Sponsored: Nikon Coolpix P7800

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If I could choose, I'd probably want to own a DSLR, a point-and-shoot light camera, and one with a flip camera, all in one. That's like a dream combination, right? When I held the Nikon Coolpix P7800 in my hands, I thought, wow - this could be it. In this review, I'll be assessing the P7800 based on the characteristics that I look for in a camera.



1. Weight & Grip

The first thing that stood out for me was its super lightweight body and easy-to-hold frame. At only 400g, I could hold the Nikon Coolpix P7800 for minutes with one hand without getting tired. This is a big plus point for me because I'm always going to places to explore and I like to whip out my camera to shoot random things for long hours. The control dials are also located within reach and I can adjust the basic controls such as shoot button, ISO and mode with just one hand - my hand is probably considered smaller than average, so I guess it's even easier for other people to hold this camera. I don't have to be afraid of the camera slipping because it is designed for a stable grip.


2. How much details can it catch?

The next impressive feature was the insane amount of details that the camera could capture. Just look at the fine lines on the buildings and the colorful dots of people on the other side! It's so easy to use and packs so much ability in a tiny frame.


More on the details: from the glistening of the balsamic sauce on the cherry tomatoes to every contour on the wontons and even the edges of the rice grains - this camera captures details for food during micro-zooms. The laksa photo shot demonstrates that it doesn't always appear harsh and vibrant, it depends on the lighting. Late evening lighting can create a softer, pastel effect.

3. Can it shoot at night/dark places?


Good for stills but when it comes to action shots, it doesn't perform that well... Nikon's cameras have a tendency to have much slower shutter speed, and this flaw is even more acute in dark settings. The result? Bad blurry action night shots. But when it comes to stills, it still shines brilliantly - the oyster cake, the satay and the sambal stingray remains very sharp despite being shot in a dim setting.

4. I want to know about its selfie-performance.



As a (vain, narcissistic) blogger, one of the things I shoot the most is... myself. For my daily usage, I also take selfies with my friends and families, which requires a flip-screen. Yes, Nikon Coolpix P7800 has a flexible flip-screen! It's pretty obvious why I love it - I could ensure everyone is inside the frame, everyone looks good in the frame and my face is at its best angle before I shoot. I cannot emphasize what a pain it is to keep trying to shoot properly without a flip-screen.


I can do the I'm-not-looking-at-the-camera shots even though I am technically shooting myself. I know, humans are weird.

5. How are its aperture adjustments and smart focus?

I am definitely impressed by the Nikon Coolpix P7800's ability to differentiate what to focus on and what to blur out. It's a simple point-and-shoot camera which anyone can operate, and still comes up with fairly decent photos. You just have to choose a mode - I chose the Smart Aperture mode and let it do the rest.


6. Colours... Pre-processing?


Left: post-processing, Right: pre-processing
I will not lie, but the vibrancy and colour vividness of the Nikon Coolpix P7800 is quite dull. But somehow, post-processing it is much better than my Canon DSLR. The pictures above has gone through 'vibrancy-processing' but no sharpening. I think it's partially because of its lightweight which prevented my weak arms from shaking too much, and also because of its smart focus function. I'm divided over this characteristic - I would rather a camera which can deliver great-vivid images so that I don't have to spend a lot of time editing it before I can post them, but then again, my DSLR remains too heavy and I have a mix of blur and usable photos. My DSLR is really heavy at slightly over 800g.

Left: post-processing, Right: pre-processing
Overall: Nikon Coolpix P7800 attracts me as an alternative for day-to-day usage because of its lightweight, flip-screen and its smart focus which makes for a fuss-free camera. The blur candid night shots poses as an issue, which means that I have to bring along another camera which can act as a substitute for such occasions. The vibrancy of photos is relatively easier to overcome with post-processing programs such as Photoshop, though it can get very time-consuming.

Verdict? At $699, I find it a little pricey if it cannot stand on its own as the only camera I need. Nevertheless, the redeeming qualities of this camera are quite outstanding. Depending on the sort of characteristics you look for in a camera based on your needs, this could be the camera you are looking for.

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