Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Nikon Coolpix B700 Review

Nikon Coolpix B700 Review
Nikon Coolpix B700 Test. The Nikon 60x zoom bridges follow each other and look alike. Featuring small touches, their look and zoom 24-1440 mm f / 3.3-6.5 are maintained from generation to generation. After the Coolpix P600 and P610, it is the turn of the Coolpix B700 to enter the scene, one year late. Four new innovations: the sensor which passes to 20.1 Mpx, the capacity to film in 4K / UHD, the arrival of time-lapse and finally the possibility to photograph in RAW.

BSI CMOS sensor: 20.3 Mpx, 1 / 2.3 ", 71.33 Mpx / cm
Lens: 60x 24-1440 mm f / 3.3 -6.5
Optical: Stabilization
Viewfinder: Electronics
Screen: 7.5 cm, non-TN, 921000 dots, 3/2, non-touch
Sensitivity (ISO range): 100 - 1600 ISO

The test copy is black, not red, unlike the Coolpix P610 and Coolpix P600. Joy! Happiness! For the rest, we are in known territory. But if the physical does not change, always with this handle very hollow, rubberized, offering an excellent grip, the menus, on their side, have been reviewed, with good ideas and a lot of quirks. 

Take a P610, move a Wi-Fi pictogram, add a Bluetooth pictogram on the left side, replace "Full HD" with "4K" on the lens barrel, add a Fn2 button on the back, and you have a Coolpix B700. The quality of manufacture has not moved one iota: it's good, no more. The 921,000-point viewfinder, still cramped, remains in the game, just like the 7.5 cm screen and 921,000 points, still not tactile. By default, the Fn2 key is set in exactly the same way as the Fn1 key, that is, it is used to change the frame rate. We recommend that you assign another function, such as direct access to sensitivity or white balance.

The menus of this Coolpix B700 evolve and become more complete, more expert. They offer exciting possibilities that can be extracted automatically: exposure bracketing, flash intensity control, dual exposure, step-by-step zoom via the main zoom trigger, the zoom control On the barrel keeps the zoom fluid, interval timer, AF with automatic detection of the main subject, adjusting the colorimetry of the monitor, setting the minimum shutter speed to fine-tune ISO management Auto a function Which are rarely found, even on more expert cases and so on. This Coolpix B700 is astonishing by its possibilities of personalization and surprises as much because, paradoxically, some choices and oversights seem strange. For example, as soon as you turn the screen slightly, the image goes into mirror mode, ie everything is reversed, without the possibility of disabling this mode. Engineers may have use selfie in mind. In another genre, there is no electronic level. Or, it is completely impossible to manipulate the device if no memory card is inserted, which is certainly practical to know that it does not contain a memory card, but is disturbing. On the autonomous side, the 1850 mAh accumulator is easy to handle and will easily hold 400 views, the APN being recharged by default via a USB connection since no dedicated mains charger is provided.

The Nikon Coolpix P610 was equipped with an Expeed C2 processor, the Coolpix B700 is equipped with a processor, we do not know. Impossible to find the information on any official site of the brand but, given the responsiveness, the overall behavior of the newcomer and the lack of communication of the manufacturer, it is a safe bet that it is always of the same. The startup remains below 2 seconds, which is relatively fast for a 60x zoom. In good light conditions, and regardless of the focal length used, the AF is of a very honorable speed, but it is mainly in low light that the most important progress has been made since the B700 proves to be virtually Twice as fast as its predecessor! On the other hand, since the sensor definition has changed from 16 to 20 Mpx, this impacts the recording time between two images, since it takes almost 1.5 seconds of JPEG wait time and more than 2 seconds of RAW the P610 does not Did not RAW. 

Strangely, the H-burst is twice as fast as the announcement by Nikon (10 fps against 5 fps), we will not complain, but you will not be able to use or abuse Since the buffer limits lyrical flights to a maximum of 5 consecutive frames. The Coolpix B700 also offers two ultra-fast burst modes: 120 fps and 60 fps, both with a maximum of 60 frames. Impressive on paper but, in fact, at 120 i / s the definition falls to 640 x 380 px and, at 60 i / s, it is necessary to be content with 1920 x 1080 px, that is Full HD. So, as much directly shoot in Full HD 60p.

The 60x 24-1440mm zoom lens now needs to power a 20/2-inch BSI CMOS 1 / 2.3 "sensor, which requires a little more work. Whatever the aperture and focal length, this lens will never shine Its sharpness and precision, but it must be recognized a good electronic correction, with chromatic aberrations virtually non-existent and a deformation well-controlled given the amplitude of the beast. The whole is very well stabilized and capture an image to Free zoom is a breeze: remember that we are talking about a maximum focal length of 1440 mm! We also appreciate the color rendering, very just and enjoyable.

The engineers wanted to be reasonable by voluntarily limiting the maximum sensitivity to 3200 ISO, which may seem like a big step backwards compared to the P610 which climbed to 12,800 ISO in extended mode but ultimately proves to be a good safety limit . In any case, starting from 400 ISO, the smoothing and the drop of saturation become too important for the image to continue being pleasant to look at. However, this maximum sensitivity of ISO 3,200 is, besides the aesthetic aspect, limiting in a practical way. Indeed, the 60x zoom is not very bright and, very quickly, the use of the flash becomes essential to maintain a fast shutter speed. It works very well if your main subject is less than three meters away, but it also means that from dusk, unless you use a tripod and play with long poses, zooming becomes very limited and , Between high aesthetic sensitivities, a flash with too short range and long poses constraining, one will have to opt for the least handicap of the three. 

The RAW is one of the main innovations of the Coolpix B700. Do not rely on this format to win in high-sensitivity image quality: from 400 ISO noise is very present and, at 3200 ISO, even manually correcting smoothing and noise, you will do little better than JPEG processing Inside the case, slower. Strangely, the images captured in RAW are wider than those captured in JPEG, without changing the definition. This means two things: on the one hand in JPEG, you do not take advantage of the maximum wide-angle zoom; On the other hand, by default, a digital stabilization is applied to the JPEG image. Interesting.

Nikon Coolpix B700 Review

Hurray, the Coolpix B700 films in 4K / UHD (3840 x 2160 px), in 30p! Equally interesting, the video framing is represented in the viewfinder by a black rectangle when you are in shooting mode. Convenient! Except that, except that this ultra-high-definition video is a powder to the eyes, because there also will have to compromise. Indeed, in 4K / UHD, the maximum recording time is 7 minutes and 30 seconds when, in Full HD 60p, it is 15 minutes and 30 minutes in Full HD 30p. Even more embarrassing: if 4K / UHD gives you the maximum wide angle, a very large 1.3x cropping is applied in Full HD, so the maximum wide angle is around 31mm. Incomprehensible. Fortunately, as in photo, the videos are well exposed and the color rendering very satisfactory. The capture of the sound suffers from a breath a little too present, but bearable. Continuous AF, for its part, proves to be effective.

Zoom 60x very well stabilized.
Pleasant grip.
Adjustable swivel screen.
Programmable Fn2 button.
Shooting in RAW.
Video in 4K / UHD.
Good autonomy.
Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth low-power (Snapbridge).

Image quality beyond 400 ISO.
Maximum sensitivity of 3200 ISO very limiting.
Bright zoom.
Strong video cropping in Full HD.
Narrow viewfinder.
No touch screen.
No electronic level.

Despite the ability to shoot in RAW, shoot in 4K / UHD, the appearance of an Fn2 button and Snapbridge support, the Coolpix B700 does not fundamentally change from its predecessor. The transition to 20 Mpx does not succeed because the rise in sensitivity regresses, canton this bridge with 60x zoom to a versatile use only in daylight. It is still quite limiting.

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