Nikon Coolpix B700 Review

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Pros
  • Good colour reproduction
  • 60x optical zoom lens
  • 4K video recording
  • 10fps continuous shooting (but for only 5 shots)
  • Raw shooting
  • Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth
Cons
  • Doesn’t feature a touch-screen
  • Doesn’t auto-rotate images
  • Images soft towards the corners, and when using full-zoom

Nikon Coolpix B700 (2)

The Nikon Coolpix B700 updates the P610 and features the same 60x optical zoom lens, but upgrades the insides to offer a new 20 megapixel sensor, and 4K video recording. Wi-Fi and NFC is built-in and has been joined by low-power Bluetooth to enable low-power transfer of images to a smartphone or tablet.

Features

Nikon Coolpix B700 (3)

If the 83x optical zoom of the Nikon Coolpix P900 is too much, and you’d like a more compact ultra-zoom bridge camera, then the Nikon Coolpix B700 could be for you. With a 60x optical zoom lens, a vari-angle 3inch screen, built-in electronic viewfinder, Wi-Fi, 4K video recording, and manual controls the camera has a lot to offer.

The 60x optical zoom lens is equivalent to 24mm wide-angle zooming all the way to 1440mm at the telephoto end, in 35mm equivalent terms. This gives an impressive amount of reach, and the camera’s optical image stabilisation, which Nikon calls Vibration Reduction (VR), helps keep the image steady when shooting under low light or when using a lot of zoom. The lens can focus on subjects 1cm away from the front of the lens, giving the camera impressive macro capabilities. The lens features an f/3.3 aperture that closes to f/6.5 when the full optical zoom is used.

The camera features a vari-angle 3inch screen, plus an electronic viewfinder (EVF), which also has an eye-detection sensor so that the camera will automatically switch between the rear screen and EVF, when the camera is held up to your eye.

Inside the camera is a 20 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, capable of recording 4K video. 4K video resolution is UHD (3840 x 2160) and frame rates available are 30 or 25fps. You can record FullHD video at up to 60fps, and 720p video at 120fps, with video featuring stereo sound.

The camera offers Auto, P, A, S, Manual shooting modes, as well as numerous scene modes, and creative effects. You can also shoot raw images. A retouch menu is available in playback mode, so that you can apply effects after you have taken your photos.

Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC has been joined by low-power Bluetooth making it possible to transfer images to your smartphone using less power, as well as remotely control the camera (over Wi-Fi).

Nikon Coolpix B700 (4)

Key Features
  • 20 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor
  • 60x optical zoom lens, f/3.3-6.5, equivalant to 24-1440mm
  • Dual detect Optical Vibration Reduction (VR), 5-stops
  • 3inch vari-angle screen, 921k dot
  • Electronic ViewFinder (EVF), with 921k dots
  • 4K (UHD), 30p video recording
  • ISO100 to ISO3200
  • 1cm macro focus
  • Raw shooting
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC
  • 10fps continuous shooting (only 5 shots)
  • Available in black or red

Handling

Nikon Coolpix B700 (6)

The large grip gives the camera the styling and looks of a small DSLR, and the patterned texture ensures you can maintain a firm grip of the camera. The rubberised thumb grip on the back is a nice touch as well. The camera feels quite sturdy, with a solid plastic body. The battery and memory compartment features a locking mechanism, and this too feels and looks well engineered.

The design has barely changed since the P610, but as the old saying goes “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” – however there is now a second function (Fn2) button on the back, in addition to the top function (Fn1) button. On the side of the camera is a button which releases the pop-up flash, just down from there on the lens is a lever which offers an alternative way to adjust the optical zoom, as well as a snap back zoom button that zooms the lens out so you can find your subject again if you’ve lost it.

The top features a mode dial – with a user settings mode so that you can save your favourite camera setup.

There is a dial to adjust shutter speed and / or aperture depending on which mode you are in. In manual mode you can use this dial, as well as the rear scroll wheel so that you can adjust shutter and aperture directly. The rear scroll wheel can be used for cycling through the menus. Surrounding this wheel is the d-pad to access exposure compensation, macro mode, self-timer and the flash.

The camera also features an eye-sensor so that it can automatically switch between the rear screen and EVF.The EVF is quite small, and doesn’t match the screen for clarity, with blacks looks a little washed out.

The vari-angle screen means you can use it for self-portraits, or for monitoring video recording, when in front of the camera, and you can also turn it around to protect the screen.

Nikon Coolpix B700 (7)

The menus are clearly laid out, with each section getting its own main section logo, starting with the photo options, then the video options, etc. This makes it easy to change and find settings, however, the clarity could probably be improved if the menu sections were colour coded, rather than just being the same colour as each other.

Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth Features – NFC makes it easy and quick to setup a connection to a compatible Android smartphone. If you have an iOS device, then you can use Bluetooth to setup the connection. The camera no longer has built-in GPS, however you can use the Nikon SnapBridge app to add location data to images.

Nikon Coolpix B700 (1)

Battery life – Battery life is improved at 420 shots according to Nikon / CIPA test results, which is good, although extended use of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth is likely to shorten the battery life of the camera, particularly when using Wi-Fi.

Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Speed – We took a number of shots to test the camera’s responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response <0.05secs
Wide – Focus / Shutter Response 0.125secs
Full zoom – Focus / Shutter Response 0.25secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 3.5secs
Shot to Shot without Flash 1.4secs
Shot to Shot with Flash 2.0secs
Continuous Shooting – JPEG
(shots before slow down)
10fps (5 shots)
Continuous Shooting – Flash N/A
Continuous Shooting – RAW 10fps (5 shots)

The camera can shoot at 10fps, but for only 5 shots before shooting stops, when shooting JPEG or raw images. Focus is rapid, particularly at the wide-angle end of the lens, and shutter response is quick.

Sample Photos

Kitty | 1/30 sec | f/3.8 | 6.3 mm | ISO 110

Yellow Fiat 500 Wheel | 1/800 sec | f/3.3 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100

Yellow Fiat 500L | 1/1600 sec | f/5.5 | 59.1 mm | ISO 100

Yellow Fiat 500 | 1/1600 sec | f/3.3 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100

MG Dash | 1/500 sec | f/4.5 | 14.3 mm | ISO 100

Sample Photos – The Nikon Coolpix B700 gives images with good colour, particularly when shooting in bright sunny conditions, with bright saturated colours. The flash gives good results, with rarely any signs of red-eye. Exposure is reliable, and for more dynamic range you can use the “Active D-Lighting” option, or the backlighting / HDR scene mode.

Lens test images

Macro | 1/60 sec | f/3.8 | 7.2 mm | ISO 400

Wide Trees | 1/200 sec | f/3.3 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100

Full Zoom | 1/250 sec | f/6.5 | 258.0 mm | ISO 320

Macro Flower | 1/640 sec | f/4.0 | 9.0 mm | ISO 100

Blossom | 1/400 sec | f/5.2 | 30.5 mm | ISO 100

Bird In Tree | 1/160 sec | f/6.5 | 258.0 mm | ISO 400

Lens Performance – Macro performance is impressive, with the camera able to focus on subjects just 1cm away from the front of the lens. Images are softer at the telephoto end of the lens (particularly in the corners), but reasonably good at the wide-angle end of the lens, with images sharper near the centre of the image. Chromatic aberrations and purple fringing can be an issue when shooting images with high levels of contrast. There is some barrel distortion when shooting wide-angle, although there is minimal pincushion distortion at the telephoto end of the lens. Image stabilisation is quite impressive, keeping images steady even when using a lot of optical zoom.

ISO test images

1/15 sec | f/4.2 | 10.7 mm | ISO 100

1/30 sec | f/4.2 | 10.7 mm | ISO 200

1/60 sec | f/4.2 | 10.7 mm | ISO 400

1/125 sec | f/4.2 | 10.7 mm | ISO 800

1/250 sec | f/4.2 | 10.7 mm | ISO 1600

1/500 sec | f/4.2 | 10.7 mm | ISO 3200

ISO Noise Performance – As expected, noise is at it’s lowest at ISO100, and the camera can produce a reasonably clean image. Even at ISO200 there isn’t much of an increase in noise. Noise becomes more noticeable at ISO400, when viewing images at 100%. Noise becomes stronger at ISO800, with some colour degredation. At ISO1600 noise reduction becomes quite strong, although images may still be useful if used on the web and resized. ISO3200 is best avoided, due to high levels of noise, and low image quality. There are noise reduction options of High, Normal and Low, with the default being Normal.

White-balance test images

AWB Tungsten1 | 1/13 sec | f/3.8 | 6.3 mm | ISO 100

AWB Tungsten2 (Warm) | 1/13 sec | f/3.8 | 6.3 mm | ISO 100

WB Tungsten | 1/13 sec | f/3.8 | 6.3 mm | ISO 100

AWB Mixed Light | 1/25 sec | f/3.8 | 6.3 mm | ISO 100

AWB Fluorescent | 1/13 sec | f/3.8 | 6.3 mm | ISO 100

WB Fluorescent | 1/13 sec | f/3.8 | 6.3 mm | ISO 100

White Balance Performance – Auto White Balance (AWB) performs quite well under tungsten light, mixed light and fluorescent light. This means you shouldn’t need to use the presets. However if you aren’t entirely happy with the results, then there are a wide range of WB options including: Auto normal, Auto (warm lighting), as well as the incandescent (tungsten) preset giving the option to adjust the warmth or coolness of the image +3/-3. The fluorescent preset has 3 options.

Digital filters

HDR | 1/125 sec | f/3.6 | 5.9 mm | ISO 160

Normal | 1/125 sec | f/3.6 | 5.9 mm | ISO 160

Effects (2) | 1/160 sec | f/4.8 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100

Effects (5) | 1/80 sec | f/5.0 | 5.0 mm | ISO 100

Effects (7) | 1/100 sec | f/3.6 | 5.9 mm | ISO 100

Digital Filters – There are numerous scene modes, with a number of effects available here (including backlighting and HDR). Under the “Custom” photo mode, there are 5 different options, and each of these has another 4 different choices. This means there are lots of different effects you can apply. The camera features an automatic panoramic mode, where you simply press the shutter release button and pan the camera from one side to the other. Results are reasonable, and well stitched together, although they are quite low-res.

Video – Optical image stabilisation is available when recording 4K (UHD) video, with electronic image stabilisation also available when recording FullHD video. You can choose between 30 and 25fps when shooting 4K video, and 30/60 and 25/50fps when shooting FullHD video. 4K video uses significantly more memory than FullHD video, recording at 62Mbps, so you’ll need to make sure your computer is capable of playing back 4K video, and if you have a slow internet connection, then uploading video to sites like YouTube could be frustratingly slow. Image stabilisation does a good job keeping the video stable, and focus was also good when using the optical zoom.

Specifications

Manufacturer Nikon
Lens
Max Aperture f/3.3 – f/6.5
35mm equivalent 24mm – 1440mm
Optical Zoom 60x
Image Sensor
Pixels 20Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W) 5184
Pixels (H) 3888
Sensor Type Back-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
Sensor Size 1/2.3
Sensor Size (width) No Data
Sensor Size (height) No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor 3in
Screen resolution 921k
Touch Screen No
Focusing
Min Focus 1cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Face Detection
  • Multi
  • Centre
  • Manual
  • AF Tracking
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest 1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest 15sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • Program Variable
Metering
  • Centre-weighted – Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity 100 – 6400
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
Exposure Comp +/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting No Data
Video
Movie mode Yes
Video Resolution
  • 1920×1080 FullHD
  • 4K
Video FPS No Data
Stereo Sound Yes
Optical Zoom with Video Yes
Other Features
Image Stabilisation Yes
Interface
HDMI Yes
USB USB 2
Wi-Fi Yes
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
  • RAW
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery Type Lithium-Ion EN-EL23
Battery Life (CIPA rating) 420shots
Box Contents
Box Contents Camera Strap, LC-CP29 Lens Cap (with cord), EN-EL23 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery, EH-73P Charging AC Adapter (A plug adapter is included if the camera was purchased in a country or region that requires a plug adapter. The shape of the plug adapter varies w
Dimensions
Weight 570g
Width 125mm
Height 85mm
Depth 106.5mm

Nikon Coolpix B700 Red

Verdict

The Nikon Coolpix B700 is an ultra-zoom bridge camera that offers 60x optical zoom lens, and 4K video recording. There are not many ultra-zoom cameras offering this much zoom, plus 4K video recording, there’s currently this camera, and the Panasonic Lumix FZ82.

The Nikon Coolpix B700 is available for £359/$538, whilst the Panasonic Lumix FZ82 is available for £329/$493. Where the cameras differ is in the optical zoom, with the FZ82 offering a wide-angle 20mm equivalent (vs 24mm on the B700), and the B700 offering a longer telephoto reach, with a 1440mm equivalent (vs 1200mm on the FZ82).

If you’re looking for a lot of optical zoom, in an ultra-zoom bridge camera, designed to “Do-it-all”, then the Nikon Coolpix B700 does a good job of providing almost everything you could possibly want, including 4K video recording, a 60x optical zoom lens, a vari-angle 3inch screen, a built-in electronic viewfinder, built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth, manual controls, raw shooting, and more. Where the camera suffers is in image quality, with some images appearing soft.

However, if your plan is to share images straight to Facebook, then images should look good, thanks to good colour reproduction and reliable exposure. With a competitive price point, the Nikon Coolpix B700 is recommended.

(ephotozine.com, https://goo.gl/AtFvJT)

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