Nikon Coolpix p1000

The Fi­nal­ists: Canon Pow­erShot G1X Mark III, Nikon Coolpix P1000, Pana­sonic Lu­mix DC-FT7, Pana­sonic Lu­mix DC-LX100 Mark II


it’s bonkers, but it’s also bril­liant. And re­gard­less of what you shoot with reg­u­larly, you’re go­ing to find the Coolpix P1000 very hard to re­sist. It does stuff that there’s no other way of do­ing with­out spend­ing a for­tune (and prob­a­bly do­ing your back in from car­ry­ing a tonne of gear around).

The su­per­zoom cam­era seg­ment is a lit­tle ecosys­tem of its own, built al­most en­tirely around the propo­si­tion that mine-is-longerthan-yours. The P1000 cur­rent tops ev­ery­body with a zoom lens that spans the equiv­a­lent of 243000mm – a zoom­ing range of 125x – with a max­i­mum aper­ture of f2.8-8.0 and macro fo­cus­ing down to just one cen­time­tre. If 3000mm isn’t long enough for you, 6000mm is avail­able via a ‘Dy­namic Fine Zoom’ func­tion, although this is es­sen­tially a dig­i­tal zoom so there’s some loss of image qual­ity. Still… 6000mm! The fudge, of course, is the size of the sen­sor, which is a 1/2.3-inch BSI-type CMOS, but it still packs 16.79 megapix­els of res­o­lu­tion (16 MP ef­fec­tive) and de­liv­ers pretty im­pres­sive image qual­ity… par­tic­u­larly over the 24-3000mm fo­cal range. And 3000mm will still get you up close and per­sonal with a lot of in­ter­est­ing sub­jects, in­clud­ing The Moon. If you only bought the Nikon P1000 for as­tropho­tog­ra­phy – there’s ac­tu­ally a ded­i­cated Moon mode – you’d still get great value for money, but ob­vi­ously it’s ac­tu­ally a whole lot more ver­sa­tile. To this end, there’s op­ti­cal image sta­bil­i­sa­tion (giv­ing up to five stops of cor­rec­tion for cam­era shake), a full set of ‘PASM’ ex­po­sure con­trol modes, RAW cap­ture, an OLED-type EVF, a tilt/swing mon­i­tor screen, WiFi and Blue­tooth LE con­nec­tiv­ity, 4K UHD video record­ing with stereo sound, a stereo au­dio in­put, and a built-in flash (although, ob­vi­ously, its range is a bit more lim­ited than the zoom).

Prod­uct il­lus­tra­tions don’t quite con­vey the size of the P1000 which is, per­haps not all that sur­pris­ingly, ac­tu­ally quite a big cam­era, but it’s still very man­age­able… and noth­ing like what you’d have to lug around if you wanted the same ca­pa­bil­i­ties with a big­ger sen­sor. Yet Nikon’s pro­cess­ing wiz­ardry means the image qual­ity is as good as we’d ex­pect from either Mi­cro Four Thirds or ‘APS-C’, even at ISO 6400. Con­se­quently, if just about any­body else had come up with this, we’d have been tempted to write it off as a gim­mick, but in Nikon’s ca­pa­ble hands, it’s a se­ri­ous cam­era… and se­ri­ously good fun.

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