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I bought one of these to replace a Fuji bridge camera because of some positive reviews of the image quality. I remain rather perturbed at the lack of adjustment potential - it is more or less entirely automatic, with adjustment of the ISO setting and exposure compensation the only real options. You can also choose vivid colour, B&W if you like or use one of the scene modes. After the multi adjustments possible on the Fuji and even on my compact, I am a bit disappointed, but also interested to see where the money was spent.
First the automatic works very well, it seems to focus and expose very accurately without you needing to agonise over whether to use spot metering and averaged focusing or vice versa. Its happy to choose the ISO setting as well. It is pretty good and even ISO 1600 is quite useable. There are several really good features. One is the image stabilised lens with 25-525 equivalent zoom. It is an excellent lens with good sharpness and contrast throughout the range. Two is the sensor which produces nice clean images with lovely colour. Three is the build quality which is very high, this does not feel like a budget camera. Four, it doesn't look like a budget camera either, it looks like a serious Nikon, and so do the pictures it takes. I can't catch it out yet - the electronics seem cleverer than me... On reflection ...be honest with yourself...how often do you turn your camera off auto? And if you do, how often does it ruin the shot instead of improving it? Five, the LCD is superb with excellent visibility and high definition.
It is however too simplistic, and it does not even give a readout of the settings on review of the pictures, but it is an excellent auto camera and good value (but beware - the price fluctuates a lot). I just ask myself..who is the target buyer for this camera, and why did Nikon skimp on a bit more control which is very cheap to put into software? I can answer the first part - someone who wants a high quality camera that looks and feels expensive, and takes excellent pictures with no effort from the photographer except composing the shot.
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