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Nikon debuts 12MP SLR, three Coolpix digital cameras

updated 02:05 pm EDT, Thu September 16, 2004

New Nikon cameras

digital SLR also offers a 6.8 megapixel 'High Speed Cropped' mode that boosts the shooting rate to 8 frames per second (up to 35 consecutive JPEGs and 26 NEFs). In addition, the camera supports the Nikon Creative Lighting System, the company's accurate wireless lighting system that allows photographers the portability of setting up creative lighting schemes anywhere they can carry a set of compact speedlights. The camera supports wireless functionality and the accuracy of full TTL control.

Additionally, the newly introduced WT-2A Wi-Fi transmitter achieves full wireless remote camera control and data transmission with the D2X, making it the only camera in the world to fully harness the capabilities of IEEE 802.11g Wi-Fi technology, according to the company. The D2X digital SLR camera is scheduled to be available in January 2005. The company also announced the AF-S VR Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G IF-ED super-telephoto, a new lens that offers compatibility with all of its digital and film SLR cameras.

New wide-angle, zoom Coolpix cameras

The flagship 8-megapixel Nikon Coolpix 8800 features a 10x optical Zoom-Nikkor ED lens for unmatched 35-350mm (35mm equivalent) zoom range and. The camera uses a new Vibration Reduction (VR) System, which is a similar version of the system used in Nikkor professional SLR lenses. VR automatically detects and compensates for the small camera movements that cause image blur, offering the ability to shoot at shutter speeds up to three stops slower without the risk of camera vibrations blurring the image, according to Nikon.

The company also says that the benefits of VR are further evident with the Coolpix 8800 digital camera system, when enhanced with a series of dedicated lens accessories that broaden the range of lens performance from Fisheye to 600mm telephoto.

The Nikon Coolpix 8400 features the widest-angle of coverage of any digital camera available as well as a versatile ultra-wide 24-85mm (35mm equivalent) zoom Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass lens. Using an optional wide-angle converter, users can further expand photos to 18mm of coverage. The camera also employs a new ultra-fast Auto Focus (AF) system and 15 Scene Modes, including Panorama Assist to take advantage of the camera's wide angle of coverage.

The Coolpix 8400 also includes a new Macro shooting capabilities, allowing users to photograph objects at up to 1.2 inches. Continuous shooting enables 5 images to be taken at 2.3 fps at full 8-megapixel resolution and Multi-Shot allows 16 consecutive shots to be taken in quick succession. The Coolpix 8400, like the Coolpix 8800, features a "last 5-shot buffer" that allows users to hold down the shutter release and let go when the action stops.

The Coolpix 4800 is a compact 4.0-megapixel digital camera weighing only 9 oz. It offers a 8.3x optical zoom, giving its user a zoom equivalent of 36-300mm as well as offers Macro shooting capabilities at distances of less than 1/2 inch. Other features include a voice memo function (for up to 20 seconds of sound per image), Best Shot Selector (for selecting the sharpest image from up to ten images), and Auto-Exposure BS (for selecting best exposure from five different shots), 15 scene modes, and more.

New Nikon technologies in Coolpix 8800/8400

The new Coolpix 8800 and 8400 boast Nikon's proprietary In-Camera Red-Eye Fix, which automatically detects and corrects red eyes in most typical situations without the need to press buttons or select and highlight the eyes. Both also offer Nikon's exclusive D-Lighting, which automatically compensates for insufficient flash or excessive back lighting in order to obtain a balanced exposure throughout the frame. This allows users to correct for common lighting issues after the photo has been taken.

The cameras are also the company's first with full i-TTL flash capability (when used with external SB-600 and SB-800 Speedlights) and give the user complete control over the flash unit's zoom head. Additionally, Auto Color Enhancement accurately records, assesses and fine-tunes the colors within images to achieve more vivid results.

They use Nikon's new EN-EL7 Lithium Ion rechargeable battery, which allows users to shoot up to 240 frames on a single charge (up to 260 for the Coolpix 8400). Finally, the Coolpix 8800 and 8400 support the newly adopted JPEG EXTRA file format, which offers higher image quality with less compression (compression rate: 1/2) in addition to their Basic, Normal, Fine, TIFF and NEF/RAW settings.

Nikon Coolpix digital cameras incorporate the PictureProject, the company's next generation of photo software as well as include a software suite from ArcSoft, including Panorama Maker, which takes advantage of the three new cameras' Panorama Assist Mode to stitche together multiple horizontal or vertical images. These cameras include a USB cable, video cable, neck strap, EN-EL7 rechargeable battery and quick charger (EN-EL1 with the Coolpix 4800).

The Nikon Coolpix 8400 will be available later this month for $900, while the Coolpix 4800 will sell for $400. The Coolpix 8800 will be available in "late Fall" for $1000.

by MacNN Staff



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