Nikon Coolpix P5000 review
This is my best pocketable cam ever! Many users complained about its responsiveness. It's more than adequate for many many different situations and occasions. This is NOT a 6 frame/sec sports camera...; if you want a sports camera, you should get a DSLR. If you shoot regular static frames such as; lanscapes, nature, cars, macro, people, friends, pets etc, it's more than perfect...to me anyway.
Some other digicams in this class may be faster for frame to frame shooting and autofocus but are they actually better? Do you prefer noisy images with CA everywhere or do you prefer clean, smooth, CA free and sharp images? I prefer the latter.
I got the Nikon P5000 last month, July 07, to complement my DSLR's; D80, 30D and 1D, that sometimes I do not feel like bringing along with me. I shot over a 1000 frames with it already and it gives very very suprising quality images. Daytime and outdoors shot images; noise is hard to notice and the lowest I have ever seen so far at ISO 64 at 100% pixel view, very low at ISO 100, low at ISO 200. ISO 400 is still very usable for 8"x10" prints. I have printed its ISO 64-200 images on 13"x19" size paper on my Canon Pro9000 printer and well, I can't even tell the difference if it was shot with my DSLR or not. I already have sold many pictures from it. That's how good it is!
Natural light indoor shots are also very good, no trouble focussing and on cam flash is powerfull enough for a camera this small. Flash is also compensable and a hot shoe is provided to install more powerfull Flash units. I don't shoot many indoor shots, I mostly shoot outdoors.
Compared to other non-DSLRs that I had tried before;
Canons: S2 IS and S3 IS, noise level at ISO 100 on these are noticeble even in bright day light shots and disapointed me so much with CA that I got rid of them quickly.
Canon A640: Nice camera but body design is very disapointing. The AA battery compartement is where the memory card is accessed. So, everytime you want your card, your batteries fall out. The cover is also hard to open and close and feels like it won't last. The AV/Digital out ports cover on the side is made of very thin plastic and never stays closed.
Panasonic: FZ5, images were CA free but images were too noisy even at the lowest ISO.
I'm a perfectionist by nature and very demanding in my pictures. I had almost given up on getting another pocketable, p&s digicam and superzoom until I found the new Nikon P5000. I decided to take one last chance and got it even though I knew it was not a superzoom. I needed a small cam that I can bring anywhere!
Of course the P5000 is not a zuperzoom like the ones I tried above, but I wish it was though after seeing the results I get from it with its curent lens. Maybe putting a superzoom on it would not be a good idea either as CA may possibly appear. The lens is not very fast; f/5.3 at the long end but it has a very effective VR system. The lens is very good indeed, no CA and decently sharp. I took some macro's and I all I can say is Wow, everytime!
Zooming motor is almost silent, much more than Canons.
The P5000 has all the modes you can normaly find on DSLRs, with some limitations of course, and other advanced small digicams but it does offer more than adequate features. I was able to create 'angel hair' from water falls!
Battery life is good as well. Charges in less then 90 minutes. Batt. warning comes on screen when about 1/3 life is left. Better than most cam that do NOT have any warning at all. Battery will last even longer if you turn off VR in daylight. Get a spare one, about $40. Well spent
Here is what I set the cam at;
Custom Image Optimization;
Image Sharpening OFF
Feels very solid. The grip is great, especialy the thumb rest is a very nice idea. Grip areas are made of rubbery material so fingers and thumb slipping is unlikely to happen. Buttons layout is very well thought out. The mode dial feels very good and sits well in position. It turns smoothly with adequate resistance.
The LCD is great, nice size and colors are acurate. It does fringe (blue lines) a bit when composing in contrasty sceens but will not, I say again, will not show up in your pictures. Canon's A640 LCD does that as well. Some may not like this but like I said, it's not affecting your pictures at all. Therefore. does not bother me.
I could go on and on but I think overall, IMO, the Nikon P5000 is the best pocketable, everyday camera ever made. It is however a little more expensive than other cams out there but it's very well built, will last a lifetime, takes GREAT pictures and it's full of features that any new shooter will be able to learn about aperture, shutter speeds etc and advance shooters will be able to go out extra extra light.
The above is my opinion after taking over 1000 frames with the Nikon P5000. I'm not a pro. I'm an advanced amateur. It is not a suggestion. Please go to your nearest Nikon dealer and try one out yourself before commiting to buy.