So far the Nikon P7800 has struggled in terms of performance, while it’s hardly been a glowing picture when it comes to design. However, when it comes to image quality it has to be said that the P7800 delivers a slightly better set of results.
1/125 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 80, -2EV, AWB (Click for full res)
Metering performance is generally accurate, although there was the odd issue with consistency, while an impressive dynamic range captured in most scenes.
The P7800’s dynamic range can be further boosted by switching on Nikon’s D-lighting setting, which manages bright highlights more capably.
If you’re presented with a particularly challenging scene then, as is often the case, it’s best to shoot Raw files as well as JPEG as Raw files manage to maintain even more detail in shadows and highlights.
1/60 sec @ f/4, ISO 200, 0.7EV, AWB (Click for full res)
In terms of colours rendition, the P7800 delivers JPEG files that appear somewhat muted on closer inspection, with the green end of the scale lacking any particular vibrancy. The good news is that, once again, if you choose to shot Raw files you’ll be rewarded with greater colour depth and tailor colours to suit in post production.
Unfortunately, it’s not all good news, as when it comes to quality at higher ISO settings the P7800 certainly struggles. Noise begins to be an issue even at ISO 200, with detail beginning to suffer in areas of shadow.
Although it’s fair to say that ISO 1600 and 3200 are still usable, results are far from impressive with colour noise affecting fine detail and, on the whole, images lagging some way behind the competition.
On paper, the Nikon P7800 offers a full specification and several additions that are sure to please the target market. However, when you dig a little deeper and put the P7800 through its paces, ultimately it’s a camera that disappoints.
This disappointment is accentuated by the high price tag – a price tag that places it amongst some really impressive cameras.
Although the Nikon P7800 impresses on paper it fails to deliver when put through its paces, with its shooting performance a particular lowlight. When you consider the current price tag of just short of £500, while there are some redeeming features with the P7800 it’s difficult to recommend in the advanced compact market
Next, read our in-depth group test: the best cheap compact system cameras under £500