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Old Dec 31, 2004, 7:28 PM   #1
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Nikons 8700 is a great camera with the exception of the flash. The built in flash is TERRIBLE! Really bad. I almost returned the camera to get a Minolta.

I think Nikon did that to FORCE you to buy their "VERRY EXPENSIVE" flashes. NOT me, I just bought theQuantaray QAF 6600 Flash!
I took all kinds of indoor shots with it today and I'm VERY please with the results!

I took close-ups, zoomed in on items across the room, group shots, you name it.

They all came out perfect on the auto setting. So why spend $150 on Nikons low end flash when this one does the job for $59?

My suggestion is to check the Cameras flash BEFORE buying to see how it works.
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Old Jan 1, 2005, 3:01 AM   #2
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This sounds interesting. I'm not thrilled with the flash on the 8800 either. It's adequate. Does this flash work with your AF system and can you use the flashe's focus assist beam on the 8700? Also, how is the range?
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Old Jan 1, 2005, 11:14 PM   #3
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traderfjp wrote:
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This sounds interesting. I'm not thrilled with the flash on the 8800 either. It's adequate. Does this flash work with your AF system and can you use the flashe's focus assist beam on the 8700? Also, how is the range?
sorry it took me so long to get back to this... watching football you know.

This flash works with the 8700's AF system and flash focus assist beam. The range is perfect as I tried the long zoom across the room (aprox 30 ft) and close-ups and general shooting and they all came out PERFECT! The light was even in the room shot and not the usual drop off on the edges. I was impressed and I'm picky.

I hope this helps.
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Old Jan 2, 2005, 1:18 PM   #4
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traderfjp wrote:
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This sounds interesting. I'm not thrilled with the flash on the 8800 either. It's adequate. Does this flash work with your AF system and can you use the flashe's focus assist beam on the 8700? Also, how is the range?

Sorry but no matter what brandflash you use, the Coolpix cameras (all of them to date) do NOT make use of the AF-assist on the external flash. I have complained about this in every Coolpix review hoping Nikon would correct it. So far only the 8400 and 8800 can work the motorized zoom head of the new SB600 and SB800 flashes so at least we're making some progress but it is inexcusable all the same. Only the dSLRs like the D70, D1x, D2h use the AF-assist and fully control all the features ofthe expensiveexternal Nikon flashes.
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Old Jan 2, 2005, 1:54 PM   #5
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My two cents worth on Flash based AF Assist:

Consumer Models use the same CCD for Autofocus and capturing the image. These CCD's have an IR Cut (a.k.a., Hot Mirror) Filter that makesthem less sensitive to IR. Unfortunately, the AF Assist Beams built intomost Flash Units are usingIR/Near IRspectrum light.

These AF Assist lampscan work well with DSLR models, because unlike the Consumer Models, the DSLR's useseparate sensors for AFwhich are senstive to IR.

So, what we apparently needareFlashes withdifferent types of AF Assist Beams (orpowerful AF Assist beams built into the cameras).

Added:

I can't find it now. But, I remember seeing an article on modifying one of the Nikon Flash Units so that you could turn on the AF Assist beam. The user tried it with a Nikon Coolpix 990, and was able to get it tofocus up to around 6 feet in total darkness. So, it could help some (but not as much as you'd expect, due to the IR Cut Filters on the sensors). So, a different type of AF assistmechanism would be a better approach (perhaps laser based AF Assist).
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Old Jan 2, 2005, 7:04 PM   #6
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Thanks Steve for the info. I actually read your very informative review again which states the limitations of the flash quite clearly.Reviews like yoursserve as a great tutorial, for the camera, and actually restates subjects covered in the manul in a new manner which are enlightening.

Since I rarely shoot in total darkenss or candlelightthe flash assist illuminator is not a big gripe. It does work in most cases but the camrea does not have the same low light level focus ability as the Sony 8mp cameras and for the price this wouldhave been a great feature to tout. I guess they don't want to make the camera too good or what's the point of buying a DSLR.For my needs the 8800is simply great!If I was a professional (I was at one time years ago) I would have a DSLR. Anyway, there are work arounds for everything. However, my gut feeling is that with an external flash the Nikon should perform the way I want for photographing onstage events and school activities. T

My goal now is to find a 3rd party flash that works with the Nikon 8800and has the same features as the more expensive Nikon flash. I only need an extrenal flash once or twice a year so I can see spending over $300.00.
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Old Jan 3, 2005, 4:56 PM   #7
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jack52:

Where did you buy your flash for the 8700?

Thanks
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