Nikon Coolpix P7800 Review

October 10, 2013 | Mark Goldstein | |

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 12 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 4.5Mb.

The Nikon Coolpix P7800's image quality is excellent for a compact camera with a relatively small image sensor. The Nikon Coolpix P7800 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 3200 and finally the unusable 6400 setting.

The Nikon Coolpix P7800 handled chromatic aberrations excellently with limited purple fringing effects appearing only in high contrast situations. The 12 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 P7800'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. The Active D-Lighting and Backlighting modes extract more detail from the shadow and highlight areas, while the various Picture Controls and Special Effects allow you to customise the look of your images in-camera.

Noise

The Nikon Coolpix P7800 has 8 sensitivity settings ranging from ISO 80 to ISO 6400 at full resolution.

JPEG RAW

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

iso80.jpg iso80raw.jpg
   

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100raw.jpg
   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso200raw.jpg
   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso400raw.jpg
   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso800raw.jpg
   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600raw.jpg
   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso3200.jpg iso3200raw.jpg
   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

iso6400.jpg iso6400raw.jpg

Focal Range

The Nikon Coolpix P7800's 7.1x zoom lens provides a focal length of 28-200mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.

28mm

200mm

focal_range1.jpg focal_range2.jpg

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)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
   
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

File Quality

At full resolution, there are two JPEG quality settings available and also support for the RAW format

Fine (4.32Mb) (100% Crop)

Normal (2.49Mb) (100% Crop)

quality_fine.jpg quality_normal.jpg
   

RAW (25.8Mb) (100% Crop)

 
quality_raw.jpg  

Chromatic Aberrations

The Nikon Coolpix P7800 shows little purple fringing, with very limited effects in areas of high contrast as shown in the example below.

Chromatic Aberrations (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg

Macro

The Nikon Coolpix P7800 allows you to get as close as 2cms to your subject, in this case a Compact Flash card.

Macro

Macro (100% Crop)

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg

Flash

The flash settings on the Nikon Coolpix P7800 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)
flash_on.jpg flash_on1.jpg
   

Red Eye Reduction

Red Eye Reduction (100% Crop)

flash_redeye.jpg flash_redeye1.jpg

Night

The Nikon Coolpix P7800'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 15 seconds at ISO 80.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg

Vibration Reduction

The Nikon Coolpix P7800 has an vibration reduction mechanism, which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than other digital cameras. To test this, we 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.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Anti Shake Off (100% Crop)

Anti Shake On (100% Crop)
1/5th sec / 28mm antishake1.jpg antishake1a.jpg
     
1/2 sec / 200mm antishake2.jpg antishake2a.jpg

Active D-Lighting

Active D-Lighting 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

dlighting_1.jpg dlighting_2.jpg
   

Normal

High

dlighting_3.jpg dlighting_4.jpg

Backlighting

The Backlighting scene mode captures multiple frames at different exposures and and combines them into one image with greater dynamic range.

Off

Level 1

backlighting_1.jpg backlighting_2.jpg
   

Level 2

Level 3

backlighting_3.jpg backlighting_4.jpg

Picture Controls

The Nikon Coolpix P7800 has four preset Picture Controls and a Custom option, which allow you to tweak the look and feel of your images.

Standard

Neutral

picture_control_1.jpg picture_control_2.jpg
   

Vivid

Monochrome

picture_control_3.jpg picture_control_4.jpg

Special Effects

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

Off

Creative Monochrome

effects_01.jpg effects_02.jpg
   

Painting

Zoom Exposure

effects_03.jpg effects_04.jpg
   

Defocus During Exposure

Cross Process

effects_05.jpg effects_06.jpg
   

Soft

Nostalgic Sepia

effects_07.jpg effects_08.jpg
   

High Key

Low Key

effects_09.jpg effects_10.jpg
   

Selective Color (Red)

 
effects_11.jpg  

Panoramas

The Nikon Coolpix P7800 can capture panoramic images by simply "sweeping" the camera, with two widths on offer, Standard (180 degrees) and Wide (360 degrees).

Standard
panorama1.jpg
 
Wide
panorama2.jpg