The Nikon Coolpix P1000 ($999.95) is past an audacious thought for a digital camera. It marries a small 16MP picture sensor—about the identical dimensions as what you discover in a top-end smartphone—to an absurdly large, lengthy 125x zoom lens. The result’s a little bit of a Frankenstein gadget, with a physique as large as an SLR, and a big, completely connected lens. It isn’t the best digital camera for each photographer or scenario, and it requires a great deal of ability to make use of successfully at most zoom. But it surely does reach filling a distinct segment, and can discover a place within the coronary heart and bag of some photographers, particularly to be used in capturing photographs of distant wildlife.
That mentioned, for many photographers we advocate the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS as our Editors’ Selection for cameras that exceed a 50x zoom ratio. It prices about half as a lot because the P1000, appears to be about half the dimensions, and is a greater all-arounder. However when you chuckle at a zoom with a “mere” 1,365mm attain, the three,000mm zoom of the P1000 could lure you in with its siren tune. Simply remember that it requires effort and ability to get robust outcomes on the excessive finish of its zoom lens.
Huge Lens, Huge Digital camera
The P1000 is the biggest bridge-style digital camera we have ever seen. Its physique is concerning the dimension of a small SLR—it resembles the D5600—with a protruding mounted lens, bigger than any SLR starter zoom. The P1000 measures Four.7 by 5.Eight by 7.2 inches (HWD), weighs Three.1 kilos, and helps 77mm entrance lens filters. The handgrip is fairly deep, however I nonetheless discovered the large lens to make the digital camera a bit of bit entrance heavy, and the tripod socket is on the physique, which does not make for one of the best stability when mounted on a tripod.
The superlative zoom vary is the rationale for the majority. The lens is a Four.Three-539mm f/2.Eight-Eight, equal to a 24-Three,000mm in full-frame phrases. It will probably snap photographs of wide-angle landscapes, and zoom in to carry distant topics into clear view. You will get an thought of what that will get you by looking on the picture above, shot at 24mm, and the one beneath, at Three,000mm. The little white dots within the huge shot are egrets, and you may see how tightly the zoom captures one of many birds, because it begins to take flight, within the uncropped shot beneath.
There’s truly an excellent macro functionality too. On the huge angle, the lens can deal with topics simply zero.Four-inch (1 centimeter) from the entrance of the lens. A Three,000mm focus is accessible to 23 toes (7 meters), so that you’re higher off getting up shut and private on your macro photographs.
The P1000 would not have intensive climate safety. Nikon would not promote mud or splash safety, and whereas I would not hesitate to make use of it in gentle precipitation, it is best to undoubtedly take care to cowl it when working in any climate through which you’d seize an umbrella to maintain your self dry. If all-weather use is extra essential than zoom attain, have a look at the Sony RX10 III or RX10 IV, each of which sport a 24-600mm f/2.Four-Four zoom, a bigger picture sensor, and climate safety.
The large physique leaves loads of room for bodily controls. The left facet of the lens barrel holds a zoom management rocker together with a framing help button—it quickly widens the sector of view of the lens, in contrast along with your set place, and reveals an on-screen field overlay to point the precise zoom setting. This allows you to discover your goal, body it, and launch the button to return the lens to the earlier zoom place. When zoomed in, it’s typically tough to seek out or monitor your topic as a result of extraordinarily slim angle of view.
In observe, the zoom-out help works effectively. No, this isn’t an incredible digital camera for monitoring fast-moving targets—I am going to speak about its burst charge and autofocus system in a bit—however I used to be in a position to get a number of motion photographs in testing. The P1000 would by no means be my first alternative for monitoring quick motion, nevertheless. You are higher off with an SLR just like the D500, a 150-600mm zoom lens, and willingness to crop photographs as wanted.
The lens additionally features a programmable management ring. When the digital camera is ready to handbook focus it is your focus management, within the anticipated place towards the entrance of the outer barrel. However when you’re utilizing the digital camera in autofocus you possibly can set it to carry out one other operate. It really works effectively—you possibly can flip it shortly to dial in an enormous adjustment, or extra slowly for minute adjustments. I by no means turned it by chance whereas making photographs, and had no drawback dialing in third-stop EV compensation changes. Apart from EV, you possibly can set the ring to regulate ISO or White Steadiness.
There is a scorching shoe (for an exterior flash) and a pop-up flash, each centered behind the lens, on the highest plate. The pop-up flash is large, and rises a few inches above the physique when opened to be used. Even so, you may have to take away the lens hood when utilizing the pop-up for photographs on the widest angle, as it should forged a shadow on photographs in any other case.
To the best of the Mode dial, on the best facet of the highest, are a further management dial, the On/Off button, the Fn button, the zoom management, and the shutter launch. In additon to the usual Auto, Progam, Aperture, Shutter, and Handbook publicity modes, the P1000 features a Scene recognition setting, a Moon mode, a Fowl mode, and various Instagram-style filter results, starting from desaturated bleach bypass to a high-contrast black-and-white look Nikon has dubbed Noir.
The Moon and Fowl settings aren’t a lot to speak about. The previous zooms the lens to the 1,000mm place and units focus to infinity. I had no issues capturing a handheld shot of a crescent moon with the P1000 with out utilizing the particular mode, and did it on the most Three,000mm setting. Element is not as robust as moon photographs I’ve taken with lengthy lenses and large sensor cameras, but it surely’s neat that you just’re in a position to do it with a lens that may additionally cowl wide-angle vistas.
I discovered the Fowl setting to be much less helpful—it adjustments the main focus level to a small, central space, so you possibly can focus and recompose, and makes use of the OK button to set the lens to the 500mm place. You may nonetheless alter the zoom in or out, however you may all the time see a digital body, matching the 500mm angle of view, when capturing wider photographs. It is simply there to let you recognize what the body can be like when you hit the OK button to punch into 500mm. I used to be fairly completely satisfied photographing wildlife with out the framing help, however it’s possible you’ll discover it extra helpful in observe.
As a substitute for framing help, you possibly can add an adjunct to the new shoe, the Nikon DF-M1 Dot Sight ($174.95). The add-on slips into the shoe, and pops as much as reveal a small clear viewscreen and a centered laser pointer. As soon as calibrated (the DF-M1 can be utilized with different cameras too), it reveals you the middle level of your lens. You will not get framing help, so it is good for distant topics that will not fill the body, even when zoomed all the way in which in, or for monitoring transferring topics whereas the lens is just too tightly zoomed to observe them through the EVF. I discovered the Dot Sight to be more practical for static topics, although, because the P1000’s autofocus struggles a bit when zoomed all the way in which in.
As a result of the physique is as an enormous as an SLR, Nikon has room to incorporate an excellent variety of bodily controls. There is a button to modify the between the rear LCD, EVF, and eye sensor (for computerized switching), together with an AE-L/AF-L button and AF/MF toggle change proper on the prime. Beneath you may discover the Report button for motion pictures, together with Delete, Menu, Play, and Show buttons.
Lastly, there is a flat command dial on the rear. Turning it adjusts the f-stop (assuming you are taking pictures in a mode that helps aperture management). It has the OK button at its heart, and can be pressed in a cardinal course for Flash, EV, Macro, and Self-Timer management. I are inclined to shoot in Aperture Precedence, and did discover one concern with the flat dial—if I by chance nudged it whereas zoomed in, the lens would not open again as much as its widest setting when zooming out. I nudged it a number of occasions in area testing and ended up taking pictures some huge photographs at f/Eight, a setting that actually places a damper on the P1000’s picture high quality. (Extra on that later.)
You’ve got your choice of framing photographs utilizing an eye-level digital viewfinder or the rear LCD. The latter is a Three.2-inch panel, mounted on a vari-angle hinge so it might swing to the facet of the physique and face ahead, up, or down. It’s sharp, 921ok dots, and vivid sufficient to make use of outdoor, however would not help contact enter, an odd omission for a contemporary, premium digital camera.
The EVF is about zero.39-inch (1cm) diagonal with 2,359ok dots and OLED tech. It is an excellent EVF, on par with what you may discover in nicer mirrorless cameras. It is sharp, and it refreshes shortly sufficient to point out clean movement and to trace transferring topics successfully. Merely put, I’ve acquired nothing dangerous to say about it.
Connectivity choices embrace Wi-Fi and Bluetooth—Nikon calls its Wi-Fi system SnapBridge. The P1000 can ship photographs to your smartphone mechanically or on demand through Bluetooth, and it may be remotely managed through your telephone through Wi-Fi with a reside feed to your telephone’s display. Nikon additionally presents a wi-fi Bluetooth distant for distant picture seize.
The battery is rated for 250 photographs, or about 80 minutes of video seize by CIPA requirements. That is on the low facet, so it’s possible you’ll need to take into account choosing up a spare. The P1000 helps in-camera charging, however I used to be unable to get it working with any third-party AC adapters. I attempted a number of, together with the plug that got here with my iPhone, however solely the Nikon adapter labored for me. One of many advantages of USB charging is the flexibility to plug the digital camera into the entire similar locations you’d use to cost your different electronics, so this can be a little bit of a downer.
There is a single reminiscence card slot, with help for UHS-I speeds and SD, SDHC, and SDXC card codecs. Interface connections embrace micro HDMI, micro USB, and a Three.5mm microphone enter.
You’d anticipate the large lens, which wants to increase earlier than making a picture, would decelerate the power-on course of. However the P1000 manages to go from off to on, focus, and seize a picture in 1.Eight seconds. No, it isn’t the moment energy you get from an SLR, but it surely’s an excellent mark for a bridge digital camera.
Autofocus velocity could be very fast when taking pictures at a large angle, locking onto targets in lower than zero.1-second. But it surely does decelerate when zoomed all the way in which in. At Three,000mm the lens requires zero.Three-second to deal with common.
For probably the most half, the P1000 is a really responsive digital camera. Besides when it is not. And that is what it’s a must to cope with when you choose to make use of its burst taking pictures mode. It rattles off a burst of seven photographs in a second, however stops and turns into utterly unresponsive because it writes these photographs to a reminiscence card. No matter whether or not you’re taking pictures in Uncooked, Uncooked+JPG, or JPG format, it’s a must to wait about 10 seconds for the burst to decide to reminiscence.
There are a number of autofocus choices obtainable. You may shoot in AF-S, which locks focus as soon as it is acquired, or AF-F, which acts like AF-C and continues to regulate focus so long as you maintain the shutter button down midway. The default focus space covers your entire body, with Face Detection. Different choices embrace a handbook versatile spot in three sizes, each of that are moved round utilizing the rear four-way controller.
You additionally get Topic Monitoring, which requires you to press the OK button to establish your topic and provoke the monitoring. It had no drawback protecting monitor of small birds scurrying over mudflats or flying by means of the air, however can get confused in case your topic leaves the body. Urgent OK once more disables the monitoring, so you possibly can as soon as once more place the digital field round your topic and reinitiate monitoring. Lastly, you may have entry to Goal Discovering AF, which is one other huge, computerized focus setting. I did not discover any actual distinction between it and the Face Detection mode.
In observe, the P1000 is a completely wonderful performer on the subject of photographing topics that aren’t transferring round at a quick tempo. Wildlife photographers attempting to snap photographs of songbirds on tree branches or a lion having fun with a relaxation on African safari will not face issues, however I struggled to trace cormorants gliding above the floor of the water, and getting an excellent shot of a tern diving for meals is an excessive amount of for the P1000’s autofocus system to deal with. The shorter zoom, however bigger sensor Sony RX10 IV is a a lot better alternative for taking pictures motion with a bridge digital camera—it has section detection autofocus and fires as shortly as 24fps.
A Boon and a Detriment, All at As soon as
The P1000’s lens is its marquee, headline-grabbing characteristic. It makes the digital camera totally different from some other point-and-shoot so far, even the Nikon P900 and its 83x zoom. But it surely introduces an issue. At wider apertures it is rather sharp. But it surely would not keep huge apertures by means of the vary. Fairly merely put, when the f-stop narrows past f/5.6, picture high quality drops shortly. However you possibly can nonetheless shoot so far as 1,500mm at f/5.6. The f-stop drops to f/6.Three at 1,600mm, to f/7.1 at 2,200mm, and to f/Eight at 2,800mm.
See How We Take a look at Digital Cameras
Diffraction performs an element right here. The impact, which is brought on by gentle scattering because it passes by means of a slim aperture, softens edges and provides a glow to photographs, successfully lowering decision. Pixel density has an element to play as to when diffraction turns into an actual concern. The P1000 packs 16MP right into a tiny half.Three-inch picture sensor, and our Imatest checks verify the anticipated conduct—picture high quality drops considerably at f-stops narrower than f/5.6.
At its widest angle—24mm in full-frame phrases—it manages a superb 2,542 traces on common. Imatest makes use of a center-weighted analysis, and like many compact cameras, the P1000 does lose decision towards the perimeters of the body. They drop to 1,595 traces, which is just a bit gentle on a 16MP sensor. Stopping down does extra to hurt picture high quality than to assist it—the lens resolves 2,357 traces at f/Four, 1,845 traces at f/5.6, and 1,230 traces at f/Eight. We need to see no less than 1,800 traces from a digital camera like this.
On the 50mm place, the utmost aperture has dropped to f/Three.2, however delivers sharper outcomes than at 24mm. It scores 2,743 traces when shot huge open, with a lot better decision on the edges than on the widest angle setting (2,272 traces). Once more, decision drops as you cease down—2,522 traces at f/Four, 1,949 traces at f/5.6, and 1,336 traces at f/Eight.
At 135mm we see 2,456 traces at f/Four, which is the brightest the lens will get at this focal size. Edge high quality is sweet, however not excellent at 1,895 traces. You may nonetheless get good photographs at f/5.6 (2,036 traces), however keep away from f/Eight (1,413 traces). Outcomes are comparable at 275mm—2,599 traces at f/Four.5, 2,138 traces at f/5.6, and 1,494 traces at f/Eight. Edges do tick up on the 275mm place, notching a powerful 2,441 traces at f/Four.5. They’re nearly pretty much as good as the typical when shot huge open by means of the remainder of our examined vary.
Subsequent up is a take a look at at 434mm. The lens has narrowed to f/5 right here, and resolves a powerful 2,573 traces. Stopping down only a bit to f/5.6 cuts decision to 2,311 traces, and there is a bigger drop to 1,640 traces at f/Eight. Outcomes are nearly the identical at 570mm, the place the utmost aperture stays f/5.
At 753mm the lens opens as much as simply f/5.6, although we nonetheless see a powerful 2,319-line rating, however drops to 1,820 traces at f/Eight. Outcomes are comparable at 865mm and 1,105mm. Zooming additional, to 1,300mm, nets barely softer outcomes at f/5.6 (2,150 traces) and a poor exhibiting at f/Eight (1,128 traces).
The 1,600mm place is the longest setting at which we’re in a position to carry out lab checks. Decision drops while you zoom this far. At f/6.Three, the widest the lens opens to at this setting, we see a just-okay 1,798 traces, with edges that lag behind the middle (1,445 traces). At f/Eight we see 1,338 traces.
Discipline testing would not web numerical knowledge, however the outcomes at excessive focal lengths verify what lab checks at wider settings present: The P1000 would not web nice outcomes when shot on the smallest f-stops. The lens maintains f/6.Three by means of about 2,200mm, the place it turns into an f/7.1 lens. The drop to f/Eight is towards the sting of the zoom vary, at 2,800mm. The quantity of sentimental, diffuse glow we see in photographs will increase as you strategy the lengthy finish of the zoom vary, with a typical instance of three,000mm picture high quality proven above.
It isn’t simply decision that is affected by the small f-stop. In the event you’re taking pictures in something however vivid gentle, the P1000 goes to maneuver to the next ISO setting to get rid of movement blur. Imatest additionally checks photographs for noise. In-camera noise discount retains JPGs comparatively grain-free by means of the highest ISO 6400 setting, however there’s extra to picture high quality at excessive ISO settings than noise alone. Readability begins to drop as quickly as you progress previous the bottom ISO 100 setting, however stays fairly good by means of about ISO 400. At ISO 800 we see wonderful traces smudged away, but it surely’s nonetheless a really viable choice for pictures. ISO 1600 additional cuts into decision, however blur would not really overtake element till you push to ISO 3200 and 6400.
Uncooked seize can also be obtainable. It is one thing that’s lacking from the P900, and one thing we anticipate to see in a contemporary, premium digital camera, even one with a small picture sensor. Uncooked photographs haven’t got noise discount utilized in-camera, so that they present extra element as you push the ISO increased, but additionally require you to course of them utilizing software program earlier than sharing on-line. Nikon contains Seize NX software program with the digital camera, however we advocate and use Adobe Lightroom Basic CC for Uncooked conversion.
Uncooked element is powerful, with out an excessive amount of noise, by means of ISO 400. At ISO 800 element holds up, however grain is heavy. The grain impact is stronger at ISO 1600, however continues to be small and wonderful. At ISO 3200 grain is greater and rougher, to the purpose the place it definitely detracts from picture high quality. Picture high quality at ISO 6400 is a bit of too tough, so I like to recommend avoiding it when attainable.
However typically it isn’t attainable to keep away from working at a excessive ISO. I used to be in a position to snap crisp photographs with a brief shutter velocity on a sunny day, however engaged on a chilly, grey, overcast morning was a really totally different story. Underneath vivid skies the P1000 retains the ISO low and the shutter velocity to a brief 1/500-second—fast sufficient to seize blur-free photographs at Three,000mm because of optical picture stabilization. However on the grayday I ended up taking pictures at ISO 800 with shutter speeds round 1/125-second. I did not see proof of movement blur at this setting, however the excessive ISO, plus a little bit of foggy mist within the environment, netted outcomes that have been much less spectacular than below vivid gentle.
4K Video Too
Video is accessible at as much as 4K decision at 25fps or 30fps, and you can too shoot at 1080p or 720p at as much as 60fps. There is not any 24fps seize choice, which can disappoint videographers preferring the look of the cinema to video. There’s uncompressed output obtainable through HDMI, so it’s attainable to attach a area recorder to web video at the next high quality than the digital camera can handle internally. You may add an exterior microphone if desired.
I used to be usually proud of the standard of the 4K footage, although postpone by a brief interval of blackout between urgent the Report button and the clip beginning. The lag is nearly a second in length. The ISO is not as a lot of a priority, as video typically makes use of an extended shutter velocity than stills, sometimes 1/60-second for 30fps seize. Video itself is sharp and crisp, however as with many issues, there are some challenges concerned when working with the P1000.
Stabilization is an enormous problem. I set the digital camera on my go-to tripod for pictures, a Gitzo Traveler with a ball head. You may see the ends in the opening shot of the clip above, the place I zoom from 24 to three,000mm from the tripod on a day with delicate wind. The footage is shaky, a transparent indication that my tripod is just less than the duty. I do marvel if I might get higher outcomes if Nikon had put the tripod socket on the backside of the lens barrel, because the digital camera is a bit front-heavy at most zoom.
Handheld footage additionally reveals some shake, as you’d anticipate, however not that rather more than what we noticed on the tripod. The P1000’s picture stabilization system does an admirable job eliminating the intense shake you’d get from an unstabilized Three,000mm lens, however you may have to put money into a tripod and head which might be constructed for video to get shake-free footage on the excessive finish of the zoom. Because it stands, I had a really tough time locking in my body and correctly locking down my Photograph Clam ball head—simply tightening the adjustment knobs was sufficient to alter my body dramatically at most zoom. A fluid video head would seemingly be a greater match.
Autofocus when recording video can also be a priority. The P1000 is fast to discover a topic at first, however making adjustments to focus when recording is a bit more tough. Even with the EVF, it may be onerous to see simply what’s in focus in your shot. Urgent the left button on the directional pad reacquires focus, however I might wish to see an choice to depart focus peaking highlights turned on when the digital camera is ready to autofocus. They’re obtainable as a handbook focus assist. It’s fairly simple to modify the lens focus mode with the toggle change, however it’s a must to resolve on autofocus or handbook focus earlier than you begin recording. Likewise, handbook publicity management is accessible, however you possibly can’t alter settings whereas recording a clip—the whole lot needs to be locked in earlier than you press the button.
A Specialised, Area of interest Software
The Nikon Coolpix P1000 is an attractive bridge digital camera. It has absolutely the longest zoom lens we have seen in any digital camera of this kind, by a large margin. The lens units it effectively other than the smartphone cameras with equally sized picture sensors. Within the palms of the best photographer, it’s able to capturing photographs you merely will not have the ability to with some other digital camera.
However that capability comes with some critical caveats. For one, the P1000 is an absolute beast when it comes to dimension. The lens is understandably large, given its zoom vary, and the large physique is required to offer it some semblance of stability in your hand. And its f-stop drops as you zoom in, to the extent the place picture high quality takes a noticeable step again on the longer finish of the zoom vary, and the place the ISO must be pushed excessive for crisp outcomes below dreary skies, which additional cuts into decision.
The autofocus system is completely wonderful for cooperative topics, however you are not going to get an incredible hit charge with fast-moving motion, no less than not when zoomed in. You will additionally should cope with the burst taking pictures expertise when photographing motion, which is disappointing to say the least. I do not thoughts being restricted to seven photographs, however the unresponsiveness in the course of the seconds after a burst is not what we anticipate from a digital camera at this value.
The P1000 is most definitely a distinct segment digital camera. In case you are a talented photographer with a penchant for topics that do not admire being photographed up shut with a wide-angle lens—skittish wildlife involves thoughts—it may be a really useful gizmo, so long as situations are good. In dim, questionable gentle you may should cope with a slower shutter velocity and excessive ISO, and on vivid, scorching days, anticipate atmospheric interference and haze to come back into play.
Most photographers will probably be higher served with a unique bridge digital camera. Our favourite mannequin with greater than 50x energy is the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS, which additionally presents Uncooked seize, however is priced and sized extra fairly. A substitute has been introduced, the SX70 HS, however we have not but examined it. The SX70 provides 4K video, just like the P1000, however drops Uncooked taking pictures help, which is disappointing.
For a step up in picture high quality, however a step again in zoom energy, the Sony RX10 III and IV are each value a glance. Each fashions characteristic a 24-600mm zoom with an f/2.Four-Four aperture, a picture sensor that’s bodily bigger than the P1000’s, and climate sealing. The RX10 III is priced competitively with the P1000, and is our Editors’ Selection for premium bridge cameras. The RX10 IV is costlier, however has a way more superior autofocus system.
These options are higher matches for many photographers. However not everybody falls into the bucket of most. If the P1000’s lens speaks to you, and also you perceive the digital camera’s limitations and quirks, it may serve you very effectively.