Compared to... Canon PowerShot G7

Although there's a hefty difference in price (and some fairly significant spec differences too), in spirit the P5000's most obvious direct competitor is Canon's PowerShot G7.

In this section we have included comparisons at each camera's lowest ISO setting, ISO 400, ISO 800 and ISO 1600.

Studio scene comparison (P5000 @ ISO 64, G7 @ ISO 80)

  • Nikon Coolpix P5000: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 64, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.6 EV compensation

  • Canon PowerShot G7: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 80, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.67 EV compensation
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Nikon Coolpix P5000
Canon PowerShot G7
ISO 64, 1/34 sec, F4.8
ISO 80, 1/60 sec, F5
2,557 KB JPEG
3,883 KB JPEG

There are more similarities between these two cameras' output than differences, though at first glance it might not seem that way. In terms of detail the G7 wins by a whisker, and it has to be said that the P5000 shot doesn't look that crisp, which could be off putting for some users. That said, the differences are mainly down to the in-camera processing, with Nikon's default settings using less sharpening and lower saturation, resulting in a more subtle, but less 'punchy' shot.

Since both cameras offer comprehensive control over parameters such as sharpness, saturation and contrast I think it's fair to say that if you fiddled with the settings enough you'd be able to produce images that - in print if nothing else - would be impossible to distinguish from one another.

Overall I have to say I'm impressed with the P5000's output, it has an admirably 'hands off' approach that will appeal to more serious users (though, again, the vivid and custom image parameter options are there if you prefer more out of camera 'pop'). Edge to edge sharpness is pretty consistent and the color rendition very realistic. Yes, they need sharpening - and when they do you start to see noise even at the lowest ISO setting - but this is better than over-sharpened, over-processed output.