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…
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).
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
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.