updated 12:15 am EDT, Wed September 8, 2010
Nikon makes P7000, S8100 and S80 official
Nikon tonight unveiled an anticipated trio of high-end compact cameras, starting with a direct challenger to the Canon G12. The Coolpix P7000 follows the same philosophy of a large, lower resolution 10-megapixel sensor more sensitive to low light; it's also the first camera with an EXPEED C2 image processor that promises better quality. Moving to the new CCD opens the camera up to a regular sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 6,400 as well as special low noise night mode that drops the resolution in return for cleaner images and a maximum ISO of 12,800.
Similarly in step with its rival, the camera has a wide-aperture f2.8-5.6 lens, only with a longer 7.1X, 28-200mm equivalent zoom. Nikon has added two dedicated control dials for settings like exposure and has moved its optical viewfinder directly above the lens rather than off to the side. It falls slightly behind in video, shooting at 720p but only at 24 frames per second instead of 30.
The camera is due to ship in late September and will cost $500.
The S8100 is styled more conventionally but is the first Nikon camera with a back-illuminated CMOS sensor that improves its light sensitivity without necessarily having to reduce the density; it shoots at a higher 12 megapixels. Although it shares the C2 processing, it edges its higher-end counterpart in some areas, using a longer 10X (30-300mm) zoom lens and shooting full 1080p movies.
Nikon delivers the S8100 at the same time as the P7000 for $300.
Rounding out the introductions, the S80 upgrades the S70 and keeps the familiar slim, sliding-cover design and conventional sensor, albeit at a higher 14 megapixels. Nikon outfits the newer design with a 3.5-inch OLED touchscreen and supports 720p video at 30 frames per second.
The S80 arrives sometime in the fall for $330.