Nikon Coolpix P100 26x Superzoom: Their First 1080p Video Camera

Oh, I've waited for this day. The day Nikon delivered legit HD video. Not only does the P100 deliver full 1080p video in H.264, it shoots 120FPS bursts, and goes with a 10MP CMOS sensor for better low-light performance. Yeah.

It is a superzoom—26x (26mm-678mm), which is a little shorter than what Fuji or Olympus dropped over the last couple of days—which I'm admittedly prone to disliking, but there's a lot here in what's easily Nikon's flagship point-and-shoot.

It's the first Coolpix to switch to CMOS, cutting back to 10 megapixels to deliver hopefully better low light performance, along with built-in HDR processing. And, Nikon's first ever camera to do 1080p video, which I was told is in H.264. Hot shit, 'cause it makes me hopeful to see that in their next DSLRs. Also excellent: You can actually zoom while recording video, something of a rarity in these parts. It shoots fast too: 10FPS at full res, and up to 120FPS bursts (but only at 1.1MP, bleh).

The Fuji HS10 outguns the P100 on paper: Longer zoom, at 30x; same promise of excellent low-light performance thanks to an optimized 10MP CMOS sensor; 1000FPS slow motion video and 1080p like the P100. But, the P100 costs $100 less, running $400 when it hits in March, so it's a tough call 'til we see how they actually perform.

NIKON COOLPIX P100 ZOOMS TO THE TOP OF THE SUPER-HIGH PERFORMANCE COMPACT DIGITAL CAMERA CATEGORY WITH VERSATILE FEATURES
With a 26x NIKKOR Zoom Lens, CMOS Image Sensor and Full HD Movie Recording,
COOLPIX P100 Brings Compact Digital Camera Photography to a Whole New Level

MELVILLE, NY (Feb. 2, 2010) – Nikon Inc. today unveiled the new COOLPIX P100 digital camera, marking a series of firsts for Nikon with the debut of a CMOS image sensor and full High Definition (HD) movie (1080p) capabilities in the COOLPIX line. Additionally, with an expansive 26x Optical Wide Angle Zoom-NIKKOR ED glass lens and a 3.0-inch 460,000-dot vari-angle Clear Color Display LCD screen, the COOLPIX P100 delivers a compact camera fully equipped and readily able to expand a user's photographic potential.

The COOLPIX P100 is Nikon's first compact camera to offer full HD movie (1080p), allowing consumers to entertain audiences with movies that capture the entire impact of a scene at the touch of a dedicated movie-record button. A stereo microphone optimally mounted on top of the camera accurately captures audio to further enhance the video capture experience. Contributing to compositional freedom, both the optical zoom and autofocus functions are available while recording video. Additionally, the high-speed movie function provides the added benefit of recording movies that can be played back in slow motion or fast motion to create artistic effects. To further ease integration into an existing home theater system, an HDMI connector allows for easy playback on a compatible HDTV.

"Our portfolio of cameras is designed to ensure that any photographer, at any level, can find the camera that feels right for them," said Bo Kajiwara, director of marketing, Nikon Inc. "The P100 blends a stellar lens with creative automatic and manual features to allow the more advanced consumer to explore the boundaries of their photographic capabilities."

The Nikon COOLPIX P100 digital camera features a 10.3-megapixel backside illumination CMOS sensor, which enables high-speed shooting at 10 frames per second (fps) at full resolution and exceptional image quality even when shooting in low light settings. Other functions benefitting from the lower noise and exceptional image quality of the new CMOS image sensor include an in-camera high dynamic range (HDR) function, which merges images of the same scene to achieve a single image with a broad range of tonal detail. Additionally, the Night Landscape mode combines a series of consecutive shots taken at a fast shutter speed into a single image with reduced noise when taking handheld shots in night scenes.
The versatility of the COOLPIX P100 digital camera is also attributed to its new 26x Optical Wide Angle Zoom-NIKKOR ED glass lens. This lens offers unparalleled compositional freedom, with its wide angle (26mm) to super telephoto coverage (678mm). The broad focal range lets consumers capture a variety of shots and scenes, ranging from sweeping landscapes to action shots taking place far away on a sports field. For further versatility, this extraordinary lens allows the user to take images or video as close as 0.4 inches while in macro mode. As part of the flagship Performance Series of COOLPIX compact digital cameras, the COOLPIX P100 is the ideal photographic tool for photo enthusiasts, sports and travel photographers and consumers with more advanced photography skills who crave a high performance camera.

Additional features of the Nikon COOLPIX P100 digital camera include:
10.3-megapixels and Backside Illumination CMOS Sensor for stunning prints as large as 16x 20 inches, while retaining fine detail

In-Camera High Dynamic Range (HDR) merges multiple images of the same scene to create an image with a range of tonal detail that could not be captured in a single photo

Night Landscape Mode combines a series of images into a reduced noise composite for low light shooting
3.0-inch Vari-Angle 460,000-dot Clear Color Display LCD and Electronic Viewfinder make it easy to compose and share pictures with friends and family. The new LCD, with anti-reflection coating, can tilt as much as 90 degrees up or 82 degrees down. This enables photographers to shoot from higher angles or from the hip. The incorporation of the an electronic viewfinder enables consumers to see through the lens in most any lighting condition

5-Way Vibration Reduction (VR) Image Stabilization System
Optical VR Image Stabilization by image sensor shift compensates for the effects of camera shake, producing clearer, sharper results in lower lighting or unsteady conditions
Hybrid VR Image Stabilization combines both sensor shift VR and Electronic VR
Motion Detection automatically detects moving subjects and adjusts shutter speed and the ISO setting to compensate for camera shake and subject movement
High ISO 3200 capability creates new opportunities to take sharper, more natural-looking photos in lower light conditions (up to 10 megapixels)
Best Shot Selector (BSS) automatically takes up to 10 shots while the user presses the shutter, and saves the sharpest image
Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority and Manual Exposure modes give ultimate creative control over images
New Sport Continuous Scene Mode for shooting at up to 10 fps at full resolution and 120 fps for 1.1-megapixel images
Subject Tracking automatically activates autofocus while tracking moving subjects such as children and animals. Even when the subject momentarily moves out of the LCD frame, the camera will restart tracking if the subject returns in the frame within 3 seconds
Pre-shooting Cache lets users capture up to 40 shots before shutter is released. This setting helps photographers stay ahead of the action
Active D-Lighting minimizes loss of details in highlights and shadows resulting in beautiful, more natural-looking images
Smart Portrait System integrates the following features to make it a snap to capture stunning portrait photos of friends and family:
In-Camera Red-Eye FixTM automatically fixes most instances of red-eye
Enhanced Face-Priority AF can detect up to 12 faces from a variety of angles
Skin Softening ensures smooth skin tone on the face of subjects by leveraging built-in face-detection technology
Smile Mode automatically detects when a subject smiles and releases the shutter
Blink Warning notifies the user when a subject has blinked in a photo
Blink Proof detects the subject's face and automatically takes a series of sequential shots, then saves the image in which the subject's eyes are open

The Nikon COOLPIX P100 digital camera will be available nationwide in March 2010 and will retail for $399.95* MSRP. For more information on the P100 and all COOLPIX cameras, please visit www.nikonusa.com.