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Nikon Coolpix P900 Review

Nikon Coolpix P900 Review

Welcome to my quick review of the Nikon Coolpix P900 after a few days playing with it.

Initial Impressions of the Nikon P900

First thoughts are it’s a big beast! Here it is next to my nikon d5100 and 18-55 lens.
Nikon P900 v Nikon D5100

Nikon P900 v Nikon D5100

The build quality is great and the flip out screen is great and actually much more usable than the relatively poor EVF. I found myself using the screen (not touch screen alas). I am spoiled though as the EVF isn’t a patch on the A7s or GH4.

Operation and features

The P900 has lots of features! It has Wifi, NFC, GPS. Lots of scene modes, lots of special effects. A bird watching mode, a moon mode and panorama modes. GPS locks on pretty quickly and also tags all the images with their location. WiFi works well and lets you control the camera and zoom remotely, which is great if you want to ensure the best image quality as you can fire pictures off without having to worry about pressing the shutter button. The zoom is incredible. You really can bring the most distant subjects close. See the sample images later. The NFC works great on android devices, tap it on the side of the camera in playback mode and the current picture is sent to your phone without having to mess about with connecting manually.

The main reason for this camera is the lens. It goes from 24mm to 2000mm in one relatively small package for such a lens anyway. There is then what nikon call dynamic fine zoom, which is basically digital zoom. I found this wasn’t as bad as I remember from the past. I have included some later in the samples section (anything over 2000mm (357mm) is digitally zoomed) so you can make up your own mind.

If you shoot a high speed burst you have to wait for the camera to finish writing before you can review your images. This is a shame but the price you pay for a more affordable camera. You can still shoot more images, just not review them.

Buffer and shooting timings

Just done some informal buffer testing.

ISO1600 1/30th f/2.8 in a darkened room in High speed burst.

with fast 90MB/s cards (extreme pro 95mb/s, transcend 64GB 95mbs, extreme plus 80mbs) all took about 7 seconds to clear buffer.

with slower ultra cards 40MBs – just over 9 seconds. so not super sensitive to cards… but worth getting the slightly faster cards if you’re shooting bursts but probably not the ‘fastest’ cards from what i can see.

Handling and Image Quality

I was pleasantly suprised by the image quality. After being used to dSLR and other Interchangeable lensed cameras I wasn’t expecting great things. There is no option to save in anything other than JPG, but thats not a problem as the jpgs are very nice out of camera and can be tweaked a lot if you want to minimise any editing once you’ve got them on the computer. Obviously being a smaller sensor the higher you go up the ISO range the noiser the images become. But for printing and home use they are great. The colours are nicely saturated and the sharpness is also good.

Sample Video

Here’s a sample panning video with VR active.

Conclusion

Overal the Nikonn P900 is a great camera. If you want the zoom range there is nothing else on the market that will give you that reach. Coupled with decent image quality and good VR to help handheld sharpness this is a great choice for an all in one. Long live the superzoom bridge camera!

Sample images of Nikon Coolpix P900


See how the image quality looks at wide angle and full zoom. Including what nikon call dynamic fine zoom (digital zoom with some intelligence).
I’ve included a couple of wide 24mm shots then full zoom to 2000mm (357mm).

Enjoy and let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Nikon Coolpix P900 at 2000mm equivalent (full optical zoom)

Nikon Coolpix P900 at 2000mm equivalent (full optical zoom)

Nikon Coolpix P900 at 5600mm equivalent (full optical zoom+dynamic fine zoom)

Nikon Coolpix P900 at 5600mm equivalent (full optical zoom+dynamic fine zoom)

Nikon Coolpix P900 at 24mm equivalent

Nikon Coolpix P900 at 24mm equivalent

Nikon Coolpix P900 same shot as before but zoomed in 2000mm equivalent

Nikon Coolpix P900 same shot as before but zoomed in 2000mm equivalent

Nikon Coolpix P900 easy 180 panorama mode

Nikon Coolpix P900 easy 180 panorama mode

Nikon Coolpix P900 speedboat at 1200mm equivalent

Nikon Coolpix P900 speedboat at 1200mm equivalent

Nikon Coolpix P900 at 24mm equivalent - distant racing yacht

Nikon Coolpix P900 at 24mm equivalent – distant racing yacht

Nikon Coolpix P900 at 2000mm equivalent - distant racing yacht

Nikon Coolpix P900 at 2000mm equivalent – distant racing yacht

nikon p900 shot of full moon at 2000mm

nikon p900 shot of full moon at 2000mm

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  • April 6, 2015 - 9:41 am

    Daniel Cave - thats pretty good Greg, clearly a great camera!

  • April 6, 2015 - 10:08 am

    Stephen Ingraham - Just one kind of correction. Dynamic Fine Zoom is only active in the “blue zone” out to 2x (4000mm equivalent). After that it is just regular digital zoom. 🙂

  • April 6, 2015 - 11:36 am

    Wes James - Very impressive camera…. thanks for the quick review. Amazing images coming from a bridge camera.

  • April 6, 2015 - 12:01 pm

    Martin Cheung - The quality looks great for a bridge camera and that zoom is just insane. Why on earth you’d need the extra digital zoom is beyond me

  • April 10, 2015 - 2:23 am

    Bill Sandifer - As a pixel-peeper, I was initially disappointed at the 100-percent image quality (academic, I know). But after I changed NR to low, reduced the sharpening to minimum and reduced the contrast/saturation a bit, the image at 100-percent is much better, without the ragged edges, reduced smearing. Post-processing can restore sharpness, saturation and contrast to preference.

  • May 10, 2015 - 4:29 pm

    Neil Jackson - yep pretty impressive think it’s what i’m looking for great zoom is a seller would have liked raw but jpegs are ok

  • May 10, 2015 - 6:02 pm

    Guru Raj - is it possible to use manual focus when video recording is going on ?

  • May 27, 2016 - 5:38 am

    Mark DSouza - Go Greg nice images. Very impressed. Have you tried the p900 at a wedding yet?

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