It’s been a camera-ish day today. Canon released its new Powershot cameras early this morning, Sony just updated its Alpha and NEX lines, and now here we have a bundle of Nikons just coming out. Do they plan it like this, to make things difficult for us bloggers just trying to relax on a warm Tuesday night?
Well, let’s get on with it. I’ll make it quick for you. Some of these are actually quite decent.
First up, we’ve got the P7100, successor to the P7000. This is the top-end compact camera for Nikon, popular among photographers as a quickie back-up.
It’s substantially the same (10.1 megapixels, 7x zoom, 640×480 LCD, 720p video), but adds a few new features. You’ve got an updated image processor, new on-screen interface, and the ability to zoom while recording video. The body has gained a dial on the front, bringing the total dials on this thing up to six, if I’m not mistaken. The LCD also tilts now, but it doesn’t rotate.
It’s an improvement, but not a big one — and that sensor needs a boost. If Canon’s next G-series ups the ante, Nikon’s going to be left behind — the way they left Canon behind last year with the P7000. It’ll cost $500 in September.
Next, the AW100. This is your rugged point and shoot, able to go 33ft underwater, survive a drop of five feet, and resist temperatures down to a “frigid” 14°F. The back-illuminated sensor produces 16 megapixels at up to 3200 ISO, and will record 1080p video. You’ve got a 5x zoom on the front and a 3″ 480×320 LCD on the back. My favorite part: it’ll record movies at 60, 120, or 240fps. That’s some solid slow motion, though I assume it reduces the resolution.
The bad news? This mother will set you back $380 come September. That’s more than any rugged point and shoot I’ve used, though to be fair it does sound better than any rugged point and shoot I’ve used.
Next you have the vast assortment of S-series cameras. I’ll forgo the details (available here) and give you the nicknames I’ve assigned them:
“The one with a projector you’ll never use” – $430 (!)
“The skinny one with the OLED touchscreen, and apparently you hold it vertically?” – $300
“The rich kid’s camera with the nice screen and 14x zoom” – $330
“Good enough” – $230
What’s the take-away? These are all a bit expensive, really, but if you have cash to spare, the AW100 strikes me as the best deal for a take-everywhere camera. Plus it does super slow motion, which is even more fun than it sounds. I’d wait for Canon’s response to the P7100 (i.e. the G13) before committing, if you’re okay with that.
Update: NikonRumors notes that they are available for preorder.