Coming from the same stable as the now proven 950 the 700 is indeed an excellent sub $500 fixed lens camera, and the same goes for image quality. Images taken between the 950 and 700 are virtually identical and all the good points I made about the 950 images also stand true for the 700.

The Good

  • Detail: the levels of detail captured by this camera are stunning, down to the very finest hair (nth of a pixel wide) or slightest colour gradient.
  • Colours: bright, vibrant but ACCURATE. And this is an important point, it's not often that a camera can deliver accurate colours brightly. There's always an "easy way out" of the right colour balance by not saturating colours fully and therefore toning down any slight inaccuracies, we see non of this in the 700.
  • Sharp: details are sharp, focus is accurate and sharp which leads to an image which requires little-to-no post-processing sharpening.
  • Exposure: second to none, the 700 manages to expose almost perfectly every time, probably due to the matrix metering system.
  • Algorithm: every consumer digital camera uses a colour pattern where each pixel of the CCD is painted a unique colour (generally in an RGBG square pattern), the internal software of the camera then combines the values of surrounding pixels to produce a full RGB colour value for that pixel.
  • Little to no post-processing: regular visitors to my site will know that I'm a firm believer in the digital darkroom and the importance of "correcting" images before posting / printing them. I found with the 950 that I had to do much less of this than with other cameras, images are "right out of the camera".

As you can see from the above list I'm pretty impressed with the 700, I suggest that you take a look through the samples gallery after you've read this review and formulate your own opinion of the image quality.

Problems / Comparisons with 950

Nikon Coolpix 950 Nikon Coolpix 700
Coolpix 950: Same barrel distortion as reported in the original review.
Coolpix 700: Very similar (a little better) barrel distortion than the 950 (left)
This image is a 200% blow up from both samples above and shows that the 700 has noticeably less chromatic abberation than the 950, which is to be expect for a fixed lens camera which will have much less "glass" (lens elements) between the subject and sensor.
These two samples were simply taken to compare detail captured between the two cameras, note that the 950 image is a little darker probably because of my own shadow.
One final 950 / 700 comparison:  
Nikon Coolpix 950 Nikon Coolpix 700
Again, as you would expect from these two cameras images are almost identical.