In case you weren't aware, competition's getting some kind of fierce down in that $400 to $800 not-quite-a-DSLR realm. We've got interchangeable lens options galore, a new breed of high performance compacts and the Canon G12. Nikon's got its aim planted firmly on the latter with the Coolpix P7000, a decidedly prosumer camera with the body of a point-and-shoot and the controls of a pro rig. The good folks over at Photography Blog recently put the P7000 through its paces, and while they adored the optical viewfinder, the build quality and the zoom range, they couldn't quite get over the notably sluggish RAW performance. Worse still, Nikon has yet again changed up its RAW formula, with the newfangled NRW+ only being understandable by the company's own software for the moment. They found "no unwanted noise" from ISO 100 to 400, with only mild amounts at 800 and 1600; the extra pro-like features were also lauded (neutral density filter, zoom step feature, virtual horizon and tonal range histogram), and with an exception for that sluggish RAW mode, they found it tough to not recommend. Particularly for those of you who'd prefer to stick with JPEG anyway, this here shooter looks to be a solid option if you've got the cash ($499.99 MSRP), but we'd recommend poring over the source link before making a final call.

Engadget HD Podcast 217 - 10.05.2010