Many enthusiast and professional photographers who lean towards Nikon have been waiting for the company to produce a high-end compact camera. Has the Nikon Coolpix P7000 finally given them what they want?
LCD, viewfinder and video
As the edges of the LCD screen protrude slightly it is easy to assume that it is a vari-angle screen, but unlike with the Canon PowerShot G11 and the G12 (yet to be tested), it is not. That aside, the screen is bright, and at 3in and 921,000 dots it is the largest and highest resolution LCD screen available in a high-end compact camera. It is a significant improvement on its 230,000-dot predecessor. There are options for viewing the electronic virtual horizon, histogram and nine-square grid, which are all useful pieces of information to aid shooting.
Upon looking through the viewfinder, one discovers that it has rounded edges and coverage of roughly 80%. This complicates shooting because several times when composing an image I found that what was right at the edge of the angle of view was in fact at the ideal third of the way into the frame. The focusing is not visible, either, so I needed to check the LCD screen. With such a crisp and bright screen, one has to question the inclusion of a viewfinder when, in essence, it is just a hole to look through. I found myself generally sticking to the LCD screen.
I would rather the camera was smaller, like the much more compact Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5, which has an equal-sized sensor but opts not to include a viewfinder. When using the P7000’s viewfinder, the LCD screen does not turn off automatically when your face is pressed up to the back of the camera, so the Live View mode needs to be turned off.At 720p, the HD video mode gives crisp and vibrant recordings. There is also a socket for an external microphone.