Right before PMA, Nikon announced two new additions to their “P”, or Performance, line. The Nikon Coolpix P3 and Coolpix P4 are the most fully-featured Point and Shoot cameras from Nikon. They have a distinctive rounded-corner shape that kind of reminds me of a bar of soap. Nikon manages to fit a lot of features into these compact cameras, including Vibration Reduction and WiFi capability.
Both the Coolpix P3 and Coolpix P4 take pictures at a resolution of 8.1 megapixels, have a 3.5x optical zoom lens and a 2.5 inch LCD for framing and reviewing images. There is no optical viewfinder for LCD backup.
Nikon has included their image staibilization technology (that they call Vibration Reduction) in both of these cameras. Two modes of Vibration Reduction, Passive and Active, provide varying degrees of image stabilization.
The Coolpix P3 includes WiFi capability that we were first saw in Nikon cameras in the Coolpix P1 and Coolpix P2 cameras last year. In fact, it looks like the WiFi is the only difference between the P3 and P4 (P3 has it, P4 doesn’t).
This round of new cameras from Nikon also includes the “Exclusve Feature System”, which includes:
- In-camera red eye fix
- Face Priority AF – faces are detected so that focus is set correctly
- D-Lighting – a copy of the image is created to correctly insufficient flash illumination
- Blur Warning – lets you know when a blurry shot has been taken, so you can reshoot
- Best Shot Selector (BSS) – the camera takes the best shot out of 10 sequential shots
Being part of the Performance line, you have a little more control over your shots when compared to the Life and Style lines. The Coolpix P3 and Coolpix P4 can shoot in Auto, Programmable Auto (P on the dial), Aperture Priority (A on the dial), nine “advanced” scene modes, seven other scene modes, Best Shot Selector, Date imprint, and Self Timer.
For “drive” modes, you can shoot a Single frame, Continuous H (approx. 1.8 fps), Multi-shot 16 (approx 1.7 fps), Ultra HS (100 frames at up to 30 fps) and 5 shot buffer (approx 1.8 fps).
Availability: Look for both cameras in March 2006. The Coolpix P3 will be priced around $449 and the Coolpix P4 will be around $399.
Other Nikon cameras at PMA: