shots, and I can't figure out how to get it from treo to computer yet :(

And I apologize for my snide reply to you, I'm just a bit aggravated about this. I have struggled with the Nikon for the past year and crafters are waiting for project pics that I have been too embarrased to post online.

I shouldn't get rude with you though, you're right, maybe I would be better off with something cheesy yet easy to use, but I want to get better with my picture taking skills.....I just don't want to feel as if I am taking a college course when trying to learn how to operate a camera.

MariaWilkes
05-22-2007, 05:53 AM
Ok, one more post and then I am back to my research.

I have the Nikon manual in front of me, and the Sony Cybershot manual downloaded and opened on my computer.

To illustrate, the Nikon has more black and white images of settings, where each image shows 3 to 5 settings, but nothing about what these setting do, on each page.....it is probably later in the manual but it's as if they expect you to memorize all of these settings before learning what they are for.

The Sony Cybershot on the other hand, has color photos illustrating examples of bad this, good this for each setting, arrows poitins to each setting on the cameras and text that explains how to get the most from that setting, before it moves on to another setting.

It's as if the Sony starts from page one, and assumes that the user doesn't even know how to put a battery in the camera and walks a person step-by-step slowly through the manual.

I could sit down with the Sony manual and learn at my own pace without confusion, because it's written so that anyone can understand it even if they don't know what "flash" means, much less how to turn it off.

Also, steps for the basic features are one step use only, move a wheel or hit a button, viola, it's done.

The advanced menu items are the things I would have to avoid right now until I could learn to use the other simpler features.

As for the Nikon, that manual is written where you see a term and have to go look it up to see what they are talking about. I have even had to do google searches sometimes trying to figure out what a feature does or is for.

There are no pictures as examples of right or wrong, me, I don't know what right or wrong is until my husband looks at my photos and says "Maria that is too bright". To me, it's just a picture....how can it be too bright (Ok I am still learning, he has me looking at National Geographic photos right now too so that I can see the right ways to take photos and see what's wrong with my own before he has to point them out).

Basically I am trying to move up from just photos for eBay or my websites, to improving my postcards and crafts.

I may not know a lot, but I know one thing, if a camera is too hard for me to learn then I want something easier to learn. I can learn how to use any camera, if I have something as easy to learn by as the Sony manual appears to be.

But I can't when a manual is written as if one is supposed to know what ISO, shutter speed etc. is supposed to mean as the Nikon does. Sure, professionals probably love the Nikon, I know my husband does because he can use different filters etc. But that's just not what I am looking for. My passion is crafts, not photography which is his passion, and yes he takes photos for me but when he starts pulling out lights and rearranging my projects to get a "professional" photo, I just ask him to leave it be, that it's not being submitted for a nobel prize, I just want to email it to my mother.

I finally just take the photo with my Treo and phone it to the people I need to see it.

I just wish my Olympus weren't so old, it's everything I need in a Camera, but the print quality is horrible.

Anyways I am off to find the Canon manual now, so I can compare it with the Sony.

Rooz
05-22-2007, 06:20 AM
i used to own a nikon 5700 a while ago which was the model before the 8700 and i loved it. can;t imagine too much has changed bwteen the 5700 and the 8700 to make it take such horrendous photos as you described. i have uploaded some photos taken with the 5700 many years ago. my wife shot these all in auto mode while i was using my film camera before DSLR.

there is no way that a palm treo is gonna take better shots than the 8700. come on Maria...think about it, even in full auto mode that doesn;t make sense to you does it ? back in its day years ago the 8700 was one of the best cams around in terms of image quality. even in full auto mode it should be producing MUCH better images. perhaps there is actually something wrong with the cam cos what you are saying doesn;t add up.

you are right on one thing, the 8700 is more complex than your average P&S. but you also need to appreciate that to get the most out of any photography you need to put SOME effort into it. i was a bit of an ass in my comment...sorry comes with the territory of being australian. ;)

anyway...budget wise, performance wise and ease of use wise the suggestion of the fuji f31 seems a good choice. or pretty much any of the smaller canon or sony p/s. i have a canon 850 ixus and it takes great pics within its limitations every time and i use auto on it all the time.

good luck and i hope you find what your looking for. :)

MariaWilkes
05-22-2007, 07:41 AM
Rooz the treo does take better shots for me, because I don't know how to use the settings on the Nikon.

As for my husband, he's able to fix the setup within moments, add a filter and take a photo that is of high enough quality to be submitted to national magazines. He has some amazing portraits and photos that make me drool, but he's been doing films and photography for 30 years. He has cameras older then me that he still uses, the freezer stays full of film and he seems to have a great eye for composition etc.

Yes, he is able to take great shots with the Nikon, shots well enough to win awards and to get published....but he knows how to use it and knows enough about cameras and photography that he can get any digital camera and know exactly what to put the settings on.

Even with the Nikon on Auto Mode, they don't do too well for me at all, which is why I say the Treo does better for me. I usually end up with blurry pictures 85% of the time (even with a tripod), pictures too bright 5% of the time, flashes or very bad shadows 9% of the time and if I am lucky, I may get a picture that I can use every now and then.

And I know that 100% of those problems are user error, but they shouldn't be there if the camera were easier to learn.

The focus and flash are what gets me every time, it auto focuses and doesn't focus properly, or it flashes when it shouldn't, and my husband gets upset if I mess with his settings. I can't figure out how to turn them off using the auto mode alone without messing up his settings.

And I'm willing to put as much effort as I need to in learning, but I need it to be easy to learn.

Basically we're getting me a new camera so that I will leave his alone, he said he either buys me a new one or I let him take the pics. Since he sometimes takes forever before taking a photo (he once lay on the floor for three hours to get the perfect shot of a rat on the balcony in our old apartment...I never knew a rat could look so good) then we figured it would be best to just get me something for myself.

The Olympus is going to our daughter once we replace it.

After reading my initial post I realize I do sound as if I am blaming it all on the Nikon, I didn't mean to. I was trying to post what I am lookig for and didn't clarify enough that most of the problem has to do with me being unable to learn how to use the Nikon.

In my opinion there should be 3 classes of digital cameras...point & shoot, advanced and professional.

I want more than point n shoot, but if advanced I also want it to be easy to learn.

In my opinion the Nikon would be in it's own class, not even professional, but more along the lines of "Photography degree needed to use this camera" because I honestly feel that it's a very complex camera to learn.

But then again, my husband was using it the day he bought it, to take great photos. Knowing the features of a camera is like breathing to him, when he talks about his hobby, most of the terms go way over my head.

Thanks for the suggestion about the Fuji, I think I have decided against the Olympus now entirely (it looks a bit too advanced for me as well), the Canon I am still considering but I am leaning greatly towards the Sony.

I'll look up the Fuji next and try to find a manual for it as well as a few reviews.

MariaWilkes
05-22-2007, 07:45 AM
BTW your photos are wonderful, if I could do that well with the Nikon I would be very happy.

Auto mode just must not like me at all.

Plutonius
05-22-2007, 09:02 AM
Best of luck on the camera research. When you decide to buy, try to buy the camera from a place with a good return policy. You will never know 100% if it's the camera for you until you get it home and take some shots.