The latest in the lineup is the Nikon P7700. It features a large 1/1.7-inch 12 million pixel CMOS sensor, a 7.1x optical zoom lens and a fully articulating screen.
Though Nikon has chosen to keep a smaller sensor size than a couple of other premium compacts starting to enter the market (most notably the Canon G1 X and the Sony RX100), it's important to remember that the sensor size is exactly the same as that found in the Canon G15, very newly announced at Photokina 2012.
The lens, which offers an equivalent of 28-200mm in 35mm terms, is capable of going down to f/2.0 at the widest angle of the lens, rising up to f/4.0 at the top end.
That doesn't compare spectacularly well to other premium compacts currently on the market, with the Panasonic LX7 and Samsung EX1 both having f/1.4 optics, while the Sony RX100 and Fuji X-F1 can both reach f/1.8.
It's worth pointing out, however, that the Nikon P7700 does have a longer zoom capability, so it offers more flexibility in that respect. The Canon G15 features an f/1.8-2.8 lens, but only boasts 5x optical zoom.
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Other features of the Nikon P7700 include a 921k dot vari-angle LCD screen, a fast EXPEED 2 image processing system, and high sensitivity shooting up to ISO 6400. As on most other premium compact models, the Nikon P7700 has the ability to shoot in raw format, while full manual control is also available, as well as semi-automatic modes.
Although not-built in, the Nikon P7700 is compatible with Eye-Fi cards, which enable you to directly transfer images over wireless networks. Other compatible accessories include a GPS unit, remote control and Speedlight flash units.
It's clear that the Nikon P7700 is a direct rival to the Canon G15. The Nikon P7700 retails at £500/AU$650/US$500, compared with £550/AU$630/US$500 for the Canon G15.