Real World Review – Nikon P7000: A pocket master
OK, maybe you have to have a decent sized pocket, but the size and overall weight , are a deciding factor when you pick up a camera before leaving the office. (or home)
For years, we’ve depended on the tiny compact cameras for the suit jacket. But the quality just wasn’t quite cutting it.
When you wanted good files, and didn’t need to change lenses, the standard bearer for many years has been the G series from Canon.
They have real competition now from the latest in the Nikon line-up, the P7000.
Not brand new, but we like to actually shoot with the camera for awhile to get a true feel. We all have certain requirements in a compact, and like your fondest experiences in life, you compare everything else to it.
And that is where we found ourselves with this unit: When we didn’t want to bring the full frame DSLR out, would we be happy?
Well, once again we reiterate: are the megapixel wars over?
With 10 megapixles in this unit, it appears so. Shoving more in, creates more noise ta higher ISO’s. Sure adobe Lightroom , and some sweet noise reduction, but……
It has the dials we like in an ergonomic position. And thankfully, it’s not just a turn of a dial that gets you to adjustments but an additional button press that get the menu to show up, preventing accidental changes, like this:
Each mode has a line like this one above, and the side wheel lets you choose.
And on the other side, one dial gives you modes, 18 scene selections, and another your exposure over/under.
You can have as much or as little info on your screen. In a few seconds, this exposure variation was gone.
With an incredible 3in, 921,000 pixel LCD screen, if you decided to do manual focus, you’re all good. Nice and sharp, you see what you’re focusing on. Plus, it’s just beautiful to look at.
The solid colors from the camera show off perfect on this. Or switch to the viewfinder, and we sometimes old school it, and go that way.
This is where we start to see our fave features: The ease of using selective focus, and pointing to a main area, just like on our Nikon DSLR’s makes getting the shots we like to do, easy.
We have been shooting lunch for about 20 years. There are many times that the DSLR is way to much for the table.
But we still need a high quality file. As you can see, vertical is a mainstay for us, and the hero plate needs it’s depth of field love.
Here is another look at the focus point chosen in a horizontal:
And it’s primarily a button push, and a press on the wheel to get to the perfect place.
Nikon has packed so many useful tools onto this chassis, you’d be hard pressed to feel at a loss for some option. Admittedly, when we first were working with it, a couple of time the monitor button was pushed and we were a bit at a loss as to where our image was.
With a full hot shoe, it does get a bit top top heavy so you may want to resize your speedlight to an SB-R400. Or cable on an SB29 and fire away. Perhaps a pocket Wizard.
Get all Terry Richardson and stuff.( too out there?)
The built in flash is surprisingly useful, though with a range of :[W]: 1 ft. 8in. to 21ft., and [T]: 2 ft. 8in. to 9 ft. 10in.
With a built in lens equivalent to a 28-200mm you get a ton of range in this small package. The speed is fine with a f2.8-5.6.
You can add accessory lenses if you must.Remove the ring and they’ll lock into place.
Seems to defeat the purpose of a compact, but if this is your prime camera, a little versatility is helpful.
You can bracket away, for you HDR folks, or nailing exposure, folks.
Simply put: we love the RAW/jpg shooting, the lens range rocks, the selective focus is key, the LCD is sharp as a tack, Video is good with an ext. mic input, but we don’t use that. Sorry. We shoot still with this unit.
The battery life is crazy good, as the specs say 350 shots, and finally, we believe that spec.
Although similar in dimensions to the Canon G12, it is a lighter camera, not by much, but is not as much of a brick.
People actually came up to me expecting it to be the Canon, and were surprised it was the Nikon.
It wasn’t like the old commercial where the restaurant switched coffee on the patrons and totally psyched them them out when they found out it was another brand.
They do look similar. The proof though is in the images. You will not go wrong with either camera (review coming on the Canon G-12).
We feel comfortable with the interface, dial placement and ergonomics.
For what we shoot, it does the trick. And the price? We’ve seen it for $379. at Amazon. Just click the previous link and put it in your cart to get that price.
To answer the would we be happy question, from way on top of this review, yes, we are VERY happy.
Highly Recommended compact.
Here is a sample of a lunch photo using selective focus on the Nikon P7000: