The launch price for this camera isn't cheap at £499.99 - around the same as an entry-level DSLR kit - but once the street price settles it should bring the Nikon Coolpix P7100 into line with the competition.
The larger size of the Nikon Coolpix P7100 - like the Canon G12 - means that there's plenty of space for controls on its outer surface. While you might struggle to stuff this camera into an average-sized pocket, the pay-off you get in terms of handling is worth it, in our opinion.
The amount of options and settings that are directly accessible from the camera body makes the Nikon Coolpix P7100 slick to operate whether you're shooting with it on Auto or manual: just about every key setting that you might want to alter quickly while shooting is at your fingertips, so you'll rarely need to dip into the main menu system.
The claims Nikon made at this camera's launch with regard to improved handling were certainly borne out during our test period, thanks in no small part to the Nikon Coolpix P7100's new EXPEED 2 processor.
The Nikon Coolpix P7100's autofocus system is fast and accurate, the camera is quick to start up and shot-to-shot times - including when shooting RAW files - are much improved in comparison to the criticised P7000. In terms of functionality, the Nikon Coolpix P7100 matches rivals in most respects, but its 7.1x optical zoom is the Nikon Coolpix P7100's trump card over its main - less well-endowed - competitors, adding another level of flexibility to its feature-set.
The snappy autofocus system and comprehensive array of controls scattered across the robust camera body keep the shooting process slick, and the Nikon Coolpix P7100 delivers great-looking images whether you shoot on Auto or in one of the manual modes. The flexibility of being able to capture RAW files is the icing on the cake.
The sheer number of controls the Nikon Coolpix P7100 offers may prove daunting for less-experienced users, and some may be disappointed with the lack of Full HD movie-making capability. Action photographers are unlikely to be bowled over by the camera's continuous shooting rate, either.
The number of upgraded features in comparison to the older model it replaces may not be numerous, but the changes that have been made are very significant. The combination of superb image quality and total manual control, along with a much-improved - dare we say - snappy performance, leaves a lasting impression.
In short: the Nikon Coolpix P7100 is the camera that the P7000 should have been.