Skip to main content

Nikon Coolpix P300 review

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

Nikon Coolpix P300
Nikon's new high-end compact boasts a 12.2MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor.


  • Produces some of the clearest images at high ISOs that we've seen from a compact camera
  • Images show vivid colours and smooth tonal gradations
  • The P300's fast-aperture f/1.8 lens
  • Close 3cm focusing distance in macro mode


  • Macro settings deactivate when switching scene mode, filter option or into/out of Auto
  • In auto and a handful of scene modes it favours the highlights and shows a small leniency to underexposing

Nikon P300 Review: Overview

Integrating seamlessly into Nikon's upper echelon of digital compact cameras, the new Coolpix P300 boasts some serious assets that advanced photography enthusiasts are likely to covet.

For starters, the Nikon P300 claims a 12.2-megapixel, back-illuminated CMOS image sensor supported by the brand's EXPEED C2 processor, together making quite an attractive combination for those interested in pursuing captures at higher sensitivities.

Increasing intrigue is the addition of the impressively fast f/1.8, 24mm wideangle, 4.2x optical zoom lens with Nikon's High Refractive lndex glass.

The £300 compact sits just beneath its launch stable mate the Coolpix P500; an advanced bridge that replaces the once popular P100, and is likely to be squarely aimed at photographers' thirsting for more manual control as well as a higher quality of image capture.

As a high-entry compact we are not surprised but still pleased to note the inclusion of full manual controls offering four exposure modes: Programmed Auto (P), Shutter-priority (S), Aperture-priority (A) and Manual (M). But we are disappointed to find no ability to capture images in raw format, as arguably many of its target consumers would require.

Following the trend for HD movie capture, the Nikon P300 provides access to Full HD – 1080p – movie recording with stereo sound, and unlike some of its rivals the new Nikon compact camera benefits from optical zoom and autofocus during recording, allows photographers to fire stills whilst filming and records footage in slow or fast motion using recording speeds of up to 120fps (VGA).

Digging further into the feature bowels of the Nikon P300 we discover that there are several advanced multi-exposure composite image functions for taking handheld portraits at night, an Easy Panorama mode that delivers 180- and 360-degree results, optimised Night Portrait and Landscape modes, Backlighting (HDR), plus a modest palette of Filter effects.

Elsewhere a high-speed continuous shooting function has been incorporated to satisfy action and sports fanatics, allowing users to claim up to 7 continuous shots at 8 frames per second.