With a ridiculous 83x zoom, people have used the super long lens on Nikon’s Coolpix P900 to snap pics of Saturn or pull off the kind of shots you normally only see in spy movies. But apparently that wasn’t good enough, so today, Nikon is announcing the new Coolpix P1000 featuring frankly ridiculous 125x zoom, which is now the longest lens of any superzoom camera on the market.
For anyone wondering what that translates to in old-school camera terms, the 16-MP P1000 is listed with a 25-3000 35mm equivalent lens, which can be expanded up to 250x when using the camera’s digital dynamic fine zoom. Now as you’d expect, with an aperture of f/2.8-8, this thing is mostly a daylight shooter when zoomed out to max. Though, when compared to the P900's f/2.8-6.5 aperture and significantly shorter range, the P1000 doesn’t give up much, if anything when it comes to image quality.
In person, the biggest difference between the P1000 and its predecessor is size. Weighing in at three pounds two ounces, the P1000 is more than a full pound heavier than the one pound 15 ounce P900, and measuring 5.8 x 4.7 x 7.2 inches versus 5.5 x 4.1 x 5.5 inches for the P900, it’s noticeably larger too. But the real eye-opener is when you use the P1000's power zoom to extend its lens all the way out, at which point that 125X zoom lens really shows its dominance.
Unfortunately, because I was checking out a preview unit, I didn’t have a chance to test the P1000's full zoom range for myself. However, I was able to play around with the camera’s snapback feature, which uses a dedicated button to quickly zoom the camera out so you can find and reframe your subject before jumping back to the magnification you were using before. It’s a feature that’s pretty much a necessity, since at its full 125X zoom, even the tiniest camera shake translates to big shifts in the viewfinder.
Additionally, on the barrel of the lens, there’s a dedicated focus ring that works with camera’s focus peaking feature to help make sure pics look as sharp as possible, even when that subject is miles away. And to make sure things stay shake free once you’ve got everything framed up and in focus, the P1000 sports what Nikon claims is five stops worth of dual-detect optical vibration reduction.
A sample from Nikon, starting with a shot at the P1000 standard 24mm zoom.
Next we get a little closer at 500mm.
And now, 1000mm.
Even closer still at 2000mm.
And finally, all the way zoomed in at 3000mm.
And one more, which shows the good use case for the P1000 aside from spying on people. Picture shot at 1/40th of a second at f/5, ISO 100 and a 155mm zoom.
Other specs for the P1000 include 1/2.3-inch BSI sensor with an ISO range of 100-6400, a mic in jack, 4K UHD video recording and clean HDMI out for sending pics and clips to an external monitor. On the top of the camera, there’s also a new built-in hot shoe, a feature not available on the P900.
As for the future of Nikon’s superzoom Coolpix cameras, the P900 wion’t going away, but for those looking for the longest zoom you can get on a camera, the P1000 will be available sometime in early September. There's no UK price released just yet, but at $1,000 in the US, we can expect somewhere between £800-£1,000. And if you still think a 125X zoom isn’t good enough, it’s probably time to starting looking into telescopes.