Nikon Coolpix P1000 Review 2020: Read Before you Buy!

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Released initially in September 2018, the Nikon P1000 is the latest and revamped entrant in the Coolpix line of Nikon cameras. If you are looking for an unbiased, non-sponsored Nikon Coolpix P1000 review, you are in the right place.

Without much ado, let’s get started.

Nikon Coolpix P1000 Review: Overview

The latest Nikon P1000 from the Coolpix line is projected as the dream camera for sports and live action photography enthusiasts. The model comes with a super cool, massive lens, and is built for capturing wide shots. Thus, it is perfect for wildlife photography, as well.

The camera’s super zooming capacity lets you easily focus on minute subjects or objects in the frame without losing the clarity or details. The camera encompasses a 16 MP BSI CMOS sensor and has a burst speed of 7 fps. It is capable of capturing visuals in 4k and is a strong rival of the line’s previous model, the Nikon Coolpix P900.

With all these amazing features and control options, the camera might seem a bit sophisticated for amateur photographers. However, it would be a great asset to your photography career.

The camera is marketed as the most compact superzoom camera and comes with a 125x optical lens. This indeed sounds magical and dream-like, but let’s assess how good the camera actually is, or if it is just another disappointment.

Features To Look Out For In The Nikon Coolpix P1000

Even though the most attractive feature of the Nikon Coolpix P1000 is its 125x superzoom capacity, there are plenty of other characteristics that caught our attention. However, let’s start with the details of the superzoom.

  • 125X superzoom

No other cameras in this range can boast of the high-quality zoom feature in their models. The super lens of the camera provides focal length in the field 24 mm to 3000 mm. This means that you can effortlessly capture an object or subject from half an inch away or hundreds of meters away.

However, if you are going to use the focal length above 1000 mm, it is better to employ a tripod. If you have been in business for quite long and your hands won’t shake while capturing the moment, you may not need the tripod. Else, ensure that you carry one  so that you don’t miss the right shot.

  • LCD screen

The LCD screen can be flipped in the outward direction of the camera to your left side. You can also tilt the screen upward or downward according to your convenience. This is highly helpful when you have to capture a shot at an inclined angle.

What makes the screen unique is that it measures around 3.2 inches, and therefore, is bigger than the LCD screens of other cameras in a similar price range. However, the LCD screen isn’t a touch screen, which can be a miss for some.

When you consider the case of wildlife photographers, the camera’s touchpad isn’t much of a necessity. This is because there is a high chance that you might accidentally change the settings with the swipe of your finger while taking some risky shots.

  • Moon watching or bird watching function

If you are just getting started with wildlife photography and sophisticated cameras, this function would be a lifesaver. The bird watching function lets you set and save some values and camera settings to easily use whenever you choose to take a quick or sudden shot.

The function is highly recommended as it provides a small border and helps you keep your object or subject within the lines for better results. Normally, the zoom settings used by professional photographers for birds are 500 mm, and the moon is 1000 mm.

  • Instant view of captured images on the phone

When the camera is paired with your phone with the help of the SnapBridge app (available on App store as well as Play store), you can instantly transfer the captured images and even download a 2MB version of the same for viewing. This is a great help for live-action and wildlife photographers, as you can retake the images if you find they are not up to the mark.

What’s Good About The Nikon Coolpix P1000

Here are some of the pros of the Nikon Coolpix P1000 that make it worthy of the money you spend on it:.

  • Image Quality

With that 125x superzoom lens, Nikon can never go wrong with the image quality of the shots captured. The camera features the same 1/2.3-inch 16MP CMOS Backside-Illuminated sensor as that of its predecessor. Plus, it has the Expeed 4 image sensor, as well. What’s new when compared to the previous model is the superzoom 125x optical NIKKOR ED lens.

The lens has a variable aperture in the range f/2.8 to f/8.0. The aperture is slightly lower than the predecessor, but the lens has much more to offer.

The camera comes with 2x Dynamic Fine Zoom, which is capable of doubling the range to 6000 mm, even though there would be slight image degradation. In addition to this, the standard 4x Digital zoom is also possible which extends the range to 12000 mm.

The image quality is further increased by employing Vibration Reduction (VR). Nikon’s image stabilization system counteracts the effects of camera shake to ensure the image captured is on-point without any blur. The brand has employed the Dual Detect Optical VR system that plays a pivotal role in shake reduction, thus allowing you to capture high-quality hand-held shots.

Another thing that enhances the camera’s image quality is the 1 cm macro mode that has been passed onto this model due to the predecessor’s success with it. This helps in capturing amazing close-up shots and macro images with utmost perfection.

The Nikon Coolpix P1000 also supports the RAW format, which wasn’t present in the previous model. The inclusion of the RAW format ensures the improvement of the video as well as audio quality.

However, in high contrast shots, the lens suffers from chromatic aberration and barrel distortion, but these problems are common for other cameras in this range, as well.

To sum up, even with a smaller sensor, the quality of the shots is brilliant and good enough to compete with the entry-level DSLR models.

  • Autofocus

In fairly good light, the autofocus system is highly responsive, fast, and pretty accurate. Even though the system isn’t the best in the range, it is more than enough for the said applications. The Nikon Coolpix P1000 also acquires focus peaking, which is highly needed if you wish to use manual focusing.

Overall, the autofocus system of the camera is commendable and does an excellent job in daylight. Like the previous models, this one also uses a contrast-detection method for the autofocus system. Therefore, the system might not be as effective in dim light as it is in proper daylight.

  • Video Quality

Compared to its predecessor, the video quality has improved a lot. The camera can shoot films in 4K Ultra HD and up to 30 fps. It can also capture videos in a web-friendly MP4 format with the help of the MPEG-4 codec.

Additionally, the camera can also shoot slow-motion videos in 1080 full HD and up to 60 fps. It comes with a very sophisticated image stabilization system that goes along with the camera’s optical VR stabilization.

Even though the video quality is not the best in town, it is good for the price at which this camera sells. The video loses its sharpness and detailing at times, but it is barely noticeable. Thus, the camera is highly recommended for casual use rather than professional photography.

You can also Livestream with the camera as it offers a clean HDMI output. However, it’s impossible to keep both the rear LCD screen and the external screen or monitor on at the same time. That is why you can’t just instantly change the settings while you are live streaming.

  • Viewfinder and the LCD display

As said earlier, the camera comes with a 3.2 inches LCD screen and has 921K dot resolution. You can tilt the screen according to your preference, as this helps capture high or low angle shots with the utmost ease.

The camera comes with an electronic viewfinder that carries notable upgrades from its previous versions. The resolution is about 2.36 M dots. This implies an increment of nearly 150% from its earlier model, which has just 921 K dots.

Also, the Nikon P1000’s Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) is of double the size and comes with better magnification. This makes for an improved and excellent viewing option. Like other models in the price range, this camera also comes with a proximity sensor that will automatically shut off the LCD screen when your eyes are nearby, thus reducing the glare from the screen.

  • Great User interface

The User interface of this camera requires special mention. It’s simple yet very user-friendly. The background remains plain and simple, thus making it easy for you to see the control options on the screen clearly. Also, the control options are listed in an exact, well-organized way, ensuring smooth navigation through them.

This model is equipped with Nikon’s Easy Auto Mode, just like its other cameras. The specialty of this feature is that the device automatically optimizes the camera settings for better quality images.

The device comes with a dedicated FN button or Function button, which you can customize according to your required purpose or preference.

  • Ergonomics and design

The camera is surely a bit bulky but is designed to give you maximum grip over the device, and it also fits easily in your backpack. The quality of the make is commendable, and the camera as a whole is highly durable. When you handle it, you feel like you’re holding an entry-level DSLR, and thus, the camera is a great option for DSLR enthusiasts.

The camera encompasses a variety of manual controls. You can effortlessly make changes to the exposure settings using the camera’s control and command dials, and the fully customizable focus ring.

In addition to the customizable focus ring on the top of the camera, it also has one around its lens. This feature was missing from the previous versions and is great for controlling the exposure compensation, white balance, and ISO.

The camera comes with a separate AF/MF lever that makes it easier for the user to switch between the focusing modes.

The camera offers two separate levers for controlling the zoom capacity. One of the levers is around the shutter while the other one is placed on the lens. The levers vary in zoom speed and this helps in achieving added precision.

The new SnapBack zoom button is another feature that makes the camera highly user-friendly. On pressing the button, the lens quickly zooms to wide-angle. This helps you reframe distant subjects or objects that might have accidentally moved away from the frame’s boundaries. Once the button is released, the focal length gets restored to the previous point.

What Can You Improve In The Nikon Coolpix P1000?

This camera does have some features that could have been improved to give users a more wow effect. Let’s have a look at them:

  • Image performance

While the image quality is great and in par with its competing models, the image performance isn’t up to the mark. When you view an image at 100%, the detailing and quality drop down to below average, which could have been improved.

In addition to this, the quality of the images captured reduces as the lens nears the telephoto end. Even if the camera can sometimes produce excellent images, it isn’t reliable for large format or professional works.

Also, the camera buffer is not up to the mark. It just has seven frames in both JPEG and RAW format. The worst part is that once the buffer is full, the camera gets locked up. Thus, you won’t have further access to the menus or playback options, making the camera unsuitable for occasions such as sports when you need to collect deep, sustained bursts.

  • Video capturing

The Hybrid VR image stabilization feature, one of the camera’s highlights, is available only when you shoot in 1080p and not in the 4K video recording. This is a big turn-off as you need to mount a camera on a tripod or employ other image stabilization techniques while shooting a 4K video.

  • Low light performance

The low light performance capability of the camera isn’t something to boast about. It’s quite average for a camera in this price range. The camera’s ISO ranges from 100 to 6,400 and features a backlight illuminated sensor, which helps in improving the light sensitivity. Even with these specifications, the image quality isn’t on par with the competitors after ISO 1600.

You can attribute this to the camera’s slow lens. At the wide end of the f/2.8, the lens isn’t quite fast. Thus, whenever you shoot in low light, make it a point to use a tripod to ensure that you get the required image quality.

  • Certain aspects of the display screen

The electronic viewfinder lags a bit when you change certain settings on-screen manually. This may not be a big defect, but it certainly can be improved to better the user experience.

Another problem lies with the LCD screen display. It isn’t a touch screen, and you have to use the button and dials to change the settings. However, what’s strange is that Nikon decided to downgrade the coverage of the screen from 100% to 99%. This means what you see on the screen won’t be how your final, captured picture will look.

  • Certain aspects of the Autofocus system

The autofocusing feature works pretty well up to 1000 mm. However, beyond that, the performance isn’t up to the mark, making it unfit for professional shoots. You might even have to zoom out at times to make sure you re-acquire focus on the object.

The autofocus works on contrast-detect technology. Thus, if there isn’t enough contrast or the light is very low, the camera will continuously search for the object to focus on it. If you want to zoom beyond 1000 mm, it is highly advised that you use a manual focus. Always carry the manual focus with you if you plan to shoot in low light with this camera.

What’s Bad About The Nikon Coolpix P1000

  • Weight and build of the camera

The camera weighs around 1415 grams, making it quite heavy and almost equal to the  mass of theNikon’s D850 professional DSLR. However,  the latter comes with a semi-telephoto lens, so the weight is justified.

When compared to the previous model in the series, there is a whopping difference of 516 grams. Thus, making the camera quite bulky and hard to carry around.

If you plan to go for long shoots with this camera, make sure you keep a tripod handy as you will surely get hand cramps from holding the device for too long.

Another problem with the camera’s ergonomics is that when the lens is attached, the front of the camera becomes even heavier. As you zoom in, it gets difficult to balance the camera on the tripod, so you need to take extra care.

Instead of the Mini HDMI port, this camera features a micro HDMI port like the Nikon P900. The problem with the micro HDMI port is that it can easily get damaged and doesn’t offer the most reliable or sturdy connection.

Also, the battery storage and the memory card compartment are close together and housed beneath the camera’s body. Even though the tripod thread is quite far away from the storage compartment, changing the battery can be quite tricky when you are using the tripod.

  • Lacks certain features

The camera doesn’t come with a headphone jack, and is also  void of the built-in GPS technology and one-touch NFC pairing.

  • Battery life

The battery life can be classified as below-average when compared to the other models in the price range. The camera makes use of the EN-EL20A battery, which isn’t quite apt for a camera this big and with these many features.

With the existing battery, you can take just 250 shots or capture 80 minutes of a video in a single charge. This is far less when compared to the other models. Thus, if you are planning long outdoor shoots, it’s better to carry a couple of batteries along with you.

Final Verdict

The Nikon Coolpix P1000’s most attractive feature is its super zooming lens, and also, the camera fits miraculously in your backpack even when it’s huge. For the cost of the camera, the image quality is quite good but not the best.

The lens stabilization is also pretty decent at superzoom, but the problem kicks in when you want to record videos in 4K. Plus, some aspects of the autofocus are a big miss while others are quite good. If you are going to shoot below 1000 mm, the autofocus works really well, but beyond that, its performance falls below average.

Wildlife photographers, especially bird watchers, would fall in love with the quality of this camera. They can get a very focused picture or video of the birds without disturbing them. Also, compared to the other cameras used by bird watchers, this one is quite ergonomic and budget-friendly.

Overall, the camera is perfect for photographers who are well-versed in capturing long focal range images. Even though the pictures require a bit of processing to make them look the best, the camera is pretty good for its price range. At the same time, it’s almost double the cost of its predecessor. Thus, it’s up to you to decide if the camera is a good one for your use. We also reviewed other camera models which you can check out.

FAQs on Nikon P1000

1. Is Nikon P1000 A Good Beginner Camera?

Yes, the Nikon P1000 is suitable for beginners or amateur photographers. It encompasses many automatic features, and therefore, you don’t have to learn the science of taking quality pictures from scratch.

It has some cool additions like Easy auto modes and bird watching modes that let you save the settings you used to capture a picture for future use. If you are experienced in taking some stunning pictures with smartphones and DSLRs, this camera would be a good upgrade for you.

2. Is Nikon P1000 Good For Wildlife Photography?

Even though the camera has its list of flaws, it would serve as a great camera for wildlife photography, especially for bird enthusiasts. You can carry it with you when you go for a safari around a wildlife sanctuary to capture some stunning pictures.

When you take it along for leisure photography, the camera’s weight and shape won’t be a problem unless you decide to use it for long shoots. Also, the battery lasts for about 250 shots, and if needed, you can carry one or two extra batteries to make sure you never run out of charge midway through the shoot.

3. Does Nikon P1000 Have GPS?

The Nikon Coolpix P1000 uses a high-speed Wi-Fi to transfer captured images and visuals. Unfortunately, just like its predecessors, the Nikon P1000 doesn’t feature in-built GPS tracking or NFC connectivity.

4. Can The Nikon P1000 Zoom Into The Moon?

Sure, the Nikon P1000 can easily zoom into the moon with its 125X zooming capacity. The image captured might require a bit of post-processing, but even then, the zoom capacity of the Nikon P1000 is commendable. For amateur photographers, you can save the setting you used to view the moon on your camera and use it later when you want to do it again.

Nikon Coolpix P1000 Vs Nikon P900

Let’s compare the Nikon P1000 with its predecessor, the Nikon Coolpix P900, to see if it is worth the double amount you pay for it. The Nikon P1000 was released initially in the fall of 2018, while the Nikon P900 came out in March of 2015.

Feature-Wise Comparison

Both these cameras feature the 16 MP 1/ 2.3-inch sensors with a 7 fps. The Nikon P1000 is best for flash photography compared to its previous model, as it comes with an external shoe for attaching a separate flash.

The LCD screen of the Nikon P1000 is about 0.2 inches greater than the Nikon P900 (3.0 inches), which might not be a great deal, but the bigger the display, the better. Also, the resolution of the viewfinder in Nikon P1000 is commendable as it has 2359K dots, whereas the Nikon P900 has just 921k dots.

For better image quality, the Nikon P1000 supports RAW format, which isn’t available in the Nikon P900. Additionally, the max video resolution is about 3840 x 2160, while that of the Nikon P900 is just 1920 x 1080.

The Nikon P900 scores high when it comes to the coverage of the viewfinder. It has a 100% coverage, while that of the Nikon Coolpix P1000 is just 99%. This means you get to see what you are capturing in the Nikon P900 but not in the Nikon P1000.

The Nikon P900 again has the upper hand when it comes to connectivity. It comes with NFC connectivity, which is missing in the Nikon P1000. The weight of the Nikon P1000 is relatively higher than that of the Nikon P900. The Nikon P1000 weighs around 1500 grams, while the previous version was just about 900 grams.

Coming to some of the common features, both models feature good image stabilization techniques and have in-built flashes. Apart from auto-focusing, both models also come with manual focusing, which is very efficient in low light conditions.

Specifications

Nikon P1000

Nikon P900

Sensor

16MP – 1/2.3″ BSI-CMOS

16MP – 1/2.3″ BSI-CMOS

ISO

100 to 6400

100 to 6400 (can be expanded up to 12800)

LCD screen

3.2 inches fully articulated

3.0 inches fully articulated

Viewfinder

2359K dots electronic viewfinder

921K dots electronic viewfinder

Weight

1415 grams

899 grams

Dimensions

146 x 119 x 181 mm

140 x 103 x 137 mm

Lens

24-3000 mm f2.8-8

24-2000 mm F2.8-6.5

Flash Coverage

12 meters

11.5 meters

Focal Length -Tele

3000 mm

2000 mm

Optical Zoom

125X

83.3X

Microphone port available

Yes

No

Support Raw format

Yes

No

Max Aperture – Tele

8.0

6.5

NFC connection available

No

Yes

Face detection Focus

Yes

Yes

Continuous shooting (burst)

7 fps

7 fps

Waterproof

Water-resistant not waterproof

No

Zoom microphone

No

Yes

Battery Life

250 shots per charge

360 shots per charge

Manual Exposure control

Yes

Yes (comparatively better)

Battery

Rechargeable, Li-ion

Rechargeable, Li-ion

Slow-motion effect

Yes

No

Lens Construction

17 elements in 12 groups

16 elements in 12 groups

Focal length

24 – 3000 mm

4.3 – 357 mm

USB

Type 2.0

No

Self-timer

Custom time

10 seconds and 2 seconds

Shutter Speed

1/40000-60 seconds

1/4000-1 second

Processor

Nikon Speed

Expeed C2

Touchscreen

No

No