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Nikon Coolpix P5000 Review

May 2007 | By Simon Joinson
Buy on From $545.00

Based on a production Nikon Coolpix P5000

Just when Nikon fans had given up on the company ever producing a serious enthusiast compact camera again (thanks to the arrival of the affordable DSLR), along came the P5000, the nearest thing to a high-end compact since the demise of the Coolpix 8800 and 8400 a couple of years back. It's a big leap forward from the previous, slightly disappointing P ('performance', apparently) series cameras, with a more complete feature set, a flash hot shoe and a much more sensible design (previous models were modeled on a bar of soap, and offered similar handling). Although nowhere near as advanced as the real big beasts of this sector, it is much more compact than cameras like the Canon G7, and it does come with a decent level of expandability (add on lenses, flash etc) - and it's very keenly priced. So is this the camera to put Nikon back on the enthusiast compact map? Let's find out, starting with the headline spec:

  • 10 megapixel 1/1.8-inch CCD
  • 3.5x Zoom-Nikkor lens
  • Lens shift VR (Vibration Reduction)
  • ISO 64-1600 (3200 in 5MP mode)
  • BSS (Best Shot Selector) identifies and saves the sharpest image automatically from ten sequential shots
  • P/A/S/M modes plus 16 scene modes
  • Compatibility with system-expanding accessories
  • Macro shooting enables shooting from as close as 4cm (1.6 in.)
  • SDHC card compatibility
  • Approx. 21 MB of internal memory
  • Face-priority AF, In-Camera Red-Eye Fix, D-Lighting
  • 2.5-in wide viewing angle TFT LCD with anti-reflection coating

Nikon Coolpix P5000 specifications

Street price

• US: $360
• UK: £260

Body Material Metal and plastic

• 1/1.8 " Type CCD
• 10.37 million pixels total
• 10.0 million effective pixels

Image sizes

• 3648 x 2736
• 2592 x 1944
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x1200
• 1280 x 960
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480
• 3648 x 2432 (3:2)
• 3584 x 2016 (16:9)

Movie clips

• Motion JPEG (AVI) with sound
• TV movie (640) at 30fps/15fps,
• Small size (320) at 15fps
• Smaller size (160) at 15fps
• Sepia (320) at 15fps
• Monochromatic (320) at 15fps
• Without sound: Time-lapse movie at 30fps

File formats • JPEG Exif V2.2
• Motion JPEG AVI

• 3.5x Zoom-Nikkor (36-126mm equiv.)
• f/2.7-5.3
• 7 elements in 6 groups

Image stabilization Lens-shift VR
Conversion lenses Yes (optional)
Digital zoom up to 4x
Focus • Contrast Detection AF
• Macro
• Infinity lock
• Manual focus
AF area modes

• Auto (9-area automatic selection)
• Manual (99-area manual selection)
• Center
• Face-priority AF mode

AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance • 30cm (1 ft.) to infinity (∞) [W], 70cm(2 ft. 4 in.) to infinity (∞) [T]
• Macro close-up mode: 4cm (1.6 in.) to infinity (∞) [W], 40cm (1 ft. 4 in.) to infinity (∞) [T]
Metering • Through-the-lens (TTL) metering
• 256-segment matrix
• Spot
• Center-weighted
• Spot AF area
ISO sensitivity • Auto (64 - 800)
• ISO 64
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
• ISO 2000
• ISO 3200 (5MP or lower only)
Exposure compensation • -/+ 2EV
• in 1/3 EV steps
Exposure bracketing

• 3 shots
• +/- 0.3, 0.7, 1.0EV

Shutter speed 1/2000 to 8 s
Aperture • Six blade iris diaphragm
• 10 (in steps of 1/3 EV)

• Auto shooting mode
• Program (auto)
• Shutter Priority Auto
• Aperture Priority Auto
• Manual
• Movie mode
• Scene mode
• High-sensitivity shooting mode
• Anti-shake mode

Scene modes Face-priority AF, Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Night Portrait, Party/Indoor, Beach/Snow, Sunset, Dusk/Dawn, Night Landscape, Close up, Museum, Fireworks show, Copy, Back Light, Panorama Assist, Voice recording
White balance

• Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Fluorescent
• Incandescent
• Preset

Self timer • 10 or 3 secs
Continuous shooting

• Single
• Continuous (approx.0.8fps ,image quality Normal, image size 10M)
• Continuous flash
• Interval timer shooting

Image parameters Normal, Softer, Vivid, More vivid, Portrait, Custom, Black-and-white
Flash • Built-in
• Range: (W) 0.3 to 8.0m (1 ft. to 26 ft. 3 in.), (T) 0.3 to 4.0m (1 ft. to 13 ft. 1 in.)
• Flash Hot Shoe
• Auto, Auto with red-eye reduction, Anytime flash, Flash cancel, Slow sync., Rear-curtain sync.
Viewfinder • Real-image zoom viewfinder
• Approx 80% coverage
LCD monitor • 2.5-in wide viewing angle TFT LCD with anti-reflection coating
• 230,000-dot
• Approx 97% coverage (record mode)
Connectivity • USB
• AV out (NTSC / PAL)
Print compliance PictBridge, DCF, DPOF, EXIF print
Storage • SD / SDHC / MMC card (optional)
• Approx 26MB internal memory
Power • Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL5 (supplied)
• AC Adapter EH-62A (optional)
Weight (No batt) Approx. 200 g (7.1 oz.) without battery and SD memory card
Dimensions Approx. 98 x 64.5 x 41 mm (3.9 x 2.5 x 1.6 in.) excluding projections

If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

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This article is Copyright 2007 Simon Joinson / and the review in part or in whole may NOT be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author. For information on reproducing any part of this review (or any images) please contact: Phil Askey

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