The Nikon Coolpix P90 is a great camera. I came across this one quite recently, and it's photo quality caught me by surprise.
When I was still learning cameras in high school and experimenting with different types of lenses, cameras that looked like this would be a joke to me. I'd ask myself, Why on earth would anyone use this trash camera?
In my current photographical journey, I've come to understand that this type of camera is called a bridge camera. I'll pull up the direct definition of a bridge camera (thanks, Wikipedia):
Bridge cameras are cameras that fill the niche between relatively simple point-and-shoot cameras and interchangeable-lens cameras such as mirrorless cameras and single-lens reflex cameras (SLRs). They are often comparable in size and weight to the smallest digital SLRs (DSLR), but lack interchangeable lenses, and almost all digital bridge cameras lack an optical viewfinder system.
The Coolpix P90, in fact, has a viewfinder, and I'm glad that it does. (I have another bridge camera that lacks a viewfinder, but I'll review that camera at a later point)
My dad was given this camera and then gifted it to me. To be honest, I was a bit skeptical at first.
All my dad told me was, "Hey, Jace, I have a camera for you. It's really old."
My first thought was an SLR, or an even older box camera. He then proceeds to send me a photo of the camera and I laughed.
"Dad," I said, "This camera isn't that old. It's from 2009."
Then I thought about how kids born in 2009 are about the same age as me when I started working with cameras. Weird.
Anyway, as soon as I charged up the camera (it came with the battery charger!) I took it out for some test photos ASAP. Take a look:
These photos were taken earlier this month, and when I was shooting, my interest was peaked in something I hadn't really considered before...
According to my research, bridge cameras are actually a go-to camera for casual wildlife photographers. The small, crop-sensors and the ridiculously-far zoom range make it a great option for some to carry it around on hikes, trails, or hard-to-reach places in order to capture a great composition of wildlife.
Maybe a day or two after my first shoot, I took the Nikon out again to a local park, where I knew birds liked to hangout:
In my almost 10 years of photography, I've never intentionally sought after birds or animals as subjects of my photos. It just didn't interest me.
But, now, after a few conversations with locals at the camera store, and after shooting on the Nikon Coolpix P90, it's something I'll be seriously trying soon. Not just with the P90, however, but with my Canon R7 mounted on my Canon EF 300mm f/2.8.
That will be quite an experience, and you better believe I'll write about it.
My most recent shoot with this camera was more casual and unplanned. I brought it along with me to see my family and we went to the local park. These shots are similar to the kinds of photos I'd try to take with my smartphone. Obviously, the P90 has that insane focal range, so I was able to get a variety of shots:
Another thing I've learned is that megapixels hardly mean anything. In fact, I'll get into this topic with another camera I have. So, with this camera being 12.1 megapixels, I could potentially have crisp prints up to 13"x9".
As my grandpa used to say, "Oh, wow! Really? That's pretty good!"
Those three brief photoshoots are all I have for the moment. Unlike some other cameras I have, I'm nowhere near done with this one.
For me, the P90 has made photography fun again. Photo and video can get repetitive, and it's really easy to get burned out when you have a job like mine. People constantly ask for certain types of shots, demand that they have video edits by a certain day, or wonder if I can create something for free in exchange for exposure. It gets tiring, and it actually draws aspiring photographers/videographers away from chasing after a career.
Here's my advice to you if you're in a similar boat: just have fun. If you're not having fun doing photo or video, then what's the point? I can honestly say that after a few years of establishing Face-Off Media (and I'm still currently working to grow it) I'm still having fun. There have been long days, weekends and even weeks of creating, but it's all worth it.
In the end, I'm blessed to be working a job where I can earn money, and have fun doing it. Not very many people can say that!
Oh yeah, the Nikon Coolpix P90 is a great camera, too.