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

Posted on by Mike Evans

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.