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Nikon Coolpix P7700 Preview Updated with Studio Comparison Images

By dpreview staff on Oct 17, 2012 at 00:14 GMT

Updated: We've just added the Nikon Coolpix P7700 to our studio comparison database, and we've taken the opportunity to add three image quallity comparison pages to our previously-published preview. Our final analysis of the P7700's image quality will come later, but for now, you can use our comparison tool to see how Nikon's newest enthusiast compact camera measures up to its competitors in both JPEG and Raw mode. Does the new 12MP BSI-CMOS sensor and revamped lens combination make a difference? Click the link below to find out.

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Comments

Total comments: 68
Digitall
By Digitall (Oct 18, 2012)

The p r a c t i c a l side of Nikon pleases me with articulated display, all the basic controls immediately available without walking on menus, much better construction than the RX100, visually has a more better look, IMO.
More zoom, shoe flash, ND filter included, more external connections, mainly for external microphone. and compatible with Nikon speedlights for those who have.
However this year, I admit it is not easy to choose a good compact, the market has at this moment very good compact cameras.
Just do not understand is why Canon has launched the G15 with fixed display, and will not meet the needs of most users. The G1X is a previous model and have articulated display, No progress here, a step back.

3 upvotes
gaabb
By gaabb (Oct 19, 2012)

Maybe. Shots taken by the P7700 are even sharper considering the longer and more complicated lens. Images are smoother, much stable, more details, and much closer to the images produced by the rx100 with a larger sensor. dcresource.com has published more real-life untouched images which can be downloaded for better comparison.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Oct 18, 2012)

Talk all you want but because the Nik P7700 is so close to the interch. lens Pana GF5/GF5 as well as Oly PL3/PM1 with bigger sensor and similar size (not to mention touchscreen), Nik P7700 must be in a tough marketing spot.

Perhaps one can try innovative Marketing of Sony by making the price so high only an astute few will see it for what it is: an insult.

1 upvote
Slanicka Tomas
By Slanicka Tomas (Oct 19, 2012)

There is another point of view. Nikon P7700 has just 1EV worse IQ than Pana, which you mentioned, but don't forget that in the similar body P7700 has 28-200/f2-4!!! lens. If you talk about the size of body, both camera seems to be similar, but if we will talk about what can I get on my money, the P7700 wins on all lines.
For those people who wants to have camera every day on every palces in the pocket or handback, the Pana GF is too big and/or has too small focal range.

Comment edited 14 minutes after posting
1 upvote
tron555
By tron555 (Oct 17, 2012)

There are MANY camera's that have "clean and crisp base ISO performance", so what is your point? It's when light gets low and ISO gets high that things change drastically in the compact camera arena. It is obvious that 1/1.7" size sensors are (or should be) a thing of the past when it comes to enthusiast fixed lens cameras!!!

0 upvotes
Rachotilko
By Rachotilko (Oct 18, 2012)

You can achieve low light capability by fast lens as well. Tell me of a large sensor camera with fast lens being size of P7700.

1 upvote
DDWD10
By DDWD10 (Oct 17, 2012)

I love my X10, but dang, that is some clean and crisp base ISO performance there!

1 upvote
ybizzle
By ybizzle (Oct 17, 2012)

Very impressive! ISO performance is on par with the X10's 2x larger sensor! Bravo Nikon!

3 upvotes
photofan1986
By photofan1986 (Oct 17, 2012)

Where did you get that the X10 has twice the sensor size?

0 upvotes
ybizzle
By ybizzle (Oct 17, 2012)

2/3" sensor on the X10 is almost 2x as large as the 1/1.7" of the P7700.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Oct 17, 2012)

Actually it's around 40% larger.

X10 - '2/3 inch-type' - 8.8 x 6.6mm - 58mm2 P7700 - '1/1.7 inch-type' - 7.5 x 5.6mm - 42mm2

2 upvotes
ybizzle
By ybizzle (Oct 17, 2012)

Well that's still a big difference and the P7700 performs just as well! Having said that, the X10 is still the sweet spot among the enthusiast cameras when it comes to a balance between looks, performance, IQ, and features. Has Fuji made the greatest compact camera ever?

0 upvotes
photofan1986
By photofan1986 (Oct 17, 2012)

Orbviously :D

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Oct 17, 2012)

I'd wait until we see how the XZ-2 and XF1 compare. Personally I'd choose the RX100 over the X10, but that's because I prefer small - I understand the appeal of the the X10's lens and sensor combination, though.

3 upvotes
ybizzle
By ybizzle (Oct 17, 2012)

@photofan - The orb joke doesn't work anymore since the sensors were developed

@R Butler - I'd have to agree with you there. XF1 will be identical to the X10 as they share the same sensor. XZ-2 will be the one to watch. At the end of the day though, it's a great time to be in the market with so many great choices out there. It all depends on your needs and there is something for everyone! ;)

1 upvote
oldfogey
By oldfogey (Oct 17, 2012)

I still think the Panasonic LX7 is the winner. Comparing RAW at ISO 3200, the Fuji X10 is a smear, the RX100 and P7700 are somewhat sharper but suffer low frequency chroma noise while the Panasonic has lots of high frequency luminance noise but is extremely sharp and shows almost no chroma noise. All of the test photos are with the lenses stopped down and set to a single focal length. DPreview please let us see what they can do when wide open and set at different focal lengths.

1 upvote
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Oct 18, 2012)

oldfogey:
Don't look at X10 RAWs. The converter cannot handle them properly, see footnote.

ybizzle:
Yes, X10 is a great camera, except for the non collapsible lens. Its OVF is also very limited. XZ-1 is much smaller.

0 upvotes
iudex
By iudex (Oct 18, 2012)

@oldfogey: do you really shoot at ISO3200 with such small cameras? Then you want something they are not made for.
ISO 3200 is the limit even on my DSLR with APS-C sensor (it has top ISO 25600, but in reality ISO 3200 is the acceptable limit) and on my enthusiast compact with 1/1,7" sensor the acceptable maximum is ISO1000. So why would I shoot at ISO 3200 with a compact?

1 upvote
gaabb
By gaabb (Oct 19, 2012)

really impressive with better image quality compared to g15. dcresource.com has published some untouched sample images of g15 and p7700 which can be downloaded for better comparison. For me, P7700 has a better image quality as it produces smoother, sharper, and more stable images which make the photos clearer, revealing more details. It is even comparable to the images produced by the rx100. Canon on the other hand produces more saturated colors but colors can be tweaked depending on one's preference. Other factors sure come into play for it to become a more compelling camera, but based on what I saw, noticed and observed, P7700 produces much better IQ compared to the G15. Take note that low light samples are not available there. Try to download the images then zoom to the different parts for one to see. Others won't agree maybe; I'm not even bias here because I hate that. I just saw what I saw and I know I'm not blind.

0 upvotes
logbi77
By logbi77 (Oct 17, 2012)

Is it just me or is the P7700 only 1 stop worse than the Nikon J1/ Sony RX100 in RAW?

Try putting the P7700 in ISO 800 and the J1/RX100 in ISO 1600.

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Simon97
By Simon97 (Oct 17, 2012)

To me, The J1 still has a finer grain structure at 1600 vs the P7700 at 800. The RX100 is about the same at 1600 to the P7700 at 800, but it has the resolution advantage. Sample it down to match and the RX100 looks way better.

The P7700 gets really noisy at 1600. Larger sensors are tough to beat when light gets low.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
ebsilon
By ebsilon (Oct 17, 2012)

If requirements are good low light IQ in compact package with standard zoom lens range, no doubt the rx100 is ahead of the competition, especially a the wide zoom end.

Comment edited 22 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
tron555
By tron555 (Oct 17, 2012)

Now if Nikon wouls have put a 2/3" to 1" sensor in it for even better IQ, I would have been impressed and interested.

0 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (Oct 17, 2012)

Yeah, making it twice the size would have been a real help with selling to the target market......

3 upvotes
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (Oct 18, 2012)

I don't think people are that attached to 1/1.7" sensor cameras.

0 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Oct 17, 2012)

Very good, Nikon!
Much better lens than P7100. Almost matches XZ-1 (distortion seems a little higher and contrast a little lower). Sensor shows very fine grain at ISO800.

@dpreview:

Will you please test its zoom range to show how even the lens performs?
If it is not too far off from this level, it would make it the best zoom lens in any compact!

Thanks!

3 upvotes
ecm
By ecm (Oct 17, 2012)

Pretty good for a small sensor camera.

HOWEVER.....The thing that differentiated this line of Nikon cameras - the viewfinder - is gone.

And I'm left with the question, why would I buy this? There's much better image quality to be had for about the same price, size and weight in the micro-4/3 and NEX camera ranges, if I'm willing to buy last year's tech - up to 50% cheaper, actually - look at the Oly E-PL1 or Panny GF-3.

1 upvote
iudex
By iudex (Oct 17, 2012)

You could have Nikon V1 (1" sensor, EVF) with 10-30 lens for 399 USD or NEX-5n for similar price, not talking about sales od older PENs. On the one hand it is not fair to compare novelties with MSRP price to 2-years old cameras that already have (one or even more) successors; on the other hand APS-C is still APS-C and a 1/1,7" sensor (even with fast lens) still cannot comare to much bigger sensor.

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
ebsilon
By ebsilon (Oct 17, 2012)

I think it's fair to compare a compact zoom camera with a m43 with kit lens, which gains you close to two stops in the shared focal range (and an additional stop for the LX7). Looking at the comparison samples, that should go a long way to even out the differences compared to a m43 with kit zoom. The test shots of the ILC's are also shot with prime lenses, which should contribute a lot to the better clarity of the m43's.

1 upvote
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Oct 17, 2012)

ecm:
The zoom lens of an E-PL alone is almost as thick as this camera. It probably also cannot match the sharpness and clarity of a compact lens. A good sensor alone will not warrant a good picture (see RX100).

If you can do without zoom, an E-PL+pancake is surely hard to beat. ;-)

0 upvotes
ebsilon
By ebsilon (Oct 17, 2012)

Quite so Michael. For me the main reason I'm considering one of these new high-end compacts is that I want zoom in a walkaround/travel/trekking camera.

1 upvote
pcworth
By pcworth (Oct 17, 2012)

I still do not understand the second part of this post. Every time I read comments along the lines of "Well, I can get a 4/3 for about this price" I am left wondering if any one checks the size and price of 4/3 lenses before posting. In these short zoom range P&S cameras you are, OK, getting close, but a lot of people used this argument against the Lumix FZ200, which is insane. I am not even aware of a 25-600 f/2.8 for 4/3.

0 upvotes
ecm
By ecm (Oct 18, 2012)

@pcworth:
Nope, not comparing it to a superzoom - different beast, different uses.

And yes, I checked the prices of the cameras I mentioned. The NEX 5N with 18-55 kit lens is now running $499 on Amazon. The Olympus E-PL1, which is about as good as the P7700 at ISO 100, spanks it soundly at ISO 400-1600. It costs $268 with it's folding kit lens; when folded it's not much thicker than the new Nikon (when off - how far does that lens extend when you turn it on?). The Panasonic GF3, about as good IQ as the E-PL1, costs $300, with a better kit lens but it doesn't fold.

Since we mention lenses, there are choices - The Panny 40-200 (80-400 effective - $230) will work for a lot of folks, as will the Oly 40-150 (80-300 effective - $180); if you want you can also get premium lenses. Is choice bad?

Anyways, don't miss my point - without the optical viewfinder, what does this camera have to differentiate itself?

0 upvotes
ZAnton
By ZAnton (Oct 17, 2012)

Very sharp lens and good sensor.
I wonder what aperture this lens has on 140mm equiv. Canon G15 has 2,8. I hope Nikon has something similar.

0 upvotes
iudex
By iudex (Oct 17, 2012)

My estimation is f3,2 (closer to the tele end of the zoom with f4), anyhow even if it was f3,2, it´s only 1/3 EV worse than G15 and this is not a relevant difference. The outcome of P7700 is surprisingly good and that counts. Now we want to see how the G15 performs (but I don´t expect big surprise, given it´s a S100 sensor).

0 upvotes
ijustloveshooting
By ijustloveshooting (Oct 17, 2012)

better than LX7 at iso800, look at the blue watch on right corner at iso800...also sharper....lens on p7700 is brilliant considering it's zoom range and aperture.

3 upvotes
Raw Images Raw Talk
By Raw Images Raw Talk (Oct 17, 2012)

maybe but LX7 could easily avoid using that ISO with its faster lens, right?

0 upvotes
ijustloveshooting
By ijustloveshooting (Oct 17, 2012)

for me, clarity, detail and sharpness is more important things than high iso... p7700 also looks sharper at base iso than lx7...

0 upvotes
landscapist
By landscapist (Oct 17, 2012)

Take care, the LX7 studio shot is out of focus! The parts closest to the camera are sharp, further away things get out of focus.

0 upvotes
migus
By migus (Oct 17, 2012)

Good work, thanks DPR!
While OK in the IQ of a 1/1.7" sensor, at this bulk and pricepoint (APS-based NEX-C3/16mm and NX100/30mm are cheaper, lighter and 2 classes above), one can wonder the rationale of not using a 1" sensor. Why the tiny sensor in AD 2012?

Sony and Aptina have better 1" sensors for this segment.
http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/10/16/Sandor-Barna-explains-how-1-inch-sensors-will-save-the-compact-camera

Is there a defense for such design decisions, Nikon (or ODM)? The Market will tell.

1 upvote
Edgar Matias
By Edgar Matias (Oct 17, 2012)

You want to double the size of the camera? That's what would happen if you changed it to a 1" sensor.

Have you seen the bridge cameras with super long zooms? They're as big as SLRs and they have tiny sensors. They didn't design them that way just for fun.

4 upvotes
migus
By migus (Oct 17, 2012)

I see your point Matias. However, one could make 2 counter-arguments.
(1) 7x is not quite in the LONG zoom class, which arguably is around 20-45x (favoring 1/2.3" sensors for obvious reasons). Perhaps 'extended', though marginally above the usual 4-5x.
(2) Is this a premium/enthusiast P&S where IQ is King (hence the sensor size and lens speed), or a zoom? Its price and bulk suggest the former more than the latter.

Wrong design point? IMHO the designers have chosen the wrong sensor size times lens speed and range for this camera's market in 2012. Granted, it's not very far from the LX7 (same size sensor), arguably another wrongly placed design point for 2012 - though quite different in lens and heft. Eventually the market will show for both how wrong i am in predicting modest sales. Mitch

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
iudex
By iudex (Oct 17, 2012)

It seems to me the Nikon performs better than the other newcomer Pana LX7; watching at ISO1600 RAWs there is visibly more noise from the LX7. On the other hand the Pana has 1 stop advantage (at the wide end and 0,5 EV at the tele end), which would in real world mean lower ISO, thus lower noise. Anyhow I am positively surprised with the performance of P7700.

0 upvotes
landscapist
By landscapist (Oct 17, 2012)

The studio shot of the LX7 is out of focus! Take a close look to the paperclips, they are sharp. The background is out of focus.
If the studio shot was performed well, the LX7 would perform more close to the P7700 (which really performs fantastic, i agree!)

0 upvotes
Eskilsson
By Eskilsson (Oct 17, 2012)

Still wating for G5, the forgotten camera...

3 upvotes
Oddrain
By Oddrain (Oct 17, 2012)

Brilliant!!! Thanks for the early view of the Studio Comparison Images!!!

Hope you can get your hands on the Olympus XZ-2 soon to add that into the mix!!

6 upvotes
oldfogey
By oldfogey (Oct 17, 2012)

I am pleased to see the new emphasis on lens speed with a 1 stop improvement of this camera over its predecessor P7100 at the wide end. However this camera falls 1 stop in lens speed of the Panasonic LX7 at its wide end. At ISO 3200 RAW the Panasonic also has the advantage in resolution and chroma noise.

Clearly the main selling point of the P7700 has to be its very good zoom range. It is time for DPreview to do some serious testing of the lenses on these cameras. Longer zooms lose their attractiveness if there is a corresponding loss in resolution since "digital zoom" with the modern high pixel count sensors has become quite practical for ordinary print sizes.

0 upvotes
ARTASHES
By ARTASHES (Oct 17, 2012)

Pana has RAW NR above 800 ISO

0 upvotes
Harsay
By Harsay (Oct 17, 2012)

Very impressive, nice camera, about time.

2 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Oct 17, 2012)

Why you guys keep posting the old studio shots? Why not use the new version?

1 upvote
SHood
By SHood (Oct 17, 2012)

Hopefully they keep using the old studio shots until the GH3 gets tested.

Comment edited 15 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Oct 17, 2012)

@ET2 - the new version isn't quite finished :)

4 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Oct 17, 2012)

You mean DPR is going to change the still life test that they've been using for years? Isn't that going to make the comparison tool no longer useful, unless they are planning to reshoot ever camera in the database?

1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Oct 17, 2012)

@marike6 - we've done this before. We'll just reshoot as many cameras as we can with the new scene, so we have a usefully large DB. As you can see, we're still shooting the old scene with the new cameras as well. You'll be reassured to know that we're keen not to suddenly render our comparison database useless...

8 upvotes
ZAnton
By ZAnton (Oct 17, 2012)

@Barney Britton
Wil the old test scene be available for older (non re-shootet) cameras? Can one choose one of the test scenes for the "transient" cameras?

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Oct 17, 2012)

@ZAnton - we're still working out the details but the end result is that we need every camera to be part of a meaningful and useful studio comparison DB, whatever scene is used for those images.

We may insert 'new' scene pages into 'old scene' legacy reviews, effectively running them alongside one another for older cameras, or we may actually - literally - run them alongside each other for a while with new cameras (there are arguments for/against both approaches).

0 upvotes
jhinkey
By jhinkey (Oct 17, 2012)

Now all they have to do is put in an EVF and a 24-XX lens and they'd have a clear winner . . . like my beloved old CP8400.

Nikon just does not seem to be able to make a convincing high end/enthusiast small sensor camera.

My old 8400 (which I still have, but never use due to being way way too pokey ans slow) had everything I ever wanted in an enthusiast small sensor camera.

- EVF
- Fold out LCD
- Build-in flash
- 24-XXmm FF equivalent lens (and decently fast)
- Shoots RAW
- Video
- Compact size
- Magnesium body

Why oh why can't they have these features in their current CoolPix offerings? If they did they'd be getting my $$ instead of Panasonic (LX-7).

You might argue that the V1 is for me, but it just is not a compelling option because it lacks so many of the above features.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Oct 17, 2012)

I hear you, but with a V1 you'll get better AF and IQ, and you'll be able to mount the new 18.5 1.8 as well as long tele zooms.

0 upvotes
jhinkey
By jhinkey (Oct 17, 2012)

Yes, but it has no wide angle lenses to speak of and none of the zooms start at 24mm FF equiv., which is my biggest requirement for a compact carry around. The system is very incomplete.

1 upvote
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Oct 17, 2012)

Both the prime (10mm) and the standard zoom (10-30) start at 27mm equivalent. There is a UW zoom patent starting at about 18mm equiv. That would fit your bill. The IQ and the Af of the V1 are way better than any compact out there, except for the RX1, possibly, and the G1x (but both lack an EVF and my guess is that the AF is not at the same level either).

But I agree, Nikon should take the 1 sensor and make a nice compact with a 24-120mm fast zoom.

0 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (Oct 17, 2012)

Nikon isnt even taking their 1 series serious. They should easily have a 24mm equiv lens out right now. Let alone some fast zooms. The 1 series could be something if Nikon wanted it to be.

27mm is a far cry away from 24mm. Around 4-5 steps back.

0 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Oct 17, 2012)

Excellent IQ, even in jpegs. Thanks for the test shots.

3 upvotes
Simon97
By Simon97 (Oct 17, 2012)

Agreed. If the lens holds up at other zoom settings and the camera is responsive, Nikon has a clear winner.

0 upvotes
Camediadude
By Camediadude (Oct 17, 2012)

Wonderful! Looks great so far, compared to its 'enthusiast peers' (good to see Nikon coming a long way here, they sure have had a bit of a bumpy road with the compacts for several years!)

And, oh I am getting a little misty-eyed here now.. that's the scene I have grown to know and love!! (weep) Please, dpreview don't ever change it, oh boo hoo hoo I am losing it, I just have something in my eye, I swear it's nuthin (weep!)

2 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Oct 17, 2012)

Ah, all good things must come to an end, sadly. The existing scene is simply too small for some camera types and can't be easily adapted as our needs (and cameras) change over time. But the new scene - when it's finished - will do the same job, but better. Framing will be easier (which means we can get stuff shot quicker) and we'll be able to shoot from further away, which is crucially important with some compact cameras and cellphones.

The greater area will also allow us to introduce higher-resolution scene elements, to properly show off the new generation of 24MP+ DSLRs and ILCs.

4 upvotes
Amnon G
By Amnon G (Oct 17, 2012)

What's an example of the current scene not exposing differences between cameras? I'm guessing we're not talking high ISO comparisons as those provide plenty of detail and noise differentiation in anything I looked at.

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Oct 17, 2012)

The current scene does expose differences between cameras, but the point is that a bigger, higher-resolution version will do it better. But it will also make it much easier to include compact cameras and fixed-lens cameras/phones in the same comparison database. You can tell how big this scene is from looking at the bottles, paperclips etc. Imagine how close we have to be to shoot it with a fixed 28 or 35mm (equivalent) lens.

4 upvotes
Camediadude
By Camediadude (Oct 17, 2012)

Good point, you explained in terms I can fathom. Sigh, we will adjust to the new, tis true! (But, please heed our pleadings for watches and robots and paperclips, oh my!.. in the other news article, pretty please!)

1 upvote
Total comments: 68