Enthusiast Compact group test – Nikon COOLPIX P7700

Nikon P7700 Press Image

Features

Although the P7700 loses the optical viewfinder of its P7100 predecessor, Nikon has increased the lens's maximum aperture, with a maximum f/2 at the 28mm end and f/4 at 200mm. It also sees the inclusion of a Vibration Reduction system to help prevent image blur.

The sensor is a 12.1MP CMOS chip which captures images across a sensitivity range of ISO 80-3200, with an extended setting equivalent to ISO 6400 also on hand. The camera also records full HD videos with stereo sound, as well as images to a choice of JPEG and Raw options.

It's the only model on test to sport a GPS system, and the standard 8fps burst can be increased to up to 120fps at a reduced resolution, while all composition and reviewing takes place through the 3in LCD on the rear, which can be pulled away and adjusted around a side pivot.


Design

The P7700 is designed very much with immediate access to functions in mind, with three physical top-plate dials as well as two command dials and a pair of dedicated "Fn" buttons. Yet, despite its body being laden with controls, it's still easy to hold the camera comfortably. This is thanks in part to the generously proportioned grip which is coated in rubber, a small piece of which is also found on the rear where the thumb naturally falls.

The grip is topped by one of the command dials, and, just as with its counterpart on the rear, it manages to be not just conveniently positioned but tactile and easy to turn. Thanks to the articulated LCD, and presumably the bright lens which also boasts the widest focal range here, the camera is the bulkiest on test but it still fits inside a coat pocket.


Image Quality

The camera's metering system is intuitive, with just a slight tendency to overexpose on occasion (in this way, it behaves very similarly to the G15 and XF1). The camera's Auto White Balance system is among the best here, with a sterling performance under nautral light and accuracy maintained well under artificial sources, although colours could do with a slight push towards vibrancy.

Sharpness is very good in JPEGs, with no haloing or other artefacts present, and the drop in corner sharpness at wideangle is only slight. The lens exhibits only a small amount of barrel distortion at its widest focal length, while the absence of chromatic aberration impresses.

 

 

 

Performance

The main performance-related bugbear with the P7700 concerns its write times when shooting Raw images. It's not a case of it being slower than the others here, it's that it's considerably slower. The LCD screen, however, is superb, displaying details clearly and its brightness changing swiftly with the scene, although it does stagger in comparison with the others in some instances.

The zoom travels hastily through its focal range, although this is somewhat understandable given the wide focal range. Autofocus is reasonable in good light, but it's a touch slower than the others, and much slower in darker conditions.