The Nikon Coolpix P300 is the company’s first dabble into the world of the pocket-sized advanced compact. Clearly looking to shake up the Canon S95’s grip on the market, can the P300 deliver the goods to succeed? The What Digital Camera Nikon P300 review finds out…

Product Overview

Overall rating:


Nikon Coolpix P300

Overall score:86%
Image Quality:85%


  • small size, dual rotational wheels for ease of use, bright aperture at wideangle, 1080p HD movie setting


  • no hotshoe, standard-sized 1/2.3in compact sensor, lack of control buttons, no manual focus


Nikon Coolpix P300 Review


Value & Verdict

Nikon Coolpix P300 review – Value

Despite its £300 RRP, that price point is actually a quarter less than the recommended prices of the Canon PowerShot S95, Panasonic Lumix LX5 and Olympus XZ-1. Granted those three models’ prices have come down, but the Nikon price will also see a natural shift after a similar period of time.

The Coolpix P300’s got enough of features for the money, though the ‘standard-sized’ sensor may not excel it above any beyond some other compacts – that’s an advantage that the S95, LX5 and XZ-1 all have with 1/1.7in sized sensors (most likely a source of their increased asking prices).

Nikon Coolpix P300 review sample image (web)

The P300’s lack of Raw capture, manual focus, and no hotshoe may also cause more seasoned photographers to look elsewhere.

Nikon Coolpix P300 review – Verdict

Nikon P300 The Nikon Coolpix P300 is a success for what it offers, but although it may look a lot like a Canon S95 on the outside, the differences on the inside see it as quite a different model. For a true high-end premium compact you’d be better to look elsewhere, as the P300 is more an advanced model for enthusiasts that want good but not absolute control.

At £300 the P300 is a more affordable high-end compact compared to the competition but, as such, there are a few bits and pieces lacking – the sensor isn’t the large size of its peers, there’s no Raw capture or manual focus, plus no hotshoe (as per the Olympus XZ-1 or Panasonic LX5) means no additional viewfinder or external flash options.

Considered in its own right, however, and the Coolpix P300 works well, focuses quickly and the pictures are, on the whole, good (though not of the ultra-high standard that may be expected). The dual thumbwheel control and quick mode-selection offered by the mode dial on top of the camera target it towards a higher-end market. For the considered £300 investment it’s among the best Coolpix cameras that Nikon has brought to market.


Other:lens-shift vibration reduction, 9-area AF (auto), 90MB internal memory, +/-2EV exposure compensation, capture up to 7 shots at an 8fps burst rate
Power:Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12
Weight:189g approx
Dimensions:58.3 (H) x 103 (W) x 32mm (D)
Connectivity:AV out, USB I/O, HDMI mini
Memory Card:SD/SDHC/SDXC
Flash Modes:Auto, Redeye, Off, Forced On, Night Portrait
White Balance:Auto
ISO Range:ISO 160-3200
Metering System:224-segment matrix, center-weighted
Exposure Modes:P, A, S, M, SCENE, Backlighting, Night Landscape, Panorama, Auto
Shutter Speeds:1/2000th – 8 secs
File Formats:JPEG
LCD:3in, 921k-dot
Sensor:12.2MP 1/2.3-in. type CMOS with active cell array
Lens:24-100mm f/1.8-4.9 equiv (4.2x optical zoom)
  1. 1. Nikon Coolpix P300 review - Features
  2. 2. Performance
  3. 3. Image Quality
  4. 4. Value & Verdict
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