Nikon Coolpix P300 review

Nikon's new compact boasts full manual control and a fast f/1.8 lens

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Nikon P300 Review: Performance

If the Nikon P300 had nothing else to fall back on other than the quality of images produced, we would still predict it to become a popular seller. The P300's images exhibited bright and accurate colours, crisp and well-defined details, with scenes arguably well metered and correctly exposed.

What is more, the Nikon P300 delivered some of the clearest images at higher ISOs from a compact camera that we have seen for some time, generating vivid colour, reduced noise and smooth tonal gradations even at ISO 1600.

This was probably possible thanks to its fast-aperture lens, back-illuminated CMOS image sensor and VR image stabilization function.

If we were being overly critical, we could argue that in auto and a handful of scene modes the Nikon P300 favoured the highlights and showed a small leniency to underexposing. But this was nothing terribly noticeable and is nothing that can't be tweaked using the exposure compensation function.

The Nikon camera's white balance performed admirably, delivering solid colour replication – again if we were pushed for criticism we could claim the colours, in particular greens, are a tad more vivacious than reality but nothing that would prove distortional. What's more, setting the manual preset white balance is one of the most accurate and simplest to use on a device of the Nikon P300 price point.

Possibly thanks to the back-lit CMOS sensor and EXPEED C2 processor we found the Nikon P300 produced higher contrast than expected, which was particularly obvious in the dedicated high-contrast monochrome mode which truly generates striking results, much more so than the unit's black and white copy mode.

The P300's AF is on point, turning in well-focused images that illustrate sharply defined subjects. In particular, the macro setting delivered extremely pleasing captures, exhibiting superb definition even at the widest aperture thanks to the superb lens which failed to produce common errors such as chromatic aberrations or vignetting, and only generated very mild purple fringing in extreme high-contrast scenarios.

In fact the lens, performed fantastically well throughout the focal range and even delivered sharp resolution at full optical zoom – and at full digital zoom capacity the results were of a higher standard than most of its rivals, with only marginal softening of edges and some pixilation distortion in darker areas while colour, exposure and contrast remained accurate.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution12.2 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
Product FamilyCoolpix
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom4.2x
Digital Zoom2x
Brand NameNikon
FeaturesFace Detection, Blink Detection, Smile Detection, Continuous Shooting Mode, Self-timer
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMPEG-4
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)190 g
Image Sensor Size1/2.3" (6.16 mm x 4.62 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4000 x 3000
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height58.3 mm
Width103 mm
Depth32 mm
Focal Length4.30 mm to 17.90 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Focus ModesAuto
ManufacturerNikon Corporation
Product ModelP300
Product NameCoolpix P300 Compact Camera
Product LineCoolpix
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Manual
Manufacturer Part Number9704906
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The COOLPIX P300 is a powerful compact camera with an incredibly bright lens that delivers beautiful results, particularly when shooting at night or in challenging lighting conditions. The specially crafted NIKKOR lens offers a fast f/1.8 aperture, starts at an ultra-wide 24mm, and employs Nikon's High Refractive lndex glass to deliver sharp images with high contrast. Combined with a highly sensitive back illuminated CMOS image sensor and full manual controls, this camera offers the creative freedom to capture scenes just as you see them.

Package Contents
  • Coolpix P300 Compact Camera
  • Strap AN-CP19
  • Audio Video EG-CP16
  • AC Adapter EH-69P
  • Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12
  • USB Cable UC-E6
Limited Warranty1 Year