Nikon P7000 Review

 
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Nikon Coolpix P7000 Performance


Timing and Performance

Slow to average speed for most operations, but extremely fast autofocus.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

2.9 seconds

Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy and capture a picture.

Shutdown

1.7 seconds

How long it takes to retract lens.

Buffer clearing time

41 seconds
(after 24 L/F JPEG frames)*
14 seconds
(after 5 RAW+ L/F JPEG frames)*

Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't retract their lenses and shut down until the buffer is cleared.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme III 8GB SDHC memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times.

About average startup time with slightly better than average shutdown time. Just a tad slower than the Canon G12 which measured 2.7s and 1.6s respectively. Buffer clearing is extremely slow, though, even with our fast 30MB/s SDHC card. Firmware 1.1 did improve RAW file writing times (see below).

 

Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus Wide

0.202 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide-angle position.

Full Autofocus Tele

0.228 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.

Full Autofocus
Flash enabled
0.337 second
Time to capture while forcing flash to fire, zoom lens at wide-angle position.

Prefocused

0.021 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Shutter response is very fast for a compact at both wide-angle and telephoto, at 0.20s and 0.23s respectively. This is quite a bit faster than the Canon G12 (0.66s and 0.75s respectively), and indeed faster than many DSLRs. Enabling the flash increased shutter lag to an average of 0.34 second as a result of the flash metering preflashes, but that's still very fast. "Prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure results in a lag time of only 0.021 second, also quite fast (the Canon G12 tested at 0.076s).

 

Cycle Time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
2.26 seconds
3 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Single Shot mode
RAW + L/F JPEG

6.84 seconds
6 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots. Firmware 1.1 improved cycle time and buffer clearing.

Firmware 1.1:
4.09 seconds
4 seconds to clear*

Early shutter
penalty?

No
(Yes with Flash)

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous mode
Large Fine JPEG

0.73 second (1.36 frames per second);
24 frames total;
41 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 24 frames.

Continuous mode
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.56 second (1.80 frames per second);
5 frames total;
31 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 5 frames. Buffer clearing dropped from 31 to 14 seconds with firmware 1.1, but cycle time did not change.

Firmware 1.1:
14 seconds to clear*

Flash recycling

5.2 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme III 8GB SDHC memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity also affects cycle times and burst mode performance, with higher ISOs generally increasing cycle times and reducing burst performance.

Shot-to-shot cycle times are slower than average, at 2.26 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, but the camera does seem to capture frames continuously at this rate. (That is, given a fast enough memory card, it doesn't have to pause every few frames to wait for the card to catch up.) RAW + L/F JPEG cycle-time was a whopping 6.84 seconds, much slower than average, though buffer length did not appear limited. The Canon G12 was a bit slower for JPEGs (2.40s), but much faster for RAW+JPEG (2.70s). The G12 also cleared its buffer much more quickly than the P7000, requiring just 1 second after L/F JPEGs, and 2 seconds after RAW+JPEG frames.

The Coolpix P7000's continuous shooting modes were sluggish for its class, capturing large/fine JPEGs at only 1.36 frames per second, though buffer depth was very good at 24 frames. (The Canon G12 managed 1.97 JPEG frames per second for over 20 frames.)  Interestingly, the Nikon P7000's burst rate actually increased to 1.80 frames per second when shooting RAW + L/F JPEGs, though buffer length was much smaller at 5 frames. (The G12 slowed to 0.96 frames per second for RAW+JPEG, but buffer length was over 20 frames.) As mentioned previously, the P7000's buffer clearing times were glacial, at 41 seconds after 24 JPEG frames and 31 seconds after just 5 RAW+JPEG frames. The flash took 5.2 seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, which is about average.

Firmware Update: Nikon has released firmware 1.1 for the P7000, which among other things improves RAW write times. You can read more about it here. With firmware 1.1 installed, buffer clearing after a single RAW + L/F JPEG dropped from 6 to 4 seconds, and from 31 to 14 seconds after a burst of 5 RAW+ L/F JPEG frames. This is a noticeable and welcome improvement, but still somewhat sluggish. The firmware update didn't seem to improve the sometimes laggy user interface.

 

Download Speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

2,879 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, download speeds were a bit on the slow side these days. The Canon G12 tested at over twice the speed here (6,433 KB/s).

Bottom line, the Nikon Coolpix P7000's autofocus speeds are the only fast operation. Everything else we tested from startup/shutdown times, to cycle times, to buffer clearing was average or slower than average. Even the camera's user interface was sometimes painfully slow and would often lag behind the user's inputs. Firmware 1.1 did improve buffer clearing when RAW files were present, but didn't improve other timing.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Above average battery life for a lithium-ion design.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery,
Optical Viewfinder
(CIPA standard)
Unknown
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery,
LCD Monitor
(CIPA standard)
350

The Nikon Coolpix P7000 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with a charger. Although battery life is pretty good for a compact when using the LCD monitor, we recommend you pick up a spare battery and keep it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings. You will likely save quite a bit of power using the optical viewfinder instead of the LCD, but Nikon doesn't publish battery life with the monitor off.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
The Nikon Coolpix P7000 accepts SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards, and includes about 79MB of internal memory. Nikon recommends a speed rating of at least Class 6 for recording movies.

Image Capacity with
79MB Internal Memory
Fine Normal Basic RAW
3,648 x 2,736
Images
16
32
63
5
File Size
4.9 MB
2.5 MB
1.3 MB
15.8 MB
3,264 x 2,448
Images
20
40
78
-
File Size
4.0 MB
2.0 MB
1.0 MB
-
2,592 x 1,944
Images
32
62
117
-
File Size
2.5 MB
1.3 MB
675 KB
-
2,048 x 1,536
Images
50
97
181
-
File Size
1.6 MB
814 KB
436 KB
-
1,600 x 1,200
Images
80
153
266
-
File Size
988 KB
432 KB
297 KB
-
1,280 x 960
Images
120
220
362
-
File Size
658 KB
359 KB
218 KB
-
1,024 x 768
Images
181
316
507
-
File Size
436 KB
250 KB
156 KB
-
640 x 480
Images
362
563
724
-
File Size
218 KB
140 KB
109 KB
-

We strongly recommend buying a large capacity SDHC memory card at least a 2GB card, preferably a 4 or 8GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings and video. (Check the shopping link above, cards are really cheap these days, so no reason to skimp.)

 

Nikon P7000

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