Canon Powershot G7 vs Nikon Coolpix P5000

First published on: Friday, 27 March 2009

This Coolpix camera caused much excitement when it was announced in February 2007 as Nikon had not produced a prosumer camera for quite a number of years, and expectations ran high that it would pose a serious competition to the Canon Powershot G7.

As the camera made way into the hands of various users however, it turned out that it was not made to go head-to-head with the G7 on account of a smaller zoom range, but at the same time, it was cheaper and lighter, thus appealing to a different niche of camera buyers who wanted a smaller and more pocketable package.

Linked here are summaries of discussions and articles comparing the Nikon Coolpix P5000 to the Canon Powershot G7.

For convenience, I provide a link to a side-by-side G7 vs P5000 comparison table on

You might also be interested in viewing a photo shot by Peter Bendheim showing the P5000 and G7 side by side — it’s easy to see the size difference with the cameras placed next to each other like this.
P5000 vs G7 side-by-side size comparison

Canon Powershot G7 Pros

Here’s a quick list of factors in the G7’s favor:

  • The G7 takes movies at higher resolution, 1024 x 768 pixels @ 15 fps (frames per second). Although the movies are recorded at lower resolution (640 x 480) on the P5000, you get to select between 30 fps or 15 fps.

  • G7 has a longer 6x zoom range from 35 — 210mm, with a larger aperture (f/4.8) at the telephoto end. Compare this against the P5000’s 3.5x zoom of 36 — 126mm with a smaller aperture of f/5.3 at the long end.

  • The G7 has a wider range of shutter speeds, ranging from 15 to 1/2500 seconds, while the P5000 only goes from 8 to 1/2000 secs.

  • For macro photography, the G7 can focus as close as 1cm, which is better than the 4 cm macro focus on the P5000.

  • The G7 has a live histogram that allows you to manually adjust exposure prior to taking the photo.

  • The G7 has a USB 2.0 Hi-speed port which allows for faster image transfer to your computer from the camera, while the P5000 only has a normal USB port.

Nikon Coolpix P5000 Pros

DTP, a satisfied owner of both the G7 and the P5000, comments that the shutter lag on the P5000 is much shorter than on the G7, and this makes photographing children easier with the P5000.

Both cameras are well-made, the G7 wins on build quality, while the P5000 wins for portability. The P5000 is a fast camera and pictures are “sharp and well-balanced”.

For flash photography, the availability of the SB-400 external flash from Nikon is a plus point in the P5000’s favor, as the flash is small and handy, unlike the large flash units from Canon.

The Nikon Coolpix P5000, pictured here with the SB-400 flash
The Nikon Coolpix P5000, pictured here with the SB-400 flash.

Click the following links for larger images: Picture #1 | Picture #2

Greg remarks that the design of the hand grip on the G7 makes it difficult to hold, and also find the Canon 380EX flash to be too big to be mounted on the G7.

The P5000 is lighter than the G7, weighing almost half as much at 240 g (8.5 oz) (including batteries), vs the G7 at 380 g (13.4 oz). In terms of dimensions, the P5000 is quite a bit smaller at 98 x 65 x 41 mm (3.9 x 2.6 x 1.6 in) vs the G7 at 106 x 72 x 43 mm (4.2 x 2.8 x 1.7 in).

In terms of prices, the P5000 is quite a good bit cheaper than the G7 — of course, you would expect that the total number of features is also reduced in tandem on the P5000. Current indicative prices in the US for the P5000 and G7 are approximately $360 and $485 respectively.

Other factors favoring the P5000:

Sam Knopfler’s G7 vs P5000 Review

After traveling with a Powershot G7 on a 2-week trip in Europe, Sam decided to return the G7 in exchange for a P5000. His main issue with the G7 is the ergonomics (for instance, the G7 + external flash is an unwieldy combination compared to the Nikon P5000 + SB-400 combo) — read more here. You can also explore some of his forum conversations to get a better insight into his experiences with both cameras — see Post #1 | Post #2 | Post #3

Miscellaneous discussions

Here’s a forum thread worth reading through for balanced opinions from owners who have handled both the G7 and the P5000, with relevant links to camera operational timings. Again, it’s clear that the G7 appeals to folks who want a speedy camera, while the P5000 is appreciated by those who want a smaller camera that feels good in the hand.


Get the Canon G7 if you want the better compact digital camera in terms of zoom range, features, control and build quality.

If you prefer a lighter package that also allows you to mount a small external flash and gives you a reasonable level of controls, buy the Coolpix P5000.

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