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7.12.2011

Initial Thoughts Nikon P7000

Well I took the P7000 out for a spin Sunday, and used it just like I would have used my DSLR.
Initial thoughts:

Good
  1. Takes awesome pictures, the image quality is stunning for a point & shoot
  2. Very useful zoom range compromise for compact size
  3. Lots of control and very tweakable
  4. Definitely does not draw the attention that my 50D does.
  5. Controls and dials, nicely placed
Bad
  1. Raw takes so long to process for each shot. It takes about 10 seconds, and if you change a setting while it’s processing the shot ends up half old setting/half new setting. It really destroys the flow waiting 12 seconds after each shot to change a setting. So many times with my DSLR I take a shot, look at it, adjust, and shoot again with the adjustment. I never realized how quickly I do it. With the P7000, I would take a shot, add exposure compensation, and shoot again, but because that last photo was still being processed I lost the shot (it was split with the old setting/new setting).
  2. Focus in low light or focusing on small objects is pretty poor, but they have an excellent manual focus mechanism, at least. It would be nice to take quick shots and pictures of moving objects, and you can, but more by luck than design, unless it’s in very bright light.
  3. Menus a little busy; when you select some options instead of just using the scroll wheel to scroll through a value, they put all the values on the screen, and you go back and forth instead of like a DSLR, where there is only one value showing that changes when you scroll.
  4. The optical viewfinder is just a joke, really. I have no idea why they could not go with an EVF. The view is not that bad, but it have no overlaid info so you cannot even tell what you are focusing on and when it’s in focus. Like the focus it works more by luck than by design. But to be fair, I have no illusions the Canon G12’s viewfinder will be any more useful. Optical viewfinders such as these just cannot be used to compose photographs; they are useful to steady a camera or to take a photo where composition is not important.
I have to be honest; it’s very sad that a camera that has so much promise on paper falls flat because of the RAW processing and focus. If you pay this much for a point & shoot they are calling a Pro-Am, then I have no idea why they would think you would not shoot primarily in RAW. If you stay with JPEG, this camera is only lacking in auto focus, but with the exception of RAW I would take my Fuji FinePix S1800 over this (its 1/3 the price and delivers 60-75 % of the functionality). But I must say RAW makes a huge difference in Post-Processing, so I will keep one of the cameras I am testing (P7000, GX200, G12) because RAW gives me so many options. But I do not think it will be the P7000.

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