Nikon CoolPix P7100 Review
Low noise night mode
The Nikon P7100 features the same 'Low noise night mode' as the P7000 which is designed to allow you to shoot in low light with less visible noise than you would be able to using a high ISO setting alone. This mode functions by shooting at a lower resolution (3 MP) and averaging the values of adjacent photo sites. Even though the images shot in this mode exhibit less less luminance noise than a conventional capture, they also contain more obvious chroma 'splotches'.
Distinct 'stair-stepping' is visible along high-contrast edges. Although not ideal for printing, images shot in the 'low noise night mode' are quite usable for web distribution.
Nikon has added a new set of filters in the P7100 that are accessible from the effects mode. There are a lot of old favorites in there as well as some unique optical effects like 'Zoom exposure' and 'Defocus during exposure'. Most of the effects have adjustable parameters for that allow you to customize their look. High key and Low key modes however have no adjustments as they are just over and under exposing respectively by about a stop. It is important to note that when shooting in Effects mode the P7100 is in complete auto mode, meaning that you have no control over ISO, WB or shutter speed and aperture.
|Creative Monochrome||Painting||Zoom Exposure||Defocus||Cross process|
|Soft||Nostalgic Sepia||High key||Low key||Selective color|
Unfortunately the P7100 does not allow you to shoot in JPEG + Raw when taking pictures in the Effects mode. This means that you are stuck with whichever effect you have enabled, without any ability to edit after you taken the shot. And even though the P7100 does offer in-camera raw processing, it's not possible to add these effects after the photo has already been taken. We feel this is a wasted opportunity.
The P7100 lacks an equivalent to Sony's 'Sweep Panorama' (a feature which has been copied since by other manufacturers as well) but does offer a 'Panorama Assist' feature which helps you line up shots for stitching together later, on a computer.
|Panorama created from 5 shots taken in panorama assist mode. 13268 x 2397|
Panorama assist overlays the last shot you took on your live view screen, which helps you line up subsequent shots and makes sure you have enough overlap so the image can be stitched together without breaks in the scene. Thankfully, the P7100 keeps all the individual files from each panorama in the same folder which makes it easy to find them when you need to join them together.
To do this you'll have to turn to third-party software though - either ArcSoft Panorama Maker 5 which is included on the P7100's software CD or another platform of your choice. We used ArcSoft Panorama Maker 5 and results are good. If you shoot your sequence of images on a steady tripod and follow the assist guides it is possible to create large detailed panoramas with the P7100 that are generally free of stitch lines and have good continuous tone.
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