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Wednesday, 08 September 2010

Comments

I just saw the P7000 write-up on DP Review, and went through their 'Hands-on Preview' to see if it's the new 'compact killer'.

Though it has many good things going for it in terms of design, function and handling appeal, the sample JPEGs posted don't appear to be of extremely high quality... and certainly not comparable to those from Panasonic's GF1 or LX5 compacts.

I was disappointed.

Is it just me or is Nikon a bit late getting back into this game? For a long time the canon G# cameras were the only serious compacts... but now if you want a brick you can buy a big-senor GF1, and if you don't you get an LX5 or something.

Looks an awful lot like the G11.

Also, a comment on control layouts.

I have fond memories of a coolpix 5000, in particular for having a control layout which your hands could memorise. To change the film speed, you squeezed that button and turned, white balance another, and so on. 8 years later I can still do this without looking.

While on all my subsequent cameras, I have to look to make sure it's taken the button press. They don't make you feel five-thumbed in the shop, but they also don't get much quicker with use.

This seems to have plenty of dials, five in all! I suppose I would have to handle one to see how it does... DPreview, amazingly, writes about a thousand words without managing to explain to me quite how these actually function.

(Clearly in curmudgeonly mode tonight, aren't I!)

I have a 7.2 megapixel Sony DSC-V3 that looks sort of like this and the G11. I'd consider this as a replacement to that as a compact carry when DSLRs are too heavy camera.

Especially as this has a 28-200 zoom. I find the 28-140 and 35-140 variants to have not enough zoom for the shots I want to take.

My wife has the P5000. Wonderful little camera that produces excellent travel photos. The only downside was that the viewfinder quit working after only one year of limited use. Fortunately the LCD is still working but is really hard to see in bright light.

Erna has just bought a new P&S to replace the P5000, a Canon G11. I think even if the P7000 was available she would still have bought the G11 given her bad experience with the P5000. A working optical viewfinder is quite important to her.

As an ex Canon G-9 owner, and a current owner of a Nikon D200 / lenses / flashes / other accessories (I've clearly drunk the Nikon Koolaid), I do wonder what Nikon see in this camera, and why they brought it to market.

What Nikon have done is to develop a Canon G9/10/11 clone, but about 4 years after Canon did. Of course, the sensor may be slightly cleaner at high ISO, the lens may be a tad better, but really, who is going to dump their existing G* for this, particularly when there is a whole new Micro 4/3 standard that - I am sure - will knock this thing dead in terms of image quality, for a roughly comparable price? Even the video capabilities are widely available in better, price equivalent cameras.

Of course, I'm not privy to Nikon corporate thinking, but I'd be amazed if this camera increases Nikon market share. The sort of user this is aimed at (P&S owner wanting to move up, DSLR user wanting something for everyday carrying, or film enthusiast wanting a quality digital everyday camera) is surely likely to have noted the whole M4/3 and Sony Nex emergence? Or perhaps I'm wrong, and the camera is only aimed at Nikon devotees.

This is an interesting feature:

"Tone Level Information provides photographers with 9 levels of grey scale information about the scene for fine exposure analysis according to user’s creative needs."

A ho-hum camera by today's standards. I want to see more APS-sized sensors in small bodies with optical viewfinders. Along with everyone else...

--Marc

It's just about exactly the size, weight, and price of an E-PL1 without a lens. So, by buying the Nikon over the Oly, you free yourself of the burden of a (small) lens or two in exchange for getting compact camera (rather than SLR-esque) image quality.

Compact superzoom cameras I get, since they offer a ridiculous range of focal lengths in a package much smaller and cheaper than a NEX or m4/3. Itty-bitty premium compacts, like the P95 and LX5, I also get, since they offer advanced features in a truly pocketable package. However, the appeal of oversized premium compacts, like the G11 and the P7000, continues to elude me.

Wish Nikon would start selling those twist in the middle cameras again...

For a second there, I thought that Nikon had re-badged the Epson RD-1 and brought out the long-rumored Nikon DRF.

But, no. However, if the optical VF is any good, it'd definitely be in the running to replace the Olympus XA in my purse!

@ Maggie: "if the optical VF is any good, it'd definitely be in the running to replace the Olympus XA in my purse!"

The optical VF covers 80% of the vertical and 80% of the horizontal view of the lens, so it covers 64% of the total view. I suppose that you'll be keeping the XA.

What is this almost literal blind spot camera makers have about optical viewfinders, or should I say usable viewfinders? (unlike those LCD screens you can hardly see in sunshine) It's not as though an accurate, usable in all conditions viewfinder hasn't been made before.

I use a D90 and a D200 for most of my photography.

But when I ride my bike, all I take with me is my Panasonic LX3. It fits nicely into my handlebar bag.

But what I find slightly limiting is the 24-60mm range on the lens .

I was thinking of getting an S95 or a G11 to get more reach. For the most part, I only tend to use my LX3 at the base ISO.

But I also realize the image quality is good on the LX3 because of the limited range of the lens.

28-200 might be a bit much for a digicam with a tiny sensor to handle.

So Nikon introduces a Canon G copy with an optical viewfinder that's just as bad? Very odd. I do think there is a market for a digital with an eye-level finder, but right now the camera of choice seems to be the panasonic g-1.
I would love to have an inconspicuous street shooter like my Minolta CL, but I see nothing on the market like that.
Last weekend I was prowling Manhattan's High Line and Chelsea and discovered that I had the invisible camera I had been wanting, but it was my Nikon D700, totally invisible there but pretty conspicuous most places.
In most of the world a $3,000+ lunker like my Nikon is just not the thing I want sporting.
Oh well, as you folks are doing your "Leica Year" I am doing my "digital year". And it is opening up a lot of doors, visually. And I hope that a Leica year or film year will serve you as well. It's all a question of seeing and being able to record that seeing.

improbable, you're not the only one. Tried to figure out how that top left dial worked but DPReview was totally useless.

I find it interesting that when Canon wants a name to sell their G10/G11s, they go to the photojournalists from VII, Getty images for testimonies.

When Nikon wants to sell their high end compacts (or even their high end lenses), they go to Bob Krist, a travel photographer.

Kind of speaks of the market segment each company is going after!

I am glad I am not the only person who looked at it and though it looks like the Epson RD-1. Some analogue gages to go with the dials would be nice.

@ Roger: "What is this almost literal blind spot camera makers have about optical viewfinders, or should I say usable viewfinders? (unlike those LCD screens you can hardly see in sunshine) It's not as though an accurate, usable in all conditions viewfinder hasn't been made before"

It is a mystery. I mean, even Leica didn't bother to put a proper optical viewfinder on the X1!

Is the M9 really the only digital non-SLR out there with a usable optical viewfinder? Is this a ploy to sell more reading glasses?

GPS, a feature I use a lot on the P6000, is gone.
And an f/2 e24mm at the wide end would have really made this a contender.

swr wrote:

"But when I ride my bike, all I take with me is my Panasonic LX3. It fits nicely into my handlebar bag.

But what I find slightly limiting is the 24-60mm range on the lens .

I was thinking of getting an S95 or a G11 to get more reach. For the most part, I only tend to use my LX3 at the base ISO.

But I also realize the image quality is good on the LX3 because of the limited range of the lens.

28-200 might be a bit much for a digicam with a tiny sensor to handle."

swr, what if you could get a camera with exactly the same form factor as your LX 3 with a 24-90 equivalent lens? Sounds pretty good - well today's your lucky day.

http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/compact/lx5/index.html

This, the S95 and the G11 all suffer from the same flaw - 28mm. I wouldn't give up the extra 4mm on my LX3 for anything on any of these cameras.

Who would dump their G series?

It seems pretty obvious, people that want to shoot HD video with their compact cameras would have a good reason to choose this over a G11.

People keep asserting that "everyone" wants optical viewfinders. That's just not true. One of the reasons so few cameras have them these days is that many of us just don't care.

I HAVE now had the experience of having trouble seeing the LCD in the sun; but it's a very rare thing for me (I avoid going out in the sun, mostly). And I'm quite good at finding the edges of things on a washed-out LCD, which is good enough for framing (I learned it viewing non-articulated LCDs from weird angles). If necessary, I'm willing to throw a dark-cloth over my head and the back of the camera to see the image on the back! I've done it before.

What I don't understand is why anybody would bring out a camera in this feature / price category with a fixed flat LCD. I'm finding that less and less forgivable. Interchangeable viewfinders were the mark of the professional camera from the Nikon F and the Hasselblad, and one of the options was a waist-level finder. The right-angle finder that attached to the eyepiece was a part of every camera "system".

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