Nikon P7000 Review

 
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Nikon Coolpix P7000 Optics


Lens

Zoom
A fairly wide, 7.1x optical zoom lens with good performance.

28mm eq., f/4.5 200mm eq., f/5.6 4x Digital Zoom, f/5.6

The Nikon P7000 is equipped with a 7.1x, 6.0-42.6mm f/2.8-5.6 lens covering the equivalent of a 28-200mm zoom on a 35mm camera. That's a generous range for its class, with double the telephoto reach of its main rival, the Canon G12. Results are quite good at wide-angle, with minor blurring in the corners that's slightly worse on the left side, along with fairly low levels of coma distortion and chromatic aberration. Detail is pretty good at full telephoto with negligible chromatic aberration, though again, the left side of the frame is a bit softer than the right. The camera's 4x digital zoom did a good job with the typical loss of fine detail associated with 4x digital magnification.

Macro
A very small macro area, with strong detail across the frame. Closest focusing distance is too close for the flash.

Standard Macro, f/2.8 Macro with Flash, f/6.3

The Nikon Coolpix P7000's macro setting captured a very small minimum area of just 1.39 x 1.04 inches (35 x 27 millimeters). Detail and resolution are very good over most of the frame, even though the camera selected the maximum aperture of f/2.8 without the flash. (Most cameras have some softening in the corners in macro mode, but the P7000 showed very little.) The Nikon P7000's built-in flash didn't clear the lens at this short a distance resulting in a very large shadow, so plan on using external lighting for any really close macro shots with the Coolpix P7000.

Distortion
Average barrel distortion at wide-angle, slightly higher than average pincushion at telephoto. Almost no distortion with Distortion Control enabled.

JPEG: Barrel distortion at 28mm eq. is 0.8%
JPEG: Pincushion distortion at 200mm eq. is 0.4%

JPEG: The Nikon P7000's 0.8% barrel distortion at wide-angle is about average among the digicam cameras we've tested. The distortion is noticeable in some shots. At the telephoto end, the P7000's 0.4% pincushion distortion is slightly higher than average and also noticeable in some shots. This is the tendency for the lens to bend straight lines outward (like a barrel -- usually at wide-angle) or inward (like a pincushion -- usually at telephoto).

JPEG: Barrel distortion at 28mm eq. is less than 0.1%
JPEG: Pincushion distortion at 200mm eq. is not measurable

Distortion Control: The Nikon P7000's optional Distortion Control setting corrects for most of the geometric distortion in JPEGs when enabled. The lab reports that it throws framing off, though, as the corrected preview shows less image area than the final image.

Chromatic Aberration and Corner Softness
Moderately low C.A. at wide-angle and telephoto. Mild blurring in the corners of the frame at wide-angle and telephoto.

Wide (f/2.8): Upper left
C.A.: Moderately low
Softness: Mild blurring
Wide (f/2.8): Center
C.A.: Low
Softness: Sharp
Tele (f/5.6): Upper left
C.A.: Moderately low
Softness: Moderate blurring
Tele: (f/5.6): Center
C.A.: Low
Softness: Slightly soft

Chromatic Aberration. Chromatic aberration is moderately low at wide-angle. What little there is extends fairly deep into the frame, though, but the width and intensity of the fringes reduce as you move toward the center. At telephoto, the extent and brightness of the chromatic aberration is about the same, but fringe colors switch from blue/purple to magenta/cyan. Chromatic aberration is a type of distortion visible as a slight colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target.

Wide (f/2.8): Upper left
C.A.: Moderately low
In-camera JPEG
Wide (f/2.8): Upper left
C.A.: More noticeable
ACR converted RAW
Tele (f/5.6): Upper left
C.A.: Low
In-camera JPEG
Wide (f/5.6): Upper left
C.A.: Slightly more noticeable
ACR converted RAW

As can be seen with the in-camera JPEG versus uncorrected RAW crops above, the Coolpix P7000 automatically applies chromatic aberration reduction to its JPEGs, just like its recent Nikon DSLR cousins. The improvement is more noticeable at wide-angle, as C.A. is lower to begin with at telephoto.

Corner Softness. The Nikon P7000's lens produced mild blurring in some corners at full wide-angle. Blurring is strongest in the upper left corner, and a touch of softness extends pretty far into the frame. The lower left corner isn't quite as soft, and the right side corners are quite sharp, as is the center. It's a similar story at full telephoto: corners are also only moderately soft, with the upper left being the softest again. Some minor softness does extend further into the frame. Again, the corners on the right side are sharper, as is the center, but overall sharpness and contrast are a bit lower than wide-angle. All-in-all, results are quite good considering these shots were taken wide-open (at maximum aperture), given the lens's speed and range.

Here are the same wide-angle JPEG crops at f/5.6, showing slightly sharper results and lower amounts of C.A. than at f/2.8.

Wide (f/5.6): Bottom left
C.A.: Low,
Softness: Slightly soft
Wide (f/5.6): Center
C.A.: Low
Softness: Slightly soft

Viewfinder

Coverage
Poor accuracy from the optical viewfinder, but excellent accuracy from the LCD monitor.

28mm eq., Optical 200mm eq., Optical
28mm eq., LCD 200mm eq., LCD

The Nikon Coolpix P7000's optical viewfinder showed about 83% coverage at wide-angle, and 84% at full telephoto. It was also offset and tilted compared to the sensor, but that's not unusual for an optical viewfinder of this type. The LCD monitor showed about 100% coverage accuracy at wide-angle and telephoto, which is excellent, though enabling Distortion Control reduces coverage accuracy.

 

The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Nikon Coolpix P7000 Photo Gallery.

Nikon P7000

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