The Nikon Coolpix P600 was announced in February 2014 and is a bridge camera which features a 60x optical zoom lens, tilting LCD screen, electronic viewfinder and built-in Wi-Fi. It is available in black and red and costs around £376.
Nikon Coolpix P600 Features
The Nikon Coolpix P600 has a 16.1 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor and a 60x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 24-1440mm. There is optical image stabilisation to help reduce blur and camera shake, the lens has a minimum focusing distance of just 1cm for macro shots and the P600 can shoot full resolution images at 7 fps for up to 7 shots.
The P600 has an auto mode which adjusts the settings automatically for the detected scene, with the camera choosing from 21 scenes. There is an auto HDR mode which combines two different shots taken at different exposures, the Easy Panorama mode shoots 360° and 180° panoramas by simply panning the camera.
The P600 has a 3.0 inch 921k dot vari-angle LCD screen and a 0.2 inch 201k dot EVF. It also has built-in Wi-Fi allowing you to use a smartphone or tablet as a remote control or so you can edit and share your images. You can also use the GPS from your mobile device to geotag images. Images can be edited via playback using the retouch menu where there is a number of effects such as soft portrait and photo illustration.
Videos are recorded in full 1080p HD with stereo sound and optical zoom available. You can also record fast or slow motion videos.
16.1 megapixel CMOS sensor
60x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 24-1440mm)
Optical image stabilisation
3.0 inch 921k dot vari-angle LCD screen
0.2 inch 201k dot EVF
Full 1080p HD video recording
ISO 100-6400, Hi 1 (equivalent to ISO 12800) available when using High ISO monochrome
1cm minimum focusing distance
7 fps continuous shooting
Auto HDR mode
Available in red or black
Nikon Coolpix P600 Handling
The Nikon Coolpix P600 looks and feels like a small DSLR camera. It has a decent sized rubberised handgrip, with a rubberised patch on the rear for your thumb and another rubberised area on the other side of the camera - all of which aids grip.
On top of the camera is the mode dial which includes access to the PSAM modes as well as auto, scene, effects, landscape, night portrait and night landscape. There is also a user settings mode so you can save your preferred camera settings. Also on the top is the zoom rocker, shutter release, on / off and fn buttons. The function button can be set to change the ISO, white balance, drive mode and more. 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.
Buttons on the rear include display, movie record, playback, menu and delete. There is a button which switches between the LCD screen and the EVF, more on these to come. There is a dial to adjust shutter speed and / or aperture depending on which mode you are in. There is also a d-pad which had a rotating wheel for cycling through the menus. You can use the d-pad to access exposure compensation, macro mode, self-timer and the flash.
The 3 inch screen can rotate to many angles, assisting when shooting with the camera high up or low down in particular. It has an excellent 920k dot resolution and is easy to view in bright sunlight thanks to its anti-reflective coating. When you fold the screen away the EVF automatically activates. The EVF is bright and comfortable to use, the resolution of 201k dots is OK, but could be higher.
Battery life is rated at 330 shots according to CIPA test results, which is good for a bridge camera. 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.
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
Shot to Shot without Flash
Shot to Shot with Flash
Continuous Shooting H
Continuous Shooting L
Continuous Shooting H: 120 fps
Continuous Shooting H: 60 fps
The continuous H & L modes both record in full 16.1 megapixel resolution, whereas the 120 fps and 60 fps modes record VGA and 2 megapixel images respectively.
Nikon Coolpix P600 Performance
Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.
Nikon Coolpix P600 Sample Photos
Sample Photos - Images are well exposed with decent colour. You can change the colour in the images by using the picture control option, such as vivid and monochrome. Portrait shots have good, soft skin tones and are free of red-eye when using the flash.
Nikon Coolpix P600 Lens test images
Lens Performance - Images have a decent amount of detail whichever end of the lens you are shooting at. There is a little purple fringing, but it is kept very low. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of just 1cm which allows for a good macro shot.
Nikon Coolpix P600 ISO test images
ISO Noise Performance - ISO 100, 200, 400 and 800 all produce good sharp images which aren't overly affected by noise. At ISO 1600 images become a little soft, with minor amounts of detail lost at ISO 3200. A little more detail is lost at ISO 6400, but the images produced are still useable, with a very noisy image produced at ISO 12800 - although you can only use this to shoot monochrome images.
Nikon Coolpix P600 White-balance test images
White Balance Performance - Under the incandescent lights, the Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well, although there is a slight colour cast. Better results are achieved using the incandescent preset. The AWB performs well when shooting under the fluorescent lights, the fluorescent preset takes a picture with a strong magenta cast.
Panorama 180 | 1/500 sec | f/5.0 | 5.0 mm | ISO 100
Panorama 360 | 1/400 sec | f/5.6 | 5.0 mm | ISO 100
Panorama mode - Panoramas have a reasonable amount of detail - they are also well exposed with a constant exposure throughout.
Nikon Coolpix P600 Digital filters
Digital Filters - As mentioned previously, there are a number of picture effects you can choose from to change the colour in your images. There are also a number of special effects, which have included a number of examples above.
Video - Below is a video recorded in full 1080p HD. Quality is good and the focus adjusts quickly when zooming in and out. The noise of the zoom can be heard, but it is faint.
The feature which is going to attract the most attention towards the Nikon Coolpix P600 is its 60x optical zoom lens. Cameras with this amount of zoom tend to have many other features, but ultimately lack for decent image quality - the P600 bucks this trend somewhat. Image quality is good and performance at higher ISO's is also impressive.
Of course, being a bridge camera, there are lots of other features such as the EVF, Wi-Fi and the rotating LCD screen all mean that the P600 is well worth its price tag. Some users may be put off by the lack of RAW shooting and achieving 8.4 fps in continuous shooting was impossible, but these aren't factors which should deter you from the camera.
The Nikon Coolpix P600 packs an impressive set of features, notably the 60x optical zoom lens, as well as good image quality.
Nikon Coolpix P600 Pros
60x optical zoom
Rotating LCD screen with an excellent resolution
Full HD video recording with stereo sound
1cm minimum focusing distance ideal for macro shots
Plenty of rubberised areas to aid grip
Good image quality
Nikon Coolpix P600 Cons
Couldn't achieve 7 fps in continuous shooting
Panoramas could have more detail
No RAW shooting