First look hands-on preview of the Nikon Coolpix P300 high-end compact camera.

First look hands-on preview of the Nikon Coolpix P300 high-end compact camera.

With more and more high-end compact cameras launches, Nikon’s latest Coolpix P300 has a host of exciting top-spec features: The Nikon P300 offers a fast f/1.8 aperture Nikkor lens that starts at a wide 24mm and extends to 100mm using its 4.2x optical zoom.

The P300 sets out to achieve high image quality thanks to its 12.2MP back-lit CMOS sensor. However, this is a 1/2.3 in size, not the larger 1/1.8 size as found in other examples such as the Canon S95, Samsung EX1, Panasonic LX5 or Olympus XZ-1.

Full manual control is available using the top mode dial, including the usual P, S, A, M controls, plus Easy Panorama and other modes such as Night Portrait are also present. ISO 3200 is the P300’s top-end sensitivity, though the addition of lens-shift Vibration Reduction (VR) will also help to keep shots that extra bit sharp in low light situations. Plus a super-fast 8fps continuous shooting mode can capture up to seven frames in a single high speed burst. Add 1080p HD movie with stereo sound to round off the shooting modes and the Nikon Coolpix P300 certainly looks like a great little camera – there’s even a slow-motion 120fps movie mode at VGA resolution.

The Coolpix P300’s rear screen is a fixed panel offering a high resolution 921k-dots. However, traditionalists may be a little disappointed that there is no viewfinder or Raw capture mode available at present.

The Nikon Coolpix will be available in March 2011, with an anticipated retail price of £300.

Nikon Coolpix P300 Specification:

Effective pixels 12.2 million pixels
Image sensor Type: 1/2.3-in.
type CMOS with active cell array; Color filter array: RGB filter; Total
pixels:Approx. 12.75 million pixels; Recording pixels: Approx. 12.00
million pixels (4000 x 3000)
Lens NIKKOR lens with 4.2x optical zoom; Focal length: 4.3-17.9 mm; Aperture: f/1.8-4.9; Lens construction: 7 elements in 6 groups
Focus range (from lens) Normal
shooting: approx. 30 cm (1 ft.) to infinity (at wide angle setting),
approx. 60 cm (2 ft.) to infinity (at telephoto setting); Macro close-up
mode: approx. 3 cm (1.2 in.) to infinity (at wide-angle setting),
approx. 30 cm (1 ft.) to infinity (at telephoto setting)
Monitor Size:
7.5 cm (3-in.); Number of dots: Approx. 921k-dot; Type: TFT LCD
monitor; (Acrylic) cover: Anti-reflection coating, antifouling and
water-repellent coating
Storage media Internal memory (approx. 90 MB), SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card*2 (exFAT compatible, UHS not compatible)
Vibration Reduction (VR) Lens shift vibration reduction (still image and movies)
ISO sensitivity ISO 160, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 (4000 x 3000), Auto (ISO 160 to 1600), Fixed range auto (ISO 160 to 400, 160 to 800)
Interface Hi-Speed USB/PictBridge
Power Sources Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12 (1050 mAh), AC Adapter EH-62F (option)
Battery life Approx. 240 shots with EN-EL12 battery
Dimensions (WxHxD) Approx. 103.0 x 58.3 x 32.0 mm/4.0 x 2.3 x 1.3 in. (excluding projections)
Weight Approx. 190 g/6.7 oz. (including battery and SD memory card)
Movie HD 1080p: 1920 x 1080 (30 fps), HD 720p: 1280 x 720 (30 fps), VGA: 640 x 480 (30 fps); HS movie 15/60/120 fps, no sound)
Supplied accessories Camera Strap AN-CP19,
Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12,
Charging AC Adapter EH-69P [NEW],
USB Cable UC-E6,
Audio Video Cable EG-CP16 and
Optional accessories Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12,
Charging AC Adapter EH-69P [NEW],
USB Cable UC-E6,
AC Adaptor EH-62F,
Battery Charger MH-65 and
Audio Video Cable EG-CP16