Did Nikon Intentionally Cripple the Coolpix P6000?

I did some tests this evening to evaluate the image quality of the camera at various ISO settings.

I’ll post the results to my Flickr account. In summary anything above ISO 400 is pretty horrendous and ISO 2000 is unusable even in emergency.

This isn’t news – every review I have seen mentions it and I don’t think the P6000 is worse than many of its competitors.

BUT …

I do not know now a tier one manufacturer like Nikon can approve a camera for production with such low quality at relatively moderate ISO. This is their top-of-the-Coolpix line camera. It costs almost as much as an entry level DSLR.

I cannot understand what their product managers are thinking. Do they believe their customers are such idiots that they will buy a camera based only on the stickers in the store? Reviews and sample images are everywhere and I am sure anyone in the market for such a camera will have done some homework first.

As I confessed in an earlier post, I bought the camera for its integrated GPS. I knew its high ISO performance would be poor and was prepared to work around that. But seeing the results in a test of my own devising still makes me cross.

I can’t help thinking that maybe the DSLR lines are the most powerful at Nikon. Therefore they were able to tell the Coolpix product team to essentially cripple their offering so that it didn’t compete so much with the low end DSLRs that are more profitable (as a product line because of the add on sales of lenses and accessories. I bet not many people buy accesories for a Coolpix.)

I have zero factual evidence for this but it seems to me that there is no unavoidable reason for its low quality images at higher ISO, its sloth and strange gaps in its features at its price point.

I expected better of Nikon.

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4 Responses to “Did Nikon Intentionally Cripple the Coolpix P6000?”

  1. bkkphotographer Says:

    I have not uploaded my tests to Flickr yet. I was not sure I was being fair to the camera in the images I took last night. Making comparable tests is hard!

  2. bkkphotographer Says:

    See here for my upload of two test images to Picasa, not Flickr:

    https://bkkphotographer.wordpress.com/2009/06/24/nikon-coolpix-p6000-iso-tests/

  3. Nikon Coolpix P6000 Review « Bkkphotographer's Blog Says:

    […] I generally agree with the reviewer – it’s a good camera in many ways but hard to get enthused about. If it wasn’t for the GPS I would be very disappointed. I suspect Nikon restricted it to avoid competition with their DSLR range. […]

  4. Soon, Bloggers Must Give Full Disclosure « Bkkphotographer's Blog Says:

    […] don’t think Nikon will be asking me to review any cameras after this post of mine. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)For the Record …FTC Decides to […]

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