The Nikon CoolPix 600 is as cool as it sounds, with a 16-megapixel CMOS image sensor trysting an elephantine 60x zoom. It also features a vari-angle rear display LCD monitor. The camera also sports an integrated EVF and WI-Fi, Could this be Nikon’s best camera of its kind?
Are you a serious photographer?? Well, the Nikon P600 might be your perfect companion. The camera covers a very broad zoom range and substitutes the pain of carrying a bulky DSLR, lenses or even a tripod.
The Coolpix P600, just like the CoolPix 520, although this camera has a 60X zoom and replaces the 42X zoom found on the 520. The camera provides pristine quality telephone images and manages photography in quite a pleasant manner. The immaculate mechanic and optical engineering mate the monster size zoom, the optical thumb rule applies here that states that the longer the zoom, the softer the quality of images, the Cool Pix doesn’t disappoint the user with its 60X zoom. The wide-angle zoom capabilities are also note worthy. The P600 takes a very design path as compared to the long zoom camera’s or any other ultra-zoom cameras for that matter. The P600 has a flaw with the parallax or barrel distortion function compared to any ultra zoom camera in its category. The camera also contains integrated EVF and Wi-Fi as well as manual controls, but the drawback lies in the slow focus while going telephoto and the results in the image quality shows a tad amount of noise & the ISO sensitivities are moderate and the camera shows a quirky behavior. The camera specs also seem quite promising but it might also disappoint users. Considering its price, the camera should have a few more options as compared to its competition; just the massive zoom does not make it too good a buy.
BUILD & DESIGN:
You can rightly call the P600, the twin of the P520. It is similar by features, the looks are a bit utilitarian and give the user a DSLR feel, and the camera’s zoom is around 500 millimeters more than the P520. The camera’s 60X zoom is its claim to fame. We are not sure if that is enough to take the camera to its point of fame. The 16 Megapixels resolution and inbuilt Wi-Fi might aresavior features. Nikon adds a robust feel and a rich look to the P600 with a metal-alloy, polycarbonate body with added benefits such as dust/moisture and weatherproof seal.
CONTROLS AND ERGONOMICS:
Ergonomically eligible for sales, the P600 is quite effectively and efficiently designed. The placement of the controls/buttons/knobs is symmetrically and logically placed. The camera befriends a right-handed shooter easier than a left handed one. There is a standard mode dial as well as a shutter button that is larger than the usual size and you can use it for zooming/toggling too.
The function button is quite responsive and doesn’t make Nikon look any frugal than the poor build quality and controls of most competing cameras. The function button directly calls up a short cut menu that provides access to settings. The user-selected function can be selected in a jiffy, regardless of the image size, picture control, White balance, Metering mode, Continuous shooting, ISO or the Auto Focus area.
The camera has a one-touch video record/stop button that is small in size and feels a bit awkward, the user has to break his eye contact from the LCD or Electronic View Finder to locate the video recording button.
The camera has a remarkable handgrip that makes handling very easy; this also contributes to the stability on shots. There is a secondary zoom control that is positioned towards the left side of the screen that helps to zoom while the camera is positioned vertically. The User interface remains the same. It feels a little boring if you have already used a Nikon camera, there isn’t enough to entertain you.
The missing exposure compensation function while turning off the camera is a mood buster. This is a little frustrating due to which lighting problems occur and they hinder with the quality of the image. Users have to manually set the exposure compensation to get good results.
Menus and Modes:
There is a four-tab menu system on the P 600. The system is quite reliably logical, it is pretty user friendly and the navigation becomes easy too. There is a large high resolution LCD on the camera that makes it easy to read the text and glide through menus. There are various shooting modes on the P 600, feel free to fidget and play around with these modes, odds are that you might click a masterpiece worth framing.
There is the standard Auto program that is as automatic as it sounds, there is a scene auto selector that selects the most appropriate scene mode for the shooting situation i.e. Portrait shots or landscape shots, Party Indoors, Night Portraits, Beach, Snow, Sunset, Dusk or Dawn, Food, Museum, Fireworks, Backlight and a Panorama assist mode. There are a few effects too such as; Soft focus mode, Sepia, High Contrast monochrome, High Key, Low Key, Selective Color and painting, these modes are found in most Nikon entry level DSLR’s too. There is an Aperture Priority mode that is standard and works on adjusting the appropriate shutter speed for the situation. There is a shutter priority mode that selects an appropriate aperture for the shooting condition. Users can also choose to go manual and try their hands on the essentials of photography. There is a Full HD movie mode too that captures 1920x1080p videos at 60i.50i/30p/25p 30p/25p 60p/25p 120p/100p Frames per Second with a stereo audio backing.
There is an electronic viewfinder on the P600, the user can choose between LCD screen or the EVF for proper framing and composition, reviewing images or the menu access chores. The 3-inch LCD monitor has an impressive 921k resolution (TFT display wide viewing angle). The brightness of the LCD is automatic and increases/decreases based on the availability of light. There is also an anti-glare/anti reflection coating on both sides of the LCD’s protective cover that is a distinctive feature and makes shooting conditions easy under direct sunlight. The Vari-angle LCD can be flipped and folded and it comes in handy while shooting macro shots or high angle shots.
Being a Point and Shoot camera, The P600 is a slow shooter, there is a lag (seconds) while shooting a picture and the ultra zoom lenses aren’t pretty fast as you might expect, it gets difficult to capture fast moving subjects with this camera. While shooting outdoors, you are assured of good and quality images that would definitely last. However, the problem lies while shooting indoors, the indoor shoot quality is not very good and it worsens when you zoom. Albeit a few niggles, the image quality is very good, so is the video quality. It is competitive but remember, there are other choices too. The video and audio quality is also quite commendable, the videos shot can be displayed with the help of the HDMI, the videos shot are well balanced, quite saturated and the contrast is also very balanced.
The camera is based on realistic expectations and it is built for photography. The P600 is quite appealing to serious photographers who like the zoom feature and do not want to spend too much on DSLR’s and Lenses. Although a few niggles and a few disappointing features, it isn’t a bad choice. You can consider this camera in the list of cameras you shortlist before buying.
Nikon Coolpix P600 Rivals:
Nikon Coolpix P510
Nikon Coolpix P520
Canon Powershot SX50 HS
Sony Cybershot DSC HX400V