Nikon Coolpix P950 Review

February 24, 2020 | Amy Davies |

Nikon Coolpix P950 Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 16 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 7Mb.

We didn’t expect there to be any surprises when it came to image quality from the Nikon Coolpix P950, considering it uses the same sensor and lens combination as its predecessor, the P900.

What that means is that you get nicely vibrant images which show a good degree of realism. As we’d expect from a small sensor, the best results can be seen when shooting in good light.

An improvement to the Nikon Coolpix P950 comes in the shape of adding raw format recording support. This means you now have more flexibility to tweak images after the fact, which is likely to be welcome news for enthusiast photographers.

As we saw before, images directly from the camera have an overall good impression of detail when you’re viewing them at normal web or printing sizes (A4 or below). It’s possible to see some evidence of image smoothing when viewing images at 100% at even reasonably low or mid-range ISOs, such as ISO 400, but it only becomes particularly apparent at normal viewing sizes from ISO 800 onwards.

It’s best to stick to below ISO 3200, or even ISO 1600 if at all possible, for best image quality. At the wide-angle end of the lens, the aperture opens up as fast f/2.8, which is good news for keeping to lower ISO numbers where possible.

With up to 83x optical zoom available, it’s important to discuss how well the zoom performs. The biggest problem is that aperture narrows to f/6.3 at the furthest reach, so if light is anything but optimal, you might see some obvious loss in image quality, even at reasonably small sizes.

On a more positive note, image stabilisation does a reasonable job of keeping most images blur free. We’d probably recommend steering clear of the digital zoom, but with 83x available, it’s debatable whether you really do need it in the first place.

The vast majority of the time, the all-purpose metering setting does a good of producing well-balanced exposures. With the ability to shoot in raw format introduced, being able to tweak highlights and shadows in post-production is a welcome feature on the occasion that a high-contrast scene might throw it off. For those that prefer to get it right in-camera, dialling in a little exposure compensation can help to lift some dull scenes.

Again, as before, automatic white balance is excellent, producing accurate colours under a variety of different lighting conditions. Though specific white balance presets are available, you might find little need to use them - especially with the addition of raw format shooting support.

Noise

The Nikon Coolpix P950 has 7 sensitivity settings ranging from ISO 100 to ISO 6400 at full resolution for both JPEG and Raw file formats.

JPEG RAW

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 P950's 83x zoom lens provides an astonishing focal range of 24-2000mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.

24mm

focal_range1.jpg

2000mm

focal_range2.jpg

Sharpening

The out-of-the camera images from the Nikon Coolpix P950 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

Chromatic Aberrations

Given the range of the zoom lens, the Nikon Coolpix P950 shows remarkably little purple fringing, with limited effects in areas of high contrast as shown in the examples below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg

Macro

The Nikon Coolpix P950 allows you to get as close as 1cm to your subject.

macro1.jpg

Flash

The flash settings on the Nikon Coolpix P950 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.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (24mm)

ISO 64

Flash On - Wide Angle (24mm)

ISO 64

Flash Off - Telephoto (2000mm)

ISO 64

Flash On - Telephoto (2000mm)

ISO 64

And here are a couple of portrait shots.

Flash Off

Selfie-NoFlash.JPG
Flash On
Selfie-WithFlash.JPG

Night

The Nikon Coolpix P950's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds in the Manual mode, which is good news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 30 seconds at ISO 100.

longexposure.JPG

Filter Effects

You can apply 10 different filter effects in-camera to photos that you have already taken with the Nikon Coolpix P950.

Cross Process Blue

Cross Process Green

crossprocessblue.JPG crossprocessgreen.JPG

Cross Process Red

Cross Process Yellow

crossprocessred.JPG crossprocessyellow.JPG

High Contrast Monochrome

High Contrast Monochrome 1

highisomonochrome.JPG high-contrastmono1.JPG

High Key

Nostalgic Sepia

highkey1.JPG nostalgicsepia1.JPG

Selective Color

Soft

selectivecolor1.JPG soft.JPG

Panorama

The Nikon Coolpix P950's Easy Panorama mode allows you to take vertical or horizontal panorama photos simply by moving the camera in the direction of the on-screen guides. Multiple shots are then combined into a single panorama photo. The angle of view can be selected from 180° (normal) and 360° (wide).

Easy Panorama - 180°
panorama1.jpg