Nikon P900 Performance

Timing and Performance

Good performance overall in the lab, though single-shot cycle time is slow and continuous mode buffer is shallow.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~1.2 seconds

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

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.9 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Excellent startup to first shot time for its class. Switching from Play to Record and taking a shot was also fast.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus
Center-area AF
Wide Angle

0.103 second

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

Full Autofocus
Center-area AF

0.172 second

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

Full Autofocus
Center-area AF
Flash enabled

0.356 second

Time to capture while forcing flash to fire, zoom lens at medium focal length.

Manual Focus

0.105 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".


0.033 second

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

The Nikon P900's full autofocus shutter lag when shooting the same target multiple times from a tripod in the lab was very fast, especially for a superzoom. The P900's full AF shutter lag clocked in at only about 0.1 second at wide angle using center-area AF. Full AF shutter lag was a little slower at full telephoto, at about 0.17 second, but that's still very fast, especially for its class. Enabling the flash raised shutter lag to about 0.36 second, to account for the metering preflash. Interestingly, manual focus shutter lag wasn't any faster than full AF lag at wide angle, clocking in at about 0.11 second, but when prefocused, shutter lag dropped to 33 milliseconds which is quite fast.

Note that autofocus speed varies with lighting conditions, distance, subject and whether the camera is hand-held or stabilized, but we test all our cameras the same way in the lab on a tripod for valid comparisons.

Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG

1.36 second

Average time per shot.

Single Shot mode


RAW files not supported.

Early shutter


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 H mode
Large Fine JPEG

0.14 second
(7.06 fps);
7 frames total;
6 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 7 frame buffer. Camera is unresponsive during clearing.

Continuous H mode


RAW files not supported.

Continuous H mode


RAW files not supported.

Flash recycling

4.0 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/sec UHS-I 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 time was a bit sluggish in single-shot mode, at about 1.4 seconds for Large Fine JPEGs. The P900 does not support RAW capture.

The P900's full-resolution Continuous H shooting mode rate was decent, averaging about 7.1 frames per second for Large/Fine JPEG files. Buffer depth was limited to only 7 frames when shooting in Continuous H mode, though, and buffer clearing took 6 seconds with our fast SDHC card, during which the camera was unresponsive.

A full-res Continuous L mode rated at 2 fps with a much deeper buffer available (Nikon says up to 200 Normal JPEGs), however we did not test that mode. There is also a pre-shooting cache mode which captures about 20 1280x960 JPEGs at 15 fps including 5 frames before fully depressing the shutter button, as well as Continuous Hi 120 and Continuous Hi 60 modes, which capture up to 60 640x480 JPEGs at 120 fps or 60 1920x1080 JPEGs at 60 fps respectively.

The built-in flash took an average of 4 seconds to recharge after a full-power discharge,which is fair, but the delay was very irregular, varying from 2.7 to 6.5 seconds in our tests.


Bottom line, the Nikon P900's timing performance was good for its class with quick startup, fast autofocus, low shutter lag, and a decent 7 fps full-res burst speed, however single-shot cycle time was a bit sluggish and the buffer is quite shallow at only 7 JPEGs in Continuous H burst mode.


Battery Life
Mediocre battery life for its class.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Still Capture
(CIPA standard)

The Nikon P900 uses a custom EN-EL23 rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and it's charged in-camera via USB (a dedicated battery charger is optional). CIPA battery life is a little below average for its class at 360 shots per charge, and Nikon doesn't state if that's with the LCD or EVF. As is often the case, we recommend you pick up a spare battery for extended outings.

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))


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