I’m not going to pretend I am a photography guru and know camera’s and their specs inside out, but I am going to give you my honest review of the Nikon Coolpix P900. I bought this camera in preparation for the start of our round the world trip (that start’s next January!). Having never purchased a camera before, I listened carefully to friends and family who were more clued up on the matter!
A close friend recommended I went for a bridge camera over a DSLR. Her reasoning behind this was due to the fact DSLR’s can take some getting used to and if you want different lenses, which can be useful for getting those travel shots no-one else can get – costs can soon spiral. While you undoubtedly will see image quality increase slightly with a DSLR, the extra money didn’t seem worth it to me – I’ll also save room in my backpack as I won’t be lugging around extra lenses; win, win.
Although the Nikon Coolpix P900 release date was now over a year ago, hopefully you will still find this review useful (please share it if you do).
The biggest selling point the P900 has is its incredible zoom. With a stunning 83x optical zoom, you can capture photos that you simply wouldn’t attempt with a standard point and shoot. When you’re travelling the world that can come in pretty handy. The downside to all that zoom potential is that the camera is a little bulky. Weight-wise the camera feels slightly ‘lens-heavy’ – but as you can see in the following pictures, the lens does fit down into a reasonably compact size. Perfect for slotting the camera into your already well stocked backpack!
I haven’t got any super cool photos to demonstrate the zoom yet, but I am heading to Barcelona in a few weeks and I hope to get some good shots while I am there.
While I didn’t manage to take the camera to Barcelona (sad times), I did take it with me on our recent trip to Amsterdam! It wasn’t a priority to test out the zoom, but I have got a few images which demonstrate the capabilities reasonably well.
As you can see from the pictures, the zoom is pretty astonishing, especially considering the overall size of the camera. Due to the fact that the zoom is optical up to 83x, not digital – the quality of image is still very, very good when your fully zoomed in. Once you hit the end of the optical range of the Nikon Coolpix P900, the camera allows you to then add on a digital zoom too. While quality is lost, you can zoom even further – as if you need to.
Before heading out on the trip to the Netherlands, I purchased a couple of extra batteries for the camera to ensure I had enough juice when we were out and about. Okay, so I wasn’t constantly recording video, but the camera handled a reasonably heavy photo session on one battery. I would still recommend taking some extra batteries just incase, but you can be confident that the camera can do a reasonably long session on just the one! Be aware that using things like the LCD screen and WiFi will drain the battery significantly faster, so if you’re trying to eek out every last amp – maybe leave those until your next plugged in.
Another benefit of any bridge camera is that they offer slightly more than a standard point and shoot, but they also give you the ability to configure the settings which is sometimes necessary to capture the image you want. The P900 has a nifty menu system which is easy to navigate using the scroll wheels provided. With a separate button for capturing video, there is no flicking to ‘video’ mode in order to capture that enticing moment – a functionality I really like.
The Nikon also comes packed with the latest in communication tech, armed with both WiFi and NFC it is remarkably easy to copy your photos to your phone. The Nikon app isn’t the best and offer very limited functionality, it doesn’t even let you record video! You can use the zoom and get it to take photos but it really feels like the app was a bit of an after thought. It would be great if this gets an update at some point to improve on what it can offer and hopefully the user interface too.
I haven’t tried the NFC yet due to not having a compatible phone! Though I am waiting for my new iPhone SE to be delivered, so when that arrives I’ll test out the NFC and report back how I find it. One other key spec for me was the fact the camera has GPS. That means all my photos are automatically tagged with the GPS co-ordinates of where I take them! Great for when you’re reviewing your photos after a week of travelling – these details work great with sites like Flickr or you could create your own map if you’re feeling nerdy.
The camera offers two methods for zooming in, the first is through a dial on the outside of the capture button. That is fine for when your zooming slightly, however if you’re looking to work at near full zoom the second method is best. On the left side of the camera lens is another zoom toggle, this is really easy to use with your supporting hand. As well as that there is also another small button located in the same area that allows you to snap out of the zoom, re-focus before releasing the button for it to zoom back in again. Slightly hard to explain but again a feature that provides huge benefit when shooting at long distances.
One final bit of functionality I considered as a must have was a viewfinder as well as the screen. Sometimes I won’t want to fiddle about with the screen, or the environment may mean that I risk damaging the screen if I flip it out. The viewfinder gives you the ability to size up your shot without the screen. The Nikon Coolpix P900 takes this one step further with a small sensor under the viewfinder that automatically switches off the screen if you raise your face to the camera. A neat functionality that means you can continue to frame your photos without being disturbed by light flickering beneath your eye!
Overall I see this camera as a great investment and I am really pleased I have purchased it so early on as I have the time to get to know what it can and cannot do. Here’s a final breakdown of the pros and cons of the Nikon Coolpix P900. This camera is without a doubt one of my best purchases and easily makes it into my top 10 travel gadgets. If you want to see the price and complete spec list, check out Amazon – it’s where I got mine and you get the added assurance of a reputable company.
If you’re the geeky type, like me, here’s where you can find the Nikon Coolpix P900 manual.
Hopefully this has given you a good overview of the Nikon Coolpix P900 – if you have any questions on the camera specifically, comment below and I’ll make sure to answer every one! Likewise, if you have the P900 and feel I’ve missed something important – let us know.