Their conclusion: The Nikon Coolpix P7700 has a lot to offer for those looking for a fixed lens compact that fits somewhere between a small sensor compact and a DSLR. With the advent of large sensor compacts like the Canon PowerShot G1X and Sony RX100, added to the continuing popularity of mirror-less compact system cameras, you might be tempted to think that that the Coolpix P7700 occupied a shrinking niche. Whether or not that’s true, there’s still plenty of enthusiasm and demand for these models, but it’s becoming increasingly important for manufacturers to get the right mix of features.
With the P7700 Nikon has got it bang on in some key areas. First, the P7700′s bright lens keeps it in play with competition that’s really pushing the boundaries. F2 to f4 may not be the brightest of the pack but, crucially, the P7700′s long 28 to 200mm equivalent range is a big compensation.
Next, there’s control and customisation, two factors that score highly among enthusiast photographers looking for a compact backup to occassionally substitute for a DSLR. The P7700 has both in spade loads. And its ergonomics work, allowing you to make the most of the physical controls, a feature that will appeal to improvers as well as enthusiasts.
Really excellent image quality, good stabilisation, SLR-style auto bracketing options and an articulated 3 inch LCD screen further enhance a very capable compact. Add to that a standard hotshoe, external mic socket and the ability to add a GPS dongle and it looks like a winner. It’s not all good news though. While it’s great to be able to add GPS features, it would be even greater to have them, and WiFi, built-in. And the decision to drop the P7100′s viewfinder, rather than improve it is something of a disappointment. The P7700 is larger and heavier than other cameras in its class, has shallow continuous shooting performance and is slow to write RAW files to the memory card. But if you think that’s nit picking, then the Coolpix P7700 could be the enthusiast compact you’ve been waiting for.