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First Look: Nikon Coolpix P100

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First Look: Nikon Coolpix P100

2:25 /

There's a lot to like about the Nikon Coolpix P100, but you'll need to keep your photo quality expectations in check to really enjoy it.

>> Hi I 'm Josh Goldman, Senior Editor for CNET reviews and this is Nikon Coolpix P100. It's Nikon's top of the line mega zoom camera extending out to 26X. It's also a 26 millimeter equivalent wide-angle lens on front. On back is a 3-inch vari-angle LCD, pulls out, swings up and down. There's also an electronic viewfinder which is pretty key if you have any hopes of holding this camera still while shooting with the lens zoomed out. The control layout is fairly straightforward; on top is a shooting mode dial for everything from full manual mode to Nikon's auto scene recognition mode. And there's a wheel here to on back for easily changing your shutter speed and aperture. The P100 has two movie modes--regular and video up to 1080P HD or a high speed up to 240 frames per second. Again this switch here let's you switch between the two and start recording quickly with this dedicated record button. The optical zoom does work while shooting but it's picked up by the stereo mic on top as is the sound of the continuous autofocus which you'll have to turn on if you use the zoom during recording. Along with the lens the other highlight component is the 10 megapixel backside illuminated, cema [assumed spelling] censor which improves shooting speed and helps reduce noise in lowlight photos. And this camera is fast. It's one of the fastest mega-zoom camera we've tested; not only with continuous shooting but startup, shutter lag and shop times were also very good. There's a fun high-speed sports continuous mode too that captures at a reduced resolution up to 120 frames per second. The thing is for all of the P100's features and abilities; the photo quality just isn't there. So if you're expecting digital SLR quality photos simply because this is a high-end camera with long lens and SLR style design, you're going to be disappointed. If you can accept that the cost gets you the features sand not superb photos, you'll probably like this camera quite a bit. I'm Josh Goldman and that's a look at the Nikon Coolpix P100.

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