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Nikon Coolpix P7100 Premium Compact Digital Camera

October 26 2011

by Philip Northeast

The tilting rear LCD screen is the significant change in Nikon’s recently released Coolpix P7100 digital camera.

Nikon Coolpix P7100 with zoom lens extended

The P7100 inherits most of the features and capabilities of its predecessor, the Coolpix P7000.  The major change is the new vari-angle rear LCD screen making the Coolpix P7100 more appealing to photographers currently using Point & Shoot cameras with LCD screens.

The Coolpix P7100 has all the essential controls of larger cameras, as well as an array of fully automatic modes and in-camera image processing.  The makes the little Nikon attractive to a range of photographers from beginners through to advanced photographers.

The Nikon Coolpix P7100 with the rear LCD screen tilted

For beginners there are the ubiquitous scene modes for automatic exposure under a variety of conditions. The Nikon Coolpix P7100 also has a full range of manual and semi automatic exposure modes that expert photographers are familiar with, so they can get the best out of the P7100. For beginners the advanced capabilities offer a learning path they can follow at their own pace. Travelers of all photographic abilities will appreciate the Coolpix P7100 for its blend of image quality and convenient size.

“The new COOLPIX P7100 is an enthusiast compact camera that provides stellar image quality, superior mobility and operability, as well as quick response and performance during even the most challenging shooting situations,” said Lisa Osorio, General Manager of Marketing at Nikon Inc. “The COOLPIX P7100 will allow users to explore their creative freedom, yet delivers the amazing results that they have become accustomed to with their Nikon cameras.”

Quality according to DxOMark is comparable with the similar Canon G12 compact but trails Nikon’s new compact interchangeable lens cameras, the J1 and V1.

DxOMark summary of perfomance comparison between Nikon V1, P7100 and Canon G12

The P7100 may trail the other two cameras in the DxOMark comparison but where most compact digital cameras have the smaller 1/2.23 size sensor the P7100 has a larger 1/1.7 size sensor. There is a graphical representation of the difference in sensor sizes in our article Understanding Sensor Size.

Size Comparison

The big advantage of the Coolpix P7100 over the Nikon V1 is the compact zoom lens. One of the trade offs for achieving higher image quality in the V1 is larger lens.

Coolpix P7100:

W x H  x D   116.3 x 76.9 x 48   –  weight 395 G with battery and card.

Nikon 1 V1:

W x H  x D   113    x 76   x  43.5  –  weight 409 G with the standard kit zoom lens.

The lens is 42mm long adding to the real depth of V1, giving  it a depth of about 80mm.

The compact fixed zoom lens goes from wide angle to telephoto and along with the sharp price make the Coolpix P7100 an attractive alternative to larger cameras. The slim shape and compact size making it easy to carry and slip in and out of pockets or handbags.

The P7100 may be more likely to get the shots that larger and more capable cameras may miss.  This is because photographers can carry the P7100 at times when it could be awkward to carry a larger camera.

RAW Format

Apart from the degree of control over  exposure and autofocus, the Nikon P7100 has another significant advantage over Point & Shoot cameras, it can save image files in RAW format.   This is  avenue for photographers to optimise their photos in post processing using sophisticated software tools such as DxO Optics Pro or Adobe Lightroom.

DxOMark dynamic range comparison Nikon V1, P7100 and Canon G12

Using the RAW image data can help minimise the relative short comings of the P7100 in the area of and dynamic range.

Price and Availability

The Nikon COOLPIX P7100 is available from photo retailers including Adorama at an estimated  price of $US499.95



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