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Nikon's Coolpix P1000 put to the test.

Nikon Coolpix P1000 review: 125x zoom is insane

News Corp Australia

WITH a staggering 125x optical zoom, there's not much you can't see with Nikon's Coolpix P1000.

Walking along the beach and zooming out to a nearby island, I was gobsmacked by the features of the rocks in my viewfinder.

Zoom out to a surfboat well off the shore and you can see the faces of lifesavers.

In the wrong hands, this could be a really dangerous camera for spying on neighbours.

The Coolpix P1000 offers an insane zoom. But can it snap a great photo?

I spent a couple of hours with it shooting surfers right along the coast.

What was surprising is how quickly it can take a photo.

I was scanning the horizon and saw a surfer flying through the air. I snapped, thinking there was little chance that would be in focus. But it was - and good enough to use on the front page of our local paper.

Nikon's Coolpix P1000 put to the test.
Nikon's Coolpix P1000 put to the test. Mark Furler

With an ultra telephoto capability equivalent to 3000mm, this is a camera that can capture the craters on the moon in detail.

If that's not enough, it also has a 250x Dynamic Fine Zoom (digital) which is equivalent to 6000mm.

 

Nikon's Coolpix P1000 put to the test.
Nikon's Coolpix P1000 put to the test. Mark Furler

Digital Photography Review, as a 'silly exercise', looked at the sort of kit you would need to buy to get a DSLR camera with just a 27-1500mm capability. It would cost more than $31,000 and weigh about 12kg!

In comparison, the P1000 weighs about 1.4kg (which is still quite heavy), but lightweight when you consider its functionality.

Nikon's Coolpix P1000 put to the test.
Nikon's Coolpix P1000 put to the test. Mark Furler

Of course, there's a world of difference between bridge cameras and better DLSRs. Even the Nikon 5600, for example, has a sensor that is 13 times larger, meaning it will suck in more available light.

The P1000 has a 16MP, 1/2.3" CMOS sensor with an ISO range of 100-6400.

It produces some beautiful images, though at full zoom they are not going always going to be super sharp.

Nikon's Coolpix P1000 put to the test.
Nikon's Coolpix P1000 put to the test. Mark Furler


For bird watchers, it does have a bird mode, which I found really interesting to use. Even at half zoom, it is hard to keep up with an eagle soaring in the air. But it's brilliant for zooming in on birds sitting in a tree or dogs running on the beach.

Nikon's Coolpix P1000 put to the test.
Nikon's Coolpix P1000 put to the test. Mark Furler

The camera has decent vibration reduction which Nikon says is equivalent to shooting at a 5.0 stop higher shutter speed (at 350mm).

You can also set the VR to "framing first" in the Normal or Active mode, which reduces the gap between what you see in the viewfinder and the captured image.

Nikon's Coolpix P1000 put to the test.
Nikon's Coolpix P1000 put to the test. Mark Furler

When it comes to video, the camera goes beyond many with 4K Ultra High Definition at 30p or 25p with 24mm to 3000mm range. It also support an external microphone.

You are also able to crop out still images from your 4K resolution video.

One of the features I really liked was the ability to use the manual focus control ring to adjust functions like exposure, white balance and ISO while you are in auto mode.

Another clever feature is the ability to use the snap-back zoom button to quicken widen the visible area if you lose sight of your subject in telephoto.

There's also a side zoom control for smoother shooting, which is especially useful when shooting video.

For those who like spending plenty of time after the shoot making their images sing, the P1000 shoots in RAW mode so you can adjust white balance, exposure and colour settings.

 

Nikon's Coolpix P1000 put to the test.
Nikon's Coolpix P1000 put to the test. Mark Furler

You can also easily transfer images straight to your smartphone tablet using SnapBridge.


With a price tag of more than $1400, the P1000 is not a cheap bridge camera, but it is exceptional when it comes to its reach.

Those wanting to spend should take a look also at the P900, which is a lot lighter, has an 83 times zoom and can be bought for under $600.