Nikon Coolpix P950 Review

Its stupendous optical zoom will get you closer than almost any other camera. Read our Nikon Coolpix P950 Review.

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Nikon Coolpix P950 Review

1 The zoom ring around the shutter button is the fastest way to zoom in and out.

The sheer size of the camera makes it feel secure in the hand, with sizable front and rear gripping points.

3 The small 1/2.3-inch sensor is what you’d expect to find in a Coolpix pocket compact camera.

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Sensor: 16MP 1/2.3-inch CMOS

Image processor: Expeed

AF: Contrast detect

ISO range: 100 to 6400 Viewfinder 0.39-incli. 2,359k-dot OLED Metering modes: Matrix, centre-weighted. spot Video: 4K UHD up to 30fps. 1080p FullHD up to 60fps LCD: 3.2-inch vari-angle touchscreen. 921k dots Lens: 83x optical zoom.4.3-357mm (24-2,000mm equiv). f/2.8-6.5 Connectivity: Wi-Fi. Bluetooth 4.1. Bluetooth LE. USB Micro. Micro HDMI

Size: 140 x 110 x 150 mm

Weight 1,005g (with battery and SD card)

In 2018 Nikon broke the optical zoom record for a superzoom camera with its 125x Coolpix P1000. Now we’ve got the Nikon P95O. which slots in just below the P1000 in the company’s superzoom hierarchy and replaces the P900. The P95O boasts an 83x optical zoom range, which would be equivalent to 24-2.000mm in full-frame camera terms.

Nikon’s Dynamic Fine Zoom extends the reach to a whopping 166x. with inevitable image quality reduction from digital zoom. The lens also gets Nikon’s Dual Detect Optical Vibration Reduction – essential if you’re to get sharp shots at extremely long focal lengths.

Like the P1000. the P95O can also shoot 4K UHD video at 30 frames per second, and 1080p Full HD at 60fps: the latter is the maximum capability of the outgoing P900.

Other improvements over the P900 include a larger 0.39-inch electronic viewfinder (compared to the 0.2-inch EVF in the P900). support for raw images, and a hotshoe on top of the camera. This enables compatibility with Nikon’s DF-M1 Dot Sight attachment. With such a long zoom lens, it’s easy to loose track of fleeting subjects like birds: a Dot Sight makes it easier to follow moving objects.

Nikon Coolpix P950 Review

4 The 3.2-inch, 921K-dot vari-angle LCD monitor has a flip-forward hinge that makes selfies a doddle.

5 The 2.359k-dot electronic viewfinder is a big step up from the one used in the preceding P900 camera.

As you’d expect in a Nikon camera, the controls are nicely positioned and easy to use.

Build & handling

At first glace you’d be forgiven for thinking the P950 was a DSLR camera, such is its bulk and exterior design. However, the camera and lens are a single fixed unit and cannot be separated. Build quality is on par with an entry-level DSLR like the D3500. although there’s a greater sense of hollowness to parts of the body like the pop-up flash housing and lens barrel. That said, no part of the plastic shell flexes or generally feels weak to the touch.

The P950’s 0.39-inch. 2.359k- dot electronic viewfinder has been upgraded from the 0.2-inch. 921k-dot EVF found in the P900. The size and resolution increase makes the EVF genuinely useful in the P950. whereas you’d need to be a big fan of squinting to find the P900’s EVF any use.

With so much optical zoom on tap. it can be tricky to find the right focal length to frame your subject. The P950 has several zoom controls: the zoom ring around the shutter button is the fastest way to zoom in and out. but when you need to make a more subtle focal length tweak, there’s

The P950 boasts an 83x optical zoom range a rocker switch on the lens barrel that moves the zoom more slowly.

Alternatively, just in front of this is Nikon’s Snap-Back button: press and hold it. and the lens zooms out from its current focal length while retaining an outline indicating your previous framing. Once you’ve relocated your subject back into this frame, release the Snap-Back button and the lens automatically zooms back in.

Performance

The P950 is an enjoyable camera to use thanks to its fast autofocus, which only slows a fraction when shooting in low light. Nikon’s Vibration Reduction system does a superb job of ironing out camera shake, even when zoomed into the max. Take care, and you should be able to get consistently sharp shots in decent light when zoomed in.

However, you may not be quite so impressed once you get home and review your shots. While the physical sensor size is comparable to an image sensor in a current camera phone, the P950 doesn’t pack anything like as much image-processing trickery as a top-end smartphone, and so its images are mediocre at best.

Dynamic range is poor. Expect the P950 to blow some highlights, while shadows are still dark and murky in high-contrast scenes. Colours also lack vibrancy.

Ben Andrews

Nikon Coolpix P950 Review

With its integrated superzoom lens, the P950 can capture this wide-angle view of Bath’s Pulteney Weir…

Nikon Coolpix P950 Review

… then zoom right in to the arched window on the bridge arcade for an impromptu wildlife shot!

Nikon Coolpix P950 Review

The lens’ corner-to-corner sharpness is excellent, but weak image processing means colours are muted.

Verdict

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