Camera Reviews

Nikon Zoom Touch 400

The Nikon Zoom Touch 400 sucks.

Nikon Zoom Touch 400

My mom used this awful camera for about 20 years to record family events. Mom, I’m really sorry you had to suffer with this piece of crap for so long.

The Nikon Zoom Touch 400, which was known as the TW Zoom 35-70 in some markets, was introduced in 1990 to attract buyers who wanted features like autofocus, zoom, and red-eye reduction in a point-and-shoot camera from a respected maker. The Zoom Touch 400 packs a f/4-7.6 35-70mm zoom lens. It’s powered by one shockingly expensive CR-P2 battery.

Unfortunately, Nikon totally phoned this one in. Let’s start with the rubbery, blubbery shutter button. You press it, and at some point the camera realizes it and fires, but there’s little correlation between those two actions. I always felt like I was fighting with the camera to get the picture.

There are far better point-and-shoot cameras out there. Kodak made one – the VR35 K40 (review here). Also check out the Canon AF35ML, Minolta AF-Sv, Olympus Stylus, and Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 80.

This camera’s lens is simply unimpressive. At 35mm, there’s tons of distortion and softness around the edges.

Shed

This shot of my neighbor’s house shows the distortion and edge softness too. Plus, the autofocus system couldn’t figure out what to focus on.

Blurry house

Even when the scene is simple, the autofocus system sometimes decides that nothing is the subject. A quarter of the photos I took with this camera turned out entirely blurry like this.

Blurry bush

I had better luck when I zoomed in. This flamingo is in my neighbor’s front yard, and it’s pretty sharp in this photo.

Flamingo

The moral of this story is always to zoom in a little with the Zoom Touch 400. I did that when I shot this gravestone, which is in the cemetery across from Bethel United Methodist Church near my home. The foreground detail is good and the background is pleasingly out of focus.

Stone

The best part of using this camera was finishing the roll of film that Mom left in it. I didn’t find that film until I opened the camera, and so unfortunately I fogged a few frames. But this photo turned out. It tells me that the last time Mom used this camera was on a visit to my house in about 2008, before Sugar, the Rottweiler, passed away.

Found

See more photos, if you dare, in my Nikon Zoom Touch 400 gallery.

If you come upon one of these in a junk store for a dollar, forget it.

If you like old film cameras, check out all of my reviews here!
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