Nikon Coolpix P6000 Review

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Nikon Coolpix P6000 Image Quality

There isn’t much to say here and that’s a good thing because for the most part, the Coolpix P6000′s image quality is excellent at low ISOs. Images are pleasingly balanced with a color palette as natural or vivid as you want thanks to the in-camera image quality controls. The new 4x Nikkor zoom lens is quite sharp, particularly with RAW files, and I was impressed at how much fine detail was visible in my images. Yes, the photos have a somewhat noisy texture that should be expected from compact digital cameras exceeding about eight megapixels. And of course, ISO 800 and above will be pretty rough for some tastes. But overall IQ is not where I find myself disappointed in the P6000.

Nikon Coolpix P6000 - Angelo1

Of course, noise is the perennial hot button when discussing digital cameras. The image of Chef Angelo Prosperi-Porta of Coopers Cove Guesthouse in Sooke, BC, Canada was shot at ISO 400 with white balance set to auto. The white balance is acceptable and the noise doesn’t appear too bad on the computer. But when I made a 4×6 print (thinking the noise would smooth-out) the noise and underexposed color came out just awful. (Fortunately, the food was spectacular.) So, no laws of physics repealed here; when using the Nikon P6000, keep the ISO as low as possible.

Nikon Coolpix P6000 - Angelo2

Both highlights and tonal transitions were handled well by the P6000. Generally speaking, I’ve been pleased with how Nikon’s engineers have improved the highlight captures. Images just look more natural in both RAW and JPEG files. Strong detail and subtle highlight tones make images seem better than those from the P5100. You can see the deck cords on the kayak in the 100% full screen crop here. (Complete kayak image is here.)

Nikon Coolpix P6000 - 100% kayak detail

Between shooting in RAW format and occasionally using D-Lighting, I was ultimately pleased with the images captured by the P6000. If you keep your shooting within the limits of the camera’s abilities (e.g., static, well-lit subjects), you’ll be rewarded with handsome images that adjust well (in RAW format) and print well. And having 13.5 MP certainly comes in handy for cropping.

Nikon Coolpix P6000 - City Nikon Coolpix P6000 - Wamuopoly Nikon Coolpix P6000 - Breakfast
Nikon Coolpix P6000 - Grey Skies Nikon Coolpix P6000 - Swing Nikon Coolpix P6000 -  Scoopyerpoop

Click on thumbnails to view sample photos.

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  • Nowell Wisch says:

    Why even sell a camera with slow focus, slow write speed, slow lens, bad manual focus, built-in charger (it is always the first to break) and a high price for all this?

    I own three Nikon DSLR’s and two film SLR’s but my two P&S are Canon. They mostly get it right. I would like to be an all Nikon family but my only P&S is a 5600 which is terrible. I have a broken 950 in the closet that was the closest thing to a perfect P&S from Nikon.

    Hey guys… how about asking us what we want then engineering something to fit our desires?

  • Aaron says:

    Someone recently posted these instructions for using radio triggers with the p6000: that might address one concern:

    1. In Flash Control option, turn built-in flash to off
    2. At Multi selector, turn flash always on.
    3. Now yur flash/trigger mounted on the hot shoe will be working…

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