Nikon Coolpix P7700 Digital Camera Review$499.95
We're used to seeing Nikon outperformed by the competition when it comes to video (though their latest DSLRs have taken strides to narrow the gap), so it's no surprise to see that the P7700 lags behind here. In our bright light motion test, there is fairly obvious artifacting and trailing, and the motion could certainly stand to look a bit smoother. This comes as a bit of a surprise since the P7700 goes to the effort of including different full-HD bitrate options, but we suppose that as in the case of the camera's dual AWB modes, more options doesn't necessarily mean better performance.
One bright spot for the P7700 was in its resistance to frequency interference—it showed pretty good resistance to rolling shutter (the "jell-o" effect common to most CMOS-sourced video), particularly with vibration reduction enabled. While there was obvious skew during fast panning motions, it stabilized quickly when panning ended, and there wasn't any "tearing" of mid-pan freeze-frames. More on how CamcorderInfo tests motion.
Sharpness was also lower than we'd like to see, but still quite good—certainly better than the majority of compact cameras and far, far better than its predecessor. While recent models like the Canon G15 have set new high water marks for video sharpness, the P7700 treads water with 575 to 600 lw/ph of horizontal and vertical sharpness in good light and a constant 575 lw/ph on both axes in low light. More on how CamcorderInfo tests video sharpness.
Low Light Sensitivity
Using our standard low-light video sensitivity testing rig, we determined that the P7700 required just 7 lux of illumination to achieve 50 IRE on a waveform monitor. The 50 IRE mark is an industry standard (used by the BBC, among others) that serves as the minimum image brightness acceptable on broadcast television. A result of 7 lux in this test is outstanding, though not the best we've seen from a compact camera (that honor belongs to the Canon G15 at just 3 lux).