Nikon COOLPIX P1000 review - Quality

Quality

To test real-life performance, I shot this scene with the Nikon COOLPIX P1000 using its best quality JPEG setting and at its base 100 ISO sensitivity setting. The COOLPIX P1000 was mounted on a tripod and image stabilisation was disabled, Aperture priority mode was selected for the exposure; I set the Aperture to 2.8 which I’d previously determined produced best results and the P1000 selected a shutter speed of 1/1600.

 

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As usual, the crops below are taken from the areas marked in red above. For this test the COOLPIX P1000 was set to its maximum 24mm wide angle setting, scroll down the page to see more results with the lens zoomed in.

With a 125x zoom you’d expect there to be some quality compromises somewhere, it’s not going to be at its sparkling best throughout the range, but the quality of these crops from the COOLPIX P1000 at its 24mm wide angle setting are very good. The first crop from the left edge of the frame looks a little soft, the next one from the top edge looks a little noisy and there’s a bit of colour fringing. Things improve in the third crop from the centre of the frame which is sharper and a little more detailed, then the softness and very marginal colour fringing creeps back in the fourth crop. So there’s a little bit of softness and chromatic aberration at the edges, but generally the P1000’s lens and sensor do a great job at this focal length.

 

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Above: Nikon Coolpix P1000 at 4.3mm (24mm equivalent) f2.8 100 ISO.

 

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Above: Nikon Coolpix P1000 at 4.3mm (24mm equivalent) f2.8 100 ISO.

 

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Above: Nikon Coolpix P1000 at 4.3mm (24mm equivalent) f2.8 100 ISO.

 

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Above: Nikon Coolpix P1000 at 4.3mm (24mm equivalent) f2.8 100 ISO.

 

Nikon COOLPIX P1000 quality at 200mm equivalent

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Here we’re zoomed in to 200mm, and the crops at this focal length are more consistent than the 24mm ones above. The first crop from the left edge of the frame is sharp and detailed, though there’s still an ever so slight granularity which is taking the edge off the detail and sharpness. That doesn’t go away, but nothing else is introduced and the remaining three crops look remarkably similar in terms of sharpness and clarity of detail. One of the big design challenges with any lens, but particularly long zooms, is to maintain image quality across the frame from the centre to the edges, so hats off to Nikon for successfully achieving that at this focal length at least. Scroll down to see how the P1000 fares when zoomed in to 1500mm.

 

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Above: Nikon Coolpix P1000 at 36mm (200mm equivalent) f4.5 100 ISO.

 

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Above: Nikon Coolpix P1000 at 36mm (200mm equivalent) f4.5 100 ISO.

 

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Above: Nikon Coolpix P1000 at 36mm (200mm equivalent) f4.5 100 ISO.

 

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Above: Nikon Coolpix P1000 at 36mm (200mm equivalent) f4.5 100 ISO.

 

Nikon COOLPIX P1000 quality at 1500mm equivalent

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Now we’re at 1500mm – the mid-point of the COOLPIX P1000’s zoom. The edge detail looks a little bit furry in the first crop from the top left corner of the frame, but other than that there’s not a lot wrong with these results. The final crop from the right edge of the frame also looks a bit soft but crop 2 from the middle of the frame looks crisp and detailed. I’d say these result at the COOLPIX P1000’s mid zoom point are every bit as good as at 200mm. Scroll down to see how things look when the P1000 is zoomed all the way in to its maximum 3000mm focal length.

 

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Above: Nikon Coolpix P1000 at 270mm (1500mm equivalent) f5.6 100 ISO.

 

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Above: Nikon Coolpix P1000 at 270mm (1500mm equivalent) f5.6 100 ISO.

 

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Above: Nikon Coolpix P1000 at 270mm (1500mm equivalent) f5.6 100 ISO.

 

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Above: Nikon Coolpix P1000 at 270mm (1500mm equivalent) f5.6 100 ISO.

 

Nikon COOLPIX P1000 quality at 3000mm equivalent

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Finally, at the P10000’s maximum zoom focal length of 3000mm the quality is holding up pretty well, but there is a slight deterioration in the quality of these crops compared with the other focal lengths. The slight granularity is more pronounced and the edges are less well defined as a consequence. This is true not just at the edges but right across the frame – the detail in statue crops from the middle and lower edge of the frame is quite soft.

Overall though, I think this is an excellent result for the Nikon COOLPIX P1000. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the image quality isn’t quite as good at the extremes of the range – at the 24mm wide angle there’s some visible colour fringing and edge softness and at the 3000mm end of the range there’s a drop off in quality across the frame. But the degree of difference, though not negligible, is quite small in return for having such an huge zoom range at your fingertips.

 

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Above: Nikon Coolpix P1000 at 3000mm (1500mm equivalent) f8 100 ISO.

 

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Above: Nikon Coolpix P1000 at 3000mm (1500mm equivalent) f8 100 ISO.

 

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Above: Nikon Coolpix P1000 at 3000mm (1500mm equivalent) f8 100 ISO.

 

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Above: Nikon Coolpix P1000 at 3000mm (1500mm equivalent) f8 100 ISO.

 

Nikon COOLPIX P1000 JPEG Noise

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To examine noise levels under real-life conditions, I shot this scene with the Nikon COOLPIX P1000 at each of its ISO sensitivities using its best quality JPEG setting. The COOLPIX P1000 was mounted on a tripod and stabilisation was disabled. I also shot the scene in RAW and will update this page when RAW support is included in Adobe Camera RAW.

The COOLPIX P1000 was set to f2.8 in Aperture Priority mode and with the ISO sensitivity manually set to the lowest available 100 ISO setting the P1000 selected a shutter speed of 1 second. As usual the crops below are taken from the area marked in red above.

At first glance, these crops from the Nikon COOLPIX P1000 look very promising. There’s very little evidence of noise in the first crop – in fact this crop looks cleaner than the 24mm crops in my outdoor quality test. As you progress down the column to 200 and 400 ISO what happens is not that the noise becomes more evident but there’s a slight loss in detail. It’s so slight that you have to look very hard to see a difference between the 100 and 200 ISO crop – so the P1000’s noise reduction algorithm is doing an excellent job. By 1600 ISO the loss of detail is certainly noticeable at 100 percent, though a casual observer would be unlikely to notice anything amiss at smaller sizes.

The 3200 and 6400 ISO crops are both scant on detail and grainy, but at smaller sizes I’d take these over an underexposed frame every time.

Of course, if you think you can squeeze more detail from the P1000’s sensor while keeping the noise at bay, you have the option of editing the RAW files. Unfortunately Adobe Camera Raw support for the COOLPIX P1000 wasn’t available at the time of writing so I can’t show you what these crops look like without the noise processing, but I’ll update this page as soon as it becomes available.

 

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Above: Nikon COOLPIX P1000 at 100 ISO f2.8

 

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Above: Nikon COOLPIX P1000 at 200 ISO f2.8

 

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Above: Nikon COOLPIX P1000 at 400 ISO f2.8

 

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Above: Nikon COOLPIX P1000 at 800 ISO f2.8

 

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Above: Nikon COOLPIX P1000 at 1600 ISO f2.8

 

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Above: Nikon COOLPIX P1000 at 3200 ISO f2.8

 

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Above: Nikon COOLPIX P1000 at 6400 ISO f2.8

 

Next check out my sample images, my in-depth review or my final verdict.

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