DigitalCameraReview.com
Nikon Coolpix P300 Takes on Canon S95
by Allison Johnson -  2/8/2011

Nikon unveils the Coolpix P300, a slim point-and-shoot designed for the enthusiast. A wide angle f/1.8 lens, backside-illuminated CMOS sensor and 1080p HD video recording pit it against other advanced compacts like the S95.

Nikon Coolpix P300

There's nothing like the Nikon Coolpix P300 in the current Nikon compact lineup. Other Coolpix cameras already offer features like HD video and wide angle zoom lenses. The P7000 is equipped with manual exposure controls and high performance features, but the P300 will offer similar specs in an ultra-compact package with a fast lens.

The 4.2x Zoom-NIKKOR lens will cover an equivalent range of 24-100mm with a fast f/1.8 maximum aperture at wide angle (and f/4.9 at telephoto). It will focus as close as 3cm in macro mode. At the heart of the P300 is a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor with 12.2 megapixels. It will have a native ISO range of 160-3200.

Nikon Coolpix P300

The back panel contains a 3.0-inch 921k-dot LCD with an anti-reflection coating. The camera itself has an appealing boxy, modernist look with a large command dial. It's a sleek alternative to the chunky P7000.

In-camera filters are offered, including cross screen and fisheye effects. Nikon has incorporated a new Easy Panorama mode, a function that stitches together panoramic images in camera. The P300 is equipped with an EXPEED C2 image processor and Optical Vibration Reduction VR image stabilization.

The Coolpix P300 will be compatible with SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards. An included EN-EL12 rechargeable lithium-ion battery will offer about 240 shots worth of battery life. The camera will also ship with ViewNX 2 software for working with RAW image files. *Update: It's looking like the P300 won't offer RAW image capture after all.

Pricing and availability
The Nikon Coolpix P300 is priced competitively at $329.95. It will be offered in black only and will be available in March.