Nikon COOLPIX P900
Entrance view with 83X zoom
Reviewed by Mark and Leslie Degner
A digicam with a 24 to 2000mm superzoom lens (equal 35mm focal size) is certain to be a magnet for most photographers, however then most will rapidly dismiss it as extra of a gimmick that actually can’t probably be that good optically. That was our first thought, however the extra we regarded into the digicam, the extra our curiosity piqued. The digicam in query is the COOLPIX P900, one of many newest within the Nikon COOLPIX compact digicam collection. This digicam is designed for photographers searching for one digicam that may do all of it, however can it ship? Let’s discover out.
Though the P900 is in Nikon’s COOLPIX compact digital digicam collection, it’s not very small or compact, however concerning the dimension of a small DSLR. Each of us discovered it was snug to carry and appeared light-weight for its dimension at 899 g with a battery and SD reminiscence card.
The lens on the P900 is an 83X optical zoom with NIKKOR ED glass made up of 16 parts in 12 teams and has a variable ƒ2.8-6.5 aperture. With focal lengths extending from 24mm to 2000mm (equal 35mm focal size) you’ll be able to really shoot the moon. In actual fact, at 2000mm the moon will fill a lot of the picture body and the P900 even comes with a particular Moon Scene Mode. If 2000mm doesn’t provide you with sufficient attain, you’ll be able to change to the Dynamic Wonderful Zoom mode, which offers focal lengths as much as 4000mm or straight digital zoom for focal lengths as much as 8000mm. We have been pleasantly shocked on the total picture high quality that the P900’s lens is able to producing as much as about 1500mm; nevertheless, picture high quality falls off as focal size is elevated extra. On the wide-angle finish of the focal size vary, there was a bit barrel distortion and the sides have been a bit gentle, however all issues thought of it carried out properly.
©Mark and Leslie Degner
Pink-necked grebe, Astotin lake, Elk Island Nationwide Park, AB
Gear/Settings: Nikon P900, left; 24mm, ISO 400, ƒ7.1@1/1250 sec., proper; 1800mm, ISO 400, ƒ7.1@1/1000 sec.
The P900 has a 1/ 2.3” 16 MP CMOS picture sensor that may seize pictures as much as 4608 x 3456. Though it’s a comparatively small sensor, total the picture high quality was fairly good. We have been happy with the outcomes we bought with it and have been in a position to produce good high quality 11”x14” prints. When it comes to video, it’s able to producing full HD 1080p video with stereo sound.
We have been disenchanted that the file format is JPEG solely; we might have appreciated to see the provision of RAW file format as properly. Additionally, it will have been good if there was the choice to have the Adobe RGB color house along with simply the sRGB color house. Having these two choices would permit photographers the flexibility to get probably the most out of the sensor. Granted the P900 is designed as a digicam for “novice” photographers, most of whom need simplicity, however it will be good to have extra selection in file format and color house. This is able to undoubtedly make the digicam extra engaging to a wider vary of photographers. Nevertheless, simply because the P900 has solely JPEG and sRGB doesn’t imply you’ll be able to’t get good pictures, it simply means your digicam must be correctly set and work inside its limitations.
The P900 has the usual capturing modes (P, S, A, M), together with quite a lot of Scene and Impact modes. It additionally has publicity bracketing and publicity compensation. It has an ISO sensitivity of 100 to 6400, however we discovered that the noise rapidly elevated above ISO 400 and advocate attempting to shoot at ISO 100 or 200 every time doable.
The contrast-detect AF system carried out very properly with most topics that we photographed. Shifting the main focus level utilizing the multi selector dial was simple and quick. In regular mode the P900 has a minimal distance of 50cm at 24mm and 5 metres at 2000mm. The macro close-up mode labored surprisingly properly, making it simple to get near the topic and even when the topic was about 2.5 cm from the entrance of the lens, it nonetheless targeted properly.
The lens zoomed rapidly between focal lengths, however a shortfall is that no focal size values are seen; all you see is a sliding indicatory, so that you don’t know what particular focal size you’re utilizing.
The vibration discount labored fairly properly total, however as you elevated the focal size to its higher vary it wasn’t fairly as efficient. Handholding the digicam at 1000 to 2000mm and protecting it regular could be a little little bit of a problem, so we advocate for max sharpness that you just use a tripod every time doable at focal lengths of 1000mm and better.
The 921k-dot LCD digital viewfinder (EVF) offers roughly 100 % picture protection and is enough, however it will have been higher if it got here with the next decision EVF since we discovered we have been utilizing it loads when photographing, particularly at longer focal lengths. We actually like that the 7.5 cm (3”) LCD monitor was absolutely articulating, making it very versatile, particularly when capturing from a low or excessive place, and its 921k-dot decision is enough. A contact delicate LCD monitor could be a beautiful addition.
Nikon COOLPIX P900 displaying rear view with articulating LCD display screen
The P900 has a built-in pop-up TTL flash, however no sizzling shoe. There are numerous different options with this digicam, too many for us to cowl all of them, together with GPS, a digital horizon, Wi-Fi and NFC. Its battery offers about 360 photographs per cost, however there’s no exterior charger included so the battery must be charged by way of a USB cable whereas within the digicam. Charging the battery this manner is sluggish, so we advocate buying the elective exterior battery charger and a spare battery.
For a lot of novice out of doors photographers the Nikon COOLPIX P900 with its 24-2000mm superzoom lens could match the do-it-all-in-one digicam requirement, particularly contemplating its $669.95 value. Given its constraints it’s able to producing fairly good high quality pictures at focal lengths as much as round 1500mm, particularly at decrease ISOs. Extra superior/demanding photographers might discover the lacking options like RAW and Adobe RGB disappointing as this limits the management that the photographer can have on the ultimate picture. It’s not excellent, however the P900 performs much better than we anticipated. As Leslie mentioned at one level whereas utilizing with the P900, “it’s a enjoyable digicam to shoot with.”
To learn extra nice critiques by Mark and Leslie Degner please choose up the Fall/Winter 2015 problem of OPC. To by no means miss a problem please subscribe at present!