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Faster performance, new sensor, and f/2 lens
The Nikon Coolpix P7700, which is available for pre-order now at Adorama, today takes its place at the top of Nikon’s revamped line-up of compact cameras with an impressive spec list and several significant improvements over its predecessor, the recently discontinued Nikon Coolpix P7100, which our Adorama Learning Center review declared was Nikon's best compact digital camera to date. But that was before Nikon unveiled the Nikon 1 J1 and Nikon 1 V1 cameras, which raised the bar on autofocus speed and lag time. The Nikon Coolpix P7700 is built around a new high-performance 12MP, 1/1.7-inch backside illuminated CMOS sensor, and Nikon boasts high-speed image processing, up to 8fps shooting for up to 6 consecutive shots, and “lightning-fast autofocus recognition.” Could Nikon have have borrowed technology from the Nikon 1 for the P7700?
While the camera retains its SLR-like controls from previous models, there are several important changes. The Nikon Coolpix P7700’s magnesium-alloy body (which is a tad smaller than its predecessors) is fronted by a glass 7.1x zoom lens that covers 28-200mm (35mm equivalent), the same focal range as its predecessor, but with a faster f/2.0-4 wide aperture range. Lens-Shift Vibration Reduction is said to minimize camera shake. In Macro Close-Up mode, the lens focuses to within an inch.
The Coolpix's design is more rounded—similar to that of the Nikon 1 series cameras—but that resemblance may also be reflected inside, thanks to the faster performance claims. We hope to get our hands on a production model soon so we can field-test this camera for a future Adorama Learning Center product review.
As we’ve come to expect from a P-series Coolpix, the Nikon Coolpix P7700 offers full manual exposure control as well as shutter- and aperture priority and program modes. The camera also has 19 Scene Modes and a Scene Auto mode that automatically selects the most appropriate mode based on the shooting situation. In-camera special effects include Nostalgic Sepia, Vivid, and Painting. A noise reduction filter is available for low-light/higher ISO shooting. Another low-light option is consecutive shot combining, which combines a sequence of images to reduce noise, or HDR to increase dynamic range. The ISO range is 80-1600, boostable to 6400.
Video resolution has been bumped up from 720p to full 1080p HD, and video exposure can be controlled using auto, manual, aperture-priority or custom movie mode. Autofocus is active while shooting videos, and the P7700 offers both a built-in stereo microphone and an external microphone jack and an HDMI mini connector and HDMI-CEC support.
The Nikon Coolpix P7700 offers a 3-inch flip-out 921k dot resolution LCD monitor that rotates vertically and horizontally for overhead, waist-level or side-level viewing. The P7700 is the first P-series Nikon to lack an optical viewfinder. This change allowed Nikon to design the camera to a bit shorter than its predecessors.
The Nikon Coolpix P7700 is a true system compact, compatible with the Nikon Creative Lighting System, in addition to a built-in pop-up flash. The P7700 supports wireless lighting by controlling Nikon Speedlights (the Nikon SB-910 and Nikon SB-700) wirelessly via a master unit and remote unit group. The hot shoe can also accommodate the Nikon GP-1 GPS unit or Nikon ME-1 external stereo mic.
The Nikon Coolpix P7700 will be available in September from Adorama for $499.95.