Introduced on the heels of its big brother, the D3100 DSLR, the Coolpix P7000 is the latest of the Nikon performance line of compact digitals.
Bearing a somewhat physical resemblance to the Canon G12 (or vice-versa), the P7000 offers a 28-200mm focal range zoom lens (35mm equivalent), image capture in RAW, JPEG or both simultaneously, and a native ISO sensitivity range from 100 to 6400, expandable to 12800. Full manual controls complement the usual compact digital mix of automatic and pre-set scene shooting options, and the camera can record 720 HD video with automatic autofocus. There are 79MB of internal memory.
Resolution is 10.1 megapixels on a 1/1.7-inch CCD sensor, and Nikon's latest generation EXPEED 2 processing technology is also aboard, along with an optical viewfinder and 5-way stabilization. The camera can focus as close as 0.8 inches for macro work. The camera body is a metal and composite blend and seems well-built.
Potential users should be aware there is a firmware update for the camera that addresses issues such as RAW write time, zoom function, focus (or lack thereof) and a monitor display problem with regard to displaying blown highlights. Our review model didn't have the firmware upgrade onboard when it arrived, and was noticeably reticent to acquire focus in dim light, particularly at telephoto. AF difficulty in dim light with compacts is pretty much a given, but after installing the firmware, that problem is much improved. Outside this morning in cloudy to direct sunlit conditions, the P7000 acquired focus quickly at all focal lengths.
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