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On Wednesday 24th August I attended the rather low-key launch of a huge number of new cameras from Nikon. It was held at a smart hotel in Soho, with the press invited to come along and browse, any time from 3pm till 7pm. A sort of open house for camera viewing.
It happened in a cool white space and was all rather relaxed and understated, with journalists dropping by, looking at the cameras and having a chat. There was no high pressure selling, no marketing hype, no force fed (we’ve reinvented the wheel) video to watch. No duck herding (see my Sony a55 Review).
Nikon had the various cameras displayed around the room, waiting to be picked up and prodded by journalists. In amongst all this calm and understatement, shouting rather loudly in the corner was a large white plastic Christmas tree. I think the message was these cameras make great presents.
Nice to see Nikon are getting in touch with their feminine side. Many of the cameras come in pink and look like, well, they belong in a hand bag. They looked way too stylish for boys. Carrying on this theme some of the displays featured lipsticks. Unheard of a few years ago, I’m all for it.
I spoke to James Loader, Nikon’s consumer product manager, he told me he was pleased that Nikon had filled the gaps in the Coolpix range, and yes they were targeting women. There was now a camera to suit just about every one. He was particularly excited (quite rightly) about the new rugged all weather camera. And that he was hoping the new P7100 would take on the Canon G series and win.
Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to use the cameras as they were pre-production models, so my memory card that I took specially remained unsullied. The ‘real’ cameras will start shipping next month in September. Then you will be able to read proper reviews and see and feel them in the shops.
So here is a list of the new cameras.
This is one tough cookie, harder than Vinny Jones but not as ugly. You can drop it from 1.5 metres; you can freeze it down to –10, and its waterproof. I’m not talking splash, I mean down to 10 metres or roughly 33 feet in old money.
Also it’s designed to be worked with gloves on, for all those occasions you wear... erm gloves. Skiing and diving immediately spring to mind. It also comes in an optional camouflage livery for those days you’re running around pretending to be a soldier or a wild animal...
Nikon Coolpix P7100
The line between convenience and usability versus functionality and quality seems to get more blurred by the day. This camera has to be a great alternative to a traditional SLR. Nikon, can I borrow one for a long test to see how I get on?
In conclusionNikon has announced a new range of eight new Coolpix compact cameras, designed to appeal to all ends of the market with a range of prices and performance levels. They seem to have a camera for everyone, from the action man with the AW100, to the girl about town with the S6150, to the man who drives a Mercedes convertible with the S100.
If you can’t find a compact in the range that suits, you are probably looking for a phone or a washing machine.