Nikon Coolpix P7100 first look video review
UPDATED: 19/11/2011 – Full review now available…
The below are our first impressions based on a short, hands-on time with the product. However, we now have full test results on the Nikon Coolpix P7100 from our testing labs. Go to the Nikon Coolpix P7100 for our definitive verdict on whether you should buy this product.
What is the Nikon Coolpix P7100?
A replacement for the P7000, the Coolpix P7100 is the latest in a long line of cameras designed for camera enthusiasts that want a compact alternative to a digital SLR. Consequently the P7100 features lots of manual controls and an optical viewfinder, which is easier to use for lining up shops. This is especially true when in bright sunlight, where the LCD screen can become difficult to use.
Nikon plans to release the Coolpix P7100 in September for around £500. The P7000 currently costs around £300.
What’s the difference between the P7000 and P7100?
Superficially there aren’t that many differences between the two cameras. Both share the same 7.1x optical zoom lens with a 28mm wide-angle, the same 10 megapixel resolution and basic body design. Viewed from the front the bodies are identical as well, sporting the same chunky yet easy to handle design. There are loads of manual controls on-hand, such as a dedicated dial for adjusting the exposure compensation.
One major physical difference, however, is the screen. It’s the same size (3-inches), but it’s now now articulated so you can tilt it upwards or downwards. This is really useful for shooting from awkward angles, such as over the top of crowds and low down to the ground.
Nikon also claims to have improve the image quality and speed of the P7100, though we’ll have to wait for a full lab test to see how it performs on that front. Speed was an issue we highlighted in our review of the P7000, however, where we said:
When you’re shooting in RAW, the delay from one shot to the next is agonizingly slow. This lag is even worse when you’re continuously shooting by holding the shutter button down.
For more details, read our full Nikon Coolpix P7000 review.
What alternatives are there to the Nikon Coolpix P7100?
The most obvious alternative to the P7100, aside from its predecessor the P7000, is the Canon PowerShot G12. It’s got a very similar design and concept, though the P7100 has a longer optical zoom at 7.1x against the G12′s 5x optical zoom range. The G12 is due an update, however, so it’s likely the G13 will be announced in the coming months.
Another alternative is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3. It’s a ‘micro-four thirds’ camera, which means it supports interchangeable lenses just like an SLR. Despite this it remains just as compact as the P7100, possibly more so.
Sample photos from the Nikon Coolpix P7100
To give you an idea of how the P7100 performs we took a few quick snaps with the camera. These were taken using the automatic mode on the camera, but they give you an idea of how well it performs.
In the full review…
These are just our first impressions of the Nikon Coolpix P7100. When it’s released we’ll be sending it to our labs for a full test. Which? tests every camera to stringent standards, giving you the definitive verdict on:
Picture quality In our lab-based reviews we look at a number of aspects of picture quality, and put each camera through a series of challenging tests that reflect everyday use – such as photographing on sunny days or indoors.
Viewfinder and monitor accuracy Using a test chart, the accuracy of the viewfinder and monitor is measured by comparing what the viewfinder and monitor see with the image the camera takes at both wide angle and telephoto settings.
Speed Shutter delay is measured precisely using a sophisticated timing method so we can see how long the delay is between pressing the shutter and capturing the image. We also measure start up time, time between shots and the speed of the camera’s burst mode.
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