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 review – Build and handling
Due to the lens, EVF and large LCD screen, the P7800 isn’t as pocketable as a typical compact camera. With dimensions of 118.5×77.5×50.4mm, the body is quite large. Its height is a 5mm increase over the P7700 and its 399g weight makes it 7g heavier than its forerunner, largely due to the magnesium-alloy body. While not particularly heavy, it cannot be described as light, either. This a camera that should be carried in a large coat pocket or used with a shoulder strap.
A small indented thumbgrip allows the thumb to sit comfortably around the back of the camera, while on the front there is a chunky rubberised grip. This offers great support and, pairing the thumb and handgrip, makes the camera easy to use with just one hand.
Above the front grip is a scroll wheel to control the aperture, with one for the shutter speed above the thumbgrip. This DSLR-like control system means quick changes are easy, providing the user understands which setting each wheel changes. However, in aperture mode, whenever I used the wheel above the thumbgrip to try to change a value, nothing would happen.
The button layout is very similar to the P7700 and the menus are nearly identical. Anybody familiar with Nikon menu systems will find it easy to navigate through, but others may take a while to get used to them. Most of the adjustments are made using the scroll wheel, which also has directional controls. Occasionally, changing settings such as ISO speeds can be difficult because it isn’t always clear if selecting/changing something is controlled with a scroll gesture or a touch of the directional pad.
A function button found on the rear of the camera just above the LCD allows users to control picture style, quality, ISO, white balance and to turn bracketing on and off. This is where most adjustments are made to the settings. However, for customisation the Fn1 custom-function button, located to the left of the lens, can be personalised to quickly access raw, white balance, ISO, D-Lighting, picture control and metering.
An additional Fn2 function button is located next to the shutter button and controls show/hide info, virtual horizon, view/hide framing grid and turn off built-in ND filter. Overall, the camera is very open to personalisation.
One significant weakness of the P7800 is its processing time. Shooting the maximum six frames at 8fps with full-resolution raw and JPEG images the burst took more than 25secs to process using a Class 10 memory card. On a Class 4 memory card it was over 45secs. While processing the images, camera operation is frozen.