Expert Review of Nikon Coolpix P7700 Point & Shoot Black
It is a fact probably known to all that Nikon Coolpix P7100 is one of the finest and most successful camera in Nikon CoolPix series, and now replacing this device while maintaining much of the ergonomics, although introducing alongside with it a new 12 Megapixel CMOS sensor with many new added features, new Nikon CoolPix P7700 is a high end Point and Shoot aimed for enthusiasts. The sensor of this device, not only provides with larger images, but also brings forth many additional new features such as 1080p30 best quality video mode and faster continuous shooting @8 fps. The lens although retains 28-200m equivalent range, but now is brighter with a f2-4 maximum aperture. Talking about size, definitely the size of Nikon P7700 is a little smaller compared to its predecessors, probably due to the absence of a dedicated optical viewfinder. The earlier tilting screen of specifications 3 inch and color resolution 921k dot pixels have been replaced by a screen of same specs but the new screen is hinged at the sides and can face forwards. It is clear than Nikon CoolPix P7100’s optical viewfinder is small and only provided an 80 percent view, but not offering any assistance is a ball game that not everyone would like to play.
Design and Build Quality
Nikon Coolpix P7700 is not exactly a pocket compact, as with the dimensions of 119mm x 73mm x 50mm and a curb weight of 392 gms it is not really readily fitting in the pocket, though it is immensely easy to handle and work with. But still if you want to pocket it, I suggest you rather wear a coat. It's appreciably larger than the 107mm x 75mm x 40mm Canon PowerShot G15, and and a little heavier, but these are both big chunky models that place more of a priority on features and performance than compactness. The absence of the optical viewfinder is probably the most significant feature that distinguishes Nikon Coolpix P7700 from its predecessor as well as from the Canon PowerShot G15. With no viewfinder to accommodate, the top panel is flat, but the control layout is very similar to Nikon Coolpix P7100's with the quick menu dial on the right directly behind the tiny pop-up flash providing a shortcut to settings for quality, ISO, white balance, bracketing, My menu presets and Picture Control.
Focus and Face Detection
Nikon Coolpix P7700 has no fewer than seven AF area modes - Face priority, Auto, Manual, Centre (normal) Centre (wide) Subject tracking and Target finding AF. Nikon Coolpix P7700's face detection works reasonably well when people are within a few metres of the camera in good light. But it quickly loses faces when they turn to profile and seemed to have quite a lot of trouble recognising spectacle wearers. If there are no faces in the frame it defaults to the nine-area AF system which it uses to focus on the subject closest to the camera. Alternatively you can manually select the focus area from one of 99 positions using the multi-selector to move the frame around a 9x11 grid.
Lens and Image Stabilization
Nikon Coolpix P7700 is fitted with a 7.1x 6-42.8mm f2-4 zoom lens which gives it a 35mm equivalent range of 28-200mm. That's the same range as the earlier Nikon Coolpix P7100 but the maximum aperture is a stop brighter across the range. A bright lens isn't something any manufacturer of an advanced compact can any longer be complacent about. Good low-light performance is a key feature enthusiasts look for and there's no shortage of models that now offer it including the Panasonic Lumix LX7 (f1.4-2.3), the Sony RX100 (f1.8-4.9), the Olympus XZ-2 iHS (f1.8-2.5) and of course Canon's G15 (f18-2.8).
Screen and Menus
Canon had made the decision to drop the articulated screen on Canon Powershot G15 but retain the optical viewfinder, Nikon’s move is although more interesting, not necessarily the smartest thinking, but definitely interesting. , Nikon has dropped the earlier P7100's optical viewfinder, but extended the screen's flexibility by replacing the single hinge flip-up arrangement with a side-hinged one that allows you to position the screen facing forwards for self-shooting. This arrangement means that the screen can be folded inwards for protection when you're not using the camera. When it's in this position the camera can't be turned on preventing accidental operation when in a bag or pocket. Other than the change in articulation , the screen is the same 3 inch 920k dot screen as on Nikon P7100. It has 4:3 proportions which means the image fills the frame when you're shooting at the best 12 Megapixel stills resolution with information overlayed. Pressing the display button toggles a single info overlay screen on or off. Additionally you can elect to add a single-axis electronic level, live histogram and grid individually to either the on or 'off' displays.
Nikon Coolpix P7700 is powered to full limit by the same EN-EL14 battery as its predecessor with a slightly reduced 330 shots available on a full charge. Remaining battery life is shown on screen at all times with a three-segment graphic. Nikon Coolpix P7700 has 86MB of internal memory - enough for a handful of full resolution shots or a 25-second full HD movie clip should you forget to insert an SD card and is compatible with SD, SDHC and SDXC cards.
The new and efficient 12 Megapixel CMOS sensor provides the Coolpix P7700 with 1080p Full HD video at the rate of 30 frames per second, which is a definite increment from the 720p best quality mode of its predecessor that keeps it in step with the PowerShot G series. There are two quality options at this setting that encode at average bit rates of 18.8Mbps and 12.6Mbps. Movies are encoded using the efficient H.264 codec and are saved in a QuickTime wrapper with a .MOV file extension in the same folder as stills.
Nikon Coolpix P7700 has a 1/1.7in CMOS sensor which has a resolution of 12 Megapixels. Interestingly Nikon has made exactly the same move with Nikon P7700 as Canon did with the PowerShot G15, replacing the 10 Megapixel CCD sensor in the earlier P7100 with a CMOS sensor of increased resolution, but the same physical size.
Bright f2 - f4 28-200mm zoom.
1080p30 video, plus slow and fast modes.
Wide range of physical controls.
High degree of customisation.
Versatile auto bracketing.
Excellent image quality.
Poor continuous shooting performance.
Slow buffer write times.
Poor menu design.
No built-in Wifi or GPS.