I did my “digital” apprenticeship with a Fuji Finepix 900. After about four years, problems started occurring with it and this year, 2010, I bought a Nikon P100.
The main criteria were:
The camera had to be small and light enough to carry all day long, together with a heavy rucksack.
The monitor had to be a good size and one that swivelled away from the body so that I didn’t have to lie flat on the ground to see flowers at ground level.
An anti-vibration device would be a bonus.
It had to be good for macro work as well as landscape and everyday photography.
The grip had to be very positive and comfortable.
It didn’t have to cost the earth.
The P100 answered all of these requirements. One unexpected delight has been that the anti-vibration feature is so good that I no longer carry a tripod.
The Nikon P100 features a 26 x optical zoom
Minimum distance for macro work is 2cm
The battery doesn’t have to be completely drained before re-charging - it can just be topped up after every use, leaving it in the camera whilst charging.
Movies can be shot in high-definition quality.
I find that the factory default on the amount of light entering the lens is too bright and so use a -3 Exposure Compensation as standard. The Command Dial needs to be checked constantly as it is too easily moved when handling the camera but otherwise I have been very pleased with its handling and performance.