Nikon Coolpix P330 is a new point and shoot from Nikon that gives you a 5x optical zoom, a 24 to 120 mm wide-angle zoom lens, with a maximum aperture of f/1.8. It is targeted at a consumer who is looking at more control on the camera than a basic point-and-shoot, without the bulk associated with a DSLR. Does the Coolpix P330 deliver on this count? Let’s find out.
In the box
Nikon Coolpix P330 camera
Nikon EN-EL-12 Lithium Ion Battery
Charger with unpolarised NEMA plug
Convertor to use with Indian sockets
RCA to USB/AV out cable
CD With reference manual
CD With Nikon View NX2 software
Warranty cards and manuals
Though the camera is capable of recording full-HD video, and also has an HDMI port, Nikon does not include an HDMI Cable, and gives a RCA Cable. This felt a bit odd.
The moment you take it out of the box, the first thing that you notice about the Nikon Coolpix P300 is the boxy sharp feel. When you hold it in your hands, the grip is pretty solid – from the rubberised thumb rest to the metal body, it feels solid and very nicely built, yet remains light enough to be carried around.
The buttons are easily accessible for single-handed shooting, with your thumb being able to control both the mode dial as well as the shutter speed dial in case you are shooting on the manual. From an ergonomics standpoint, the front of the camera is flat, but a raised bump of rubber ensures that your grip is tight and the camera stays firm in your hand.
As mentioned earlier, the Nikon Coolpix P300 is designed for a user who wants more from a point-and-shoot camera, or for someone who is used to a DSLR but wants to travel light. The mode dial lets you select from a Full Auto mode, Portrait mode, Shutter Priority mode (S), Aperture Priority mode (A), a full Manual mode (M), a User Defined mode (U), a Scene mode and a Night Picture mode. The on-off button is in the middle of two large dials, the mode dial and the shutter speed control dial, and both the dials are easy to operate. With the Power button depressed in a groove, you don’t accidentally hit it while shooting, which is nice.
The typical Wide to Tele zoom dial and a rather large shutter button are present as well.
The Nikon Coolpix P300 comes with more ‘mode’s than your typical point-and-shoot camera. In most compact cameras, you typically get a Portrait mode, a Auto mode, a Scenes mode and perhaps a Night Shot mode. The P330, however, comes with a Shutter priority mode, the Aperture priority mode, the Full Manual mode, as well as a User Defined mode, offering the kind of control and flexibility you usually see in a DSLR.
To get started with the camera, you pop it open at the bottom and insert the battery and the memory card (the camera takes SD, SDHC and SDXC Cards). With the memory slot at the bottom, if you mount the camera on a tripod, you’ll have to take it off just to change the card.
Switching on the camera the first time around requires you to setup the time, date, the country you are in and the language. Quickly finishing this setup, you can go and setup the ISO Settings or leave them to the default Auto. There is a Function button on the front side of the camera, that you can allocate a function of your choice, such as to change the ISO, which is what I did. Setup your metering to either spot or centre weighted, and your focussing, and the camera is ready to go.
It is nice to see that Nikon offers RAW capabilities on the camera, and you can save the images in RAW and JPEG both. If you are shooting in JPEG mode (default) make sure you set the image quality to Fine Setting as by default it is set to Standard.
Good quality, sharp pictures
Good low light performance
Fits easily in pocket
Can’t switch Shutter and Aperture dials
No gridlines to help compose shots
Price: Rs. 16,950
Ratings (Out of 5)
Build/ Ergonomics: 3.5
Features/ Performance: 4
Image Quality: 4
Battery Life: 4
Value for Money: 5