Nikon P1000 Review: More Zoom Is Not Possible

Nikon P1000 Review

After Nikon set a zoom record in 2015 with the Coolpix P900 with 83x magnification, the Coolpix P1000 is now the successor to the Coolpix P900 in the starting blocks and clearly puts the zoom range of the P900 in the shade: The lens of the Coolpix P1000 has a focal length of 4.3-539 mm, with an angle of view of 28-3,000 mm 35mm equivalent. This 125x zoom provides light to a 16 megapixel 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor. Nikon describes the presented Coolpix P1000 quite aptly as a “camera that could be a telescope”. In addition, the P1000 has other modern features ranging from 4K video to remote control via a smart device.

Extremely high zoom
Effective optical image stabilizer
Sharp viewfinder and monitor
Folding display
UHD video
Over a kilogram heavy
Weight unbalanced when zoom is extended
Telephoto image quality visibly soft and low in detail
Pictures rustle early
Plastic housing somewhat cheap looking

In addition to the interesting zoom factor of the lens, the light intensity is of course also of interest. While the lowest focal length can work with a maximum aperture of F2.8, the initial illumination in the telephoto range is F8. This can be counteracted with ISO sensitivities from 100 to 6,400. In order to minimize blurring, the P1000 has an optical image stabilizer that is supposed to compensate for up to five exposure levels – in theory, this should allow an exposure time of about 1/90 second.

Nikon Coolpix P1000: The weight balance tilts forward when the zoom is extended. Picture: Nikon

The focal length can be adjusted using convenient buttons on the side of the camera, and the “overview button” has also made it into the P1000. At the touch of a button, the camera quickly zooms out and back in again if you lose sight of the subject due to the long focal length. In addition to the rear, 3.2″ (8 cm), rotatable and swivelling LC display with 921,000 pixels, an electronic OLED viewfinder with a diagonal of 0.39 inches (1 cm) is available, which resolves about 2.3 million pixels and accommodates spectacle wearers with a diopter correction of -3 to 1.

To call the Coolpix P1000 a compact camera would be daring. Already the predecessor P900 was as big as a reflex camera, the P1000 clearly tops that again. Even when switched off it is a good 18 cm long, with fully extended zoom and lens hood it reaches 34 cm. The same tiny 1/2.3-inch sensor with 16 megapixels as its predecessor is used in the large housing. Both zooms start at 24 mm with a light intensity of 1:2.8, the P900 ends at 2000 mm and 1:6.5. The P1000 is at this focal length minimally stronger (1:6.3) and then drops to 1:8 up to 3000 mm. The large case allows the installation of a larger touch screen monitor (diagonal 8.1 instead of 7.5 cm), which resolves 921,000 points as usual and can be folded out and swivelled. The viewfinder is clearly improved: The diagonal of the OLED panel has doubled to 1 cm, the resolution has increased from 921,000 to 2.4 million points.

Operating the Nikon Coolpix P1000

The operation leaves a somewhat mixed impression: with its large handle, the camera is easy to hold, but we missed direct access to the ISO settings and continuous shooting modes. One can help oneself with an individually configurable function key (here, among other things, ISO or serial pictures can be deposited) and the function ring on the lens, which can be assigned with exposure correction, ISO or white balance. If the camera is set to manual focusing, the ring can be used for this, whereby a peaking function is available (called “contour filter” by Nikon). Important limitation: Peaking is not available during video recording.

Something irritated us was that the camera is blocked for a good two seconds after the shutter release. If, for example, the photographer operates the zoom lever immediately after taking the picture, nothing happens – not even after three or five seconds. So you first have to wait a good two seconds before you can operate the zoom. In addition to the zoom lever on the shutter release, there is a zoom rocker on the lens and directly next to it a zoom reset button that temporarily zooms out (at 3000 mm to 467 mm) to get an overview and find the subject again. A zoom from 24 to 3000 mm takes about 3.5 s, that’s okay – a higher zoom speed would make fine focal length changes more difficult.

The equipment of the P1000 has increased compared to the P900. In addition to the larger monitor and viewfinder, this is also due to the improved video mode, which now records in 4K resolution with 30 frames/s and around 75 Mbit/s – by the way without crop. The microphone interface is also new. Slow motion videos are also possible, but with weak performance data: The resolution at 4x slow motion (120 fps) is only 640 x 480 pixels, at 2x slow motion (60 fps) the camera records 1280 x 720 pixels. A time-lapse video is possible with 2x acceleration (15 fps) in Full HD. For more impressive time-lapse effects, interval shooting of high-resolution still images is recommended. In the menu, you can set the interval (from 30 s to 60 minutes), but unlike other Nikon cameras, no duration. The interval recordings must therefore be terminated manually and the creation of a high-resolution time-lapse video from the interval recordings is only possible externally in a video editing program.

Further advantages over the predecessor are raw mode, flash shoe, longer exposure times (30 s and bulb or time) and the Bluetooth module. The latter enables the automatic image transfer of small 2 megapixel files to a smart device with the SnapBridge app. However, to transfer larger files or remote control, you must enable Wi-Fi.

But there are also disadvantages compared to the P900: The GPS module is missing, whereby location data can be transferred from the smartphone via SnapBridge. In addition, the battery life has deteriorated – from 360 to 250 shots measured according to the CIPA standard. We also missed the raw converter in the camera, which is normally part of Nikon’s standard; but JPEGs can be edited afterwards for example with effect filters. Other features of the P1000 include multiple exposures, a panorama mode and various scene modes and effect filters.

Nikon Coolpix P1000: More zoom is not possible

Nikon Coolpix P1000: The screen can be folded, but without a touch function. After all, the viewfinder has a sufficiently high resolution. Picture: Nikon

The Nikon Coolpix P1000 is ideal for all those motives you’d like to bring out big but can’t get any closer: the moon, for example, because on clear nights this telephoto focal length opens up the opportunity to capture its surface full of images. The camera is also a temptation for hobby photographers who like to photograph animals: With the 125x zoom, the escape distance can be maintained in the wild just as it is possible to zoom in on animals further away in the zoo.

Of course, the Coolpix is not a magic apparatus with which all telerecordings succeed. Even such a telephoto area alone means that the photographer has to reckon with a lot of rejects, especially with moving motifs. Due to the high magnification, extremely short shutter speeds are required, which can only be achieved under the best lighting conditions. Nevertheless, it was a lot of fun for us in the truest sense of the word to test the test specimen extensively in practice.


Nikon Coolpix P1000. [Photo: Nikon]

Nikon Coolpix P1000. [Photo: Nikon]

Nikon Coolpix P1000. [Photo: Nikon]

The Nikon Coolpix P1000 offers the videographer contemporary 4K resolution (3,840 x 2,160p) with a maximum of 30 frames per second (fps) as well as Full HD recordings (1,080p) with a maximum of 60 fps. In addition, particularly demanding videos can be recorded in manual mode on an external recorder via the Clean HDMI output. Thanks to high-speed recording, 0.5 to 4x slow motion is also possible – but only in 640 x 480 pixels resolution. A timelapse function is also part of the package. The correct exposure in photo and video mode is ensured by a fast image processor which, in addition to automatic subject control, also controls semi-automatic, manual and autofocus modes as well as the 19 subject programs. Two dedicated settings on the mode dial for astro and nature photography help the photographer quickly find the appropriate scene mode.

In addition to JPEG image files, the P1000 can also store raw data, allowing the photographer to unleash maximum image quality in post-production. The Coolpix P1000 offers a Bluetooth, WLAN and USB interface for data transfer. Thanks to Nikon’s own Snapbridge system, recorded images can be transferred immediately to a smart device, which can also be used as a remote trigger for the camera. The Coolpix P1000 is the first Nikon Bridge camera to feature a system flash shoe for external flash units.

Nikon Coolpix P1000: 125x zoom, optically stabilized

The Coolpix P1000 is a compact camera with a 1/2.3 inch small sensor: It is only 6.16 x 4.62 mm in size. The 5.6-fold focal length extension factor (“crop”) resulting from the smaller dimensions makes the enormous zoom range possible: The optics of the P1000 actually correspond to a dizzying focal length of 4.3 to 539 millimetres; multiplied by 5.6, this results in the advertised 24 to 3.000 mm focal length in the so-called 35mm format.

The light intensity varies between f/2.8 (wide angle) and f/8.0 (telephoto). With the long focal length in the telephoto range this is not to be complained about, even if you quickly reach your limits in misty weather. Strictly according to the photographer’s rule when photographing out of hand – “exposure time is reciprocal of focal length” – an exposure time of 1/3,000 sec. should not be undershot at maximum focal length. However, since the Coolpix comes with an optical image stabilizer with dual detect technology, which according to the manufacturer extends the exposure time by up to five f-stops, exposure times of less than 1/100 sec. would also be possible. In our practical test, with settings of 1/125 sec., we succeeded in taking amazingly sharp zoom shots from a closer distance. When photographing from a greater distance, however, shutter speeds of less than 1/500 second led to visibly blurred results.

In the telephoto range, it is recommended anyway to switch off the image stabilizer and take pictures from a tripod when the subject is quiet. It is important to ensure a stable stand, as the centre of gravity of the 1.4 kilogram camera shifts significantly forward when zooming, which can cause a lighter tripod to tip over.

Typical compact camera, the depth of field extends far into the subject. With this camera, this is not necessarily a disadvantage: Objects such as birds, for example, are also completely sharp at 3.000 mm. The bokeh of the Coolpix P1000 looks a bit restless, the unsharp circles show “onion rings” and look slightly gritty.

Nikon Coolpix P1000: Most functions have a practical direct button. Source: Nikon

Nikon Coolpix P1000: Sophisticated Ergonomics

The housing of the P1000 is modelled on mirror reflex models: Despite its weight, the camera lies comfortably in the hand and all important buttons are easy to reach. The powerful optics with 77 mm filter thread can also be well supported with the left hand. We liked the additional zoom switch on the lens, and the adjacent snap-back-zoom button proves to be very useful: if you have lost sight of the subject at 3,000 mm, one press on this button is enough to zoom out a little and take the subject back to the center of the picture. When the button is released, the camera automatically returns to the previously selected zoom range.

In addition, the P1000 not only has an autofocus, but can also be manually focused via the handy ring on the lens. In autofocus mode, this ring is used for exposure correction, which is easier to adjust and achieve than using an adjustment wheel directly on the body. Some users might miss a separate button or switch for the image stabilizer directly on the camera. To deactivate this function, the photographer must switch to the menu.

The inner values are also tailored to the demanding amateur photographer, because the Coolpix not only records JPEG, but also RAW. Filmers are pleased about Ultra-HD as well as an input for a microphone. Also new with the P1000: The bridge camera is equipped with a flash shoe. The relatively long switch-on time as well as the shutter release delay are noticeable negatively, in addition, in the continuous shooting mode after only seven shots in a row, the end is reached.

Nikon Coolpix P1000: The folding flash reaches up to twelve meters. Source: Nikon

Nikon Coolpix P1000: Happiger price

The Coolpix P1000 also weighs a heavy 1,100 euros in price. Bridge cameras with comparable image quality are already available for a fraction of the price, the predecessor Nikon Coolpix P900 with a focal length of 2,000 mm also costs only 540 Euros. It should therefore be worth waiting for something in any case.

Although not a bargain, the Nikon Coolpix P1000 opens up new worlds that would otherwise remain closed. In terms of speed and battery life it unfortunately lags behind its predecessor. With the measured resolution it increases in the wide angle and holds the position in the now higher tele. Remarkable! Losses can be seen in the attention to detail. Furthermore, the meter-long focal length range naturally doesn’t offer consistent performance, especially as the light intensity at 3,000 mm is only f/8. But in view of the wide range of possible applications, this should be a pain in the ass.

Speed and image quality

The P1000 has two continuous shooting modes: In H(igh) it shoots at 7 frames/s, but only for one second, in L(ow) it shoots only 1 frame/s, but up to 200 in a row – both JPEGs and raws and with AF and AE tracking. In reduced resolution 60 frames/s in Full-HD are also possible.

In terms of image quality, the P1000 has to pay tribute to the small sensor and the huge zoom range. As always, we measured the resolution in three focal lengths. At wide-angle, the camera achieves a maximum efficiency of approx. 73%, which corresponds to 8.4 effective megapixels. It is slightly better at 200 mm (KB equivalent), here the maximum efficiency is approx. 76 %. At 3000 mm, the resolution drops dramatically to around 46% or an effective 3.4 megapixels. In practice, however, it can be used to take useful pictures – provided there is sufficient light available or the camera is mounted on a tripod. One should avoid raising the sensitivity to over ISO 200, as the resolution then drops massively: at ISO 400, at 200 mm, there are only a maximum of 5.7 effective megapixels, at ISO 1600 even only 3.7 effective megapixels. The image noise is already visible at ISO 100, but acceptable up to ISO 400. The exposure range remains at about 8 f-stops in the lower ISO levels, typical for compact cameras. The bottom line is that the image quality is slightly better than with the P900, which is mainly due to the higher resolution in the wide-angle and medium focal length range.

Nikon P900 vs P1000: Zoom giants placed side by side

A small by-catch at the event for the presentation of the new Nikon mirrorless system cameras: The brand-new Nikon P1000, of which no test devices are yet available, was also to be seen there as a guest, so to speak. I once placed the P900 next to it, which I happened to have with me. The P900 is literally the smaller sister model of the new P1000 zoom record holder, bringing it to a whopping three meters of telephoto focal length.

The size difference between the Nikon Coolpix P900 (left) and the new P1000 (right) is enormous, as you can see on this comparison photo.

The fact that the P1000 is sooo big, I was frankly not aware. The large built-in lenses of course also explain the high price for this compact camera.

Both models will remain in Nikon’s product range until further notice. In view of the enormous difference in size and the large price difference, this of course makes sense. The P900 currently costs slightly less than 550 euros at low-cost dealers, the RRP of the P1000 available from September is twice as high (1,099 euros).

By the way, we won’t be able to test the camera regularly in our test laboratory, because we are not equipped for such extreme focal lengths (3,000 millimeters telephoto); neither our premises nor our measuring equipment are capable of doing so.

With the Nikon Coolpix P1000, a bridge camera with an incredible 125x zoom was released in the test. The potential collector’s item is already in the shops, at least theoretically: In mid-December we couldn’t find a single online shop that had a Nikon Coolpix P1000 in stock – all copies were already sold out.

In view of a price of 1,100 euros and with a view to the partly meagre results of the Nikon Coolpix P1000 in the test lab, this hype may surprise. But the focal length range is an eye-catching unique selling point even in the zoom-strong class: the equivalent of 600 mm marks the end of most models, some reach 1,200 mm in the meantime and the predecessor Coolpix P900 set the previous record with its 2,000 mm. It quickly becomes clear that with the new 24-3,000-mm zoom optics.

Bottom line

The Nikon Coolpix P1000 fascinates in the test with its record-breaking zoom. From a converted 24 mm to an impressive 3,000 mm focal length, the 125x zoom covers the entire range and delivers full-frame shots of any subject, no matter how far away – even the moon. The downside: The picture quality leaves a little to be desired, especially in high telephony. In addition there is a high weight. After all, autofocus, image stabilizer and ultra-HD video score well. However, the price is correspondingly high.

It also fascinates us with its huge focal length range, even if we sometimes wondered if 2000 mm would not have been enough. The disadvantages of the extreme final focal length are obvious: A very large housing and a strong drop in resolution in the long focal length. Nevertheless, the bottom line is that the P1000 performs slightly better than its predecessor and just achieves the grade “very good”.

Extremely high zoom
Effective optical image stabilizer
Sharp viewfinder and monitor
Folding display
UHD video
Over a kilogram heavy
Weight unbalanced when zoom is extended
Telephoto image quality visibly soft and low in detail
Pictures rustle early
Plastic housing somewhat cheap looking

Fact sheet

1/2.3-inch CMOS BSI (6.2×4.7 mm); 16.0 million pixels; pixel pitch 1.3 µm
Conversion factor
Image stabilizer
Zoom (optical/digital)
Focal length/Luminous intensity
24 to 3000 mm (real: 4.3 to 539 mm), f2.8 to f8
Closest focusing distance
30 cm, macro: 1 cm
Sensitivity (ISO)
6 400
yes, with auxiliary light, automatic target selection from 9 fields, 99 fields available manually; portrait AF; subject tracking; target recognition AF
built-in, external; red-eye reduction
Shutter speed
1 to 1/4000 sec., manual up to 30 sec.
Exposure control
Program automatic, Picture programs (19), Aperture priority, Aperture priority, Manual (Program automatic with program shift)
Exposure metering
Multi-field (224 measuring fields), Integral, Spot
White balance
automatic, manual, 5 presets
Movie mode
3840×2160 (30p or 25p), 1920×1080 (30p, 25p, 60i or 50i), 1280×720 (30p or 25p), 960×540 (25p), 640×480 (30p or 25p); high-speed mode/30//with sound
electronic with 2 359 000 pixels
rotatable and tiltable display with red, green, blue and white pixels; six-step brightness control; electronic viewfinder with diopter correction (-3 to +3 dpt); automatic switching with eye sensor
Serial pictures
7 frames per second, 7 frames in a row (1 frame/sec can capture up to 200 frames in a row; H-Series 120 or 60 frames/sec can capture up to 60 frames in a row; Pre Shot Cache (up to 20 frames at 15 frames/sec frequency); Best Shot Selector)
Storage formats
JPEG, Raw, H.264/AVC (raw files in NRW format)
Memory card
SDHC and SDXC compatible
Rechargeable battery
1 lithium-ion battery; scope of delivery: lithium-ion battery (EN-EL20a) and mains adapter; maximum battery life according to CIPA: 250 shots
USB 2.0 high-speed, HDMI, WLAN, Bluetooth (mini HDMI connector (type D); microphone connector (3.5 mm jack); IEEE 802.11b/g (infrastructure mode) with NFC support (2.4 GHz), Bluetooth 4.1)
Dimensions (W/H/T)
146,3/118,8/181,3 mm
1 415 g
Housing material

Nikon Coolpix P1000 Datasheet


Sensor CMOS sensor 1/2.3″ 6.2 x 4.6 mm (crop factor 5.6
)16.8 megapixels (physical), 16.0 megapixels (effective)
Pixel pitch 1.3 µm
Photo resolution
4.608 x 3.456 pixels (4:3)
4.608 x 3.072 Pixel (3:2)
4.608 x 2.592 pixels (16:9)
3.456 x 3.456 pixels (1:1)
3.264 x 2.448 pixels (4:3)
2.727 x 1.704 pixels
1.920 x 1.080 Pixel (16:9)
1.600 x 1.200 pixels (4:3)
640 x 480 pixels (4:3)
Picture formats JPG, RAW
Colour depth 24 bits (8 bits per color channel)
Metadata Exif (version 2.3), DCF standard
Video resolution
3.840 x 2.160 (16:9) 30 p
3.840 x 2.160 (16:9) 25 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 60 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 50 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 30 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 25 p
1.280 x 720 (16:9) 60 p
1.280 x 720 (16:9) 50 p
1.280 x 720 (16:9) 30 p
1.280 x 720 (16:9) 25 p
Video format
MOV (Codec H.264)


Focal length 24 to 3000 mm (35mm equivalent
)125x Zoom4
.3 to 539 mm (physical)
Digital zoom 4x
Focus range 30 cm to infinity (wide-angle
)700 cm to infinity (telephoto)
Macro sector 1 cm (wide-angle
)700 cm (telephoto)
Apertures F2.8 (wide-angle
)F8 (telephoto)
Autofocus yes
Autofocus mode Contrast autofocus
Autofocus Functions Single autofocus, Continuous autofocus, Tracking autofocus, Manual, AFL function, AF auxiliary light, Focus Peaking

Viewfinder and Monitor

Monitor 3.2″ (8.0 cm) TFT LCD monitor with 921,000 pixels, anti-reflective, brightness adjustable, swivels 180°, rotates 270
Video viewfinder Video viewfinder with , diopter compensation (-3.0 to 1.0 dpt)


Exposure metering Center-weighted integral measurement, matrix/multi-field measurement, spot measurement
Exposure times 1/4,000 to 1 s (automatic
)1/4,000 to 30 s (manual)
Exposure control Fully automatic, Program automatic, Aperture automatic, Aperture automatic, Manual, Motif automatic
Bracketing function HDR function
Exposure compensation -2.0 to +2.0 EV with step size of 1/3 EV
Sensitivity to light ISO 100 to ISO 1.600 (automatic
)ISO 100 to ISO 6.400 (manual)
Remote access Bluetooth trigger, remote control via Smartphone/Tablet
Motives Fireworks, landscape, food, night landscape, night portrait, close-up, sunset, sports/action, beach/snow, animals, 3 additional motif programs
Picture effects brilliant, Fisheye, Monochrome, Blur, Manual, More Vivid, Normal, Portrait, B&W, Silhouette, Vivid, Drawing
White balance Auto, Cloudy, Sun, Shadow, Flash, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Kelvin Input, Manual
Color space sRGB
Continuous shooting Continuous shooting function max. 7 frames/s at highest resolution and max. 7 stored photos
Burst function Burst function with images/s
Self-timer Self-timer with interval of 3 or 10 s
Shooting functions AEL function, AFL function, live histogram


Flash built-in flash (hinged
)flash shoe: Nikon
Flash range 0.3 to 12.0 m for wide-angle5
.0 to 8.0 m for telephoto
Flash functions Auto, Flash On, Flash Off, Red-eye Reduction, Flash Exposure Compensation from -2.0 EV to +1.0 EV


Image stabilizer electronic image stabilizer, lens shift (optical)
Internal memory yes (56 MByte)
Microphone Stereo
Power supply Power supply connectionUSB charging function
Power supply 1 x Nikon EN-EL20a250
images according to CIPA standard
Playback Functions Red eye retouching, cropping images, image rotation, image protection, playback histogram, image index, resize
Face recognition Face recognition
Picture parameters Sharpness, noise reduction
Grid can be faded in during recording yes
Special functions Orientation sensor, Live View
Ports Data interfaces: USBUSB type
: USB 2.0 High SpeedWLAN
: available (type: B, G)
NFC: availableAudio output
: noAudio input
: yes (3.5 mm jack (stereo with power supply))
Video output: yes (HDMI output Micro (type D))
Supported direct printing methods PictBridge
Tripod socket 1/4″
Features and Miscellaneous ISO 3,200 and 6,400 only in semi-automatic (P,S,A) and manual mode (M
)Focus LockOLED viewfinderHigh-speed video(640 x 480 4x, 0.5x and 2x)
Video ISO (125-1,600)
Superlapse and Timelapse VideoD-LightingPre-Shot


Size and weight

Weight 1.415 g (ready for operation)
Dimensions W x H x D 146 x 119 x 181 mm


included accessories Nikon EH-73P Power Supply UnitNikon
EN-EL20a Special Battery Lens CoverWear StrapCamera SoftwareViewNX 2 for Windows (XP/or higher) and for Macintosh (System X/or higher)
optional accessory Nikon EH-5B Power Supply UnitNikon
EP-5C Battery Compartment Adapter CableNikon
ML-L7 (Bluetooth Remote Control)
Removable Memory Card
USB 2.0 High Speed

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