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- Nikon Coolpix P7700
- A great enthusiast compact all-around, best for patient shooters.
Nikon Coolpix P7700 Digital Camera Review$499.95
While the P7700 does not give you multiple video framerate options for HD recording, it does provide different bitrates and resolutions. For HD recording, your options are 1080/30P* (18.8mbps), 1080/30P (12.6mbps), and 720/30P (8.4mbps). VGA recording is also available (at 30fps), as are a bevy of high-speed video options. These include 120fps (1/4-speed slow motion), 60fps (1/2-speed slow motion), and 15fps (2x-speed fast motion). Find out how the performed in our video image quality test./r:link_to_content
The P7700 has two movie settings on its mode dial: one is a fully automatic movie mode, and the other (labeled "CSM") gives you some options. Here you can enter the main menu to choose from three shooting modes: Aperture-priority auto, Manual, and Special effects. Aperture-priority auto lets you choose the aperture and allows the camera to do everything else. In Manual, you can set the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, but only before you begin recording—once you've started rolling, you can't make any adjustments. Special effects does what you'd expect: lets you apply (some of) the special effects from the stills shooting section to videos. Unlike some rivals (lookin' at you, Olympus XZ-2) these special effects don't cause framerate drops. They're also fully automatic (in terms of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO), so it's a bit baffling why they're in the custom movie bucket rather than automatic.
While in CSM mode, you can also use the main menu to choose between single or full-time autofocus, activate or deactivate the camera's built-in neutral density filter, and turn wind noise reduction on or off.
In the other, fully automatic movie mode, you can only toggle wind noise reduction and autofocus mode from the main menu. Otherwise, everything is done for you.
When recording video you can choose between one-time AF, which focuses just before recording begins and remains locked there, or full-time AF, which attempts to focus continuously as you record. You can also opt for manual focus, which is controlled via the rear rotary dial or up and down buttons. This works pretty well, except that pressing the buttons or turning the dial inevitably jostles the camera, and the sound is picked up by the onboard mic.
In addition to an onboard stereo microphone, the P7700 includes a standard microphone input jack for external mics. In the Setup section of the main menu is an "External mic sensitivity" submenu, where you can choose between Auto, High, Standard, and Low sensitivity settings.