Nikon Coolpix P100 Summary
Nikon Coolpix P100 Assessment
The Coolpix P100 introduces the first CMOS ultra-zoom from Nikon as an update to the P90. In the upgrade, the P100 gains 2X of zoom in exchange for two megapixels less and 1080p HD video recording along with a number of class-leading high-speed features like 10 FPS drive and high-speed video up to 240 FPS.
This digital camera offers a versatile package in a small body considering a wide to super-telephoto 26X optical zoom with image stabilization. The most distinguished feature of the P100 is its HD video implementation which allows zooming while filming, letting the camera refocus, and records stereo audio at the same time.
The photographic performance is good in some areas with reasonable control over noise, low distortion, good white-balance and accurate colors. It does have trouble with exposure though, something which is not helped by this camera's LCD display. Certainly this camera's weak point, the LCD screen does not reliably show exposure or coverage. This makes the camera frustrating to use in the face of movement as it requires more trial and error than most cameras. A number of programmed limits add to the issue by not letting one check the histogram or use the self-timer with bracketing.
The suitability of the Coolpix P100 depends on patience, photographic style and the importance of video functions. It's a first generation for Nikon and it it has surpassed its predecessor in image quality. Speed aspects are quite different with the older P90 being more snappy but not as fast in terms of continuous shooting.
|Good color accuracy||Tendency to over-expose|
|Above average white-balance accuracy||White-balance leaves a cast under artificial light|
|Reliable focusing, even in low light||Noise reduction visible at all ISO sensitivities|
|Class-leading continuous shooting||Very soft at ISO 1600 and 3200|
|Low optical distortion across zoom range||Noticeable vignetting and corner softness|
|Excellent video quality with stereo sound||Wrong image coverage on both LCD and EVF|
|Fast zoom with relatively fine steps||LCD rarely previews exposure correctly|
|Bright LCD with good visibility||Histogram not accessible for all images captured|
|Good build quality||Delay starting movie recording|
|No way to accurately set up initial video framing|
|Limited dynamic range of LCD|
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Nikon P100 Highlights
Sensor-Size: 6 x 5mm
Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI
|10 Megapixels Ultra Zoom||ISO 160-3200|
|26.1X Wide Optical Zoom||Shutter 1/2000-8s|
|Built-in Stabilization||Full manual controls|
|0.24" Built-in EVF 230K Pixels||Custom white-balance|
|10 FPS Drive, 6 Images||Spot-Metering|
|1920x1080 @ 30 FPS Video Recording||Lithium-Ion Battery|
|3" LCD 460K Pixels||Secure Digital High Capacity|
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