Sunday, August 25, 2013

Nikon P7700 One Year On

I bought my Nikon Coolpix P7700 to replace the Canon G12 which I adored, until I discovered the dreaded "Loose Screws Syndrome" which plagued the G series. Mind you, my G series fanboyism attracted a total of 15,000 page views on this rugged looking compact!

Two days ago, one of the reader comment in my blog...

"I loved my G12 until it intermittently freezes whenever it feels like after about 15 months. Canon says"What?" ...we don't know anything about that. Search "Canon G12 freeze" you'll see. Love your tests on both P7700 and G12 thanks. I just bought me P7700."

Wow! Apart from the "Loose Screws" problem, the G series are getting  intermittent freezes problem!

One year on, I am still using my Nikon P7700 and it is still going strong :)

Here's what how I feel about this G-replacement...

My one year old P7700, look wise; it is more refine looking, none of the chunkiness of the G-12. However, like a magnet; the sticky rubberised cover over it's strong alloy body attracts grime and it is a pain to remove! Plus side, it grips better in your palm.
The best feature of the P7700 is the fully articulated LCD screen which I use all the time, Canon removed this feature after G12; they reckoned it is NOT needed, even the latest G16 do not have this wonderful feature.. well, you are dead wrong, Canon; you will be surprise how many photographers defected to Nikon just for this!

The quick dial on the left of the P7700 is a fast way to change your setting, it is in my opinion, a bit too sensitive; brushing the button during a shoot can bring up the menu and drive you wild ;) May be there should be an "off" setting that you can turn it off?

The most impressive thing about the P7700 is the fixed Nikkor 7.1X ED-VR 6.0-42.8mm f2/4 zoom lens on the camera. The zoom work out to 28-200 in full frame term. It is a good range, the G12 (G16) only goes up to 140mm.

The smallest aperture setting on the P7700 is f8, I suspect that, like many point n shoot compacts; the "aperture" is actually being done through changing the sensitivity of the sensor. The lens is actually shooting wide open all the time.

Nine months ago, I took a shot at the Hobbit launch with my P7700, zoomed to 200 mm_e, @ f8 and 1/80. Notice the white band on the hand holding the flag?  I did a 200% crop...

For a Point n shoot with a TINY sensor (1/1.7" or 7.44 x 5.58 mm).  The result is mighty impressive! It also tells me the 28-200 f2/4 lens is probably sharpest at it's 200 mm position.

At the same time, my test shots taken at 28mm of my favorite lens test scene was slightly blur; which I concluded, could be due to atmospheric haze.

Nine months later, yesterday; Wellington presents a pristine atmosphere and I took the opportunity to retest the Nikon compact!

 This was shot at 28/5.6, ISO 100. Look pretty impressive, let's look closer.

At 100%, the 28mm setting like last time is still a tab soft; was my assumption that this lens is not it's best at 28mm, correct?

At 14mm (65mm _e) setting, this little lens really pop and deliver good sharpness.
 At 200mm setting the contrast and sharpness reached it's peak, I cannot see any chromatic aberration either!
Top picture taken with OM-D plus Leica 90mm Summicron. Bottom, the P7700 zoomed to 200mm
Is it as good as the Leica 90mm on a much larger sensor OM-D?  Not exactly but near! Are you surprise?


For the last few months I have been using this little (little because I can put in my cardigan's pocket) to take pictures of food. The really bright f2 lens captured available light beautifully!

So what do I like and dislike about this point and shoot?

Well, I like how this camera handle, the wonderful lens and most important thing is; it is still working after one year!

Granted, the focussing is a bit slow and you must use the fastest card for using RAW format (I use a type 10) bearable... oh, Photoshop CS5's ACR DO NOT support the RAW files produced; I use the free Adobe DNG Converter instead.

I can live with all that... somehow, this solid compact point and shoot grows on you ;)

Looking forward to another year of P7700 shooting!

Shot with the P7700 with a genuine Nikon polarizing filter held in front of the lens!


Anonymous said...

the only thing I disagree with is the comparison photo with the OMD. The OMD shot looks great no comparison!

Unknown said...

Nikon Cool Pix is my all time favourite (I love it for its stylish look) , Just bought NIKON COOLPIX S800C from this camera store , here is its description and images

Vince said...

Hi there, CY. Interesting comparison with the G12 here which is giving me thoughts about returning the G12 which I just purchased highly discounted (since it is so old) and going for a P7700. Some reviews suggest the P7700 is really slow writing images to SD card, so I'd love to hear your experience with it. How do you find the write speed of the P7700?

cy.leow said...

Hi Vince,if you shoot both RAW and JPEG,the file writing speed of the P7700 is a bit slow. I use a SD-HC Class10 card and the speed is bearable. It is still slower than my Lumix GM1 though.