Nikon P950 vs Panasonic FT7
The Nikon Coolpix P950 and the Panasonic Lumix DC-FT7 (labelled Panasonic TS7 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2020 and May 2018. Both the P950 and the FT7 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 20.2 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix P950 and the Panasonic Lumix DC-FT7? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The physical size and weight of the Nikon P950 and the Panasonic FT7 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The FT7 can be obtained in three different colors (black, blue, orange), while the P950 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic FT7 is considerably smaller (42 percent) than the Nikon P950. Moreover, the FT7 is substantially lighter (68 percent) than the P950. It is noteworthy in this context that the FT7 is splash and dust-proof, while the P950 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing. More than that, the FT7 is water-proof up to 31m and can, thus, be used for underwater photography.
Concerning battery life, the P950 gets 290 shots out of its EN-EL20a battery, while the FT7 can take 300 images on a single charge of its DMW-BCM13 power pack. The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Nikon P950||140 mm||110 mm||150 mm||1005 g||290||n||Jan 2020||799|
|2.||Panasonic FT7||117 mm||76 mm||37 mm||319 g||300||Y||May 2018||449|
|3.||Canon SX740||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||299 g||265||n||Jul 2018||399|
|4.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|5.||Fujifilm XF10||113 mm||64 mm||41 mm||279 g||330||n||Jul 2018||499|
|6.||Leica V-LUX 2||124 mm||80 mm||95 mm||520 g||410||n||Sep 2010||849|
|7.||Nikon B600||122 mm||82 mm||99 mm||500 g||280||n||Jan 2019||349|
|8.||Nikon A1000||114 mm||72 mm||41 mm||330 g||250||n||Jan 2019||429|
|9.||Nikon P1000||146 mm||119 mm||181 mm||1415 g||250||n||Jul 2018||999|
|10.||Nikon B500||114 mm||78 mm||95 mm||541 g||600||n||Jan 2016||299|
|11.||Nikon P900||140 mm||103 mm||137 mm||899 g||360||n||Mar 2015||599|
|12.||Nikon L840||113 mm||78 mm||96 mm||538 g||590||n||Feb 2015||299|
|13.||Panasonic FZ1000 II||136 mm||97 mm||131 mm||810 g||350||n||Feb 2019||899|
|14.||Panasonic TZ95||112 mm||69 mm||42 mm||327 g||380||n||Feb 2019||449|
|15.||Panasonic TZ90||112 mm||67 mm||41 mm||322 g||380||n||Apr 2017||449|
|16.||Sony HX99||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||449|
|17.||Sony HX95||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||429|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The FT7 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 44 percent) than the P950, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/2.3-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the FT7 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 15.9 MP of the P950. This megapixels advantage translates into a 13 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the FT7 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.18μm versus 1.33μm for the P950). Moreover, it should be noted, that the P950 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 7 months) than the FT7, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of individual pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the P950 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Panasonic FT7 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the FT7 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 19.4 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon P950 are 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Nikon Coolpix P950 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DC-FT7 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-6400.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|6.||Leica V-LUX 2||1/2.3||14.0||4320||3240||1080/60i||19.4||10.7||321||39|
|13.||Panasonic FZ1000 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.1||12.4||546||65|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The two cameras under consideration are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the P950 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the FT7 (2359k vs 1170k dots). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon P950, the Panasonic FT7, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Nikon P950||2359||n||3.2 / 921||swivel||n||1/4000s||7.0/s||Y||Y|
|2.||Panasonic FT7||1170||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/1300s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon SX740||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/3200s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon SX730||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/3200s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Fujifilm XF10||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|6.||Leica V-LUX 2||202||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/2000s||11.0/s||Y||Y|
|7.||Nikon B600||none||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.4/s||Y||Y|
|8.||Nikon A1000||1166||n||3.0 / 1036||tilting||Y||1/4000s||7.0/s||Y||Y|
|9.||Nikon P1000||2359||n||3.2 / 921||swivel||n||1/4000s||7.0/s||Y||Y|
|10.||Nikon B500||none||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/4000s||7.4/s||Y||Y|
|11.||Nikon P900||921||n||3.0 / 921||swivel||n||1/4000s||7.0/s||Y||Y|
|12.||Nikon L840||none||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/4000s||7.4/s||Y||Y|
|13.||Panasonic FZ1000 II||2360||n||3.0 / 1240||swivel||Y||1/4000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|14.||Panasonic TZ95||2330||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|15.||Panasonic TZ90||1166||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|16.||Sony HX99||638||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony HX95||638||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the FT7 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Nikon P950 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Both the P950 and the FT7 have zoom lenses built in. The P950 has a 24-2000mm f/2.8-6.5 optic and the FT7 offers a 28-128mm f/3.3-5.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Nikon provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Panasonic. The P950 offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the P950 and the FT7 write their files to SDXC cards. The FT7 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the P950 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon Coolpix P950 and Panasonic Lumix DC-FT7 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Nikon P950||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|2.||Panasonic FT7||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|3.||Canon SX740||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Canon SX730||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|5.||Fujifilm XF10||-||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|6.||Leica V-LUX 2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Nikon B600||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|8.||Nikon A1000||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|9.||Nikon P1000||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|10.||Nikon B500||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|11.||Nikon P900||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Nikon L840||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|13.||Panasonic FZ1000 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|14.||Panasonic TZ95||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|15.||Panasonic TZ90||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|16.||Sony HX99||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony HX95||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
It is notable that the P950 has a hotshoe, while the FT7 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Both the P950 and the FT7 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The FT7 replaced the earlier Panasonic FT6, while the P950 followed on from the Nikon P900. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Panasonic websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon P950 and the Panasonic FT7? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Nikon Coolpix P950:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2359k vs 1170k dots).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/1300s) to freeze action.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.8 vs f/3.3).
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 7 months after the FT7).
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DC-FT7:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20.2 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 13%.
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 921k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (117x76mm vs 140x110mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 686g or 68 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Water-proof: Is rugged and sealed and can thus be used for underwater photography (up to 31m).
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (44 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in May 2018).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the P950 emerges as the winner of the contest (14 : 12 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon P950 and the Panasonic FT7 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the P950 and the FT7 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Nikon P950||..||..||3/5||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2020||799|
|2.||Panasonic FT7||..||+||..||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||May 2018||449|
|3.||Canon SX740||..||+||3.5/5||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2018||399|
|4.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|5.||Fujifilm XF10||..||..||4/5||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2018||499|
|6.||Leica V-LUX 2||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2010||849|
|7.||Nikon B600||..||+||..||..||3.5/5||3/5||Jan 2019||349|
|8.||Nikon A1000||..||+ +||3.5/5||..||3.5/5||3/5||Jan 2019||429|
|9.||Nikon P1000||..||+||3.5/5||73/100||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jul 2018||999|
|10.||Nikon B500||..||+||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2016||299|
|11.||Nikon P900||..||..||..||77/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2015||599|
|12.||Nikon L840||..||+ +||..||..||3.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||299|
|13.||Panasonic FZ1000 II||..||..||..||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2019||899|
|14.||Panasonic TZ95||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||..||Feb 2019||449|
|15.||Panasonic TZ90||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||449|
|16.||Sony HX99||..||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||449|
|17.||Sony HX95||..||..||..||..||..||..||Aug 2018||429|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 1200D vs Panasonic FT7
- Canon 800D vs Nikon P950
- Canon SX60 vs Nikon P950
- Fujifilm X100V vs Panasonic FT7
- Nikon P950 vs Panasonic FZ330
- Nikon P950 vs Panasonic FZ82
- Nikon P950 vs Panasonic S5
- Nikon P950 vs Sony A6500
- Panasonic FT7 vs Panasonic S1R
- Panasonic FT7 vs Sony A900
- Panasonic FT7 vs Sony NEX-3N
- Panasonic FT7 vs Sony RX100
Specifications: Nikon P950 vs Panasonic FT7
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Nikon P950||Panasonic FT7|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-2000mm f/2.8-6.5||28-128mm f/3.3-5.9|
|Launch Date||January 2020||May 2018|
|Launch Price||USD 799||USD 449|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon P950||Panasonic FT7|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.9 Megapixels||20.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4608 x 3456 pixels||5184 x 3888 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.33 μm||1.18 μm|
|Pixel Density||56.73 MP/cm2||71.80 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 6,400 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 12,800 ISO||80 - 6,400 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Nikon P950||Panasonic FT7|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||90%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2359k dots||1170k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.2inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon P950||Panasonic FT7|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||7 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/16000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon P950||Panasonic FT7|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Nikon P950||Panasonic FT7|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Waterproof body (31m)|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||290 shots per charge||300 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
140 x 110 x 150 mm
(5.5 x 4.3 x 5.9 in)
117 x 76 x 37 mm
(4.6 x 3.0 x 1.5 in)
|Camera Weight||1005 g (35.5 oz)||319 g (11.3 oz)|
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