The B700 vs its contemporaries
Several here have suggested the Nikon B700 to me as an alternative to the longer range zooms and after a cursory look I agree that its a long zoom with much potential.
Here is the Flickr page for the camera:
I have spent a fair amount of time studying the better images and their settings if available. I noted that many of the technically better shots were processed outside of the camera, which is necessary when working with files generated by a 1/2.3" sensor.
One other note before I proceed: Are there any photo collections taken with the B700 by capable and accomplished 1/2.3" sensor camera users, such as Aisse Gaertner?
The specifications and current price of this camera are outstanding ($450US) when considered together. This camera seems to be a closer match to Canon's SX50 through to the specifications revealed for the SX70, though the SX60 and SX70 have a wide end focal length of 21mm. That's something I need to consider and I will wait to see if there is any improvement in the JPEG output of the SX70. Many of my published environmental portraits were made within the range of 18-24mm.
When I used the SX50 I strongly disliked the camera's JPEG processing but was not yet ready to edit RAW files in external image editing software. For all of my professional work I am a film photographer so the added burden of learning new software and techniques was not appealing. That has been changing for me as my interest in nature photography has accelerated and it may be necessary to wring out all available detail from 1/2.3" sensor cameras. Then again, good JPEG files may be all that is necessary as Aisse Gaertner and others have shown. I recall several others working with the SX50 and earlier Canon cameras (S5is, SX30, etc.) without the RAW saving option who employed the method of reducing all in-camera processing to its minimum (noise, sharpness, contrast, etc.) to allow for a more neutral file to work on external to the camera. Apparently its still a preferred method for JPEG files.
The B700 has a 20MP sensor and I don't agree with many who think that it might be problematic. After viewing many images on Flickr and elsewhere I found that both internally and externally processed files seemed sharper, more saturated and had more clarity than similar P900 and P1000 files. Noise and smearing of detail was no worse than with those cameras and sometimes even better. I think the lens is more of an issue along with internal processing in terms of what the final file looks like. The SX50 RAW files showed horrendous distortion and other artefacts which simply weren't seen in the same files as an internally processed JPEG showing that the lens and processing do make a significant difference in the final result. Th B700 has that going for it.
I'm not much interested in videography but the B700 has the vaunted 4K video mode so if an interest or need ever arose it would be available if one owned the camera. The P900 long zoom does not have a 4K mode.
Where I see another benefit to the B700 is in its size which is smaller than the P900 and much smaller than the P1000.
The other features of WI-FI and the like are of little to no interest to me. 5FPS seems to be more than enough although many won't agree. I tend to follow subjects and isolate them by zooming and wait for a decisive moment of stillness. This does not require a high frame rate however should I or others employing the same method wish to try the old machine gun method we'd have to move to another camera.
At this time I think the choices are complex and depend a lot upon one's shooting style and preferences Cameras like the B700 and Canon SX50 (and the newer models) are one avenue with the newer Canons offering a wider wide end which could be valuable. Going down another avenue Nikon is virtually alone with the P900 and P1000 extra long zooms. The P1000 is in a class of its own and still yet to be proven by the best 1/2.3" camera users. As in my previous thread entitled "I Don't Know," I still don't know and am still reading and appreciate any suggestions, advice and example images anyone offers. We do live in interesting times in terms of the advancement of digital cameras, but they are also complex and confusing times. Some have suggested owning more than one 1/2.3" sensor zoom camera which is no longer considered the camera faux pas it was ten years ago.
I look forward to a pleasant, interesting and helpful comparison of the benefits of owning each of these cameras to satisfy our varied and preferences and applications.
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