It has a 921,000-dot EVF and articulated LCD screen alongside its 12.2-million-pixel sensor and premium build body, so is the Nikon Coolpix P7800 the best P-series compact camera yet? Read the Nikon Coolpix P7800 review...
Nikon Coolpix P7800 at a glance:
- 12.2-million-pixel, 1/1.7in CMOS sensor
- ISO 80-6400
- 921,000-dot EVF
- 3in LCD with 921,000-dot resolution
- 1/4000sec maximum shutter speed
- Street price around £495
- See sample images taken with the Nikon Coolpix P7800
- See product shots of the Nikon Coolpix P7800
Nikon Coolpix P7800 review – Introduction
This series of Nikon Coolpix cameras – the first of which was released in February 2007 – were originally flagship models in the company’s compact camera range, and were often widely regarded as among the best compact cameras on the market. However, the rise in smartphone photography has seen overall sales of compact cameras decline sharply year on year. For this reason, many other manufacturers have turned to developing premium compact cameras – a market that was previously dominated by Nikon and Canon – and their proliferation means that the Nikon Coolpix P7800 will really have to fight its corner.
The P series has changed over the years with the release of each model. For instance, the P7600 featured an optical viewfinder, while the P7700 did not – perhaps to make room for the improved lens, although many P-series fans didn’t appreciate this trade-off. The latest addition to the P series, the P7800, has a similar specification to the P7700, including a 12.2-million-pixel sensor and the same bright 28-200mm (equivalent) f/2-4 lens. However, this time the P7800 benefits greatly from a new electronic viewfinder while still having an articulated LCD screen.
Nikon Coolpix P7800 review – Features
At the heart of the Nikon Coolpix P7800 is a back-illuminated 1/1.7in-type (7.6×5.7mm) CMOS sensor with a 12.2-million-pixel resolution. This sensor is the same size and resolution as its predecessor in the P7700. An ISO sensitivity range of ISO 80-6400 is available, and both raw files and JPEGs can be captured, with images processed by Nikon’s own Expeed C2 processor. A continuous H mode is capable of shooting full-resolution images at 8fps, but only to a maximum of six shots. Other burst shooting modes allow 60fps or 120fps shooting at a reduced resolution of 1 million pixels.
Also inherited from last year’s P7700 is the lens. This is a Nikon 6-42.8mm (28-200mm equivalent) 7.1x optical zoom lens. The maximum aperture is f/2 at 28mm and f/4 at 200mm. Inside, seven aperture blades make up the iris of the lens, which gives nice bokeh when photographing subjects up close. The lens also has a built-in 3-stop ND filter and lens-shift VR (vibration reduction) technology.
As already mentioned, many users didn’t approve of the decision to remove the optical viewfinder from the Coolpix P7700, which meant it has to rely solely on its LCD screen. Although not an optical viewfinder, they should be pleased, then, with the return of a 921,000-dot electronic viewfinder in the P7800 alongside a 3in, 921,000-dot articulated LCD screen.
On the top of the camera sits a hotshoe compatible with Nikon flashguns, and to the left of this is a built-in flash. This stays inside the body until raised and is capable of acting as a wireless commander for Nikon’s Creative Lighting System lights. The SB-910, SB-900, SB-800, SB-700 and SB-600 Speedlight flashguns are all compatible, which allows the camera to offer the same wireless flash features as a DSLR. For those who already own Nikon flashguns, this is a big bonus.
Disappointingly, there’s no integral Wi-Fi functionality, but there is an optional Nikon WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter that can be bought separately for around £45. This will allow the P7800 to be paired with an iOS or Android smartphone/tablet via Nikon’s free Wireless Mobile Utility app, and images can then be uploaded, shared online and transferred.