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The COOLPIX S8000 and S6000

INTERVIEW 02
COOLPIX S8000, COOLPIX S6000 product teams Interview
The truly slim body that is the COOLPIX goal.

A super-slim body despite its high-power zoom lens.

The slimmest body in its class

Our challenge to achieve the slimmest bodies in their 10× and 7× optical zoom classes.

Users have been demanding greater zoom lenses. Nikon has responded with the S8000 and S6000, which are equipped with 10× and 7×, respectively, optical zoom lenses. However, it is very difficult to maintain a slim body as zoom ratio increases. We wondered how slim a body we could achieve by utilizing the technologies and experience we have accumulated as a leading camera manufacturer. This was our challenge for these cameras.

There are no shortcuts to achieving a slimmer body. Building on the technologies we have cultivated with product development to date, we had to reconsider all components used in camera construction, including lens and mechanism design and our method of choosing devices, completely revise camera structure, and implement a number of straightforward improvements. Teams responsible for lenses, bodies, mechanisms and design cooperated fully from project initiation, shared their knowledge freely, spent a great deal of time discussing and verifying various aspects, and developed a number of prototypes. The results of these efforts were the slimmest(*3) cameras in their respective classes-the S8000 with its 10× optical zoom lens in a body with a depth of just 27.3 mm and the S6000 with its 7× optical zoom lens in a body with a depth of just 25.0 mm.

'COOLPIX S6000'
The profile of the sliding lens system
The sliding lens system enables the lens barrel to contract significantly because a lens group slides upward from the optical axis as the lens retracts so that all lens groups are retracted to nearly the same plane.

'S8000 shot image
S8000 shot image

It was our lens and lens barrel design technologies that made these ultra-slim bodies possible.

Two major factors enabled us to achieve slimmer bodies equipped with high-power zoom lenses without sacrificing performance. These two factors are innovations in our lens and lens barrel design technologies.

First, with our lens design technologies, in order to maintain a high level of performance, we adopted ED lens elements to control the chromatic aberration that increases as zoom ratio increases and lenses become smaller. We also adopted aspherical ED lens elements for simultaneous compensation of chromatic aberration and other forms of aberration. By combining these high-refractive index lenses, we were able to develop high-performance lenses without increasing their thickness.

To maximize lens potential, we adopted new lens barrel technologies. First we adopted the sliding lens system (3 groups) for the first time in Nikon's history. This allowed the lens to contract to an extremely short length when fully retracted into the camera body. This sliding lens system enables the lens barrel to contract significantly because a lens group slides upward from the optical axis as the lens retracts so that all lens groups are retracted to nearly the same plane. What's more, by adopting lens-shift vibration reduction (VR), we had to develop both the sliding lens system and a separate new VR unit at the same time. The result was a greater level of vibration reduction in a slimmer unit.

In addition, various other measures were adopted to achieve the slim bodies. For example, the S8000 utilizes six thin diaphragm blades, and the S6000 utilizes barrier blades that are stored to the top and bottom where the lens element is cut away when the lens extends and an air-gapless LCD panel for the monitor. If a slimmer body is the only goal, there are still more ways to achieve this goal. However, it is very difficult to achieve a slimmer body while maintaining image quality and a high level of shooting performance. Nikon sees overcoming such difficulties as the primary mission of camera manufacturers, and COOLPIX cameras will continue to reflect our efforts to succeed in this mission for users throughout the world.

*3 [S8000] Among compact cameras equipped with an optical zoom lens capable of zooming in at 10x or more as of February 3, 2010.[S6000]Among compact cameras equipped with an optical 7x zoom lens with wide-angle capability measuring 30mm (35mm format equivalent) or less as of February 3, 2010 (according to research conducted by Nikon.