Conclusion

Pros Cons
  • Unbelievable 24-3000mm equiv. focal range
  • Good image quality for a camera with a smaller sensor
  • Raw support
  • Image stabilization works well until the longest focal lengths
  • 'Snapback Zoom' button helps you locate a 'lost' subject
  • Fully articulating LCD
  • Good-sized, high-res OLED EVF
  • Respectable 4K video with no crop
  • External mic input
  • SnapBridge with Bluetooth makes sharing photos and geo-tagging easy
  • 1cm minimum focus distance (at wide-angle)
  • Bulky and front heavy
  • Slow maximum aperture at longer focal lengths
  • Expensive for a camera with small-sensor image quality
  • Diffraction from slow lens, heat distortion and small sensor can lead to noisy or 'mushy' images
  • Small buffer fills after 6-7 shots
  • AF system can hunt at longer focal lengths
  • No touchscreen
  • Not weather-sealed
  • Very basic remote capture

It's hard to place the Nikon Coolpix P1000 into a single box. Its focal range is unmatched, making it ideal for wildlife and lunar photography (or spying on your neighbors, we suppose). However, it's not well-suited for much else, especially given the availability of smaller cameras that produce better quality photos, often for less money. The P1000's main downsides are its sheer bulk and weight, slow lens and small sensor. It will challenge both your arm and tripod strength, as it becomes (very) front-heavy as soon as you start zooming the lens. The lens quickly gets slow and, when combined with a 1/2.3" sensor, leads to soft, often noisy images.

P1000 with optional DF-M1 dot sight

Nikon has made locating distant subjects as easy as humanly possible via a Snapback Zoom button and an optional dot sight. The image stabilizer does an admirable job of reducing shake, to a point: once you get above around 2000mm equiv. keeping your subject in the frame without a tripod is not an easy task.

While the camera is feature packed - it has a good-sized OLED viewfinder, mic input and a genuinely useful 'Moon' mode - the build quality feels cheap in places. The body isn't weather-sealed and the lack of a touchscreen is shocking. Battery life is poor, despite there being plenty of room for a larger battery.

Out-of-camera JPEG
ISO 100 | 1/200 sec | F5.6 | 756mm equiv.

The images the P1000 create are pretty good when you consider the constraints of the sensor and lens. Out-of-camera JPEGs have pleasing colors and having Raw support lets you get around the camera's somewhat heavy-handed noise reduction.

Despite its flaws, the Coolpix P1000 has a certain endearing quality which can be attributed to that 24-3000mm equivalent lens. While you may rarely cross 1000mm (equiv.), when you can the results are rewarding. Being able to see the craters on the moon, taking portraits from two blocks away and capturing a monkey observing its environment is just, well, kind of fun. The P1000 isn't for everyone - nor is it the best superzoom out there - but if you want to enjoy what that lens offers, it's a camera worth considering.


What we think


Wenmei Hill
Editor
The Nikon P1000 is a fun and versatile camera for casual photographers with big camera bags and steady hands (or strong tripods), especially if you value reach over image quality. While I didn’t get any photos I’d want to print large-scale and hang on my wall, I got some perspectives and views that I wouldn’t have been able to get otherwise and the very capable in-camera JPEG processing made my job even simpler.


Carey Rose
Editor
The Nikon P1000 is too big, too expensive, and it’s an absolute hoot. Do I need 3000mm of zoom reach? No, and I never will. But how can I not like a camera that allows me to see which beers they serve at the top of the Seattle Space Needle while I’m still a mile away?

Compared to other cameras

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III ($1299): Aside from having a shorter zoom and $200 higher price, the Sony RX10 III is, in almost every respect, a better camera than the P1000. It's 1"-type sensor has four times the light gathering area, and when combined with its bright lens you'll get much better image quality. The RX10 III has a super-fast burst rate, weather-sealing, superior battery life and absolutely gorgeous 4K video. It's handling isn't great, it's also quite bulky, and autofocus also tends to hunt at the long end of the lens.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 ($799): The FZ1000 is a cheaper alternative to the RX10 III, with a street price $600 below that camera and $400 less than the P1000. It has a much shorter lens (obviously) but it's 1" sensor and fast F2.8-4 aperture range will give it an image quality advantage until you run out of zoom at 400mm. Like the P1000, the FZ1000 has a fully articulating LCD, OLED viewfinder and 4K video capture. The FZ1000 beats out the P1000 in terms of both video quality and AF performance.

Nikon Coolpix P900 ($599): This is the P1000's little brother, with a zoom that 'only' goes to 2000mm. The two have a lot in common, with the main differentiators being size (of course), LCD resolution, Raw support and the ability to capture 4K video (the P900 is 1080p only). Battery life is considerably better, since (presumably) the P900 has less glass to move. If you want the crazy zoom range of the P1000 and can live without the features listed above, it's your only option.

Canon PowerShot SX70 HS ($549): A more compact and less expensive alternative to the P900 is the Canon SX70 HS, which has a 21-1365mm equiv. lens (note how much wider this lens is) and a 1/2.3" sensor (so expect similar image quality). Like the P1000 the SX70 has a fully articulating LCD, OLED EVF, Snapback Zoom button and secondary zoom controller. It's also capable of capturing 4K video and offers Wi-Fi with Bluetooth for sharing photos.


Scoring

Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category. Click here to learn about the changes to our scoring system and what these numbers mean.

Nikon Coolpix P1000
Category: Super-zoom Compact Camera
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Exposure and focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Flash performance
Low light / high ISO performance
Optics
Performance (speed)
Movie / video mode
Connectivity
Value
PoorExcellent
Conclusion
The Nikon Coolpix P1000 is all about its incredible zoom range. If you need a focal length of 3000mm, it's the only game in town. If you don't need that much zoom then there are far better cameras for equal or less money.
Good for
Capturing the moon and still wildlife from incredible distances.
Not so good for
High image quality for most situations, focusing on moving subjects, a long day of shooting
73%
Overall score