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Old Jan 30, 2005, 3:04 PM   #1
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I am looking to upgrade and am torn between this camera and the minolta a200...I understand that theimage "freezes" in the evf while it is writing to the card...is this true? If so, isit noticeable or just a minorinconvenience?

My main concern is the low light ability....many Nikons are noted for hunting to focus...I watched someones 4mp (coolpix 995?)take forever to focus with the lens huntinginpretty goodroom light....my 3 year old olympus 3040 would have taken three pics already! has anyone tried any shots in near darkness just to see if the assist lamp will allow a focus lockin short distances (say under 10ft)?

actually...just as important and maybe #1 is adecentzoom and IS...(I hate screwing on and off those not so great 2x adaptors on my 3040)

gregg





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Old Jan 30, 2005, 9:37 PM   #2
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Gregg,

The 8800 is not very good at low light focus. I had one and returned it because of this and a few other gripes.To be fair, for outdoor photography in good light is an excellent camera.

Steve C

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Old Jan 30, 2005, 10:05 PM   #3
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thanks for your thoughts...

I'm going crazy...another person just wrote me about how wonderful this camera is in low light......HELP

I just want to make sure I'm not going backwards from my c-3040....I should define what I mean by "low light" ...A very dark candlelight restaurant, shooting about 3-8ft in wide angle, maybe 200iso

Of course the a200 felt good in my hands at a store and is about 200-300 dollars less as well

I don't shoot all my photos in the dark though. I'm not a vampire :-)
(check out the photo below taken with my olympus c-3040)

thanks again
Gregg
(Florida, USA)

PS....what camera did you finally get????????


another opinion:

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/CP8800/CP88A12.HTM
Nikon Coolpix 8800 Night Shots: Good low-light performance. Good color and exposure, with moderate image noise. Very good low-light autofocus performance, IF you have the camera on a tripod and have a reasonably contrasty subject. The Coolpix 8800 produced clear, bright, usable images down to the 1/16 foot-candle (0.67 lux) limit of my test, with good color at the 400 ISO setting. At ISO 50 and 100, images were bright down to the 1/4 foot-candle (2.7 lux) light level, though the target was visible at the 1/8 foot-candle (1.3 lux) light level. At ISO 200, images were bright down to the 1/8 foot-candle light level, and noise was moderate in most shots. At ISO 400, image noise became quite high. The camera's Noise Reduction option didn't make that much of a difference, but it did improve contrast somewhat, and eliminate a few stray hot pixels. The Nikon 8800's autofocus system worked very well in dim lighting, focusing without its AF-assist light down to a bit below 1/8 foot-candle, and in complete darkness with the AF-assist light enabled. NOTE though, that the camera struggled a fair bit with low-contrast subjects, and often had a very hard time focusing if hand-held vs tripod-mounted. As mentioned in the body of the review, under normal incandesent room lighting, where other cameras do reasonably well, the 8800 seemed to have a hard time, taking 3-4 seconds to focus and sometimes missing focus entirely. (Although it did much better at wide angle focal lengths than at telephoto under these circumstances.)

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/KMA200/A2A13.HTM
Minolta A-200 Night Shots: Good low-light performance, with reasonably bright exposures at the darkest light level of this test, though warm color. High image noise at the higher sensitivity settings. Excellent autofocus capability and EVF usability at low light levels. The Konica Minolta A200 produced clear, bright, usable images down to the 1/8 foot-candle (1.3 lux) light level at the 100, 200, 400, and 800 ISO settings. I undershot the correct exposure at 1/16 foot-candle, but the camera is clearly capable of working at that light level. (I'll try to get back to this, reshoot the 1/16 fc images if I can.) At ISO 50, images were bright down to the 1/4 foot-candle (2.7 lux) light level, though the target was visible at the lowest light level of the test. Color balance was a little warm, sometimes reddish, with the Auto white balance setting, with increasing color casts as the light level decreased. Noise was fairly low in most shots, though it increased to a very high level at ISOs 400 and 800. The camera's Noise Reduction setting didn't seem to do much in the way of controlling or decreasing image noise, though images taken without Noise Reduction enabled do show more red pixels, and thus a stronger red cast. The A200's autofocus system worked down to the 1/16 foot-candle limit of our test, and its EVF remained usable at that light level as well. (Fairly unusual for an EVF, in my experience.)
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Old Jan 31, 2005, 12:10 AM   #4
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Hi Gregg. I've had an 8800 for 2 months. I wouldn't say it is the best in "low light", but would qualify that. On a dull, cloudy day, it does just fine. It seems OK in normal room light. I've tried it in near darkness and it worked. But I've had it hunt for focus in dim room light with shadows. I now say it isn't a good "snapshot" camera, meaning if indoor family shots are your thing, then the 8800 may not be the best.

The zoom works very well. I think it can sell the camera on that alone. No blur, even at 10X witha slow shutter speed. The write time has been done to death. Only at 8MP and "Extra" setting and beyond are the write times slow ( to me). Maybe that's the price for high res ?

I haven't compared it with any other cameras, but am happy with my pictures that are sharp, contrasty and very vivid. I hope this helps. Not scientific at all !
Steve
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Old Jan 31, 2005, 9:41 PM   #5
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gregg,
I've been an owner of the 8800 for a week now and have used it in various circumstances - it does sometimes hunt for focus in low light (while the AF Assist lamp blasts red light on your subject) - but I still get a great shot. Unless you need fast-(autofocus)performance in very low light - I don't think you'll see a problem - and my guess is - it is no worse than other cameras of the same class (such as the A200). My previous camera was the Minolta DiMage A1 and the low light behavior of the 8800 seems no better nor worse to me than the A1 was.
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Old Jan 31, 2005, 10:20 PM   #6
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thanks

what to buy?
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Old Feb 1, 2005, 10:00 AM   #7
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Go for the 8800!

I have tried out both the a200 and the FX-20,both good cameras no doubt, but they just dont give me the "feel" that my 8800 does. When it comes to daylight picts of not too fast moving objects, portraits or landscape nightshots, as is most important to me, the 8800 just deliver more. The FX-20 sometimes gives som blurry picts on full tele as well as for indoor shooting but it is a faster camera in most ways including the autofocus, if that matters. The a200 has a nice and fastworking autofocus system delivering in most situations, but the owerall picturequality just dont match the 8800^s. I would have bought the 8800 again, no doubt. The autofocus works fine in most conditons!

Good luck!
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Old Feb 1, 2005, 5:22 PM   #8
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I'd go for the 8800 (obviously because I just did). I have also been somewhat turned against Minolta after having lots of problems with my A1 (three trips back for repair in one year). All the repair records from a few different magazines have confirmed my belief that Nikon is better quality than Minolta (based upon repair histories).
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Old Feb 2, 2005, 2:20 PM   #9
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sirthomas wrote:
Quote:
Go for the 8800!

The a200 has a nice and fastworking autofocus system delivering in most situations, but the owerall picturequality just dont match the 8800's.
Don't be put off by the apparent poor picture quality of the A200. It's not 'pumped up' in the camera and thus produces results that are closer to dSRL than most others. The Minolta A** range leave that to be done by user by post processing

Read the reviews at http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/mi...e_a200-review/

Overall, the A200 gets my enthusiastic recommendation. The Coolpix 8800is also a good choice for those who want more manual controls, better build quality, closer focusing, and more zoom power.

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/KMA200/A2A13.HTM

Very accurate color, which means it's by default a little dull-looking. Excellent ability to tweak color saturation to suit your personal preferences though. Good white balance, but the Auto mode has trouble with incandescent sources. The Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200's color was very accurate, among the best I've seen on consumer/prosumer digital cameras. That said though, "accurate" means "dull," relative to most digital cameras on the market, which pump up the color saturation to make their images look more appealing.
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Old Feb 2, 2005, 5:47 PM   #10
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In the link you mentioned, the author is comparing the speed to a DSLR - this is an apples to oranges comparison.
Most of the folks that complain about the speed or low-light focus compare to DSLR's - an entirely different class animal than the 8800.
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