The lens of the CoolPix P510 is the largest that we have seen here at Steve's, sporting a 42x optical zoom range with a 35mm equivalent of 24mm - 1,000mm. This by far gives you the greatest optical zoom range available from the wide 24mm to the distant 1,000mm; without the need for any converters or changing lenses. Nikon's VR system is a big help with this zoom keeping your images sharp and blur-free to a point, but you have to understand at 1,000mm nothing is going to be perfect. You can see above Nikon has also placed a zoom control on the side of lens for easy operation while shooting; and a dSLR-like feel.
[W]: Approx. 1 ft. 8 in. (50 cm.) to infinity
[T]: Approx. 5 ft. (1.5 m.) to infinity
Macro close-up mode: Approx. 0.4 in. (1 cm.) to infinity
This pop-up TTL flash is very powerful for any point-n-shoot model. It does not raise on its own, even in auto mode, so there are no worries if you are shooting in a situation where flash is prohibited. If you do need the flash, it is opened with a button found above the side zoom control. At ISO auto, it has a range of up to 26ft. (W) or 14ft. (T), making it useful in most low-light settings.
Controls on top: From left to right you can see the built-in stereo microphones which surround the GPS unit, Mode dial with Auto through Manual controls, Fn button (default changes burst shooting modes), power button and the shutter release coupled with a zoom control.
One option for framing and viewing your images is the 3.0-inch, 921,000 dot LCD screen. This is a much higher resolution screen than we typically see on a point-n-shoot camera. It is very easy to see in all lighting conditions and the vari-angle feature allows you to shoot at difficult angles.
Your other option for framing images is to use the EVF (electronic view finder). It offers 201,000 dots, a diopter adjustment, and approx 100% field of view. It will show you all of the same information that you see on the LCD screen as well. The button to the left of the EVF allows you to switch back and forth at any time. To the right of the EVF is the Disp. button which changes the amount of information on the LCD screen or EVF.
Controls on back: At the top is the dedicated video recording button meaning that the camera is always ready to record. To the right is the command dial for making quick menu selections. Under these are the playback button, 4-way controller, menu button and the delete button. The 4-way controller features shortcuts for the flash, exposure compensation, macro and self timer settings. It also acts as a dial for faster and easier control and selection of your menu items and manual settings.
On the left side of the P510 are two ports. On top is the USB 2.0 port, allowing you to connect the camera to a computer or TV with the audio/video cable. Under that is an HDMI port for hooking up to a HDTV for High Definition viewing of your images and your HD movies.
Nikon uses SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards. With the P510's burst and full 1080p HD video modes, you will want to use a larger card of at least Class 4 speed. HD video will use up your memory cards quickly so make sure you always have an extra card on hand. The camera is shown here with the PNY Pro, Class 10, 8GB SDHC card that was used to test the camera.
Powering the P510 is a 3.7V, 1100mAh rechargeable Li-Ion battery. This battery provides enough power for approx. 240 images on a single charge, according to Nikon. Also included is a USB cord and adapter that allows you to keep the battery charged while it is in the camera.