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Nikon P7800, S02, LD-100 LED Movie Light: First Look

Nikon P7800, S02, LD-100 LED Movie Light: First Look

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Two popular compact digital cameras get significant upgrades...and a light!

September 8, 2013

Nikon has just upgraded its flagship compact camera, adding an EVF; its smallest compact gets a facelift; and meet Nikon's first LED movie light for compact digital cameras.

Nikon has just announced three new products which represent (in two cases) significant upgrades of existing cameras and (in the third case) an accessory that will bring new light to compact camera videos—literally. First, let's look at the cameras.

Note: Adorama is now accepting pre-orders for the Nikon Coolpix P7800, Nikon Coolpix S02, and the Nikon LD-1000 LED light. Orders will be shipped on a first-come, first-served basis. Credit card will not be charged until order ships.

Nikon Coolpix P7800

When Nikon introduced the P7700 last year, one thing notably missing was the optical viewfinder that had set Nikon's Advanced Performance camera line apart from all but a handful of compact digital cameras. With the Nikon Coolpix P7800, Nikon has replaced the optical viewfinder with a digital one. An eye-level viewfinder on a camera this advanced is not just a welcome addition. For the advanced photographers who are its target audience, it's a necessary one.

Unlike the dinky little squintfinders that covered approximately 70% of the lens's angle of view that could be found on earlier cameras (and on at least one competing company's high-end compact), the P7800's 921k resolution finder covers 100% and unlike the optical finder, it does this while still allowing room for a 3-inch, fully articulated LCD monitor.

Other than the new viewfinder (Nikon had to sacrifice the Quick Control dial to make room for it), the P7800 is pretty much the same camera, with the same sensor, processor and lens, as its immediate predecessor, the P7700.

Nikon P7800 features carried over from the P7700 include:

  • 12 megapixel, 1/1.7-inch backside-illuminated CMOS sensor
  • Claimed faster autofocus
  • 7.1x optical f/2-4 zoom lens covers 28-200mm (35mm equivalent)
  • Full manual exposure control as well as aperture- and shutter-priority and program modes
  • 19 scene modes
  • 1080- HD video
  • HDMI Mini Connector
  • External microphone jack
  • Hot shoe; compatible with Nikon Speedlight system
  • Pop-up flash

As with its predecessor, the Nikon Coolpix P7800 captures RAW as well as JPEG image files, and has a familiar analog-camera feel and design. An optional WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter lets users use Wi-Fi and share via a free app.

The Nikon Coolpix P7800 will be available from Adorama this month for $549.95; Adorama is accepting pre-orders on a first-come, first-served basis.

Nikon Coolpix S02

Remember the Coolpix S01, which was introduced last year? Marketed as a tiny alternative to a smart phone camera, the S01 is about the size of a medium-sized bar of soap. The second generation Nikon Coolpix S02 has a higher-resolution sensor—a 13.2MP CMOS instead of a 10MP CCD—as well as a slightly larger 2.7-inch touchscreen LCD monitor. Not that the specs matter much to the intended end users, which consist mainly of fashion-conscious snapshooters. But while they'll enjoy its simple operation, diminutive dimensions and four color options (blue, pink, silver, and white) it is very likely they'll be more satisfied with the image quality.

Video, too, has been bumped up, from 720p to full HD 1080p. User-friendly features carried over from the original include the 3x optical zoom lens, Scene Auto Selector (which automatically chooses the most appropriate shooting settings for any scene), hand-held scene mode for better lowlight shots, as well as creative modes such as Mirror, Sepia, High Contrast Monochrome, High Key and Low Key.

The Nikon Coolpix S02 will be available from Adorama later this month for a relatively affordable $179.95. Adorama will soon be accepting pre-orders on a first-come, first-served basis.

While it is designed specifically for the Nikon 1 and Coolpix line of cameras, I don't see why users of other compact cameras couldn't use the Nikon LD-1000 (shown above with a Nikon Coolpix P7899) as a compact, low-cost light source when shooting video with their compact digital cameras. Consisting of an LED light on a bracket that attaches to the camera via the bottom tripod socket, it is a continuous light source with a built-in diffusion panel.

The movie light can be separated from the bracket so you can adjust its height and direction of the light. In addition to being a continuous light source for video, you may also use the light for still photography as long as your subject is close.

The Nikon LD-1000 will be available in either black or white from Adorama in October for $99.95. Adorama will soon be accepting pre-orders on a first-come, first-served basis.


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