We've previously marveled at the built-in zoom ability of cameras like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70, Canon SX520 HS, and Pentax XG-1. But compared to the new Nikon Coolpix P900, the lenses on those cameras look positively puny. That's because the new DSLR-styled bridge camera boasts an almost ridiculous 24-2000-mm equivalent zoom lens.
The Nikon Coolpix P900 is designed for users who want the ability to zoom in on distant subjects, whether that's a far-away animal while on safari, or a feature in the night sky. Because its 4.3-357-mm lens is paired with a back-illuminated 16-megapixel 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor, the camera has a 24-2000-mm equivalent, enough for zooming in on all but the most distant subjects.
Luckily for anyone trying to control that sort of zoom, the whopper of a lens features Dual Detect Optical Vibration Reduction to prevent wobble-induced blur, which is said to offer five stops of image stabilization. However, it's worth remembering that as with other massive zoom cameras, this lens is a variable aperture with F2.8 at the wide end and F6.5 at the telephoto.
While a contrast-detection autofocus system means this camera isn't going to be as fast as DSLRs and higher-end mirrorless cameras, Nikon says the camera is still quick. It's said to have a reduced shooting time lag of 0.12 seconds at maximum wide angle and 0.75 seconds at the maximum telephoto position. There's also a top continuous shooting speed of 7 fps (for seven shots) and Full HD 1080p video recording at 60/50/30/25 fps.
With built-in Wi-Fi and NFC, users can easily share their photographs, or remotely control the Coolpix P900 from a compatible smartphone or tablet running the iOS or Android app. GPS is also on hand for geo-tagging images so that you can see on a map exactly where they were taken.
Design-wise, the P900 is very DSLR-like (though obviously with a fixed lens) and has an intuitive control layout. A Command Dial and Mode Dial make it easy to apply or adjust settings, while a Fn button can provide fast access to frequently used functions. On the rear is an electronic viewfinder with a 921k-dot equivalent resolution for traditional image composition, and a 3-inch vari-angle LCD monitor with 921k dots which can be positioned for shooting in otherwise awkward situations.
As you'd expect, a camera with such a big zoom is neither going to be particularly pocketable or lightweight, and the P900 comes in at 139.5 x 103.2 x 137.4 mm (5.5 x 4.1 x 5.5 in) and 899 g (1 lb 15.8 oz). It is said to be good for 360 shots per full battery charge.
The Nikon Coolpix P900 is due to go on sale in April priced at US$600.
Product page: Nikon Coolpix P900