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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Nikon Coolpix 7900


   


Nikon Coolpix 7900 Review

Review Date: June 6, 2005

Category: Point-and-Shoot

Nikon Coolpix 7900

Photoxels Editor's Choice 2005 Award

Handling & Feel

Arbour: 1/187.8 sec., F4.8 and ISO 50
Arbour
7.8 mm, Programmed Auto, Multi-Pattern, 1/187.8 sec., F4.8 and ISO 50.

The Nikon Coolpix 7900 is a very compact digital camera with dimensions of 88W x 60H x 36.5D mm (3.5W x 2.4H x 1.4D in.) and very light at 150g (5.3 oz). As most compact digital cameras do now, the Nikon 7900 also uses the Secure Digital (SD) memory card. Its metal body is solidly built, and the handgrip makes for a secure grip. The Nikon 7900 comes in an elegant black finish.

Shooting Menu 1 of 3 Shooting Menu 2 of 3 Shooting Menu 3 of 3

Shooting Menu displayed as icons

The controls are well laid out at the back, and I am quite surprised at how intuitive this small camera is with most of the required controls accessible thru a direct button. And if you have to go to the menu, you don't need to scroll page after page to find the menu item. A new feature condenses 3 pages of menu text into 1 page of menu icons.

As Nikon digital cameras are well known for, there is a Scene Mode for almost everything you want to do. For example, the Panorama Assist scene mode allows you to take a number of panoramic shots and line them up precisely on screen by overlaying the semi-transparent previous image on screen.

Architecture Scene Assist Architecture Scene Assist

On the Mode dial, there are also four Scene Assist Modes to help in picture composition, basically scene modes with additional help features. A handy one is the Architecture scene assist mode which displays horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines on screen -- a feature usually available on more expensive digital cameras.

Set-up menu displayed as icons Monitor settings Photo Info

Framing Grid

If you don't need the diagonal lines, you can default the LCD monitor to always show the vertical and horizontal grid lines to help in framing and composition (Rule of Thirds).

The Nikon 7900 has a large 2 in. LCD monitor with 115,000 pixels resolution. The LCD monitor is bright and clear, and also gains up in low-light, permitting you to compose even when it's dark.

Notice that there are no aperture and shutter speed values displayed on screen. Since there are only two aperture settings available, I guess there is not much sense to do so, though knowing the actual shutter speed used would have been nice.

Startup is pretty fast at around 1-2 sec. and there is no practical shutter lag -- which is tremendous for an entry-level digital camera. This permits taking candid shots.

As is becoming more and more common now with digital cameras, the Nikon 7900 includes 13.5MB of internal flash memory, and so a memory card is not included in the box. At the 7M Fine image mode, 13.5MB can store about 4 images. A 256MB or 512MB Secure Digital (SD) Memory card is recommended; the 256MB card will hold about 71 7M Fine images. This is a one time buy, and I would recommend buying as large a memory card as you can afford.

The tripod socket is plastic so be careful not to damage the tread when using the camera on a tripod.

The Playback function has a dedicated button on the back of the camera, which makes it very convenient to switch between the Record and Playback modes with a press of the button. If you just want to view your pics without turning on the camera, simply press the Playback button; when you're done, press the Power button to turn the camera off.

I found the Nikon Coolpix 7900 a fun camera that gave very good pictures consistently. It is small enough to carry in a pants pocket so you can have it with you anytime. The controls and menu (especially the icon page) are very intuitive.

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