Home Camera Review: Nikon Coolpix P1000

Review: Nikon Coolpix P1000

1153

Nikon continues to prove it can produce incredible lenses. Will this Coolpix P1000 is all you ever need in a camera? Let’s find out.

The press release for the P1000 makes for entertaining reading. A fixed-lens bridge camera with 125x optical zoom, equating to 24-3,000mm in 35mm terms? Tell me more! Weight: 1.42kg, length: 181mm. This thing is huge!

You see, the P1000 isn’t blessed with a big sensor. Deep within lies a 1/2.3-inch 16MP chip, the same size you’d find in a budget compact camera, and unlikely to set any image quality records.

At least you get a lot of camera for your money. The P1000 is roughly the size of the Nikon D750 with a 24-70mm f/2.8 attached, but with much more girth around what would be the lens mount. It’s a comfortable camera in the hand, though, with a well-sculpted grip, even if the build quality doesn’t feel quite as robust as a Nikon DSLR.

The selection of rear buttons and basic menu interface are also more in keeping with a Coolpix compact than something like a D3500, but there are a PASM mode dial and a control wheel for adjusting key settings. The flip-out 3.2-inch and the 921k-dot monitor is a match for an entry-level DSLR for clarity, but the touch-sensitivity could be improved, given the P1000’s price tag. Thankfully Nikon hasn’t skimped on the 2,359k-dot OLED EVF, which is a pleasure to use.

Performance

Despite not having any phase-detection points, the AF system is near-instantaneous and reliably accurate at shorter focal lengths, and it rarely struggles to lock on even when the zoom reaches an equivalent 1,000mm. Plough on to 2,000mm and beyond, and the AF can miss its mark, sometimes hunting several times for accurate focus. You need a powerful AF-assist lamp when shooting at such huge focal lengths, and thankfully the P1000 has a sniper-grade sighting beam.

The lens could really benefit from a focus limiter switch to lock out short focal lengths when you’re zoomed in. Instead, there’s a snap-back zoom button that enables you to zoom out to relocate a fleeting subject and zoom back in, all at the touch and release of a button. There’s also a customisable control ring around the front of the lens barrel, but annoyingly this can’t be used for manual focus to override any AF uncertainty.

It’s not just the AF that struggles to cope with the immense zoom reach. The P1000 packs an excellent lens-shift VR system that performs admirably up to around 1,500mm, but beyond this you’ll need a statuesque stance – or tripod – to ensure a sharp shot. Bright conditions are also a must, as the lens stops down to a maximum f/8 aperture at longer focal lengths.

This wouldn’t be a problem if you could keep shutter speeds high via increased ISO sensitivity – but if you do this, image quality takes a tumble. The P1000’s sensitivity range tops out at ISO 6,400, but the tiny 16MP sensor struggles to maintain good detail and dynamic range even at ISO 800.  

To sum up some other features, there’s a proper hot-shoe for mounting a separate flashgun, though the pop-up flash is fairly used. There’s a mic input port to complement the camera’s 4K video capability.

Visit www.nikon.com.my The P1000 is retail at RM4,328

Specifications

  • Sensor: 16MP 1/2.3-inch CMOS
  • Focusing: Target finding AF, face priority, subject tracking, manual
  • ISO range: 100 to 6,400
  • Max image size: 4,608 x 3,456
  • Metering modes: Spot, centre-weighted, matrix
  • Video: max 2,160/30p (4K UHD)
  • Viewfinder: 0.39-inch 2,359k-dot OLED
  • Memory card: SD/SDHC/SDXC
  • LCD: 3.2-inch vari-angle, 921k dots
  • Max burst: 7fps (7 frames)
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Bluetooth LE
  • Size: 146 x 119 x 181mm
  • Weight: 1,415g (with battery)

Ads by Google
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Verdict
Editor, Photographer, Video Director & Producer and avid Traveller. The media industry has been my playground for a long time and is getting more exciting by the days.
review-nikon-coolpix-p1000The P1000 is an optical marvel, but it’s difficult to recommend. The optic necessitates a small sensor with underwhelming image quality. All that zoom travel hammers battery life: the P1000 is rated for 250 shots per charge.