The Coolpix P7700 has its quirks when it comes to performance. While it starts up quickly enough, within a second or two, the on/off button sometimes failed to work and a second press was necessary. The camera takes about three seconds to shut down, which is somewhat slow. There’s about a two second delay when pressing the shutter button to begin recording a movie. This is not the camera to use when you want to make a quick video of a cute-acting child or pet.
The camera uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack, the EN-EL14, which is rated at approximately 330 shots. I found the rating to be accurate and I really appreciated the long battery life when taking the camera out for several hours of shooting.
The Coolpix P7700 gives you numerous focus options, including face priority, nine point auto focus, 99 point manual focus, center, subject tracking and target finding AF, where the camera decides what should be given focus priority. I found the auto focus to be reliable in most situations, even when shooting at a long focal length. However, I sometimes had problems finding focus in low light, despite the fact that the camera has a very bright focus assist beam.
Shot to shot time is fast, about one second between pictures without the flash and about two seconds with the flash activated.
The 28-200mm zoom lens (35mm equivalent) was nice and sharp towards the middle of the image, though less sharp around the edges. The lens can focus as close as 2cm from the subject in close macro mode.
I noticed little difference in sharpness and color intensity between photos taken at wide angle and at maximum telephoto. Chromatic aberration (colored fringing) is well-controlled.
Wide Angle Telephoto
I found minimal barrel distortion in photos taken at wide angle and no pin cushion distortion at extreme telephoto. I suspect the camera’s distortion control feature played a role in minimizing any distortion.
Wide Angle Telephoto
As is evident from the video, the Coolpix P7700 shoots excellent movies in its highest resolution movie mode, 1920 x 1080 at 30 frames per second, with good color and stereo sound. The video never lost focus, even when optical zoom was used. Wind noise is obviously present in the video, but it was an extremely windy day.
The Coolpix P7700 for the most part produced sharp, high quality images with punchy colors. The camera did well indoors, principally due to two factors. One is that its low light image quality is very good for a non-DSLR, even through 1600 ISO. Second, the Coolpix P7700, like other Nikons I’ve had experience with, has very accurate white balance. I used the auto white balance setting, auto 1, though there are other options available including auto 2 (warm lighting), daylight, incandescent, fluorescent 1, 2 and 3, cloudy, flash, choose color temperature and preset manual.
ISO 100 ISO 200
ISO 400 ISO 800
ISO 1600 ISO 3200
I encountered some problems with the camera when shooting outdoors. I found that it sometimes overexposed the image, especially when there was a bright light source nearby. I occasionally faced the issue of “white skies” where the sky photographed as a featureless white even though it was actually a mixture of clouds and blue sky. When shooting outdoors it’s probably a good idea to set the exposure to -1/3 or -2/3.
The camera has numerous flash modes — auto, auto with red-eye, off, fill (fires all the time), manual (control the strength of the flash), slow synch (slow shutter speed), rear curtain sych (fires before the shutter closes) and commander (controls a separate flash through a wireless remote). Flash range is 1 ft. 8 in. to 32 ft. (0.5 to 10m) at wide angle and 1 ft. 8 in. to 18 ft. (0.5 to 5.5m) at telephoto. The flash performs well, without providing too much illumination.
Additional Sample Images