Four decades before, the normal superzoom’bridge’ camera had a zoom energy of around 50x. Over time that number has gradually risen, Nikon P1000 Black Friday Deals 2021 before leveling out in 65x. And then came the Nikon Coolpix P900, whose 83x, 24-2000mm equiv. Lens abruptly took zoom ranges from’really long’ to’absurd’. Nikon’s new Coolpix P1000 has moved the zoom needle to’foolish,’ having an equivalent focal length of 24-3000mm. That is correct, 3000mm. That is a lens provided that that we could fill the frame with a 1 meter (3.3 foot) tall monkey that’s 70 meters (230 feet) away.
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This does come at a cost, though. For one thing, the P1000 is big and its lens is contested by a slow maximum aperture (and thus diffraction) and image quality can be compromised by the identical thermal and atmospheric issues that are typical of images taken at extreme distances using almost any super telephoto lens. Given the old Coolpix P900 already held the optical zoom range recording at 83x, it has come as some surprise that Nikon has seen fit to obliterate its own record. We analyze this new ultra-zoom bridge camera standard to find out if there’s more to the P1000 than just big numbers.
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Capable of shooting everything from landscapes to far-off wildlife, the Nikon P1000 is possibly the most flexible cameras we have come across, particularly if you’re talking about zoom capabilities. But like most things, there are trade-offs to think about before you pick up this or any camera. Like its predecessor — and most superzoom cameras — the P1000 utilizes a very small sensor, a 1/2.3″-kind sensor to be exact, so as to have such a long-zooming lens be anywhere near handhold-able. The smaller sensor, generally speaking, is also not going to capture the level of detail compared to that of a larger-sensored camera.
As I have already pointed out, the Nikon Coolpix P1000 has a little 1/2.3″ detector, similar to what you would find on several smartphone cameras. It follows that we can anticipate similar image quality as what we can get from a modern smartphone and other little sensor point-and-shoot cameras. The two P900 and P1000 have equal sensor sizes and sensor resolution, therefore there’s very little difference in picture quality between the two.
Sad to say, the 1/2.3″ sensor is not a great choice concerning high ISO and dynamic range performance. Cramming so many megapixels in such a very small sensor has its drawbacks, and it actually shows in pictures.
In fact, when shooting at short focal lengths below 50mm, I truly see no advantage of employing the P1000 — you will be better off using your smartphone. Why? Since smartphones have been equipped with very powerful chips that can deal with a good deal of computational photography, so they can yield images that are sharper, less noisy and catch far more dynamic range.
By way of instance, some modern smartphones may capture a series of images, then make use of an averaging method to decrease noise in the resulting image. They’re also able to capture multiple pictures at different exposures, then seamlessly blend them to create a single mix. Additionally, they could use artificial intelligence and machine learning to make pictures, some thing that the P1000 and other contemporary digital cameras were never designed to do.
COOLPIX P1000 @ 4.3mm, ISO 100, 1/100, f/8.0
For me, this constitutes an important thing — I think Nikon should make future generations of its Coolpix cameras more specialized, just focusing on their telephoto functionality. What’s the purpose of shooting at 24mm, if your smartphone can take a lot nicer and cleaner picture? Considering it is tricky to design lenses that can span both wide and telephoto ranges, I think Nikon will be able to make its next-generation point-and-shoot smaller, lighter and potentially superior in optical functionality.
In terms of ISO range, the P1000 does quite well up to ISO 400, sometimes even 800 — anything above that looks like crap. In fact, I tried to maintain my ISO at 100 when possible, because even base ISO revealed its limits when trying to recover shadow or highlight detail in post (I just shot in RAW). A much better technique is to switch the camera into continuous shooting mode, and shoot a burst of images, then bring them to Photoshop and average them out — that can significantly reduce noise and increase overall sharpness. But this technique only works well when shooting from a tripod, and if there’s not any wind or subject motion, so its usage is quite limiting.
COOLPIX P1000 @ 12.6mm, ISO 100, 1/40, f/8.0
That is enough of a difference for many to consider picking the P1000 over the P900. Together with the P900, you need to be sure to pinpoint white balance every moment, and you are in the mercy of 8-bit JPEG images. That is no more a issue with the P1000, since you can always shoot auto white balance, and there is more legroom with recovering details and shadows in RAW files.
4K Video Shooting
While the Coolpix P900 was confined to Total HD video resolution, the P1000 can record high-quality 4K UHD movie at 3840×2160 resolution in H.264 / MPEG-4 format, which is impressive. The camera comes with an HDMI port to output video to an external monitor or recorder, and also has a microphone port to capture external audio. Have a peek at this sample video from Nikon, which reveals what a close-up of a lion’s face resembles at 3000mm. I don’t do much video, but after looking at this footage, I think the P1000 would be a better candidate for 4K movie at 3000mm than stills!
Although Nikon says the P1000 is capable of just yielding 250 pictures from one charge, I was easily able to surpass this amount when shooting in the field. Keep in mind that CIPA amounts are calculated according to usage of LCD, EVF and flash, so in the event that you do not use flash in any way, decrease the use of EVF and LCD, you’ll find far more images than said by Nikon.
Among the reasons for wanting to get a camera like the Coolpix P1000, would be to have the ability to capture distant subjects in fantastic detail. The moon is the ideal area for your P1000, because you can literally fill the frame with the Moon! In reality, if you zoom beyond 2000mm at full Moon, it’ll be bigger than the frame, so you may only have the ability to capture components of it.
Once you switch to this mode, you can simply align the brackets over the moon, push”OK” and the camera will automatically zoom 1000mm (default behavior). If that’s not enough, you can alter the value from 1000mm to 2000mm, 2400mm or 3000mm through the camera’s menu (Menu -> Moon Shot Mode -> Focal length selection).
Though the Moon Shot Mode appears to be quite helpful, it does have one big negative — it switches image recording to JPEG shooting, and there is no way to switch back to RAW through the menu, if you don’t switch off from the scene mode into one of those PASM or Auto modes. This is a major oversight on behalf of Nikon, also seems to be a bug / oversight, than a planned feature. I hope Nikon addresses this through a firmware upgrade in the future, although considering how long the P1000 has been outside, I don’t have much faith in it ever happening.
For this reason alone, I only photographed the moon from Aperture Priority and Manual modes, as I did not wish to resort to JPEG.
Without a doubt, the Nikon Coolpix P1000 is a very unique offering that has no real competition now. Using its insane 24-3000mm equivalent zoom range, it’s a truly versatile superzoom camera. Bird watchers will love this camerabecause they can get a close-up picture or a movie of the subject without disturbing it. They do not have to carry and set up heavy and large equipment, and on top of that, they could do it for under a thousand dollars!
On the other hand, the camera has its own list of flaws. To be able to reach this kind of enormous zoom range, Nikon had to stick a tiny 1/2.3″ sensor into the P1000, which clearly limits its potential concerning ISO and dynamic range performance. Even when shooting at foundation ISO in RAW format, one can easily see sound patterns, particularly when shadows are recovered. A number of the detail looks quite dimmed, partly because of the small detector, and partially because the 24-3000m lens is far from being perfect — something we could expect from this a superzoom.
My sample did not do well on the wide end, as well as the lengthy end concerning sharpness, particularly beyond the middle frame. While it might not matter for shooting many topics which will be centered anyway, it is something you need to always remember. Personally, I found my iPhone to yield far better results about the wide-end, which can be disappointing for the P1000, considering how big and heavy it’s in comparison. As I have pointed out in this review, Nikon must take that into consideration and potentially do away with wide focal lengths, focusing solely on long-range telephoto — something smartphones cannot really compete with right now.
In addition to image quality issues, the camera is quite slow to focus and monitor subjects. I tried to do some wildlife photography with the P1000 and that I gave up rather fast, as it was a very frustrating process to continuously keep moving subjects in focus. The camera would front and back attention, hunt, and sometimes completely don’t acquire focus, especially at anything longer than 2000mm. This is not very welcoming news for wildlife lovers, who want their cameras to constantly keep up with fast movements and erratic animal behavior.
However, all of these are normal concerns on a camera such as this — it would be extremely difficult to make something that’s drastically better without completely overhauling the camera and rendering it more like a smartphone. Still, there’s a lot to like about the P1000, especially compared to its predecessor.
With the additional range, ability to shoot RAW, 4K video shooting and a few other improvements, the Coolpix P1000 has a number of advantages to place it ahead of the P900. Sadly, Nikon put a $300 price premium on the P1000 upon its release, making it hard to select for those who are on a tight budget. One must wonder whether the P1000 is truly worth double the cost . I guess I’ll leave that up to you to decide..