Hands on impressions of the Nikon Coolpix P7000

© Bob Krist--The Coolpix P7000's 28mm (equivalent) lens is great for landscapes

I had the opportunity, a few months ago, to work with prototypes of the newly-announced Coolpix P7000 on an assignment in the Southwest US. It was for Nikon’s ad agency in Japan. The P7000 is a fully-featured compact that would be the perfect backup/stealth/walkaround camera for a travel photographer.

This is not a review. So, if you are looking for MTF charts, camera-to-camera comparisons, and all the stuff a full-blown review offers, stop reading now, please.

It is, as the headline clearly states, my impressions of the machine. On these gigs, I’m handed a camera or a lens and I have a limited time to make as interesting a set of pictures as I can, not do side-by-side comparisons. So, tech heads, please forgive me in advance:-).

© Bob Krist--A cowpoke named "Laredo" as captured by the Coolpix P7000

When I got the call, my client said “bring along your DSLR too, in case we see something special and you want to shoot it on your main camera.”  I thought it was a very generous offer, but based on my previous experience with a variety of compacts, I declined. I knew that, in the heat of a great photo opportunity, I’d probably forget to use the compact altogether (Oy! Can say “blown assignment?”).

So, in order to save me from myself, I went out without a “net,” and after a day or so of getting used to using the LCD screen (although there is an excellent, if not 100% accurate, optical viewfinder), I didn’t miss the D90 nearly as much as I thought I would.

In fact, I’m using one of the pictures from this assignment in the oversize calendar that I do as a promotional piece for clients every year. I’ve done the calendar for years and never used anything but DSLR pictures. But I got my early copies last week from the printer, and the P7000 frame is indistinguishable from the DSLR frames. Not bad!

To read more about the camera and see a few JPEGs, hit the jump.

© Bob Krist---Shutter lag is tamed to the point that you can grab moments with the P7000

The camera is a bit larger than the P6000 and similar in size to a G10 or G11. It’s got a lot of dedicated knobs and buttons so you don’t get lost in menu-land. Plus, it has the same larger-sized sensor as the Coolpix P6000, but has only 10 megapixels on that sensor. I’m glad that Nikon has backed away from the megapixel war because that amount of pixels on this size sensor makes  higher ISOs actually useable (for the first time, in my experience with a compact).

I’d have no problem using the Coolpix P7000 at ISOs up to 800, and even 1600 in a pinch. This, as Paris Hilton would say, is huge. One thing you want from a walkaround belt camera is the ability to grab useable shots in low light interiors. Now we’ve got it.

The focusing of the 28-200mm (35mm equivalents) zoom is fast and sure and you get 60mm more of Nikkor-quality reach on the longer end than the competition.  It also features a very neat zoom memory function: with the touch of a button, the lens moves from 28, to 35, to 50, to 85, and so on. So you prime lens lovers can feel like you’re switching lens (in real time) as you move from favorite focal length to favorite focal length without stopping in between. Kind of an “express” zoom, if you will.

And while it is still not as fast a shutter release as a DSLR, it is faster focus and release than I’ve previously experienced on a compact, I was able to shoot slow shutter speed pan shots of rafters in white water….not getting as many frames off as I might with an SLR, but getting enough viable frames that I didn’t feel like tossing the camera itself in the rapids (destruction of the camera was a common urge for me whenever I got stuck trying to shoot action with a compact in the past!).

© Bob Krist--Catching peak moments with slow shutter speed pans was no problem

Other things I liked: The ergonomic handgrip made grasping the camera a breeze. This is important when you’re using the auxiliary 21mm (equivalent) wide angle lens. The lens makes the camera a bit larger, but is optically very good and gives you just that extra few degrees of coverage that can make all the difference.

© Bob Krist---Horseshoe Bend with the auxiliary wide angle lens

Although it wasn’t installed yet in the firmware of the early prototypes we had on the job, the 720P HD video option is gonna be a big plus (and get this, the Coolpix P7000 even has a mic jack). This could be the stealth video camera of choice in the near future.

© Bob Krist--Love that wideangle!

One thing that has me mystified: The NRW raw format. It’s a kind of a NEF, but it isn’t? But at least Adobe is starting to support this format. But why not just call it a NEF and call it a day?

But minor quibbles aside, this is a camera that can produce serious results. So if you’re looking for a compact travel camera or something compact to back up your DSLR on your next trip, check out the P7000.  This will be the camera to use when you need great results, but you don’t want to look like a “pro.”

© Bob Krist--nice details and gradation for a compact...
© Bob Krist-- The P7000 is a non-intimidating-looking machine for getting people shots.

This Post Has 134 Comments

  1. This post confirms that it really is the photographer and not the camera that matters. Great stuff (and it almost makes me want a P7000 which is probably what Nikon wants)!

  2. Thanks for thr review Bob.

    It’s a shame that the P7000’s optical viewfinder is limited to just 80% coverage as this would make it even more useful to a dSLR owner. Despite the P7000 being a P&S camera, I do not like shooting in an arms extended P&S stance, specially at low shutter speeds. The OVF is also a life saver in low-battery situations.

    Did you have a chance to use the P7000 with any of the Nikon speedlights? It would be most interesting what results you can get with a diminutive P7000 and perhaps half-a-dozen giant SB900s! 🙂

    And by the way, we are counting down the days to the D7000 launch and are looking forward to reading your review on this D90-replacement. 😉

  3. Great shots! Almost looks DSLR quality. Some do actually…

  4. Hi Bob,
    Greetings from Australia.
    How was the user defined focus area selection? Easy to use or a little inconvenient as in most compacts?

    How do you like the D90 replacement? (sorry – had to ask haha)

    1. Willie: It’s not as fast as moving a DSLR focus area, but it wasn’t bad. As for your second question, I have no idea to what you are referring….bob

  5. Thanks Bob, interesting impressions. I love the pic of the desert sands. I presume that was also taken using the 21mm auxiliary lens?

    1. Andrew: I don’t remember. I had two bodies, one with the wideangle, one without. I did use both in that situation. B

  6. Sorry to comment twice in quick succession but I forgot to ask if you could perhaps expand on the usability, accuracy and coverage of the optical viewfinder? How does it compare to low-end DSLR pentamirror viewfinders (D40 etc)?


    1. Andrew: It is not as accurate as an SLR viewfinder. By dint of it’s compact, rangefinder design, it couldn’t be.

  7. Nice shots, Bob. Curious if these are straight jpgs or if you’ve processed raws for these samples? Colors seem nice.

    1. Dave: These are jpegs from the RAW& JPEG mode. B

  8. I am glad you liked it. I have been patiently awaiting this! does it have GPS?

    1. Peter: I’m going to find the Nikon site with the specs…I don’t think so but I could be wrong. B

  9. you think its better than iphone?

    1. No, the Coolpix P 7000 is about the same—it kept dropping my calls just like the iPhone does:-). B

      1. !! HAHAHA best comment ever! +1

        1. VERY nice, Bob! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  10. Love the review. Looks like a must-get for someone like me who wants to get the professional shots but doesn’t always want to haul around all 50 pounds of my gear.

    Great southwestern shots! I envy that you got paid to go do this. I was only lucky to be passing through many of these places just long enough to snag some of my award winning shots myself.

    1. Jason: But the important thing, is that you were there long enough to win awards! Congrats! B

      1. LOL, True True.

        Now to save some cash from my wedding next month and buy one of these to go with me on the honeymoon. 😉

  11. I really like the shadow detail this camera gives–under the cowboy’s hat, the Navajo weavers, and Canyon X all look like they’re from a DSLR. Skin tones are great too.

    Maybe you could give us some crops of shadow detail and high ISO samples too, thanks Bob.

  12. Hi Bob,
    As I had stated before, “in the hands of the master.”

    Some of the photos might be considered typical travel shots, but I appreciate the foresight you took to be in and at the right place and time.

    The weavers photo is really nice, and tells me how relaxed you can make the people in your photos feel, which is most of the battle.

    Always look forward to your latest exploits and adventures.

  13. I would have make it with faster f 2 lens instead of putting more zooming capabilities.Body is good but Canon G11 is copied i guess!!!

  14. It sounds good to me. I had my eyes on P6000 and suddenly it did disappear, no way to get one. What about the GPS location device?

    1. Dunno about the GPS ….I don’t remember any builtin GPS capability, but mine was an early prototype. B

  15. Wow, I have a G11 and the images here sure looks like a step above the competition.

    Just a quick question. How does the optical viewfinder with the diopter adjustment dial work out? Is it that great as what it is hyped up to be?

    Thanks for the lovely images. Great work, as always.

    1. Martin: It doesn’t show the whole image, maybe 80% (check the specs….I forget), but it came in handy. The diopter worked for me, but I still wear my glasses when shooting. B

  16. This looks like more than a decent set of shots Bob showing off the abilities of the P7000 nicely – the shot of those weathered rocks (2nd from bottom) in particular catches my eye because it looks like it renders a lot of detail in average light or in shadow. I usually shoot with a D700 which as you know is a sizeable chunk of camera and I’ve wanted something a lot smaller to carry around for some time when I can’t or don’t want to take my D700 kit with me. The P7000 certainly looks like a contender for that…

  17. Love the pictures you made Bob. Any of the above an example of the P7000’s usable higher-ISO? Also, any idea when the camera is coming to stores?

    1. Elliott: Dunno, but I expect within a couple of weeks. Bob

  18. Love your write up! Wow, what a great little camera! I want one now 😉

  19. Hello Bob, thank you for your first impressions on the P7000. The pictures from the camera looks sharp and nice. And in the shadows are enough details to see…One question: Do you use a tripod in the antelope canyon (or is it another slot canyon?) or work only with the increase of the ISO range? Thank you. Best regards from germany Thorsten.

    1. Thorsten: I was on a tripod. It’s very dark down there. B

  20. Interesting insight Bob…I have been thinking about getting a G11 (I’m a Nikon DSLR shooter) ‘cuz Nikon’s P&S line has been weak. I could have used this last week in San Francisco as I rode about 40 miles w/ my D3s & 24-70 around my neck. Not quite a light travel kit! Think I’ll wait a bit and see what others think, and formal reviews.

    1. Chris: Always wise to get as much info and input from as many different sources as possible, but I think they’ve finally got it figured out with this camera. cheers, Bob

  21. Does it only image in the 4:3 format or will it write in other aspect ratios such as 3:2 or 16:9 (such as the Lumix LX5)? Did you shoot any video, if so how was the AF in video mode? Can you compare ISO noise to other Nikons such as the D300 or D700?

  22. Was the auxiliary lens made for the P7000? Is it a Nikkor lens?

  23. Nice comments and better photos, Bob.


  24. Hi Bob
    Your skill shows in these pictures. Well done. I was wondering how much software(photoshop) adds to the end result or were these as taken.


    1. Dan: All JPEGsout of the camera, except the two Native American women. I forgot to reset the Picture Control from Vivid (great setting for landscapes, but tough on people), so I had to back off the saturation of that JPEG a bit. B

  25. Wonderful photos Bob. The compact cameras (I can’t really call them point and shoots) have come a long ways in the last few years. The megapixel races seems to be over (Yaayy!!!) and the focus is on image quality and noise control (double yaayy!!).

    I have the other brand’s high end compact (which looks a lot like the P7000) and I’ve been very happy with it. That said, the Nikon has some very nice features (HD video, mic input, focal length selector etc) that I wish the other one had.

    I am a hard core RAW shooter, but I’ve discovered that JPEGs out of my G11 look really nice and require very little post processing (at least compared to RAW files from my dSLRs).

    On a related note, have you tried any of the micro 4:3 cameras? I know they aren’t Nikon, but the small Panasonic GF1 or some of the Olympus Pens look very intriguing.


    1. Jack: Thanks for the kind words. Haven’t tried them yet, but am intrigued by the EVIL cameras….mostly for their potential with video. I’m still struggling with video fever. Hope I get cured soon, otherwise, I will continue to have no life! Bob

  26. hi Bob,

    Awesome pics as always. I would be very interested in your take on micro four third cameras for travel photography. I have recently started using the micro four third cameras (GF 1) in my case and have been very satisfied esp for travel photography. I now prefer it to carrying my dslr. My micro four third with three lenses are a very good substitute.



    1. SM: I don’t have any experience with micro 4/3 cameras, but if they’re smaller and lighter and get the job done, then they are an excellent choice for travel! B

      1. Thanks Bob…

  27. I’m quite surprised nobody has commented on this yet, but to my eyes most of the photos look a little soft. I don’t see any crisp sharpness.


    1. those samples on dpreview are even softer………

    2. Must say they seem soft to me as well, but I’m an old guy with bad eyes, so don’t take my word for it

      1. Ted: A few people have remarked the same. Dunno what to tell you. When you look at other posts, do those pix look soft too? As I mentioned in the post, I’ve seen a proof of an oversized four color calendar in which a Coolpix P7000 shot is indistinguishable from shots from D90 and D300s. I’d suggest taking a look at one of the exhaustive reviews on DPreview and make your decision from that data. B

  28. Hi Bob,

    Quick question — I’m used to a Canon G10, and what I love about the camera is the silent shutter release (by means of muting and/or disabling the shutter sound). Can the silent shutter be replicated on the Nikon? Silence can be golden, especially on these compact cameras.

    Regards, and thanks for the great write-up!


    1. Erik: That’s a great question, and we didn’t need to “go stealth” in the field on this gig and I can’t find any reference to it in the specs. Let me see if I can find out, because that is a super useful feature. Bob

    2. Erik: This just in….you can turn off the shutter sound. Bob

      1. Great! That really sweetens the deal. Thanks for retrieving that bit of info for me. Regards, Erik

  29. Hi Bob,
    Thanks for the review, I have one question that is vaguely described in the Nikon data for this model. Can you put an SB900 on it and do AWL with it to command remote flashes? This would be a big plus if you could.


  30. Hi Bob!

    If the finance department approves do you think the gap is big enough to justify replacing your Canon S90? I am loving mine but the EXTERNAL MIC JACK is by far the most appealing feature. Now if I can segment together a video storyline that isn’t completely inane.

    1. Skunk: Yes, I think one of these is in my future…B

  31. Hi,

    First, as this is the first time I have I have found your site let me compliment you on the superb images. If I had captured the first one at Machu Picchu that you have with the llama looking at you with the site laid out behind I would have been very chuffed (sorry a Brit expression)!

    Your P7000 images are quite excellent, especially the cowpoke, and may push into to getting one. On the plus side, I for one am delighted they kept the OVF. I have always thought it should mandatory for camera shops to take prospective buyers of compacts outside on a sunny day to look at the LCD screen, as they will encounter in holiday.

    I used to use a Nikon P5000 as a back up and travel camera (to a D300s), but became frustrated with its slowness so bought a D40, which is just superb. Given the smaller package and thus convenience might the P7000 persuade me back to a compact? How does its responsiveness bear up against a D40?

  32. Hello Bob, nice set, D7000, oops, P7000 is looking good ;). 3 Q:
    1) Does it show a live histogram on the LCD screen?
    2) When using 21mm adapter, does it work with lens at all FLs or just at the widest one?
    3) Are these ooc JPEGs or converted RAWs?

    Thanks for your attention, best, Renato (Brazil).

    1. Sorry, just saw reply to previous poster on JPEGs. Anyway, the ones you had to process, was it from the RAW files or from the JPEGs?

    2. 1. I don’t remember…I think it might be a display option
      2. Pretty sure you only use this at the widest setting.
      3. Asked and answered in previous comment.

  33. Great photos Bob! I downloaded the photos and put them through Capture NX2 2.2.5 with sharpening set to 100%, radius 2. The photos really come alive with sharpening. This looks like a very attractive camera for traveling.

    1. John: That’s good news. I just tried to use out of the camera JPEGs to keep it simple. Bob

  34. Step aside from any limitations for that size and type of camera, I’m excited because its going to shine in low light, which my canon G10 could not do without a tripod, my wife and I reviewed the photo’s and both of us enjoyed what you did with that camera.
    I need a good camera for hiking and mountain climbing–DSLR’s are great but those 50lb packs I’ve been hiking around with are too much sometimes.
    all the best to you Bob,


    Evan & Jo-Ann Spellman

  35. I know this is a compact, but with all the nice things you say, I am excited. But, does it have a 3 or 5 shot HDR option. I couldn’t see it in the specs. Thanks

    1. Richard: I don’t know….they didn’t mention it or have me use it. Keep in mind I had prototypes and the operating system was not what the release version is. I’ll try to find out, but if it doesn’t say so, I wouldn’t think so. B

  36. Looks like maybe Nikon has finally come up with a serious alternative to the Canon G-line.

  37. Bob,
    Nice shots! I especially like Laredo, the cowboy.

    The P7000 looks like the compact I’ve been waiting for. With an SB-400, wide angle adaptor, spare battery and memory cards, it should fit nicely in a small fanny pack.

    My old Domke bag of DSLRs and lenses has just about worn a groove in my shoulder!

    On the other hand, my fanny still has plenty of “muscle.”

    Thanks for the informative preview.

  38. Hello Bob

    Great work. I’ve been after a compact for quite a while now but have never commited to purchasing one due to the lack of manaul focus issues and the impressions I’ve have of two other manufacturers that provide this function still hasn’t quite hit the spot for me. I’m wondering if you experimented with this feature for the P7000? What are your impressions of it are if you did?

    1. Sam: Truthfully, I didn’t. To my old fashioned way of thinking, if you can’t grab a focusing ring on a lens and twist it back and forth and see an image go sharper and softer, then manual focus loses its allure for me! B

  39. Bob,

    Well, since I didn’t see anyone else asking about the NRW format I will! Do you know if Capture NX2 will open the NRW files?

    Great shots, by the way. I love the Southwest.


    1. John: Yes, I’m sure it will. I don’t use it and Adobe doesn’t have the code or whatever it is for the new file (there’s always a bit of a lag). You might have to download an update for NX2 but they have to support it.

  40. Thanks for reply to my questions above. Great images on your site as well. KUTGW!

  41. Bob

    I’m a big fan! Antelope Canyon can be a challenge – was that natural light? What ISO? Did you use software to help with shadows?



    1. Jeff: Yes, natural light, ISO 100 I think. No, these are jpegs out of the camera, as stated earlier in the comments. B

  42. Bob, I’m surprised to find that many of these photos have no color profile embedded, and others have Adobe RGB. That means that many, if not most, of your visitors aren’t seeing the right colors.

    1. Aaron: What the WordPress template does to uploaded pictures is beyond my control. What would you like me to do? Can you get more satisfaction from the Nikon site? I don’t know what to tell you. Best get your info from some other site! Bob

      1. Bob, I don’t know what your workflow is, but when I’m preparing an image for the Web, I use Photoshop’s “Save for Web” command and make sure I’ve selected “Convert to sRGB” and “Embed Color Profile.” This guarantees that my Web visitors are the most likely to see what I intend.

        Since most browsers are not color corrected, uploading an Adobe RGB image, with or without profile, is a sure way to guarantee that most visitors will see inaccurate colors. A little better than that is to have an sRGB image without profile, but that won’t work for anyone running a color-corrected browser like Safari on a wide-gamut monitor. The only safe choice is sRGB with embedded profile, even if it means sacrificing some gamut.

        Anyway, I was just trying to be helpful. Your information is fine for me as is. I’m more interested in image clarity than color, which is not generally a problem and can always be adjusted anyway.

        1. Thanks Aaron! I will try to resave and repost those images if time allows. Bob

  43. Sorry Bob….I revisted the pics, downloaded them, opened them up in PS…..they’re still soft.


    1. Bill: Don’t apologize. Can you download pictures from other posts on my blog and report back? Maybe they’re all soft, and I’ve been living a lie all these years! That would be good for me to know….

  44. Hi Bob,
    Do you think this camera would be suitable to photograph active children, i.e. has fast enough AF/responsiveness?


    1. Tom: A DSLR would be my first choice for any fast moving subjects. B

      1. Thanks Bob,
        I should have prefaced. I am looking for a carry anywhere camera, as I frequently find the dSLR too cumbersome with child in tow.
        I understand compact cameras are not in the same class as dSLR’s, however out of all the compact cameras available, would the P7000 be on your short list for this type of application, or any other suggestion?

        Thanks again,

        1. Tom: If getting good shots of fast moving kids is one of your prime aims, I would carry a small DSLR like a D5000 or something along those lines. If that’s still too big, then I think this camera would be the next logical choice. HTH, B

  45. I want one for street Shootin.

  46. I now have two hiding places. One where I hide my old DSLR’s from my wife. Now I have a second where I will hide my old compact cameras. Did you have this problem with film cameras? I had just talked myself out of going to a full frame sensor camera. These Nikon folks are relentless. I now have both big camera and little camera envy.

    1. Mike: The way I look at it, if it’s only cameras we’re envying, then things can’t be that bad! Bob

  47. Hi Bob, great pictures and feedback on the camera. Do you happen to know if the camera has a time lapse mode or a trigger input (3.5mm jack) for a intervalometer? This is the only reason why I’m holding out for the mystical Canon g12 that may or may not appear soon.

    1. Marcel: I don’t know. Keep in mind that the camera I worked with had a primitive firmware version. Many of the features that are part of the camera (like video, for instance) were not operational. So I’d advise getting to one of Nikon’s official sites, check the specs, and if you can’t get an answer there, contact Nikon directly. Bob

  48. Hi Bob,

    very interesting, promising review – thank you much for that.
    i love your images always, especially your b&w gallery.
    i’m just sick at the moment, but would like to thank you much
    for this great review & sample images…besides that, i’ve found
    out that your pictures come out a bit soft & less crisp,
    but perhaps that’s an issue of the prototype P7000.
    Overall, the P7000 seems to be promising, but i’d really loved
    if Nikon had gone for a faster lens, f2 for example.

    greetings from germany,

  49. How bad is the shutter lag? I’ve been leary of point and shoots due to shutter lag.

    1. Jim: Please read the post for my assessment….I’m sorry but I just don’t know what else to say!! Bob

  50. re: shutter lag. Bob’s caption under the second image reads, “Shutter lag is tamed to the point that you can grab moments with the P7000.” I take this as a reasonably good endorsement of short shutter lag on the P7000 – at least as a P&S camera. Yes?

  51. Hi Bob,

    Thanks for the review. I bought a LX3 last winter to use as a travel camera and I’ve really been stunned by the 24mm lens on that camera. The low-light performance is also quite “reasonable”. Did you investigate a practical low-light limit on the P7000? Since my wife has appropriated my LX3, I was planning on a LX5 to supplement my work. We both shoot Nikon DSLRs, D70s, D200, D2Hs and sometimes just need to run without those anchors to keep up with the rest of our world. The quality P&S cameras are really showing their strength in these areas.

    With the extra zoom reach of the P7000, the optical VF (of any quality so I can at times turn off the LCD display for “stealth”) and the possibility of integrating my Nikon strobes with this camera plus your review and video commentary are making me rethink this with the P7000 as a very likely candidate.

    With the auxiliary lens, is 21mm (equiv) the only focal length or does it also integrate with the zoom for other possible focal lengths?

    Thanks and
    Best Regards,

    1. Hi Roger: Regarding high usable ISO, please see the post. Regarding the 21mm zoom, please see the answer to this question in the comments.

      I think it’s a good candidate for what you want in an LX3 replacement, although it is bigger, especially with the wide angle adapter. Bob

  52. Wonder how the pictures look at high iso! Let’s say ISO 3200. Do you have some examples?

    Anyway, nice work!


    1. Olivier: I never shot it that high. Please see the post for my ISO findings.B

  53. Bob:

    Great shooting! Image quality really does look up to DSLR standards.

    I am intrigued by the mention of compatibility with the Nikon flash system. Does this camera have a Commander mode that will allow it to trigger and control exposure of (multiple) remote flash units wirelessly?



    1. Larry: I was working with early prototypes the firmware of which was primitive and did not offer whole swaths of menu options that are now standard. So I don’t know and would have to go to the Nikon site, which I recommend, to answer this question.
      My gut feeling is no, but I can’t be sure until I do what I’m recommending you do, and pop over to Nikon’s site! Bob

  54. Bob: Perhaps you should cut and paste these answers for those that can’t read. It would save you time rewriting them:

    “Please see the post for my ISO findings”

    “Regarding high usable ISO, please see the post.”

    “Please read the post for my assessment”

    “Asked and answered in previous comment”

    “Please give the post another read.”

    Love the shots.

    1. Larry: Thanks! Yes, this one just about cured me from doing these kinds of new gear posts….not worth the hassle. I try to accommodate, but if folks won’t read what’s written, what can I do? Life is too short! Bob

      1. Yeah, the new gear posts seem to be the stuff that draw the most replies, but you seem to end up knee-deep (or higher) in having to deal with people who can’t read or are just plain rude or wrong about what you do. To quote one poster from your “Miami Ice” post: “It is absolutely amazing to see the CRAZINESS that potential new gear perpetuates.”

        For me, your tips and advice are the most helpful, and I love reading your posts about how you overcome difficult or impossible shooting situations to come back with some great images.

        I won’t be shooting for Nat Geo anytime soon, but i more than appreciate what you’re doing and I’ll use what I can (on my budget), to become a better photographer.

        Keep posting and try to ignore the ignorant.


        1. Thanks Larry, I appreciate it! Bob

  55. I want a camera to shoot mostly macro shots of mushrooms. I keep thinking I may really need a camera with the ability to twist a lens to manual focus. Any tips on using a camera like the P7000 for macro work or would I be much better off to get a DSLR? I know it’s early yet but I have not found any macro/micro examples with this camera yet.

    1. I would think, for serious mushroom macro work, a DSLR with a macro lens would be the go-to choice. B

  56. Hi Bob,

    nice pics! Do you think that the P7000 isn’t a big large for a carry everywhere P/S camera? End of last year I bought a Canon S90 and it slips nicely in the pocket and makes astonishing nice pics.
    Our last vacation on Iceland and last weekend in Chengdu (China) I had both my Canon S90 and my Nikon DSLR with my beloved 18-200 travel lens. Interesting enoug, I tend to use more and more the S90 – just so small and esp for people shots definitely not intimidating. The F/2 lens indoors even with movements is pretty good:


    Have fun, cheers from Shanghai,

  57. Bob thanks for the input I truely enjoy your info way more than the normal review crud.. Real work and real opinions from a working photog are so much more usefull that the this is this and that is that and well X brand does this better reviews.

    Thanks again I hope to get one for a back up to my DSLR for my pending trip to Haiti witha MEdical mission group. Maybe this will fill that Leica void I have

    Warm Regards Kevin

  58. Thanks for the great article on the p7000. I have been using an S90 for quite a while and I have to say that I often see little different in prints made from my DSLR and the S90. It sounds like a P7000 and an S90 would make the perfect light weight travel combination.

    As far as people who don’t read the article, they remind me of my Jr. High students who don’t want to read the assignment and expect the teacher (me!) to spoon feed them the information.

  59. Oh, just an aside, an not directly related to the P7000, but taking an S90 with me along with the DSLR means that I no longer have to bring my 50mm f /1.8 prime lens for dim light photography. The S90 has an F2 lens (albeit at only the 28mm setting). Very nice.

  60. Wonderfully practical review. Thanks.
    Regarding usability: it seems that there is NOT a dedicated ISO dial like my G7 has. I’ve also read that the second dial on the P7000 _can’t_ be configured for ISO settings. If true, was this a big drawback?
    >>> How difficult was it to go from ISO 200 to 800 using the menu system if that’s how it had to be done? (Was in Italy this past summer and the G7 was poor inside churches at ISO800, but it sure was easy to go from ISO 100 to 400 quickly!)

    1. Bob: I will try to find out because, unfortunately, I don’t even remember! I used this gear for about 5 days in June, never saw it before, and haven’t seen it since! I don’t remember ISO changing to be a hardship, but I can’t say for sure how I actually did it.

      1. Thanks. The dedicated ISO dial on my G7 was great — too bad its got limited hi ISO performance.

        While I got you, curious how you found the viewfinder. You say it seemed 100% but it really only specs out at 80%. I could perhaps live with that if it was centered. Again the G7 OVF isnt even centered. While I’ve learned how to adjust a bit, it would be nice to know that the center of a composed shot in the OVF will in fact be the center.

        AS I’ve gotten older a dedicated VF is still better for both holding still, and seeing a shot. Even large, bright LCDs seem to be lacking in my eyes, but I think I’m in the monirity in wanting a VF. (It’s why I paid up and got an EPSON R-D1 last year.)

        1. Bob: Please give that post another read….I never said it “seemed 100%”….I said, “an excellent, if not 100% optical viewfinder.” Not quite the same thing. Honestly I don’t remember if it was centered or not. It seemed okay the times I had to use it. But, you know, my brief was to make a lot nice pictures as fast as I could, and not do a lot of minute testing and comparisons (I wonder, though, how long I would have to work with a camera before I noticed if the viewfinder was centered or not!)

          I hear you on the VF….I really really prefer to work through a viewfinder…could be an age thing, you’re right. You know, I’ve seen some of the guys shooting video with these compacts, and they put on a Hoodloupe or a Zacuto finder on the back of the LCD so it works like an SLR. Check out a blog called The C47 and look at his “mighty mini” setup in a recent post. Could be the way to handle these things! Bob

  61. Will give that blog a look. Thx.

  62. Are you able to compare the acceptability of this optical viewfinder to that of the Canon G11? I find the G11 OV dim and tiny when compared to my Canon A610, and consequently won’t buy it. So I’m hoping for a better viewfinder in the P7000, as everything else sounds great. Thanks.

    1. Hi Terry: I have to point you to this quote from my entry:

      This is not a review. So, if you are looking for MTF charts, camera-to-camera comparisons, and all the stuff a full-blown review offers, stop reading now, please.

      It is, as the headline clearly states, my impressions of the machine. On these gigs, I’m handed a camera or a lens and I have a limited time to make as interesting a set of pictures as I can, not do side-by-side comparisons. So, tech heads, please forgive me in advance:-).

      I don’t know what else to say! I had that camera in my hands for 5 days, and I shot the bejusus out the area, and that was the first and last time I had one in my hands! Bob

  63. I confess first of all to being an Olde Pharte, and secondly to still shooting with a Nikon S3 and 21mm lens on occasion. I do like optical viewfinders.
    The rangefinder “feel” is what I’m looking for in a camera. How does this camera compare to the rangefinders I know you’ve used?

    1. Grover: If you’re looking for a digital rangefinder experience, I recommend the Leica M9.
      (If you’d like to save $7500 and make some compromises in the “rangefinder” feel, adapt to the $500 P7000!) cheers, Bob

      1. Let me think for a microsecond on that price difference . . . Ok, the P7000 wins.

  64. Wonderful pictures Bob !
    I read on some forum that the f number stops at f8. I’m not an expert but did you have any problem with the depth of field, or does the size of the sensor compensates for that ? Also, I read the camera includes a neutral gray filter to help with that. Did you use this filter at all or is it automatic and you never noticed when it was used by the camera ?
    Thanks !

  65. Being extremely nearsighted (-8 dioptres) I cannot use the backside LCD screen without removing my glasses. I appreciate Nikon’s continued inclusion of the optical viewfinder on this Coolpix line. I look forward to replacing my well worn Pentax optio 555 with the Nikon P7000.

  66. I love the dramatic lighting. This shows that great pictures depend largely on the person behind the camera!

  67. Hi Bob

    You know, even though there are golden rules people like different perspectives. I like your style.

    I got a Nikon P7000 and started to take pictures since several months. Now I decided to use some extra stuff and I am waiting my adapter and basic filters shipped from HK.

    Do you recommend to use macro lenses for P7000. I mean it is a compact camera and its auto zoom may restrict picture quality with additional binoculars. I am asking because some said it would be a torture to focus with those lenses. If you say that it would be no problem I am gonna get some of them.



    PS: I liked lights and colours you captured in Cornish Lads video the most. My idea: if you make people feel a specific place that they never visited before, this is a huge achievement in photography; and you do it very well.

  68. Hei Bob, Thanks for the review and the video.. I am not a professional photographer rather an serious amateur and a biologist. I started learning myself using Olympus SP800uz. However, I find there are some difficulties in that, especially taking moving objects and landscapes. It may be a good one to start with, however I would like to explore further into the passionate world of photography for the pure creativity and self-satisfaction of it. I was thinking about Nikon P7000 or to start with a DSLR. There can never be a comparison with SLR’s, however for the compactness and clarity does P7000 looks like 2nd best?? And what about N1 series?? I haven’t seen many using that!! What do you suggest Bob?

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