Nikon Coolpix P7100 Review

4.5
October 10, 2011 | Mark Goldstein |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 10 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 4Mb.

The Nikon Coolpix P7100's image quality is excellent for a compact camera with a small image sensor. The Nikon Coolpix P7100's dealt very well with noise, which doesn't really become obvious until ISO 800. The noise, colour desaturation and loss of detail gets progressively worse as you go from ISO 800 to ISO 1600 and finally 3200 and the unusable 6400 setting.

The Nikon Coolpix P7100 handled chromatic aberrations excellently with limited purple fringing effects appearing only in high contrast situations. The 10.1 megapixel images were a little soft straight out of the camera at the default sharpen setting and either require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you should increase the in-camera sharpening level.

The Nikon Coolpix P7100's maximum shutter speed is 60 seconds, which is excellent news for night photography enthusiasts, and the quality of the after-dark images is very good. Macro performance is one of the stand-out highlights, allowing you to focus as close as 2cms away from the subject, although there is a lot of lens distortion and shadowing at such a close distance.

Vibration reduction is a very useful feature that works very well when hand-holding the camera in low-light conditions or using the telephoto end of the zoom range. The built-in flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and good overall exposure.

Noise

The Nikon Coolpix P7100 has 7 sensitivity settings ranging from ISO 100 to ISO 6400 at full resolution.

JPEG RAW

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

Focal Range

The Nikon Coolpix P7100's 7.1x zoom lens provides a focal length of 28-200mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.

28mm

200mm

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops - the right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are slightly soft at the default sharpening setting and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can alternatively change the in-camera sharpening level to suit your tastes.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

File Quality

At full resolution, there are three JPEG quality settings available including Normal, Fine and Basic.

Fine (3.86Mb) (100% Crop)

Normal (2.16Mb) (100% Crop)

   

Basic (1.13Mb) (100% Crop)

RAW (15.6Mb) (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations

The Nikon Coolpix P7100 shows little purple fringing, with very limited effects in areas of high contrast as shown in the example below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Nikon Coolpix P7100 allows you to get as close as 2cms to your subject, in this case a Compact Flash card.

Macro Shot

100% Crop

Flash

The flash settings on the Nikon Coolpix P7100 are Auto, Auto with Red-eye reduction, Fill Flash, Manual (Full, 1/2, 1/4 1/8, 1/16, 1/32 and 1/64), Slow Sync, Rear-curtain Sync and Flash Off. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m. Some vignetting and barrel distortion is apparent at the 28mm wide-angle setting, irrespective of whether you use the flash or not.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (28mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (28mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (200mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (200mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are a couple of portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Fill Flash or the Auto with Red-eye reduction options caused any amount of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Red Eye Reduction

Red Eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night

The Nikon Coolpix P7100's maximum shutter speed is 60 seconds in the Manual mode, which is excellent news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 5 seconds at ISO 100.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Vibration Reduction

The Nikon Coolpix P7100 has an vibration reduction mechanism, which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than other digital cameras. To test this, I took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the lens set to the same focal length and ISO speed. The first shot was taken with vibration reduction turned off, the second with it turned on. As you can see, with vibration reduction turned on, the images are definitely sharper than with vibration reduction turned off. This feature really does seem to make a difference and could mean capturing a successful, sharp shot or missing the opportunity altogether. Here is a 100% crop of the images to show the results.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Anti Shake Off (100% Crop)

Anti Shake On (100% Crop)
1 sec / 28mm
     
1.3 secs / 200mm

Active D-Lighting

This function improves the detail in both the highlight and shadow areas. There are three strengths available - Low, Normal and High - the effects of which can be seen below.

Off

Low

   

Normal

High

Picture Controls

The P7100 has four Picture Controls, which allow you to tweak the look and feel of your images, with 4 presets and a Custom option on offer.

Standard

Neutral

   

Vivid

Monochrome

Special Effects

The new Effects mode offers a variety of 10 creative options, including a mechanically controlled Zoom exposure, Defocus during exposure and Cross processing.

Off

Creative Monochrome

   

Painting

Zoom Exposure

   

Deficus During Exposure

Cross Process

   

Soft

Nostalgic Sepia

   

High Key

Low Key

   

Selective Color (Pink)

 
 

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, compact, hdmi, nikon, RAW, coolpix, 10 megapixel, prosumer, tilting, 28mm, tilt, 7x zoom, stereo sound, 28mm lens, optical viewfinder, NRW, p7100, P7100 Review, Nikon P7100 Review, Nikon Coolpix P7100 Review

Tracker Pixel for Entry