Nikon’s advanced compact offering has long taken the form of the Coolpix ‘P’ series, with the four-digit range sitting at the top and looking to offer a suitable companion to it’s DSLR range for those wanting at times to travel light. The Nikon P7800 is the latest model that looks to build on the success of the previous models in the series with a range of new features and take on the Canon G16.
But, with the growth of the advanced compact market, as well as the drop in price of competing CSCs, the question is does the P7800 remain a relevant shooting proposition, or has technological advancement rendered it obsolete?
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One of the core features that has made the high-end P series a success in previous generations is the fact that it features a larger sensor than is normally found in a compact, and the P7800 retains this selling point.
The P7800 retains the same 12.2MP BSI CMOS sensor as seen in the P7700, which measures in at 1/1.7-inches, as opposed to the smaller 1/2.3-inch sensor. The P7800’s BSI sensor should handle noise better then the equivalent sensor technology, although it only has a native ISO 80-1600 - extendible to ISO 3200 and 6400.
Another feature maintained from the previous generation model is the 3-inch, 921k-dot LCD screen which, thanks to a side-mounted hinge, can be rotated around a 270 degree axis for viewing at a variety of angles.
The Nikon P7800 also retains the same 7.1x optical zoom as seen on the model’s predecessor, covering an equivalent focal range of 28-200mm and offering an impressive maximum aperture between f/2 and f/4.
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One of the standout new additions to the Nikon P7800 is sure to be popular amongst some enthusiast photographers. It now features a relatively substantial electronic viewfinder that measures in at 0.5-inches, has a resolution of 921k-dots and also features a dioptre adjustment.
Another notable feature is the Nikon video capture functionality that’s better than some competing models. The P7800 captures full HD video at 1920 x 1080 and at 30fps, while advanced functionality such as wind noise reduction, in-built ND filter and manual exposure control also feature.
While there’s no doubting the P7800’s positioning as an advanced compact – as shown through the inclusion of PASM shooting modes – it also caters for those that might want to let the camera do the work.
It does so through the presence of an auto shooting mode, a range of scene modes and a host of creative ‘Effects’ such as ‘Cross Process’ and ‘Zoom Exposure’.
One feature which is sorely missed, owing to the fact that it’s now commonplace on competing cameras, is Wi-Fi functionality. Both Wi-Fi and GPS tagging are available with the P7800 although only through the purchase of optional accessories.