Nikon Coolpix 4800 Digital camera

The 4800 may be aimed at the more amateur end of the market but it includes some new and interesting features.

Benefiting from a year's worth of development, in the overall Coolpix range, the 4800 includes a lot of the features designed for more professional models. Nikon's best shot selector (BSS) and auto exposure best shot selector have been included to automate the picture taking process. The BSS causes a number of shots to be taken in rapid succession and the best one selected. With the AE version of BSS, the shots can be graduated on exposure, with highlight, shadow or histogram, and the best is automatically selected.

Like the larger 8800, the new 4800 includes a large, x8.3, optical zoom lens, made up from moulded ED glass elements, offering the equivalent of 35-300mm zoom. Speed is also consideration, 1.3 seconds separating full wide angle to full telephoto zooming. There is a digital booster function included but access to this is protected by having to repeat the depression of the zoom rocker to migrate across from the optical zoom. The body itself is bulky and all plastic. While this gives you plenty of camera to hold onto for not much weight the tendency to scratch is high.

A 13.5Mb memory buffer has been added to this model. This serves a back-up storage area when with the SD card is full or absent. The memory partition can be a little confusing though and even led to the newly inserted SD cards refusing to work until formatted, which is unusual on Nikons. Other point of flexibility is the 4800's ability to take either the Nikon re-chargable battery (EN-EL1), that the cameras supplied with, offering 240 shots, or a disposable 2CR5, which can kept as a backup battery when you're out and about.

All the shooting modes offered are situation pre-sets, opposed to manual calibrations with variations. There are 15 selections possible and this will allow the keen amateur enough diversity to get a decent image in most situations. The pre-sets are split between the command dial and a menu screen and selection is quick process.

The articulated leaves that make up the lens-cover are a little fragile and while on review they became dislocated, resulting in their failure to open properly. This problem was easily rectified by pushing them back into place but could happen again.

Verdict

Overall the 4800 is a good option for the beginner since the outfit can be operated without need of a additional SD card. The basic menus are easy to understand although the deeper submenus may need the perusal of the manual. Plenty of Mega pixels for your present buying pound, and the Nikon seal of quality are also good indicators of pedigree.