Much like the majority of bridge cameras the Nikon P100 has two distinct areas of performance, being at the wide end of the zoom and the narrow. At the wide end optimum light is absorbed, so shots should be well exposed and sharp. In actuality the exposure tends to leave the brighter areas without the expected level of detail, favouring the darker segments far more.
At the top end of the zoom the results are quite similar, although given a few more seconds in automatic the levels can be far more balanced, curiously. The one area to cause real concern is the colour quality, which comes out looking unrealistic. This may be to hide areas of noise, but the end product looks quite cartoony and lacking in graduation. Reds especially look almost fluorescent in places, giving a false level of vividness. In low light the noise reduction serves a far better purpose, making the higher ISO settings usable if a touch soft.
The focussing, spurred on by the huge zoom, does take a while to lock on and can be a touch temperamental. There are occasions when the sharpness is a touch too soft, although this may be due to the lack of detail in brighter areas making the camera more likely to produce haze-heavy photos.
The Nikon P100 doesn’t quite deliver on the promises of the specs, but at least manages to produce some sharp images. The colour is the main letdown, as even when altered under manual controls it appears unrealistic.