Nikon P900 Walkaround
Nikon P900 Walkaround
by William Brawley
The Nikon P900 takes styling cues from existing superzoom cameras with a large, protruding lens paired with a DSLR-esque body design with fuller, extended hand-grip and a variety of external buttons and control dials. However, in the case of the P900, the lens is definitely front-and-center; taking up a huge proportion of the camera's overall size and shape.
Starting from the top-view, you can see just how massive the lens assembly is in comparison to the rest of the camera. The lens barrel does, however, provide substantial real estate for a balanced, secure grip.
In terms of top-deck controls and dials, the P900 follows very closely to that of the new P610, with the majority of camera controls clustered around the handgrip. Out front, on the contoured handgrip, the zoom rocker lever surrounds the shutter release button, and behind that sits a function button and the on/off button. Like a DSLR, the P900 features a main command thumb dial for quick and easy settings adjustments. The mode dial, with PASM modes and an array of scene modes, presets and special effects modes, is placed next to the side of the EVF housing. And sitting on top of the EVF itself is a built-in pop-up flash as well as left and right microphones for stereo audio capture and the covering of the GPS unit. Unfortunately, like the P610, there's no hot shoe for mounting an external flash.
The front view is quite simple. The handgrip area and most of the front panel is covered in a grippy, rubberized material for a comfortable and secure grip. Near the top between the handgrip and lens is the small self-timer/red-eye reduction/AF assist lamp. Small windows in the grip itself and on the back are for infrared receivers for Nikon's optional ML-L3 wireless remote control.
The lens has a 67mm filter thread, but the company warns that attaching anything other than Nikon's lens cap or their 67mm screw-on filters could cause a malfunction.
Moving to the back side of the camera, again we see a very similar control layout and design to that of the P610 superzoom. The primary control is the 4-way, rotational dial cluster as well as your typical assortment of buttons, including menu, delete, and playback buttons. The camera also features a Wi-Fi shortcut button to quickly setup and connect to a smart device, a video record button -- conveniently placed right next to the textured thumb-rest area -- plus the display information and LCD/EVF toggle buttons.
Also on the rear of the camera is a large, 3.0-inch, 921K-dot RGBW vari-angle LCD screen complete with anti-reflective coating and 6-level brightness adjustment. The EVF also shares the same 921K-dot resolution, and includes diopter adjustment and a built-in eye/proximity sensor to automatically activate the EVF when placed up to the eye.
Along the sides of the camera, you get another view of just how dominating the lens on the P900 is. On the left side of the camera, the body itself lacks any buttons or controls, except for the pop-up flash button. However, on the left side of the lens barrel, there's a secondary zoom toggle switch as well as "snap-back" zoom button. The side zoom toggle button helps maintain a secure grip and control camera shake while providing a convenient thumb-controlled way to zoom the lens. The snap-back zoom button helps re-frame or reacquire your subject, which can be difficult when composing a shot at long telephoto focal lengths. The snap-back button quickly zooms back out to a full wide-angle view and then snaps back to the previous focal length once you're ready and you let go of the button.
The right side of the camera and lens is devoid of any switches or controls, except the covering for the USB and Type-D Micro HDMI ports as well as the proximity connection area for the NFC chip.
For storage, the P900 uses Secure Digital flash memory cards and is compatible with SD, SDHC and SDXC cards, but there's no mention of UHS-I support. Speed Class 6 or faster cards are recommended for recording movies.
For power, the Nikon P900 shares the same rechargeable 3.8v 1850mAh EN-EL23 lithium-ion battery pack as the P610, which is CIPA-rated for this camera to provide about 360 shots per charge, though Nikon doesn't state if that's with the LCD or EVF. The P900's battery is charged in-camera via USB, and a charging EH-71P AC adapter is included. An MH-67P dedicated battery charged is optional. The camera is compatible with the EH-67A AC Adapter (also sold separately) for tethered, constant power using a dummy battery connector.