Nikon Coolpix 7900
Review Date: May 2nd 2005
The Nikon Coolpix 7900 has a 7.1 megapixel 1/1.8-inch type CCD. There are five image sizes available (7M (3072x2304), 5M (2592x1944), 3M (2048x1536), PC (1024x768), TV (640x480)) and three file quality settings , Fine, Normal and Basic, which are available for all the image sizes. The Nikon Coolpix 7900 features a 3x Zoom-Nikkor optical zoom lens that is equivalent to a 38-114 mm lens on a 35mm format camera. Focusing range is 30cm to infinity and in macro mode the Nikon Coolpix 7900 can focus as close as 4 cm from the subject. The camera supports the SD Memory Card format and has 13.5Mb built-in internal memory.
The Nikon Coolpix 7900 offers 16 different Scene modes (Party/Indoor, Beach/Snow, Sunset, Dusk/Dawn, Night landscape, Close up, Museum, Fireworks show, Copy, Back light, Panorama assist, Underwater) plus a fully Automatic shooting mode. It also has a feature called Scene Assist in four of the scene modes (Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Night portrait), which basically gives you more detailed options for the specific mode, and there is a Best Shot selector mode which will choose the sharpest image for you.
Exposure compensation of ± 2.0 in 1/3 EV stops is available on the Nikon Coolpix 7900 and a histogram is displayed on the LCD screen when you press the EV button. There are four exposure metering controls (Matrix, Center-Weighted, Spot and Spot Auto-Focus Area) and exposure auto-bracketing is also available. There are two types of focusing available (Single Auto Focus and Continuous Auto Focus) and three Auto Focus areas (5-area automatic focus selection, Manual (99-area manual focus selection) and Center-focus area). There is also an Auto-Focus Assist option to help the Nikon Coolpix 7900 focus in low-light situations.
The aperture range is f2.8– f4.9 and the shutter speed range is 4 sec. – 1/2000 second. There are 4 ISO speeds available, equivalent to ISO 50/100/200/400. There are 7 different White Balance settings to choose from (Automatic, Daylight, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Cloudy, Shade and Speedlight) plus a Preset setting. White balance auto-bracketing is also available.
The Nikon Coolpix 7900 has a range of continuous shooting modes including Continuous (approx. 1.7fps), 5-shot buffer and Multi-shot 16 (available only at 5M image size). There is also a self-timer which has a 3 or 10 second delay, and there are are number of different colour options (Standard, Vivid, Black and White, Sepia, Cyanotype). Image adjustment allows you to change the contrast (Normal, More, Less, Auto) and there are 5 sharpening settings (Auto, High, Normal, Low and Off). Colour saturation can also be changed with three settings available (Enhanced, Normal and Moderate). The Nikon Coolpix 7900 also offers a Noise Reduction mode.
Images are recorded as JPEGs in a range of different quality and size settings. To compose your images, you can use both the LCD monitor, which has 100% scene coverage, or the traditional optical viewfinder. The Nikon Coolpix 7900 Zoom has a 2 inch LCD monitor which has 115,000 pixels and brightness control, and is powered by either the supplied proprietary rechargeable lithium-ion battery or Duracell CP-1 prismatic battery (optional).
The built-in flash offers a range of different modes (Auto, Red-eye Reduction Auto (In-Camera Red-Eye Fix), Anytime Flash, Flash Cancel and Slow sync). The effective range is approx. 0.3-4.5m at the wide-angle lens setting, and approx. 0.3-3.5m at the telephoto lens setting.
The Nikon Coolpix 7900 can record movies of 640x480 at 15 or 30 frames/sec., and 320x240 pixels and 160x120 pixels at 30fps with monaural sound. They are recorded in the Motion JPEG format, a type of AVI format that can be played back by QuickTime 3 or later. The Nikon Coolpix 7900 also has a Electronic VR (Vibration Reduction) feature which helps reduce the effects of camera shake in movies (but not still images).
The video-output socket allows you to connect the camera to your television (PAL or NTSC) and the high-speed USB 2.0 port connects the camera to your computer via a USB cable. The Nikon Coolpix 7900 is PictBridge compatible, which is the industry standard for printing images from a digital camera without using a PC. The Nikon Coolpix 7900 dimensions are 88 (W) x 60 (H) x 36.5 (D) mm, and it weighs 150g without batteries and storage card fitted.
Finally, the box kit that I reviewed contains a Strap, USB cable, Audio Video cable, EN-EL5 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery, MH-61 Battery charger and the PictureProject CD-ROM. You will need to invest in some SD Cards to store your images on, as the camera's internal memory can only store approximately 4 images at the default 7M file quality setting.
PhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the Nikon Coolpix 7900 have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.