Nikon Coolpix P300 Summary
Nikon Coolpix P300 Assessment
The Nikon Coopix P300 is a small compact digital camera with dual control-dials to efficiently access its full manual controls. It is equipped with a unique ultra-bright F/1.8 ultra-wide angle 4.2X optical zoom lens. This lens lets it capture the same scene using a lower ISO than most digital cameras. This advantage lets it keep up with top compact cameras in terms of image quality even with a small BSI-CMOS sensor. Outside of some corner softness at wider apertures, the P300 does well in all aspects of image quality: metering, color, white-balance, vignetting and distortion.
While image quality is there and controls are very responsive, certain important aspects of the P300 are slow: shot-to-shot speed, autofocus and video-recording start. Battery-life is below average as well. The more serious downsides of this digital camera are the impossibility of setting framing for video-recording and the lack of an accurate live-histogram or exposure-priority preview. While the Nikon Coolpix P300 is an excellent choice for social and creative photography without bulk, it would have a tough time with action shots.
Competition for the P300 is thin. A few compacts exist with dual-control dials but this is currently the only one with a lens that is both ultra-bright and ultra-wide. The Nikon Coolpix P300 is also the only one among these to use a CMOS sensor and therefore the only one to shoot full 1080p HD video. The CMOS sensor also enables Sweep Panorama, Multi-Frame Noise-Reduction modes, High-Speed video and fast continuous shooting.
|Ultra-Bright F/1.8 lens, lowers required ISO||Visible noise at all ISO sensitivities|
|Excellent automatic white-balance||Slow shot-to-shot speed|
|Good image colors||Slow startup|
|Reliable metering||Strong corner softness|
|Uniform brightness||Blank display during continuous drive|
|No noticeable distortion||Video-recording delay|
|Very responsive controls||Impossible to set up video framing|
|Short shutter-lag||Not exposure-priority|
|Dual-control dials in compact body||No histogram in Manual mode|
|Excellent LCD visibility||EC awkward to change|
|Easy user interface||Short battery life||Excellent Excellent|
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Nikon P300 Highlights
Sensor-Size: 6 x 5mm
Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI
|12 Megapixels Fixed Lens||ISO 160-3200|
|4.2X Ultra-Wide Optical Zoom||Shutter 1/2000-8s|
|Built-in Stabilization||Full manual controls|
|8 FPS Drive, 7 Images||Custom white-balance|
|1920x1080 @ 30 FPS Video Recording||Lithium-Ion Battery|
|3" LCD 920K Pixels||Secure Digital Extended Capacity|
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