Birders, stargazers, and anyone else who likes to shoot pictures and movies of distant subjects, you now have another camera option to consider.
The Nikon Coolpix P600 has a 60x zoom lens, but unlike options from Panasonic and Samsung that start at an ultrawide-angle 20mm, Nikon's lens starts at 24mm. That means while those other cameras stop at 1,200mm, the P600 can be extended to 1,440mm.
If that's not enough, you can use Nikon's new Dynamic Fine Zoom to digitally increase the focal length to 2,880mm. Keeping the lens steady probably won't be easy, but to help with shake you do get optical image stabilization. And there's an electronic viewfinder so you don't have to hold the camera out in front of you when shooting if you don't want to.
Those who prefer to frame shots on something larger, there's a 3-inch 920K-dot-resolution variangle LCD. Other features include a 16-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, manual and semimanual shooting modes, and video capture in 1080i at 60 frames per second. Also, Nikon built Wi-Fi in to the P600, unlike last year's P520, which required you to buy an external adapter.
Speaking of the P520, Nikon updated that model into the Coolpix P530. It has the same 42x, f3.0-5.9, 24-1,000mm lens as its predecessor, but gets a new 16-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor and a fixed 3-inch LCD, and, like the P600, can shoot movies in resolutions of up to 1080i at 60fps. If you want Wi-Fi, you'll have to buy an adapter.
Anyone interested in something a little more pocketable can look for the Coolpix S9700 with a 30x 25-750mm lens. You'll also get the same 16-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor as on the P600 and P530 as well as the same shooting capabilities (though you'll lose the manual controls over shutter speed and aperture). It has a 921K-dot-resolution 3-inch OLED display and built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, too.
Value a fast lens over a long zoom? Nikon also announced the Coolpix P340 with a 12-megapixel 1/1.7-inch BSI CMOS sensor and 5x f1.8-5.6 24-120mm lens. It seems to be the same as the P330, but with the new Dynamic Fine Zoom feature giving you a digital focal length of 240mm and built-in Wi-Fi.
All but the P340 will be available in February, with the P340 following in March. The Coolpix P600, P530, S9700, and P340 will sell for $499.95, $449.95, $349.95, and $379.95, respectively.