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Nikon Coolpix 7900 Review
Date: June 6, 2005
Handling & Feel
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.
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 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.
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
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
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
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
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.