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BY JON LAWTON
For Nikon, the P-Series designation is reserved for their highest-quality and most technically-advanced compact digital cameras. The Nikon P7000 is the flagship model of the Coolpix camera lineup and was specifically designed to satisfy the needs of serious amateurs and professionals alike. By combining features of an SLR with the form of a point-andshoot, Nikon created quite an impressive pocket camera.
The Nikon P7000 replaces the 1 1/2-yearold P6000. Typically, new models are released with subtle upgrades and minor improvements over their predecessors. However, the P7000 breaks that trend, as almost the entire camera was redesigned. The overall shape of the camera changed and it is now made of metal, while the key control switches are now located in areas where your hands naturally grip the body. The camera still features a large format 1/1.7-inch CCD sensor. However, in order to increase low-light sensitivity, the resolution was reduced to a reasonable 10.1 megapixels. A noteworthy improvement was made to the camera’s lens. The P7000 now sports an image-stabilized 7.1-times optical zoom (28-300mm 35mm equivalent) This versatile lens distinguishes the P7000 with the longest zoom lens in its class. On the back of the camera, the 921,000 dot LCD screen grew to three inches, allowing easy image composition and playback. Fortunately, Nikon also included an adjustable optical viewfinder that is helpful when shooting outdoors.
One attribute that sets the P7000 apart from nearly every other compact camera is the ability to shoot in full manual mode. Being able to select the aperture and shutter speed combination you want allows for more creative control. In addition to the standard JPEG image file, the P7000 also supports the uncompressed RAW image format. ISO settings can also be selected manually and range from 100 to 6400. Other notable upgrades include 720p HD video mode with stereo sound as well as a built-in virtual horizon that helps ensure your photos are level.
Operating the P7000 is very straightforward. You can quickly adjust important settings like ISO, white balance, picture quality, exposure compensation and the shooting mode with the thumb-operated wheels on the top of the camera. With its compact size and impressive feature-set, the P7000 has definitely earned its place at the top of Nikon’s Coolpix lineup. If you are interested in a travel friendly compact camera but still crave the creative control of SLR, the P7000 is a great alternative. The P7000 kit includes: one rechargeable lithium-ion battery, charger, USB and AV cables, neck strap, and the Nikon software suite CD-ROM. The P7000 currently sells for $449.95.♦
— Jon Lawton is a sales associate at Hunt’s Photo and Video in Melrose, Mass. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-221-1830.