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.
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.
Here’s a sample panning video with VR active.
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.