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Review of the Nikon Coolpix 8400 & Ikelite Housing by Dave Harasti

I have been playing with camera's underwater for about ten years and a couple of years ago I went digital and purchased the Nikon Coolpix 5000. After two years of playing with the CP 5000 underwater and being fortunate enough to obtain some decent shots I made a decision to upgrade to a new system. The primary reasons for wanting to upgrade the CP5000 was because of the shutter lag delay, slow write times for raw files and I wanted more pixels so I could enlarge images to A3 size with minimal resolution loss. Plus all my photography buddies were upgrading to bigger and better cameras so I had to keep up!

After much deliberation I ended up choosing the Nikon Coolpix 8400 as my new camera. One of the key factors in my decision was the announcement by Ikelite that they were in the process of developing a housing for the camera. My CP5000 is used in an Ikelite housing and after 400+ dives with the Ike housing it still functions as new. I've never had a problem with it over the past two years so hence I had no hesitation in purchasing another Ikelite housing.

The Camera

The Nikon CP8400 is an 8 mega pixel camera with a 24mm lens. This lens is currently the widest on the market for the pro consumer digital cameras and makes it ideal for underwater use. The 24mm lens allows you to get closer to your subject and the closer you get to the subject the less water in front of the camera which equates to a cleaner sharper image. It also allows you to capture large marine life such as sharks and Potato Cod without having to move back to fit the animal in. Additionally, by getting closer to the subject it allows more sufficient use of artificial lighting such as external strobe(s).

The auto focus on the CP8400 is quick and the shutter lag is minimal;

Short Tailed Ceratosoma nudibranch. 1/500, f7.7, ISO50, spot metering - Single DS125 (low power)

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