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Looking to replace my Nikon Coolpix P900 (2 Viewers)

Lerxst

Well-known member
My Nikon P900 has mostly served me well, but it has suffered some dings of late and after 2.5 years of constant use and abuse I think I may move on. I would like another bridge camera because:

1. I am not a serious photographer, I am a birder that likes to use a camera as a tool. A tool to help with a tricky ID, or to document a rarity, or to use via lots of zoom to basically function as a small scope and get me birds that my bins cannot.

2. I have no interest in carrying a large telephoto lens / heavy camera around. This was why the P900 was so attractive. It seems tailor-made to my uses above.

3. Several drawbacks of the P900 - the lengthy time needed for the internal motors to zoom (not a show-stopper), but far worse, the poor perfrormance of the autofocus when dealing with a bird that is far back and behind layers of branches and leaves, etc. There is a manual focus override but I found it too slow and tough to use, as there is no focus ring on te lens. I have a long list of lovely birds that where just sitting there for the photo, but which the P900 could not get a decent focus on before they flew off. I kept reaching for a focus ring to rapidly make the image crisp. Frustrating to watch it go from one blur of the bird to a different blur as you pray it finds the focus before the bird leaves.

The P1000 is the natural, if $$$, candidate for me to go with as a replacement, because it keeps all the good features of the P900, extends the zoom, and adds a ring for manual focus (!). I have had the opportunity to hold one, though, and the massive bulk and weight of this thing makes me a bit less enthused about it. Also not excited about the reported poor battery performance.

So I keep looking for a Canon, or Panasonic, or anything, that can give at least moderate zoom (60x please, I am used to 83x after all), a manual focusing ring, and relative light weight. After hours of searching, I am convinced that this camera does not exist. This post is a humble query to see if anyone knows of something I may have missed.

Thanks,
 

poledark

Well-known member
I have had (and still have) both the 900 and the 1000. Apart from the extra bulk the 1000 is a far better camera than the 900, You mention the focus ring and birds obscured in foliage...well for me, as a general walk around photograph anything guy, you will come to love that focus ring.
Battery life never been a problem, I purchased a couple of extras with charger and just slip one or more in my pocket whenever I am taking the camera with me. I have to say I rarely need to change one in the field.

Den
 

rominho

New member
I wonder if anyone here has had any experience with P950 - Supposedly it has some of the good features of the P1000 with less bulk.
I could find find any specification about it having a focus ring for MF, It doesn't look like it has one.
 

John Cantelo

Well-known member
I just peeked at the 950's manual (helpfully it's online) and copied the relevant part. As for a replacement, I was very impressed with a friend's Sony Cyber-SHOT DSC-RX10 IV when we were on a birding holiday last year which was getting better shots than my Nikon 900 and almost as good as another friend's expensive DSLR set-up. But then at £1600 it should be better!
 

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mike w

Member
side zoom control for manual focus on p900, alternative to lack of focus ring

I use the p900 for much the same purposes, and have only recently become aware of using the side zoom control (the small lever switch on the side of the lens beside the T and W) as a means of manual focus instead of a focussing ring.
In the setup menu (the spanner symbol) one of the choices is ASSIGN SIDE ZOOM CONTROL. With this you can choose ZOOM or MANUAL FOCUS. When set to manual focus, the little lever adjusts the focus.
Cheers
Mike
 

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