Last update: Review & Sample Photos @ ImagingResource (20.10.06)
Nikon Coolpix P3 is a point-and-shoot digital camera (released on 21.02.06), featuring a 8.1 megapixels (CCD sensor) with 3.5x optical zoom lens (36-126mm equivalent), a 2.5″ LCD screen, Vibration Reduction (VR), a Built-in WiFi, and it’s running on EN-EL5 Rechargeable Battery. Nikon Coolpix P3 is measuring approx. 3.6 x 2.4 x 1.2 in. (92 x 61 x 31mm), weighing 170g (5.9 oz.) and it’s priced at $449.95 USD. The camera will be available in stores from march 2006
>> Download Nikon Cooplix P3 Specifications
>> REVIEWS (last update: 20.10.06)
ImagingResource reviewed the Nikon Coolpix P3 and wrote;
“While it’s easy enough for a beginner to capture great images, the real attraction of the Nikon Coolpix P3 is you can go a bit beyond its automatic control; creating rather than merely capturing images. Nikon’s Feature System helps the novice use the Coolpix P3, but tools like Vibration Reduction and fast shot-to-shot options make more choices available to anyone who turns them on. And with Wireless G transfers and printing, the Nikon Coolpix P3 is convenient and fun, too. Not a bad feature set to pack in your pocket or purse, and certainly a Dave’s Pick for its image quality, solid styling and enough options to make the Nikon Coolpix P3 a serious power photo tool.”
CamerasUK reviewed the Nikon Coolpix P3 and wrote;
“The Coolpix P3 should not provide too many problems when it comes to ease of use. One very good plus point is the fact that help text is available to explain the different menu options. The menu system itself is quite easy to find your way around and you have the option of using a text or icon based menu. All the normal control buttons can be found on the top and sides of the camera. “
HardwareZone reviewed the Nikon Coolpix P3 and wrote;
“Our field-testing concluded the COOLPIX P3 to possess good auto focus quality. Focusing was generally smooth under favorable lighting conditions but telephoto focusing was expectedly rough under poor lightings. Where image quality was concerned, noise (grains) was notable from ISO 200 onwards – thankfully, they appeared more like film grain than unsightly color blotches. The VR modes also worked a treat, giving us at least a 2-stop allowance in aperture and shutter speed. “
Pocket-Lint reviewed the Nikon Coolpix P3. They rated the camera 9 out of 10 and wrote;
“So, the P3 is jammed with goodies, but how good are the results? For a kick off the detail it’s possible to capture is superb, the lens and CCD working well together. I’ve discussed the AF system which works well (though macro focusing was a challenge on some subjects) while the metering (all 256-segments of it) works a treat too, though some images were mystifyingly overexposed and I did not get to the bottom of the problem. It’s probably me though. “
DCRP reviewed the Nikon Coolpix P3 and wrote;
“PROS: Very good image quality, Compact, well put together body (for the most part), Optical image stabilization, Built-in 802.11b/g for wireless photo transfer (though see issues below), Large, high resolution LCD display; screen is visible in low light, Limited manual controls, Tons of scene modes, In-camera help system, Handy D-Lighting and Best Shot Selector features, Nice movie mode (though note the bug below), Time-lapse photo and movie modes CONS: Images a bit soft for my taste, Redeye, Sound cuts out prematurely in movie mode, Poor low light focusing despite having an AF-assist lamp, No optical viewfinder, Can’t e-mail or upload files wirelessly; camera can’t be controller wirelessly, Really could’ve used a shutter priority mode, Not much built-in memory, No USB 2.0 High Speed support, Plastic tripod mount, flimsy cover over battery/memory card compartment “
CNET reviewed the Nikon Coolpix P3 and wrote;
“Image quality is where the Nikon Coolpix P3 really shines, overshadowing any shortcomings in its Wi-Fi implementation and almost overcoming its flawed performance. Colors are neutral but rich and pleasing, from the bright greens and blues in landscapes to the subtle tones of human skin. Noise levels are below average in the Nikon Coolpix P3, with images appearing very clean at ISO 50 and ISO 100, usable at ISO 200, and tolerable at ISO 400. Unfortunately, at ISO 400, the noise softens the detail significantly.”
DigitalCameraReview reviewed the Nikon Coolpix P3 and wrote;
“The Coolpix P3 controlled noise very well. ISO 50, 100, and 200 showed very little noise. At ISO 400, noise was noticeable on the computer screen, but would go unnoticed in even an 8×10 print. I was very impressed with the image quality. Skin tones looked good and weren’t too warm. Exposure was consistently good with the Auto settings and if you don’t like them, you can always use the easy-to-access exposure compensation to adjust it to your liking. (By the way, it’s important that *you* like the images that are produced by this camera, since the image “quality” can be very subjective.) Chromatic aberration was very well controlled in the high contrast areas in which it’s normally seen.”
Photoxels reviewed the Nikon Coolpix P3 and wrote;
“We find the overall image quality of the Nikon P3 to be good to very good, though we’d prefer images to retain more details. AF is fast and works very well even in low-light. In extreme low-light, the AF Illuminator automatically (if you’ve set it on in the menu) kicks in to help achieve focus. One thing we’ve noticed is that the AF Illuminator is placed quite high in relation to the lens and is not able to light up a subject at close macro range, so you might have some problem achieving focus lock in very close macro range in low-light.”
DigitaCameraReview has a preview of Nikon Coolpix P3 and writes;
“The camera is very compact – a lot smaller than you would expect an “advanced” point and shoot camera to be. I like to compare it to a bar of soap with rounded corners…
..So far, I’ve been impressed with the operation of the camera. It’s easy to access menus, the camera operates fairly quickly, and what I’ve seen on the images so far put the image quality as top notch. Some things that I need to test a bit more is the flash “power”, noise levels, and battery life.”
>> SAMPLE IMAGES (last update: 20.10.06)
>> USER MANUALS
– Download Nikon Coolpix P3 User Manual (PDF – 25.9MB)
>> PRESS RELEASE
Nikon today announced the COOLPIX P3 and P4, an expansion to its more advanced and feature-rich P, or Performance, Series of digital cameras. Designed for the photographer who enjoys a high level of control, advanced imaging technologies and the ability to take creative control of their photography, these two exciting new cameras combine 8.1 effective megapixels with a wide range of advanced in-camera technologies, taking compact digital photography to the next level.
“The COOLPIX P3 and P4 are the perfect camera for consumers who are looking for a customizable photography experience,” says Bill Giordano, General Manager of Consumer Product Marketing for Nikon, Inc. “These cameras take many technologies first available in Nikon’s SLR line and makes them readily and easily available to consumers looking for a capable, compact digital camera at a very attractive price.”
Nikon has added its Vibration Reduction (VR) system, a feature adapted directly from Nikon’s world-renowned SLR lenses, to the P Series cameras allowing them to capture rock-steady images at shutter speeds of up to three stops slower that could normally be hand held. VR capability is available at the push of a button in two modes (Normal and Active) in order to compensate for camera movement. VR Normal compensates for minor movements, most often associated with handheld shooting, while VR Active compensates for more pronounced movements, such as the vibration of a moving vehicle. An electronic adaptation of Vibration Reduction also applies to movie shooting, allowing for sharp video in low light conditions and keeping subjects clear during panning while helping to support faster framing on the cameras’ incredible, bright 2.5-inch LCD.
COOLPIX P Series digital camera users will enjoy the flexibility of a full array of exposure control settings similar to Nikon’s SLR models. Covering a broader area of the frame, the new 11 wide-area AF achieves better results in more diverse compositions — leaving photographers free to concentrate on the shot while the camera automatically achieves superior, sharp focus almost anywhere in the frame. In addition, there are 17 shooting modes, including nine advanced scene modes that allow photographers to produce pictures better suited to their own personal tastes — through the use of three effects that vary brightness, color intensity, sharpness, noise reduction and more.
To add even greater control, both cameras offer Aperture-priority Auto mode to let photographers benefit from aperture control in 1/3EV steps. Users can select large apertures for attractive background blurring or stop down to small apertures to extend crisp focus into the distance — all while the camera automatically selects the most appropriate shutter speed for optimized exposure.
To help photographers capture the action as it happens, both cameras feature continuous shooting at up to 1.8 frames per second, which is complimented by a five shot buffer that allows users to shoot in a continuous burst, with the camera recording the last five images taken. This speed
allows the P Series cameras to be a great companion for SLR shooters looking for a smaller but powerful camera to take anywhere.
An addition to the successful COOLPIX P1 and P2 cameras, the new P3 also comes equipped with the ability to transfer images wirelessly through the camera’s built in Wi-Fi feature*. Nikon’s wireless solution is fun and convenient and allows consumers to send their pictures wirelessly to a computer. In addition, pictures can be sent wirelessly to any PictBridge-enabled printer**. The Wi-Fi feature to transfer images to a computer is built into the camera and requires no additional accessories.
Unique to COOLPIX digital cameras, and now for the first time available throughout the line-up, is Nikon’s Exclusive Feature System, which gives users the power to automatically improve recorded images in-camera. This combination of in-camera features provides a quick, easy and seamless answer to underexposed pictures due to excessive backlight or insufficient flash, blurry or out-of-focus shots and red eyes.
The system includes:
— In-Camera Red-Eye Fix(TM): automatically detects and corrects red eye,
a common condition that occurs in flash photography. You may never see red eye again.
— Face-Priority AF***: automatically finds and focuses on a persons face
within the frame, providing sharp focus to produce clear, crisp
portraits wherever the subject is positioned in the frame.
— D-Lighting: selects and creates a copy of images with excessive
backlight or insufficient flash illumination, adding light and detail
— Blur Warning: alerts the user that a shot has resulted in a blurry
picture allowing for it to be retaken before leaving the scene.
— Best Shot Selector (BSS): automatically identifies and saves the
sharpest shot from ten sequential shots.
Additionally, the P Series cameras include handy features such as, TV Quality Movie Mode function (recording movies at up to 30 fps with sound limited only by the available memory, Single and Continuous AF, Choice of White Balance and Noise Reduction to ensure better color reproduction in darker lighting conditions.
The COOLPIX P3 and P4 will be available in March 2006 with a MSRP of $449.95 and $399.95, respectively. The Wireless Print Adaptor (PD-10) is currently available and has an MSRP of $49.95. For more information about these models and other COOLPIX cameras, please visit http://www.nikondigital.com/.
* Wireless distance will vary based on conditions.
** Requires optionally available Wireless Printer Adapter PD-10.
*** Face-recognition capability may be limited in some shooting