Nikon Coolpix P1000 Review: A Photographer’s Dream

Nikon Coolpix P1000 ReviewNikon Coolpix P1000 is hell bent on one thing – the ultimate zoom range in a versatile package. Due to its insane 125x optical zoom, it presents coverage from 24-3000mm. You’ll feel like owning a mirrorless camera with a treasure trove of lenses. Read this Nikon Coolpix P1000 review till the end to know more.

A Comprehensive Nikon Coolpix P1000 Review

Specs

  • Type: Bridge
  • Memory card: SD
  • Sensor: 16MP ½.3″ CMOS
  • Size: 5.75″ × 4.69″ × 7.13″
  • Lens mount: N/A
  • Weight: 3.12 pound
  • ISO range: 100-6400
  • Video capability: 4K 30p / 1080p 60p
  • Viewfinder resolution: 2.36m dots

Additional Kit

Memory card: SanDisk Extreme SD card

Remote: Bluetooth Remote Control ML-L7

Additional battery type: Nikon EN-EL20A

Dot sight: Nikon Dot Sight DF-M1

Nikon Coolpix P1000 Features

Go big or go home. This is Nikon’s statement regarding their offering in the ever popular superzoom inventory. Previously, the manufacturer had already impressed us with the Coolpix P900, which presented an unbelievable 83x optical zoom range.

Surprisingly enough, Nikon decided to further max it out and ended up making the outrageous P1000, which comes with a whopping 125x optical zoom range. In simple words, this is a fixed-lens digicam with a 24-3000mm equivalent zoom lens. That’s an incredible zoom range for a camera! 

Design

Boasting comfy ergonomics, an articulating screen, and a robust construction, the camera feels compact for what it offers even with its tank-like size. Nikon’s 800mm f/5.6 lens is not only 7 pounds heavier at an expensive price point, but also offers only 73% of the P1000’s reach.

Nikon COOLPIX P1000 Digital Camera

Irrespective of its bulky size, it actually is not heavy. The camera weighs significantly less than a DSLR with a zoom lens. The smart design makes it comfortable to hold and maneuver owing to the DSLR-like sizable grip. Moreover, as opposed to other DSLRs with zoom lens combo, it isn’t heavy at the front while shooting at the long end. Its weight is cleverly distributed for stable handling.

Nikon has managed to control the weight by adding plastic in the construction. And irrespective of the size, the P1000 is still lightweight. What’s more, the camera even feels hollow and voluminous. Its plastic construction is also not as refined and sturdy as compared to other Nikon DSLRs.

Although the back LCD screen is not equipped with any touch controls, it is completely articulating. The OLED EVF is quite impressive, and although it is not the sharpest or biggest as opposed to upscale models, its EVF boasts a higher resolution display and is much bigger. This is a big improvement from the P900.

The body as compared to the lens, is quite small, but it is still around the same size of a traditional DSLR. This makes it a breeze to shoot videos, and also allows the user to stabilize the body to make shooting at 3000mm more balanced, without even touching the viewfinder.

And if you do prefer to observe through the viewfinder, it is completely electronic. That means that similar to the LCD, P1000 presents full-time Live View mode of your scene. In simple words, what you see is what you get after you hit the shutter. 

Functionality

Traditionally, bridge cameras are prone to discard advanced features since they are designed to simplify the process. But P1000 boasts sufficient functionality including 7 fps burst shooting, 4K 30p video, and RAW images. Users can squeeze out all the performance they want out of this technical wonder.

Nikon COOLPIX P1000 LCD

Aside from the tempting JPG files, it is also able to capture RAW files, which the previous P900 was not able to. This is a stellar upgrade for the users who desire fine grained control over image processing. These are uncompressed pictures that include way more data, allowing you to extract more detail (from highlights and shadows) with way more play in the post production stage.

Remember that the buffer is very restricted, which means you need to be prepared for some downtime after each burst. However, the ability to fire off bursts of 7 fps is highly useful when attempting to capture rapid action, like an animal’s movements.

And yes, the feature to shoot 4K footage at 25 (for PAL) or 30p ensures P1000 to be a robust video device. Full HD videos Upto 60 fps is also present. Even if it’s primarily designed for static photography, 4K videography is a huge perk, and can be a fun venture owing to the unrivaled zoom.

Other than that, the camera boasts manual exposure control for videos, offering advanced video shooters a bit more control. Autofocus during video shooting is also a hit or miss, doing better at shorter focal length.

It cannot be overstated that being able to jump from a 24mm stabilizing shot to zooming in on a tourist attraction or an animal’s habitat means that you will be rewarded breathtaking views and close-ups without even moving your feet. 

Performance

When it comes to pure image performance, we have to be realistic – the 1.⅔” sensor is the same size as the one in a smartphone. As a result, do not expect DSLR, supreme, or mirrorless camera performance level. But this is not to say that you should lower your expectations to inferior image quality. The camera’s shots are still impressive.

Considering these are mere JPGs, which it crafts with a great attention to detail and color. If you prefer RAW files, expect even better quality. However, if you are just focused on taking pictures, select your favorites and upload them directly to your social media feed. P1000 will not disappoint you in this regard.

The speed of its electronic zoom is simply outstanding, allowing you to react rapidly to the action right in front of you, or reframe your scene in a second. Obviously the image stabilization begins to offer lower results as you start to get closer to 3000mm.

A big perk is having a hot shoe on the top, which is surely not that helpful at greater focal length. But the ability to position a flashgun guarantees additional diversity, and users can also employ the brand’s Dot Sight to facilitate precision bird photography.

With a tiny ½.3″ image sensor and 16MP of resolution, do not expect gallery quality results. The small sensor is not capable of capturing high detail that one can achieve with upscale models having bigger sensors. But then the tradeoff is that this zoom range is not found anywhere else.

If you don’t prioritize pixels, be rest assured that the image quality in decent lighting conditions and low ISO is amazing. Plus, users will be limited in how big they can blow up their shots for prints. Not only this, the low light performance is not superior. But then again, the P1000 is hooked on giving you the best focal range.

When it comes to autofocus, the camera is decent, but it won’t win any awards for speed. Its contrast based autofocus system is very quick in single shot autofocus, in satisfactory lighting conditions and at a shorter focal length.

But when you begin to zoom at longer focal lengths with dim light, autofocus speed drops significantly, particularly if the camera is handheld. The lens dims down quite severely at long focal length. This puts the P1000 at a huge disadvantage in low light conditions, both for autofocus performance and image quality.

Therefore, while the robust superzoom camera is specifically made for wildlife subjects, it is ideally suited for bright lighting conditions and static photography. In other metrics, the camera exhibits a refreshingly low shutter lag. Coming back to the massive optical zoom lens, there is some noticeable corner softness owing to the powerful distortion correction at a wide angle.

The lens presents a somewhat bright f/2.8 maximum aperture, but this is only possible when zoomed out to the widest focal length. And when you start to zoom in to a longer focal length, the lens starts to “stop down” quite rapidly.

For instance, lowering the maximum aperture to f/5.6 at only 800mm-eq. At the longest focal length of around 2800mm-eq, the lens stumps to a maximum of f/8. The narrow maximum aperture while zooming in poses prominent diffraction and lowers the amount of transmitted light. This resultantly softens the image.

Pros
  • Excellent ergonomics.
  • Unsurpassed zoom range.
  • Great stabilization.
Cons
  • Restricted to ISO 6400.
  • No touchscreen control.
  • No weather sealing.

Final Verdict

This is an all-in-one wildlife camera that can shoot literally everything. You don’t even have to boast photographic experience. Simply stick it in the Auto mode and allow the camera to do the thinking for you. This Nikon Coolpix P1000 review has made it clear that it’s ideal for shooting a zoo trip, family vacations, moon, children’s sports events, and literally everything else.

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