Nikon P900

Unleash your inner paparazzo with the world's first bridge camera to feature an 83x optical zoom

Nikon P900

Clearly the big selling point of the P900 is its 83x zoom. It's currently the market leader in this respect, but how long it retains that distinction remains to be seen.

The downside of having such a huge optical zoom is that the camera needs to be large. The P900 is pretty much the same size as a DSLR with a kit lens attached.

Although it's great to have the option full manual control, and a range of exposure modes, it seems a little remiss of Nikon to not include raw format shooting – it's something which appeals to enthusiasts, and one of its biggest rivals, the Canon SX60, does have this capability.

Read: Canon SX60 HS review

Using the camera is straightforward, and while there's a good range of external controls, a DSLR-style dial on front of the grip would be an advantage. The grip could also do with being a touch bigger to balance out the size of the lens, and it would be nice to have a touch-sensitive screen to make changing the autofocus point and other settings quicker and easier.

Nikon P900

The P900 does have that massive 83x optical zoom but it's not without faults.

If you're into wildlife or bird photography, or like shooting pictures of the moon or other subjects outside the range of most lenses, the P900 is definitely worth a look; but bear in mind that the focusing can be slow at the long end of the lens. If you like to travel a lot and want the flexibility of a huge range – and don't mind the size – this could be a good choice.

It's also worth bearing in mind that the launch price of this camera is quite high compared to similarly specced rivals – and even to some entry-level DSLRs. While it's true that equipping a DSLR with even half this zoom range would cost many thousands of pounds, the P900's overall image quality is not on a par with that from a DSLR.

If you're buying this camera for holiday photography then it's likely that most of your shots will be taken in bright light, and the P900 delivers good image quality in such conditions; if you like to keep shooting when the sun's gone down, however, then it's probably not the camera for you.

We liked

If you're after a camera with a huge zoom range you can't get huger than this, for now at least. Images taken in good light look great, with vibrant colours. Having the option of full manual control is also welcome.

We disliked

There are enough niggles about the P900 to stop us recommending it wholeheartedly. Probably the biggest is the lack of raw format shooting, which takes away some of the flexibility that most enthusiast photographers want.

Verdict

It could be a small audience, but those looking for an ultra-zoom bridge camera should find the P900 very capable, especially if they don't mind only being able to shoot JPEGs.

While it's fairly bulky and heavy for a bridge camera, it's a good all-round camera for the holiday photographer who doesn't want to lug around a DSLR and a collection of lenses.

The P900 is an expensive purchase, but the price is likely to come down, and it has the longest zoom range of any camera currently on the market.