Nikon Coolpix P7000 review
Review Date : Wed, 3 Nov 2010
Author : Paul Nuttall
Nikon's latest P-series advanced compact enters a very competitive market. However, a range of modifications make the Nikon Coolpix P7000 more competitive than ever. How does it fair on the WDC test bench?
|Pros:||Design, Image quality, Ample LCD screen|
|Cons:||Incredibly sluggish Raw capture and processing, Slow AF|
Nikon has long been producing high-end compacts aimed at those who want full manual functionality without the bulk, and often the cost, of a DSLR. The Nikon Coolpix P7000 is the latest of these models, and features a complete body redesign and a tweaked specification. Is it enough to crown Nikon as king of the enthusiast compact market?
Nikon Coolpix P7000 review - Features
The Nikon Coolpix P7000 sees a host of changes, relative to the previous P6000, in an effort to stay ahead of the crowd.
First of all, modifications have been made to the camera's sensor. While it boasts the same larger-than-average 1/1.7in-sized CCD sensor as its predecessor, the resolution has been shrunk from 13.5MP down to 10.1MP in a bid for higher performance with less image noise. Nikon undoubtedly has confidence in the new performance capability as the new EXPEED C2 image processor combines to reach an ISO range up to 6400 (equivalent in ‘Hi 1' mode) at full resolution. A low noise night mode also features, specifically designed to reduce noise at the high end of the ISO range. Alas, the previous 2.7in, 230k-dot model has gone to the scrapheap, and taking its place is an eye-catching 3in, 921k-dot LCD screen which is as well specified as any.
The Nikon Coolpix P7000 now also has almost double the focal range of the P6000 - the wideangle Nikkor 7.1x optical zoom now covers a range of 28-200mm in 35mm equivalent terms. The lens is also further supported by lens-shift Vibration Reduction (VR) which will help to guard images from the perils of camera shake.
The Nikon Coolpix P7000 now also supports movie capture at 720p HD resolution, complete with stereo sound and at a rate of 30 frames per second. Not only that but it also has a standard 3.5mm microphone jack and an HDMI out for video playback.
Rounding off the new features is an Electronic Virtual Horizon mode. When activated, a small spirit-level-like graphic appears at the centre of the LCD screen, complete with horizontal dividing line and arrow which, when the camera is perfectly level, lights up blue to affirm horizontal level - great for avoiding wonky horizons.
Oddly enough, however, the GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) geo-tagging feature from the previous P6000 is nowhere to be seen in the newer incarnation. Possibly for the benefits of cost and conserving battery power, this is one clear difference omitted from the newer model.
One of the benefits of an enthusiast compact such as the Nikon Coolpix P7000, is the expandability of the model to meet any advanced photographic needs. For example, the P7000's hotshoe will house any of Nikon's range of SB Speedlites and offer full i-TTL flash control. The camera also features an adaptor ring to which you can affix a wideangle converter lens boosting the optics to a wideangle of 21mm in equivalent terms.
If you’re the kind of photographer for whom Raw capture holds no appeal, then there’s very little to complain about with the Nikon Coolpix P7000. The problem is that if you’re considering an advanced compact then there’s every chance that Raw capture is exactly what you’re looking for and the P7000’s extensive delay in its capture is very limiting. Although it’s a fantastic advanced compact overall it’s this single issue that causes the P7000 to just miss out on a WDC gold award.