The Nikon P series of cameras are very capable, offering consumers full manual control and making excellent "back up" or every day cameras for advanced users. For those looking to step up in quality from a standard compact camera, they're also an excellent option.
We've come to expect good image quality from Nikon compacts of late, and the P7800 is no different, with bright, punchy and detailed images. Even better news is that Nikon seems to have fixed the issue with shot to shot times, a serious bugbear from the previous model.
The addition of an electronic viewfinder seems like a smart move, and it's interesting to note the difference between this and the Canon G16, its main rival, which not only doesn't include any kind of viewfinder, it also has a fixed LCD screen compared to the P7800's fully articulating device – the latter is much more useful for shooting at awkward angles, so is an appealing prospect. It's a shame that it's not a touchscreen though, especially given the awkwardness of changing the autofocus point.
It's also a huge shame that this camera doesn't have integrated Wi-Fi. To some, it might seem like a gimmick, but in this connected age, a camera without Wi-Fi, is almost becoming an oddity, rather than the norm, especially for expensive cameras at this price point.
Image quality is good, which is the key selling point of this camera, and rightly so. It's a no-nonsense, no-frills camera, which just gets the job done. It features a satisfying amount of dials and buttons, which should keep the advanced photographer happy. The last couple of generations of this camera removed the viewfinder altogether, so it's nice to see a decent electronic version being included here.
It's time Nikon got a little more up to date with this camera, for instance by fitting it with a touchscreen and inbuilt Wi-Fi. That would make it a more complete package, though it's worth pointing out that neither the G16 or RX100 II have touchscreens either. They both do have Wi-Fi though.
What Nikon has produced is a very good compact camera that anyone purchasing as a backup to a DSLR should be happy with. Similarly, anybody wanting to step up from a more basic point and shoot should also find a lot to like here.
The problem is, this area of the market is very crowded now, with the Sony RX100 II standing head and shoulders above the rest of them, with its larger sensor and superior image quality, coupled with other interesting features such as a touchscreen.
While it does have some advantages over that model, it's also in competition with Canon's well respected G16, which features a sensor of the same physical size and resolution but in a slightly sleeker body and integrated Wi-Fi. It seems likely that Canon and Sony will continue to dominate this area of the market, so it will be interesting to see what Nikon has to offer this time next year.
Overall though, this is a very likeable camera, with just a few let downs. It's worth noting that it is a lot cheaper than the Sony RX100 II, although the price point is similar to an entry level DSLR, so we're not talking cheap either.