Nikon Coolpix P7100 Review Summary
Nikon Coolpix P7100 Assessment
The Nikon Coolpix P7100 is an impressive camera with an unmatched feature set. Already its stabilized 7X wide-angle optical zoom lens is unique among premium compacts, making it the only one in its class with telephoto reach. It is also the only one with three control-dials and the only one other than its predecessor to feature a digital level, a mini-jack for an external stereo sound source. Add to that a rare hot-shoe, an optical viewfinder and a tilting display and it becomes easy to understand the unprecedented versatility of this digital camera.
Performance wise, the P7100 is an all-around winner. All aspects of image quality are great, particularly control over image noise at medium sensitivities. Speed of operation is top-notch for a fixed-lens camera, including the all-important shutter-lag and autofocus speed. There is just a little too much black out and time between shots to be comfortable for action photography, but it can keep up well under more typical situations.
The list of direct competitors is short and each offer a distinct compromise. The Fujifilm Finepix X100
Fujifilm Finepix X100 which costs twice as much offers superior image quality and a stellar EVF but no zoom or image stabilization. The Olympus XZ-1
Olympus XZ-1 is extensible with an optional EVF and offers a much brighter lens but with a shorter 4X optical zoom.
Where consideration for the Nikon P7100 becomes tricky depends on its intended use. For those already equipped with a DSLR and lenses, the P7100 makes an excellent second camera to use when the bulk of a DSLR system is cumbersome. For those moving from a point-and-shoot but not comfortable with a DSLR, the dilemma is to choose between a premium fixed-lens digital camera or an SLD like the Nikon 1 V1
Nikon 1 V1 which provides superior image quality and the versatility of interchangeable lenses but for a higher price.
|Excellent control over image noise||Autofocus gives up more than average|
|Above average metering accuracy||Not Exposure-Priority LCD preview|
|Great lens sharpness||Poor LCD coverage|
|Good image colors possible||Extremely poor viewfinder coverage|
|Good white-balance system||Live-Histogram not often accurate|
|Impressive stabilization||Slow shot-to-shot speed|
|Fast autofocus system||Slow Quick-Menu|
|Short shutter-lag||Video cuts too early|
|Excellent video recording capabilities||Excellent Excellent|
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Nikon P7100 Facts
|10 Megapixels Fixed Lens||ISO 100-6400|
|7.1X Wide Optical Zoom||Shutter 1/4000-60s|
|Built-in Stabilization||Full manual controls, including Manual Focus|
|1 Axis Digital Level||Custom white-balance with 2 axis fine-tuning|
|1.2 FPS Drive, 90 Images||Spot-Metering|
|1280x720 @ 24 FPS Video Recording||Hot-Shoe|
|3" LCD 920K Pixels||Stereo audio input|
|Secure Digital Extended Capacity|
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