The camera in use.
I used two lenses in this review, the 10-30mm and the 30-110mm lenses. The wide zoom is equivalent to a 27 to 81mm lens for a 35mm camera (strange how we still look back at old technology, many users may not have even used a film camera). At the widest setting the lens shows good sharpness across the entire field, but at the 30mm setting the lens was soft at the edges. Generally the lens performed very well in most picture taking situations.
The 30 to 110mm, (equivalent to 81 – 297mm for 35mm cameras). At 30mm the lens performed better than the 30mm setting on the 10-30mm lens. The lens displayed good sharpness over the entire frame. At 110mm the lens stated to show some pincushion distortion, but was within an acceptable tolerance.
The Nikon has many features which can be accessed through a simple, yet comprehensive menu on the LCD screen. Choose a shooting mode and then press the Menu button to display the options. Depending on the mode selected you will have a choice of functions, although, some of the features may be greyed out. This will vary according to the shooting mode you are working in. The menu is accessed by using the multi selector to navigate to the required item. This was simple to use although the multi selector does feel lightweight.
The available shooting modes for stills photography are; Manual, Aperture priority, Shutter priority, Program mode and Scene auto selector. The camera will automatically switch to macro mode or face recognition if needed. The Scene auto selector is Nikon’s full auto mode, many of the shooting options are greyed out or unavailable. This mode did produce some excellent results, although an experienced photographer will probably want more control on the various settings such as ISO, White balance, metering etc.
The camera predominantly shoots in the JPEG file format and offers several quality settings including; Basic, Normal, Fine, NEF (RAW) and NEF + JPEG Fine. The JPEG format also offers three image sizes S = 1936 x 1296, M = 2896 x 1944 and L = 3872 x 2592. For this review I shot all the sample images using Large image size. You may need to upgrade the RAW conversion module in Photoshop.
The camera offers three capture modes, Single Shot, Continuous and Hi-Speed. In the Continuous shooting mode with a 16gb class 6 SDHC card using JPEG Fine, 28 shots were captured before the buffer was full. Shooting in JPEG Basic 53 shots were captured before the buffer was full. Using JPEG & RAW 38 shots were captured (19 JPEG + 19 RAW). In reality you probably will not be shooting continuously, any short pause in shooting will be sufficient to clear the buffered photos.
With Hi-Speed selected the camera buffers consecutive shots at a shooting rate of 10, 30 or 60fps. In this mode only 12 shots are captured, this can be confusing as you may be expecting to capture 10, 30 or 60 shots. The Hi-Speed is an indication of the shooting rate, or to simplify matters, think of movie capture speed i.e. Frames per Second and then apply it to just 12 shots. In effect shooting 12 shots at 60fps, there is going to be very little image variation in shot 1 compared to shot 12.