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Nikon CoolPix P6000 - Nikon CoolPix P6000

By Cliff Smith

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Nikon CoolPix P6000

Summary

Our Score:

9

The main feature of interest is of course the built-in GPS locator. There are a number of accessory GPS locators on the market, such as the ATP PhotoFinder and the Sony Location Recorder, but this is the first time I've seen it built into a camera. It is simple to activate and works very well, locking on to multiple satellite signals within a couple of minutes and maintaining its connection while moving about, although like most GPS systems it won't work indoors.

The GPS menu screen is very clear and informative, showing the relative strengths of various signals as well as the current latitude and longitude, which could be used for navigation if you have the map reading skill. The GPS location data is added to the EXIF data when you take a photo, and this can be used to accurately locate the place at which the photo was taken on a map. Google's Picasa image handling program has a Geotagging feature that integrates with Google Earth to automatically place your photo on the correct map position. I tried it with some photos taken on the P6000 and found the location to be accurate to within about 20 feet, which is pretty impressive.

Another highly unusual feature of the P6000 is found on the bottom of the camera, where a rubber plug hides an Ethernet LAN socket. If a LAN cable is plugged into this while the camera is being recharged, it automatically attempts to connect to the Nikon My Picturetown photo sharing website and then upload your photos. In theory this should be very quick, but in practice transferring 20MB Raw files takes around three minutes per picture even over a high-speed 10MB broadband connection. Also the camera is not supplied with an Ethernet cable.

On the subject of charging, the battery is charged in place, via a charging socket on the side of the camera. This is not a problem, but if you buy a spare battery it does mean that you can't leave it on charge when you go out shooting. Nikon claims a 260-shot battery life, but in fact I found that I was down to one bar on the battery meter after about 170 shots, some with flash, although they were taken over a period of several days on a brand new battery.

The P6000 has a very comprehensive menu system, with four pages of options including fully customisable presets for contrast, saturation and sharpness, and noise reduction can also be turned off. Custom setups can be saved as user presets and accessed via the "U1" and U2" settings on the main mode dial.

The P6000 has all the usual metering modes including spot, centre-weighted and multi-zone metering, plus spot metering on the user-selectable AF point, which can be almost anywhere in the frame.

Two less usual features are the distortion control, which corrects the slight barrel distortion at the wide angle end of the zoom range, and the Active D-lighting mode, which enhances shadow detail in high contrast shots. I was particularly impressed by this latter option. It substantially improves the effective dynamic range of the camera without increasing the noise in the affected shadows too much.

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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).

kingwei

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?

GM

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.

Dr.KAIS

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.

keir

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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