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November 2005
Nikon discontinued the eight megapixel CoolPix 8400 with it's 24mm to 85mm lens. Ritz camera purchased Nikon's remaining inventory and is selling it for $399 from their web site and select Ritz stores, while supplies last.
Nikon CoolPix 8400 compared to the CoolPix 5000

Nikon CoolPix 8400 Resources

CoolPix 8400 Infrared Page

Since my style lends itself to shooting wide, I enjoyed reviewed the CoolPix 5000 for Shutterbug when it was first introduced and fell in love the 28mm lens. I've been using it for various types of photos for three years and have finally found a replacement in the 8400 with it's wider 24mm lens. Another feature I really like is the "Extra" JPEG compression setting. Normal compression when set at "Fine" is 1:4 but "Extra" is a 1:2 compression giving you a higher quality less compressed JPEG than previously possible in Nikon CoolPix cameras. For those of you purchasing the CoolPix 8400, note that there is a firmware update available on Nikon's web site which can be installed from either a PC, MAC or from the internal Compact Flash card.
I've noticed that the last few generations of CoolPix cameras have shown improved color and exposure when set at the default settings, needing less post processing than before. The CoolPix 8400 is no different. A few of the setting changes I do make with every digital camera is to set the ISO to the lowest (ISO 50 with the 8400) and the JPEG quality to the highest (Extra for the 8400) I also set the internal flash to off as a default. Those three changes, combined with the use of a tripod, will help improve my images. I keep the White Balance set to Auto, unless I'm using the camera with strobes or under unusual lighting, in which case I try and match the White Balance to the lights. Depending on what I'm using the camera for, I might shoot manual exposure and RAW instead of program exposure and JPEG.
Normally I have always recommended NOT installing the software that comes with the camera. But if you're going to shoot RAW (Nikon NEF files), you'll need the Nikon software to convert to TIF. Photoshop CS3's ACR (Adobe Camera RAW) file can also open the NEF files. I do not recommend connecting the camera to the computer preferring to use a USB card reader to COPY the images to a folder on your hard drive. Then verify before deleting the files from the compact flash card..
Unlike film cameras, digital cameras have image quality limitations that is largely proportional to their cost. I've always maintained that different cameras could be matched to different tasks and be more efficient. Though I own a D200 for studio type work, shoot infrared with two CoolPix 950's, the CoolPix 8400 fits into the gap in my shooting style that the CoolPix 5000 formally was used for. Because of it's small size and wide angle lens, I'm enjoying carrying it around and having fun with photography again. In May 2007 I had a CoolPix 8400 converted to shooting infrared.

CoolPix 8400 Tips Page

CoolPix 8400 Gallery
click on an image to view it enlarged
more image
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