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You have to see this! The Nikon Coolpix P1000's 125x zoom is just plain bonkers

Nikon P1000

Bridge cameras often get a bad rap, but the Nikon Coolpix P1000 is still one of the damnedest cameras I've ever seen. And it's all down to its signature party trick: its 125x zoom, which equates to a jaw-dropping 24-3000mm focal range.

I still remember the first time I used the Nikon Coolpix P1000 (opens in new tab), sat outside a café in Cologne during the last Photokina (which really was the last Photokina). My colleague Ben Andrews had been tasked with reviewing it, and had valiantly sacrificed valuable hand luggage space to bring this comedy sized camera with him to Germany.

"Look at the moon," he mumbled across the table, prompting me to look up to the sky. "No," he corrected me, "look at the moon on this." It was like he'd mounted a camera to a telescope – even in broad daylight, the amount of detail was absolutely mesmerizing. 

Of course, they weren't reference-quality images. After all, the P1000 employs a 1/2.3-in sensor with 16 megapixels of resolution – and with a sensitivity that tops out at ISO6400, we're hardly talking Nikon Z9 (opens in new tab) in terms of performance. 

See the incredible zoom reach…

Nikon Coolpix P1000, zoomed out to maximum wide angle, equivalent to 24mm (Image credit: Ben Andrews/Digital Camera World)

Nikon Coolpix P1000, lens zoomed to 80mm-equivalent (Image credit: Future)
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Nikon Coolpix P1000, lens zoomed to 500mm equivalent (Image credit: Ben Andrews/Digital Camera World)

Nikon Coolpix P1000, lens zoomed to the max, equivalent to 3000mm (Image credit: Ben Andrews/Digital Camera World)

But that's not what the P1000 is about. Look at these images above, look at the utterly ridiculous zoom range – THAT is what the P1000 is about. The zoom enables you to go from a panoramic view of the city, to a close-up detail of the abbey that is half a mile away (800m).

You know how you sometimes zoom in on your phone, even just 2x, and the quality goes to hell? Even the impressive zooms on the best camera phones (opens in new tab)like the Samsung Galaxy Ultra S22 (opens in new tab)pale in comparison to both the reach and the quality of Nikon's big black Pinocchio. 

In a world where we're wowed by more conventional specs – megapixels, dynamic range, burst rate, image stabilization – we forget that the most useful thing on any camera is the ability to 'get a bit closer'. 

Camera snobs may turn their noses up at cameras like the Nikon P1000, but it is targeted at very different user bases – parents who want to photograph their kids' soccer games, bird spotters who want to identify animals, general purpose shooters who just want a camera with the longest reach possible. 

And that's where the best bridge cameras (opens in new tab) like the P1000 come into their element. They may not win you many photo awards, but they'll get you the photos that no other camera can. 

Read more: 

Nikon Coolpix P1000 review
(opens in new tab)Best Nikon P1000 deals
(opens in new tab)Nikon P950 review (opens in new tab)

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James Artaius
James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab)Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show (opens in new tab). An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.