Excerpt: Nikon's second try at creating a Canon G12. What is it? The P7100 is the one-year update to the Coolpix P7000 model (which in turn was a substantive update to the P6000). To refresh people's minds, I conditionally recommended the P7000 when I reviewed it, citing too many small issues like focus and raw write performance. Image quality was quite good with the P7000 (for a compact camera), which made the small things that got in the way quite annoying.
Conclusion: The Nikon Coolpix P7100 and cameras like it represent a quirky in-between-breed — even more so than the mirrorless, interchangeable lens models taking over the market. You’re buying a point and shoot without the convenience of fitting it in your back pocket, and most of the complications of a DSLR without the benefit of a large sensor. Yet with all that in mind, Nikon has managed to make the P7100 a really attractive option.
Pros: Impressive image quality -- you can push ISO and hues are natural, Advanced customization options, Nice hardware and UI setup
Cons: Only 720p video capture, Burst mode is disappointing; frame to frame refresh also laggy
Summary: The P7100 is not particularly compact, especially when compared to cameras like the LX5, the TL500, or the S100, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Larger cameras provide a more stable shooting platform than smaller cameras. The P7100's impressively logical control array allows most primary functions/settings to be accessed directly - I only rarely needed to delve into the menu system.
Pros: Excellent image quality, Full exposure range, Good battery life, Superb ergonomics
Cons: Expensive, Bulky and heavy, Only 720p HD video offered
Summary: The Nikon Coolpix P7100 is available in India at a street price of Rs. 20,000. This camera is a delight to use for amateurs, professionals, as well as enthusiast level photographers. The ability to tinker around with all the settings allows one to enjoy DSLR-like features on a compact camera. The camera has a really good build quality, neat features and does well in performance area.
Summary: Nikon's engineers have done a lot to address the issues that hindered the P7000 like slow operational speed and quirky handling. The P7100's excellent image quality combined with good ergonomics and build quality make this camera a good choice for anyone looking for a compact camera with a DSLR-like level of manual controls.
Pros: Versatile and sharp 28-200mm equivalent lens, Very good image quality, especially at low ISO settings, New front control dial adds a useful manual control point and makes operation more ergonomic, Articulated screen is invaluable for shooting from troublesome vantage points, Optical viewfinder can be useful in certain situations/lighting conditions (and extends battery life), External Microphone input, Raw capability with in-camera raw conversion, Virtual horizon, Use...
Cons: Exposure compensation dial is quite easy to move inadvertently, Limited manual control in movie mode, Fn 2 button is not as useful as it could be (can only be set to activate up to 4 options), Video recording is limited to 720p, Optical viewfinder coverage is relatively low at approximately 80%
Conclusion: The Nikon Coolpix P7100 is big on image quality and manual controls, although it comes at the cost of size and weight. The camera will appeal to you if you are an enthusiast who doesn’t always want to lug a D-SLR around, but is a tough sell if you’re looking for a compact and sleek point-and-shoot.
Pros: Lots of physical controls. Tilting LCD. Optical viewfinder. Raw shooting support. Hot shoe.
Cons: Bulky. Expensive. HD video limited to 720p24. Some performance and control quirks.
Summary: The list of direct competitors is short and each offer a distinct compromise. The Fuji Finepix X100 Fuji Finepix X100 which costs twice as much offers superior image quality and a stellar EVF but no zoom or image stabilization. The Olympus XZ-1 Olympus XZ-1 is extensible with an optional EVF and offers a much brighter lens but with a shorter 4X optical zoom. Where consideration for the Nikon P7100 becomes tricky depends on its intended use.
Pros: Excellent control over image noise, Above average metering accuracy, Great lens sharpness, Good image colors possible, Good white-balance system, Impressive stabilization, Fast autofocus system, Short shutter-lag, Good ergonomics, Solid build-quality, Excellent video recording capabilities
Cons: Autofocus gives up more than average, Not, Poor LCD coverage, Extremely poor viewfinder coverage, Live-Histogram, Slow shot-to-shot speed, Slow, Video cuts too early
Excerpt: If you’re dithering between a mirrorless and a DSLR camera for serious, down-to-earth photography, this one from Nikon fits exactly that role. Sure, the lens is fixed but it is a Nikkor that equates to 28-200mm as a 35 SLR equivalent: a 7.1x enlargement in fact. Very cleverly, Nikon has also installed an optical viewfinder: tiny but useful. Agreed, the CCD captures only 10.1 megapixels, meaning you can snare a maximum image size of 3648×2736 pixels or as a 31x23cm print.
Summary: The Nikon P7100 is the camera that its predecessor should have been. If you have been holding out on the P7000 because of its questionable performance, wait no longer. Nikon has delivered a worthy raw-shooting competitor to the Canon G12.