The Coolpix 880 has four Photo Information screens of camera and
exposure data including a histogram chart. You can cycle through these
screens by pressing the focus control button when in Play mode.
Zoom playback is enabled by pressing the Telephoto button while in Play
mode. You can "step in" up to 4X magnification by repeatedly pushing the Tele
button. Once magnified you can freely scroll around inside of the image using the
4-way selector. This is handy for checking critical focus, color and
Thumbnail playback mode displays either 4 or 9 images and lets you quickly find any
image stored on the CF card and display it.
QuickTime MOVie clips can be played back fullscreen with start, stop and pause
You call up the Coolpix 880's menus by pressing the MENU button and navigate through the options using the 4-way selector switch.
The Play mode options are:
Steve's ConclusionThe Coolpix 880 employs the same 3-megapixel imager and most of the advanced features of the Coolpix 990 in a smaller and lighter body. Most noticeably missing is the swiveling lens, in its place is an all-glass 2.5x Nikkor zoom lens with a 35-89mm (35mm equivalent) focal length and macro coverage down to about 4cm. If you were waiting for the image quality of the Coolpix 990 in a more pocketable size, your wait is over.
Featuring the same AF Area Mode multi-zone focusing, 4-mode TTL exposure metering, autoexposure bracketing, image enhancements and USB connectivity as its big brother, the Coolpix 880 has some new tricks. The Quick Review function allows you to quickly switch back and forth between Record and Play modes. While reviewing an image you can capture the next shot as fast as you can tap the shutter release. No more flipping the Mode Dial and waiting, just push one button to review the last shot taken or any picture stored on the CF card.
The Coolpix 880 is the first Nikon camera to have a rechargeable lithium battery option. The Nikon EN-EL1 lithium battery and EH-21 charger and AC power supply will be available for less than $100. And unlike other cameras that run on rechargeable lithium batteries, the Coolpix 880 can be powered by "off the shelf" 2CR5 lithium batteries too. If your rechargeable goes dead in the field you can use a 2CR5 battery that can be found at most any camera store. The EH-21 also works as an AC supply to power the camera during downloads to the computer.
This is no "stripped down" or de-featured camera, it has all of the same image capture capabilities of the Coolpix 990. Still images can be saved in 2048x1536, 1024x768 or 640x480 size in three different JPEG qualities (Fine, Normal, Basic) or as uncompressed TIFF. QuickTime movie clips are captured at 320x240 (QVGA) size and up to 40 seconds of action can be recorded at a time with full use of the zoom and exposure settings.
And that's just the start of the image capture capabilities. For high-speed action you can use the 16-shot mode which takes 16 pictures at about 2fps and puts them into one finished 2048x1536 image. Continuous mode captures 3 frames every 2 seconds up to five frames at full resolution. VGA sequence captures 640x480 images at 2 fps up to a maximum of about 35 images. And for the ultimate in high speed image capture there is the Ultra High Speed mode that captures 70 QVGA size images at 30fps each time the shutter is pressed.
Exposure control is an important part of any camera and the Coolpix 880 lets you choose between Matrix, Spot, Center-Weighted or the Spot-AF Area mode that precises meters the exposure depending on which of the five autofocus zones was selected. For that "once in a lifetime" shot try the autoexposure bracketing option. The camera captures a sequence of five frames and automatically varies the exposure from +2/3 to -2/3V thus guaranteeing that at least one of those images will be as close to "perfect" as possible. You can manually override the exposure system by +/-2EV whenever desired. When capturing a series of panorama shots you can employ the autoexposure lock (AE-L) to keep the exposure and white balance constant for a well-blended finished image.
And speaking of white balance, the Coolpix 880 has a very rich set of options to insure that you get the truest colors possible under the widest range of lighting conditions. There are white balance settings for Auto, Preset (manual), Fine (Outdoor sunny), Incandescent, Flourescent 1, Flourescent 2, Flourescent 3, Cloudy and Speedlight. Most settings have a +/-3 adjustment to critically "fine tune" them as close as possible to the lighting conditions at time of the exposure. And for the purist there is the manual preset option that lets you use a white card or other target and the camera will precisely calibrate the white point from it.
The Coolpix 880 will do well against the competition, as I said, it has the same image quality as the 990 but at a price that's hundreds less. The new rechargeable battery option adds even more value to the overall package. I see this camera being taken on a lot of vacation trips and definitely filling a lot of stockings at Christmas time. Nikon has another winner here!
Imaging-Resource Nikon 880 Review
Note: All photographs and page content
Copyright © 2000 Steve's Digicam Online, Inc.
Nothing on this page may be used, distributed or
copied without the author's prior permission.