Customer Review

67 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent camera., October 16, 2011
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This review is from: Nikon COOLPIX P7100 10.1 MP Digital Camera with 7.1x Optical Zoom NIKKOR ED Glass Lens and 3-Inch Vari-Angle LCD (Camera)
I have had the P7100 for over 3 weeks and I am extremely pleased with it. I think the quality of the RAW images from the P7100 are as good as many a DSLR at ISO 100. The JPEGS are also, excellent. Of course, as the ISOs get higher there is more noise due to the smaller sensor, but it does very well at all ISOs for a compact camera, but do not expect DSLR low noise levels.

I find the ergonomics and features of the P7100 are excellent and very much like a DSLR. I love the articulated LCD. For me, the articulated LCD makes a huge difference. I now am taking photos with perspectives I simply did not try to get before with a fixed LCD. Also, I can steady the camera against my body with the LCD in horizontal position to reduce camera shake and it is easier to see in bright sunlight. There is a Command Dial and a Sub-Command dial and the two dials makes Manual Mode easy to use, although this is not a mode I typically use, as there is no histogram available when using Manual Mode prior to taking the photo and you can not see exposure changes reflected in the LCD, as you can in other modes (P,S,A, ), when using Exposure Compensation. I particularly like the exposure compensation dial and the range of up to +/-3f/stops. Also, the placement of the AE-L/AF_L button is such that I can easily press and hold it with my thumb and press the shutter with my index finger (you can not release it without canceling the setting). There is also a Quick Menu Dial that allows you to access many parameters without having to go through the menu system. The menu system is O.K. but it could be better arranged. I find that there are enough buttons and dials (which are laid out well) so that I do not need to access the menus much. There are also 3 custom user modes that can be set up, but I have not done so. Some people say that having an optical viewfinder which is small and shows "only" 80% of the field of view makes it next to useless. I do not agree. In situations where it is difficult to see the LCD (so far I have not had to use the optical viewfinder due to this problem with my P7100) or for action photos it is very useful. Also, the optical viewfinder held against your face helps to steady the camera and reduce camera shake. Of course, the Nikon 7100 has built in vibration reduction. My P7100 is replacing my P7000 which had a fixed LCD and I did use the optical viewfinder when I had trouble seeing the LCD and for action shots and it was very useful. The fastest shutter speed is 1/4000, however it can only be used at wide angle and f/8. So for practical purposes the fastest shutter speed available is usually 1/2000. There is a built in neutral density filter enabling you to reduce exposure by 3 f/stops to avoid overexposure. Also, the built in flash has exposure compensation of +/-2 f/stops available. I believe you can use Nikon external Speedlight flashes SB-400, 600, 700 and 900, as well as the Su-800 wireless commander with the P7100. However, I don't know if all the features of these flashes can be used. I think for example, to use a wireless flash you may need the Commander.

I find that the speed of the P7100 is fine with the menus changing quickly and generally fast focus. There are times when focus slows down and I may have to change the focus setting to get focus. This occurs in low contrast situations. Overall, though I am happy with the way it focuses. The time it takes to write RAW files and RAW/JPEG is a little slow and Nikon hopefully will improve on this in the future "editions". Also, the number of frames per second is low compared to some cameras, so action photography is a bit more of a challenge. I think that to get faster frame rates Nikon would have to use a different type of sensor and probably this would result in a lessening of picture quality. So I am happy that Nikon did not go that route and I like the extra challenge of catching the moment rather than relying on the camera to take a bunch of frames.

The P7100 is about as heavy and large as I am willing to accept in a compact camera. However, it fits easily into the front pocket of my shorts and into my jacket pocket. I can also just squeeze it into the front pocket of my well worn jeans. My only purpose in switching from a DSLR to a smaller camera was so I could carry it in my pocket and 'forget' about it. The P7100 meets those requirements and the extra size and heft, compared to some compacts, gives it a very nice feel in my hands. The reason I chose the P7100 over its competitors was because of the extra focal length on the telephoto side. For me, the new small interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras with an equivalent focal range of 28mm to 200mm lens are still too big and heavy to bother with. I do have the Nikon wide angle converter and adapter for the P7100 so I have a total focal length range of 21mm to 200mm equivalent - when I decide to carry the converter/adapter with me. :)

I will not comment on the P7100's video capabilities, as I do not use video.

For my photographic purposes I would rate the P7100 with 4.5 stars. It is the best compact camera I have owned. I rounded up to 5 stars rather than down to 4 stars when I rated it above. I highly recommend it.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 15, 2012 1:04:02 PM PDT
Hi there,
Have you tried a canon g12? if yes, can you tell me which one is the best?? p7100 or g12??
thx

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2012 7:56:44 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 20, 2012 8:02:19 AM PDT
O. carrig says:
The G12 has better out of the camera photos. The advantage of the p7100 over the G12 is if you use Nikon's creative lighting system and are more comfortable with Nikon menus, ergonomics, and work flow. The articulating screen on the p7100 is pretty handy, but at the same time it is limited to up/down and is not fully articulating.

I'd have to seriously questions anyone comparing this camera's sensor and lens combination to an entry level DSLR with a good lens (I only use one zoom and primes whenever feasible). Sure, under ideal conditions and some minor processing you can match the quality of a DSLR with a 8mp camera phone. However, the difference is how you view your images and how large you would like to print them. If something is worth printing I usually print beyond 11x14" and just about any DSLR will yield much better final results. The fact of the matter is that people just don't print anymore.

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2012 10:05:23 AM PDT
Frank B says:
Sorry, I just saw this. No, I have never used the G12.

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2012 10:14:29 AM PDT
Frank B says:
I always used RAW with the P7100. The main advantage I felt it had over the G12 was its greater focal length range. I seldom print and when I do, I print at 8x10.
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