Nikon Coolpix P7700 Review
The Nikon Coolpix P7700 is a compact digital camera filled with features to satisfy advanced users. It is built around a 12 megapixels CMOS sensor behind a 7X wide-angle optical zoom lens with built-in image stabilization and F/2 - F/4 maximum aperture.
This camera has a full-set of manual-controls, with manual-focusing, custom white-balance, bracketing and image parameters. It has a number of positively high-end features like a hot-shoe, a digital-level, an ND filter and RAW support. It records full 1080p HD video with stereo sound either from the built-in microphone or an external one audio source.
This model is designed with efficient photographic controls, including triple control-dials, a true mode-dial, a modal exposure-compensation dial and an exposure-lock button.
The major upgrade from its predecessor, the P7100
Nikon Coolpix P7100, is new brighter lens which has the same wide-angle to telephoto range with is a full stop brighter across the zoom. This comes at the loss of the optical tunnel viewfinder and a less sturdy rotating display instead of a tilting one.
Nikon Coolpix P7700 Key Features
- 12 Megapixels CMOS sensor
- 7X stabilized wide-angle optical zoom, 28-200mm
- Bright F/2 / 4 - 8 Aperture range
- ISO Sensitivity from 100 to 6400
- Shutter-speeds from 1/4000s to 60s
- Matrix, center-weighed and spot metering
- Program, Aperture-Priority, Shutter-Priority and Manual exposure modes
- Exposure compensation, -3..+3 EV, 1/3 EV steps
- Flash compensation, -2..+2 EV, 1/3 EV steps
- Built-in 3-stop ND filter
- WB: AutomaticStandard or Warm, 7 presetsDaylight, Incandescent, Fluorescent 1, Fluorescent 2, Fluorescent 3, Cloudy, Flash, Kelvin & Custom3 Memories
- WB fine-tuning along 2 axis in 13 steps
- Standard, Vivid, Neutral or B&W color modes
- Adjustable Sharpness, Contrast and Saturation, all in 7 steps, manual or automatic
- AE Bracketing, 3 or 5 frames, up to 1 EV steps of Shutter-Speed or ISO
- WB Bracketing, 3 or 5 frames, 3 step sizes
- Focus-Drive: AF-S, AF-C, Manual or Infinity
- Focus-Point: Auto, Manual, Tracking, Face-Detect
- 1s, 2s or 10s Self-timer, optionally with IR remote
- Interval shooting: 30s, 1m, 5m or 10m
- 8 FPS Continuous drive, 6 JPEG max
- 120 FPS Drive at 1 MP JPEG only, 60 max
- JPEG, RAW & RAW+JPEG mode
- 1920x1080 30 FPS 16:9 HD Movie mode
- Stereo microphone and stereo input jack
- Rotating 3" LCD 920K Pixels
- 1-Axis Digital-level
- Standard Hot-Shoe
- Triple Control-Dials
- Combined AE-L/AF-L button
- 2 Customizable function buttons
- SDXC memory support
- Lithium-Ion battery
Suitability - What is it good for?
The Nikon Coolpix P7700 is defined by a combination of size and flexibility. It is an advanced camera, yet it is much smaller than a DSLR or bridge-camera. It is therefore more likely to be taken places where the weight and visibility of a larger camera is problem. This not an ultra-compact though, so it can only be carried in the largest pockets, like those of a winter jacket. A small bag, waist-pouch or purse will easily do as well. Nikon supplies a neck-strap with this digital camera but its form-factor can be used equally well with a wrist-strap.
The 7X optical zoom lens has a versatile range from 28 to 200mm in 35mm-equivalent terms. The wide-end is suitable for landscape, typical interiors and not-too-large architecture, while the telephoto-end allows working distance for street-photography and picking out details. Needless to say, portraits and general photography is well covered. The 12 megapixels sensor permits sharp prints up to 15 x 20", at least at ISO sensitivities where noise is low. Smaller prints look even better with 12 x 9" prints possible at 300 DPI resolution.
The P7700 is very well suited for creative photography and supports accessory optics. The large shutter-speed range, which goes down to 60s at ISO 400 and below, can be used to photography light-trails or freeze action. At ISO 800, the minimum shutter-speed drops to 30s and it drops by 1 stops of shutter-speed for each stop of ISO above that. A built-in 3-stop ND filter allows the use of long shutter-speeds even when light is not that low. This way, you can capture longer light-trails of passing cars and blur-out people moving. This is a notably improved area over the P7100.
There is a small built-in pop-up flash and a hot-shoe for using full-sized flashes. This allows the camera to be used for indoor photography when light is low and large prints are needed. Keep in mind that most flashes are heavier than the P7700, so the whole setup can get severely unbalanced. It would be more practical to use the hot-shoe for a wireless flash-trigger instead of an actual flash. This can result in better images as well at the expense of a slightly more complex setup.
Capability - What can it do?
Beyond the 12 megapixels sensor and 7X stabilized optical zoom, the Nikon Coolpix P7700 packs even more features than some entry-level DSLRs. Below is a list of its most useful features, followed by explanations, when required:
- PASM exposure modes
- Program-shift and 3 user-defined modes
- Auto and 19 selectablePortrait, Landscape, Sports, Night portrait, Party/Indoor, Beach, Snow, Sunset, Dusk/Dawn, Night (Hand-Held or Tripod), Close-Up, Food, Museum, Fireworkds, B&W Copy, Backlighting (With optional HDR) and Panorama (Assist or Sweep), Pet, 3D scene-modes
- Sweep and assist mode for Panoramas
- Automatic HDR blending, 3 levels
- Exposure-compensation, ±3 EVs in 1/3 steps
- Flash-compensation, ±2 EVs in 1/3 steps
- ConfigurableAE & AF Lock, AE Lock or AF Lock AE-L/AF-L button
- Triple control-dials, one in front, one under the thumb and one around the 4-way controller
- Single-shot, ContinuousHigh, Mid, Low speed at 12 MP.
120 or 60 FPS at 1 PM., BSS Multi-Shot 16 and Interval drive modes
- Single (AF-S) or continuous (AF-C) autofocus modes, available for images and video
- Self-Timer:, 1, 2 & 10s, optionally with remote
- Front IR receiver. The P7100 has one on the back.
- Three level of noise-reduction
- Quick or quiet zoom speed
- Built-in 40.5mm lens thread
- Optional screw-on lens hood
- Optional Built-in AF-assist lamp
- Optional Pre-flash red-eye reduction
- Optional Active D-Lighting, 3 levels
- Optional compensation for optical distortion
- Optional built-in flash control
- Optional wind-noise reduction for video sound
- Two Display modes with configurable options: Histogram, Level or Grid
- Configurable stepped-zoom, jumps between standard prime focal-lengths
Program mode can be shifted via the rear control-dial to give the same exposure with different combinations of apertures and shutter-speeds. All 3 user modes can be independently set to various settings which include the exposure-mode (PASM), the display status, the flash mode, the focus mode, the self-timer, the AF-assist status and, optionally, one of the standard prime focal-lengths. These settings remain stored when the camera is off.
Panorama-Assist is the most genuinely useful scene mode. It helps line-up images of a panorama made of images taken in any direction. The images are taken with the same exposure settings and stored sequentially in their own folders, making identification of panorama shots immediately obvious.
New to the P7700 is an Easy Panorama mode which creates a low-resolution panorama while the camera is sweeped through an 180° or 360° arc. There is also a sub-option of the Backlight mode which enables HDR capture in-camera from two shots with one of three step sizes.
The available drives modes are mostly standard for compact Nikon cameras. For those not familiar, BSS mode shoots a burst of up to 10 images continuously and saves the sharpest one. Multi-Shot 16 mode combines 16 ultra-low resolution images into a low-resolution one. The Interval Timer takes pictures at a set interval which can be set to 30 seconds, 1, 5 or 10 minutes. Shooting starts when the shutter is pressed and stops when it is pressed again, unless the camera runs out of power or memory before that. Between shots the LCD is turned off to conserve power.
The high-speed CMOS sensor used in the Nikon P7700 enables it to shoot continuously extremely quickly but the buffer size is limited. At full-resolution, this digital camera record up to 6 images at either 8 or 4 FPS and up to 30 images at 1 FPS. At 1 MP, it can record up to 60 images at either 120 or 60 FPS.
The zoom has two speeds, mostly to make it usable during video recording with the built-in microphone. The normal mode is fast while the quiet mode moves slower and therefore makes less noise. Otherwise, the built-in microphone records the sound of the lens zooming. There is also a wind-noise filter which can be enabled from the setup menu to help reduce the wind-noise recorded along with video.
Nikon P7700 Highlights
Sensor-Size: 8 x 6mm
Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI
|12 Megapixels Fixed Lens||ISO 80-6400|
|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|
|8 FPS Drive, 6 Images||Spot-Metering|
|1920x1080 @ 30 FPS Video Recording||Hot-Shoe|
|3" LCD 920K Pixels||Stereo audio input|
|Secure Digital Extended Capacity|
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