Image quality is superb – it's that simple. Test shots from the 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 lens were crisp and sharp, and showed none of the chromatic aberration that afflicted Nikon's cheaper S8000 superzoom.
The wide range of available apertures is useful as well - although if you can we'd urge shooting at wider apertures. Comparing images, shots taken at f/2.8 were considerably sharper than those taken at f/8.
The P7000's ISO sensitivity can be pushed as high as 6400, and Nikon's recent strength when it comes to low-light photography shines through. A few years ago you'd have been laughed at for suggesting that compact cameras would eventually produce usable images at ISO 1600, but the Nikon P7000 just about manages it.
Indeed, the images it produced at ISO 3200 were printable as well, although some decent noise-reduction software is going to be desirable. As ever, only the topmost setting produced fatally flawed images. ISO 6400 might be tempting for photographers looking to make the most of ambient light, but you'll have to deal with severe grain and pronounced colour shifts to be able to use it.
It's an enormously capable performer as well. The Coolpix P7000 is ready to shoot in under a second and a half, and offers a decently-specced continuous drive mode, at least for a compact. In 28.1 seconds it shot at a rate of 1.4fps, which is more than reasonable for most purposes.
The only drawback was the processing time afterwards - the camera sat with a "Please wait for the camera to finish recording" message for around another half minute. Shooting in the P7000's RAW mode produced more finger-drumming and reduced the continuous buffer to a measly five shots, but speed was un-impacted.
Nikon Coolpix P7000 ISO Test