Nikon’s Coolpix P7100 is as complex as it is powerful, with excellent image quality and a feature set to please even the fussiest photographer. Just make sure you’re up for the challenge.
Updated 8/24/2011: An earlier version of this story listed the Nikon Coolpix P7100's video-capture frame rate as 30 fps. Nikon has since amended that frame-rate spec to 24 fps.
Nikon ushered six new additions into its Coolpix point-and-shoot lineup today, just in time for the fall, the beginning of the football season, and the holiday camera-shopping playoffs.
The new Coolpix offerings include a top-of-the-line replacement for the Coolpix P7000, two pocket megazooms, a touchscreen-operated ultracompact camera, the company's first waterproof/freezeproof/shockproof model, and Nikon's third-generation projector-equipped PJ-series camera.
Nikon Coolpix P7100: Step-Up Successor to the Coolpix P7000
The flagship Coolpix P7100 is a high-performance fixed-lens camera, with DSLR-like manual controls and several new enhancements to last year's excellent Coolpix P7000. Key new features include an adjustable 3-inch LCD screen, a front-mounted control wheel for accessing some in-camera settings more quickly, new creative effects, and faster start-up and shutter-response speeds, according to Nikon.
Like the P7000, the 10-megapixel P7100 offers a larger-than-most 1/1.7-inch CCD sensor, a 7.1X-optical-zoom (28mm to 200mm) lens, an optical viewfinder, a pop-up flash, and a top-mounted shoe for external flashes and microphones. The camera has the full gamut of manual exposure controls, including aperture- and shutter-priority modes, as well as a dedicated top-mounted dial for quickly adjusting exposure compensation.
New in-camera effects modes include HDR shooting and an innovative Zoom Exposure mode, which creates a sort of "hyperspace" effect using slow shutter speeds. The technique is difficult to pull off manually, as it involves steadily zooming the lens during a long exposure; this is the first camera we've seen that automates the effect.
The P7100 also comes equipped with a built-in neutral density filter, a 1.2-frame-per-second burst mode at full resolution, RAW mode, 720p high-definition video recording at 24 fps, and a button to lock focus and exposure.
Available in mid-September at $500, the Coolpix P7100 should give the cameras on our top 10 chart of point-and-shoots with manual controls a serious run for the money.
Nikon Coolpix S8200: Automated 14X Pocket Zoom
We loved the Nikon Coolpix S9100 released earlier this year, and this 14X-optical-zoom model looks like its slightly smaller sibling. The 16-megapixel Nikon Coolpix S8200 replaces the Coolpix S8100, offering a low-light-optimized CMOS sensor, a stabilized zoom lens that reaches from 25mm ultra-wide-angle to 350mm telephoto, and 1080p video recording.
Like the Coolpix S9100, the Coolpix S8200 has fully automated exposure controls; but if the S8200 performs anything like the S9100, few users will miss the manual controls. In addition to auto mode, the Coolpix S8200 provides a range of creative shooting options and filters for still images and movies, an Easy Panorama mode that creates a panoramic image by panning the camera from side to side, and a snappy 6-fps burst mode. We hope that the S8200 also offers the excellent macro capabilities found in the S9100.
Equipped with a 3-inch LCD screen and a body that's about 1.3 inches deep, the Coolpix S8200 will go on sale in mid-September for $330. It will be available in three colors: black, silver, and red.
Nikon Coolpix S1200pj: Pico-Projector Cam With iPad Hookups
Two days after we featured 2010's Coolpix S1100pj projector-camera in our roundup of the most unusual-looking cameras we've ever seen, Nikon has replaced it with a souped-up successor, the Coolpix S1200pj.
The Nikon Coolpix S1200pj shares the same front-mounted projector as previous models in the PJ series, but this year's version has a new look and a brighter projector. The S1200pj's pico projector has a brightness rating of 20 lumens--significantly brighter than the 14-lumen projector on the S1100pj.
The projector has some new tricks, too, thanks to a bundled 30-pin connector that lets you hook it up to an iPad, iPhone, or iPod and use it as an external projector. Like last year's model, it also hooks up to a computer for use as an external projector.
On the camera side of the equation, the Coolpix S1200pj offers a 14-megapixel CCD sensor, a 5X-optical-zoom lens, and a 3-inch-diagonal touchscreen.
Slated for availability in mid-September, it's priced at $430 and will come in black and pink.
Nikon Coolpix S6200: A More-Pocketable Pocket Megazoom
Truly pocketable high-zoom cameras are one of the latest trends in the point-and-shoot world, and the fully automated Coolpix S6200 continues that trend with a 10X-optical-zoom lens in a body that's about an inch deep.
Unlike the Coolpix S8200, the S6200 is a CCD-sensored camera--and along with the smaller zoom range and smaller body, the 16-megapixel S6200 offers a smaller 2.7-inch LCD screen and lower-resolution 720p video.
Its price tag is significantly smaller, too: The Coolpix S6200 is priced at $230; it will be available in mid-September, in black, silver, blue, red, and pink.
Nikon Coolpix AW100: Nikon's First Rugged Compact Camera
Rugged pocket cameras are another fast-growing point-and-shoot segment, and the Nikon Coolpix AW100 is the company's first entry in that category.
The 16-megapixel Coolpix AW100 isn't just waterproof (to a depth of 33 feet underwater), shockproof (to drops not exceeding 5 feet), and freezeproof (at temperatures down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit), but it also has an electronic compass and a built-in GPS receiver with an in-camera map interface that displays on the camera's 3-inch LCD screen. Though more and more cameras include geotagging capabilities via GPS, most of them don't offer in-camera mapping, which is a great feature.
The camera's 5X-optical-zoom range reaches from 28mm to 140mm, and the lens fits in a body that measures just 0.9 inch deep. Nikon says that the Coolpix AW100's CMOS sensor is optimized for low-light shooting, another rarity in ruggedized cameras. The camera shoots 1080p video in addition to super-slow-motion 240-fps footage at a reduced resolution.
Another interesting feature is the Coolpix AW100's Action Control mode, which lets users navigate the camera's settings by shaking and swinging the camera. The mode is designed to help photographers operate the camera with gloves and mittens on, since users may call upon the camera to work in very cold weather.
Due in early September, the Nikon Coolpix AW100 is priced at $380 and will be available in black, blue, and orange.
Nikon Coolpix S100: Fashionable OLED Touchscreen Camera
The 16-megapixel Coolpix S100 is Nikon's latest ultracompact touchscreen camera, with a 3.5-inch-diagonal OLED touchscreen, a low-light-optimized CMOS sensor, a 5X-optical-zoom lens, and 1080p video capture.
The ultraslim S100 also has a range of in-camera creative modes, including a 2D-to-3D image conversion mode that automates 3D image effects for photos capture with its single lens.
Due in mid-September for $300, the Coolpix S100 will be available in black, red, gold, and purple.
This story, "Nikon Introduces Six New Cameras, Including High-End Coolpix P7100" was originally published by PCWorld.
Nikon’s Coolpix P7100 is as complex as it is powerful, with excellent image quality and a feature set to please even the fussiest photographer. Just make sure you’re up for the challenge. Read the full review