Nikon Coolpix P7000 brings manual heat to the prosumer level

Well well -- what's this? Look like all those rumors about Nikon licking its wounds and gunning hard for the high-end compact camera market were true: this hot little piece is the new Coolpix P7000, Nikon's answer to the Canon G11. Like we'd heard, it actually drops the megapixel count from the P6000, with a 10.1 megapixel CCD sensor that can hit ISO 6400 sensitivity natively and 12,800 when boosted behind a f/2.8-5.6 7.1x VR zoom lens and a three-inch 921,000-dot LCD display. It also has full manual controls for virtually every setting, an optical viewfinder and accessory hot shoe, RAW support, and a 720p/24 movie mode with VR and continuous autofocus that might actually be useful for more than just casual shooting because there's a mic jack. There's also the usual range of Coolpix automatic adjustments and modes, of course, but come on -- look at all those manual dials and buttons, people. It'll hit later this month for $499.99 -- we're definitely requesting a review unit to put this head to head with seemingly-similar G11 and others pro compacts like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5, so stay tuned. PR after the break.%Gallery-101637%

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New COOLPIX Camera Gives Enthusiasts Full Manual Controls and Superior NIKKOR Optics in Addition To Advanced Photo and Video Features in a Package That Evokes SLR Familiarity

MELVILLE, NY (September 8, 2010) – 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 C2TM 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 FixTM 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.