Nikon’s Coolpix Enthusiast Camera, P7700($333.33 at Amazon)(Opens in a new window), is being replaced by the P7800. The new model retains many of the features of its predecessor, including a 1/1.7-inch back-illuminated 12-megapixel CMOS image sensor and a 28-200mm f/2-4 (35mm equivalent) zoom lens. There are a few modest upgrades, but the biggest change is the integrated electronic viewfinder, which is a first for the Coolpix compact. The P7700 doesn’t have any kind of eye-level viewfinder, even though the earlier P7100($333.33 at Amazon)(Opens in a new window) there is an optical finder.
The EVF is located in the rear left corner of the P7800’s body. It has a 921k-dot resolution and looks pretty sharp to my eyes. There’s also a 3-inch hinged rear display. It also has a 921k-dot resolution and also has a layer of white pixels, making it easier to see in direct sunlight.
The P7800 can shoot 6 shots in quick succession at an impressive 8fps. It has a built-in 3-stop neutral density filter, so you can use a wider aperture in bright sunlight and allow you to shoot longer exposures with the help of a tripod. There’s no built-in Wi-Fi, but the P7800 is compatible with the WU-1a($333.33 at Amazon)(Opens in a new window) wireless adapter and use Eye-Fi Mobi($333.33 at Amazon)(Opens in a new window) SD card is also an option.
Photography enthusiasts will be pleased to know that the camera retains the Raw capabilities of its predecessor. There are plenty of physical controls, including a dedicated EV compensation dial. The EVF replaces the old settings wheel located on the top left of previous models in this series. This button has been replaced by a Q button that brings up an on-screen menu for adjusting image quality, ISO, white balance, and other settings. The front and rear control dials remain in the same positions as the P7700, as are the AE-L/AF-L, self-timer, flash control, focus point control, macro, Fn1 and Fn2 buttons. .
The P7800 hit the market in late September with an asking price of $549.95. That’s $50 more than the P7700 when it launched. Is it worth the extra money, especially in a competitive market where a camera with a much larger image sensor like the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100($333.33 at Amazon)(Opens in a new window) exists for just $100 more is a verdict that will have to wait until we can do a full review.
If the P7800 is Nikon’s most serious zoom Coolpix camera in the Nikon lineup, the S01($333.33 at Amazon)(Opens in a new window) is the least. This tiny camera is designed with general photography in mind and sets itself apart from the crowd not by its image quality but by its small form factor. Nikon will replace it with the S02, keeping the same design, but updating the image sensor to a 13-megapixel CMOS design. This should result in better image quality, especially in dim light, than the CCD-enabled S01. Other upgrades include a 2.7-inch touchscreen LCD, 1080p video recording, a new collage maker, and a customizable menu system. There is no microSD card slot; images are stored using 7.3 GB internal memory and must be offloaded via cable.
The S02 still lacks Wi-Fi and there’s no way to add it via an external adapter or a memory card. So you won’t be able to instantly share photos to social networks. The S02 will ship in October for $179.95, the same retail price of its predecessor. It can be silver, white, pink or blue.
Nikon is also releasing a compact LED that can be used with any camera. The LD-1000 LED Film Lamp is battery powered and features four individual LEDs and a diffuser to soften their output. It includes a mount so it can be attached directly to the side of your camera via its tripod socket, and the lamp itself can be removed so you can position it freely. . The LD-1000 will be available in white or black and goes on sale in October for $99.95.
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