Nikon P7000: A photographer’s thoughts

November 16, 2010

The Nikon P7000: Instead of posting my compiled thoughts on Nikon’s G12 competitor on my own blog I thought it would be more fitting to share the love here at Phottix Journal.

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and in the case of the Nikon CoolPix P7000, this is resoundingly true. When you place the P7000 next to a Canon G11 or G12 you can see the striking resemblance. If you compare the trio you will find some interesting similarities and differences. All three have an optical viewfinder, 10MP over-sized sensor and a lens that starts at 28mm. However the Nikon P7000 also has a few differences; two programmable buttons, a pop up flash and a lens that stretches all the way out to 200mm.

I have been lucky enough to have spent the last two weeks in the company of one of these little cameras and despite my reservations against the Nikon I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of photos that this camera takes. Compared side by side to a Canon G11/G12 the P7000 definitely produces an image with better colour rendition, more dynamic range and less noise at high ISO. I was very happy using this camera at 1600 ISO and even 3200 ISO (in black and white). Even in low light with the AF-assist light turned off the AF system didn’t seem to struggle a lot!

Whilst the controls were well thought out and ergonomically placed, the presence of some strange options and the lethargic demeanor of the menu system make the P7000 a bit difficult to use quickly in full Manual. However I did eventually work out a system that worked for me. By slaving the Fn button to spot metering and the AE/AF Lock to just AE Lock and leaving the camera in Aperture Priority I found it really easy to control the camera without being slowed down by the animated menus that slow down the full Manual mode.

The best part about the P7000 was its hot shoe, this allowed me to use the Phottix Duo Cable and the Phottix Strato to easily move my flashes off camera. All of a sudden the P7000 is transformed into a pocket camera with strobist ability.

Cameron Fong is a regular writer on the Phottix Journal. The Australian-based photographer and Nikon guru runs Scout Images.

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