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Nikon Coolpix P900 Thoughts?

Posted: July 8th, 2017, 4:39 am
by chris_mcmartin
We're considering getting one of these, with its 83x optical zoom(!), to replace our current Canon Powershot SX20IS with its comparatively wimpy 20x zoom. I've been reading reviews and the only major downside I've found is that it can't shoot RAW, which I haven't been doing anyway.

I've been a diehard Canon user this entire century so I feel a little bad from a customer loyalty perspective, but I haven't seen anything that really fits our needs from Canon's latest offerings, and Nikon has continued to impress me with their various models based on my friends' feedback.

I'd like to stick with "prosumer" type cameras rather than make the leap to DSLR.

Does anyone else have a P900 that could provide input?

Re: Nikon Coolpix P900 Thoughts?

Posted: August 5th, 2017, 6:13 pm
by RCampbell
Got to play with one a friend bought...interesting camera and the zoom ability is truly beyond belief, however...without being mounted to a serious tripod most of that zoom capability is wasted.

Re: Nikon Coolpix P900 Thoughts?

Posted: August 6th, 2017, 3:38 am
by chris_mcmartin
I bought it about 3 weeks ago. The zoom can be tricky (especially since I'm naturally a little shaky), but I've made some good shots with it. It has really helped out my Brown Anole research as I can get clearer photos from further away (and photos of them at all, because with my previous 20x zoom they would often run off by the time I approached close enough for a decent shot).

Example of a photo taken with my Canon SX20IS (20x optical zoom):
2017_08_03 0903 Comparison Shot SX20IS Small.jpg
Photo taken with Canon SX20IS, 20x zoom.
Same scene, taken with the Nikon P900 (80x optical zoom):
2017_08_03 0903 Comparison Shot P900 Small.jpg
Photo taken with Nikon P900, 80x zoom.
The automatic settings combine to produce a very narrow depth of field (somewhat understandably since I'm sure the aperture opens wider to let in more light at max zoom), so I'm going to have to play around with the custom settings.

My only problem is that I bought a circular polarizing filter to double as a lens protector, but something about it throws off the focus (it's a cheap filter) and made my first couple days' worth of photos blurry. I took the filter off and now the photos are fine, and I have a thinner, higher-quality UV filter coming to keep the lens from getting scratched. I'll stack the circular polarizing filter for wide-angle cloud shots etc.

Re: Nikon Coolpix P900 Thoughts?

Posted: August 6th, 2017, 4:32 pm
by RCampbell
Awesome! Can't wait to see lizard behaviours you uncover and write up!

Re: Nikon Coolpix P900 Thoughts?

Posted: August 7th, 2017, 2:45 am
by chris_mcmartin
RCampbell wrote:Awesome! Can't wait to see lizard behaviours you uncover and write up!
Heh, nothing out of the ordinary...mating, eating, fighting, shedding. :lol: I'm mostly interested in tracking their spread. I'm apparently at the periphery of their northern expansion in the Houston area so I'm trying to find out why they're moving into certain neighborhoods (and thriving at one house on a street, but not adjacent properties) and influence on/by native Green Anoles, Broad-headed Skinks, and house cats.

Re: Nikon Coolpix P900 Thoughts?

Posted: August 14th, 2017, 7:05 am
by Fieldherper
HI Chris,

I am intrigued by this camera. Any other thoughts now that you/ve had it for a bit?



Re: Nikon Coolpix P900 Thoughts?

Posted: August 14th, 2017, 6:28 pm
by chris_mcmartin
I bought a book explaining most of the functions in more detail/plain English than the manual. I've only begun to scratch the surface. I'd like to put it out on the tripod at night and see how it does with long exposure/night sky photography.

Re: Nikon Coolpix P900 Thoughts?

Posted: September 26th, 2017, 1:18 pm
by gabrielgartner
The image stabilization in the p900 and 6xx series are in camera and outstanding. Good photos can be taken without a tripod for sure. For herps and bridge cameras, I prefer a faster lens and smaller size. The p900 is a huge camera. Also take a look at Panasonic lumix series...very fast at the wide end (f/2.8) and only a little slower zoomed in f/4.

One criticism I've had of all bridge/super zooms is that they are fairly slow to focus. Again, not a problem shooting macro photos of herps, but certainly when shooting quick, flighty birds (e.g., warberlers).

For me the 600 (when it came out) was ideal. I've rarely had situations where it didn't provide enough reach...


Re: Nikon Coolpix P900 Thoughts?

Posted: September 6th, 2018, 12:17 am
by John Martin
I realize this is a rather older post, but I'll put in my two cents worth anyway. I bought this camera about 6 months ago and have nothing but good things to say about it. Even at full optical zoom I feel no need for a tripod and have achieved some very crisp shots of birds. My former current SLR gear consisted of a Nikon D300s and more than a few assorted lenses. I've sold all but the D300s body and my trusty Micro Nikkor 105mm macro lens for serious macro shooting. I find that the P900 fills in just about all of the other gaps, in one camera no less. Goodbye huge backpack carryall bag! But that's just me, your opinion may vary.