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Nikon Coolpix P7700 Digital Camera Review$499.95
The Coolpix P7700 has three noise reduction settings: low, normal, and high. There is no option to disable noise reduction entirely, at least in JPEGs. You can always shoot RAW, which should leave the noise reduction entirely in your hands. By default, the camera is set to normal NR.
Noise reduction is plainly being applied even at the base ISO setting of 80, where measured noise levels are at about 0.62%. The NR doesn't really ramp up significantly until you hit ISO 400, where noise levels actually dip lower than what they were at ISO 200 before resuming a very gradual climb to the 1% mark. The P7700 doesn't cross that barrier until ISO 1600, where it hits 1.17%. It tops out at 1.73% at the maximum ISO setting of 6400 (Nikon calls this "Hi1").
Visually, we find Nikon's NR implementation to be fairly conservative, though the P7700's tendency to avoid oversharpening combines with a certain lack of contrast in our studio crops to make them look less detailed than they really are. The Canon G15 and Olympus XZ-2 certainly produce more appealing results at high ISOs in those crops, with their more aggressive JPEG processing, but we actually think the P7700 hangs in there quite well. As usual, the top two ISO settings aren't really useful for more than resized web use, but they'll do in a pinch. More on how we test noise.
The P7700 lets you choose between full-stop or 1/3-stop ISO settings, giving you a potential for 18 discrete ISO choices. On top of this, there are four automatic ISO options. The first, simply called "Auto," lets the camera use the entire ISO range as it pleases. The others use specified ranges: 80-200, 80-400, and 80-800. For each of these, you can set a minimum shutter speed, from 1 second up to 1/30 second. We're not sure why the minimum shutter speed options don't go higher, since 1/30sec is still pretty slow if you're at full zoom, but we suppose Nikon is counting on good Vibration Reduction performance to make up the difference.