Nikon Coolpix P7700 Camera Review
The Nikon Coolpix P7700 offers numerous function buttons to change image parameters and exposure modes very quickly and efficiently. On the top side of the large body are three dials. The first dial on the left-hand side allows the user to set up the most important image parameters like ISO speed, white balance, and image quality (resolution and JPEG compression) directly. The LCD shows the chosen image parameter setting on the screen when the photographer turns the setup dial and presses the center button.
The second dial on the top side offers all standard exposure modes (P, S, A, M), a scene mode selector with 19 choices, including “portrait,” “landscape,” and special modes such as “panorama photography” or 3D mode. In addition, it offers three user-defined settings (U1, U2, U3) and two video modes. The first video mode will set up all parameters automatically while the second video mode allows users to work with manual exposure settings, aperture priority mode, or special effect modes like “painting,” “nostalgic sepia,” or “cross process.” The camera records Full HD video with 30 frames per second.
The third mode dial on the top allows the user to alter the automatic exposure settings by +/- 3 EV stops. Three additional setup dials are used to change all image parameters. The first is located on the front (near the shutter release button). The second setup dial is located on the back (near the top) and the third setup dial encircles the cursor field.
The camera has a large swivel LCD which can be tilted and flipped (even to the front side for self-portraits). It offers 921,000 RGB dots and shows a very crisp and bright image even under bright light conditions. Nevertheless, an optical or electronic viewfinder would add to the usability of the camera. One likeable feature is the inclusion of an integrated ND filter.
Color: The automatic white balance system showed a good performance for darker colors under all lighting conditions. Lighter colors, like the light gray test patterns of the GretagMacbeth chart, are reproduced with a little shift into the more yellow- and green-colored areas. Color errors are on a low level. The camera reproduced the test chart with a slight undersaturation (96.04 percent). This effect is also visible in the standard test box shot.
Sharpness: The camera showed average performance in our resolution tests. It gains a maximum of 2465 lines per picture height (nominal resolution: 3000 lines). Nevertheless, real life images have a very crisp and sharp look, noticeable in our model shot. Fine details like the eyelashes and the fabric of the T-shirt are clearly visible. The lens system works fine: even in the image corners the pictures display a sharp look, observable in the test box shot.
Noise: The camera uses a large image sensor (for a compact camera) and offers 12MP resolution. This helps keep image noise on a low level. The luminance noise factor stays under 1.0 up to speed settings of ISO 400, which is a good result for a compact camera. Even at the highest ISO speed settings the luminance noise y-factor is only 1.33, which is on the same level as in images taken with bridge cameras. While the luminance noise results are very good, the color noise is visible in images taken with ISO 800 and higher.
The result in the dynamic range test is extremely good: the camera gains a maximum of 11.4 f/stops, which is a better result than found in many SLR cameras.
+ Compact camera with intuitive handling
+ Robust body with many function buttons and setup dials
+ Nice color reproduction
+ Full HD video
- Missing optical or electronic viewfinder
The Nikon Coolpix P7700 has a list price of $499. For more information, visit www.nikonusa.com.
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Lab results and test images by BetterNet, our TIPA-affiliated testing lab. Edited by George Schaub.