Home News Nikon P1000: Zooming to 3,000mm in new “compact”

Nikon P1000: Zooming to 3,000mm in new “compact”


Nikon Mirrorless: From 3,000mm full frame in one bound

Nikon’s move to conquer the mirrorless camera market seems to stutter back and forth. Yesterday we were talking about the end for the rather admirable Nikon 1 system; today the subject is the company’s new and rather odd entry to the market announced last week. It isn’t the much-heralded full-frame competitor for the Sony a7 — it is at the other end of the spectrum. It’s the P1000 with a tiny 1/2.3in sensor to enable the mother of all “compact” zooms. This one covers the 35mm-equivalent range of 24-3000mm — that’s an astonishing 125x magnification — and brings the moon into your sitting room. 

Despite the small sensor — but because of the unfeasibly long zoom — this is no pocket camera. It’s over a third of a meter in length (!) and weighs an astonishing 1.41kg. 

I am sure this curious artefact has a purpose and, somewhere, a ready market. But it’s one I can’t equate with. What do you think? Would you buy such a monster for its remarkable focal length potential and could you accept that it has such a tiny sensor?


The P1000 is something of a sideshow, however. According to Nikon Rumors, we are just one week away from the announcement of that Sony rival. There will be three full-frame contenders with a choice of 24MP or 45MP sensors. I’ve always had a soft spot for Nikon and, in my DSLR days, always seemed to go for Nikon instead of Canon. There was no real reason for this other than that I got on the Nikon lens bandwagon and it takes a big commitment to change. So I wish Nikon well and we can only hope that it is a case of better late than never.

Both Nikon and Canon have allowed Sony (in particular) to eat their lunch over the past few years and it is time that we saw a really serious mirrorless competitor. EVF technology has improved dramatically even in the past year and the advantages of live view are beginning to overwhelm the benchmark single-lens reflex technology after the best part of half a century. The high-end DSLR market is gradually losing ground to the Sony and it is Nikon’s task to claw back the interest. With the right range of cameras, Nikon will benefit from the goodwill of its huge user base. So we will keep our fingers crossed. 

Not everyone agrees that the DSLR is on the way out, however.




  1. I too have a soft spot for Nikon. I used Nikons as my main cameras for over 30 years and they never once let me down. I still have a D800E which will be used for copying my old slides when I find the time. I also have, mainly as collector’s items, an early example of the wonderful, groundbreaking in its day, Nikon F and the FM3A which was the last fully manual camera made by Nikon. I traded in a lot of my large heavy Nikkor lenses for much lighter Fujifilm equivalents, which I now use on Fujifilm bodies for photography for which my Leica Ms are not suitable, eg sports and wildlife etc.

    I wish Nikon well in their new adventure with EVF cameras. Their company is not as diversified beyond photography as Sony, Fuji and, indeed, Canon. Also all of the traditional paradigms of photography have been turned on their heads in the past 10 years or so and they continue to spin as the digital revolution advances. Some traditional Nikon users may go to the new EVF models, but it seems that their traditional F mount lenses may not work or have full functionality on the new cameras. Having to acquire a new set of lenses may be a bit of barrier for some, unless the new cameras knock out it of the park, as the Yanks say, and they are tempted to give up their ‘flappy mirrors’ altogether.

    I will take a look at the new models for ‘old time’s sake’ at least. I wonder will Nikon introduce a ‘rangefinder’ look camera along the lines of the Fujifilm X-Pro 2. I have never been attracted to the early Nikon rangefinders, even though a good friend of mine, who is a world renowned collector of all things Nikon, regularly shows me examples from his large collection. Strangely enough we had a discussion a few weeks ago about rangefinders v SLRs and he and I had opposite views about focussing and framing with rangefinders v SLRs. I preferred the former and he preferred the latter. EVFs did not enter the discussion at all, as discussions about digital cameras never arise at our collectors’ meetings.


  2. This is just a contradiction in terms: smallest sensor (getting pretty obsolete in compacts nowadays) in a hulk of a body. I take the view that when talking compact, we should be satisfied with 200mm equivalent and anything above that will lead to image deterioration through smaller aperture or smaller sensor. 1" seems to have been the breakthrough, but I would still go along with 1/1.7" fronted by a Leica lens.


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