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Nikon Coolpix 7900 Review

April 2005 | By Simon Joinson

Review based on a production Nikon Coolpix 7900. Firmware Version 1.1

In February 2005 Nikon announced several new additions to its compact Coolpix range, including an entry-level 7 megapixel model (the Coolpix 7600) and two slightly more feature-rich cameras which are indentical except for their sensor pixel count; the 5MP Coolpix 5900 (which replaced the 5200) and the camera on test here, the 7MP Coolpix 7900. All three feature several unique features, including In-Camera Red-Eye Fix, face-priority AF, D-Lighting and Blur Warning, which analyses each shot as it is taken and warns if the image isn't sharp.

The Coolpix 7900 joins an increasingly crowded field of small, 'point and shoot' 7 megapixel cameras from most of the major players, and goes head-to-head with popular models such as Canon's SD500 and Sony's P150/P200. So does the latest Coolpix have what it takes to stand out in an increasingly competitive market? A quick glance at the headline specification certainly looks promising:

  • 7MP resolution
  • 3x optical Zoom-Nikkor lens with ED elements (38-114mm equiv.)
  • In-Camera Red-Eye Fix
  • D-Lighting (in-camera shadow lightening)
  • Post-shot Blur Warning
  • 16 scene modes
  • 14MB internal memory
  • 640x480 pixel, 30fps movie mode
  • Best Shot Selector - takes a series of shots and chooses the sharpest for you
  • White Balance and exposure bracketing
  • Available in silver or black (not all countries)

Nikon Coolpix 7900 key specifications

Street price • US: $445
• UK: £280
Body Material Metal
Sensor • 1/1.8 " CCD, 7.4 million total pixels
• 7.1 million effective pixels
Image sizes • 3072 x 2304
• 2592 x 1944
• 2048 x 1536
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480
Movie clips

• 160 x 120 @ 30 fps
• 320 x 240 @ 30 fps
• 640 x 480 @ 15 fps / 30 fps
• Electronic VR (Vibration Reduction)
• QuickTime (.mov) format
• Duration limited by card size (streaming)*
*with card rated at over 10MB/s


• 38-114mm (35 mm equiv) 3x optical zoom
• F 2.8 - 4.9


• Contrast detection TTL AF
• AF illuminator
• 5-area auto selection
• 99-area manual selection
• Center focus area selection
• 30cm (1 ft) to infinity
• Macro mode 4cm (1.6-inch) to infinity (wide angle)

Shutter speed 4 - 1/2000 sec
Shooting mode

• Auto
• Scene modes:
• Scene Assist (Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Night portrait),
• Party/Indoor
• Beach/Snow
• Sunset
• Dusk/Dawn
• Night landscape
• Close up
• Museum
• Fireworks show
• Copy
• Back light
• Panorama assist
• Underwater
• AE-Compensation -2.0 to +2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps

Sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 50, 100, 200, 400
White Balance

• Auto
• Daylight
• Incandescent
• Fluorescent
• Cloudy
• Shade
• Speedlight
• Manual

Image parameters • Color: Vivid, Standard, Black and white, Sepia, Cyanotype
• Contrast
• Sharpening
• Saturation
Continuous 1.7 fps, up to 29 frames (7M/Normal)
Flash • Built-in Speedlight
• Auto, Red-eye Reduction by pre-flash, Anytime flash, Flash cancel and Slow sync
• Range: 0.3 - 4.5 m / 1-14.8 ft. (W), 0.3-3.5m/ 1-11.5 ft. (T)
Storage • 13.5MB internal memory
• SD/MMC slot
Viewfinder Optical
LCD monitor • 2.0 " TFT
• 115,000
Connectivity • USB
• A/V out
Power • EN-EL5 rechargeable lithium ion battery
• Charger optional
Other features

Best Shot Selector
White balance bracketing
• Auto bracketing
Matrix, center-weighted, spot AF area and spot metering
In-Camera Red-Eye Fix
• Noise Reduction
• Face-Priority AF
• PictBridge-compatible
• Built-in microphone and speaker
• Nikon Picture Project software (Mac and Windows)*

Weight (no batt) 150 g (5.3 oz)
Dimensions 88 x 60 x 36.5 mm (3.5 x 2.4 x 1.4 in)

* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area

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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DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2005 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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