Customer Review

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nikon P100 Digital Camera - Black (10.3MP, 26x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD, 21 Mar 2011
This review is from: Nikon P100 Digital Camera - Black (10.3MP, 26x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
Well I got my Nikon P100 halfway through February this year, just before the new P500 was launched. I don't think you will miss much between the two except extra zoom.

I am giving this review purely from a travellers point of view, having owned numerous film cameras, then a Nikon D70(my first DSLR), a Sony Alpa A300, etc.

As a long distance traveller, I wanted to downsize my camera gear from body and lots of lenses.Wow! what a difference, so much lighter in my day backpack.

This camera does that! No question.I recieved many comments on how compact my camera was and what amazing results it produced, especially long distance. There are lots of fors and againsts, let me tell you how I found it over two weeks of rough travelling in India(just got back).

Firstly buying an after market battery(Always should have a spare) and seperate charger, makes life a whole lot easier. I do not want to leave my camera charging fixed to the wall where all can see it! The battery does last around 250 shots, and some think this stingy, but remember you are using zoom a lot, and of course turning off the LCD review will save more. As I said I always carry a spare, just in case, and found myself charging a battery up app. every two days. So I consider that about right. Bear in mind I came back with about 900-100 shots.Plus three videos.

I found the camera easy and quick to learn, regards the user interface, and is not that difficult especially if you have come from a DSLR or high end compact.

Second, people who complain about the lens cover, you have to remove the lens cover on a DSLR lens, so whats the difference? Of course if you have been spoilt with a high end compact which does everything for you, it maybe of some slight inconveience, but not me.

Image Quality was outstanding! a lot of my photography is architecture (temples etc) and wildlife, and street scenes. It gave true colour,especially skin tones, something I never got with the Sony Alpha, it gave crisp focussed pictures, it gave superb exposure in low light conditions, often not needing the flash.Oh , and i forgot to mention "discreet".

The Auto scene mode is a great feature when you are in busy markets and Bazzars and don't want the hassle of fiddling with manual controls. I worked through most of the 16 different scene modes, the Panorama one being great to line up horizons for later stitching with Nikons software. Night time shots were a bit hit and miss, the word being "solid tripod" if you don't want a blurry shot, or be close to a decent source of light and it will do better.

A lot of my pics were taken in very bright direct sunlight, and the camera did not underexpose, or compensate at any time. When inside Temples, where it is a good deal shadier, the camera again exposed superbly!

Wildlife shots were a revelation! at last the reach on my lens could capture more than a mere dot on the frame, as my 300mm DSLR lens was limited to. I even impressed my guide whilst being some 1/4 mile away from wild sloth bears, and being able to pick them out clearly and even capturing decent long distance video, without tripod! Yes, it was very windy up in the lookout tower, but I was pleased with the results. I also happened to test out the zoom on water buffalo, again at some decent distance and the IQ was super, the detail, even capturing the birds on their backs with detail to the feathers was excellent.

Using the optical view finder was of course necessary in very bright light, and was good enough, but I would like to see an improvement there. Especially long distance subjects became a bit fuzzy and I was almost "shooting blind" with some pics. again closer shots were fine, if not a little "purple tinged" in the viewfinder, maybe it is just my camera, I don't know, but I am willing to forgive Nikon these little niggles when it does so much more.....

The LCD is great, and I did find myself using the tilt screen feature to great effect and when trying to frame in strong sunlight. Very useful! You get a decent view of your pictures, and pretty much what you see is in the finished picture.I mostly used it for viewing my pictures at the end of the day.

Shooting Video is a novelty for me, I have so far primarily been a stills photographer, but I did enjoy and was impressed with the video on this little camera. The quick and conveniently located record button the the back of the camera, quick switch from HD to HS was a dream, and of course not having to fumble around to stop recording, just press the same switch again.Zooming n and out was also a great improvement from my little Canon Ixus 700, and focus is achieved in a decent time. Yes it does blank for about 3-4 seconds when you start video, but actually this is not so bad, as you usually dont move your focus that quick, well I didn't. Sound quality is superb, and I am very pleased with the three short videos I did take. Be aware you will need SDHC cards, just so you don't get any delay in the writing, I already had these and suffered no delays in any of my picture or video taking.

So how would I rate this camera, well 5* is all I can say, it's compact, it's light and it does better than it says on the tin. It's a great travel camera, I got it for a bargain price as it was just three weeks before the P500 was released. I read loads of reviews and comparisons to other competiton cameras,visited lots of different stores to try them for size, I think this Nikon is very underrated. I only hope more people tear themselves away from other makes, they will not be sorry.
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