Eric Adams

Words/photos for Wired, Gear Patrol, PopSci, The Drive, Men's Health, Air&Space, more

Jan 7, 2020
Published on: Gear Patrol
1 min read

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Nikon’s quirky superzoom cameras — the P900 and P1000 — are some of the manufacturer’s unsung heroes. Though they don’t have quite the sensor strength of the full-frame cousins, their zoom capability is unmatched, and unbelievably good, especially given the 24-2,000mm range. (Or 3,000mm in the case of the P1000.) Images stay sharp and colors true all the way in.

At CES this year, the company announced an update to the P900. The new Coolpix P950, still packing the same bonkers 83x-zoom capability as the P900, folds in 4k UHD video capability and image stabilization, along with dedicated modes for specific targets. These not only bring it in line with most users expectations of a modern digital camera, but the specific modes are important because zooms of that capability are typically wielded toward wildlife or celestial targets, which require some nuance in the exposure settings. They’re also very different targets. So the camera now offers Moon and Bird-Watching modes to help shooters dial in the results much faster.

The P950 also has the ability to shoot RAW images — another plus, since those who tend to shoot at extreme distances also like to dig into the files during processing — and a high-resolution electronic viewfinder, which gives you a continuous indicator of how the shot will look based on the settings. After all, you might not get a second chance when shooting cheetahs from a thousand yards. Blink, and they’re gone.

Clearly determined to be all things to all shooters, the camera can also focus as closely as 0.4 inches to the subject and it comes with an accessory shoe for flashes or the DF-M1 Dot Sight. This device allows you to more easily aim the camera at moving targets while at the tighter zoom levels. After all, trying to locate anything at 83x is nearly impossible unless you’re on a tripod aiming at a stationary object. But when after those cheetahs, this will give you a fighting chance.

The Coolpix P950 will be out in February for $799.95.

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