Nikon Coolpix P1000 Review
The P1000 is big, bold, and perhaps a wildlife photographer’s dream camera.
- Long focal length settings at max
- Fully-articulating LCD screen
- 4K UHD video
- Several customization settings
- Integrated app for sharing images
- Bulky to handle
- Image quality varies greatly
- Limited sensor power
The Nikon P1000’s biggest draw is its massive lens length, which dominates its shape and functionality. It’s built for capturing wide shots of scenery or for focusing in on small, distant subjects and filling image frames without losing detail or proportion. For all these benefits, it’s a bit of a beast to handle, especially for novice photographers. In this Nikon Coolpix P1000 review, we’ll examine its positives and negatives.
You’ll notice right away that the P1000 is a rather bulky camera. This is mostly due to the long lens, which dictates a thicker chassis and sturdier frame. It weighs a little over 3 pounds if you include the battery and the SD card, though, so it’s not particularly hard to carry or handle if the lens isn’t fully extended. Once it is fully extended, it can feel a bit unbalanced in one hand.
It’s a camera meant to be combined with a tripod. There’s a tripod mount already installed at the bottom of the camera, although there isn’t a stabilizing collar that we’d like due to the massive length of the lens.
There are twin zoom controls, both levers. One is around the shutter button and the other is on the left side of the camera chassis. There’s also a snap-back zoom button next to this left-hand lever. It’s there you can quickly withdraw your focus and find a wider angle, which is especially useful if you are tracking a moving object or animal.
This camera features a super long lens that provides focal lengths between 24mm to 3,000 mm. You can take excellent shots of objects as close as half an inch away or up to 100 m away and get them to fill the frame of an image or video. Keep in mind that images at higher zoom settings, such as those above 1000 mm, are harder to take with a steady hand. You’ll likely want to invest in a tripod unless you have plenty of experience keep your hands steady during the photo-snapping moment.
The camera is equipped with a fully articulated LCD that snaps out of the back of the camera. You can tilt this LCD up and down, which is handy when you are trying to capture an image at a particular angle. At 3.2 inches, it’s a little bigger than many competitive cameras, but it is not a touchscreen. Still, this isn’t much of a downside for this big camera. Touchscreens can sometimes be accidentally altered by brushing your finger against the display when you don’t need to.
The P1000 also provides a time-lapse option to let you set up an interval shooting schedule. In addition, the camera software is intuitive enough to compile a time-lapse video if enough photos are taken within a short period of time.
There are special “Moon” or “Bird Watching” functions, as well, which set the camera’s various settings and functions to pre-determined values for more novice photographers. They’re great for providing a small border for your convenience; place the subject within the border for the best results. Typical zoom settings for birds are about 500 mm and 1000 mm for moon shots.
Further extra features include several creative effects, which can add descriptive or colorful tones to images and video that you capture.
The P1000 is meant to be paired with a free SnapBridge app, available for both iOS and Android operating systems and across other Nikon cameras. With this app, you can connect the camera to a mobile device to view or transfer your images in an instant. You can also use the app to immediately download 2 MB versions of those same photos.
Image quality varies depending on your settings. Faster shutter speeds and wide angles produce higher quality pictures and great colors. At these settings, image sharpness is also appreciable. However, zooming in eventually requires you to speed up your shutter frequency, necessitating higher ISO. This lowers the overall detail of the images you capture and leads to more image noise overall. This isn’t helped by the small 1/2.3-inch sensor, which does its best to collect light up to an ISO range of about 6,400 at max. Low-light images aren’t the best due to these factors, unfortunately.
The 4K UHD video can be captured at 30 FPS and at 3840×2160. Colors are bright and contrasted naturally with each other and details are crisp and clear even at the edges of the screen or lens. An external microphone jack is included, so this camera is a great choice for shooting home videos or taking scenic footage of your surroundings when on a nature retreat. There’s also an HDMI out port to let you record the footage straight to an external recording device. You can choose between three high speed or slow-motion options, each with pre-set quality adjustments.
Due to the image quality and long lens, plus the internal power required to gather those kinds of shots effectively, this camera’s battery usually provides just enough juice for about 250 shots. This amount can go up or down depending on which features you use to their full potential, of course.
Overall, the P1000 is a better camera if you have experience taking long focal range images already. As it stands, most images will need a bit of post-processing work in order to reach their maximum potential and most casual photographers won’t be able to zoom in to the higher focal range settings without messing up their own shots. Still, the video quality is great and the ability to photograph far away and close-up objects or scenery alike are enough to improve its value as a whole. It’s particularly nice for capturing distant subjects, such as those focused on by wildlife or nature enthusiasts. Combine this with a good tripod and you’ll get more bang for your buck.
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