Nikon keeps the new gear train rolling with new Coolpix models

Man, things are moving fast. We were just about to post a review on the Nikon S8000, when along comes this revise, the S8100.

With this latest model, you now get 1080p HD movie recording, and well as stereo sound recording.
As the megapixels wars subside, the manufacturers realized the if the sensor is small, packing in too many megapixels will only result in noisier pictures, and unhappy photographers.
So they dropped the count and improved the sensor. Along with the 17 scene selection choices or the ability to just let the camera choose the best, based on what it sees, this is a pretty solid choice from Nikon.

One of our favorite features though, is something we love about the D700: the ability to quickly and easily pick our main focus point. With a fast depress of the OK button on the back, the jog wheel lets us pick the point we want. This is especially handy on the verticals, when we don’t want to lose that foreground.

And at the same time, Nikon is introducing the P7000, that in between camera range that the pro or prosumer may want to walk with.

A nice, fast 2.8-5.6, 28-200 mm lens, .8 in. minimum shooting distance, and 10.1 megapixels.
720p HD movies (??) and plenty of features to improve our low light shooting like 6400 ISO (expandable to 12,800 in low noise night mode, and 5 way vibration reduction.

Does the back look familiar to the Nikon folks out there? Lot’s of the same button icons plus a one touch HD recording button.
As this camera is the direct competition to the Canon G11, you would be wise to check out both.

and now for the press releases:

MELVILLE, NY (September 8, 2010) – Nikon Inc. today announced the COOLPIX S8100, which offers a 12.1‐megapixel backside illumination CMOS sensor to provide consumers with enhanced performance and outstanding image quality for high‐speed shooting and low‐light conditions. Fast, responsive and versatile, the Nikon COOLPIX S8100 with an incredible 10X zoom will capture fast‐moving subjects in still images and HD (1080p) movies.
To help capture moments that are gone in an instant, the COOLPIX S8100 not only features high‐speed shooting at five full resolution frames at up to 10 frames‐per‐second (fps), but a pre‐shooting cache that records up to two shots before the shutter‐release is fully pressed. For extremely fast action shots, the S8100’s Sports Continuous mode records up to approximately 120 fps. With Subject Tracking, the S8100 automatically tracks a designated subject by activating autofocus (AF), enabling the user to capture the best moment confidently. The S8100 also adopts Nikon’s exclusive EXPEED C2™ image processing engine, which is customized to each COOLPIX model to further drive enhanced performance, outstanding image quality and HD video.
Staying true to the legacy of the Style Series, the S8100 empowers users with serious performance and image quality, while remaining stylish and compact. Equipped with a 10x Optical Zoom‐NIKKOR ED glass lens (30‐300mm, 35mm equivalent), the COOLPIX S8100 allows the user to get close to the action, even when recording a movie in Full HD (1080p). For that family film producer, the S8100 features one‐touch recording, optical zoom and stereo sound recording while filming for an enhanced user experience. Additionally, users can perfect their movies in‐camera with a new editing function or snap still images while recording.
“Our portfolio of compact digital cameras is designed to equip photographers of any level with the features and functions they will need for various shooting situations in a portable, compact body,” said Bo Kajiwara, director of marketing, Nikon Inc. “The COOLPIX S8100 blends superior high‐speed and low‐light performance with a sleek and stylish design for a camera that is not only ready to go when you are, but one you are proud to show off.”

Advanced Technologies for Beautiful Nighttime Shots

The COOLPIX S8100 features a 12.1‐megapixel backside illumination CMOS sensor, which enables exceptional image quality even when shooting in low‐light settings. This CMOS sensor lends itself to enhanced shooting functions in dark situations, including the advanced Night Portrait mode, which reproduces night scenes and indoor portraits as the user sees them while reducing image blur. The Night Portrait mode combines consecutive shots of the background while the subject is taken using the flash, allowing challenging night scenes to be easily captured during handheld shooting and eliminating any subject movement. To further help deliver crisp, sharp photos, the S8100 features a 4‐Way vibration reduction (VR) Image Stabilization System with ISO settings up to 3200.
Other functions benefitting from the lower noise and exceptional image quality of the new CMOS image sensor include an advanced Backlight shooting function with 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 for a frame‐worthy shot. Additionally, the S8100’s advanced Night Landscape mode combines a series of five consecutive shots taken at a fast shutter speed into a single image with reduced noise for when taking handheld shots. From romantic candlelit dinners to capturing the bright lights of New York City at night, the COOLPIX S8100 ensures that no low‐light moment will be left in the dark.

Creative Versatility

The COOLPIX S8100 helps unleash the user’s photographic potential with enhanced shooting and editing functions, including a new Mode Dial conveniently placed next to the shutter‐release button for quick and easy access to shooting modes. The COOLPIX S8100 also features the Creative Slider, which simplifies adjusting brightness, saturation and color tone in‐camera. Other in‐camera editing functions include Quick Retouch and D‐Lighting, giving users the ability to adjust their images during playback.

To further help the process of composing and sharing photos and movies, the COOLPIX S8100 boasts a 3.0‐inch ultra high resolution (921,000‐dot) Clear Color Display with a wide viewing angle and anti‐glare coating. Additional must‐have features in the S8100 include 17 scene modes, including the Scene Auto Selector, which automatically recognizes the shooting situation and adjusts camera settings accordingly for great photos in any environment. For outstanding portraits, the S8100 features Nikon’s Smart Portrait System, which incorporates a series of automatic functions including In‐Camera Red‐Eye Fix™, improved Face‐Priority AF, Blink Warning, Smile Timer and Skin Softening to flatter even the most camera‐shy subject.

Availability and Pricing
The COOLPIX S8100 will be available late September 2010 for $299.95* MSRP in a choice of attractive colors including black, red and gold.

And the P7000:
With advanced functions and features similar to those found in Nikon’s line of award winning and critically acclaimed D‐SLRs, Nikon Inc. today introduced the COOLPIX P7000, the ultimate compact camera that’s ready to take on most any photo assignment. At home in a pro’s gadget bag or in the hands of a spirited enthusiast, passionate photographers of all levels will benefit from the P7000’s high performance, extensive manual controls, stunning image quality and advanced shooting functions.
The 10.1‐megapixel COOLPIX P7000 features a large 1/1.7” CCD sensor coupled with a 7.1x Wide Angle Optical Zoom‐NIKKOR ED Glass Lens for consistent superior image quality that explodes with vivid color and sharpness frame after frame. Taking Nikon’s commitment to image quality a step further, the P7000 adopts Nikon’s new EXPEED C2™ high performance digital image processing engine to ensure high‐quality pictures with stunning color and sharpness.

“The COOLPIX P7000 represents the best of both worlds. It is an exciting compact camera offering from Nikon, as it not only provides expanded creative control found in digital SLR cameras, but also provides photo enthusiasts with the portability and simplicity of COOLPIX digital cameras,” said Bo Kajiwara, director of marketing, Nikon Inc. “The P7000 is the perfect complement to an advanced photographer’s D‐SLR, and it inspires the entry‐level consumer to explore the boundaries of their photographic capabilities and fulfill their creative vision.”

ISO sensitivity ranges from ISO 100 to 6400 (expandable to ISO 12,800 in low noise Night Mode) to ensure incredibly sharp, crisp images when shooting in low‐light or photographing fast‐moving subjects. The P7000 also offers a variety of functions that enable superior rendering when shooting at high sensitivities, including a Low Noise Night Mode and a Noise Reduction Filter. The camera also features 5‐Way VR Image Stabilization System, which utilizes a variety of tactics including optical lens shift to minimize the effect of camera shake to help banish the blur while shooting handheld or in low‐light.

Thoughtful engineering has led to the addition of features that will be welcome to current D‐SLR users. The Zoom Memory function allows the camera’s 28‐200mm (35mm equivalent) lens to be used in a way that simulates use of a prime lens, ideal for shooting at a preferred angle of view. The P7000 also adds controls and buttons for key features like ISO, white balance, bracketing and exposure compensation. The new innovative and independent Quick Menu dial ensures easy access to key functions with the comfort of analog operation. Advanced users will also enjoy the benefits of shooting RAW/NRW* files for creative freedom, and macro abilities as close as .08 inches.

While the image quality of the P7000 is nothing short of stellar, the video capabilities are far beyond that of a typical compact. The P7000 records HD video at 720p at 24 frames‐per‐second (fps) with optical zoom and autofocus control. A COOLPIX first, users can now record audio with an external stereo microphone via the microphone input. An accessory microphone or Nikon Speedlight can be mounted on the P7000’s hot shoe.

Additional features of the Nikon COOLPIX P7000 digital camera include:
•7.1x Wide‐Angle Optical Zoom‐NIKKOR ED glass lens (28‐200mm f/2.8‐5.6) allows for detailed close‐ups and dramatic landscapes.
•3.0‐inch 921,000‐dot Clear Color Display with wide viewing angle makes it easy to compose, view and share still images and movies that come alive with rich detail and improved contrast.
•Large optical viewfinder with diopter adjustment dial
•Tone Level Information helps photographers achieve their desired exposure with a histogram display, allowing them to determine the exposure while checking the balance between highlights and shadows.
•Electronic Virtual Horizon Indicator gives the user visual confirmation that the camera has a level horizon.
•In‐camera editing functions include exposure compensation, COOLPIX Picture Control, noise reduction filter, Quick Retouch, D‐Lighting and Active D‐Lighting.
•5‐Way Vibration Reduction (VR) Image Stabilization System
o Optical VR Image Stabilization by lens shift minimizes the effects of camera shake.
o Hybrid VR Image Stabilization by lens shift and electronic VR.
o Motion Detection automatically detects moving subjects and adjusts shutter speed and the ISO setting to compensate for camera shake and subject movement.
o High ISO up to 6400 at full resolution for optimal results when shooting in low‐light or photographing fast‐moving subjects.
o Best Shot Selector (BSS) automatically takes up to 10 shots while the user presses the shutter and saves the sharpest image.
•Full Manual Controls‐PSAM (Program, Shutter, Aperture, Manual) control gives creative control over images.
•NRW (RAW) file function compatible with Mac® and Windows® Operating Systems.
•Bracketing functions for Automatic Exposure (Sv and Tv) and White Balance allows the user to take consecutive shots with slightly different settings and select the one that best matches their intention.
•HD (720p) Movie with Stereo, Mic Input Jack and HDMI Output records at 24 fps with optical zoom, autofocus and stereo sound.
•Subject Tracking automatically activates autofocus while tracking moving subjects, like active children or unpredictable animals.
•Scene Auto Selector automatically recognizes the shooting situation and adjusts the camera’s settings accordingly for great pictures anywhere.
•Smart Portrait System integrates the following features to make it a snap to capture stunning portraits:
o In‐Camera Red‐Eye Fix™ automatically fixes most instances of red‐eye.
o Enhanced Face‐Priority AF can detect up to 12 faces from a variety of angles.
o Skin Softening ensures smooth skin tone on the face of subjects by leveraging built‐in face‐detection technology.
o Smile Timer automatically detects when a subject smiles and releases the shutter.
o Blink Warning alerts the photographer if a subject has blinked.

The Nikon COOLPIX P7000 will be available in late September 2010 for $499.95** MSRP

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