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Nikon CoolPix P6000 review




  • Recommended by TR
Nikon CoolPix P6000


Our Score:


If you're a keen photographer looking for a high-spec semi-pro compact camera, your choices are rather limited. The leader in this sector of the market is the impressive 14.7-megapixel Canon PowerShot G10 (£350, review coming soon), but there are a few others. There's the Ricoh GR Digital II (£399), or the Panasonic Lumix LX3 (£300, review next week), but that's about it. Up until now Nikon's only model in the semi-pro area was the 10-megapixel CoolPix P5100 (£220), a nice enough camera but no real competition for the G10. However Nikon has just launched the P6000, a 13.5-megapixel, 4x zoom semi-pro compact that is an altogether more serious proposition.

At £370, the P6000 is extremely expensive, even for a semi-pro camera, especially considering that you can get an entry-level DSLR for under £300, but then it has features that you simply won't find anywhere else. Its photographic features are impressive enough, with a high quality f/2.7-5.9 lens with a focal length range equivalent to 28-112mm, a 1/1.7-inch 13.5-megapixel sensor and optical lens shift image stabilisation. It has a 2.7-inch 230k wide-view monitor and an optical viewfinder, external flash hot shoe, Raw and Raw + JPEG modes and of course a full range of manual exposure options, but its real party piece is its built-in GPS receiver, which adds global position data to your photos, allowing them to be automatically linked to mapping programs such as Google Earth, ideal for the growing hobby of "Geotagging".

The P6000 is certainly an impressive-looking camera. It has an all-aluminium body finished in a semi-matt black. The design is very rectilinear and uncompromising, a rugged-looking black slab festooned with buttons, dials and ports. It is clearly designed to look like a "proper camera", even down to the SLR-like row of buttons on the left of the monitor, and the fact that it has a neck strap rather than a wrist loop. The build quality is superb, and the P6000 certainly feels like it's built to take a few knocks.

Measuring 107 x 65.5 x 42 mm the P6000 is a little larger than the P5100, mostly extra width to accommodate the GPS receiver, and also 40g heavier at 270g fully loaded. However it is a few millimetres smaller and 80g lighter than the Canon G10, and certainly more able to fit into a jacket pocket. The body shape includes a comfortable rubber handgrip and thumbgrip. The camera feels very solid and secure in the hand, and is comfortable to hold and use. Due to the position of some of the controls it is really designed for two-handed use, but shooting one-handed is not a problem.

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Ray Hopper

November 8, 2008, 9:55 pm

But for those of us desperately waiting for a quality back-up to our Nikon DSLR's,and who have zero interest in logging where we took the picture (mine are nearly always in the same few places!)the addition of GPS is an expensive waste. So please Nikon quickly give us a cut-down version (P6100?) without the useless technology (nb quickly means before Christmas - hint,hint).


November 9, 2008, 9:30 am

Agrees with first post, no need for GPS & LAN connection for me. I know these 2 features are important for some buyers so Nikon should keep the P6000 but gives us a P7000 with no GPS/LAN but better & faster lens like Panny LX3 with better SLR-like user control, faster focus timing & RAW procssing speed, lower pixel count with better noise & maybe a higher resolution LCD and I will even pay more than P6000 for it. This will be the ultimate Nikon compact back-up for my D300/D80.

Martin Daler

November 10, 2008, 2:25 am

hmm, what - I wonder - made Nikon suppose that their smaller sensor compact would benefit from more pixels than their larger sensor SLRs?


November 11, 2008, 3:15 am

A major misgiving with this camera is not mentioned in this review: there is no AF or AE lock so it is almost impossible to seperate focus from metering. You can, but you need to use the fiddly manual focus point selector or take your chances with the auto focus points selector (which will never choose the point you actually want in focus of course!). This , in my opinion, is inexcusable in a camera proposing to be a Pro back-up. I've extensively compared this camera back to back with the G10 and otherwise agree with this reviews conclusions - the G10 produces crisper images / the P6000 far less chromatic abberations (in JPEG shooting). For me the P6000 is soooo close to being right, but let down by now being able to split the focus from the metering point. The G10 is near perfect, but it is way too heavy and bulky for general shooting - a lead weight if you're into outdoor sports.


February 17, 2009, 12:03 am

The p6000 has a remote control for the shutter (at extraa cost of about 㾶) .none in this class has it .to me,its very important.Samsung is the only other one that l know of that has it (cost about 㿞)

Dose anyone know different? i-e a compact with possible remote control ?

Hal Trachtenberg

July 22, 2009, 5:42 pm

I bought the P6000 simply as a backup to my D90 and D300. For me it's just a handy camera to be able to have with me at all times. I don't care for all the gadgets like GPS or Lan. I don't and won't ever use it. I like the camera, but the one negative issue that I have with it is the battery. It is often the case that I will go for a long period of time without using it. Sometimes maybe 2 weeks straight. When I do go to use it, the battery is drained. It does not hold the charge very long, not like on my two DSLR's. Although it is hard to compare since I am using my D90 and D300 on a regular, almost daily basis. However, there have been times where I did not use them for a long period of time but the batteries were still charged up when I used them.


July 28, 2009, 8:45 pm

Does anyone know if the Nikon P6000 GPS reads the geotag as OSGB36 and other local datums or only WGS84? In spite of the derisive comments GPS can be a very useful addon feature.

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