Nikon COOLPIX 8400
- High-quality shots, many automatic settings, comfortable grip
- Counter-intuitive menus, inadequate zoom, manual focus awkward and slow
Wide-angle lens lovers will be thrilled with the shots the Coolpix 8400 can take. It's a powerful, flexible camera; but it's not the easiest or fastest camera to use.
Price$ 899.00 (AUD)
The 3.5X optical lens on Nikon's new $900 Coolpix 8400 starts at 24mm - the widest angle in its class, and excellent for shooting massive monuments and vast landscapes.
We admired the high-quality shots the 8400 produced. Pictures were sharp and precise. Colour precision was slightly less impressive, but still very good. You have to spend some time learning the controls on the Nikon. The menus, though not hopelessly labyrinthine, can seem that way. The 20-plus items in the main menu betray no organising principle.
The camera's magnesium alloy body, relatively light at 400g, fit nicely in the hand, with a rubberised grip for comfortable holding. And the buttons, dials, and jog dial-type "multi selector" controls are conveniently located and easy to operate. Regrettably, the ring for the camera strap on the right-hand side can dig into your hand if you don't hold it in exactly the right way.
The 3.5X optical zoom and 4X digital zoom are adequate, though not impressive on an eight-megapixel camera. The 1.8" LCD swings out and rotates a full 180 degrees, but it's small for a camera in the 8400's price range. You also get an electronic viewfinder, with easy-to-adjust focus controls. Both offer good colour and relatively sharp picture quality in the image preview.
Users who don't want to fiddle constantly with white balance, image contrast, aperture, and dozens of other settings will find a good range of automatic options, including 15 presets for specific shooting situations like fireworks displays, night landscape and backlit subjects. You also have the usual "tweener" settings, like aperture priority and shutter priority, if you don't want to go fully automatic or fully manual.
The 8400 theoretically lets you store two user-designated settings for specific shooting conditions. It would have been nice to get a few more--and to get more than one that behaves like a typical saved setting. All changes you make to settings while in manual mode get stored in whichever of the two User Settings you happen to be in. You can successfully store a set of values in Setting Two if you're careful to use that setting only under your chosen conditions, but Setting One will inevitably reflect the last manual shot you take. The camera's auto-bracketing, which includes both exposure and white balance, is a bit better than that of many cameras in its class; but the manual focus is somewhat awkward and slow: you hold down a button and spin and spin the selection dial.
Nikon also includes a Best Shot Selector--after taking an initial reading to set focus, exposure, and white balance, the camera turns off the flash and snaps a series of up to 10 shots of the subject, selecting the one with the best detail and sharpness to save. Nikon recommends using this feature in situations where you can't use the flash and where accidental movement may blur the picture. As you might expect, Nikon's idea of a best shot may differ from yours.
The rechargeable lithium ion battery lasted nearly three hours in our test. The wireless remote is a nice step up from an autotimer. The unit comes without media.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Acer Swift 7
Huawei Mate 9
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® Portable SSD
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Google Daydream VR headset
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Surface Pro 4
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Venom Blackbook Zero 14 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- Camera app makers tap into RAW power with iOS, and look forward to dual lenses
- Google Camera 3.2 lets you snap pictures while recording video
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG G6: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTTeam LeaderNSW
- TPBI Report Developer - SSRS SSIS SSASNSW
- TPJunior Business AnlystVIC
- CC.net Developer (Front and Back end)QLD
- FTNBN Sales Consultant / Account ManagersSA
- CCBusiness Analyst - Cyber Security EnvironmentACT
- FTDevops EngineerVIC
- TPBusiness Analyst - AgileQLD
- CCOracle WebLogic AdministratorNSW
- TPAutomation Test AnalystsQLD
- FTSenior C# DeveloperNSW
- TPMedia AssistantNSW
- FTSenior Capacity Planner | Contract through till DecemberVIC
- FTWeb Business AnalystACT
- FTTechnical Expert | 3mth+contractVIC
- FTFinancial AnalystNSW
- CCSofware Developer/Architect - Media and telco Network Operations - MelbourneVIC
- TPSenior Business AnalystNSW
- TPBusiness Change ManagerQLD
- TPBusiness Analyst - Infrastructure ProjectQLD
- FTSalesforce Senior Developer | Solution DesignerQLD
- FTSolutions Architect - Digital Technologies Financial ServicesQLD
- CCIT SharePoint SpecialistNSW
- CCIT Project Scheduler- Port MacquarieQLD