Nikon WiFi cameras

by Marc

Nikon p1
I’m a bit late to the party on this one as it was announced yesterday, but Nikon have launched a couple of new digicams with WiFi connectivity. “Cool” I thought as I went burrowing for details, but having given it some thought and had a look at the scant information about how they’ll work I’m not so sure.

To get the basic stuff out of the way the P1 and P2 are 8 and 5 megapixel cameras respectively, with what looks like a good set of automatic and manual features. A 36mm-126mm equivalent zoom lens is fitted, Video recording is on offer at a range of resolutions and frame rates and a “electronic vibration reduction” mode looks interesting. Having used and been mightily impressed with optically stabilised lenses I’d like to see what the electronic version would be like.

The full set of specs can be found here
Nikon P1 specs

The real difference of course between these and the other cameras in this space is the WiFi facility and this is the part I’m not too sure about.

Once you get over the “wow” factor you have to ask “why?” The immediate answer that sprung to my mind was that if I’m holidaying in an urban area with a wifi hotspot (not too uncommon these days) then I could take photos and have them immediately uploaded to my photo sharing website. flickr for example lets you email in shots. Instant realtime publishing – how cool would that be? I’ll grant that you might have some fun authenticating the hotspot without a web browser to tap credentials into but I’m sure it’s doable.

Alas this wasn’t Nikon’s idea, at least as far as I can tell. I can’t find a manual online yet to check this out so I’m prepared to be wrong but from the marketing material it looks like you have to install some software on your PC, which will then automatically capture the shots you’ve taken and store them. They’re saying that you can take party photos in your garden and have them automatically appear on the PC, which is all well and good but frankly is probably going to be more hassle to set up and less reliable than just plugging the camera in and copying the pictures manually.

I’d still like to play with the technology of course, just to see it work in the real world and if it turns out Nikon do let you ftp or email photos around then I apologise to them in advance, but from what I can see it’s little more than a marketing gimmick in it’s current form.

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