Cameras

Nikon Unveils Petite Coolpix S02 and EVF-sporting P7800

Nikon bookends its Coolpix lineup with the tiny S02 and advanced P7800.

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Nikon is also getting in on the camera-revealing fun this week, announcing two new Coolpix models: the P7800 and S02. The S02 is a palm-sized update to last year's S01, while the P7800 is nearly identical to the P7700—our 2012 point-and-shoot of the year—save for the addition of an EVF.

Compared to the P7700, the P7800 adds a few new touches worth noting. The big addition is the new 921k-dot EVF, which slots in nicely above the rear display. The P7800 also retains the same size 3-inch, 921k-dot articulating LCD as the P7700, though Nikon claims the new display uses an RGBW matrix for improved power consumption with better brightness overall.

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Otherwise the P7800 is mostly the same as its elder sibling, with a 12.2-megapixel, 1/1.7-inch BSI CMOS image sensor, f/2-4 lens with 7.1x optical zoom, and optical image stabilization. The P7800 captures full 1080p HD video, has an ISO range of 80-3200 (expandable to 6400), and shoots at up to eight frames per second. The body also includes a built-in flash and a full hot shoe, along with full manual control and a dual dial setup.

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We were big fans of the P7700 last year, so much so that we named it the best point-and-shoot of the year over the Sony Cyber-shot RX100, another camera we adored. The addition of the EVF is a big advantage for the P7800, improving on the compelling package that its predecessor provided.

Also announced today is one of the smallest point-and-shoots we've seen yet, the Coolpix S02. While it's just a hair bigger than the S01 it replaces, the S02 potentially represents a very big upgrade in image quality. The S02 fits in the palm of your hand, but features a 3x zoom range, 2.7-inch touch LCD, and a 13.2-megapixel CMOS image sensor. For comparison's sake the S01 also had a 3x optical zoom range, but it had just a 2.5-inch LCD and a 10.1-megapixel CCD sensor.

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The S02 is also capable of capturing 1080p HD video with electronic image stabilization. Videos and still images can be recorded to 7.3GB of internal memory (good for around 2300 images). The only thing about the S02 that sounds disappointing is the continued use of a fixed, built-in battery, same as the S01. It's rechargeable, of course, but swappable batteries are always preferred.

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Last but not least, Nikon also announced a new accessory for video shooters, the LD-1000 video light. The LD-1000 offers up to 160 lux of constant illumination at 3.3 feet, screwing into the tripod mount on most cameras. The LD-1000 runs off of 4 AAA batteries, good for roughly 45 minutes of continuous light at full power. The power can also be adjusted by the user, with four batteries providing around 90 minutes of juice at half-power.

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The P7800 is expected to start shipping at the end of September, for a suggested retail price of $549.95—just $50 over the P7700, which lacks the EVF. The S02 is expected to make its appearance in late September or early October, with a tentative price of $179.95. The LD-1000 video light should be available for $99.95 sometime in October.