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Nikon Announces Coolpix P7000 - High End Compact Camera
By Matt J. Weiss, September 8, 2010 @ 01:05 AM (EST)
For whatever reason the Coolpix series has not been able to produce a popular high end compact camera that can compete with Canon's G series and Panasonic's LX series.  With Panasonic and Canon recently upgrading high end models with the LX5 and S95, Nikon must've felt left out and decided to come to the party with the P7000.

The P7000 is Nikon's latest attempt at getting a piece of the  tasty (although not as delicious as it used to be, given the fact that sub $1000 SLRs are becoming more popular, luxury compact pie, after pretty much failing with the P5100 and P6000. It's not that the previous models didn't offer the same amount of advanced features and solid build, its just that the images quality lacked compared to the S90s, G11s and LX3s of the world.

It appears that P7000 has looked at why Canon's G series has been successful and taken a few pointers from them.  From the press shots, the P7000 even looks a whole lot like the G11. In fact, just as with the G11 and G10, the upgraded model has taken a decrease in megapixels, from 13.5mp to 10mp in order to provide better low light quality imaging.

Other than its 10mp CCD sensor, the P7000 boasts a bright F2.8-4.6 aperture range, a 28mm to 200mm equivalent zoom range, a  3" high resolution LCD screen, and 720p HD video shooting - absent in the G11.

Some other key upgrades that aren't found on the Canon G11 are twin control dials, and two (as opposed to 1) customizable buttons.
The Nikon P7000 seems poised to make a big splash in the luxury, high end, compact market.  It seems only fitting that this camera should get a housing, Look for Ikelite to release a housing and perhaps even a few other manufacturers as well.  The camera itself is set to be released in late September for a nickel under $500.00

You  know the drill - full specs in the Equipment Section and Press Release below.
Press Release
With advanced functions and features similar to those found in Nikon’s line of award winning and critically acclaimed D-SLRs, Nikon Inc. today introduced the COOLPIX P7000, the ultimate compact camera that’s ready to take on most any photo assignment. At home in a pro’s gadget bag or in the hands of a spirited enthusiast, passionate photographers of all levels will benefit from the P7000’s high performance, extensive manual controls, stunning image quality and advanced shooting functions.

The 10.1-megapixel COOLPIX P7000 features a large 1/1.7” CCD sensor coupled with a 7.1x Wide Angle Optical Zoom-NIKKOR ED Glass Lens for consistent superior image quality that explodes with vivid color and sharpness frame after frame. Taking Nikon’s commitment to image quality a step further, the P7000 adopts Nikon’s new EXPEED C2™ high performance digital image processing engine to ensure high-quality pictures with stunning color and sharpness.

“The COOLPIX P7000 represents the best of both worlds. It is an exciting compact camera offering from Nikon, as it not only provides expanded creative control found in digital SLR cameras, but also provides photo enthusiasts with the portability and simplicity of COOLPIX digital cameras,” said Bo Kajiwara, director of marketing, Nikon Inc. “The P7000 is the perfect complement to an advanced photographer’s D-SLR, and it inspires the entry-level consumer to explore the boundaries of their photographic capabilities and fulfill their creative vision.”

ISO sensitivity ranges from ISO 100 to 6400 (expandable to ISO 12,800 in low noise Night Mode) to ensure incredibly sharp, crisp images when shooting in low-light or photographing fast-moving subjects. The P7000 also offers a variety of functions that enable superior rendering when shooting at high sensitivities, including a Low Noise Night Mode and a Noise Reduction Filter. The camera also features 5-Way VR Image Stabilization System, which utilizes a variety of tactics including optical lens shift to minimize the effect of camera shake to help banish the blur while shooting handheld or in low-light.

Thoughtful engineering has led to the addition of features that will be welcome to current D-SLR users. The Zoom Memory function allows the camera’s 28-200mm (35mm equivalent) lens to be used in a way that simulates use of a prime lens, ideal for shooting at a preferred angle of view. The P7000 also adds controls and buttons for key features like ISO, white balance, bracketing and exposure compensation. The new innovative and independent Quick Menu dial ensures easy access to key functions with the comfort of analog operation. Advanced users will also enjoy the benefits of shooting RAW/NRW* files for creative freedom, and macro abilities as close as 0.8 inches.

While the image quality of the P7000 is nothing short of stellar, the video capabilities are far beyond that of a typical compact. The P7000 records HD video at 720p at 24 frames-per-second (fps) with optical zoom and autofocus control. A COOLPIX first, users can now record audio with an external stereo microphone via the microphone input. An accessory microphone or Nikon Speedlight can be mounted on the P7000’s hot shoe.

Additional features of the Nikon COOLPIX P7000 digital camera include:

    * 7.1x Wide-Angle Optical Zoom-NIKKOR ED glass lens (28-200mm f/2.8-5.6) allows for detailed close-ups and dramatic landscapes.
    * 3.0-inch 921,000-dot Clear Color Display with wide viewing angle makes it easy to compose, view and share still images and movies that come alive with rich detail and improved contrast.
    * Large optical viewfinder with diopter adjustment dial
    * Tone Level Information helps photographers achieve their desired exposure with a histogram display, allowing them to determine the exposure while checking the balance between highlights and shadows.
    * Electronic Virtual Horizon Indicator gives the user visual confirmation that the camera has a level horizon.
    * In-camera editing functions include exposure compensation, COOLPIX Picture Control, noise reduction filter, Quick Retouch, D-Lighting and Active D-Lighting.
    * 5-Way Vibration Reduction (VR) Image Stabilization System
          o Optical VR Image Stabilization by lens shift minimizes the effects of camera shake.
          o Hybrid VR Image Stabilization by lens shift and electronic VR.
          o Motion Detection automatically detects moving subjects and adjusts shutter speed and the ISO setting to compensate for camera shake and subject movement.
          o High ISO up to 6400 at full resolution for optimal results when shooting in low-light or photographing fast-moving subjects.
          o Best Shot Selector (BSS) automatically takes up to 10 shots while the user presses the shutter and saves the sharpest image.
    * Full Manual Controls-PSAM (Program, Shutter, Aperture, Manual) control gives creative control over images.
    * NRW (RAW) file function compatible with Mac® and Windows® Operating Systems.
    * Bracketing functions for Automatic Exposure (Sv and Tv) and White Balance allows the user to take consecutive shots with slightly different settings and select the one that best matches their intention.
    * HD (720p) Movie with Stereo, Mic Input Jack and HDMI Output records at 24 fps with optical zoom, autofocus and stereo sound.
    * Subject Tracking automatically activates autofocus while tracking moving subjects, like active children or unpredictable animals.
    * Scene Auto Selector automatically recognizes the shooting situation and adjusts the camera’s settings accordingly for great pictures anywhere.
    * Smart Portrait System integrates the following features to make it a snap to capture stunning portraits:
          o In-Camera Red-Eye Fix™ automatically fixes most instances of red-eye.
          o Enhanced Face-Priority AF can detect up to 12 faces from a variety of angles.
          o Skin Softening ensures smooth skin tone on the face of subjects by leveraging built-in face-detection technology.
          o Smile Timer automatically detects when a subject smiles and releases the shutter.
          o Blink Warning alerts the photographer if a subject has blinked.

The Nikon COOLPIX P7000 will be available in late September 2010 for $499.95 MSRP**.




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