Customer Review

486 of 493 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tons of performance in a very modest package, March 4, 2010
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This review is from: Nikon Coolpix P100 10 MP Digital Camera with 26x Optical Vibration Reduction (VR) Zoom and 3-Inch LCD (Black) (OLD MODEL) (Electronics)
This is a very versatile camera and responsive to most needs. It has a good macro range to go along with a super zoom range. It compares well to a Panasonic DMC-GH1 which has a much larger sensor and more expensive optics (the lens alone is twice the price of this Nikon). The Panasonic also produced higher saturation and contrast shots in default mode and this gives the appearance of higher resolution. The Nikon gave a truer auto outdoor color balance and more natural contrast. Even at ISO 800 it was very sharp. You can enlarge a few test shots at the DPReview forums by searching for "Nikon P100 test shots". or if this works: [...]

The two highlights that amazed me were the Nikon's focusing indicator system. It is so cool that when you shoot a bouquet of flowers the display shows you each blossom chosen by the matrix focusing system. You click the shutter with the knowledge that it is choosing what you want. Wonderful. The second highlight is the range of the optics from good macro, nice wide angle, and amazing telephoto. Please see the photos I uploaded showing how well this camera compares. What the Nikon lacks mostly comes down to smooth tones and fine detail at high ISOs; and this is only because it is being compared to a large sensor camera. The images would easily pass a fairly critical viewer on an 8x10 print and seem to be better than previous cameras with this size sensor.

Pros (so far):
Great focus indicator system, Display shows small green squares over selected objects for focus = ready to shoot, red square = not ready
Light, easy to hold good fit to my medium sized hands.
Articulated screen seems more natural than the swing out to the side screens (aligned with lens)
Quick access to shoot videos, focus tracking option, slow motion (lower res 240 fps),
Hugh zoom range and quite fast action, 1˝ ++ second end to end
Outdoor sunlight colors quite natural
Very good resolution lens for this price range and favorably compares to much more expensive lenses (see above photos, several are pieces of 16 x 20 prints)
Very good macro versatility (see blowup of portion of terry towel above)
Adequate viewfinder but very contrasty, necessary info in viewfinder.

Cons (so far):
When shooting a video the focus is not able to keep up with the zoom (I reduced my rating because of this).
No RAW image option (less important with tools like Corel Image Adjustment Lab that gives me color temperature correction on jpg)
Lens cap rather than auto protect system, must remember to take it off before turning on camera (your notified when you forget)
Must use the menu system for several settings (ISO, color balance), slower but OK (hats off to the Canon G11, Panasonic)
Fast zoom over big range means it is tricky to accurately crop a shot (same with others though) Would love to see a 'nudge' feature for small changes.
Color balance with my photo fluorescent lights was tricky to dial in
Quick shutter in most situations but not all
No hot shoe for accessories and external flash
Only an adequate viewfinder
Minimum aperture of f8 (standard for cameras in this class, but would love to see it improved)
Screen does not 'self protect'
Must manually switch viewfinder verses LCD, simple one push button though
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Comments

Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 10, 2010 8:32:51 AM PST
M. Hale says:
Could you comment on the "enhanced pixelation" of the screen, which appears to be double the standard 230,000, though i realize that doesn't totally convert in resolution.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 10, 2010 9:11:42 AM PST
Tom North says:
The LCD is excellent, comfortable how it aligns with the lens, but of course this eliminates swinging it out to take a picture sideways or even of yourselves. I am more accustomed to using a viewfinder, and while viewfinder framing was good with this one the contrast too much.

Posted on Mar 29, 2010 2:50:40 PM PDT
Just looked at some of the sample photo's you uploaded, I am pretty impressed. Most of the uploaded samples impressed me a lot.

Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2010 3:58:01 PM PDT
Tom North says:
Thanks, nice to have some basis for comparison. The smaller sensor does quite an amazing job (probably about the same in the rest of these next generation cameras). Video is there and fun but not up with the new Panasonics (GH1) or of course full blown camcorders. As noted you can get the full size original in DPReview Nikon P100 Test photos.

Posted on Dec 3, 2010 9:49:32 AM PST
In B&W mode, does the viewfinder display in B&W? The LCD screen?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 5, 2010 7:40:35 PM PST
Tom North says:
Hi Francesco, sorry.
I enjoyed this camera very much but when we had a chance to spend a Summer in Costa Rica I made the leap to a Panasonic GH1. I photographed the same test subject with both cameras and under normal outdoor conditions it is very difficult to tell them apart. I can't comment on the B&W display though, sorry. Tom

Posted on Dec 29, 2010 2:39:09 AM PST
Aditya says:
Hi Tom,

Agree to your thoughts. Its really a nice camera. But I am accustomed to Canon. I am finding it difficult to work in MACRO mode. Can you help me on this? Few tips and tricks will help.

Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2010 8:11:47 AM PST
Tom North says:
Yes Aditya, It was necessary to zoom to the macro range after selecting the little macro mode icon. The focus distance changes depending on the zoom range selected. So for me the best was to not use the widest angle zoom setting (unlike some cameras). There is a little marker carrot and the best macro for me was to be on the right side of that (in medium zoom range). Hope that helps, Tom

Posted on May 22, 2011 2:34:27 PM PDT
D. Chambers says:
Thank you, Tom, for your very thoughtful review. It was generous of you to put so much time in it. My 16-year-old daughter and I appreciate your help (the camera is for her). Best regards, Diana
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