Sure, Nikon's Top Point-and-Shoot Zooms Twice as Deep, But Does It Fall Short?S

By now advanced point-and-shoot cameras have an established market: They're the last point-and-shoot cameras people own before they move on to something better. The Nikon P7700 comes in cheaper than some of its competition and brings a badass zoom that might set it apart for some photographers. Is it enough?

Make no mistake, people have a slate of good options in the P7700's class: The Canon S100 is the tiniest and cheapest; the Panasonic Lumix LX7's f/1.4 maximum aperture opens up wider than the others, which allows you to shoot a greater variety of photos; and Sony's pricey RX100 has the best image quality of any point-and-shoot ever owing to its one-inch sensor, which dwarfs the dinky chips on the rest.

The P7700's handling and zoom might set it apart from these formidable cameras. First of all, the 7x optical zoom goes twice as far as the competition. The camera is larger than its rivals, but it's also the only one with a 3-inch LCD that flips out and turns every which way to make shooting photos and videos easier. The larger body size also affords the camera space for handy custom function buttons for those inclined to take more control of their cameras.

But otherwise the P7700 hits its marks without exceeding them: It has a 12.1-megapixel, 1/1.7-inch sensor, a maximum f/2.0 aperature lens, shoots 1080p HD video, and carries a built-in flash. More or less what you'd expect. Will that be enough for an enthusiast to shell out $500? We'll have to wait until the camera comes out next month to find out.