- Excellent still images
- Good video quality
- Nice high ISO performance
- Size and weight
- Slow RAW write speed
The Nikon P7000 is an excellent advanced compact in its own right with exceptional image quality, but it falls just a hair short of the Canon G12's performance.
The Coolpix P7000 joined its D3100 and D7000 big brothers in reaching market in the late third quarter of calendar year 2010. Nikon describes this latest high-performance Coolpix as “…. the perfect complement to an advanced photographer’s D-SLR, and it inspires the entry-level consumer to explore the boundaries of their photographic capabilities and fulfill their creative vision.”
The Coolpix P7000 packs the hardware to complement a DSLR, notably a RAW shooting capability and zoom lens covering the 28 to 200mm focal range in 35mm equivalents, with a fast f/2.8 maximum aperture at the wide end of the lens. Here’s the view at each end of that zoom:
It also carries a $500 MSRP that borders on entry-level DSLR territory, but that money buys you a laundry list of features: face detection and a shutter that can fire automatically when it detects a smile or warn you if someone blinks, 720 HD video with autofocus, zoom and stereo sound, a full mix of automatic and scene-specific shooting modes along with full manual controls, a built-in neutral density (ND) filter and electronic virtual horizon, and a fairly comprehensive in-camera image editing suite. The camera has a 100 to 3200 ISO native sensitivity range (expandable to 6400 manually and up to 12800 when shooting in Low Noise Night Mode) with its 1/1.7-inch CCD sensor, and the processing technology is Nikon’s latest EXPEED C2. There’s a built-in flash, hot shoe, optical viewfinder with diopter adjustment, 3.0-inch LCD monitor with high resolution and about 79MB of internal memory; the camera uses SD/SDHC/SDXC memory media and class 6 or better speed is recommended for video capture.
Nikon includes a Lithium-ion battery and charger, camera strap, AV and USB cables, quick start guide, user’s manual and CD-ROM software with each camera. Users should be aware that Nikon has issued a firmware update for the P7000 – our review sample had not been updated when it was received – that deals with issues related to image recording time with RAW captures, lens focus, zoom and monitor highlight loss with D-Lighting enabled. The update is available on Nikon’s website and is simple to install – it took only a few minutes to load it before beginning shooting for this review, so I have no baseline performance with which to judge the update’s impact on camera operations.
Our Nikon P7000 is now up to current spec, so the only thing left to do is get out and shoot it.