When Nikon released the CoolPix P7000 last year, there was much discussion about its eerie resemblance to the Canon G12. The Canon Powershot G12 has been the top dog in the high-end point-and-shoot market since the introduction of the original G1 in late 2000, but Nikon's P7000 was meant to end Canon's dominance of this upper tier market niche.
The P7000 was purpose-designed to compete with Canon's G12. The two cameras offered remarkably similar ergonomics, optical viewfinders, near identical specifications, and both were clearly designed for photo enthusiasts. Unfortunately for Nikon, the P7000 didn't quite measure up to the challenge. While the P7000 was easily competitive with the G12 in terms of image quality, but it was noticeably slower in operation than the G12 and its menu system was unnecessarily complex. Nikon dropped the ball when they introduced the "not ready for prime time" P7000 and their chagrinned marketing and product development folks were obliged to return the P7000 to the drawing board. The result of that re-engineering project is the new improved Coolpix P7100.
The Nikon Coolpix P7100 may bear a striking resemblance to its predecessor, but it has evolved into something quite different. Nikon kept the P7000's chunky body shell, the 10.1-megapixel (1/1.7-inch) CCD image sensor, the 3.0 inch (920,000 pixel) LCD (which now flips out), and the 7x (28mm-200mm equivalent) f/2.8 zoom of the P7000, but made numerous internal changes that punched up operating speed and improved auto focusing speed and accuracy. Is the new improved P7100 really competitive with the G12? Yes, it is.
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