Another major addition to this latest Coolpix model is the provision of a tiltable 3in LCD screen that packs a 920k-dot resolution. The screen has amazing colour reproduction and is bright and clear even in direct sunshine. The P7100 also features an optical viewfinder that, whilst rather small and with only an 80 per cent coverage, is still a welcome inclusion in a compact and one that will certainly pleases many enthusiast photographers.
A pop-up flash for when needs must
While Nikon’s Coolpix P7000 had been heavily criticised for having sluggish processing speeds, by contrast, the P7100 model is fast and responsive in every operation. From quick menu and settings reactions to excellent start-up time, good writing speed in JPEG format and a smooth and accurate Autofocus response I can’t possibly fault the P7100 on performance. RAW shooting can still be a little slow but it is more than adequate for this class of camera and usually a sticking point even for higher models.
The P7100 has a good choice of well crafted and realistic filter effects in addition to a wealth of 18 preset scenes to select from but I was disappointed Nikon did not include their Easy Panorama functions into its features, opting instead for the outdated Panorama Assist mode, which still needs manual stitching in place of its more advanced composite automatic version featured by other compacts.
The Coolpix P7100 mounts a very versatile 28-200mm (equivalent) f/2.8-5.6 zoom lens that benefits from very well controlled chromatic aberrations. A new addition is the Zoom Memory function that lets you select 6 different zoom presets to quickly switch to your the preferred focal length in every scene. Another nod to the enthusiast photographer is its Neutral Density filter that increases creative exposure control by providing a three-stop drop off in shutter speed that allows you to select slower shutter speeds even in bright conditions.
Dim view: a neutral density filter is on-board too
The P7100’s complex vibration reduction system, which in addition to the lens VR also adds a Motion Detection function to compensate for both camera and subject movements and a Best Shot Selector that automatically chooses the sharpest image of up to 10 continuous shots, further improves this camera low light and low speed performance.
Next page: Sample Shots
It's not £500 quid anywhere.
"That said, the price tag on this camera will by itself exclude most happy snappers"
Why is this even mentioned when the link to amazon.co.uk shows their price as £359 and others as low as £333?
mmm, Nokia N8
maynot have as big a lens but has better performance in many respects, acts as a phone, mobile office and kid amuser (games) while costing a lot less.
I too was interested in this camera for it's wide aperture until I found the following comparison...
"A camera's overall image quality score takes into account: color depth, dynamic range and low light performance.
Snapsort uses metrics from DXOMark to determine how good a camera's overall image quality is."
That kind of did it for me. Not that I'll get a G12 as I have a G9 already and know the limitations. I think my most likely pick up is from one or more of: Canon S100 for a take everywhere; Micro 4/3rds or LX5 for when I don't want to carry the big DSLR.
How's the lens?
I'm not sure I can afford a new camera at all yet, but my camera ogling is currently split between the Olympus XZ-1, the Fuji X10 and this camera.
It seems that this camera with it's 28-200mm equivalent f/2.8-5.6 lens can actually give you at most f/2.8 at 28mm, f/3.2 at 35mm, f/3.5 at 50mm, f/4 at 85mm, f/4.5 at 105mm and f/5.6 at full telephoto (200mm equiv).
The XZ-1 has a f/1.8-2.8 lens running from 28mm to 112mm equivalent, giving you f/1.8 at 28mm, f/2 at 35mm and 50mm, f/2.2 at 85mm, f2.5 at 105mm and beyond.
I've not found any such detailed information for the X10, but it runs from f/2.0 at 28mm and f/2.8 at 112mm.
In terms of sensors both the X10 and XZ-1 seem to have 1/1.7" sensors while this has a slightly smaller 1/1.8" sensor. Additionally the X10 is based on a CMOS sensor wheras the other two use CCDs. And the X10 has a lovely mag alloy body. On the other hand it is significantly more expensive.
On paper the XZ-1 still wins in terms of selective depth of (in-focus) field, and is just about the cheapest (although the P7100 is not much more currently and may drop lower). The X-10 may be better for low light photography with it's CMOS sensor, but it's slightly slower lens may offset that. I think the XZ1 the slowest of the three in terms of shot-to-shot time (though I've not seen the P7100 and X10 compared in that respect). And it has the worst handgrip and no viewfinder (though that doesn't matter much to me personally).
But I think the XZ-1 has the sharpest lens, though certainly the latter two have acceptably sharp lenses. The XZ-1 lens is a pocket rocket though, only let down by a tendency towards barrel distortion out wide.
I haven't seen proper comparisons in terms of handling yet. I suspect the P7100 and X10 are neck and neck. Oh, I don't know, but then I don't actually think I can afford the outlay at the moment anyway.
The review for the V1 a few days back put a price tag on the device that was enormous. If you did a quick google you could get it for nearly £300 cheaper.
I dont think you need to take the pricetag on the review as gospel.