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Superzoom: Nikon P1000 up to 3000mm Optical Zoom (equiv)

re: Inexpensive Camera for Wildlife: Olympus E-M1 Mark II + Reader Comments
re: The Most Useful and Practical Telephoto for Wildlife Might Be the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm f/4.5 TC1.25X IS PRO
re: Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3

A consulting client brought the Nikon P1000 to my attention. It has been around for 3 years, so it’s not new, but I’m not aware of anything else of this genre.

The Nikon P1000 makes a lot of sense for ultra long range photography where it’s about getting long reach with convenience (and without 50 pounds of gear!). But for the 24mm to 300mm range, there are many other options.

Based on shooting with long lenses at distance, you’ll have to have an exceptionally clear and cold day for long range clarity (winter is much better); over the years I have found it exceedingly difficult to get clear images in the 400mm to 800mm range in the White Mountains, due to atmospheric distortion. Truth is, a super telephoto is better at shorter and medium range for small subjects, where the atmosphere is not a problem.

Still, Nikon’s social proof of people’s excited reactions to the amazing zoom range and clarity are well done—“WOW, never seen anything like this” and such.

  • 16 megapixels (4608 x 3456) on 1/2.3 inch sensor
  • 4.3mm to 539mm f/2.8 to f/8 125X Zoom-Nikkor ED glass lens, 17 elements in 12 groups
  • 24-3000mm zoom range (equiv)
  • Lens shift VR (still pictures), Lens-shift and Electronic VR (movies)
  • Contrast-detect AF
  • EVF, 1 cm (0.39-in.) approx. 2359k-dot OLED with the diopter adjustment =
  • ISO 100-1600
  • 3.2-inch 921K dot vari-angle LCD
  • 4K UHD at 30/25 fps
  • WiFi, Bluetooth
  • 3.2 pounds = 1415g

Get Nikon P1000 at B&H Photo.

Emil V writes:

Let me call your attention to a guy called Jeb Loftin, who regularly posts spectacular P1000 images on Facebook's Nikon Coolpix P900 P950 P1000 Group.

Loftin shoots in studio with flashes and with his images puts many FF or MF shooters to shame. Yes his pictures are not long distance shots but still represent some of the best pictures one can make with a P1000 or perhaps any camera.

DIGLLOYD: links omitted as Facebook is a walled area and the links are a private group.

Any modern digital camera can make terrific images when lighting is well controlled. But it is the shooting envelope that makes it satisfying as a general purpose tool.

Roy P writes:

I was amused to see the comments about the Nikon Coolpix P1000. Attached are a couple of photos published by Jeb Loftin on FB that your reader referred to (first two attachments). These are actual pixel crops uploaded. For the Instagram / Facebook crowd, this maybe indeed be everything they need.

If you recall, I tried the Tokina 400mm f/8 reflex lens and sent it back. It’s tempting to have a relatively light camera + lens for a walk through the park for some casual wildlife shots. But unfortunately, there is no magic shortcut. I tried the Nikon P1000 also. I can get better IQ from a crop out of a Sony A1 + Sony FE 100-400/4-5.6 at 400mm that is scaled up to the P1000 resolution than from the P1000 natively at 3000mm. See the last three attachments. Needless to say, a Sony A1 or even a used A7R IV + 100-400 lens costs quite a bit more than a P1000. But c’est la vie… The Ross Store principle applies.

A much better alternative might be the Sony RX10, which has a 24-600mm equivalent reach. The IQ from this in good light is quite impressive (same sensor as in the RX100). This camera is in need of a refresh. I’m hoping for a Mark V that is much more rugged, has a much faster electronic zoom (or a manual zoom), has faster electronics, has some of the A9 or A1 autofocusing technology, and uses the bigger battery. That would be a far more capable camera than the P1000.

DIGLLOYD: readers can go look and see for themselves but I what I see is heavily processed stuff smeared free of fine detail. That’s not a criticism of the artistic aspect. Just about anything can work for Facebook or Instagram right out of the camera, let alone with globs of retouching and starting with good lighting.

As shown below, you get what you pay for: the Nikon P1000 is a smeary detail-free mess. No detail, no brilliance, poor contrast. Yuck.

Nikon P1000 vs Sony A1 + Sony FE 100-400mm f/4-5.6 GM


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