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Thread: Nikon 8 MP 8700

  1. #1
    Sitting in a Leaky Dingy Michael Fanelli's Avatar
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    Nikon 8 MP 8700

    Nikon's new 8 MP 8700 has a preview at

    http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_...nikon8700.html

    After the rather poor showing of the Sony 8 MP (828) it will be interesting to see if Nikon has done any better.

  2. #2
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    What about?

    Am I right in seeing this camera as basically an 8 megapixel Coolpix 5700?

    They're all still trying to sell us more pixels. I read the specs and saw no mention of decreased shutter-lag, which I think is currently the biggest issue with consumer-level digital cameras. If you read the reviews and forums on this and other sites, shutter-lag is certainly one of the biggest complaints owners and shoppers have. I don't get it.
    Photo-John

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  3. #3
    Sitting in a Leaky Dingy Michael Fanelli's Avatar
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    The 8MP is no gimmick. It provides 60% greater image density and that is substantial. It is the equivalent of upgrading from a CP990 to a CP5700, percentage wise. If you only shoot for the computer monitor - web work and slide-shows - it is of no consequence. However, if you shoot for prints it is QUITE significant. Even for web-work, it allows a much greater degree of cropping with no loss of quality. All else being equal, more pixels is better.
    It is a gimmick if the pixels are so small as to provide worse quality than less pixels. This is the trouble that the Sony 828 has: you can see better resolution but you see it through lots and lots of noise as well as record-breaking chromatic aberation. IMHO, If Nikon uses the same Sony sensor, it will not be a very good camera.
    "Every great decision creates ripples--like a huge boulder dropped in a lake. The ripples merge and rebound off the banks in unforseeable ways.

  4. #4
    Sleep is optional Sebastian's Avatar
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    Nikon has never used anything but Sony sensors with the obvious exception of the LBCAST in the D2H.

    Save your money, the 8mp IS nothing but a gimmick. Noise does not just affect smoothness, it lowers contrast, introduces color shifts, hides detail. The higher the MP, the more noise, the more noise reduction, which has potential for destroying the fine detail you originally bought the camera for.

    Pixel size matters, NOT the amount of pixels. You'd be much better off with a D70/D-Rebel than these new P&S cameras. I had a Sony F717 and its 5 megapizel sensor gave me poorer prints than files from a 2.75mp Nikon D1. And when you hold an 8x10 from the Sony next to an 8x10 from my D100, the difference is phenomenal, even though on paper the resolution is only slightly less. You don't know how much damage noise reduction does until you work with a camera that does not rely on it as much.
    -Seb

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  5. #5
    Seb
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    I would rather have the D70, here's why...

    Quote Originally Posted by prbowhay
    I am hoping I can get off work to attend PMA to see this new camera. I may be one in a million but, I honestly have had NO problems with shutter lag, low light, nor any of the gripes I've heard and read from others regarding this camera. I cannot tell you, in simple words, how pleased I've been with the 5700. I think its an amazing camera. If Nikon has put it on steroids by bumping it up to 8 megapixels that's fine by me! With my 5700, I've been able to take lots of very clear pictures while Gene is driving and I'm shooting through the window -- no shutter lag whatsoever! I have every accessory made for the 5700 and, according to everything I've read so far about the 8700 all my accessories will fit -- works for me!

    Even though its only considered a consumer digi-cam, I think its one of the best inventions since the round tire.

    Best to You,
    Penny

    P.S. Since I posted this message earlier, I received a post from Paul over in Viewfinder asking me why I would prefer the CP8700 over the D70. I prepared this response for him and will include it here as well for all that are interested:

    The price of a D70 body and a CP8700 complete with lens is the same. With the CP8700 you get the equivalent of a 35mm-280mm, f-2.8-f4.2 lens. With the cropping factor of the small sensor on the D70, it will require something in the range of a 24mm->200mm zoom to equal it, a lens that Nikon does not make. Nikon makes a 24mm->85mm f-2.8-f-4.0 that covers the first half of the range, which B&H offers for just $499.95. However, at 85mm, you have lost a whole stop. With the lens that comes with the CP8700, you are down just a tad over a stop at the extreme telephoto. At 85mm on the D70, you are only at the middle of the zoom range with a CP8700. Then you need a second lens to cover up to 200mm. There is a 80mm-200mm f-2.8that actually gains you a stop, but costs $1,649.95 - also at B&H. There are a couple of other lenses that cover most of the range but they are very slow -f-3.5 to f-5.6, meaning difficulty in focusing and poor low light performance. Furthermore none of these are DX lenses designed to use the sensor in the D70, but rather designed for film. So by going to the D70, you lose two megapixels, and must come up with at least two lenses to match the lens speed and range of the CP8700. You also buy a camera body with a sensor that is not protected from dust, must use a century old viewing system, without the through-the-lens and processed-by-the-camera view that the CP8700 provides. You also lose the mobility and stealth factor of the gentle CP8700. I have checked out the D70 option, but a dSLR with a CCD sensor, an unprotected non-swivel LCD, and the sheer inconvenience of having to carry so many lenses puts me off. With the mirror in the way, the sensor can not facilitate the preview of the image. There is no point in having a swivel LCD on a dSLR. The monitor is ONLY useful for viewing the image AFTER the exposure. You are stuck with optical viewing. It is also used for menu viewing. Sounds like a bad deal to me. Two-and-a-half times the price and none of the advantages.

    Regarding the 8 megapixels, the sensor is the same standard size, but with a greater pixel density. There has been no information that I have seen, that the sensor for the CP8700 is even from the same source as the CP5700. It is entirely possible that the CP5700 has a Sony sensor and the CP8700 has a Phillips sensor or a sensor from some other company. There are many suppliers of CCDs and for the most part, camera manufacturers do not reveal who makes the part. The pixel density follows Moore's Law to some extent, and is to be expected. Performance is probably about equal to or slightly better than the CP5700 on a pixel by pixel basis. With the higher resolution, prints will show considerably less noise since one is starting with 60% more information density. Staying with the same 2/3" (8.80 x 6.60 mm) sensor format saved Nikon the cost of totally re-engineering the camera, allowing them to continue with the well proven lens and body layout. Currently I know of no compact pro-sumer camera from any manufacturer with a larger sensor. The Sony 8MP, Leica Digilux 2 and Minolta Dimage A1 use a sensor of precisely the same physical size. In comparison, the Canon G5 uses a smaller 7.18 x 5.32 mm sensor as does the Olympus C5060, Contax TVS, HP 945 and Pentax Optio 550. Though these sensors may be the same two standard sizes for the parts, they can be from different suppliers, some may be RGB others CMY, and so on. All they may share is part size. Regarding no ISO 800 setting on the 8700 or image stabilization. It's AF assist, scene modes, better monitor and 30 fps movie mode are definite advancements, but the possibility of noisy results makes for skepticism. Guess one will be more sure once sample images are available, but I really do not expect anything dramatic, given that the lens and the image sensor are the same. The image sensor has had two extra years of development. The 8MP is no gimmick. It provides 60% greater image density and that is substantial. It is the equivalent of upgrading from a CP990 to a CP5700, percentage wise. If you only shoot for the computer monitor - web work and slide-shows - it is of no consequence. However, if you shoot for prints it is QUITE significant. Even for web-work, it allows a much greater degree of cropping with no loss of quality. All else being equal, more pixels is better.





    Hello, with all due respect, I have to say that I disagree with several of the point of view you have expressed here.


    "Regarding the 8 megapixels, the sensor is the same standard size, but with a greater pixel density."

    Exactly, which actually means that every single pixels are smaller and thus, collect less light which is a problem. Having 8mp may sound good on paper but I am not convinced about the performances of the camera in real life considering that they haven't increased the size of the sensor accordingly to the growing number of pixels.** Let's just think for instance about the significant light sensitivity issue on the Kodak DCS pro 14n. 13 900 000 tiny pixels stuffed on a full frame sensor and even then, the camera has problems. Another example (although it as little to do with the cameras that we can buy) are the cameras from the Spirit and Opportunity rovers. 1mp cameras with very large sensors and rather huge pixels working in pairs with state of the art lenses.


    "The price of a D70 body and a CP8700 complete with lens is the same.* With the CP8700 you get the equivalent of a 35mm-280mm, f-2.8-f4.2 lens. With the cropping factor of the small sensor on the D70, it will require something in the range of a 24mm->200mm zoom to equal it, a lens that Nikon does not make. Nikon makes a 24mm->85mm f-2.8-f-4.0 that covers the first half of the range, which B&H offers for just $499.95.* However, at 85mm, you have lost a whole stop. With the lens that comes with the CP8700, you are down just a tad over a stop at the extreme telephoto.* At 85mm on the D70, you are only at the middle of the zoom range with a CP8700. Then you need a second lens to cover up to 200mm.* There is a 80mm-200mm f-2.8that actually gains you a stop, but costs $1,649.95 - also at B&H.* There are a couple of other lenses that cover most of the range but they are very slow -f-3.5 to f-5.6, meaning difficulty in focusing and poor low light performance"

    Let's not forget that engineering limitations still prevents lens makers from making the "ultimate does it all zoom". All things being equal, a prime is still opticaly better than a zoom (although the difference betwen a prime and a quality zoom is not as big as it once was) and zoom covering an very large range all suffer from significant distortion at the limits of their range. Buying 2 or 3 quality lenses for the D70 obviously is a pricier option but it will arguably lead to superior results.


    "You also buy a camera body with a sensor that is not protected from dust"

    Now that's a real issue. I can't agree more with you on that one. While I assume that having the sensor cleaned by a technician must be a safe and easy procedure but I too am annoyed by that aspect of DSLR's. Let's just hope that every makers will come out with something like the self cleaning sensor of the Olympus E-1.


    " must use a century old viewing system, without the through-the-lens and processed-by-the-camera view that the CP8700 provides"

    Technology changes for the sole purpose of technology changes doesn't make any sense as far as I am concerned. The way I see it, trying to replace the through-the-lens viewfinder of SLR's by a processed-by-the-camera viewing system with an LCD screen is a marketing non-sense in order to give a trendy "high tech" feel to digicam that might appeal to the mass. The through-the-lens viewfinder typical to SLR's is indeed a very old technology. That approach is still used nowaday essentially because it's the truest, most accurate design for a viewfinder. It allow to directly see things from the "camera point of view" without any kind of interference. This is reality and there is no way than processed-by-the-camera viewfinder can even come close to that.


    As a conclusion, taken for what it is, a camera such the CP8700 may be an interesting purshase. However, when it come to versatility and ultimate picture quality, I feel strongly that a DSLR such the incoming D70 is the way to go.

    regards

    Seb

  6. #6
    nature/wildlife co-moderator paulnj's Avatar
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    i was going to let the masses let you down easy...... i knew they would, better than my BLUNT truth approach

    my suggestion is this....

    go to PMA with lots of card space and test drive EVERYTHING you can in different modes

    D70/ with a lens you own and D100 with same lens(in same modes)

    bring your 5700 and take an image of (subject) and same(subject) with the 8700. from same spot/angle/aperture/focal length.....

    once home you will now have a complete test

    online sample files and photos from (camera) on display are as real as a mermaid!!!!!!!

    ask hodgy if he can take a file from any camera and make it look 1000% nicer...

    if you plan to edit the file to perfection and res up.... you have that camera already

    1Ds is what you need... with a 16-35 , 24-70 and a tiltshift too...

    $12k i just spent for you....wasn't that fun!
    CAMERA BIRD NERD #1




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  7. #7
    Seb
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    Hello Penny,

    go for it all the way!

    My previous post wasn't meant to discourage you from looking at the CP8700 nor to bash this camera.

    I wish I had the opportunity to assist to an event such the PMA but this is not exactly near my place lol.

    I'll look forward for your comments.

    best regards

    Seb

  8. #8
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    Cool Worth the upgrade?

    I saw the 8700 at PMA, and I liked it. But without actual images to compare, I'm unsure whether to sell my 5700 on eBay right away or not.

    My thoughts, and thanks in advance to all of you for being there to bounce these thoughts off of at 3 am when I can't sleep, is that the biggest drawback of the 5700 is that it's pretty lousy with available light. I set up the lighting kit and I get the magic. But in available light, especially during magic hour, it just doesn't catch the light very well. I'm thinking that pumping up the pixel count to reduce the number of photons per pixel, while losing the ISO 800 setting I liked, just might make the situation worse.

    On the other hand, everything else about the camera is pretty nifty, and the 5700 makes for a perfect lightweight "serious but fun" digital camera. Once I go totally serious, I'll buy the dSLR, but I have to say that having a fully articulating LCD makes it easier to get interesting angles, and these cameras sure are lighter and handier than the dSLRs. And when you add AF assist, the 1.8" (instead of measly 1.5") LCD, and better movie modes... it gets tempting to sell the 5700 and be first in line to pick up the 8700. (Also, I'm curious what the Scene modes work like.) So I'm in a quandary. If the 8700 is really great and I wait, the 5700 resale price goes down the tubes, and I should have upgraded ASAP. But if the 8700 didn't fix the problems in the 5700, or worse, is even worse with available light... then obviously, I should just hang onto the 5700 and spring for a dSLR at the right time, because honestly, they DO take better pictures.

    Also, I'm scheduled to buy a very expensive new camcorder - the Panasonic DVX100A with 24p and film look filters - and I'm thinking... hell, 5 million pixels is enough.

    Moses

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