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Of course the wireless ability is just icing on a very tasty cake; even without it the P1 would be a superb camera by any standard. The weather this past week hasn’t been exactly conducive to high-quality photography, with grey overcast clouds and lots of rain, but the P1 has still managed to produce some outstanding shots, with bright rich colours, plenty of fine detail from that big 8.0 megapixel sensor. The exposure metering is absolutely perfect, capturing the subtleties of the light early on a frosty morning better than many semi-pro cameras that I’ve tried. A close-range wide-angle shot revealed some barrel distortion at the shortest end of the zoom range, but just stepping back a few feet and zooming in slightly eliminated this effect.
Noise control at 50 and 100 ISO is superb, with clean images at both lower speeds. There was some problem with noise at 200 and 400 ISO, but it wasn’t too bad.
Even without the wireless technology, the P1 would be an outstandingly good camera, although it does make it a little expensive compared to other cameras at this end of the market, such as the Olympus mju 800 or the Canon IXUS 55. The wireless connectivity is certainly more than a novelty, and it can match anything else in its class for picture quality.
Even without wireless technology, the CoolPix P1 is a superb high-end compact camera, with attractive and user-friendly design, rock solid build quality, some dazzling technology and excellent picture quality. It’s a little pricy compared to some of its competition, but it’s got the quality to back it up.