• Andrew JK Tan

Nikon CoolPix P1000 - a "crazy" bridge camera on Safari


As some of you may know , I was on a photography safari recently in September. In addition to my main camera setup which was the Nikon D500 (flagship DX) with the awesome Nikkor 180-400mm f4E TC1.4 FL ED VR (which retails at USD12.4K on B&H) , I brought along the humble but new bridge camera the P1000 just to try it out.

Honestly I was NOT expecting too much from a bridge camera with a "tiny" 16MP sensor even when compared to my DX (1.5x crop) D500 sensor. This meant that I did not really use the P1000 as much as I would have liked to because I was afraid I would not get my shots ....... which may have been a mistake really !

Anyway , I did manage to capture some shots with the P1000. All shots were hand-held with arms resting on the vehicle for support (except when mentioned otherwise).

All images were:

1. captured in the RAW format

2. uncropped

3. post processed using my normal post processing workflow with the exception of ....

4. the sharpening workflow which was a little more agressive then my usual workflow

Coolpix P1000 1/1000s f8.0 ISO400 RAW Focal Length : 1800mm

OPTICAL FOCAL LENGTH CAPABILITY

This next series of images will show you what the Coolpix P1000 incredible optical focal length range of 24mm to 3000mm can really accomplish !

24mm focal length Can you even see the adult Giraffe ? Hint : middle of the horizon line

1000mm focal length that same Giraffe which you can barely see on the horizon line !!

3000mm focal length wow ! that same adult giraffe again all 3 images captured hand-held

Now isn't this capability CRAZY !!!

The thing that really amazes me is that the implementation of 3000mm is NOT a marketing gimmick because I could actually use it HAND-HELD to produce reasonably great images ....... it does take some getting used to but IT CAN BE DONE !

IS THE RAW CAPABILITY ANY GOOD ? or IS JUST ANOTHER GIMMICK ?

Red Headed Woodpecker (in the shade) photographed at 2800mm focal length Hand-Held. This beautiful woodpecker was on this tree which was about 30-40 feet away from the main camp.

Straight Out of Camera RAW

Coolpix P1000 1/640s f8.0 ISO800 RAW Focal Length : 2800mm

Post Processed using Photoshop CC using my regular workflow which also means that anyone can get the same results even with Adobe Lightroom !

The RAW file works ! it behaves like my reference Nikon DSLRs RAW files. I was pretty impressed and at the same time happy that Nikon included RAW capability in the P1000. This is an extremely important capability which makes the P1000 really useful. In fact the post processed image of the Red Headed Woodpecker was so good that it has become the my Desktop Image of the month.

CLOSING INSIGHTS

The Nikon Coolpix P1000 is a very significant improvement over the P900. It is a much more capable camera that can produce some incredible images given the right lighting. This camera has that incredible optical focal length which ranges from 24mm (max. aperture f2.8) to 3000mm (max. aperture f8.0).

LIKES

- RAW capability

- up to 3000mm optical focal length

- physically better balanced then the P900 when at maximum 3000mm focal length

- new EVF is so much better then the P900

- VR performance just awesome allowing hand-held capabilty

- AF performance also better then the P900

- Smooth zooming

TIPS FOR POTENTIAL USERS

- NOT as EASY to use (which is normal) especially at focal lengths 1000mm and more

- Practice viewing & locating subjects at the extreme long focal lengths

- Choose the right subjects with appropriate contrast

- Photograph in good light , the better the light , the better the results

- Be a little patient with the zooming , we are talking about going to 3000mm focal length

- Shoot in Burst mode especially when you are at focal lengths > 1000mm to get good hit rates

- Use RAW

- Use ISO800 & below , with the right light ISO100 - 400 will give the best results

- Be patient with the P1000 response after shooting a burst of images , needs time to write , there is that 1-2 seconds delay that you will need to get used to.

Overall , this is a great camera !!

I used to refer to my P900 as the "MOON" camera as it produces great images of the moon with ease.

The P1000 is now my "MOON" and "LION" camera because in addition to the Moon , LION images were captured with ease and the results were really spectacular lol !

Just remember this , to get the best results even in the best lighting conditions , you need to really learn to use this camera especially at the extreme focal lengths.

THE REST OF P1000 HIGHLIGHTS

Coolpix P1000 1/1250s f8.0 ISO400 RAW Focal Length : 1400mm

Coolpix P1000 1/1250s f8.0 ISO400 RAW Focal Length : 700mm

Coolpix P1000 1/1250s f8.0 ISO400 RAW Focal Length : 400mm

Coolpix P1000 1/500s f8.0 ISO400 RAW Focal Length : 3000mm

Coolpix P1000 1/1600s f8.0 ISO400 RAW Focal Length : 2800mm

Coolpix P1000 1/1250s f8.0 ISO800 RAW Focal Length : 650mm

Coolpix P1000 1/1000s f8.0 ISO400 RAW Focal Length : 2200mm

Coolpix P1000 1/640s f8.0 ISO400 RAW Focal Length : 2200mm

Till the next blog , adios !!

Cheers,

Andrew

#P1000 #Coolpix #Nikon #Safari #MasaiMara #3000mm