My Nikon Coolpix P6000

I carry a compact camera with me wherever I go. I used to have a Sony DSC-W35 and before that a DSC-W30. Both Sonys took reasonable images in good light, were well built with a metal casing and were very light and easy to carry.

I decided to replace the Sony with a better compact a few months ago. I am a great fan of the reviews at Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com) and I consulted their Holidays ’08 Group Test for some impartial buying advice.

I looked at the cameras in the segment dpreview calls “prosumer” or “enthusiast” compact cameras. I was torn between the excellent picture quality but short zoom of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 and the longer zoom but higher weight of the Canon Powershot G10.

The Nikon Coolpix P6000 did not come out as well in their tests. See http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/Q408enthusiastgroup/page5.asp. The reviewer pointed out that the sensor is the weak link producing “obvious smearing of fine, low contrast detail even at base ISO”.

However, the feature that convinced me to ignore that and buy this camera is the GPS tagging. I travel often in Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand. Often I am not sure exactly where I am and street signs often are no use as many are entirely in Thai. I’d been geotagging some of my images manually for some time. It idea of automatic geotagging seemed too cool of a feature to miss. It could be fun and a time-saver too.

I didn’t have experience with other GPS units, e.g. those for cars, so I was open-minded about what to expect. In future posts I will discuss my experiences with the in-camera GPS.

Overall I have been fairly happy with the camera. I found the image quality problems dpreview described and also a host of usability issues the reviewers did not have space to discuss. Dpreview concentrates on image quality and they didn’t talk much about the GPS. Maybe my review will be a useful adjunct to their excellent work.

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2 Responses to “My Nikon Coolpix P6000”

  1. randius Says:

    Hi, I also bought the P6000 but the decision was based on its compatibility with my existing Nikon flash, its GPS and that I am a Nikon fanboy 😀

    Frankly speaking, the image quality is nothing to shout about, particularly at high ISO. I did not turn on sharpening because it will even introduce white/bright specks at low ISO, just like what DPR observed.

    However, now that I bought the GRDII, and even though it is a prime lens camera, I am bringing it more often with me than P6000 because of its size and weight.

    • bkkphotographer Says:

      Thanks for the comment! The P6000 is my first Nikon camera so I had high expectations for quality and usability. Overall I am happy with it and I am trying to balance my comments here.

      Do you use your external flash with the P6000? I considered buying one with the camera – Nikon have a compact unit that was displayed in the store. But I did not think I would use it. It makes the whole setup too big for me to carry around easily.

      One of the items on my ‘to do list’ for the blog is to list the camera settings I’ve found to be the best and get some comments. It’s got features I have not investigated yet and the printed manual is sometimes opaque about what they do beyond the obvious. “Distortion control” is one of them.

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