The Nikon P7100 offers a larger than average sensor, a wide variety of easy-to-reach physical controls and generous levels of user customisation. Currently retailing for around £350 online, it replaces the P7000 as Nikon’s flagship advanced compact.
The Nikon P7100 will most likely appeal to enthusiast photographers who may well already own a DSLR and who are looking for something a bit more portable. As such, it’s much more concerned with getting the basics right and offering a more DSLR-like user experience than it is with shoehorning in a long list of frivolous features.
Using the generally well-recieved Nikon P7000 as a template, the P7100 builds on the main strengths of its predecessor (build quality, handling, image quality) while also looking to address some of its inherent weaknesses (operational speed, processing lag) as well.
Externally, the P7100 looks very similar to the P7000, although it does get a front thumbwheel to compliment the one on the back, in much the same way that all mid- to high-end Nikon DSLRs do. The finger-grip has also been restyled to allow fingers to grip at an angle, rather than in line with the camera body. On the back, the fixed 3in, 921k-dot screen of the P7000 has been replaced with one that can be tilted up and down for easier low-level and overhead shooting. In terms of overall dimensions, the P7100 is a tad bigger than its predecessor too.
Internally, the P7100 is very much the same. Resolution remains at 10.1-megpixels, while HD movie recording is capped at a somewhat below-par 720p. The P7100 does, however, offer a range of digital filter effects – something the P7000 lacked. Processing times, as we will discuss in more depth later on, have been speeded up too.
Available for as little as £350 from reputable online retailers, there is very little to chose between the P7100 and its main rivals in terms of price. Canon’s G12, for example, generally cost around £50 more, although with some careful shopping around you should be able to secure one for around the same price. At around £270 the barely year-old P7000 looks like good value too, just so long as you can put up with the slow processing speeds. Despite lacking the extended zoom range of either the Nikon or Canon models, the Lumix LX5 (c.£320) is also well worth considering.