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I have had my Nikon Coolpix 7900 for several years now and have been very very pleased with it. It is a small, compact digital camera that offers stunning quality pictures with lots of different features. Priced at around £250 it is superb value for money and I would definitely recommend this camera to anyone!
**Looks, Design and Size**
As with many modern technological inventions, they have suddenly become fashion items and the same is true about Digital Cameras. Therefore, it is crucial that yours is 'cool' and this camera is approximately -7 degrees. It is small and extremely stylish with subtle curves that make it easy on the eye. It is definitely a supermodel among digital cameras. It is light and fits comfortably in your hand so can easily be carried around if you are going to be using it a lot. The dimensions are:
Width: 8.8 cm
Depth: 3.7 cm
Height: 6 cm
Weight: 0.2 kg
Body Material: Aluminium
Even the camera case is rather stylish :-)
With 7.1 mega pixels, the Nikon Coolpix 7900 delivers top quality pictures. They are very detailed and realistic and help you to capture moments of your life in stunning detail. The 4x digital zoom allows you to take good zoom shots, which also come out in superb detail. Many digital cameras often have poorer quality when using the zoom feature but the Nikon Coolpix 7900 does not! Also, the Auto-Focus and Auto-Flash features ensure that all pictures are in focus and well-lit.
At first, I thought that the picture quality was pretty poor. Browsing through the pictures on my camera on the small screen I was horrified by the images I was seeing. However, once I put them onto my computer the quality was much better. I think that the quality of the LCD screen is not very good and therefore makes the pictures appear quite blurry. Only a slight problem though!
You can do quite a lot with one of these things. It takes pictures and does video with sound, which is a nice thing to have! The features for the camera involve night-mode, party-mode, landscape mode, museum mode, firework mode and many more. It does take a while to get use when to use each mode, but they can really improve the quality of your pictures. Setting the camera up using each mode is very simple and easy to do. To add to that, it saves your settings once you have turned it off which is very useful and means you don't have to keep applying new settings every time you turn it on.
**Ease of Use and Instruction Manual**
The Nikon Coolpix 7900 is very easy to use - even my Mum can use it! The buttons are all well positioned and the captions clearly show what they do. Deleting and managing photos on the camera is easy and likewise changing settings is simple with the on-screen menu. It does take a few goes to get the hang of it, but after that, you will find the camera is very straightforward, quick and easy to use.
The instruction manual, all 153 pages, is pretty good. It can be complicated at times, but can't they all! I have not had to use it much, but it is worthwhile glancing through it initially to give you a better feel for the camera. The index is fairly good to look up specific things and it uses the icons found on the camera well to relate to the different topics if you need any assistance.
My camera has been very reliable. It hasn't broken down or required servicing and looks as if it will continue to last for another few years! Charging is quick and easy and the battery life on the camera is fantastic. I have used it for days at a time before I have had to recharge it! This camera should not give you any problems at all.
Obviously, it is not wise to drop a digital camera and they are items treated with great care. My camera has been dropped once, by my Dad of all people but it still works fine. Therefore I presume it is durable and will not be carrying out further tests on it with a hammer! It only has a small dent on the zoom button to show for its troubles. The incident happened in Australia when I had warned my dad that he wasn't doing his rucksack up correctly and something may fall out. Alas, after he didn't do it up properly again, my camera fell out. Who says parents are always right?!
This camera is superb - it certainly won't disappoint you. It is ideal for all sorts of pictures; holiday pictures, party pictures, wedding photos etc. It offers superb quality, an extensive list of features, superb looks, very lightweight, reliable and great value for money.
If you need a new camera, don't look any further!
Thanks for reading, Steve xox
I bought the Nikon 7900 about a year ago after researching it and comparing it with other cameras that fit my list of requrements.
My main list of requirements were: small (own battery cell & not rechargeable AA's or similar), 30 FPS video capability, adjustable presets for lighting, lens quality, build quality, picture quality and versatility.
This camera really fit the bill. It's done everything I wanted it for, from wildlife and nature pictures, to commercial images for magazines. It's rugged, too - it takes quite a few knocks when it's out with me!
The small size of it presents no problem to my larger womens' hands and it sits well in the palm.
It's full of presets for images such as portraits (it recognises where heads and shoulders are and arranges the shot automatically, thowing the backgound out of focus for you!), landscapes, night-scenes, snow-scenes, etc etc. Of course, there's full manual override if you prefer to do it the long way as I do!
The only down-side for me is the slight shutter-lag and flash range. But I'm not over-bothered about it. Buy a pro-camera if it really bugs you.
This littles chappie is awesome value for money and sits well amongst my pro SLRs.
NOTE: the picture shown by DooYoo is NOT the Coolpix 7900!
I have had this camera for about 3 months, now, and have taken a fair few pictures (many hundreds), having done some practise before 4 weeks travelling in Fiji and New Zealand. I have taken some really nice pictures and some terrible ones!
One great strength of this camera is also a weakness: its size (volume and weight). I have a little belt pouch in which I have been carrying it everywhere, and it's small and light enough to do just that without any trouble. Having a compact camera with you at all times, particularly a digital (rather than film) one means that many otherwise "priceless" images can be captured. However, the lightness of the camera also counts against it in some circumstances, notably when the light is not good. The two-stage shutter button can be squeezed gently and, with practise, I'm sure I'd be able to not have the camera move just as the shutter is triggered, but at present it's a bit hit-and-miss. Admittedly, most of the time I've been finding this a problem is with macro (close-up) shots with the camera just a few inches from the subject, but it is quite frustrating! You can, of course, delete any failed attempts and retake, but this does take several (seemingly long) seconds for each attempt.
I also got a lightweight tripod for the tour which packs down to just over a foot long. The 7900 has a standard threaded tripod fitting, which is very helpful when taking pictures which might otherwise be blurred by camera-shake (long exposures in low light or extreme close-ups, for example) or for panoramic pictures. There is a "scene mode" (more later) which assists you in taking a series of pictures, from left-to-right, to build up a panorama. The images are stitched together digitally on your PC using the (included) software, which allows for tweaking of the stitching to allow, for example, handheld contributions (i.e. without a rigidly maintained camera position) to the picture set.
Whilst using the camera shot on the tripod in windy Wellington for a "self-portrait", the camera's light weight again became a problem as it blew over onto the tarmac of the path! Fortunately, although the case now has a dent at the top of the hand-grip, the camera appears to have survived the experience otherwise perfectly well. The black anodised surface was also slightly damaged, but it now has its own character: it's own "battle scar".
Probably the best picture I have taken so far, however, was on my first day "out": a flower, outside and not sheltered from any breeze, in Kew Gardens in London. The picture is from very close and shows at least some of the potential of this camera. Macro pictures must really be taken using the viewing screen to frame the subject as the viewfinder, useful in most circumstances, will not be able to frame the picture. The viewfinder is good, particularly if you are used to looking through a camera at your subject, and it does zoom with the camera, but it does have a reduced area of view relative to the screen (and the captured images) - apparently about 70%, which can lead to some mis-framing, but with the ample frame size and the 7Mpixel images, cropping is unlikely to be a problem with respect to the resulting image quality unless large prints are to be made from them. I expect practise will help in anticipating such framing quirks, though.
The 7Mpixel results are amply big and accurate enough for most image taking, and I have used the "Copy" "scene mode" to capture, across two shots, a broadsheet page of a newspaper: all the print is clearly legible. The lens distortion towards the corners is noticeable when inspected closely, but the print is still easily clear enough to read.
One thing I believe you should have for such a camera is at least one big, fast SD card. The images at maximum resolution come out at between 1.9 and 2.5MB each, so the internal memory isn't going to hold many. I bought two 2GB cards for the trip and was glad I did! The camera can take fairly good (VGA) quality motion video as well, and at Auckland Zoo the spider monkeys have produced some hundreds of megabytes of video! The speed of the SD card becomes an issue particularly here as unless the card can store the data as fast as the camera is generating it, recording will cease to work properly. The internal memory is used as a buffer to smooth out recoding as much as possible, but a slow card will also make taking snaps time-consuming as well. Taking a sequence or erasing a failed picture can seem to take an AGE between shots, for example.
Battery life is astonishingly good. I managed to take well over a hundred pictures, a fair few with flash, whilst in Fiji on two batteries (I bought a spare, non-Nikon one for the trip) and had ample charge left. A separate charger comes with the camera, incidentally, so a spare battery can be charging while you use the other. The battery power is not well indicated, however, only a warning being shown when you are getting quite low: say a dozen shots from "empty".
The camera has a "normal" shooting mode in which you can toggle the use of macro focussing and alter the use (or not) of the flash, which seems to function very well, if having an understandably short range (around 3-4m or 10-12ft). There are a bewildering variety of other modes (too many to go into here and I haven't explored them all properly yet anyway), but the most useful alternatives are the "video", which is self-explanatory, and the "Scene" mode, where you can choose from a variety of reasonably common basic settings. These include:
"Fireworks", where no flash is used and there's an expected long exposure, similar I guess to the "Night Landscape";
"Museum", which is another non-flash setting;
"Panorama" which is mentioned elsewhere;
"Underwater" which, due to the apparent reluctance of Nikon to make enough of their WP-CP3 waterproof housings for this camera (and distribute them in time, anyway), I didn't get to try out.
There are also a variety of portrait modes, which can superimpose ghost outlines on the viewing screen to help in composition and to aid the internal image processing to tinker with the faces for redeye reduction etc.. This is not an area in which I have dabbled much to date, however, preferring landscapes and "nature" subjects on the whole.
The menu system can be quite time-consuming to navigate for some relatively simple adjustments, although 4 of the most commonly needed adjustments are availale in (I believe) any mode using the 4-way navigation button.
I use my left eye (not the "usual" one) and I like taking portrait-format pictures, and this camera is easy to use and performs well for this relatively unusual approach.
One thing I noticed some time after starting to use the camera is that the relatively large viewing screen (for the size of camera) is not quite square in the case. I was a little disappointed with this, but it functions perfectly well and is not really noticeable.
Images are typically very good to look at in their entirety, but I have noticed that high-contrast edges can be blurred when viewed in fine detail. This may be due to internal "image sharpening", which may be adjusted through the menu system, but I have not played with that aspect of the camera as yet.
I bought my camera (in October 2005) through EBuyer who offered about the lowest price. However, the delivery took longer than expected and, when I investigated the procedures for following up on the order, I discovered that it was only really supported by telephone which is fine for many, but the average turnaround was a loooong time. Other experiences of which I am aware would lead me to probably buy elsewhere in future, although they have not failed to deliver at the end of the day. Waiting times seem to have improved a lot now, however, although the website is still agonisingly slow.
I hope to augment this report as I use the camera more - any comments would be welcome.