The new Nikon COOLPIX P7700 was announced in the late summer of 2012 as the company's Performance-series flagship, a camera designed with the true photo enthusiast in mind. As a current owner of the Nikon COOLPIX P7100, I was curious as to what improvements might have been made.
Read a good number of first-look previews, then decided that it was worth a second look. I luckily had a chance for a short hands-on local preview, along with a few other cameras as noted below, then decided that there were enough features and improvements that made the P7700 well worth considering, so I put in my order here on Amazon and waited for it to be released.
It's a decision that I don't regret. Getting down to the subjective nitty-gritty, here are my basic observations.
+ Substantial 7.1x optical zoom; extra punch over 4x or 5x helps
+ Fully articulated 3-inch Vari-Angle LCD display; extra sharp at 921,000 dots
+ New 12.2 Megapixel CMOS-type sensor; offers excellent image quality
+ Improved ergonomics; rational array of controls, easy to master
+ Rechargeable EN-EL14 Li-ion battery; averages 310 - 330 shots per charge
+ Full manual exposure plus Program, Aperture- and Shutter priority modes
+ Much faster operational speeds than the P7000 or P7100
+ Uses readily available SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards; full support
+ RAW (NRW) support; 19 Scene modes for creative control
+ ISO range is 80-1600; can be boosted to 6400
+ Accepts any Ø40.5 mm filters; compatible with Nikon 1 series
+ Hot shoe; accepts wide variety of Nikon Speedlight units or GP-1 GPS Unit
+ Rubberized grip area on the body; adds to handling
- As with the P7100, wish this camera would go to 24mm wide angle
- Picky point: 40.5mm lens cap has easy-to-bump tabs making it easy to lose
◆ First Impressions:
There was little about the new P7700 of which I wasn't aware before my Amazon order arrived and it came out of the box. Had read a number of editorial comments and had a brief hands-on locally. When first unboxed, it's immediately noticeable that this is a solid camera, and that's probably due to its magnesium chassis. There's a definite professional feel to the P7700, similar to the older P7100, yet in a more refined package.
Followed the printed Quick Start Guide and charged the battery for the recommended 1½ hours while reading and going through the box contents. This camera came packaged with the following:
▪ AN-CP22 Strap
▪ UC-E17 USB Cable
▪ EG-CP16 Audio Video Cable
▪ EN-EL14 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
▪ MH-24 Quick Charger
▪ LC-CP26 Lens Cap
▪ NikonView NX 2 CD-ROM
▪ P7700 Reference Manual on CD-ROM
▪ Printed Quick Start Guide
▪ Yellow Nikon USA Warranty Card
The MH-24 Battery Charger blinks when charging, and glows steadily when the battery is topped up. I put the battery cap in a safe place for when it's needed, and once the battery was charged, inserted a Class 10 SDHC card and took the P7700 out for a trial run to get a feel for it, carrying my older and more familiar P7100 along as a comparison.
Though I had briefly played with this P7700 before, I now had a chance to really put it through its paces. Larger than most compacts, this camera subjectively has quite a comfortable feel; everything seems to fit the hand and eye quite easily. There are enough controls and options that can be set to customize it to ones individual preferences, and in my initial explorations, found that this was easy to accomplish.
◆ The P7700 In Use:
As expected, the camera offers complete PSAM control from the top dial near the shutter button, but the small Quick Menu dial on the left top of the camera body quickly became my ally. This made access of the various functions such as ISO settings, white balance, auto bracketing and such to be far easier than exploring the camera menus. Tried various shots trying face detection, the different metering settings and such, all as part of the learning experience. This shortcut method is far better than digging into the viewfinder menus to access the various features, and it's fully customizable. Still working my way through all of the automation features, but there are nineteen Scene modes offering some very artistic in-camera effects.
The small optical viewfinder that was found on the P7100 is gone, yet for this user it's not missed much, as this new P7700 comes with a fully articulated 3-inch Vari-Angle LCD display. The P7100 has a tilting 3-inch LCD display, which is quite good, but this new one is as versatile as those found on some of the Nikon DSLRs. It offers a brilliant and very sharp screen, offering very close to 100% of what your results will be, and for one who wears glasses, those 921,000 dots do help. Being fully articulated, it allows for creativity from some fairly awkward angles, and as I have made good and frequent use of this feature on my D5000, I'm pleased to have it on this camera. Reverse the screen before you put the P7700 away and the LCD is protected.
Once one gets used to the P7700, and that doesn't very take long, the ergonomics and controls are excellent. I'm just the occasional video shooter, but the resolution has been increased from 720p to full 1080p HD on the P7700. The video exposure can be controlled using aperture-priority, auto, manual, or custom movie modes, and the autofocus remains active while shooting videos. There's a built-in stereo microphone, an external microphone jack, and an HDMI mini connector & HDMI-CEC support.
The built-in flash on the P7700 does a decent job for snapshots, and the results are better than those from the P7100. Have no complaints with the results within the abilities of how these function. But when I attached and used the Nikon SB-400 Speedlight, the resulting images were close to dazzling. I've used my SB-400 and the older SB-600 on my Nikon DSLRs, but this combination on the P7700 helped produce some of my best flash images ever.
◆ The Lens and More:
Where the P7700 really shines is in the lens, and that was apparent within the first twenty or so images. The 7.1x Zoom-Nikkor ED lens offers a 35mm peer to that of 28-200mm zoom lens, and even though its range is the same as the P7100, the new camera offers a construction of 13 elements in 10 groups, as compared to 11 elements in 9 groups for my older camera. Add to this, the P7700 has a maximum aperture of f/2.0 (at 28mm) to f/4.0 (at 200mm), where the P7100 has a maximum of f/2.8 at its widest setting.
But no description of the lens would be complete without mentioning that the built-in neutral density filter added to its 7-blade rounded iris aperture offers beautifully natural bokeh, better than this user has encountered in a compact digital camera. Just beginning to explore this, but my results have been quite pleasing.
One of the more appealing things about the P7700 is that finally we have an enthusiast's compact Nikon that can take filters, a big improvement over my P7100. This now moves the camera into the corner of a compact for the serious user, as the ability to use non-proprietary Ø40.5mm filters adds to this camera's capabilities. These filters are also used with the Nikon 1 series of cameras, and there's a forthcoming optional Ø40.5mm threaded HN-CP17 lens hood where you can also use Ø58mm filters if you like.
Though not as common as other sizes, there are plenty of Ø40.5mm filters avalable, and in all sizes and grades. For those interested, there's a bargain priced Vivitar Series 1 Three-Piece Multi-Coated HD Pro Filter Set. The better grade Hoya 40.5mm UV HMC Filter sits on the end of my P7700 at all times.
◆ Other Observations:
The inclusion of the Nikon EN-EL14 Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery and the MH-24 charger is welcomed by this user, as it's the same one used in the P7100, P7000 and a variety of Nikon DSLRs (also see the 3/23/2014 update below). For those who already own any of these models, it means a logical system approach to carrying extra batteries, along with a decent cost savings. I've had a few of these from the other Nikons, and am getting an average of 310 to 330 shots per charge from them. This battery even gives notice when calibration is necessary.
On the downside, this camera comes standard with a Nikon LC-CP26 lens cap. The downside to this particular cap is that it has easy-to-bump tabs, making it easy to lose. If you lose yours and want a better replacement, this Nikon LC-N40.5 Front Lens Cap from the Nikon 1 series cameras works.
◆ Warranty Note:
I purchased my P7700 here from Amazon directly, and it came with a Nikon USA 1-year yellow warranty card. There was a brief flurry when it was discovered that some of us could not register our new cameras with Nikon USA at the site on the card. This was cleared up completely in less than twelve hours when it was discovered that there had been a clerical database error on Nikon's side. If you have a similar problem, just contact Nikon and they will straighten it out quickly.
◆ Other Cameras Considered:
Along with the new P7700, I had seriously considered the Sony DSC-RX100, the Fujifilm X10 and the Canon PowerShot G15. All of these were superb products, but keeping it simple, the Nikon P7700 won me over with its combination of an exceptionally good f/2.0 28-200mm Nikkor zoom lens, its fully articulated 3-inch LCD display, a real dedicated hot shoe and its ability to use filters. The Fuji, Sony and Canon are highly recommended products worth considering from my recent hands-on experiences, but we all have different priorities and requirements, and the bottom line was that the Nikon P7700 met my needs best. Your needs may be different.
◆ A Frank Editorial Admission:
Like many of us, I spent far too much time reading online reviews about the new digital gear that was being released in 2012, making personal notes and trying to remain objective, as my brand loyalty in ownership spreads to not just Nikon but to Fujifilm and Canon. I got caught up in sensor sizes, image processors and such. But at one point I finally stopped, as even the best reviewers and sites do seem to have their repeated subjective favorites. What matters here is that we buy cameras like this to create images, and not to wear around our necks as status badges. What works for you may not work for me, and vice versa. The key to this is to research your camera, then find what will do the best job for you. I found it with this camera, and it works quite well for me.
◆ [Update] 10/20/2012:
An acquaintance who read this review right after it was posted was prompted to immediately buy the P7700 from a local NYC retailer. I heard about it from the individual by phone that same evening when I was informed that my advice was "wrong" and that "the camera doesn't work," though it had worked in the store when the sales rep had tested it after inserting the battery. I asked the individual a few quick questions, and within 60 seconds we found the problem, and it's right there in the supplied Quick Start Guide in Step 4 on page 9, where it states: "When the monitor is closed and with the screen facing inward, the power cannot be turned on even if the power switch is pressed." This refers to the fully-articulated display screen, and when it's closed, it protects the LCD screen from scratches or impact, and when closed for three minutes, it goes to standby, and the power turns off.
Problem solved; another happy owner. Better solution: when you get the camera, RTFM... read the manual for a few minutes.
◆ [Update] 5/23/2013:
Nikon has released two firmware updates for the P7700. Firmware update 1.1 was released on 4/23/2013, and firmware update 1.2 was released on 5/23/2013. I have posted the links and further info in the comments section to this review on this date as links are not permitted within the body of the review.
◆ [Update] 11/14/2013:
Nikon has released a new firmware update 1.3 for the P7700. I have posted the links and further information in the comments section to this review on this date as links are not permitted within the body of the review.
◆ [Update] 3/23/2014:
Regarding the new firmware update 1.3 for the P7700, Nikon has noted that this update accurately indicates the remaining battery charge is now accurately detected for the newer Nikon 27126 EN-EL 14a Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery. The older EN-EL14 Li-ion battery provides 7.4v and 1030 mAh of power, while the newer EN-EL14a has a rated capacity of 7.2v and 1230 mAh of power. The bottom line is that this higher capacity relates to an increase in the number of available shots. Nikon rates this at approximately 360 shots, and with a single battery in this new version, it appears to be close, and higher than the 310 to 330 shots per charge that I was getting from the original Nikon EN-EL 14 Li-Ion batteries.
As an early purchaser of this camera, I've had time to run through most of the many functions that are available with this new model. There are too many of them to list here in my review, and I don't want to bore the reader with technical details, but there will be ongoing updates here and in the comments as new things are discovered.
The new Nikon COOLPIX P7700 is the finest advanced enthusiast compact digital camera that I've used, though that can be considered highly subjective depending on the needs of the individual. Luckily for us, the quality of the equipment that is available to us in advanced digital compacts continues to improve, as I've noted with the outstanding Sony and Canon offerings noted above. Will admit that I can be picky with what I expect in a DSLR or advanced enthusiast's compact, but this new P7700 surprised me with the results that I've been able to get, and that's what it's all about. If your needs are similar to mine, then consider the P7700 to be an excellent camera. For this user, it's a true 5-star choice, and highly recommended.
JW ▪ 10/14/2012; Updated 10/20/2012, 5/23/2013, 11/14/2013, 3/23/2014.
on October 2, 2012
Finally, Nikon puts a major effort into the advanced pocketable (uh. .jacket pocket) camera market. Unless you need 7 layers of HDR or a long action stopping lens, the P7700 is all you need. Images are sharp, 16 x 20+ prints are well within it's capability. Low light performance is excellent as is the micro function. One of the major online reviewers states that this camera has no micro capabilities. I thought so too until I discovered that after selecting micro in the on screen menu you have to push the ok button on the rotary sensor.
I purchased this at a local CS (price is the same everywhere for now) and compared it closely to the Canon G15 - which is the same price. Most obvious is the feel of the camera when you first pick it up. The last two digits of your hand curl around a grippy rubber covered projection on the right front of the body making it very secure in one hand - leaving the thumb and forefinger to manipulate the various adjustment dials. There is also a grippy flair out on the back - right where your thumb fits - thoughtful touch. This design can only bring grief for lefties - but the dial layout is super convenient for the rest of us. For instance the +/- exposure control in auto mode is a rotary dial, right under the thumb - no lifting and fumbling with that annoying ring (never used it didja).
Two rotary dials control manual exposure - thumb wheel on the back controls shutter speed and a wheel in front, under the forefinger, controls aperture. The screen stays bright throughout exposure manipulation - still looking for the stop down button. However, a sliding bar exposure meter is positioned below the on screen shutter and aperture info.
While the G15 has a slightly larger screen, it abandons the articulating function. The P7700 swivels out, up, down, over and into position like a fixed screen. Flip it back and the screen is protected from damage by its solid back. However, the P7700 abandons the rangefinder. I thought I wanted one, but, the only time I have used it is when I have had to back up - head to wall and camera to eye - or when looking into the sun. The articulating screen solves these awkward shot situations.
Internal memory - 86 MB - is small but will save some bacon when you forget to put the memcard back in. The stitching assistant gives you a ghost image of the prior exposure for easy alignment. Options include GPS and wifi, perhaps the most useful is the remote shutter release. Set up next to feeders and whack birds at close range!
At this price point, the temptation is to move up to a camera with interchangeable lenses or a non-retracting lens. You will pay for increased versatility by limiting carryability. For a camera any larger the carrying options are either hanging the camera around your neck with a tourist strap or carrying a shoulder bag. The big advantage with the P7700 is that it fits neatly into a beltable or purseable bag. The camera is conveniently accessible and always with me - mowing with the tractor (deer in the sunset) or shooting candids at a friends wedding - while the big camera in the big case usually gets left behind.
If you are emailing photos to friends and making 4x6 prints you don't need a camera with the capability of the P7700. If you want to walk around carrying a big camera so people will think you are a pro, buy a D3X. For the semi-pro photo hobbyist, seek no further.
My only complaint is that the camera does not have winki eyelids - aaarg - a lens cap,
_ _ _ _ (buy a consonant).
Last thought - this is not a sealed body camera and pockets have lint. My G12 retired from the field with a gerbil sized booger firmly attached to the back of the front lens element. But, I'm much happier with its replacement! All is well that ends well.
on October 5, 2012
I have owned and enjoyed the Nikon CoolPix P7100, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5W (and briefly, the LX7K; it had a de-centered lens so I sent it back for a refund).
But this Nikon is something special.
The 28-200 lens is faster than its predecessor and it seems to me that it is sharper as well. AF is somewhat faster and more reliable, too. The flip'n'twist 3.0 inch LCD to me is an upgrade and is a tad larger than the Canon G-12's 2.7 inch display, and it deploys with a little stiffer motion than the Canon. I thought I would miss the OVF but even in bright sun, the LCD is perfectly adequate.
Raw files are much larger than the P7100's NRW files, so consider a faster, higher-capacity SD card to go with your new P7700.
What will really strike you, though, are two things:
1) the images are so much cleaner, less grainy and sharper than the P7100. Full zoom at 200mm effective still renders images that are sharp and contrasty.
2) the feel of the camera is much more solid, substantial and "pro-like".
This is a beautiful, must-have update on a camera that I really enjoyed before.
In essence, the Nikon CoolPix P7700 is a solidly built, impressive camera that you will come to rely on, appreciate and carry anywhere.
Just so you know, I did not buy the Nikon CoolPix P7700 from Amazon.com, so I did not experience any registration issues, though this has been resolved and buyers should have no registration concerns.
EDIT: As of 10/30/2012,the Nikon CoolPix P7700 Amazon.com review rating of 4 stars still reflects the negative ratings given by buyers who were told by Nikon that they could not register their new camera. This is so unfortunate, as this was a (very) temporary glitch on Nikon's part and has no bearing on the P7700's quality or useability.
As I make photos with the P7700 I am so impressed with the sharpness and detail in my photos and the professional and solid feel of the camera. I still believe this is the best small camera I have ever owned.
on April 1, 2013
11/15/13 NOTE: There have been 3 firmware updates to date. Current version 1.3. Download from Nikon support.
Many have already listed all the features. I won't bore you with a repeat and just give my initial "out of the box" impression. I'll come back in a few weeks with a "User Report".
While looking the camera over I put the battery on to charge and checked out the PRINTED 32 page Quick Start Guide. I was very happy to see this cam has the smaller wall charger with the swing out prongs. No cord necessary to charge. (It took 1 hr. and 15 min. to charge.) I always found the cords an inconvenience on my DSLRs. I assume the full manual is on the included CD disk.
The camera comes packaged nicely in its' original box with good packing and protection. Mine shipped from Amazon in just a slightly larger box and a tiny bit of bubble wrap. No real protection. It arrived without any damage
All the contents are wrapped individually ... very professional. Upon unwrapping the camera body my first thought was that it rather "militaristic" looking. The stark white letters on the knobs and wheels contrasting against what seems like a kind of matte black "splatter" type paint job that gives some tiny highlights, preventing it from looking pure black like my old black Nikon F did. The overall finish is very nice though, almost understated. It seems "grippy" enough to hold easily.
Adjusting the knobs on TOP gave a sense of just about the right amount of detent hold, leaning a bit towards the too easy side. Any less and I would have been unhappy. It could make the cam be too easily adjusted inadvertently while carrying or placing in a protective case.
The finger/thumb wheel adjusters (Command Wheels) on front and back have little resistance on my unit. I'd rather they had a bit more built in drag or resistance to give a feel that they are actually doing something.
The various other buttons seem to have a good tactile feel when pressed. However, the adjusting wheel at the rear of the camera seems way too easy to move. This too could do with a bit more resistance.
Some have complained about the physical size. Not me. This fits my medium sized man hands just fine. Too small is not good either. I found the Panasonic LX series a bit too small for my liking. If you want a really small cam, this isn't it. But, it's not all THAT large either. It seems just what I personally wanted. No, it wont fit easily into any standard sized pants or shirt pockets, but I'd never carry a camera of this quality there anyway! It will fit comfortably in a coat or jacket pocket, photo vest pocket, or "cargo" type pockets of other garments.
The lens cap that some have complained about seems to have enough spring in the clips that it won't be easily knocked off. The glass is .. well .. Nikon ED glass and looks great. If my unit works as well as the sample shots I've seen online I'll be very happy. I intend this to be my new all-round fun and vacation camera with a bit of occasional work thrown in.
If I had to nit pick and not sound like a Nikon salesman, I'd say the ease of turning certain control dials and the less than robust battery door would be my only initial criticisms.
The overall the manufacturing quality visually seems very good. It's nicely made and has a decent heft to it. It's no featherweight plastic toy but I wouldn't say it's heavy either. By no means does it feel cheap. To me it's what you would expect of a well made $400 Nikon camera.
Though solidly built, it seems a rather precision instrument and should be treated accordingly for best life and results.
After looking the manual over I realize this camera has quite a number of features that most reviewers have ignored. I suggest you download the manual and check it out before deciding what camera to purchase. You may be pleasantly surprised at all the great features this little camera has packed into it. I'm impressed with the thought and controls Nikon put into this one.
Here is some first usage findings ...
4/3/13 - Any of you have slides you want to copy? I just discovered the "FOOD" scene mode allows me to photograph slides on my light table while giving me a 5 step color balance adjustment right on the viewing screen! Pretty neat! Works well and is quick and easy to do with plenty of resolution. Requires some cropping but is fine for online distribution.
Reviewers I've seen have not mentioned that this camera has a "sweep panorama mode" like Sony. You can set at 180 degrees or a full 360 degrees. It takes some practice but it's doable. A nice surprise.
The top control knobs for EV change and the six position Quik select knob for ISO, WB, QUAL, BRKT work very nicely. MUCH better than digging into menus & multiple screen levels (like my D5000). The EV + - change dial has an tiny orange light to warn you that you have changed from 0. Nice touch. If you know what to do with all the dials, you'll like them!
I'm also finding the size VERY likeable. I wouldn't want it any smaller. When the lens is fully retracted it looks like a "pancake" lens, sticking out from the body 1/2 inch, slightly further than the grip.
Anyone use the focus assist beam? This is the first camera I've ever had that the assist beam actually hits dead on the focus target. Both my D70 and D5000 miss by a small amount. Other small cams have suffered the same misalignment. Not this one.
I'm really liking the rubbery grippy surface on the right front side too. Very non-slip.
Still don't like the battery door latch. Seems like a weak link.
4/11/13 - Another feature seldom mentioned is the "intervalometer" (time lapse) function that's built in. The timings are set a bit too wide for my use, 30 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes and 10 minutes, but may be good for some users. I would rather some user configurable timing set-up than being locked in to fixed times. It's not a feature that is used often but it's nice to have it available.
This camera makes very good jpegs. From what I see RAW is not as significant an improvement as it is on my D5000. This is a good thing! I get tired of fiddling with RAW to get the best out of the D5000. With the P7700 I get nice sharp images straight out of the camera. The jpeg software seems to do little "damage" to the raw capture file. For a small sensor camera, the P7700 does a darn good job!
I find myself sometimes wishing for a tad wider at 28mm and a tad longer at 200mm, but with this form factor I think this is about as good as it gets! Bulkier cams like the super-zooms can achieve wider zoom ranges but with a substantial size penalty. If you need a really wide or really long zoom you probably won't be satisfied with this camera. Other less versatile offerings may excel on either end of the zoom range, but Nikon has done a very good job of striking a "happy medium" with the P7700. It's certainly worth a look!
No camera can be all things to all people. Choose the features, size, and image quality MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU and buy accordingly.
I was lucky enough to have the P7700 to take on a vacation to Hawaii. As a pro of 40 years I found all the dials and setting very useful and arranged in a pretty logical way. Imagewise the camera performs very well. Most of my images were extremely clear in JPEG format. I did not shoot RAW. On easy subjects the camera achieved focus quickly and accurately. On more challenging subjects, like whales and dolphins, things that move .. well ... not as good.
Sometimes the camera does have a tough time achieving focus. That can be frustrating. Some subjects will require several tries to get good focus and of course then the moment is lost. If I were to wish for one thing better it would be an improvement on the focus system. Most of the time its is fine.
I found the panorama mode works very nicely! As does the "food" mode. Hand held night shots did well too. If I would have had a tripod they would have been excellent. I found the low ISO 80 at f4.5 yields pretty outstanding sharpness provided you can hold steady.
The camera size, tho some say is too big, I disagree... Even my medium sized hands touched the screen and lens far too often. Any smaller it would be too tiny for me.
I made a few short videos as test and they did very well too
I like the camera. It's made well, has a great lens and is a nice portable size. This one may be best for advanced amateurs who can use the many features to advantage.
See a few of my image samples in the listing.
on October 1, 2012
My first nikon. I have been using a 5dmkii since it came out and needed a pocket camera. Underwhelmed by G15 specs so bit the bullet and bought it. first impressions:
*great image quality. SHARP! nikon users always help this over canon users and I agree that this is a great lens
*love the 28-200. wished for a 24mm, but it's very wide and looks great at f2
*ISO 800 and below are good (downgraded from excellent after buying the Sony RX100), but 1600 noisy and 3200 unusable (smallish sensor so no surprises here)
*video quality is extremely good
*fast to start up
*thought I'd care about lack of viewfinder, but it's not that big of a deal
*great looking screen
*love having a dial solely for exposure offset. really useful
*really wish it had a manual focus ring! this blows
*ISO above 800 not that good
*lightroom 4 and CS5.5 don't recognize the RAW files (UPDATE: now supported in both programs)
UPDATE: well, retuned the camera. It's a good camera, but the high ISO performance was abismal. Bought the Sony RX100. It's smaller, has better optics, is TRUELY pocketable, has built in panorama, and has great high ISO. Focus is instantaneous and I really like the lens ring. Bottom line, the RX100 is better in just about every aspect except for focal length. If you need a 200mm, optional GPS or hot shoe, then go with this camera otherwise the RX100 really is much better. I don't have a vested interest in either company as I've only owned Canons before this. I'm not some troll trying to start an argument for people who like Nikon, and to be honest, I never thought I would own a Sony. In the end, follow your heart :-)
on December 24, 2012
I have had several different brand Cameras over the years....Sony.....Canon and Fuji.
I won't get into a big sch-peel about the flaws in all of em but they were disappointing.
Now this 7700 has been most impressive Camera I have bought by far!
First thing that threw me off was the size....thought it was a tad bigger.
But that wasn't a bad thing cuz it's really handy to carry anywhere.
Very versatile with several shooting modes or full manual shooting if ya want.
With all the most used settings setup with dials like high end DSLR's have is VERY nice!
Got all the power and features of any DSLR I've ever seen cept changeable lens.
The fully articulating 3in view screen is a HUGE plus and very handy.
It doesn't have a eye level view finder but I never miss it.
The fast f2.0-4.0 lens is unheard of in a prosumer Camera and noticeable right off.
Takes amazingly clear photos in Night Landscape mode at ISO 1600 with very little noise!
Battery life is excellent....construction is solid and not toy like....fits in hand nicely.
This is the most impressive point and shoot/prosumer I have the pleasure of using so far.
No Camera is perfect but Beginner or Pro you will love this Camera!
I had considered the Canon G15 but review photo compare 7700 was a tad better.
Also a much better zoom with high end glass with the f2.0-f4.0 speed sold me.
I've been into digital photography since 2000 so I'm not new to all this.
I have 25yrs of actual photography experience and consider the P7700 a must have.
on August 6, 2013
Nikon P700 is similar to Sony DSC-RX100 in a few ways. First, do not let the 12MP, 1/1.7" (10/17") inch sensor deceive you. Its image quality at base ISO is identical to the 20MP, 1" sensor on the RX100. Even at higher ISO settings, the quality is very close, maybe even a tad better. The photo quality is sharper on the Nikon, but the RAW processing on the Sony is better; the shadows/highlights are 'brighter' on the Sony's RAW, whereas the Nikon's are 'darker,' and this is a bane for low-light or exposure extremes on a sunny day; e.g., the sun challenging the exposure if you are at a 'wrong' angle. RAW photo quality is uncertain on the Nikon because my software cannot read that type of format, but the Sony's RAW format can be read with the software. (Talking about Adobe Photoshop.)
Exposure control on the Nikon is great, making it much easier to stop up or down compared to the RX100. You can be confused with some of the dials; even I have. Assigning settings using the left dial (such as ISO) was frustrating to figure out. You cannot change the exposure during movie mode, but most cameras do not allow that, so this is a common limitation.
Video quality, the Sony wins in this arena. Maybe because Sony's progressive format helps a great deal. However, the autofocus performance on the Nikon works better in any lighting conditions, well, maybe slower than the Sony in low-light. Fewer blurry images exist on the Nikon, partially due to the RX100's tendency to focus on the 'wrong' subject. NEX series cameras are the worst for focusing. They are only good for their photo and build quality. Otherwise, NEX cannot compare to a DSLR, like a Canon Rebel.
As far as build quality, the Nikon is not quite up to par with the RX100, and is chunkier. What is nice about the Nikon is the screen swivels, but you cannot turn the camera on with the screen closed inwards (as you store it to prevent scratching the display). Close the screen inwards and the video you are recording will be saved, and the camera turns off. Another thing that is different, and where the Sony shines with the video mode, you have a dedicated movie button, unlike the Nikon. You cannot shoot stills with the Nikon; to take stills during movie, you can on Sony. With Nikon, you must switch the dial to movie mode; otherwise, only stills can be taken. I have a tendency to forget the camera is on video mode when intended to take a photo, but when on the photo mode, I do better remembering to switch to video mode. In some cases, the Nikon freezes (firmware issue, possibly). Even the RX100 can become stuck. After all, Sony and Nikon do share some of the hardware, at least for the sensor technology. Since Sony's sensors are used in Nikon products nowadays, the quality is expectedly superior over other cameras in their range. Except Fuji; you cannot compare the RX100 and P7700 with X-Pro 1, X100S, and anything else APS-C sensor size. Even if a Fuji had the 1/1.7" or 1" sensor, it would probably best the RX100 by a stop (X-Trans technology).
Sony's lens is internal lens cover (like a spaceship's gateway in sci-fi movies), but you have a lens cap that cannot be fastened with a string to the Nikon. Sony's NEX cameras are that way too. At least for Panasonic DMC-LX7, you can get a third-party lens adapter, but removing the ring on the len's exterior frame is tricky to remove. You have to fudge around much to do this.
All in all, the Nikon is good for people who want a swiveling screen, 12MP is good enough and sharper than most cameras - the P7700 has the best quality from a 1/1.7" sensor, possibly rivaling some micro 4/3 systems. If you are into great stills and photos (less sharp for the photos but higher resolution), the Sony is a great choice. You do not have the hotshoe though.
Just be careful not to buy the third-party spare batteries for the P7700. They have a tendency not to work properly, unless your patience to many a try pressing the power button and removing/inserting the battery. It is better to pay a little more for the authentic Nikon spare battery. Third-party batteries for the RX100 have not been a problem.
Hope this helps.
- Matt Eye, an avid "professional" camera user
on July 29, 2013
Some background information. I don't consider myself to have a bias but most of my digital cameras have been Nikons. I have used many other brands through my work, Canon, Kodak, Sony and Olympus. I am aware that Nikon is not necessarily considered to be the best maker of small pocket cameras. So when I decided to upgrade my small carry around camera I thought maybe it was time to give the other brands a serious look. I live in a rural area and the nearest serious camera store is about 75 miles from home. So when it comes to purchasing a small carry around camera I usually rely on online reviews.
As luck would have it I was visiting New Orleans and had the opportunity to check out all the cameras that I was considering at a local camera shop. At the time the Sony RX100 was at the top of my list with the Canon G15 next and the Nikon P7700 after that, (yet I was determined to shake the Nikon attachment that I seemed to have developed). The reason I decided to upgrade is that I wanted a small camera that had all the features I was used to in my DSLR, features that would allow for more controlled and predictable image results. The new crop of feature rich small cameras were said to have those qualities. I am aware the photo quality won't quite match that of a DSLR due to the small sensors, but I want to get as close as possible.
So the cameras I checked out in the store were the Sony RX100, Canon G15, Fuji X20 and the Nikon P7700. They were all very nice. The Sony was very impressive, it was the smallest and could qualify as a pocket camera. The problem I had with it was the ergonomics, being so small and smooth without any finger grip, handling it felt like it could easily be dropped. The controls were recessed and smallish. I prefer dials that my fingers can easily feel without looking, and more importantly it cost considerably more than the others. For the record I am and average size person. The Fuji was very beautiful and felt well made the build quality and feel was very reminiscent of the old rangefinder cameras of the 50s and 60s. I did have some confusion over the controls of the Fuji (focusing), though it may have been me. The Canon felt the most familiar to me in that it operated much like the cameras that I have used in the past. It was somewhat similar to the Nikon but I preferred the solid feel of the Nikon to the G15. The Nikon felt great in my hand with a very nice "sticky"(rubberized) grip. Overall all these cameras worked reasonably quick, start-up, focus, shutter, write speeds, etc. I would give the Sony the slight edge it was quick and sure in all its functions, my seat of the pants assessment, I would rate the other three even. I'm not sure if I can rate the image quality from what saw on the LCD screens, my guess is it will have a lot to do with how the camera is setup and used, my gut feeling is to give the Sony a slight edge, the other three even.
So obviously since I am reviewing here the camera I choose was the Nikon P7700. I had to go back and think of what my needs were and what each camera offered bearing in mind which camera put it all together at the price I was willing to pay. The other cameras were anywhere from $100. to $250. more than the Nikon. I preferred the Nikon's controls and menu arrangements they were all very familiar and comfortable. It is well built and I was surprised how well it stacked up to the other cameras. Many have complained about no optical finder I don't find this a problem especially in a carry around camera. I have been shooting so long that I am very confident and comfortable in shooting with either the LCD or no-look (I know what I'm aiming at), and if the framing is that critical to the photo I will be using a DSLR anyway. The articulating LCD is a nice addition (not essential but handy at times), the longer zoom proved to be a much bigger plus than I had anticipated. The three presets quickly get me setup to different situations and one or two changes if necessary and I'm ready to go. I like the easy access to the controls via controls/dials externally, I find clicking through LCD menus is slower and less intuitive. The results - surprisingly sharp and accurate, there are more than enough features to help me get the shot I see.
Negatives? Well the write speed when bracketing in raw format is on the slow side. Three continuous raw frames takes a couple of seconds to write on a fast card. Not a problem for me as when I use this camera to shoot raw files I am generally in a more controlled situation where a few second are ok. I use jpegs for the more spontaneous shots and speed is no problem with jpegs. Some have complained about the removable lens cap, well I have dealt with removable caps for 48 years, one more camera with a removable lens cap is not a problem (and one less thing to break).
The bottom line is everyone should decide how they use their cameras. Do you work fast and spontaneous or do you shoot set shots? Do you like sleek and small, fashionably retro, feature rich in the menus or external controls. Is having the latest "best" most important? Those are the questions that are most important when trying to match a camera to your needs. The difference isn't that great between these cameras, so the deciding factor should be how you want it all to work in your hands. Which led me back to the Nikon and after over 4000 shots this camera has met my hopes and exceeded my expectations.
on August 26, 2013
I bet I'm not the only one looking for a high quality camera, smaller than a DSLR, but takes just as good a picture - eh? It was time to upgrade my D80 (purchased new in early 2005). I was thouroughly dissatisfied with the D80, however I was well versed in the camera - shot 20,000+ images with it; used most all functions from full auto to full manual; really was pushing the envelope with low light work in caved. My dissatisfaction was due to: (1) the errors in the White Balance - but if I shot RAW (which I did) I could fix in post-processing in ViewNX2 (I like that program, btw) (2) image clarity - it is more a function of my lenses, but I don't believe the body was helping me that much (3) for family travel I really wanted the ability to do video.
Enter "want smaller camera". I travel alot. Both on business and with family; I can fit in photo-shooting just about anywhere I go, and for 'style' - it's "travel/street/impromtu family". A smaller, less obvious camera is a bonus. Instant HD video is also a bonus.
Quick summary of this camera:
(1) Lot's of versatility. if you shoot a Nikon DSLR...and like it...you'll like the menus and setup of this camera. Just like it...in fact...more gizmo's than my old D80.
(2) so many gizmo's...you can hang yourself on the gizmo-rope. Get familiar with the User Preset (U1, U2, U3). Some features are only available in those, not in 'P' or in 'A' or in 'S'. Wierd, but I'm used to it now.
(3) Write speed when shoot RAW is way too slow. Ugh. I will be trying out faster memory cards (I'm using a 35MB/s 16GB SanDisk card...no slouch, but not the fastest) and it's about a 5sec delay between pictures. THAT IS MY MAJOR GRIPE. I hope to drop that to a sec or so?? If so - way better. We'll see.
(4) Great White Balance, great 'everything' when shooting JPEG's....if that's what you do and don't care about RAW...then ignore #3.
(5) Image quality: WOW. Better than the D80 with kit lenses. Seriously. With good technique, the images can be quite stunning. With bad technique...they suck. :) like any camera.
(6) Speed...focus is pretty good - I caught it searching a few times. What's weird is, it did it in bright light more than dim, indoor light. I found low light performance excellent for any camera, but really nice for a compact!! power up time is very quick. I still hate hearing lenses zoom in and out, but I'm getting used to it.
(7) Polarizer. I bought a nice B+W (I'm a little snobbish on those :) multicoated 40.5mm (that's the right size) circular polarizer and it worked very well on the camera. Autofocus may have been thrown a little in bright light with it on, but I can't be sure. When I say 'thrown', I mean it was searching. When it did focus - it was tack on. It occurred randomly.
(8) Video quality (when played back on a good device - like a modern "smart" TV) was EXCELLENT...in fact, I was blown away. Annoyances are: zoom noise...can be resolved with external mic; autofocus...very slow and sometimes doesn't 'catch up'. the less you zoom in (or change zoom, if you start recording zoomed tight) the better. Very handy - and I'm happy with it for casual family video's. Not going to produce any movies or broadcast quality vid's...but beats hauling a separate piece of gear.
(9) Feel/function: LOVE IT...I went with the larger 'compact' form factor over the very small cameras, glad I did. I like a neck strap, but it's still small enough to go into cargo-shorts pockets.
(10) the big CONTENTION. People gripe (me, formerly) about the lack of eye-level viewfinder, EVF or optical. I've always had one...until I got an iPhone (seriously?). So - after putting the P7700 up to my eye a few times out of habit, to take a quick shot, I started "getting it". Even in bright sunlight, I started enjoying the 'newness' of composing on a big screen. In fact - I'm going to say I've had an 'ah ha' moment. I really like composing on a big screen. I've got the grid turned on, the horizon gauge on...NEAT. So - as a reformed curmudgeon, "props" to Nikon for freeing my eye from the little hole. To all of you other curmudgeons out there...my 'ah ha' moment was when I realized that it's way better than looking at an upside down image on ground glass, on a 4x5 or 8x10 view camera!! Hah!! Try it with an open mind - you might really find something new!
(11) the articulated display is great! I've gotten more unique image angles than if I had the camera smushed up against my face.
on December 11, 2012
Some people may look at the specs and write this off as a junk camera but they'd be wrong.
I will admit most of Nikon's Coolpix cameras are pretty crappy. Great for the casual shooter that doesn't know any better but the P-series has always been different. This is truly an advanced compact camera and one that I find really compliments my Nikon DSLR very well. I previously owned the P7000 and while that was a great camera, I had some complaints. Well Nikon apparently was listening and made the P7700 the perfect P7000 replacement!
I realize there was a P7100 but it wasn't too different than the P7000 for me to really call it an upgrade.
If you're coming from a P7000 then you'll be interested to know the big improvements they've made!
1. SPEED. Everything is faster. From shooting to just browsing in the menu. There is no significant delay and depending on your SD card it's even faster at writing to the memory card.
2. They finally added commander mode which means just like certain Nikon DSLRs you can use the pop-up flash to trigger your Nikon flashes via CLS.
3. Speaking of the pop-up flash it won't pop-up on it's own anymore. Meaning instead of a silly button that would always get accidentally pressed when you put it in a bag or pocket, the P7700 now has a sliding switch.
4. They changed the lens diameter to 40.5mm and to a cap system. Anyone that has owned a P7000 knows how annoying and easy it is for those silly lens doors to get bent in. I had that happen and the repair bill was a lovely $65 from APS (Authorized Photo Services). Thankfully the P7700 has a simple lens cap. It may be kind of annoying because it's easy to lose the cap but you can easily buy a small little cap leash or since the lens diameter is now 40.5mm you can buy a protective lens filter if you want.
5. Removed the optical viewfinder. Now some people probably don't like this but I do. On a DSLR I absolutely need a optical viewfinder but on my P7000 I hardly if ever used it. It was tiny, distorted and was awkward holding it to my face. With the P7700's articulating screen it doesn't matter. It allows me to shoot any way I want and is just so much easier. For those complaining that they won't be able to see the LCD in sunlight, it's articulating... freaking move it to an angle you can.
6. More manual controls. One thing I hated about the P7000 was the inability to change ISO or the metering mode from a dial like I can on my D3. Thankfully with the function keys on the P7700 you can now do that! This by far is the biggest improvement to me. Makes shooting so much easier and easier to go back and forth between this and my DSLR.
7. It's built way more studier. Not that the P7000 was plastic fantastic but the P7700 feels like a brick of metal yet not as heavy as you might think. Just feels SOLID.
8. No accidentally turning it on. One thing about the P7000 is you could accidentally turn it on in your pocket and possibly damage the lens. However the P7700 disables the power on button when the LCD screen is folded in.
There are probably more improvements I can't remember but those are the ones that stood out to me.
I do have one complaint. The articulating LCD screen. It looks great, the problem is with the articulation. This isn't a real huge problem and after you get use to it it becomes a non issue but when you flip out the LCD screen it can only rotate a certain way. It seems logical for the most part but if you rotate it the wrong way too aggressively I bet you could snap the screen right off. But like I said through continued use you get used to it. My only other complaint is the LCD screen is not glass, it's a screen similar to camcorders.
So if you're thinking of upgrading from a P7000 don't hesitate, if you want a compact camera to compliment your DSLR then this is the one for you!