Nikon Coolpix P7000 Preview

October 1, 2010 | Mark Goldstein | 19 Comments | |
Nikon Coolpix P7000 Preview Image

Ahead of our full review next week, here's a quick preview of the Nikon Coolpix P7000 camera, including some full-size sample photos.

Nikon have gone back to the drawing board with the new P7000, a premium compact camera aimed at the advanced user or DSLR owner. While the previous P6000 was a good attempt to usurp the market-leader, the Canon G-series, it suffered from a few fundamental flaws which ultimately meant that we couldn’t revcommend it too strongly. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and that’s certainly the case with the new P7000 which looks at first glance like an exact doppleganger of the equally new Canon PowerShot G12.

The P7000 now sports three external dials on its top plate for setting the shooting mode, exposure compensation and 6 other key settings, plus there’s a Function button on the front of the camera which can be assigned a specific setting, and also three User shooting modes - this is certainly one of the more customisable cameras that we’ve seen on the Photography Blog test bench.

Nikon Coolpix P7000 Preview

The P7000 gets one up on the G12 by offering a bigger 7.1x zoom with a versatile 28-200mm focal range. Fans of true optical viewfinders will be delighted to hear that Nikon have retained one on the P7000, albeit a small and rather dim finder that we’d probably only use as a last resort when the high-resolution 921k-dot LCD screen can’t be viewed clearly. Another film-inspired feature is the built-in ND (neutral density) filter, useful for slowing down the shutter speed in very bright conditions.

An ISO range of 100-6400 is approaching DSLR-like specifications, although the noise in our higher-ISO full-size samples is very obvious, despite the 1/1.7-in. type CCD imaging sensor being larger than those used by most compacts. At lower ISO speeds, though, the images are very clean, so the early signs are that the P7000 has a perfectly usable ISO range of 100-800, with 1600 not looking too bad either.

Nikon Coolpix P7000 Preview

One of the drawbacks of the P6000 - the slow RAW processing times - doesn’t seem to have been cured on the P7000, with the camera taking around 4 seconds to record a RAW + Fine JPEG to the memory card, during which you can’t take another picture or operate the menu system. This is a shame as in most other respects the P7000 initially seems like a snappy performer, with a quick start-up time, negligible shutter lag and fast, accurate auto-focusing - all the things that the demanding photographer wants from a premium compact.

Other standout features include the step zoom function, which quickly sets the focal length to one of seven preset options, mimicking the selection of a prime lens,  a virtual horizon to help keep your landscapes straight, the new and enhanced NRW (RAW) format, and the now obligatory 720p movie mode complete with stereo sound, an external mic port and a HDMI connector.

Nikon Coolpix P7000 Preview

Priced at £489.99 / €580.00 / $499.95, the Nikon P7000 is admittedly more expensive than a lot of DSLRs - read our full review next week to find out if it’s worth the investment.

Nikon Coolpix P7000 Preview JPEG Images

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19 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 seoras

until these ‘high-end’ point and shoot cameras break away from the limiting 1/1.7in sensor they’ll all be compromised when it comes to image quality.It will come down to ergonomics over image quality.


5:02 pm - Friday, October 1, 2010

#2 José

Since these cameras aim to be a pocketable alternative to a DX or FX DSLR, that tiny sensor represents an acceptable trade off between noise, range and aperture.
Whilst you can get the same body size with a much bigger sensor (Sony NEX), just look at the lens size…
The sample result at ISO 800 look better than my D200. In a few years time sensor technology will have advanced so much that size (within reason) will not make that much difference up to ISO 1600/3200, just like right now, in good lighting conditions there’s not that much difference between a decent P&S and a DSLR at ISO 400.

7:49 pm - Friday, October 1, 2010

#3 Mark

Nothing new on the horizon…
Sadly, the usual tiny sensor 1/1.7 produces noisy images similar to that of a simple pocketable P&S camera…
So, this Nikon proves to be a poor camera not to buy. Best thing to do would be looking at bigger sensor cameras like Olympus Pen epl-1 & Sony nex 3-5. Nikon P7000 & Canon g12 just to avoid.

8:43 pm - Friday, October 1, 2010

#4 Jewellery Photography

I agree with the comments above, nothing really new, may be a good alternative for some, but we are not quite there yet in the alternative, pocket size camera for a DSLR

9:56 pm - Friday, October 1, 2010

#5 Hans Benndorf

Nikon, Canon, small sensor, point & shoot, what does it take to
wake You up ? This part of the market may be dead soon. The
P7000 is just another dressed up corpse. Yawn!

10:47 pm - Friday, October 1, 2010

#6 ????

Wow. that is nice.

7:15 pm - Saturday, October 2, 2010

#7 Zigster

I’m not sure which camera the first few posters are referring to, but look at the ISO 1600 and even the ISO 3200 full sized photo samples.  This is phenomenal performance, better than my D200, no doubt about it.

2:57 am - Sunday, October 3, 2010

#8 Hans Benndorf

The high ISO shots don’t impress me all that much. I’ve seen better from SONY,
OLYMPUS, PANASONIC and SAMSUNG. The NIKON P7000 is just another old dog
in a CANON like body. Boring!

6:56 am - Sunday, October 3, 2010

#9 Nick

Just remember the laws of physics. You can not put a DSLR on your pocket!
Good attempt by Nikon to solve the problem. I am in the Market of one.

8:39 am - Sunday, October 3, 2010

#10 C.Y.Leow

I hate it when a person just say “I’ve seen better from…” I own an E-P2 and that P7000 at ISO 3200 sample sure less noisy! Unless, of course you think the samples was fixed ;) Like Nick, I want one!!

11:16 am - Sunday, October 3, 2010

#11 John

Why can’t we have a slightly larger sensor say a 13mm x 9 mm sensor in a compact with just 7 megapixels, so that it would be significantly less noisy than run of the mill compacts.

8:33 pm - Sunday, October 3, 2010

#12 Josh

Too many n00b comments here.
All of these so-called ‘serious compacts’ are useless in less than optimal light, unless you can use the noise as grain.
I pity the people who waste their money on these overpriced toys.

8:48 pm - Sunday, October 3, 2010

#13 Marco

I have one for about a week now, and I really love it. Yes, compared to my D700 the image quality is average, but for a compact, pocketable camera, it’s great.
It’s the first compact I actually find usable in more than just snapshot occasions.

8:15 am - Monday, October 4, 2010

#14 John W.

The hideously slow write time for RAW images is the deal-breaker. Until someone can make a compact camera that allows you to shoot at least 1 frame per second, it’s all a waste of money.

9:02 pm - Monday, October 4, 2010

#15 C.Y.Leow

You are spot on John W.! I was very disappointed after reading the review! My E-P2 can shoot RAW + Jpeg at about 2 frames per sec, but I suppose you cannot classify it as a “compact”?
The slow RAW write on the P7000 is nearly as bad as my Coolpix 8400, which is how many generation before? I am disappointed with you Nikon!

9:12 pm - Monday, October 4, 2010

#16 Nikon Coolpix P7000

The P7000 serves as an excellent camera for all those who love to photograph as an hobby as well as a profession. I am planning on buying this camera very soon, I saw it for just 499$ on Amazon and I think its the best I can find.

8:31 pm - Tuesday, October 5, 2010

#17 Alvaro Bacim

Hello. I noted some low noise coming from my in my recently bought P7000, which sounds similar to an AF operation, even when not using it. And also some flashes on the monitor, while rotating the camera.
Also frequently not achieving good focusing.
Does anybody have comments?

1:01 pm - Thursday, October 28, 2010

#18 guenter timmer

Yes, the quality of pictures is ok, but ...
Charger was not ok, cant load accu, i have to change at my dealer.
After 2 weeks using the p7000 i got message. “af not ok”
I think the quality control at nikon ist not ok.

regards guenter, bremen germany

11:12 pm - Wednesday, February 2, 2011

#19 warren

I’ve had this camera for about 3 weeks now and was initially very impressed with it’s performance. However, the more I used it, the more I noticed certain performance issues. Trouble with sharp focus, excess noise in what I would consider adequate lighting, and slow shutter speeds causing blur in otherwise good lighting. On this last point, my panasonic lumix DSC-TS10 more correctly automatically chooses a faster shutter speed under identical lighting conditions. So, I’m not sure if it is me or if the camera is losing it’s original performance or what? Performance in low light is also very poor in my opinion. Difficult to capture spontaneous shots at concerts etc ...
Any thoughts are welcome. I plan to compare two Nikons side by side to see if performance is consistent.
On a more positive note, I love the zoom capabilities and access to controls.

4:47 pm - Thursday, July 7, 2011