Nikon Coolpix P7700 review

Noise, resolution and sensitivity

These images show 72ppi (100% on a computer screen) sections of images of a resolution chart, captured using the Nikon Coolpix P7700 kit lens set to around 105mm focal length.

We show the section of the resolution chart where the camera starts to fail to reproduce the lines separately. The higher the number visible in these images, the better the camera's detail resolution at the specified sensitivity setting.

At low sensitivity settings, the Nikon Coolpix P7700 performs well, even slightly above the expectations for a 12.2-million-pixel compact camera. At ISO 80 and 100, the P7700 can almost reach 28 on our resolution chart test. At around 24 some slight smudging occurs, which looks to be the result of moiré patterning, although there is still a degree of definition in at least some of the lines higher up the chart.

Noise is reasonably well controlled at lower sensitivities, but from around ISO 1600 the performance is quite average. There is significant smudging in JPEG files shot at ISO 6400, and through the smudging bruised patches of colour noise are visible. Hints of the colour noise can also be seen at ISO 1600. Below this point, JPEG files show little in the way of colour noise, and luminance noise, although visible if pixel peeping, shouldn't be a concern.

Raw files captured at low-sensitivity settings look extremely good. A great deal of detail can be revealed with just slight sharpening applied to images, and noise reduction can obviously be really refined.

At low sensitivities the performance of the P7700 matches, if not exceeds, the competition. However, as the ISO setting increases, the camera is not quite able to keep up. Shooting in raw helps, but it is worth considering this if you shoot a lot above ISO 800 and shoot only JPEG images.

The performance of the lens is excellent. Chromatic aberration is kept to a minimum, and edge sharpness is impressive, even at wideangle settings. There is some curvilinear distortion present at either end of the zoom, but again, this isn't too dramatic and shouldn't be of concern.