COOLPIX P7000 COOLPIX P7000. Фотоаппарат nikon p7000


Nikon Coolpix P7000: Digital Photography Review

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Nikon Coolpix P7000 10.1 MP Digital Camera with 7.1x Wide Zoom-Nikkor ED Lens and 3-Inch LCD

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Clearly modelled on Canon's Powershot G-series compacts, the 10MP Coolpix P7000 is Nikon's latest attempt to grab a slice of the lucrative luxury compact camera market. It offers full manual control and a 7x zoom in a body shell that is peppered with direct access control points. Image quality is high, in both JPEG and RAW modes, but ultimately, the P7000 is let down by a laggy, glitch-ridden user interface and relatively poor operational speed.

Body type Compact
Max resolution 3648 x 2736
Effective pixels 10 megapixels
Sensor size 1/1.7" (7.44 x 5.58 mm)
Sensor type CCD
ISO 100 - 3200 + Hi (ISO 6400)
Focal length (equiv.) 28–200 mm
Max aperture F2.8–5.6
Articulated LCD Fixed
Screen size 3″
Screen dots 921,000
Max shutter speed 1/4000 sec
Format MPEG-4, AVCHD Lite, H.264
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Weight (inc. batteries) 310 g (0.68 lb / 10.93 oz)
Dimensions 114 x 77 x 45 mm (4.5 x 3.03 x 1.76″)
GPS None

See full specifications

Nikon's engineers have clearly been looking to Canon's G-series for inspiration, and the P7000's boxy build, and plethora of external controls put it closer to the Powershot G12 than any previous P-series compact. Ultimately, the P7000's excellent image quality, and functional ergonomics are let down by slow, glitchy operation and lack of responsiveness.

Good for: 'Hands on' photography, where the huge amount of external controls mean that you rarely have to press the 'menu' button. Also, any applications where critical image quality matters more than speed.

Not so good for: General photography. Even after the recent firmware update, the P7000 is simply too underpowered for a camera of this type, at this pricepoint, in this day and age.

Read the full review

Build quality

Ergonomics & handling

Features

Exposure and focus accuracy

Image quality (raw)

Image quality (jpeg)

Flash performance

Low light / high ISO performance

Optics

Performance (speed)

Movie / video mode

Value

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Nikon P7000

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Nikon P700028-200mm VR, 10MP, 3" LCD, $500 © 2010 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Recommendations

Nikon Coolpix P7000 (12.6 oz/356g with battery and card, about $500). enlarge. The biggest source of support for this free website is when you use these links, especially these directly to it at Adorama or at Amazon, when you get anything. Thank you! Ken.

 

October 2010     More Nikon Reviews   Canon   LEICA   Pentax

 

Introduction         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Recommendations

The Nikon P7000 is a copy of Canon's G11 from 2009, with the addition of a 28-200mm VR (equivalent) lens over the G11.

 

Good

Much to my surprise, the P7000 is a very good camera, better in some ways than the G12, in more than just zoom range.

 

Action Shots and Optical Finder

Unlike most compacts, I was actually able to get decent shots of my kids playing at the park using the optical finder! Don't expect wonders, but I was able to get some shots that were more than just luck.

 

Clean LCD for Composition

Tap the |O| (monitor) button, and all the hieroglyphics vanish to give you a completely clean and undistracting LCD on which to compose. Hooray!

Canon doesn't get this, and on most Powershots, you never can get a perfectly clean screen on which to compose.

 

Excellent Fill-Flash Control

The most amazing thing about the P7000 is that it has the best flash exposure of any compact (non-SLR) I've ever used. Fill-flash, with an SB-400 on top, works great! On top of great flash control, the electronic shutter of the P7000 also easily syncs at up to 1/2,000 of a second with the SB-400 — ten times as good as most SLRs.

 

Excellent Image Detail

Trees. Camera-original © file (1.2MB)

Unlike my Canon DSLRs and Powershots, the P7000 doesn't smudge over everything with too much noise reduction when shot as JPGs. Nikon's DSLRs are like this, too.

Canon's cameras often smooth over subject textures and fine details too much in their attempts to make noise less visible.

Nikon's cameras, this P7000 included, leave the images sharper and more natural, and this is as shot in Nikon's standard sharpness and noise reduction settings. I could have turned off Noise Reduction in the P7000, but didn't have to.

 

Numerous White Balance Settings

Better than Canon's Powershots, the P7000 offers:

1.) Direct setting in degrees Kelvin.

2.) Three manual preset memories.

3.) Dual-axis (amber-blue and green-magenta) trims for each and every setting.

You can add some green to the fluorescent 1 setting, pull some blue out of the second manual preset setting, and add amber to the AUTO WB setting, and each of these color trims added to each setting stay set for that setting!

Unlike Canon S95, the P7000 offers no fast way to use a front control to add amber or blue to the white balance as shooting. The S90 and S95 are quite good at this.

 

Bad

Buggy Firmware

The bad news about the P7000, at least the one I bought with version 1.0 firmware, is that it's the buggiest camera I've used this side of the LEICA M9.

The P7000 sometimes ignores the rear command dial (used for setting or shifting shutter and aperture settings), necessitating a power on/off to rectify, and playback zoom is slow to respond.

Weirder still, in A and S exposure modes, the LCD gets a stop or two lighter as you compose, even though the actual recorded images are fine.

The biggest bug is that even though everything works great with a shoe-mounted flash, my P7000 ignores the FLASH control button (bolt icon) with the built-in flash, so forget using flash well with the built-in flash, at least until Nikon fixes this. I can't get the bolt button to respond in P shooting mode, although it works in the AUTO mode. Nikon's user manual (FX0I02(11), 6MM83111-02 2010) disagrees with itself as to whether or not flash control is locked-out in P, S, A, M and U123 modes (see pages 32, bottom and page 108, while page 60 says it should work.)

 

Useless Settings: U1, U2 and U3

The biggest bad news beyond the outright bugs is that Nikon botched the three User Setting modes: U1, U2 and U3, on the top dial.

Unlike Canon, whose C1, C2 and C3 modes easily save and recall everything about everything set on the camera, Nikons useless (thus the U1, U2 and U3 designations) modes only remember a couple of things, and each has to have each of its limited memory options set by hand! Don't worry, the Useless 1, 2, and 3 modes of the Nikon P7000 don't recall Picture Control settings or the setting of the Distortion Correction, or pretty much anything, so we can forget about them. Oh well, thank you Nikon for screwing up what could have been a very good thing.

Other readers have had better results with these, and you may, too, but I have to call it as I saw it. They didn't work well for me, as do Canon's C1, C2 and C3 settings do.

 

Top, Nikon Coolpix P7000. enlarge.

 

Back, Nikon Coolpix P7000. enlarge.

 

Specifications         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Recommendations

Sensor

Resolution

10.1 megapixels.

3,648 x 2,736 pixels.

You may select lower resolutions.

You may also select crops in 3:2, 16:9 and 1:1 aspect ratios, but only at full resolution.

 

Size

1/1.7."

 

Type

CCD.

 

ISO

ISO 100 to ISO 6400.

Auto ISO: your choice of ISO 100 to ISO 800, ISO 100 to ISO 200, or ISO 100 to ISO 400.

Auto ISO 400 to ISO 12,800 in the "Low Noise Night Mode," which means it's going to be soft and noisy!

 

Lens         top

6.0 - 42.6mm f/2.8-5.6 VR, which sees an angle of view with the tiny sensor roughly similar to what a 28-200m lens sees on a full-frame DSLR.

6-blade diaphragm, a travesty on a Nikon, as Nikon updated to 7-blade diaphragms back in the 1960s. A six-blade diaphragm is simply a mistake copied from Canon — oops!

A "Zoom Memory" lets you get quickly to preferred zoom settings.

Macro to 0.8 inches (2cm).

 

Flash         top

Built-in pop-up flash, shown popped-up at the top.

Hot shoe for the SB-400 and other current i-TTL Nikon flashes.

 

Remote Control         top

With the wonderful $16 ML-L3 wireless transmitter, which also works on many other Nikon SLRs.

 

LCD         top

3.”

High-resolution 921,000-dot.

 

Video         top

720p/23.976, and 640x480 and 320x240.

Zoom and focus while rolling.

 

Audio         top

Stereo microphone!

Stereo mic input, but you have to provide the microphones.

Even the audio notes added to stills are stereo.

They are sampled at 48kbps at 16 bits.

 

Formats         top

JPG.

Raw (NRW).

NO ABILITY TO SHOOT IN NEF. It makes NRW, but not NEF files.

 

Storage         top

79 MB internal.

SD, SDHC and SDXC cards.

 

Outputs         top

USB.

HDMI.

 

More Features         top

Optical neutral-density (ND) filter to allow the use of larger apertures in bright light for more selective focus. Requires fiddling in menus to activate and deactivate.

Optical finder with dioptometric control, easy to use and set.

Electronic level (Virtual Horizon).

In-camera editing tricks: exposure compensation, Picture Control (COOLPIX, not SLR style Picture Control), noise reduction, Quick Retouch, D-Lighting and Active D-Lighting.

5-Way Vibration Reduction (VR) Image Stabilization System.

Best Shot Selector (BSS) automatically takes up to 10 shots while the user presses the shutter and saves the sharpest image, if you can figure out how to activate it.

Bracketing.

Tracking autofocus.

"Scene Auto Selector" claims to recognize the shooting situation and adjust the camera’s settings accordingly.

"Smart Portrait System" claims this helps make better portraits:   In-Camera Red-Eye Fix   Enhanced Face-Priority AF can detect up to 12 faces from a variety of angles.   Skin Softening   Smile Timer takes the picture when the subject smiles   Blink Warning if a subject blinked.

 

Power         top

EN-EL14 Battery.

The EN-EL14 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery is rated 350 shots or 2h55 of video.

At least as of October 2010, the EN-EL14 is unique to the D3100 and the P7000. Cells made in Japan, assembled into a battery in Indonesia.

 

Nikon MH-24 charger. enlarge.

MH-24 folding-plug, universal 100-240V 50-60 cps battery charger, made in Communist China. Just bring the right passive plug adapter and you're good to go anywhere, without any cords!

 

Optional EH-5a AC adapter.

 

Size         top

4.5 x 3.0 x 1.8 inches.

114.2 X 77 X 44.8 mm

 

Weight         top

12.570 oz (356.4g) with battery and card, measured.

Nikon specifies 12.7 oz. (360g) with battery and card.

 

Included         top

EN-EL14 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery.

MH-24 Battery Charger.

Strap.

UC-E6 USB Cable.

EG-CP17 Audio Video Cable.

CD with Nikon ViewNX 2 software.

 

Optional         top

AC Adapter EH-5a, which needs an additional EP-5A power connector to work with the P7000.

Nikon WC-E75A 0.75x wide-angle converter.

The WC-E75A 0.75x wide-angle converter makes the wide end similar to a 21mm lens on a 35mm camera. I'm unsure if one may zoom the lens with a converter attached.

 

Announced         top

08 September 2010.

 

Shipping         top

Since early October 2010.

 

Price         top

$499.95, USA, September 2010.

 

Performance       top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Recommendations

 

Picture Quality

 

Metering and Exposure

Metering is great! Exposures are usually right-on, so I never got to use the great top-mounted compensation dial.

Professional (P) exposure mode defaults to large apertures. Unlike DSLRs, the sharpest photos with tiny cameras usually happen at the largest apertures due to the effects of diffraction.

In Face Priority autofocus, if it finds a face,the P7000 often overexposes.

 

Autofocus

AF works swell.

Face priority AF really is: if it finds a face, it focuses on it, and if not, looks for anything else relevant in the frame.

 

Color Rendition

I don't like the P7000's color rendition as much as my Canon Powershots. Next to exposure, color is the most important technical thing about an image, so if I don't like the colors as much, the camera is inferior, regardless of everything else it does.

Color rendition is a delicate, personal thing that makes the difference between an OK photo, and WOW! I'm just not getting wow! out of the P7000. By comparison, I love what I get out of my Powershots in their VIVID modes. This Nikon just doesn't measure up.

My P7000 seemed a bit yellow-green, which ought to be easy to fix in the WB trims.

The P7000 has Picture Controls, but they aren't the same as Nikon's excellent DSLR Picture Controls.

The P7000's Picture Controls are named and are set the same way as DSLR Picture Controls, but Nikon calls the P7000's Picture Controls "COOLPIX Picture Controls," which seem to be watered-down versions of the DSLR Picture COntrols.

When the P7000 is cranked to VIVID and +3 saturation as I insanely love to shoot my Nikon DSLRs, the P7000 doesn't have anywhere near the vivid "pop" that I get from my DSLRs.

This is most likely because boosting saturation boosts noise, and the tiny sensors of these little cameras do everything they can to reduce it. Therefore I suspect this ix why the P7000 just can't be set to slather vivid, rich color all over everything.

 

Distortion

The lens has plenty of barrel distortion at wide, and pincushion at tele. The optical finder has separate, unrelated optics with much more distortion, so don't let that scare you.

Distortion Control works, if you activate it in the menus. These snaps are without Distortion Control active. The only disadvantage to using Distortion Control is that the images are cropped-in a little, and you could potentially loose just a tiny bit of corner sharpness.

Here's a snap with it ON:

 

High ISOs

High ISOs look much better than earlier cameras.

Here's a snap at ISO 800:

Men's Conference Room, La Jolla. original file.

 

Rotation

Auto image rotation is occasionally wrong. Other Nikon SLRs and Canon Powershots are usually better.

Because of this, about 1% of my images require I identify this error, and rotate them manually later.

Unlike most recent Powershots, the playback image doesn't rotate if you rotate the camera to try to get vertical images to fill the screen. You may of course choose not to have any playback images rotated at all, but hey, this isn't a Powershot or iPod Touch which does playback so much more intelligently.

 

Sharpness

Trees, 22.5mm setting. Camera-original © file (1.2MB)

 

Vette. Camera-original © file, 1.2MB (warning: limited depth-of-field.)

 

Palm, 8.8mm setting. Camera-original © file, 1.2MB

As expected, sharpness is great. The lens is more than up to the 10MP resolution; it's always sharp if you hold still and get everything in focus.

The lens is designed to shoot wide-open, where it is super-sharp at every focal length.

 

JPG Coding

See the skies in two of the samples above? There is visible banding, not only in the original files to which I link, but even in the screen-sized versions shown on this page.

The banding in the sky is caused by Nikon's crappy JPG coding engine that isn't smart enough to use a lot ore bits when it needs to. The P7000 is getting freaked-out by all the details in the trees, and throwing all the available JPG bits at the details, with not enough left to code all the colors in the sky.

This is another reason Canon Powershots outsell Nikon: they have never had this problem because they allocate bits dynamically to match the details in the image, so they never get starved for bits as I did to the P7000 in these detailed image samples.

 

Video

Video is pretty bad. My Apple Ipod Touch does a better job, both for image and sound.

Video from the P7000 is jumpy because the frame rates are low and the shutter angle is too small (shutter speeds are too high). P7000 video looks even worse than its 29.97 fps specification implies.

The P7000 records in stereo through its internal microphone, but it doesn't sound very good. The P7000 doesn't sound clean, it's a bit bandlimited, its microphone only gets wind noise in stereo, and everything else sounds almost like mono. My iPod Touch's audio is mono, but much cleaner and better.

Look and listen to this sample file (© 14MB .MOV). (Ryan at the park, 11 October 2010.)

 

Flash

Nikon Coolpix P7000 with SB-400. enlarge.

The most astounding thing about the P7000 is how well fill-flash works with the SB-400 on top of the camera. Exposure is great, much better than any other digital point-and-shoot I've ever used.

The P7000's electronic shutter cheerfully and automatically syncs at up to 1/2,000 with no funny business, ten times faster than most DSLRs.

Not only is this so much better than anything from Canon's Powershots, also better is that the whole thing with the SB-400 balances just fine. Unlike Canons, the P7000/SB-400 combo doesn't try to flip over when worn around your shoulder.

The P7000 is smart enough to turn off the shoe-mounted flash automatically when its in Playback mode.

When leaving the shutter half-presses after one shot and awaiting the next action shot, the P7000 is very responsive, but the red and green LEDs next to the optical finder don't turn back on to let you know if the flash is recharged.

Oddly, I never got the P7000 to fire the SB-400 at anywhere near full-power for fill. I have no idea why the P7000 won't use the power that's there.

As covered at the top, I never got the built-in flash to work properly. Tapping the flash mode (bolt) button ignored me in P, S, A, M and U123 modes! It only responds in the AUTO mode.

The users manual is confused as to whether or not this is deliberately locked out, r just another random firmware flaw.

Better than the better Powershots, just push it down when done. No menu is required.

 

Ergonomics

 

What's Good

Just about everything for shooting can be controlled in one hand, especially playback. Whoo hoo! You only need a second hand to pop up the flash or use the quick menu selector dial.

The grip is well shaped, and covered in grippy material. It's not as fantastic as an F5 or F6, but it is much, much better than anything from Canon.

The Exposure Compensation and Menu dial index LEDs only light when that control is active. This is better than the Canon G11 which has bright, annoying lights that stay on all the time. It would be

The P7000's power light is off most of the time. It blinks if the LCD went to sleep. The power light is only ON if the LCD is turned off deliberately while shooting, better than Canon's power LED which is on al the time.

The P7000 has shoulder strap lugs and triangular strap rings, just like like Nikon's DSLRs.

The P7000 wakes or turns on in the same AF mode. This is good for me, but bad if you choose the MACRO mode for a snap, and then a week later your P7000 will wake up in MACRO mode and not focus for normal distances.

The wonderful and ubiquitous $16 ML-L3 wireless transmitter works for remote control with the P7000, yay!

 

Optical FInder

The optical viewfinder has a lot of distortion of its own. The pictures don't show this, of course.

More gets into the final image than shown in the finder. This is typical for optical finders, especially like the optical finder of the LEICA M9.

What's Ugly

Nikon let the engineers design the typefaces used in the menu system, so they are both ugly and barely legible.

Next time, have an intelligent artist like Giorgetto Giugiaro design more than just the exteriors.

 

What's Completely Retarded

Nikon went out of its way to offer too many ways to do too many things. Nikon tried to put too many features in this camera, but never bothered to spend the time and effort required to put all these features into this camera in a way that we could find, use and understand them.

There are too many different ways to do to many different things, nothing is organized from a user's point of view, so nothing is easy or clear. Ooops!

Worse, the buggy firmware, means some things, like the rear control dial or flash control options, don't even work as planned, further adding to the frustration.

The retarded design of the user interface, and the buggy firmware, are the P7000's biggest shortcomings. Retarded means that the design is delayed; it's just not yet complete right now.

You must go thorough menus for the ND filter.

 

Data

Auto-set ISOs read correctly in iView, when files are copied straight from the card.

 

LCD and Playback

There is no diagonal scrolling.

There are a lot of blinking screens, but very little playback data actually shared.

The LCD monitor is smooth and has high resolution, but it is dim outdoors and its colors are not accurate. The P7000's LCD exaggerates color saturation, looking better than the images themselves as seen later on a calibrated computer, print, or online.

The fixed LCD cover is anti-reflection coated.

Simply hold the PLAY button to wake the camera in the play mode, without the lens needing to extend.

The response to the zoom control is way too slow, and response to the first zoom-increment is even slower.

I'll be darned that I was never able to figure out how to select different images while I was zoomed-in.

This is easy on Canon, Nikon DSLRs and das LEICA M9, and mandatory to be able to compare which of several shots is sharp, or has the smile. On the P7000, spinning the big rear or top rear control dials changed the zoom, and tapping up-down-left-right merely scrolled around the zoomed image. I'd hope that this feature is in there somewhere, but I couldn't find it, and with the high lever of retardation (delayed development) of the firmware, don't have much confidence that it's in there.

 

Battery and Power

As cover in Specs, the charger is a little big, but the folding plug and world-wide automatic voltage selection are great.

I only got 320 shots, none with flash, on my first charge before the LO BAT icon appeared.

 

Compared         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Recommendations

 

P7000

Dates

2010-

2009-

2010-

2009-2010

Lens Equiv.

28-200mm VR

28-135mm IS 5x

28-105mmIS 3.8x

28-105mmIS 3.8x

Maximum aperture

f/2.8-5.6

f/2.8-4.5

f/2 - 4.9

f/2 - 4.9

Raw?

YES

YES

YES

YES

LCD

3"

2.8" swivel

3"

3"

Exp. Comp. Dial?

YES

YES

YES (around lens)

YES (around lens)

Lens Control Ring?

No

No

YES

YES

WB Trims

YES

YES

YES

YES

WB Trim with control ring?

No

No

YES

YES

MWB settings

3

2

1

1

Noise (all ISOs) Lower

Lower

Lower

Lower

Hot Shoe?

YES

YES

NO

NO

Built-in Mic

S-t-e-r-e-o

mono

S-t-e-r-e-o

mono

Weight, deployed

360g

400g

193g

197g

Price (10/2010)

 

Recommendations         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Recommendations

The Nikon P7000 is much nicer than expected. I like the lens, the great fill-flash control and the sharp images, but am not excited by its LCD, ergonomics, playback logic and buggy firmware.

When I want a compact camera, it needs to be compact so that it drops forgotten in my pocket. Canon's SD880, at 179g, was perfect. Canon's S95, the camera I carry today at 193g, is too heavy to want to carry in my pocket everywhere, so I carry it in the PSC-900 belt case.

The Nikon P7000, at 360g, is a shoulder-carry camera, and if I'm shoulder-carrying, I'll take a real SLR like the far more competent D3100 instead.

Therefore I'm not that excited about the P7000, or the Canon G12, but that's my preference. I prefer the images from my S95, because they look better due to the much better color, but color is personal preference.

If the P7000 seems like something you want, it's the best Nikon Coolpix I've ever used, and I hope that the buggy firmware will be resolved in the future.

 

More Information

Nikon's P7000 Users Manual

Nikon's P7000 information

Nikon's P7000 press release

 

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Nikon COOLPIX P7000 Digital Camera Review

FeaturesHandlingPerformanceePHOTOzine verdict and ratingsSpecification
Nikon COOLPIX P7000: Click on the thumbnail for the larger image.
Gary Wolstenholme takes a look at the COOLPIX P7000, Nikon's latest advanced compact camera for the serious photographer.
Nikon's COOLPIX P7000 is a compact digital camera aimed at advanced photographers who want more creative control than a standard point and click compact may offer. It costs around £475, which is only a few pounds less than Nikon's entry-level D3100 digital SLR with an 18-55mm lens. The main benefit of the P7000 lies in its compact size, which many who already own a DSLR may be after for those times where it's not practical to take a decent SLR kit with you. But will it deliver SLR quality results? Gary Wolstenholme aims to find out...

Nikon COOLPIX P7000: Features At the heart of the COOLPIX P7000 lies a 1/1.7inch CCD image sensor, which is larger than you'd typically expect to find in a compact. This should lead to better quality images at higher ISO settings, as larger photo-sites generally means clearer images at these settings. ISO settings up to ISO3200 are available, and even ISO6400 can be enabled via ISO expansion. The 7.1x zoom lens with Vibration Reduction has a range equivalent to a 28-200mm lens on a 35mm camera providing a flexible zoom range.

Being a creative compact, there are the usual manual and semi-automatic exposure modes and metering options, including Matrix, Spot and Centre Weighted. An optical viewfinder is also included for those who prefer this to holding the camera at arm's length for more stability or have trouble seeing the large three inch LCD screen. The screen has a resolution of 921,000 dots, and appears plenty clear enough. An anti-reflective coating has been applied to aid its use in bright sunlight. It is easy to view, even at obtuse viewing angles.

A new Expeed C2 image processor takes care of processing images and promises to offer responsive performance, high image quality and lower power consumption. The new processor should help especially with the high definition video clips. Up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds can be recorded at 720p resolution.

Nikon COOLPIX P7000 Key features: Click on the thumbnails for larger images.
 
A 7.1x zoom lens provides a range equivalent to 28-200mm on a 35mm camera.   An optical viewfinder is located above the three inch LCD screen.
 
Plenty of dials and buttons provide direct access to common functions.   Power is provided by a rechargeable EN-EL14 lithium-ion battery.
A Nikon compatible standard hotshoe opens more creative possibilities by allowing the use of any compatible Nikon Speedlite. A built in pop-up flash is included for those times where it's not practical or preferable to carry an external flashgun. Those who like to use their flash for fill in daylight will be pleased to know that the flash syncs all the way up to 1/2000sec, allowing you to effectively reduce the ambient light in the image, or simply shoot with flash at very high speeds to freeze action.

Nikon COOLPIX P7000: Handling Although this is a compact camera, it isn't really what I would class as pocket sized, that is unless you have large pockets. At 114 x 77 x 45mm, it is quite a chunky item. Saying that ,SLR users will appreciate it only weighing 360g, which is lighter than most interchangeable lenses. Despite the lightweight, this camera is constructed mostly of metal and has a reassuringly rugged feel.

The chunky size makes it very comfortable to hold. Soft rubber grips on the front and rear also help to give a steady hold of the camera. With this camera being aimed at advanced photographers, many common features have dedicated dials or buttons, which makes taking control yourself a very direct experience. A large exposure compensation dial makes exposure adjustments easy, and two command dials are supplied for skipping through images, or adjusting aperture or shutter speeds. Although it's nice to have these, the circular dial on the rear can be a little fiddly to use. I often ended up changing the flash mode or macro setting rather than the aperture as the whole dial can be depressed in four directions to select other menus.

Anyone who has used a Nikon camera of any type will appreciate the clear and easy to follow system. Sometimes the menus can be sluggish to load, or to show what changes you have made, which I found a little frustrating in use.

The zoom is paced quite well to allow for accurate composition and those who have a favourite zoom setting can set a memory for that. This will allow your favourite zoom setting to be remembered, which could be especially useful for applications such as copy stand work, or copying slides.

Nikon COOLPIX P7000: Performance During use I found the focusing system erratic. Even in good light it can take up to a second to achieve a lock on a subject. At one point while attempting to use the macro feature the camera decided to initialise the lens as it was having trouble achieving focus on anything. I'm sure it must be a problem that could be solved by updated firmware, so it will be interesting to see if Nikon do issue a new firmware release soon.

Another issue possibly related to firmware I found during use is that if Dlighting is enabled, the camera will show the image on screen grossly over exposed when it is focused, even though the image itself will be fine once taken. Without Dlighting enabled, the camera does a decent job of simulating the exposure on screen.

In even lighting conditions, Nikon's Matrix metering system is accurate and reliable. In higher contrast situations it can be fooled easily, sometimes exposing too bright, and other times too dark. This is especially noticeable when recording video as the exposure can change wildly as you pan across areas of differing lighting.

Colours strike a pleasant balance between being accurate and vibrant, leading to very pleasant, colourful images.

Nikon COOLPIX P7000 Performance: Click on the thumbnails for larger images.
 
High contrast subjects often come out slightly over or under exposed.   Luckily the dedicated exposure compensation dial made it easy to dial in +0.7EV.
 
(Above) Colours strike a good balance between accuracy and vibrancy.

(Right) The built-in flash is quite useful for fill and syncs up to speeds of 1/2000sec.

 

 
Nikon's Active Dlighting system aims to increase the dynamic range in high contrast images, and can be a very useful tool. Four levels of correction are available from off up to high, but unfortunately there isn't an automatic option as is included on many other Nikon cameras. As can be seen in the images below, it does a decent job of compressing the range of tones to fit within what can be captured in a jpeg image by brightening shadows and holding back highlights.
Active Dlighting Off Active Dlighting Low
Active Dlighting Normal Active Dlighting High
Resolution The combination of a high quality 7.1x zoom lens and excellent image processing from the Expeed C2 chip allows the 10.1 megapixel sensor to produce images with excellent levels of sharpness and detail.
 
JPEG sharpness test image.   The same image processed from RAW using Nikon View NX2.
RAW image capture is also available, with the camera creating NRW RAW files, which can be processed in Nikon ViewNX2. This should allow photographers extra creative scope even though in the images above it is the RAW file is virtually indistinguishable in terms of detail when compared the the fine JPEG image.

ISO and noise performance By keeping the pixel count to a moderate level, Nikon have produced a camera that is more than capable of holding its own when the light levels drop.

Image quality is excellent at the base sensitivity. Images show no significant signs of noise and are bright, colourful and contrasty at this setting. The same can be said for images taken at ISO200 too. Increasing the sensitivity further results in a little noise becoming visible and a slight softening of the image, probably due to noise reduction. Saying that the quality is still good enough for printing to a decent size.

At ISO800 the level of noise present increases to noticeable levels, although compared to many compacts the quality is still good. The softening effect of noise reduction is more prevalent than at lower settings, and is especially noticeable in areas of fine detail, such as the brickwork in the outdoor ISO samples. By ISO1600, the image quality still holds up well, but with a little more noise visible in the shadows.

ISO3200 produces images with reduced colour saturation due to heavy colour noise reduction kicking in. Still images taken at this setting will be plenty good enough for sharing on the web, or for postcard size prints. Things get a bit ugly at the expanded ISO6400 setting, with noise destroying all but the coarsest details. Still, images taken at this setting will probably suffice for sharing at low resolutions on the web.

White-balance Auto white-balance on the P7000 does a decent job of correcting unwanted colour casts in range of lighting conditions. Under tungsten and fluorescent lighting this setting leaves only a slight colour cast behind. Using the correct white-balance preset for the conditions normally results in even more accurate colours. However the fluorescent preset adds much more magenta to the image than was needed for shooting under the warm white fluorescents in our studio. Three different fluorescent presets are available, each offering correction for different types of tube. None of these really corrected the cast present satisfactorily in this instance.
Nikon COOLPIX P7000 White-balance test: Click on the thumbnails for larger images.
 
Auto white-balance in incandescent lighting.   Incandescent preset in incandescent lighting.
 
Auto white-balance in fluorescent lighting.   Fluorescent preset in incandescent lighting.
Video Although the video function records in 720p high definition, rather than the full 1080p that is increasingly becoming the standard, the quality of the footage is good, with very little noise visible in poor lighting conditions. Motion is rendered smoothly, with very few artefacts visible.

Unfortunately, the camera's slightly erratic metering can sometimes lead to vastly over or underexposed sections of video in high contrast situations, which may pose problems for some. Clips of up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds can be captured, which should be plenty of time for most purposes.

This clip, recorded at 720p and 24 frames per second shows that the quality is decent, even though the lighting conditions were less than ideal.
Buffer read/write times When shooting fine quality JPEG images, the average delay from shot to shot is around 3.9 seconds, using a Lexar Class 10 SDHC card, which some users may find a little frustrating. This seems mainly down to to the autofocus system's refusal to lock onto a subject quickly, rather than any bottlenecks in the camera's processing. When shooting RAW images, the shot to shot delay increases to 6.03 seconds as the camera takes time to write the larger file size before readying itself to shoot again.

In continuous shooting mode, the P7000 managed to take a burst of 26 shots in 25.69 seconds, which equates roughly to 1.01 frames per second. Although the frame rate isn't blisteringly fast, it should do for occasionally capturing the odd bit of action here and there.

Lens performance In terms of optical performance, the 7.1x zoom fitted to the P7000 delivers excellent results. It is very sharp from edge to edge showing only minor signs of distortion at either end of the zoom range. It is also quite resistant to flare, even when shooting directly into the sun and levels of chromatic aberrations are kept below acceptable levels.

In terms of mechanical performance, things could be better. The lens often misfocused during testing and would sometimes simply refuse to lock onto anything. This was especially noticeable when using the macro mode.

Nikon COOLPIX P7000 Lens quality: Click on the thumbnails for larger images.
 
The wide angle provides an equivalent angle of view to a 28mm lens on a 35mm camera.   The telephoto end of the zoom is equivalent to a 200mm lens on a 35mm camera.
 
  (Above) The lens had real trouble focusing on these berries using the macro mode, stopping to initialise itself before I could get this shot.

(Left) The lens proved itself to be quite resistant to flare.

 

Nikon COOLPIX P7000: Verdict If a camera could be judged on image quality alone, the COOLPIX P7000 Nikon would be a sure-fire winner. Images are generally detailed, contrasty and colourful. The performance at high ISO settings is pretty decent for a camera of this type too.

Unfortunately the P7000 proved to be a mixed bag during testing, with the main issue being with the camera's autofocus, which is erratic at best. Other niggles such as the issues I had using the large control dial, the metering's occasional hiccup in high contrast situations and with the camera's inability to properly simulate exposures on the screen with Dlighting enabled are all a little frustrating, but can be lived with in my opinion.

If you can cope with the odd handling niggle to be rewarded with a compact that produces excellent quality images, than the P7000 may well be worth a good look. Otherwise it may be worth waiting to see if Nikon produce a firmware update to address some of the issues I experienced during testing.

Nikon COOLPIX P7000: ProsExcellent detail at low ISOsGood performance for a compact at high ISOsUseful zoom rangeGood lens qualityGreat build qualityGood control layout

Nikon COOLPIX P7000: ConsAutofocus can be hit and missMetering struggles in high contrast scenariosControl dial on the rear can be fiddly Issue with how live view displays images when using Dlighting

Nikon COOLPIX P7000: Specification
Price £475.00
What comes in the box Video cable, EN-EL14 battery, Charger, Software, USB Cable, Neck Strap
Contact www.nikon.co.uk
Lens Details 7.1x zoom lens 6-42.6mm f/2.8-5.6 (equivalent to 28-200mm on a 35mm camera)
Resolution 10.1Mp
Sensor size 1/1.7in
Sensor type CCD
Max. Image size 3648 x 2736
Aspect ratio 4:3
LCD monitor size 3inch
Optical viewfinder Yes
Focusing system TTL Contrast Detection
Focusing modes Single, Continuous and Face Detection
File types JPEG, RAW (NRW)
ISO sensitivity ISO100-3200 plus ISO6400 via expansion
Metering system Matrix, Centre Weighted and Spot metering via image sensor.
White-balance AWB, Daylight, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Cloudy, Flash, Kelvin, Custom Preset x 3
Exposure compensation +/- 3EV
Shutter speed range ½ second – 1/2000sec
Continuous shooting 1 fps
Anti-shake mode In lens Vibration Reduction
Movie mode HD 720p: 1,280 x 720/24 fps, VGA: 640 x 480/30 fps, QVGA: 320 x 240/30 fps
Monitor 7.5 cm (3-in.), approx. 921k-dot, wide-viewing-angle TFT LCD monitor (VGA), air gapless, anti-reflection coating, brightness adjustment
Media type SD, SDHC
Interface USB, Pictbridge, HDMI
Power Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL14
Size (wxdxl) Approx. 114.2 x 77.0 x 44.8 mm
Weight (with battery) 310g
The Nikon COOLPIX P7000 costs £475 and is available from Warehouse Express here:

Nikon COOLPIX P7000

www.ephotozine.com

COOLPIX P7000 from Nikon

Product Details

Superior Image Quality10.1-megapixel, large 1/1.7-inch CCD sensor for stunning images.

5-way VR Image Stabilization System
  • Optical VR Image Stabilization by lens shift minimizes the effects of camera shake.
  • Hybrid VR Image stabilization by lens shift and electronic VR.
  • Motion Detection automatically detects moving subjects and adjusts shutter speed and ISO to compensate for camera shake and subject movement. 
  • High ISO up to 6400 at full resolution for optimum results when shooting in low light or photographing fast-moving subjects.
  • Nikon’s Best Shot Selector (BSS) automatically takes up to ten shots while the shutter is pressed, then selects and saves the sharpest image.

EXPEED C2 continues to expand the possibilities of photography with improved levels of image quality, fine detail and processing speed. Custom-optimized for each COOLPIX model, Nikon’s renowned digital image processing engine ensures outstanding images.

Creative Control
  • Dial controls for key functions including ISO, white balance, bracketing, exposure compensation and more.
  • PSAM (Program, Shutter, Aperture, Manual) exposure control, custom function control.
  • ISO can be set as high as 6400 at full resolution; 12,800 in Low noise Night Mode (3-Megapixel).
  • Tone Level Information provides photographers with 9 levels of grey scale information about the scene for fine exposure analysis according to user’s creative needs.
  • In-camera editing functions include Exposure Compensation, COOLPIX Picture Control, Noise Reduction Filter, Quick Retouch, D-Lighting and Active D-Lighting.
  • Electronic Virtual Horizon Display enables precise leveling of the camera in landscape or portrait orientation during LCD monitor shooting.
  • COOLPIX Picture Control can be customized for Image Sharpening, Contrast, Saturation, Filter Effects, and Tone.
High-Speed Performance
  • Ultra-fast start-up, autofocus and shooting.
  • Subject Tracking tracks a moving subject to ensure sharp focus.
  • Shoot Continuously up to 45 pictures at approx. 1.3 fps at full resolution.
  • Interval Timer Shooting captures images at specified time intervals

7.1x Wide-Angle Optical Zoom-NIKKOR ED Glass Lens. Versatile 28-200mm lens ranges wide to capture landscapes, zooms in to get close to the action. In the NIKKOR tradition of precision optics, the high-quality ED glass lens delivers superb color and razor-sharp results.

RAW file function compatible with Mac® and Windows®.Microsoft®, Windows® and Windows Vista™ are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Macintosh®, Mac OS® are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

Advanced Functions
  • 3-inch Ultra-High Resolution (921,000-dot) Clear Color Display for still images and movies that come alive with rich detail and improved contrast. The large LCD's wide viewing angle and anti-glare coating make it easy to compose, view and share pictures.
  • Large Optical viewfinder with diopter adjustment dial.
  • Remote control operation with optional wireless ML-L3.
  • Optional Wide Angle Converter (WC-E75A) for 21mm coverage (requires UR-E22 adapter ring)

HD Movie RecordingHD (720p) Movie with Stereo, Mic Input Jack and HDMI Output. Records at 24 fps with Zoom, Autofocus and stereo sound. Mic Input Jack allows for optional microphone to be used during recording and HDMI output allows easy in-camera playback or convenient playback on HD-TV or computer.

Convenient Features
  • Smart Portrait System
    • Smile Timer automatically releases the shutter when your subject smiles.
    • In-Camera Red-Eye Fix™ automatically corrects most instances of red-eye as you shoot. You may never see red-eye again.
    • Face-Priority AF. Nikon’s face-finding technology automatically detects up to 12 faces.
    • Skin Softening smoothes skin tones at three different levels for optimal portraits; can be applied while shooting or during playback.
    • Blink Warning alerts you if a subject has blinked. 
  • Built-in Flash plus i-TTL Flash function when used with optional Nikon Speedlight System.
  • 18 Scene Modes, including Scene Auto Selector, for optimized shooting in a variety of settings and situations. 
  • Scene Auto Selector automatically recognizes the scene you're shooting and selects the most appropriate scene mode; offers six scene modes plus auto.
  • Macro shooting as close as 0.8 inches.
  • 350 still shots (approx.) with supplied EN-EL 14 Li-ion rechargeable battery.

LCD, Video and Photo Gallery images are for illustrative purposes only.

www.nikonusa.com


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