Nikon announces Coolpix P500 and Coolpix P300Far-reaching 36x superzoom and advanced compact
09 February 2011
Nikon has unveiled a number of new Coolpix digital cameras for spring 2011, including the superzoom P500 with an impressive 36x range, and the advanced compact P300 with an f1.8 lens.
Nikon Coolpix P500
The Nikon Coolpix P500 is the replacement for the popular Nikon Coolpix P100, which offered a 26x optical zoom. The new P500 far exceeds that range with its 36x optical zoom that begins at a wide 22.5mm and extends to a market-leading 810mm.
Like its predecessor, the Coolpix P500 is able to shoot Full HD video at 1080p resolution. The mammoth zoom can be used when recording, and to keep the zoom smoother and quieter a secondary zoom control has been added to the lens barrel. The regular zoom control that sits beneath the right-hand index finger can also be used, but its noise may ruin the video clips, and it's less smooth.
As well as Full HD clips, the P500 can also shoot video at 240 frames per second (fps), which allows for slow motion playback. The quality will suffer, however, as the resolution is set to VGA quality.
On the rear of the P500 is an LCD screen that can be tilted upwards or downwards for more comfortable shooting from heights above or below eye level. For composing shots, there is an electronic viewfinder, as well as the LCD.
The camera supports CEC (Consumer Electronic Control), so when connected with an HDMI cable to a suitable HD TV, the viewer can use the TV's remote control to pause, play and rewind videos taken on the camera.
To keep fully up to date with the latest technology news and Which? reviews, sign up to the free weekly Which? Technology email
Nikon Coolpix P300
Being a brand new model in the P-series for Nikon, the Nikon Coolpix P300 doesn't have a predecessor. It could be considered a halfway house between a compact camera and the Nikon P3000, which is an advanced compact bridge camera.
It has a large aperture of f1.8, which will allow more light onto the back-illuminated 12.2Mp CMOS sensor. This should make it a strong performer in low-light conditions when the flash isn't used - an area that's particularly challenging for many compact cameras.
The Coolpix P300 offers full manual control alongside aperture and shutter speed priority modes. Like the P500, it's able to shoot Full HD video at 1080p resolution. It can also shoot in slow motion, but instead of being able to achieve the 240fps of the P500, its maximum rate is 120fps. This will allow users to shoot VGA clips and play them back at a quarter of their usual speed.
In its continuous shooting mode, the P300 can take photos at a rate of eight per second, although the maximum number of photos per 'burst' is seven.
Both models will be available in black this March. The P500 will cost around £400, while the P300 will sell for around £300.
- Bridge camera reviews
- Nikon unveils Coolpix S9100
- Cameras at CES 2011
How to follow the latest Which? Tech news
Are you a Twitter user? Follow WhichTech on Twitter for regular tech tweets.
Prefer RSS? Don't miss a thing with the Which? tech RSS feed.
For just the main headlines in newsletter form, sign-up to our weekly Which? tech email.
Apple iPad 2 3G data plans compared - find the best 3G plan for your iPad
Best Android tablets round-up - we look at the best iPad alternatives around
Best cheap laptops for under £500 - find the best laptop deals