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Old Mar 7, 2004, 10:59 AM   #1
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Default Photographer Reviews Nikon 8700

I've been searching for comprehensive reviews on the 8700 and ran across this one. http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/8700.htm

I guess as a technocrat, I too have been looking for a digicam that would give me the most in the way of megapixels. Ken Rockwell's position is that a 6 MP digicam can easily outshine an 8 MP digicam (eg. the 8700), and he backs up his statements with a barrage of facts.

There are links at the URL to Rockwell's other URLs that address what he calls the "Megapixel Myth". He's also reviewed the D70 (very positively).

I spent a good bit of time the past two days sifting through Rockwell's reviews. I did locate another reviewer's site where both the existing Nikon D100 (6MP) and the Nikon Coolpix 8700 were reviewed. Fortunately the reviewer used the same location for one of his sample photographs.

I printed the two shots on 8 x 10. Although I know which is which, I think the 6 MP shot taken with the D100 "looks" better than the 8MP shot taken with the 8700.

Further, in looking at the operation of the D70 (apparently due to be shipped on 3/24 in limited quantities) versus the 8700, it appears to me that the D70 is a lot easier camera to live with. I guess it should be given that it's $999 w/o a lense. Comparably outfitted with a 28-200 zoom, the D70 would cost about $1300.

If anybody needs the ancillary URLs, post a reply to this message and I'll dig them out of my "Favorites". Comments are, of course, welcome.

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Old Mar 7, 2004, 4:28 PM   #2
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Probably should not feed a troll but what the heck... :twisted:

I got news for you at 8x10 6MP is as good as 8MP but so is 4MP and 3MP. For most of the people that are taking pictures they will only print at 4x6 anyway so for them 1.2MP is virtually indistinguishable so from your standpoint we should all get magnifying glasses and Coolpix 2100. Take the difference and go to Hawaii or Vegas and get some great pictures with it.

The comparison between DSLR and P/S cameras is related to the way you shoot, process and final use for the pictures.

Others have covered this much better than I but here are some things to think about.

8x10 is only one size serious amateurs want ... 10x12, 11x14, 12x16 and 16x20 are also nice if you are doing pro work. 8mp @ 240ppi (typical injet) gives you 11x14 and probably pretty good 12x16.. [email protected] is 8x12. Print an 11x14 and do your comparison there (D70 may still win but I would like to see the results).

Guess what some of us like EVF, real time histograms are great and having the camcorder like ability to tilt the EVF and see over peoples heads or dropping it down to foot level without looking like a commando is great. Those stupid features like video and the ability to record voice annotation are really handy when used properly. Lets try a hand held Panorama test between the 8700 and D70 and see who comes out on top.

Go over and look at the additional cost of your D70 when you throw in the cost of cleaning the focal plane and you have to rent a camera (or use a backup P/S :lol: ) because the camera is unavailable for that pro shoot coming up.

Store that D70+lens under your seat on a plane. Now put the 8700 in there who has more foot room.

The D70 a great camera ... it's probably the best bang for buck for any DSLR right now, heck I may even buy one. But it's not based upon a slight difference in the output (5 min of Photoshop max to fix) at 8x10. It's going to be based upon the way I use the camera and what I need to do the job.
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Old Mar 7, 2004, 6:32 PM   #3
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Unfortunately, Ken Rockwell is poorly informed about digital cameras in general and digital quality specifically.

His site is full of inaccuracies and half-truths, but his conclusions about a six megapixel dSLR being equal or better than an 8 megapixel prosumer/consumer (small sensor fixed lens digicam) is not too far off the mark.

Ken's film bias shows through quite strongly, and my suggestion is to take much of what he says with a grain of salt.

Quality of image involves numerous variables of which "resolution" is only one. Resolution itself is more than strictly pixel count, though digital camera manufacturers frequently measure resolution strictly by pixel count.

The larger, deeper photosite wells on dSLR's (larger sensors) have more favorable signal to noise ratios so the user can actually make use of high ISO capabilities (greater signal amplification) while still maintaining relatively noise free images. Unfortunately, this is not true with smaller sensor digicams, and especially when a greater number of photosites (pixels) are crammed into an already crowded space.

Then there is the issues of chromatic aberration and blooming which are generally more severe on the fixed lens cameras. All together, these factors lead to more corrective actions post capture and this, in turn, leads to degredation of overall image quality.

The effects are much less pronounced which shooting close to the subject. Macro and close-up (portrait, etc.) photography can be done very effectively with any of the new 8 megapixel fixed lens digital cameras. Where they begin to loose ground to the six megapixel dSLR's is for distant detail, and especially when enlargement is considered. The less noise and greater dynamic range of dSLR captures begin to make inroads on fixed lens digicams as one begins to interpolate for inlargement.

Interpolation algorithms tend to exacerbate any faults in the pixel level capture. To do their job properly, interpolation formulae must accurately detect and duplicate existing information. The better the information at pixel level, the better the enlargement will be.

As an example, one could favorably compare not only the D70 with the 8700 (or any brand 8 megapixel fixed lens digicam) but even the D2H which has only a bit more than 4 megapixels.

This is not to knock the 8 megapixel digicams (I use the term digicam to differentiate fixed lens from the dSLR) which are indeed very nice and produce stunning prints. It's simply to point out that we are comparing quite different animals here. Each has a place and each has advantages and disadvantages.

The higher the pixel count goes, the less difference there is in a few megapixels of "resolution." For example, the difference between a 1 megapixel camera and a 2 megapixel camera is only one megapixel, but it represents 100 percent difference. On the other hand the difference between a six and eight megapixel camera represents only 1/4 or 25 percent difference. These differences will be more apparent where more pixels are vested in a small geographical area than when spread thinly.

Depending on one's needs, either may make the ideal solution. On the other hand in terms of true versatility (at much greater expense, of course) the dSLR has a decided advantage in many applications.

Best regards,

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Old Mar 9, 2004, 3:10 PM   #4
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Default Re: Photographer Reviews Nikon 8700

Originally Posted by rabsparks
Comparably outfitted with a 28-200 zoom
The zoom of the 8700 goes from 35 to 280 mm. The 28-200 mm zoom is true for most of the other 8 mp prosumer digicams but not the Nikon.
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Old Mar 9, 2004, 5:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: Photographer Reviews Nikon 8700

Originally Posted by laja
Originally Posted by rabsparks
Comparably outfitted with a 28-200 zoom
The zoom of the 8700 goes from 35 to 280 mm. The 28-200 mm zoom is true for most of the other 8 mp prosumer digicams but not the Nikon.
I almost fell for that one myself when I first read it, but the D70 has a smaller than 35mm focal plane with its 1.5 multiplier you get 42-350 in equivalent terms. Not a perfect match but pretty close and the 28-200 is a cheap (for Nikon glass) lens.

Trying to match up an A2's 28-200 is a little more interesting. You will need 19-133 which will probably mean two lenses and about $1600+ bucks oh and the A2 has IS so ....

For $200 you can extend the 8700 to 28mm and 350mm try that with a D70 :P
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Old Jun 22, 2004, 8:46 PM   #6
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Ken Rockwell blows some seriously hot air in that review. I read it - and still, after comparing images between a D100 in additon to the bulk, and the extra accessories needed, opted for the 8700.

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Old Jun 28, 2004, 2:35 PM   #7
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Well , I just don't know??????
I must have the only Nikon 8700 that is any good at all. I can crop an image and still get perfect results. The color is always perfect and I shoot 99% of the time at ASA 100 and have no noise problems at all. It is light and easy to use. The lens is very sharp. I had a 990 before and it was good,but not as good as this 8700.It just did not have enough resolution to crop and still get large photographs.In the REAL world of picture taking, The 8MP is a vast improvement over the 5 & 6 MP cameras.
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