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Old Jul 28, 2004, 3:27 PM   #1
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I've had my Nikon Coolpix 4300 for some time, and quite like it. However, I keep looking at the 8700, and trying to decide whether it's time for me to upgrade or not. The functions of the 5700 that are improved in the 8700 are things I really need - like better low-light performance (I live in northern England), which is why I'm looking at the newer, more expensive version.

The big thing that I'm wanting the 8700 for is that 8x telephoto. I'm a hobbyist, not a professional, and I find that having to install and adapter AND then the lens on the 4300 for a mere 2x more strength to be annoying. After a couple of years of this - I started with the Kodak DC260 and 290 years ago, with the aweful plastic lenses - I've decided enough is enough, and I want a strong zoom built in.

Some of the reasons I like the 8700:

Zoom - already mentioned
Better low-light performance
Swivel LCD - As a short person, I often hold the camera over crowds to get pictures, and often also do the "commando" thing to get ground-level photos.
Expanded exposure controls - there are things I'd like to try from my pre-digital days, and can't sort out how to do them with the 4300
Hopefully better continuous capture modes
Better pictures? Tho for a little thing, the 4300 takes nice photos, I've some excellent 8x10 pictures.

I'm mostly a landscape and travel photographer, but I do equine (horse) photography too when I get a chance, which is where I'd use continuous capture.

I'd probably keep the 4300, at least for now, as a snapshot camera.

So, do you think it's worth the upgrade? I can get it from Digital Foto Club for $782.80, shipped. I'm at an APO, so places like Butterfly Photo aren't an option, and shipping costs are much more expensive at most places.
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Old Aug 2, 2004, 9:27 PM   #2
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Not to complicate things but I upgraded my 4300 to a Panasonic FZ-10 for similar reasons. The zoom is fantastic and it takes excellent photos. Since the FZ-20 is coming out, the FZ-10 will be fairly cheap soon. The biggest problem is if you have a large number of CF cards which don't work in the FZ-10.

I don't have experience with the 8700, but really like the stabilization in the FZ-10. I'm not sure how much camera shake the 8700 has at high zoom.

Low-light performance is average at best though with the FZ-10. The upcoming FZ-20 has a focus-assist light that should help a lot.
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