Is the Nikon B700 a decent entry-level camera?
Can you take good pictures with it?
Does it have enough features?
I recently got my hands on a Nikon COOLPIX B700, and after playing with it for a week or so, I feel I’m qualified to write this review.
If you have been researching the camera because you’re thinking about taking the plunge, this review is for you.
Actually, this review is the review I wish I read before buying the camera!
Overall, the B700 is an entry-level, mid-range DSLR camera.
But you can still take great pictures with it.
This camera is now a member of my equipment batch, to see the full list, check it out here.
Let’s run through the specs real quick:
Nikon B700 Specifications:
Here are the specs:
- 20.2 Megapixels.
- 60x Optical Zoom
- 60x Digital Zoom
- 4K Video Recording
- Built in Wi-fi & Bluetooth
- Lithium Battery
- Vibration Reduction (Active, Normal, Off)
- RAW files
- SnapBridge Ready
So the features are decent, no complaints.
But the main features you probably are interested in are the zoom capabilities and video recording modes.
At least, that’s what I was looking for…
Thankfully, this camera has a really nice optical zoom.
In case you didn’t know, optical zoom is the zoom built-in to the lens, native to the camera.
It’s not digital zoom.
Generally, with digital zoom, when you enhance an object you lose a lot of image quality.
But with optical zoom, there’s no quality loss.
So it’s great.
The B700 has a native 60X optical zoom lens, which means you can zoom in on wildlife and take high definition pictures.
I took the camera out to a nearby park to put the zoom to the test, and the results were great.
Actually, the digital zoom is supposed to double the zoom multiplier.
But I disabled digital zoom because it also ruins some of the quality.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with the zoom capabilities.
It’s a feature that was lacking on my Go Pro Hero 5 Black so I’m really happy to have a camera with a good zoom.
If you don’t have a ton of cash to drop on a camera, this one is worth looking into.
It won’t make a major dent in your wallet, and you’ll still be able to take great pictures with it.
Price range: $300-$400.
Video Recording Modes:
To record a video, hit the red button.
I’m quite happy with the video recording capabilities.
Mainly because you can zoom in really close to objects, and capture some cool videos.
I got a video of a family of birds bathing in sand.
Here are the modes:
2160P is 4K.
The only issue I had is the frame rate is a bit low.
On my Go Pro I can record 2.7K at 60 FPS and 1080P at 120 FPS.
But with this camera, you can only record 4K at 30 FPS and 1080P at 60 FPS.
So that was a little disappointing but I’m still happy with the video recording modes.
Just keep in mind, it’s best to use a tripod for videos with a lot of zoom because at that distance, even the tiniest hand movement can shake the entire video.
The camera does have digital video stabilization, and it helps a lot, but you’ll still need a steady platform.
You can change the digital image stabilization in the menu, “Active” is the highest mode.
If you’re not satisfied with the native zoom, you can always buy an additional lens.
DSLR Custom Modes:
I admit, I’m still new to the world of DSLR cameras, so I’m not too familiar with these modes.
But it has all the same modes you would expect professional cameras to have:
Aperture, Shutter, Manual, Auto, Program, and the Scene modes.
The Scene mode is pretty helpful actually since there is a scene for bird watching!
I shot the bird pics with auto mode because it’s the easiest, and I’m a newbie.
One thing I noticed there are a ton of shutter speed modes for really cool action pics, the maximum shutter speed is 1/4000.
You can change the setting in S mode or manual mode.
What About the Focus?
Now this is where I ran into some issues with the camera.
When trying to take pics at maximum zoom, the auto mode took awhile to focus on the object.
I had to keep activating it by holding down the capture button until it properly focused.
And even then, it didn’t completely focus on the object.
Sometimes it works, but usually after a few tries.
And by then the animal you wanted to take a picture of is long gone.
You can manually focus too, which is what I have been playing around with…
Unlike other cameras, you can’t rotate the lens to focus on an object.
Instead you have to change the focus by using the menu buttons, which is a bit of a pain.
And you can only manually change the focus when you’re in P,S, or M modes.
But to change the focus manually you have to not only change to one of those modes, but press OK too, and then adjust the focus.
So it’s a bit of a hassle.
Especially if you’re trying to take a picture of an animal that might leave the scene in a few seconds.
But you can still take decent pictures.
What I Love:
The main thing I love about this camera is the zoom.
As I mentioned earlier, it has a 60X optical zoom, and a bit of digital zoom too.
Usually the digital zoom on cameras is garbage, but this camera uses a technology called Dynamic Fine Zoom, which is quite crisp.
And it only kicks in once the 60x optical runs out.
There are a lot of settings you can play around with it.
What’s cool is when you find a setting that works you can hit the red button to record a video, and it will use all of the same settings.
So you can record videos of really distance objects and animals.
Naturally if you want to take a video of the moon you’ll need a tripod.
So the zoom on this camera is great, especially for a mid-range DSLR camera.
There’s another model, COOLPIX P900 that has a 83x optical zoom, but I haven’t had the chance to try that camera out yet.
The zoom is my favorite feature, by far.
Combine the zoom with the 20.2 Megapixels and you can get some really crisp images.
What I Didn’t Love:
Transferring files is a pain. Yes, it comes with a standard USB cable and you can use it to copy files to your computer.
The problem? File transfer speed is crazy-slow!
I don’t know if this is due to my SD Card or particular camera, however I do know the data-transfer speed is a pain in the ass.
Using their Snap Bridge APP to send files to my phone works faster than the USB cable.
Speaking of Snap Bridge, it’s a decent app. I noticed it’s not as smooth as the Go Pro app, especially for remote control. But it works. Sometimes it takes awhile to connect to your phone though.
If only there was a faster data-transfer option, everything would be perfect.
As it turns out, I might have a solution.
You need a SD Card to USB adapter. This one should do the trick. With this little adapter you plug your camera’s SD card in, and browse the files directly on your computer.
It’s a lot faster than using the cable or Wifi to transfer files.
So if you’re an avid photographer, getting one is a must. I like to take a lot of pictures and videos when I travel, but copying the files to my computer the traditional ways takes such a freaking long time, I usually give up and forget about it. The adapter dramatically speeds up the data transfer speeds.
And it’s great for copying files to your laptop too (I use a budget Chromebook for reasons!).
I found it kind of annoying to change the ISO settings.
Luckily, there’s a trick I discovered to make changing the ISO easier.
You can hit FN1, near the recording button, and assign it to a function, I assigned it to change the ISO.
So now I can change the ISO in a couple seconds, it’s great.
Though I am new to world of DSLR cameras, I don’t have any major complaints with this particular model.
Everything works fine, and the images are decent.
One feature that is particularly useful is the ability to save files in RAW format, which offers high levels of detail.
The camera takes some getting used to, but one you become familiar with it, you can use it to take some great pictures and videos.
In my opinion, its a perfect entry level camera, I’m quite happy with it.
And I can’t wait to take it abroad.
Thanks for taking the time to read this review.
If you have any questions, I will answer them as best as I can.
Until next time.