Here’s the camera review of the latest enthusiast compact digicam, Nikon Coolpix P7100. The review we are featuring comes from trusted camera site DPReview.
The Nikon P7100 is the brand’s attempt to compete with the popular Canon G-series camera. Some excerpts from the review said that though the Coolpix P7100 shows potential but the quirky operation falls short of the well-established Canon it so clearly mimicked. With the P7100 Nikon has put much of this right and added even more direct control.
When Nikon released the CoolPix P7000 in 2010, several commentators, including ourselves, remarked on its uncanny resemblance to the Canon Powershot G-series. Clearly intended to compete with Canon’s G-series in the high-end compact camera market, the raw-enabled P7000 offered very similar ergonomics, as well as near-identical top-level specifications to the Powershot G12. Sadly, although it was capable of producing excellent image quality, the P7000 was plagued with poor operational speed and frustratingly glitchy on-screen menus. The overall impression was of a camera which was almost, but not quite finished for public release. It was a camera that we wanted to love, but just couldn’t.
The P7100 isn’t hugely different to the P7000 in terms of specification – it utilizes the same 10MP CCD as its predecessor (and is thus limited to the same 720p video specification) and the same lens. The LCD screen might be articulated, but it is the same excellent 3in, 921k-dot display as before. The P7100’s form factor is almost exactly the same as the P7000, and is partly defined by the same optical viewfinder.
Meaningful changes have been made though to both its ergonomics and operational speed compared to the P7000. The most obvious physical additions are a command dial on the front of the camera, and of course that flip-out LCD screen on the rear. Operationally, Nikon claims to have greatly increased the P7100’s responsiveness compared to the P7000, in everything from image processing time to menu activation/dismissal – areas in which the P7000 badly lagged behind its competitors.
Not all of the cameras in its class are quite so large though. In fact, the P7100, like its predecessor and like the Canon Powershot G12, are remarkable amongst their peers for their bulk. Direct competitors like Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-LX5, and Samsung’s TL500 / EX1 (which shares the same 10MP CCD sensor), are relatively small cameras but the P7100, by comparison, is something of a beast, thanks mostly to its height.
Certainly not small enough to fit in a shirt or trouser pocket, the P7100 isn’t much smaller than some interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras. What the P7100 has which these cameras do not though is a versatile built-in lens, covering a range of 28-200mm (equivalent).
- Rear LCD now articulated (fold out design)
- New front control dial
- AE lock in movie mode
- New effects modes (including cross-process, optical zoom burst effect and mono filters)
- Claimed increase in AF response and accuracy
- Decreased raw (.NRW) write times
- Claimed improvements to operation speed (menu activation/dismissal etc).
- Claimed improvements to noise-reduction using Expeed C2 ‘ultraimaging’ processing