Nikon has updated its photographer-friendly P series with the Coolpix P510 and P310. The P510 gains GPS and an extended zoom, now reaching from 24-1000mm equivalent. This 42x range is likely to be quite a challenge for its VR image stabilization system, so we'll be interested to see how it performs. The P310 is a more subtle upgrade of the P300. Like the P510 it gains a 920k dot LCD and moves to using a 16MP back-lit CMOS sensor, with all the high-speed, multi-shot image processing modes it enables. More than any of the technology changes, we're most interested to see the addition of a 'Fn' button on the front - if this can be set to control useful functions, it may improve the handling of an already pleasant-to-use camera.

Both cameras offer 1080p30 with stereo sound recording. The fast sensor also allows them to offer a Night Landscape mode that combines multiple shots to average out noise, and an Advanced Night Portrait mode that does much the same thing, but includes a flash image of your subject to prevent the 'my friends in a coalmine' effect. There's also an in-camera HDR option.

The Coolpix P510 will have a suggested selling price of $429.95, while the P310 will cost around $329.95

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Press Release:

NIKON'S NEW COOLPIX P-SERIES PAIR PACKS A POTENT PUNCH OF OPTICAL EXCELLENCE AND POWERFUL PERFORMANCE

Nikon Coolpix P510 - also available in red

The 42x COOLPIX P510 is the Ultimate Ultra-Long Zoom Camera, While the Fast Aperture Lens of the COOLPIX P310 Makes it the Advanced Photographer's Compact Companion

MELVILLE, NY (Jan. 31, 2012) – Today, Nikon Inc. introduced two new COOLPIX cameras into the P-series, providing photographers with amazing optics from compact offerings for their next adventure-packed outing. Breaking the zoom barrier, the new COOLPIX P510 brings the action close with an impressive 42x optical Zoom-NIKKOR ED glass lens, from a wide 24mm to an amazing 1,000mm* focal range. When the adventure begins once the sun sets, the new COOLPIX P310 tackles demanding low-light conditions with a 16.1-megapixel Backside Illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor and a fast f/1.8 maximum aperture, NIKKOR glass lens. From the expansive Serengeti horizon, thunderous waterfalls of the Amazon to the jazz-infused nightlife setting of New Orleans, Nikon's new COOLPIX P-series cameras enable photographers to capture any adventure with astounding clarity.

"With the new COOLPIX P-series cameras, Nikon is raising the bar for performance and image quality to better accommodate the needs of advanced photographers looking for a compact companion," said Bo Kajiwara, director of marketing, Nikon Inc. "Both the COOLPIX P510 and P310 combine Nikon's legendary NIKKOR lenses and advanced features to challenge photographers creatively in environments that call for portability and easy access."
COOLPIX Technology

At the core of these powerful new COOLPIX cameras are Nikon's world-class NIKKOR lenses, delivering accurate detail, brilliant color and amazing clarity. Further enhancing color and sharpness, Nikon's EXPEED C2™ high performance digital image processing engine is implemented and custom-optimized for each COOLPIX model to ensure high-quality pictures and movies.

The New COOLPIX P510: Setting a Higher Zoom Standard

Shattering the conventional zoom barrier, the new COOLPIX P510 features a staggering 42x Wide-Angle NIKKOR glass zoom lens. The astounding zoom range of 24mm to 1,000mm with advanced optical Vibration Reduction (VR) image stabilization ensures that the photographer captures their intended subject with exceptional image quality. With this kind of extreme focal length, the need for superior image stabilization becomes essential for photos and HD video. Photographers are given increased stability with the additional zoom control located on the side of the lens barrel.

To further enhance image quality and help combat challenging low-light conditions, the COOLPIX P510 includes an advanced 16.1-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor. Utilizing the high-speed continuous shooting performance (capture five images at full resolution in approximately one second) of the CMOS sensor and fast autofocus (AF), the COOLPIX P510 makes it possible to capture even the most spontaneous moments.

This full-featured compact camera also comes complete with built-in GPS capabilities, allowing photographers to track their adventures and geotag photos. The COOLPIX P510 also includes Full HD (1080p) movie recording with stereo sound and the ability to utilize the expansive zoom range during recording with AF for dynamic videos. A 3-inch high resolution (921,000-dot) vari-angle monitor makes it easy to compose images and movies from difficult angles. Additionally, The COOLPIX P510 features a variety of advanced functions for the sophisticated user seeking smooth handling with intuitively placed controls such as the mode dial that enables easy setting of frequently used functions on the fly.

The New COOLPIX P310: Low Light, No Problem

The new COOLPIX P310 achieves superior image quality in low-light settings thanks to the powerful combination of a 16.1-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, wide ISO range up to 3200 (Hi1 6400 equivalent) and a fast, wide-angle maximum aperture f/1.8 lens. The COOLPIX P310 further fights blur by incorporating advanced optical VR image stabilization and makes shooting in low-light a breeze with several scene modes including Advanced Night Portrait mode, Night Landscape mode and Backlight/High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode. The Advanced Night Portrait mode combines consecutive images of the background while the subject is captured using the flash, while the Night Landscape mode combines a series of consecutive shots taken at a fast shutter speed into a single image with reduced noise. The Backlight HDR mode merges images of the same scene at different exposures to achieve a single image with a broad range of tonal detail.

Designed to be the serious photographer's compact companion, the COOLPIX P310 comes equipped with several features found in D-SLR cameras including manual exposure control (P/S/A/M) and a new Zoom Memory function that enables the selection of popular prime focal lengths during shooting. Through an easily accessible top-mounted control wheel, users are able to adjust shutter speed, aperture and other settings in order to achieve their preferred look. For more creativity, the COOLPIX P310 also includes special effects and filter effects that can be added to photos in-camera for a quick artistic touch. To facilitate easy composing, viewing and playback, the COOLPIX P310 features a 3-inch high resolution (921,000-dot) LCD screen.

Understanding the demand for a capable multimedia camera, the COOLPIX P310 also sports incredible video capabilities. With the ability to capture Full HD (1080p) video at 30 frames-per-second (fps) with AF, stereo sound and the use of the optical zoom while recording, the COOLPIX P310 also lets users edit movies in-camera for a seamless moviemaking experience.

Nikon Coolpix P510 and P310 specifications

 Nikon Coolpix P510Nikon Coolpix P310
Body type
Body typeSLR-like (bridge)Compact
Sensor
Max resolution4608 x 3456
Other resolutions4608 x 2592, 4608 x 3072, 3456 x 3456, 3264 x 2448, 1920 x 1080, 1600 X 1200, 640 x 480
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors17 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
ProcessorExpeed C2
Image
ISOAuto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 2000, 3200
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationOptical
Uncompressed formatNo
JPEG quality levelsFine, Normal, Basic
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)24–1000 mm24–100 mm
Optical zoom41.7×4.2×
Maximum apertureF3.0 - F5.9F1.8 - F4.9
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Tracking
  • Face Detection
Digital zoomYes (2x)Yes (4x)
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range30 cm (11.81)
Macro focus range2 cm (0.79)
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTiltingFixed
Screen size3
Screen dots921,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT-LCD with Anti-reflection coating
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronicNone
Photography features
Built-in flashYes (Pop-up)
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow-sync
Self-timerYes
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
  • Spot AF-area
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
WB BracketingNo
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (15, 30fps), 1280 x 720p (60, 30 fps), 640 x 480 (120, 30fps)1920 x 1080 (30fps), 1280 x 720p (30 fps), 640 x 480 (120, 30fps)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (Mini Connector)
WirelessEye-Fi Connected
Remote controlNo
Physical
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionNikon EN-EL5 Lithium-Ion batteryNikon EN-EL12 Lithium-Ion battery
Battery Life (CIPA)200230
Weight (inc. batteries)555 g (1.22 lb / 19.58 oz)194 g (0.43 lb / 6.84 oz)
Dimensions120 x 83 x 102 mm (4.72 x 3.27 x 4.02)103 x 58 x 32 mm (4.06 x 2.28 x 1.26)
Other features
Orientation sensorNo
Timelapse recordingYesNo
GPSBuiltInNone

Additional images

Nikon Coolpix P310