It's a Nikon; that name is certainly not tarnished with a reputation for cheap and nasty cameras. Even your friend who doesn't own a camera knows Nikons are a pure photographic mainstay. So for Nikon to make a £300 camera with all the features that an active hobbyist would need – well, it's a tall order. Nikon P100 Nikon's …
NTSC for a global market???
If Nikon is truly aiming this camera at the entire globe then it would be silly to pick a niche system like NTSC as their standard. Some 95% of the global population resides outside of the USA, and indeed Europe alone is now more than 150% the size of the USA market...as they say in America "Go figure" !
Is it just me?
...who thinks that rating the battery as 250 shots is just stupid? it'd be fine for an SLR without constant display which you can look through all day without taking a shot. But I feel that a usage time in muntes would be more appropriate for devices that require an always on display screen / electronic View finder. I suspect that saying it lasts for just 2 hours (on time based on 30 seconds per shot) ) might change some opinions.
Bad frame rates
"getting any footage onto a UK DVD, is going to be challenging. Video is recorded as H264 MPEG4 at 29.97fps. I understand it is a global product, but a PAL version would have been nice."
Yes, this is a great annoyance in a huge lot of otherwise promising cameras. Frame rates can be converted, but it always introduces motion judder, which totally spoils smooth movements. My favourite horrid example was filming my kid in a playground carousel while testing one otherwise very nice camera (Sanyo Xacti) an acquaintance tried to sell me. Did not buy it after seeing the result on my PAL TV.
It is a mystery. There are probably more people in 25fps / 50 frames/s countries than in NTSC land (after all, India and China are in this camp!), so any global camera should use these rates instead! (Are you listening, camera makers?)
There’s also an interval timer (time-lapse) to take up to 600 photos...
Shame the battery only lasts for 250 shots.
Still cant understand why there is no intervalometer on many top end DSLR's.
All my Nikon's have this.
It has a battery charger built in, so you can plug the camera itself into the mains, and I suspect it will run indefinitely on mains power while you do so. However, if it's limited to 10 minutes then that rules out most of the fun stuff I'd want it for, such as filming flowers opening or dead foxes decaying (as per True Blood).
Which is just as well, because I've ordered a Fujifilm HS10 instead (which doesn't have an interval timer at all). The HS10 is more expensive but from many reviews seems to be a better camera generally. Looking forward (and somewhat dreading) the Reg review of it.
Is 30fps really an issue nowadays? Surely any TV which can cope with 1080p can also cope with a variety of frame rates? Is it just that you'd need to burn to Blu-Ray instead of DVD?
"Is 30fps really an issue nowadays? Surely any TV which can cope with 1080p can also cope with a variety of frame rates?"
Possibly, but displaying on TV direct from the camera is not the only usecase. I may also want to mix it with footage from other sources (other cameras, older recordings, all at 25fps). I want to burn DVD:s about kids (the only modern video media "grannies" can handle, as long as the disk has only one track...). Then there is the issue of lighting fixtures (increasingly fluorescent only, with the phasing-out of incandescents) flickering at 50hz.
Why use the name coolpix?
It sounds like something that would have a tagline of "My First Camera". I have to remind myself of the great SLRs that Nikon make to remember what a professional company they are.
Coolpix is not a cool name!
Unfashionable drop in megapixels?
I'd say that was a sensible drop in megapixels. I applaud it.
Most people using compacts and these sorts of cameras are not likely to be shooting pics for use on billboards.
I'm all for less megapixels and better sensors. Wasted or compromised otherwise.
A better choice.
For this kind of money I suggest an Olympus E-PL1: big sensor, decent basic lens range, and room to grow beyond the point and shoot.
From Amazon, the E-PL1 is £500, so hardly the same kind of money as the P100 (£300). It also comes with a 3x zoom rather than a 26x zoom. If you want a 26x range you'll need to lug around several more lens. If you want a viewfinder you have to pay more for that, too. It probably gives better quality pictures, though. It's a very different kind of camera.
1) NTSC/PAL ceased to mean anything much when the CRT died - every flatscreen is progressive and supports all frame rates. PCs/media centres, etc, etc ONLY support progressive. So interlaced footage is only notionally supported as a transmitted stream which must then be deinterlaced either by the source (PC, etc) or destination (the plasma/LCD)
2) any DVD writer or player in the last 10 years will playback oldie worldie SD resolution PAL or NTSC footage if you insist on burning it. if its a UK player - you just need to set the region to UK - nothing to stop you still burning NTSC MPEG2 footage.
3) In HD, there is no such thing as 'NTSC' - there are various different frame rates, all supported by all HD tvs - 1080p30 is not 'HD NTSC'.. it is just 1080p30 - it is as valid as 1080p24 or 1080p25.. ah well except there is in fact, no such standard, only 1080p24 - why ? because it would be bloody stupid - the only reason there is a different frame rate between PAL and NTSC is the difference in vertical lines count - hence the extra bandwidth on NTSC being available for more fps.
NTSC DVD SD: 720x480, 29.97fps
PAL DVD SD: 720x576, 29.97fps
e.g: PAL has more definition, but has less temportal information. i.e. NTSC is not 'worse'... a common mistake people make - for fast moving scenes it may be significantly better....
this difference in vertical line count was due to the ANALOGUE NTSC vs PAL standards.
It ceased to mean much at all when we went digital, and ceased to mean anything at all when we went to HD...
so in HD there is:
720p (1280x720) and 1080p(1920x1080)
thats it! not a different size for UK and USA.
There are various different frame rates in the standard - these are there to support various different content types and are various trade offs between resolution integrity vs temportal data for a given framerate.
They have precisely FA to do with countries, or NTSC/PAL.
In reality, the artificial 720p25 and 1080i50 that were put into the standard were very much transients to support upscaling of SD content. They have FA other reason to exist. I can't think of a single device that shoots 720p25, and 1080i50 is hanging on only in the HDCAM/AVCHD standards and is rapidly losing favour to progressive - I'd expect it to disappear in the next few years to be replaced by progressive p30 and p60 as we are already seeing in cameras such as the EOS series.
In reality, the vast majority of HD currently is in 30p, 24p (movies), and 60i (sport).
Let NTSC and PAL die a death please.
Maybe it's just me...
Maybe it's just me, but I think the pictures were quite noisy? Even the ISO 100 ones seemed noisy. Weird.
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