Nikon Intros Coolpix P5000 Has DSLR Brains, Point and Shoot Sensor

There's a flurry of Nikon point-and-shoot digital camera releases hitting right now, and the highest-end entry is the 10-megapixel Coolpix P5000. It's aimed at those who want more control and quality than the cheapest models but are wary of jumping into a digital SLR just yet. We're intrigued by the P5000's image processing engine, the same one that's inside the more-expensive Nikon D80. Nice improvement, but keep in mind that the D80's much bigger CCD isn't inside the P5000.

There's a glass Nikkor lens with a 3.5x zoom, and there's also optical VR image stabilization. A plus is the ability to hang optional lens converters onto the camera's f/2.7-5.3 lens, giving you a choice of the 35mm equivalent of a 24mm wide angle and a 378mm telephoto. With its optical viewfinder in addition to its 2.5-inch LCD viewscreen and its compatibility with Nikon's sophisticated Speedlight flash units, the $399.95 P5000 looks like it could be an pretty good bridge between the low and high end.

Nikon Intros Coolpix P5000 Has DSLR Brains, Point and Shoot Sensor

Nikon Intros Coolpix P5000 Has DSLR Brains, Point and Shoot Sensor

Nikon Intros Coolpix P5000 Has DSLR Brains, Point and Shoot Sensor

Nikon Intros Coolpix P5000 Has DSLR Brains, Point and Shoot Sensor

Nikon Intros Coolpix P5000 Has DSLR Brains, Point and Shoot Sensor

Nikon Intros Coolpix P5000 Has DSLR Brains, Point and Shoot Sensor

Nikon Intros Coolpix P5000 Has DSLR Brains, Point and Shoot Sensor

Nikon Intros Coolpix P5000 Has DSLR Brains, Point and Shoot Sensor

Nikon Intros Coolpix P5000 Has DSLR Brains, Point and Shoot Sensor