The menus are simple and well laid out, here you discover that the camera has a few more surprises in store. Distortion Correction helps with Pincushioning of the lens at the wide end, but this not automatically on as it ever so slightly dents the performance, apparently. A speed issue, no doubt.
Compact all-rounder, but certainly not the fastest gun
There’s also an interval timer (time-lapse) to take up to 600 photos at a set intervals of 30 seconds, right up to 10mins. Other options include Nikons high dynamic range (HDR) enhancements and multi shot collages for nightime scenes. If you are willing to dig around in the manual there is plenty to experiment with.
The best features are undoubtedly the lens and the screen. The P100 fits the bill if you need a long zoom to get things that are far away and a device just about small enough for the missus’s bag. Still, unless you’re prepared to put up with some grain, you’re going to be limited to bright interiors or thin clouds. Otherwise you might be carrying some sort of monopod/tripod, as it’s not really swift enough to capture things just happening in front of you.
If shots are planned and you have some moments to get the camera in the right setting, excellent results can happen, but the lack of response from the zoom and the metering in some situations may frustrate some. At the other end, the excellent wide angle is very welcome, and combined the P100 has a range perfect for every situation. The video though being HD is difficult to manipulate once off the SD card, but playback from the camera to the TV may suffice for many. The screen may well sell this one.
If you are that serious about taking great photos with the sort of time and effort it requires to get great nightscapes and the like in front of you, I think maybe you should save up and get a decent DSLR. Having said that, spending time with the Coolpix P100 camera should have whetted your appetite and hopefully not put you off the idea with its dubious hit rate in its program modes.
James Cumpsty is a professional photographer and videographer working in the music industry.
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Nikon Coolpix P100 bridge camera
Is it just me?
...who thinks that rating the battery as 250 shots is just stupid? it'd be fine for an SLR without constant display which you can look through all day without taking a shot. But I feel that a usage time in muntes would be more appropriate for devices that require an always on display screen / electronic View finder. I suspect that saying it lasts for just 2 hours (on time based on 30 seconds per shot) ) might change some opinions.
All my Nikon's have this.
Maybe it's just me...
Maybe it's just me, but I think the pictures were quite noisy? Even the ISO 100 ones seemed noisy. Weird.
1) NTSC/PAL ceased to mean anything much when the CRT died - every flatscreen is progressive and supports all frame rates. PCs/media centres, etc, etc ONLY support progressive. So interlaced footage is only notionally supported as a transmitted stream which must then be deinterlaced either by the source (PC, etc) or destination (the plasma/LCD)
2) any DVD writer or player in the last 10 years will playback oldie worldie SD resolution PAL or NTSC footage if you insist on burning it. if its a UK player - you just need to set the region to UK - nothing to stop you still burning NTSC MPEG2 footage.
3) In HD, there is no such thing as 'NTSC' - there are various different frame rates, all supported by all HD tvs - 1080p30 is not 'HD NTSC'.. it is just 1080p30 - it is as valid as 1080p24 or 1080p25.. ah well except there is in fact, no such standard, only 1080p24 - why ? because it would be bloody stupid - the only reason there is a different frame rate between PAL and NTSC is the difference in vertical lines count - hence the extra bandwidth on NTSC being available for more fps.
NTSC DVD SD: 720x480, 29.97fps
PAL DVD SD: 720x576, 29.97fps
e.g: PAL has more definition, but has less temportal information. i.e. NTSC is not 'worse'... a common mistake people make - for fast moving scenes it may be significantly better....
this difference in vertical line count was due to the ANALOGUE NTSC vs PAL standards.
It ceased to mean much at all when we went digital, and ceased to mean anything at all when we went to HD...
so in HD there is:
720p (1280x720) and 1080p(1920x1080)
thats it! not a different size for UK and USA.
There are various different frame rates in the standard - these are there to support various different content types and are various trade offs between resolution integrity vs temportal data for a given framerate.
They have precisely FA to do with countries, or NTSC/PAL.
In reality, the artificial 720p25 and 1080i50 that were put into the standard were very much transients to support upscaling of SD content. They have FA other reason to exist. I can't think of a single device that shoots 720p25, and 1080i50 is hanging on only in the HDCAM/AVCHD standards and is rapidly losing favour to progressive - I'd expect it to disappear in the next few years to be replaced by progressive p30 and p60 as we are already seeing in cameras such as the EOS series.
In reality, the vast majority of HD currently is in 30p, 24p (movies), and 60i (sport).
Let NTSC and PAL die a death please.
From Amazon, the E-PL1 is £500, so hardly the same kind of money as the P100 (£300). It also comes with a 3x zoom rather than a 26x zoom. If you want a 26x range you'll need to lug around several more lens. If you want a viewfinder you have to pay more for that, too. It probably gives better quality pictures, though. It's a very different kind of camera.