The Nikon Coolpix P1000 ($999.95) is past an audacious thought for a digicam. It marries a small 16MP picture sensor—about the identical dimensions as what you discover in a top-end smartphone—to an absurdly huge, lengthy 125x zoom lens. The result’s a little bit of a Frankenstein machine, with a physique as huge as an SLR, and a big, completely connected lens. It is not the correct digicam for each photographer or state of affairs, and it requires a great deal of ability to make use of successfully at most zoom. Nevertheless it does achieve filling a distinct segment, and can discover a place within the coronary heart and bag of some photographers, particularly to be used in capturing pictures of distant wildlife.
That stated, for many photographers we suggest the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS as our Editors’ Selection for cameras that exceed a 50x zoom ratio. It prices about half as a lot because the P1000, appears to be about half the scale, and is a greater all-arounder. However in the event you chortle at a zoom with a “mere” 1,365mm attain, the three,000mm zoom of the P1000 might lure you in with its siren music. Simply remember that it requires effort and ability to get sturdy outcomes on the excessive finish of its zoom lens.
Large Lens, Large Digicam
The P1000 is the most important bridge-style digicam we have ever seen. Its physique is in regards to the measurement of a small SLR—it resembles the D5600—with a protruding mounted lens, bigger than any SLR starter zoom. The P1000 measures Four.7 by 5.Eight by 7.2 inches (HWD), weighs Three.1 kilos, and helps 77mm entrance lens filters. The handgrip is fairly deep, however I nonetheless discovered the massive lens to make the digicam a bit bit entrance heavy, and the tripod socket is on the physique, which does not make for the perfect steadiness when mounted on a tripod.
The superlative zoom vary is the explanation for the majority. The lens is a Four.Three-539mm f/2.Eight-Eight, equal to a 24-Three,000mm in full-frame phrases. It may well snap pictures of wide-angle landscapes, and zoom in to carry distant topics into clear view. You may get an thought of what that will get you by looking on the picture above, shot at 24mm, and the one under, at Three,000mm. The little white dots within the large shot are egrets, and you’ll see how tightly the zoom captures one of many birds, because it begins to take flight, within the uncropped shot under.
There’s truly a very good macro functionality too. On the large angle, the lens can give attention to topics simply zero.Four-inch (1 centimeter) from the entrance of the lens. A Three,000mm focus is on the market to 23 toes (7 meters), so that you’re higher off getting up shut and private on your macro pictures.
The P1000 would not have intensive climate safety. Nikon would not promote mud or splash safety, and whereas I would not hesitate to make use of it in gentle precipitation, you need to undoubtedly take care to cowl it when working in any climate through which you’d seize an umbrella to maintain your self dry. If all-weather use is extra vital than zoom attain, have a look at the Sony RX10 III or RX10 IV, each of which sport a 24-600mm f/2.Four-Four zoom, a bigger picture sensor, and climate safety.
The massive physique leaves loads of room for bodily controls. The left aspect of the lens barrel holds a zoom management rocker together with a framing help button—it briefly widens the sector of view of the lens, in contrast together with your set place, and reveals an on-screen field overlay to point the precise zoom setting. This allows you to discover your goal, body it, and launch the button to return the lens to the earlier zoom place. When zoomed in, it’s typically tough to seek out or observe your topic as a result of extraordinarily slender angle of view.
In follow, the zoom-out help works properly. No, this isn’t an excellent digicam for monitoring fast-moving targets—I will discuss its burst price and autofocus system in a bit—however I used to be in a position to get a couple of motion pictures in testing. The P1000 would by no means be my first alternative for monitoring quick motion, nonetheless. You are higher off with an SLR just like the D500, a 150-600mm zoom lens, and willingness to crop pictures as wanted.
The lens additionally features a programmable management ring. When the digicam is about to guide focus it is your focus management, within the anticipated place towards the entrance of the outer barrel. However in the event you’re utilizing the digicam in autofocus you’ll be able to set it to carry out one other operate. It really works properly—you’ll be able to flip it shortly to dial in an enormous adjustment, or extra slowly for minute adjustments. I by no means turned it by accident whereas making pictures, and had no downside dialing in third-stop EV compensation changes. Except for EV, you’ll be able to set the ring to regulate ISO or White Steadiness.
There is a scorching shoe (for an exterior flash) and a pop-up flash, each centered behind the lens, on the highest plate. The pop-up flash is huge, and rises a few inches above the physique when opened to be used. Even so, you may have to take away the lens hood when utilizing the pop-up for pictures on the widest angle, as it’ll solid a shadow on pictures in any other case.
To the correct of the Mode dial, on the correct aspect of the highest, are a further management dial, the On/Off button, the Fn button, the zoom management, and the shutter launch. In additon to the usual Auto, Progam, Aperture, Shutter, and Guide publicity modes, the P1000 features a Scene recognition setting, a Moon mode, a Hen mode, and various Instagram-style filter results, starting from desaturated bleach bypass to a high-contrast black-and-white look Nikon has dubbed Noir.
The Moon and Hen settings aren’t a lot to speak about. The previous zooms the lens to the 1,000mm place and units focus to infinity. I had no issues capturing a handheld shot of a crescent moon with the P1000 with out utilizing the particular mode, and did it on the most Three,000mm setting. Element is not as sturdy as moon pictures I’ve taken with lengthy lenses and massive sensor cameras, nevertheless it’s neat that you simply’re in a position to do it with a lens that may additionally cowl wide-angle vistas.
I discovered the Hen setting to be much less helpful—it adjustments the main target level to a small, central space, so you’ll be able to focus and recompose, and makes use of the OK button to set the lens to the 500mm place. You may nonetheless regulate the zoom in or out, however you may at all times see a digital body, matching the 500mm angle of view, when capturing wider pictures. It is simply there to let you realize what the body can be like in the event you hit the OK button to punch into 500mm. I used to be fairly blissful photographing wildlife with out the framing help, however it’s possible you’ll discover it extra helpful in follow.
As an alternative choice to framing help, you’ll be able to add an adjunct to the recent shoe, the Nikon DF-M1 Dot Sight ($174.95). The add-on slips into the shoe, and pops as much as reveal a small clear viewscreen and a centered laser pointer. As soon as calibrated (the DF-M1 can be utilized with different cameras too), it reveals you the middle level of your lens. You will not get framing help, so it is good for distant topics that will not fill the body, even when zoomed all the way in which in, or for monitoring shifting topics whereas the lens is just too tightly zoomed to comply with them through the EVF. I discovered the Dot Sight to be simpler for static topics, although, because the P1000’s autofocus struggles a bit when zoomed all the way in which in.
As a result of the physique is as an enormous as an SLR, Nikon has room to incorporate a very good variety of bodily controls. There is a button to change the between the rear LCD, EVF, and eye sensor (for computerized switching), together with an AE-L/AF-L button and AF/MF toggle change proper on the prime. Under you may discover the Report button for films, together with Delete, Menu, Play, and Show buttons.
Lastly, there is a flat command dial on the rear. Turning it adjusts the f-stop (assuming you are capturing in a mode that helps aperture management). It has the OK button at its middle, and will also be pressed in a cardinal course for Flash, EV, Macro, and Self-Timer management. I are inclined to shoot in Aperture Precedence, and did discover one challenge with the flat dial—if I by accident nudged it whereas zoomed in, the lens would not open again as much as its widest setting when zooming out. I nudged it a couple of occasions in subject testing and ended up capturing some large pictures at f/Eight, a setting that actually places a damper on the P1000’s picture high quality. (Extra on that later.)
You might have your possibility of framing pictures utilizing an eye-level digital viewfinder or the rear LCD. The latter is a Three.2-inch panel, mounted on a vari-angle hinge so it will probably swing to the aspect of the physique and face ahead, up, or down. It’s sharp, 921ok dots, and shiny sufficient to make use of outside, however would not assist contact enter, an odd omission for a contemporary, premium digicam.
The EVF is about zero.39-inch (1cm) diagonal with 2,359ok dots and OLED tech. It is an excellent EVF, on par with what you may discover in nicer mirrorless cameras. It is sharp, and it refreshes shortly sufficient to point out easy movement and to trace shifting topics successfully. Merely put, I’ve acquired nothing dangerous to say about it.
Connectivity choices embody Wi-Fi and Bluetooth—Nikon calls its Wi-Fi system SnapBridge. The P1000 can ship pictures to your smartphone robotically or on demand through Bluetooth, and it may be remotely managed through your telephone through Wi-Fi with a dwell feed to your telephone’s display screen. Nikon additionally gives a wi-fi Bluetooth distant for distant picture seize.
The battery is rated for 250 pictures, or about 80 minutes of video seize by CIPA requirements. That is on the low aspect, so it’s possible you’ll wish to think about choosing up a spare. The P1000 helps in-camera charging, however I used to be unable to get it working with any third-party AC adapters. I attempted a couple of, together with the plug that got here with my iPhone, however solely the Nikon adapter labored for me. One of many advantages of USB charging is the power to plug the digicam into the entire identical locations you’d use to cost your different electronics, so this can be a little bit of a downer.
There is a single reminiscence card slot, with assist for UHS-I speeds and SD, SDHC, and SDXC card codecs. Interface connections embody micro HDMI, micro USB, and a Three.5mm microphone enter.
You’d count on the massive lens, which wants to increase earlier than making a picture, would decelerate the power-on course of. However the P1000 manages to go from off to on, focus, and seize a picture in 1.Eight seconds. No, it is not the moment energy you get from an SLR, nevertheless it’s a very good mark for a bridge digicam.
Autofocus pace may be very fast when capturing at a large angle, locking onto targets in lower than zero.1-second. Nevertheless it does decelerate when zoomed all the way in which in. At Three,000mm the lens requires zero.Three-second to give attention to common.
For probably the most half, the P1000 is a really responsive digicam. Besides when it is not. And that is what you need to take care of in the event you choose to make use of its burst capturing mode. It rattles off a burst of seven pictures in a second, however stops and turns into fully unresponsive because it writes these pictures to a reminiscence card. No matter whether or not you’re capturing in Uncooked, Uncooked+JPG, or JPG format, you need to wait about 10 seconds for the burst to decide to reminiscence.
There are a number of autofocus choices obtainable. You may shoot in AF-S, which locks focus as soon as it is acquired, or AF-F, which acts like AF-C and continues to regulate focus so long as you maintain the shutter button down midway. The default focus space covers the complete body, with Face Detection. Different choices embody a guide versatile spot in three sizes, each of that are moved round utilizing the rear four-way controller.
You additionally get Topic Monitoring, which requires you to press the OK button to determine your topic and provoke the monitoring. It had no downside holding observe of small birds scurrying over mudflats or flying by means of the air, however can get confused in case your topic leaves the body. Urgent OK once more disables the monitoring, so you’ll be able to as soon as once more place the digital field round your topic and reinitiate monitoring. Lastly, you’ve entry to Goal Discovering AF, which is one other large, computerized focus setting. I did not discover any actual distinction between it and the Face Detection mode.
In follow, the P1000 is a completely superb performer in terms of photographing topics that aren’t shifting round at a quick tempo. Wildlife photographers making an attempt to snap pictures of songbirds on tree branches or a lion having fun with a relaxation on African safari will not face issues, however I struggled to trace cormorants gliding above the floor of the water, and getting a very good shot of a tern diving for meals is an excessive amount of for the P1000’s autofocus system to deal with. The shorter zoom, however bigger sensor Sony RX10 IV is a a lot better alternative for capturing motion with a bridge digicam—it has section detection autofocus and fires as shortly as 24fps.
A Boon and a Detriment, All at As soon as
The P1000’s lens is its marquee, headline-grabbing characteristic. It makes the digicam totally different from some other point-and-shoot up to now, even the Nikon P900 and its 83x zoom. Nevertheless it introduces an issue. At wider apertures it is rather sharp. Nevertheless it would not preserve large apertures by means of the vary. Fairly merely put, when the f-stop narrows past f/5.6, picture high quality drops shortly. However you’ll be able to nonetheless shoot so far as 1,500mm at f/5.6. The f-stop drops to f/6.Three at 1,600mm, to f/7.1 at 2,200mm, and to f/Eight at 2,800mm.
See How We Check Digital Cameras
Diffraction performs an element right here. The impact, which is attributable to gentle scattering because it passes by means of a slender aperture, softens edges and provides a glow to pictures, successfully decreasing decision. Pixel density has an element to play as to when diffraction turns into an actual challenge. The P1000 packs 16MP right into a tiny half of.Three-inch picture sensor, and our Imatest assessments verify the anticipated conduct—picture high quality drops considerably at f-stops narrower than f/5.6.
At its widest angle—24mm in full-frame phrases—it manages a superb 2,542 strains on common. Imatest makes use of a center-weighted analysis, and like many compact cameras, the P1000 does lose decision towards the sides of the body. They drop to 1,595 strains, which is just a bit comfortable on a 16MP sensor. Stopping down does extra to hurt picture high quality than to assist it—the lens resolves 2,357 strains at f/Four, 1,845 strains at f/5.6, and 1,230 strains at f/Eight. We wish to see at the very least 1,800 strains from a digicam like this.
On the 50mm place, the utmost aperture has dropped to f/Three.2, however delivers sharper outcomes than at 24mm. It scores 2,743 strains when shot large open, with a lot better decision on the edges than on the widest angle setting (2,272 strains). Once more, decision drops as you cease down—2,522 strains at f/Four, 1,949 strains at f/5.6, and 1,336 strains at f/Eight.
At 135mm we see 2,456 strains at f/Four, which is the brightest the lens will get at this focal size. Edge high quality is sweet, however not excellent at 1,895 strains. You may nonetheless get good pictures at f/5.6 (2,036 strains), however keep away from f/Eight (1,413 strains). Outcomes are comparable at 275mm—2,599 strains at f/Four.5, 2,138 strains at f/5.6, and 1,494 strains at f/Eight. Edges do tick up on the 275mm place, notching a powerful 2,441 strains at f/Four.5. They’re virtually pretty much as good as the typical when shot large open by means of the remainder of our examined vary.
Subsequent up is a check at 434mm. The lens has narrowed to f/5 right here, and resolves a powerful 2,573 strains. Stopping down only a bit to f/5.6 cuts decision to 2,311 strains, and there is a bigger drop to 1,640 strains at f/Eight. Outcomes are nearly the identical at 570mm, the place the utmost aperture stays f/5.
At 753mm the lens opens as much as simply f/5.6, although we nonetheless see a powerful 2,319-line rating, however drops to 1,820 strains at f/Eight. Outcomes are comparable at 865mm and 1,105mm. Zooming additional, to 1,300mm, nets barely softer outcomes at f/5.6 (2,150 strains) and a poor exhibiting at f/Eight (1,128 strains).
The 1,600mm place is the longest setting at which we’re in a position to carry out lab assessments. Decision drops once you zoom this far. At f/6.Three, the widest the lens opens to at this setting, we see a just-okay 1,798 strains, with edges that lag behind the middle (1,445 strains). At f/Eight we see 1,338 strains.
Discipline testing would not web numerical information, however the outcomes at excessive focal lengths verify what lab assessments at wider settings present: The P1000 would not web nice outcomes when shot on the smallest f-stops. The lens maintains f/6.Three by means of about 2,200mm, the place it turns into an f/7.1 lens. The drop to f/Eight is towards the sting of the zoom vary, at 2,800mm. The quantity of soppy, diffuse glow we see in pictures will increase as you strategy the lengthy finish of the zoom vary, with a typical instance of three,000mm picture high quality proven above.
It is not simply decision that is affected by the small f-stop. When you’re capturing in something however shiny gentle, the P1000 goes to maneuver to the next ISO setting to remove movement blur. Imatest additionally checks pictures for noise. In-camera noise discount retains JPGs comparatively grain-free by means of the highest ISO 6400 setting, however there’s extra to picture high quality at excessive ISO settings than noise alone. Readability begins to drop as quickly as you progress previous the bottom ISO 100 setting, however stays fairly good by means of about ISO 400. At ISO 800 we see superb strains smudged away, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a really viable possibility for pictures. ISO 1600 additional cuts into decision, however blur would not actually overtake element till you push to ISO 3200 and 6400.
Uncooked seize can be obtainable. It is one thing that’s lacking from the P900, and one thing we count on to see in a contemporary, premium digicam, even one with a small picture sensor. Uncooked pictures do not have noise discount utilized in-camera, so that they present extra element as you push the ISO increased, but additionally require you to course of them utilizing software program earlier than sharing on-line. Nikon contains Seize NX software program with the digicam, however we suggest and use Adobe Lightroom Basic CC for Uncooked conversion.
Uncooked element is powerful, with out an excessive amount of noise, by means of ISO 400. At ISO 800 element holds up, however grain is heavy. The grain impact is stronger at ISO 1600, however continues to be small and superb. At ISO 3200 grain is larger and rougher, to the purpose the place it definitely detracts from picture high quality. Picture high quality at ISO 6400 is a bit too tough, so I like to recommend avoiding it when potential.
However generally it is not potential to keep away from working at a excessive ISO. I used to be in a position to snap crisp pictures with a brief shutter pace on a sunny day, however engaged on a chilly, grey, overcast morning was a really totally different story. Beneath shiny skies the P1000 retains the ISO low and the shutter pace to a brief 1/500-second—fast sufficient to seize blur-free pictures at Three,000mm due to optical picture stabilization. However on the grayday I ended up capturing at ISO 800 with shutter speeds round 1/125-second. I did not see proof of movement blur at this setting, however the excessive ISO, plus a little bit of foggy mist within the environment, netted outcomes that have been much less spectacular than underneath shiny gentle.
4K Video Too
Video is on the market at as much as 4K decision at 25fps or 30fps, and you may as well shoot at 1080p or 720p at as much as 60fps. There isn’t any 24fps seize possibility, which can disappoint videographers preferring the look of the cinema to video. There may be uncompressed output obtainable through HDMI, so it’s potential to attach a subject recorder to web video at the next high quality than the digicam can handle internally. You may add an exterior microphone if desired.
I used to be usually proud of the standard of the 4K footage, although postpone by a brief interval of blackout between urgent the Report button and the clip beginning. The lag is nearly a second in length. The ISO is not as a lot of a priority, as video typically makes use of an extended shutter pace than stills, sometimes 1/60-second for 30fps seize. Video itself is sharp and crisp, however as with many issues, there are some challenges concerned when working with the P1000.
Stabilization is an enormous problem. I set the digicam on my go-to tripod for pictures, a Gitzo Traveler with a ball head. You may see the ends in the opening shot of the clip above, the place I zoom from 24 to three,000mm from the tripod on a day with delicate wind. The footage is shaky, a transparent indication that my tripod is just lower than the duty. I do surprise if I might get higher outcomes if Nikon had put the tripod socket on the backside of the lens barrel, because the digicam is a bit front-heavy at most zoom.
Handheld footage additionally reveals some shake, as you’d count on, however not that rather more than what we noticed on the tripod. The P1000’s picture stabilization system does an admirable job eliminating the acute shake you’d get from an unstabilized Three,000mm lens, however you may have to spend money on a tripod and head which might be constructed for video to get shake-free footage on the excessive finish of the zoom. Because it stands, I had a really tough time locking in my body and correctly locking down my Photograph Clam ball head—simply tightening the adjustment knobs was sufficient to vary my body dramatically at most zoom. A fluid video head would seemingly be a greater match.
Autofocus when recording video can be a priority. The P1000 is fast to discover a topic at first, however making adjustments to focus when recording is a bit more tough. Even with the EVF, it may be laborious to see simply what’s in focus in your shot. Urgent the left button on the directional pad reacquires focus, however I might prefer to see an possibility to go away focus peaking highlights turned on when the digicam is about to autofocus. They’re obtainable as a guide focus support. It’s fairly simple to change the lens focus mode with the toggle change, however you need to resolve on autofocus or guide focus earlier than you begin recording. Likewise, guide publicity management is on the market, however you’ll be able to’t regulate settings whereas recording a clip—the whole lot needs to be locked in earlier than you press the button.
A Specialised, Area of interest Software
The Nikon Coolpix P1000 is an attractive bridge digicam. It has absolutely the longest zoom lens we have seen in any digicam of this sort, by a large margin. The lens units it properly other than the smartphone cameras with equally sized picture sensors. Within the arms of the correct photographer, it’s able to capturing pictures you merely will not have the ability to with some other digicam.
However that means comes with some severe caveats. For one, the P1000 is an absolute beast when it comes to measurement. The lens is understandably large, given its zoom vary, and the massive physique is required to present it some semblance of steadiness in your hand. And its f-stop drops as you zoom in, to the extent the place picture high quality takes a noticeable step again on the longer finish of the zoom vary, and the place the ISO must be pushed excessive for crisp outcomes underneath dreary skies, which additional cuts into decision.
The autofocus system is totally superb for cooperative topics, however you are not going to get an excellent hit price with fast-moving motion, at the very least not when zoomed in. You will additionally should take care of the burst capturing expertise when photographing motion, which is disappointing to say the least. I do not thoughts being restricted to seven pictures, however the unresponsiveness throughout the seconds after a burst is not what we count on from a digicam at this value.
The P1000 is most definitely a distinct segment digicam. In case you are a talented photographer with a penchant for topics that do not admire being photographed up shut with a wide-angle lens—skittish wildlife involves thoughts—it may be a really great tool, so long as situations are good. In dim, questionable gentle you may should take care of a slower shutter pace and excessive ISO, and on shiny, scorching days, count on atmospheric interference and haze to come back into play.
Most photographers will probably be higher served with a special bridge digicam. Our favourite mannequin with greater than 50x energy is the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS, which additionally gives Uncooked seize, however is priced and sized extra moderately. A substitute has been introduced, the SX70 HS, however we have not but examined it. The SX70 provides 4K video, just like the P1000, however drops Uncooked capturing assist, which is disappointing.
For a step up in picture high quality, however a step again in zoom energy, the Sony RX10 III and IV are each price a glance. Each fashions characteristic a 24-600mm zoom with an f/2.Four-Four aperture, a picture sensor that’s bodily bigger than the P1000’s, and climate sealing. The RX10 III is priced competitively with the P1000, and is our Editors’ Selection for premium bridge cameras. The RX10 IV is costlier, however has a way more superior autofocus system.
These alternate options are higher suits for many photographers. However not everybody falls into the bucket of most. If the P1000’s lens speaks to you, and also you perceive the digicam’s limitations and quirks, it might serve you very properly.