Nikon Coolpix P90 gets 24x Optical Zoom

Nikon is expanding its Coolpix lineup to include a superzoom digital camera, P90, a 12.1 MP flagship covering wide range of shooting distances from 26-624mm (35mm equiv.). This new model will compete directly with the latest 12mp ultra zoom series from rivalries Kodak Z980 with 24x and Olympus SP 590UZ with 26x.

At the tele-end, the Olympus outreaches Nikon with an extra 52mm zoom distance, a better choice of birding tool for the likes of me. The Nikon, however, has better equipped optics with the infamous Nikkor ED lens, and backs with 4-ways Vibration Reduction techniques. Optical reach is great, but at that extended telephoto zoom distance, one will need to hold the camera as still as possible. In addition to a digital image stabilization, Nikon also offers the much-gimmick motion detection, Best Shot Selector, and high ISO sensitivity shooting of up to ISO 6400, and to further reduce motion blur in low light shooting condition.

The back of the P90 packs a new 3-inch LCD with anti-coating display that's tilt-able forward and backward. Other advance features including Sport modes of up to 15fps, 45 consecutive captures, Face detection, Blink Proof, Smile Check Timer, in-camera Red Eye Reduction, Active D-Lighting and a fully Manual Mode for advance composers.

The Nikon Coolpix will be available from March at a suggested retail of $400, $50 less than Olympus SP 590UZ.

Nikon COOLPIX P90 features

* 12.1MP, 1/2.33-in. CCD; total pixels: approx. 12.7 million

* 24x Zoom-NIKKOR; 4.6-110.4mm (35mm equi. 26-624mm); f/2.8-5; Digital zoom: up to 4x (2496mm)

* MFD- 50cm (1 ft. 8 in.) to infinity (∞), Macro close-up mode: 1cm (0.4 in.) to infinity (∞)

* 3-in LCD with 230k-dot, vari-angle TFT LCD with anti-reflection coating

* Macro shooting from as close as 1 cm (0.4 in.)

* Records movies at 640 x 480 (30 fps) with sound

* Internal memory of 47MB

* 16 handy scene modes for optimized shooting in various settings

* Scene Auto Selector

* Motion Detection

* BSS (Best Shot Selector)

* Optimize image (including monochrome filter effect)

* Distortion Control for optimum quality when shooting architecture or landscapes

* Five movie modes with sound, plus time-lapse movie mode

* Active Zoom

* 1:1 size format

* Time zone function for easy setting of multiple locations

* Approx. 47 MB of internal memory

* Hi-Speed USB connectivity