Nikon Coolpix P7000 review
High image quality and lots of impressive features, but painfully slow menus are enough to put us off
Review Date: 13 Feb 2011
Price when reviewed: £320
Reviewed By: Ben Pitt
As mainstream compact digital cameras continue on their ludicrous megapixel arms race, it’s reassuring to see sense prevail among the small clutch of compact cameras aimed at enthusiasts. Whereas the Nikon P6000 used a 13.5-megapixel sensor, the P7000 has dropped down to 10 megapixels to strike a better balance between detail and noise levels. The sensor diameter remains at 1/1.7in, giving 50 per cent more surface area than most compact cameras’ 1/2.3in sensors.
Rival cameras, such as the Canon S95 and Panasonic LX5, have similarly specified sensors, and most pair them with wide-aperture lenses to further boost low-light performance. The P7000 takes a different tack, with an unremarkable f/2.8-5.6 aperture but a more generous 7.1x zoom range.
The revamped design looks uncannily like a Canon G-series camera, with a dial for exposure compensation and three others for fast access to other settings. That’s the idea anyway – sadly the reality wasn’t quite so impressive. The top-mounted dial lets the user choose between six functions before pressing the central button to bring up the selection on the screen, but there was a one-second lag between pressing and the function appearing. That may not sound like much but is infuriatingly sluggish for a camera this expensive. Exiting the main menu was even worse, taking over two seconds to return to the live preview. Otherwise, performance was unexceptional, with 1.9 seconds between shots and a 1.4fps continuous mode.
There are many features and options, including an exposure/focus lock button, an integrated neutral-density filter, digital spirit level and microphone socket for the video mode. There’s a proper neck strap rather than the usual wrist strap, but the clips to attach it make the handgrip a little uncomfortable. There’s an optical viewfinder too but it’s small, heavily cropped compared to the captured image and suffers badly from distortion and chromatic aberrations. We stuck with the excellent 3in, 921,000-pixel screen.
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