The 35mm equivalent focal range of the 10.1Mp, 18x optical zoom Nikon Coolpix P80 starts at a wide angle 27mm and stretches all the way up to 486mm, allowing for a broad variety of compositions and subject matter.
The Nikon Coolpix P80 boasts image stabilisation - here called Vibration Reduction (VR) - to counterbalance any external hand wobble that produces the blurring effects that are more pronounced when shooting in low light or at maximum zoom.
Very similar in size and style to Fujifilm's S1000fd, although not feeling quite as solid, photos on the Nikon Coolpix P80 are also composed either via the 2.7in rear LCD or the EVF above. It's quick to power up; ready for the first shot in around a second.
The Nikon Coolpix P80's screen's simplistic icon-led displays echo those found on Nikon's other Coolpix snapshots, while the broader range of ISO speeds (up to ISO 6400 if you don't mind a resolution drop to 3Mp to limit image noise) and rear command dial are a trickle down from its DSLRs.
Thankfully, a rechargeable battery is included in preference to the non-rechargeable AAs of the Nikon Coolpix P80's rivals (though it's good for just 250 shots), plus there's 50MB of internal memory to get started out of the box alongside the option to use removable SD cards.
Flash is of the pop-up variety and there's no accessory shoe provided for additional illumination, but the Nikon Coolpix P80's main selling point, that extra large zoom, is fast and responsive. And there's no defying the usefulness of such a range in being able to rapidly frame and capture a wide variety of subjects from the same position, even down to a close-up at just 1cm from your subject.
Images pack in plenty of detail, with colours well saturated yet not unnatural, and free of visible camera shake at extreme telephoto. White balance, too, is accurate and there's no noticeable pixel fringing between areas of high contrast, which is impressive. Noise is also well controlled up to and including ISO 800.