Steve's Digicams

Nikon Coolpix 880

Review posted 8/28/00

Nikon Coolpix 880
Click on the camera for 360-degree QTVR tour

The Coolpix 880 is Nikon's most compact 3-megapixel digital camera. It shares the same high resolution CCD imager and processing hardware as the Coolpix 990 along with many of its advanced features like sophisticated multi-zone autofocusing, 4-mode TTL metering, exposure auto-bracketing, Best-shot selection, high speed USB connectivity and superb image quality. It's equipped with an all-glass Nikkor 2.5x optical zoom lens and is Nikon's first digicam to offer a rechargeable lithium battery option.

The Coolpix 880 produces 2048 x 1536-pixel images in standard JPEG format with three different quality levels or an uncompressed TIFF image file of just under 10MB in size. It can optionally save still images in 1024 x 768 or 640 x 480 size if desired. Recording modes include still images at up to 2fps in full resolution, Ultra High Speed 320 x 240 QVGA at 30 fps and a QuickTime movie mode that captures up to 40 seconds of QVGA Motion-JPEG at 15fps.

You can have the camera do everything in AUTO mode or use the Program Auto, Aperture Priority, Scene or Full Manual modes and exercise as much exposure and creative control as the situation requires.

Nikon Coolpix 880

On the back is a 1.8-inch color TFT LCD with 110,000 pixel resolution with 97% frame coverage. It can be used to frame or review your pictures and navigate the extensive menu of advanced options.

The user controls are ergonomically positioned and clearly marked as to their functions.   It has the same playback histogram function and four pages of photographic information as the Coolpix 990 and a totally new feature called Quick Review to quickly switch from Rec to Play and back again.

Nikon Coolpix 880

The optical viewfinder has flash and autofocus LED indicators but lacks a diopter adjustment. This is a real-image zoom viewfinder with a magnification factor of 0.4~1.0x and 82% frame coverage.

Nikon Coolpix 880 Nikon Coolpix 880

On the left side of the camera is the VIDEO OUT port. On the right side is the DIGITAL I/O port for both a USB and serial port connection. Below that is the DC IN port for the optional EH-21 AC power supply.

Nikon Coolpix 880

On the totally flat bottom we find a tripod socket positioned about as close to the center of balance as possible. And the battery access door.

Nikon Coolpix 880

Viewed from the top with the camera powered on and the zoom lens extended. The shutter release has the power switch mounted around it. There's a large and easy to read data display and the Mode Dial which is detailed in the next frame.

Nikon Coolpix 880

Mode Dial positions:

  • SETUP - basic camera settings - click here for Setup menu animation

  • CSM - Create your own custom camera settings for instant recall.

  • Manual - You control all settings including shutter speed and aperture.

  • Aperture priority - You select aperture, camera selects shutter speed.

  • Programmed auto - Camera selects shutter speed & aperture.

  • SCENE - pre-programmed modes for: Portrait, Party/Indoor, Night Portrait, Beach/Snow, Landscape, Sunset, Night Landscape, Fireworks, CloseUp, Copy and Backlight.   See page 2 for more details.

  • - Full Automatic "point-n-shoot" mode.

  • - Playback and delete images.

Nikon Coolpix 880

The monochrome data LCD displays the image quality, flash mode, ISO, focus mode, selftimer, battery condition, metering mode, EV compensation and number of pictures remaining.

Nikon Coolpix 880

The Coolpix 880 features a 2.5x Zoom-Nikkor; f = 8-20mm (equivalent to 38-95mm) F2.8-4.2 with macro. Nine elements in seven groups, all glass, Nikon Super Integrated Coating applied. 4x digital zoom in 0.2x steps.

The focus range is normal mode is 40cm (1.3 ft.) to infinity and 4cm (1.6 in.) to infinity in Macro mode.

The UR-E2 lens adapter will allow the Coolpix 880 to use all of the existing add-on Nikkor lenses; WC-E24, WC-E63, TC-E2, TC-E3ED, FC-E8 as well as 28mm filters.

Nikon Coolpix 880

The zoom lens control buttons are located just behind the Mode Dial, the Telephoto button also serves as the Zoom-In control when in Play mode.

Nikon Coolpix 880

The buttons on the back above the LCD are multi-function, depending on the operating mode and combination of buttons/controls used.   (left to right)

    Exposure compensation, shutter speed or aperture adjust, change ISO sensitivity or single image delete.

    Infinity focus, macro, selftimer, manual focus distance, photo information display

    Flash modes or thumbnail display

    Quick Review mode (see page 2), start and stop movie playback.

Nikon Coolpix 880

Located on the right side of the camera is the CompactFlash Type I card slot. Nikon supplies an 8MB Lexar card with the camera.

Nikon Coolpix 880

The Coolpix 880 is supplied with a one-use 2CR5 lithium battery. Optionally it can be powered by the Nikon EN-EL1 rechargeable lithium battery.

If your rechargeable battery goes dead in the field you can still use an "off the shelf" battery.  Most other digicams are using proprietary battery designs.

Nikon Coolpix 880

The Nikon EH-21 charges the EN-EL1 lithium battery and also acts as an AC power suppy.

Nikon Coolpix 880

Nikon's 3.34-megapixel Coolpix 880 and Coolpix 990

Nikon Coolpix 880

Continue on to
Page Two

Coolpix 880 Specifications

 CCD 1/1.8-in. high-density CCD; total number of pixels: 3.34 million
 Image size 2,048 x 1,536 pixels
XGA-size (1,024 x 768)
VGA-size (640 x 480)
 Lens 2.5x Zoom-Nikkor; f = 8-20mm (equivalent to 38-95mm) F2.8-4.2 with macro. Nine elements in seven groups, all glass, Nikon Super Integrated Coating applied. 4x digital zoom in 0.2x steps.
 Autofocus Contrast-detect TTL AF; 4,896-step autofocus control including macro range
5-area Multi AF or Spot AF selectable
 Focus modes 1) Continuous AF mode (when using LCD monitor)
2) Single AF mode (LCD monitor off and/or single AF selected in P-A-M or CSM modes)
3) Manual [48 steps from 4cm (1.6 in.) to infinity with Focus Confirmation indication]
 Shooting distance 40cm (1.3 ft.) to infinity
4cm (1.6 in.) to infinity in Macro mode
 Optical viewfinder Real-image zoom viewfinder
magnification: 0.4~1.0x
frame coverage: approx. 82%
 LCD monitor 1.8-in., 110,000-dot, low-temp. polysilicon TFT LCD
brightness/hue adjustment
frame coverage: approx. 97% (through/freeze image)
 Auto OFF mode 30 sec.; can be set manually (1/5/30 min.)
 Image Storage uncompressed TIFF or compressed JPEG, QuickTime movie
 Media CompactFlash (CF) Card Type I
 Shooting modes Full auto (AUTO)
Scene mode (SCENE) (Portrait, Party/Indoor, Night Portrait, Beach/Snow, Landscape, Sunset, Night Landscape, Fireworks, CloseUp, Copy, Backlight)
Programmed auto (P)
Aperture-priority auto (A)
Manual (M)
Custom (CSM)
 Shooting menu 1) White balance
2) Exposure metering
3) Continuous
4) Best-Shot Selector (BSS)
5) Lens Converters
6) Image adjustment (Auto/Normal/More Contrast/Less Contrast/Lighten/Darken/Monochrome)
7) Image Sharpening
8) Image size/quality
9) Sensitivity
10) Exposure options
11) Focus options
12) Folder options
13) CF card format
 Capture modes 1) Single
2) Continuous
3) Multi-Shot 16 (16 frames in 1/16 size)
4) VGA Sequence
5) Ultra High-speed Continuous (approx. 30 fps for 70 QVGA-size images)
6) Movie (40 sec. for QVGA-size images at 15 fps)
 Exposure metering 4-mode TTL metering:
1) 256-segment Matrix
2) Center-Weighted
3) Spot and
4) Spot AF Area
 Shutter Mechanical and charge-coupled electronic shutter
8 to 1/1,000 sec. and Bulb
 Aperture Electronically coupled preset aperture,
2 stops (F2.8 and F7.8[W], F4.2 and F11.3 [T])
 Exposure control 1) Programmed Auto
2) Aperture-Priority Auto
3) Manual; Exposure Compensation (±2 EV in 1/3 EV steps)
4) Auto Bracketing (3 or 5 steps within ±2/3 EV)
 Exposure range EV 0 to +16 (W), EV 1.2 to +17.2 (T)
 ISO Sensitivity 100, 200, 400 or Auto
 White balance 1) Matrix Auto White Balance with TTL control
2) 5-mode Manual with 7-step fine tuning (Fine/Incandescent/Fluorescent/ Cloudy/Speedlight)
3) Preset
 Self-timer 10 sec. or 3 sec. duration
 Built-in Speedlight Guide number: 8/27 (at ISO 100,m/ft.)
Range: 1'4" to 8'2"(Tele), 1"4" to 12"2"(Wide)
8" to 8'2" (Macro)
 Flash control Flash modes:
1) Auto Flash
2) Flash Cancel
3) Anytime Flash
4) Slow Sync
5) Red-Eye Reduction
 Playback menu 1) 1 frame
2) Movie
3) Thumbnail (4/9 segments)
4) Slide show
5) Zoom playback (stepless up to 4x)
Histogram indication & highlight point display
Focus Confirmation indication
 Delete function Deletes all frames or selected frames
 Interface USB interface; Serial interface (Windows: 115kbps, Macintosh: 230kbps)
 Video output NTSC or PAL (selectable)
 I/O terminal Power input
Video output
Digital output terminal (USB/Serial)
 Accessories Included Lens cap, Strap, Video cable, Lexar Media 8MB CF card, USB cable, (1) Duracell 245 (2CR5) 6V Lithium Battery, NikonView Ver.3 CD-ROM, Open Me First Envelope, Manual
 Optional Accessories Rechargeable Battery, AC adapter (with Charger), Serial cable (Windows, Macintosh), Various size CompactFlash cards, PC card adapter, Wideangle converter, Telephoto converters, Fisheye converter, Slide Copying Adapter, Step-down ring adapter (Required to use converter lenses and Slide Copying Adapter), Remote Cord.
 Bundled Software NikonView version 3.1, Genuine Fractals 2.0 LE for Compression and Scaling (Altamira Group), Cumulus 5.0 Demo for image and asset management (Canto), iPIX immersive imaging (Internet Pictures Corporation), GreatPhoto! for image manipulation and correction (Software Architects Inc.)
 System USB requirements Windows® 98/98SE pre-installed model, Windows® 2000 or later, MMX® Pentium® or later.

Mac® OS 8.6 or later (Only built-in USB ports are supported), IMac®, iBook®, Power Macintosh® G3 (Blue & White) or Power Mac® G4 or later, Power Book G3 (with USB built-in) or later.
 Power requirements 2CR5 lithium or EN-EL1 rechargeable lithium battery (optional)
 Battery life Approx. 1.5 hrs. when using LCD monitor
(W x H x D)
Approx. 3.9 x 3.0 x 2.1 in.
(without battery)
Approx. 9.7 oz.

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