Nikon Coolpix P3 Review
By Movable Type Admin
Features & Controls
The Coolpix P3 is equipped with a 3.5x Nikkor optical zoom lens with a 36 - 126mm (in 35mm equivalent) focal length coverage. The maximum aperture is F2.7 to 5.2 and it has a dedicated macro mode. When powered down the lens retracts and is protected by a builtin shutter, no lens cap needed.
The 11 wide-area AF achieves more accurate autofocus through analysis of a larger area of the frame. Auto focus is handled by a contrast detect TTL system with a low light AF-assist lamp, the focus range is from 12 in. (30cm) to infinity in normal, 1.6 in. (4cm) to infinity in Macro mode (wide angle). Auto focus can be single-AF or Continuous-AF with Auto area selection, Center-focus area selection or Manual area selection available.
The COOLPIX P3 features the VR (Vibration Reduction) system originally developed for
Nikon SLR cameras. Comprising two modes, it allows selection of VR Normal mode that
compensates for the minor camera movement commonly encountered when taking handheld shots,
and VR Active mode that compensates for more pronounced movements, such as when shooting
from a moving vehicle. Providing a shooting experience akin to shooting at shutter speeds
three stops faster, it enables photographers to shoot without blurring in lower light, keeps
subjects clear when panning, and also helps support faster framing on the LCD. What's more,
the benefits of VR (Normal mode) assurance also extend to movie shooting so users can
capture action with welcome stability.
The built-in speedlight has a shooting range of approx. 16 in - 13 ft 1 in / 0.4 -
4.0 m (W), 16 in - 6 ft 7 in / 0.4 - 2.0 m (T) at ISO Auto, and can be set for Auto Flash,
Red-Eye Reduction, Fill Flash, Slow Sync or Disabled.
One of the Coolpix P3's unique features is its built-in IEEE 802.11b/g WiFi
connectivity to immediately transmit images wirelessly to a computer or to any
PictBridge-enabled printer equipped with the optional Nikon Wireless Printer Adapter
(PD-10), for wireless printing. (See page 5 for more WiFi information).
The large 2.5-inch color LCD with 150,000 pixels of resolution serves as the viewfinder as
well as for reviewing your images and movies and accessing the menu screens. In lower light
conditions the LCD will "gain up" for better framing and provides 100% coverage. The screen
is coated with a non-glare finish and offers a wide viewing angle even in the bright
Controls on top include the VR button to control the Vibration Reduction,
the Mode Dial with positions for: Auto, Program, Aperture priority, Scene, Movie,
Setup, Resolution, ISO, WB and Wireless,
the shutter release and the power on/off button.
Controls on the back: Upper right are the zoom lens control buttons. In playback mode these buttons serve as the magnify and index buttons. When accessing menus the telephoto button can call up Help screens.
The MENU button calls up and dismisses menu screens. The 4-way selector is for navigating menus and selecting pictures. In record mode pressing it "Up" selects the desired flash mode. Pressing it "Left" activates the 10-sec selftimer. Pressing it "Down" enables the macro focus mode. Press it "Right" to adjust exposure compensation. The center OK button accepts menu selections and enables image D-Lighting in playback.
The "blue arrow" button puts the
camera in Play mode. The "trashcan" button is for deleting images.
The interface connector is a combination device used to connect either the USB 1.1
cable for downloading images to the host computer or connect the Audio-Video Out cable
to a TV set. The video signal is selectable for NTSC or PAL.
The USB cable can be connected to any PictBridge compatible photo printer for
The Coolpix P3 is equipped with ~23MB of
internal memory and a SD memory card slot, no card is supplied with
the camera. Images and movies can be copied from internal memory to SD card or vice-versa.
We recommend the purchase of at least a 256MB (or larger) SD card or your picture
taking will be quite limited.
The camera is powered by a proprietary EN-EL5 rechargeable Li-Ion battery which provides approx. 200 shots (CIPA standard) per charge. The included MH-61 charger works on 100-240v AC systems.
An optional power adapter allows the camera to be powered from an A/C wall outlet.
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