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Just Posted: Nikon Coolpix P310 review

By dpreview staff on Jun 22, 2012 at 20:36 GMT

Just Posted: our review of the Nikon Coolpix P310 mid-level compact camera. The P310 builds on the groundwork done by its predecessor, the Coolpix P300 - offering the manual control of its more expensive enthusiast peers, such as Canon's S100 but using a smaller sensor to keep the cost down. The P310 features a 24-100mm equivalent, F1.8-4.9 lens in front of a 16MP back-lit CMOS sensor capable of 1080p30 video.

Comments

Total comments: 156
12
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Jul 4, 2012)

I can't believe that they actually went out of their way to copy the ugly no-style of a Canon s100 and give it a tiny sensor.

0 upvotes
jas32
By jas32 (Jun 28, 2012)

Not sure where the negative comments are coming from, but being a current owner of a P300 (actually this is my second one as the first got stolen), I'm still awed by its low light capability every time I use it. Yes, I considered the S100 but when I got it late last year, I was saving a least $120 which I thought was not worth the trade off. Also looked at the LX5 but the added cost and slightly bigger frame turned me off.

I think all of these are good cameras, just a personal preference on what features are important to you at the time you make the purchase. After about 7-8 months of ownership I'm perfectly satisfied with my purchase of my P300.

1 upvote
gogo2
By gogo2 (Jun 30, 2012)

I'm P300 user too. It's fast. IQ/PQ is great.

0 upvotes
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (Jun 26, 2012)

Ulvaferry45:

Take my advice; pay a little more for the S100 or find a good S95 on eBay. For an even better camera I'd recommend the Samsung EX1 ... its a beautiful camera to use, stunning quality, awesome screen and under £200 for a mint example. The only downside is its quite heavy but this is down to its sheer quality. I owned both then EX1 and the S95 and its the later I kept ONLY as it won on size ... so one had to go, but I was really sad to see it go. It is (IMO) a better camera than the S95; its just not as small. Wouldn't know what else to recommend other than the new Sony 1" sensor (but that'll cost a bomb) or a NEX-C3 (which I also own and love). There are other options like the Panny LX5 but if you're looking at that, go for the Samsung. Samsungs are SO underrated; My NX11 blows my Nikon D5100 out the water as far as IQ and fun in using!

To summarise then; EX1, S95, S100, NEX-C3 or Sony RX100

0 upvotes
Ulvaferry45
By Ulvaferry45 (Jun 27, 2012)

Thanks for the helpful advice.... I'm already at max budget-wise, so what I am looking for is a better camera in the same price bracket... I seems from the photos that one of the models you suggest needs an external flash (it may just be very well-hidden tho'), which would raise the price further..

0 upvotes
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (Jun 27, 2012)

Hi, no problem. Non of the camera's I've mentioned come without a flash; only the NEX has an external 'add-on' one (which is included).

Again, I'd go for a second hand S95 from eBay or the Samsung EX1 (first if size isn't an issue). You should actually get the S95 cheaper but bear in mind, the Samsung has that lovely AMOLED tilting screen and bomb proof build quality (not to mention f1.8 lens).

The P300 is a lovely camera, but as I said, having used one for a while, when i moved to the EX1 and S95, I quickly realised why they cost more (and why they WERE worth the extra outlay).

Good luck whatever you buy.

0 upvotes
Ulvaferry45
By Ulvaferry45 (Jun 28, 2012)

As well as a limited budget - which reduces the choice - I'm looking for a compact camera (no interchangable lens models) and have always avoided all things second-hand (apart from school books), and never bought online.... nothing like a TRUSTED camera buff in a store! Thanks again for your help.

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Ulvaferry45
By Ulvaferry45 (Jun 26, 2012)

I'm no expert as far as photography is concerned, but (a couple of years ago) after explaining at my local camera store that my main issues were being able to take good shoots with poor lighting (eg on the audio and lighting control platforms at concerts) and, as well as having a fool-proof "all-auto" setting, having the possibility of trying to learn how to use manual settings, they suggested the Coolpix P300.
I was very happy with it, but it was stolen and I must find a replacement - fast.
As I was at my budget max wiith the P300, I thought of the P310.... but have big doubts after reading the comments following this review.
Can some kind soul suggest a better compact camera (with pop-up flash) in the SAME price range?

0 upvotes
Rachotilko
By Rachotilko (Jun 26, 2012)

Why such a drop in IQ compared to P300, which has been loved for its high value/price ratio.

I just don't get it, does Nikon believe all P&S buyers have so low standards ? You are so wrong, dear Nikon.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
sderdiarian
By sderdiarian (Jun 26, 2012)

For those who want a camera that has the design cues of the real deal (XZ-1/S100/LX5), but at a marginally lower cost and much lower performance. Put the JPEG comparison tool on the watch and even at ISO 100 it doesn't come close to matching the XZ-1 and, to a lesser degree but still quite noticeable, the S100 and LX5. Put it on ISO 400 and game over. With the LX5 currently selling at the same price, $325, I'm not sure what Nikon was thinking. Another stumble out of the gate akin to the J1.

0 upvotes
Ulvaferry45
By Ulvaferry45 (Jun 26, 2012)

These "comparable" cameras would seem to cost 100 euros more, even without a flash - are these comparisons justified?

0 upvotes
sderdiarian
By sderdiarian (Jun 26, 2012)

The LX5 is selling for exactly the same price and is far superior. The XZ-1 is $65 more and worth every penny and then some, the S100 a mere $35 more and again a whole different class of camera. Please compare the JPEG's as I suggested, even at base ISO. It is eye candy posing as a higher caliber pocketable camera; the pity is Nikon may well sell a boatload to people who never even visit a camera site simply because of the brand on it.

0 upvotes
Ulvaferry45
By Ulvaferry45 (Jun 28, 2012)

They may have the same price elsewhere, but in Italy the LX5 is priced around 50 euros more on the Web than the price tag on the P310 in my local camera shop

0 upvotes
Sean Tan
By Sean Tan (Jun 26, 2012)

Comment on the camera not the brand please...

Whose didn't try on this camera, then dun need comment here....

If you are canon or other brand supporter, then go your camera there to do some praying....enough here.....

2 upvotes
robmanueb
By robmanueb (Jun 25, 2012)

Tried reading the comments here. Eeww yuck. What a hopeless bunch of twits. People saying that any professional would choose a camera with a larger sensor are OUT TO LUNCH. This is a cheap compact with manual controls and a fast lens. Nikons compacts keep the company afloat and cameras like this are the reason why. This camera is a classic in the making. Comparing this to cameras that cost $100 more is not a comparison. Find something as cheap and as good. You might find something and then it will be equivalent, whoppee! Good on you Nikon.

2 upvotes
Stollen1234
By Stollen1234 (Jun 25, 2012)

i bet you didnt try the camera..incredible

1 upvote
robmanueb
By robmanueb (Jun 26, 2012)

I'm pretty sure the people criticising this camera haven't tried it either. I did read the review though and from that I gather its performance is perfectly acceptable. Nothing in the review would warrant it being called rubbish or make Nikon sell all its shares and return the cash to investors. Want a larger sensor, want RAW capability spend the extra money and leave this for someone else. Hope you sell heaps of these Nikon.

1 upvote
Ulvaferry45
By Ulvaferry45 (Jun 26, 2012)

I was considering buying this camera precisely for the 1.8 feature and manual controls.... can you confirm there's nothing better or as good in the same price range (without having to add the extra cost of a separate flash)?

0 upvotes
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (Jun 26, 2012)

I have actually tried the P300 and whilst I liked it a lot, it was the S95 I went with at the end of the day. The slightly larger sensor makes all the difference in low light and there are some seriously great features on the Canon (the bracketing is great!) I won't knock the P300 (others can do that) but having tried one for a few days, I can honestly say the S95 (and of course the now S100) are significantly better camera's. In this case, you DO get what you pay for!

1 upvote
derfla1949
By derfla1949 (Jun 25, 2012)

I do not get it.
How can NIKON, for sure a company capable of making excellent cameras, produce such a piece of crap?
How can this rip-off (scheme: if it is NIKON, it must be good) still work, and get a 69% rating, whilst it should get a loud BOOOO ?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Jun 26, 2012)

You certainly haven't handled the P3x0 series. While its IQ isn't as good as that of high-end compacts (meanign LX5 and the like - NOT the orders of magnitude better and more expensive RX100), it's cheap, pocketable, has a VERY good IS, fast AF, wide and bright lens and manual control. A very nice fellow with a high price / value ratio.

1 upvote
Ulvaferry45
By Ulvaferry45 (Jun 26, 2012)

I was considering buying the P310 - can you confirm there's nothing as good (or better!) in the same price range with f1.8 and manual control?

0 upvotes
schaki
By schaki (Jun 25, 2012)

Thinking about the sensor-size and missed raw. I wouldn't say that S100 is the direct competitor for the P300 and now P310. The specs are closer to the Canon Elph 500HS / Ixus 310 http://www.dpreview.com/products/canon/compacts/canon_ixus310hs
For Nikon this remain something of a missed opportunity as them unfortunately aimed too low imo.

2 upvotes
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Jun 25, 2012)

I dont understand the infatuation with having to categorize cameras into boxes. If P300/P310 resemble S100 or 500HS/310 the most - who cares ?
Judge P300/P310 by its own merits.

3 upvotes
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (Jun 25, 2012)

You may not understand but everyone else in this segment of the market does! The S95/S100 have set a standard for pocket sized fast lens cameras, a standard every other manufacturer has to better if they're to compete. The usp of this camera is predominantly its fast lens and as such, it takes on S95/100 type products. So, if it can't offer a similar sized sensor to benefit the lens, RAW or a host of other features that the canon has, then how does it hope to compete .... Other than on price .... But most in the know would probably spend more for better IQ and features ... As I did myself after comparing the 300 against the S95 some time ago.

1 upvote
robmanueb
By robmanueb (Jun 25, 2012)

Other than the price. Nikon have purposely made a cheaper option. Want more, pay the price, want less get this for about $100 cheaper. Bet Nikon sells a bucket load of these.

1 upvote
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (Jun 26, 2012)

Sensible people will forgo it and buy a second hand S100 or S95 on eBay!

0 upvotes
harry
By harry (Jun 25, 2012)

I have the P300 since last fall, and got it at a bargain price then for $229 from Amazon (still couldn't believe my luck!). I was mainly looking for the portability and its bright and super-wide lens. I used it mainly for family, trip, spontaneous pictures and couldn't be happier. Believe me, we all like to have super sharp, best IQ at high ISOs, but time and again P300 ended up the one I grabbed without thinking (or no time to think). P300/P310 should be judged by their intended purposes, and not to DSLRs.

I do hope Nikon would come up with something with a System 1's sensor, with fixed lens (same range as P300/P310), with instant ON and super-fast AF. I know, I know, Sony just came up with one, but I want a competition to decide myself.

1 upvote
JEROME NOLAS
By JEROME NOLAS (Jun 25, 2012)

I agree, it's garbage, I hope Nikon will go down soon, nobody wants this garbage...even North Korea sent it back to Japan....

0 upvotes
AlpCns2
By AlpCns2 (Jun 25, 2012)

Surely you are a "professional".

2 upvotes
Dougbm_2
By Dougbm_2 (Jun 25, 2012)

" I hope Nikon will go down soon".

Really? Anyway since when has Nikon produced a decent compact?
As for SLRs they are getting better and better. (D800, D7000, D3200).

0 upvotes
robmanueb
By robmanueb (Jun 25, 2012)

Agree with who? The reviewer seems to think it's a pretty nice camera.

0 upvotes
Wubslin
By Wubslin (Jun 25, 2012)

Are Nikon even trying any more?

0 upvotes
Sam Carriere
By Sam Carriere (Jun 25, 2012)

No.
Anyone ever actually seen a D800?
Nikon is so-so products, abysmal marketing and absolutely no regard or respect for the consumer. They deserve to go down -- and will, eventually.

1 upvote
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Jun 25, 2012)

Sam, that was sarcasm, right ?

0 upvotes
Sam Carriere
By Sam Carriere (Jun 25, 2012)

Maybe a bit, but not entirely.

0 upvotes
Dougbm_2
By Dougbm_2 (Jun 25, 2012)

With compacts, NO. WIth SLRs, YES.

0 upvotes
Wubslin
By Wubslin (Jun 25, 2012)

Sam has pretty much nailed it as regards Nikon. I think the best thing would be for the company to be dismantled and the money given back to the shareholders.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Jun 26, 2012)

"Sam has pretty much nailed it as regards Nikon. I think the best thing would be for the company to be dismantled and the money given back to the shareholders."

You may not have handled the p3x0 series either... its IQ isn't as good as that of top-level enthusiast P&S cameras BUT:

- it's pocketable, small
- VERY cheap
- VERY repsonsive
- has a VERY good IS, much better than in most other cameras
- has a very bright and wide lens

Should I continue?

0 upvotes
Wubslin
By Wubslin (Jun 27, 2012)

'You may not have handled the p3x0 series either.'

Well, you're right about that.

But nothing else.

0 upvotes
personwithacamera
By personwithacamera (Jun 24, 2012)

i bought a p310 and I'm happy with it.. any camera will work for good photographer

7 upvotes
Guidenet
By Guidenet (Jun 24, 2012)

Personwithacamera, good for you. I'm glad you're happy with it. Just because this camera would "work" for a good photographer, doesn't mean it's a good tool for that photographer. From the looks of it, it's probably less of a good tool than most similar models for a good photographer. So why not opt for the model that makes it easier for a good photographer to create good images with.

0 upvotes
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (Jun 25, 2012)

A good photographer is capable of getting the best from any camera yes, but the better camera you have, the better you can utilise its features and turn out better images. Personwithacamera obviously doesn't fully understand the photographic/camera market that well.

0 upvotes
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Jun 24, 2012)

After checking the comparison tool, I have to agree with what others have already said.
P310 has markedly poorer IQ than P300.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
ukrbearcat
By ukrbearcat (Jun 25, 2012)

>After checking the comparison tool, I have to agree with what others have already said.
>P310 has markedly poorer IQ than P300.
Very questionable! And it is not just my point of view.

Check
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1007&message=41148417

I have already pointed out that with the low NR settings the pictures of P310 are better than the ones of P300 (on P300 you can't change the NR settings). The problem with the comparison tool is that the pictures of P300 and P310 have been taken with default (very aggressive) NR settings.

The math is simple: "the sensor" + 4 mp on p310 produces more noise than "the sensor" on P300. Clearly that in this case the same aggressive NR will kill more details on the picture produced by P310 compared to the picture produced by P300.
I am simply saying that P310 with low NR (less aggressive NR) gives some noise but produces more details than P300 with standard NR (you can't change the level of NR on P300).

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Jun 25, 2012)

Can we see side-by-side sample images from P300/P310 somewhere, with P310 NR set to low ?

0 upvotes
eyalg
By eyalg (Jun 24, 2012)

Regarding the panorama mode - "It works very well, but the output is limited to 560px in height."

I haven't tested the P310 yet, but I can only guess that like the P300, it can take vertical panoramas as well, so that you can rotate it 90 degrees and take a horizontal panorama while the camera thinks it's vertical.
This way you can achieve a much better proportioned and useful panorama.
The P300 creates 3200 X 1024 panoramas, so the claim of a maximum of 560px probably isn't accurate.

-eyalg

1 upvote
KoKo the Talking Ape
By KoKo the Talking Ape (Jun 24, 2012)

Though I have to say, kind of a slow week for DPR, was it not?

And say, how's that Fujifilm X10 review coming? :-p

0 upvotes
KoKo the Talking Ape
By KoKo the Talking Ape (Jun 24, 2012)

From the review: "Pocket-sized cameras with manual controls have become increasingly popular.... Arguably, Canon started it off with the S90 (a form factor that is now on its third iteration, the S100)."

I'll argue that. My beloved S80 had full PASM. IIRC, so did the S70 and S60.

A quibble, but I always felt those cameras were underappreciated. :-)

And thanks for the review, DPR!

1 upvote
happypoppeye
By happypoppeye (Jun 24, 2012)

Hey Koko ...thats what I was thinking ...I specifically remember the s70 which was a spectacular camera in its day ...and would probably hold up well to most compacts today.

1 upvote
bcalkins
By bcalkins (Jun 23, 2012)

Are there any Smartphones in the comparison tool? Curious how these compare to some of the better phones out there today...

0 upvotes
Lan
By Lan (Jun 23, 2012)

Very much depends on the situation. I have some cameraphone shots from my 5MP Motorola ZN5 (announced in 2008) in my profile - the landscape with the grass in the foreground and house in the background is available at original size.

Amusingly I took a print of that shot at 8"x10" taken with my old dSLR (400D/XTi) and the same taken on a cameraphone (both taken at default settings) to a local reasonably knowledgeable independent camera store, and the majority of staff preferred the cameraphone shot because it had more DOF and was sharper!

Of course if you took the same images handheld at night, then the dSLR would win by a spectacular margin.

1 upvote
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (Jun 24, 2012)

If you want to look at smartphones then f**k off to a mobile phone site!

Sorry for the outburst people; but DP is becoming bad enough as it is! This site used to be a great resource for anyone into cameras and photography (cameras that is, not smartphones!) ... Now it's becoming a joke, no better than one of those 2 bit T3 magazines you can pick up of the shelf and read about the latest mobile or how to get your woman into bed with tech!

If we start focusing on mobile phones we may as well change the name to 'What mobile and camera weekly'!

I want a site that reviews CAMERA'S and lenses ... Not a site where idiots with zero photography knowledge come on saying the Nokia 808 is better than an S95 and will destroy the camera market. FFS!!!!!

3 upvotes
26081989
By 26081989 (Jun 25, 2012)

Chadley, you mad?

I actually think Bcalkins has a good point. Phone camera's are getting better and better and they are used a LOT. You are implying that only "real" or "knowledged" "photographers" come here for information. I really think you are wrong here because dpreview already reviews a lot of basic and beginner camera's. Or are you trying to say they shouldn't review a Nikon D3200 because its aimed at the beginner market (let alone all the point and shoot models)?

You sound like a photographer-elitist to me.

3 upvotes
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (Jun 25, 2012)

I'm FAR from an elitist ... I just don't see why a CAMERA site should turn to reviewing mobile phones when there are so many low cost cameras out there, for as low as £50, that offer far better features than a camera phone ever could. I'm saying DP SHOULD be reviewing D3200's and (eg) cheap canon offerings ... But to start comparing cameras to mobiles, although the later is used a lot more (even by myself to take photos (iPhone 4)), well, that's not the way I want this site going. It's not snobby, it's just there are so many great cameras out there that need to be reviewed, we don't want to start diluting it with mobiles.

Try to understand my point before DP turns from the times to the Sunday sport!

1 upvote
bcalkins
By bcalkins (Jun 27, 2012)

@chadley_chad: I simply asked if there was one in the comparison tool. I'm sorry, but your point is drowned out by using 'f**k off' as your response! "Yes" or "no" would have answered my question...

0 upvotes
Sarge_
By Sarge_ (Jun 23, 2012)

This camera changes nothing; Nikon makes the best DSLRs, and Canon makes the best compacts, with Sony leading the 'tween' market with the NEX... With respect to IQ, that is.

2 upvotes
AkinaC
By AkinaC (Jun 23, 2012)

SLR includes medium format, so you ignored Leica, Hasselblad and Pentax e.t.c
And be honest Canon also makes excellent DSLRs as well....

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Jun 24, 2012)

There are so many exceptions and situations that I don't know how you can generalize so readily.

1 upvote
ezradja
By ezradja (Jun 24, 2012)

Nikon makes the best DSLRs? Since when? From user of D7000 and D700. Still prefer Canon.

0 upvotes
Guidenet
By Guidenet (Jun 24, 2012)

"From user of D7000 and D700. Still prefer Canon." What a total fabrication. You probably don't even know much about either to comment much less claiming to have /used/ them both. Moreover, the fact you prefer Canon wouldn't mean a thing anyway.

0 upvotes
Dan W
By Dan W (Jun 24, 2012)

Panasonic makes some good compacts, too but you got it about right.

0 upvotes
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (Jun 25, 2012)

Guidenet - no reason to be shirty with ezradja, what makes you think he's lying! I own both Nikon and Canon DSLR'S and whilst I find the Nikon a more quality build and feel, I also find the canons produce better IQ and provide a better choice of lens. IMO then the canon is better.

0 upvotes
ddolde
By ddolde (Jun 23, 2012)

Who buys this crap anyway ?

0 upvotes
Thoughts
By Thoughts (Jun 23, 2012)

Who believes in Nikon and don't check dpreview :p

1 upvote
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Jun 23, 2012)

It is cheaper than S100, and even a bit cheaper than a discounted S95, so for some it may be a good camera.
As for comparing it againts regular P&S cameras, then the P310 do have a significant advantage in its F1.8 lens. Most P&S start at F3.5 and a few start at F2.8.

Personally, I would take a discounted S95 over this one.

1 upvote
lumbod
By lumbod (Jun 23, 2012)

i have read the review about nikon coolpix p310 its looks pretty cool hope user will enjoy its extra qualites...

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Jun 23, 2012)

OK, I don't get it.

Clearly, the older P300 has better image quality.
The side by side comparisons clearly prove it.

And Amazon probably knows this too, since they are selling the new P310 for $20 less than the older P300. And the joke of the day is that Amazon will sell you a brand new Pen EPL1 (with lens) for less money than a P310.

So where is the upgrade? You come back a year later, spend more money, get 4 more MP, and end up a camera with the same specs and body but with worse image quality.

All you really get in this new model is the ability to capture photos at a truly horrid ISO 6400 setting, rather than a truly horrid ISO 3200. This is a nice little pocket camera for snapshots, but there really isn't much point of using it over base ISO. And yes, despite these shortcomings, it still beats the pants off a camera phone. If the target market even cares.

And considering the similarity with last year's P300, this upgrade is totally unnecessary.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (Jun 23, 2012)

Have you considered that this isn't supposed to be a direct upgrade to the P300, but a shift in the model to a slightly different (more budget) market?

From the article: "This might limit its appeal to enthusiast photographers, but allows a relatively low price compared to its high-end peers, making it potentially attractive to buyers who don't need the greater post-capture versatility offered by Raw but still want full manual control. "

2 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Jun 23, 2012)

"And yes, despite these shortcomings, it still beats the pants off a camera phone."

I don't think so - have you read the 808 tests (GSMA, CNet etc.)? It's far better than even high-end enthusiast P&S cameras (LX5 etc; no comparison has been made to the new RX100, though).

1 upvote
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Jun 23, 2012)

"Have you considered that this isn't supposed to be a direct upgrade to the P300, but a shift in the model to a slightly different (more budget) market?"

It's a pity Nikon didn't come out with a more serious update of the P300. I like the P300's pocketability, 24mm, 30p at 1080 (the major selling point for me, as opposed to the lame 24p of the S100), snappiness, fast lens and very-very-very reliable IS - but definitely not the no-RAW and aggressive-NR approach of the camera. I would have happily paid for a more expensive camera with the same (or more) feature set and at least as good image quality as the P300 with RAW output AND settable NR.

Well, no problem, I'll go for the Nokia 808 now and, later, probably an RX100 too. Sorry Nikon, another paying customer less.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Jun 23, 2012)

If this is a "budget camera" then someone must explain why Amazon will sell it for $327 while the Canon S100 and Panasonic LX5 are sold by the same vendor for $369.

Compared to those two gems, the P310 should be selling for $189, and not just $40 less.

4 upvotes
ukrbearcat
By ukrbearcat (Jun 23, 2012)

>Clearly, the older P300 has better image quality.
>The side by side comparisons clearly prove it.
LOL! Too many "clearly" does not make things right. The picture quality of P310 is better than of P300. One of the reasons is that you can control the level of noise reduction of P310. NR in P300 is too high and with P310 on low NR you can get much better pictures.
Regarding the price tag, these days you can buy P310 for 265$, say on Abes of Maine. For the fast compact with manual controls, very decent pics with ISO <=400 it is a reasonable price. Any other compact with full manual controls and price < 270$?

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Hachu21
By Hachu21 (Jun 23, 2012)

hmm... yes! Canon Elph 500 HS (Ixus 310 HS). just one exemple, there are some other models in the same range.

0 upvotes
ukrbearcat
By ukrbearcat (Jun 24, 2012)

to Hachu21: My bad ... I simply don't like touch screen interface on digital cameras. But if you add f1.8 to my question, then the answer is "no".

0 upvotes
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Jun 24, 2012)

ukrbearcat,
based on the comparison tool, I cannot see how you come to that P310 has better IQ than P300. No change in the NR can save the P310 a I see it.

Apart from that, I think that such cams do have a purpose.
I would try to get a discount on a P300 in the shop, arguing it is yesterdays model and has less pixels .. ;)

0 upvotes
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Jun 24, 2012)

(deleted - double post)

Comment edited 29 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
ukrbearcat
By ukrbearcat (Jun 25, 2012)

>No change in the NR can save the P310 a I see it.
Very questionable! And it is not just my point of view.

Check
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1007&message=41148417

I have already pointed out that with the low NR settings the pictures of P310 are better than the ones of P300 (on P300 you can't change the NR settings). The problem with the comparison tool is that the pictures of P300 and P310 have been taken with default (very aggressive) NR settings.

The math is simple: "the sensor" + 4 mp on p310 produces more noise than "the sensor" on P300. Clearly that in this case the same aggressive NR will kill more details on the picture produced by P310 compared to the picture produced by P300.
I am simply saying that P310 with low NR (less aggressive NR) gives some noise but produces more details than P300 with standard NR (you can't change the level of NR on P300).

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Andreas Stuebs
By Andreas Stuebs (Jun 23, 2012)

Spot the mistake:

(an f/4.9 aperture with a sensor this small is equivalent in depth of field terms to f/36.8 in full-frame 135mm terms). (page 2 of the review)

either 35mm or 135 Format - 135mm makes the format larger than 4x5inch

1 upvote
gl2k
By gl2k (Jun 23, 2012)

Does someone really still buy such a cam ?
Smartphones have taken over.

1 upvote
MichaelEchos
By MichaelEchos (Jun 23, 2012)

I didn't know smart phone have such external controls and zooms.

7 upvotes
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (Jun 23, 2012)

Do people really still make STUPID coments about mobie phones being a better proposition/taking over from dedicated cameras?

8 upvotes
Shelly Glaser
By Shelly Glaser (Jun 23, 2012)

They don't, but the people looking for this kind of camera would not see the difference.

2 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Jun 23, 2012)

Nikon please go back to the drawing board... like you should have, with your failed 1 series...

The Canon IXUS 100 IS (SD 780 IS) just blasts this P310 into oblivion. And to think the Canon uses the same size sensor and came out 3 years ago, in 2009!

It also has an OPTICAL VIEWFINDER. One of the smallest P&S to have one!

Nope. I'll buy another second hand Canon IXUS 100 IS from eBay for the exorbitant amount of... (trumpets)... $35

.

6 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Jun 23, 2012)

Well, you may not have handled both cameras. The P300 / P310 has definitely better IS and AF / shutter lag than the Canon IXUS 100 IS. And I haven't even talked about 24mm (the Canon starts at 33mm), bright lens (1.7 vs. 3.2 - no competition really!)

There is simply no comparison - the P3x0 are way better.

2 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Jun 24, 2012)

The 780 has a f2.8 max aperture and only zooms out to 33mm. Not exactly the same as 24mm and f1.8. And the sensors of that era were pitiful above ISO 400.

0 upvotes
techmine
By techmine (Jun 24, 2012)

Clearly you haven't used Nikon P3xx cameras.while others have pointed out how wide and bright this lens is, the macro and IS in these Nikons are amongt the best I have ever seen. These cameras lie at the tipping point where enthusiasts P&S cameras take over like S95 and LX5 and X10. This camera takes great Macro, food, pet shots.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
wy2lam
By wy2lam (Jun 23, 2012)

A very nice compact, too bad ISO 800 is crap.

2 upvotes
ukrbearcat
By ukrbearcat (Jun 24, 2012)

What do you shoot with ISO 800?

0 upvotes
Dougbm_2
By Dougbm_2 (Jun 25, 2012)

That is due to the small sensor. Puzzling why Nikon didn't match the S100 at least if not the X10.

0 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (Jun 23, 2012)

Shoulda put the CX sensor in this. Oh wait, Sony already did.

9 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Jun 23, 2012)

Oh snap!

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Jun 23, 2012)

"Shoulda put the CX sensor in this. Oh wait, Sony already did."

I wish... unfortunately, the RX100 starts at 28mm (the biggest difference, optics-wise). The optics may have been too large for 24mm / the IQ too low? Dunno. Nevertheless, one of the major selling points of the P3x0 series has always been the 24mm lens.

1 upvote
Jonathan F/2
By Jonathan F/2 (Jun 23, 2012)

People buy a P&S camera to shoot raw? Why?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 29 seconds after posting
1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Jun 23, 2012)

Better IQ.

2 upvotes
solarsky
By solarsky (Jun 23, 2012)

Think! Possibly twice...

1 upvote
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Jun 23, 2012)

"People buy a P&S camera to shoot raw? Why?"

In this case: the Nikon P3x0 series have always used over-agressive NR active even at base ISO. Nikon hasn't ever fixed this problem with a firmware upgrade for the P300 (and I don't think they will for the 310 either.)

And, of course, the other usual RAW goodies: PP, WB setting in PP, highlight recovery etc. (Nevertheless, it's the aggressive NR that I'd prefer using RAW for every single shot I make with these P3x0 series cameras.)

0 upvotes
happypoppeye
By happypoppeye (Jun 23, 2012)

Not sure ...maybe because they don't know how to shoot in jpeg...???...

No, seriously though, because these are the people who are more worried about technical specs than photo ability ...sharpness over focal point, micro contrast over composition, etc, etc ...and you do have to remeber this is a gear site, not a photography site

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ukrbearcat
By ukrbearcat (Jun 24, 2012)

Well, it is good to know that the NR can be controlled on P310 (and can't on p300). You can't completely get rid of NR, but you can at least use a low NR option.

1 upvote
Simon97
By Simon97 (Jun 23, 2012)

Lens looks soft on the right side. How many tries will Nikon get, DPR?

1 upvote
magneto shot
By magneto shot (Jun 23, 2012)

"using a smaller sensor to keep the cost down" . well sounds familiar kind of decision making ...nikon 1 vs 4/3....and here is where its "enthusiasts" aint so interested in...
hello, Nokia 808 have a much bigger sensor and innovation. Maybe nokia should start doing camera and gives these boring companies and tis never ending MP baloney a wake up call

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
MichaelEchos
By MichaelEchos (Jun 23, 2012)

The Nokia 808 has smaller sensor than the Nikon 1 series, and pixel binning is nothing special.
You are clearly confused by marketing.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Jun 23, 2012)

"The Nokia 808 has smaller sensor than the Nikon 1 series, and pixel binning is nothing special.
You are clearly confused by marketing."

1, the OP referred to the 1/2.3" sensor of the p3x0 series, NOT the Nikon 1.

2, I heartily recommend the comparative test shots of GSMA, CNet Asia etc. The 808 has excellent IQ.

2 upvotes
LJohnK2
By LJohnK2 (Jun 23, 2012)

....another lackluster P&S offering from Nikon, very disappointing....not sure why a company that makes such great DSLR's can't make a decent compact

7 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (Jun 23, 2012)

Because a decent compact at current tech level easily replaces an entry-level DSLR in about 90% of shooting situations. But they'd rather have you buy a DSLR anyway.

5 upvotes
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (Jun 23, 2012)

So why bother?

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Jun 23, 2012)

"Because a decent compact at current tech level easily replaces an entry-level DSLR in about 90% of shooting situations. But they'd rather have you buy a DSLR anyway."

I don't think that's right.

1, Nikon has never been particularly strong at the P&S sector (as opposed to the DSLR one).

2, Sony also has DSLR's and mirrorless cameras "to protect"; still, they have released the excellent RX100.

All in all, it's Nikon's (comparative - to, say, Sony) inability to engineer a truly breakthrough P&S that is the problem here and not their protecting their DSLR sales.

1 upvote
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (Jun 23, 2012)

Im a pretty intelligent guy who likes armature photography, the person I guess this camera is aimed at .... Unfortunately I'm not stupid, hence the reason why I have an S95 and a Nex for my portable offering .... Who on earth (who could appreciate the small benefits of this camera (f1.8) is gonna buy it???????

Comment edited 56 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Jun 23, 2012)

"

Im a pretty intelligent guy who likes armature photography, the person I guess this camera is aimed at .... Unfortunately I'm not stupid, hence the reason why I have an S95 and a Nex for my portable offering .... Who on earth (who could appreciate the small benefits of this camera (f1.8) is gonna buy it???????"

If this was meant to be an answer to my post, I'd like to point out that I strictly explained why I don't think Nikon deliberately "dumbs down" their P&S models. (1, Sony doesn't do it. 2, Nikon's P&S cameras have always been somewhat worse than the competition's - Nikon seems to be just unable to come up with a really competitive P&S camera. They lack the knowledge? Dunno...)

0 upvotes
ukrbearcat
By ukrbearcat (Jun 24, 2012)

2chadley_chad:
>Who on earth (who could appreciate the small benefits of this >camera (f1.8) is gonna buy it???????
The one who is on a tight budget and doesn't want to pay 370$ instead of 270$. The one who wants some relatively cheap camera with good image quality and manual controls!

0 upvotes
ukrbearcat
By ukrbearcat (Jun 23, 2012)

The review looks a bit ridiculous. Who uses ISO 3200 on a compact camera? It is clear that this camera is not for astrophotography. Also, everyone compares it to the cameras which are at least 1/3 more expensive. I would say that this is the best camera with a price below 300$. The pictures are sharp. The colors are quite accurate. The lens is quite bright and fast. The screen is the best I have seen on compacts, much better than the screen of Canon S100. By the way, I am a Pentax K20 user.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
JackM
By JackM (Jun 23, 2012)

No control ring around the lens = fail.

1 upvote
EmmanuelStarchild
By EmmanuelStarchild (Jun 23, 2012)

Looks like a Leica knockoff.

0 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (Jun 23, 2012)

you mean Canon S100 knockoff.

5 upvotes
Chaitanya S
By Chaitanya S (Jun 23, 2012)

except for the X series of compacts, other Leica compacts are rebadged Panasonic Lumix cameras.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jun 23, 2012)

Without RAW I wouldn't consider it. Maybe for wife or mom. But I'll take the X10 or RX100. In fact, I already have.

3 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Jun 23, 2012)

Same here. I would never buy a camera that can't shoot RAW at this point.

1 upvote
Yod
By Yod (Jun 23, 2012)

Consideriing this camera has a smaller sensor than the S100 and still manages to deliver image quality that is almost the same,we can assume that this is a very good camera indeed,without getting you worried about the terrible Lens Error message so common in the S series.I´m a Canon user.Best wishes.Yod

3 upvotes
happypoppeye
By happypoppeye (Jun 23, 2012)

Yep...

0 upvotes
magneto shot
By magneto shot (Jun 23, 2012)

thats what they said about the nikon 1 vs 4/3 but after some "real" use, the reality sets in, smaller sensor sucks, the "deliver image quality that is almost same" is a knee jerk reaction that is founded on more hope than truth.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Jun 23, 2012)

""deliver image quality that is almost same" is a knee jerk reaction that is founded on more hope than truth."

Exactly. The p3x0 series' IQ is definitely worse than that of the Canon S9x / S100. While I do like my P300 as a generic P&S, I wouldn't make any serious shot with it. For quick holiday shots, however, it's more than sufficient.

0 upvotes
kamenal
By kamenal (Jun 23, 2012)

How do you explain a much inferior IQ of the P310 vs P300 on Studio Comparison Tool?
Thanks.

1 upvote
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (Jun 23, 2012)

+1. There is clear lack of sharpness in the test shots.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Jun 23, 2012)

+ 4 Mpixels?

2 upvotes
happypoppeye
By happypoppeye (Jun 23, 2012)

+1 on the +4 Mpixels

0 upvotes
BJN
By BJN (Jun 22, 2012)

Raw is descriptive of the format, it's not an acronym (raw, not RAW – unless you're shouting at a sushi making competition). I think tkbslc is correct that when you settle for the small sensor you're not likely to fret too much about not getting raw files.

3 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jun 23, 2012)

Thanks for the lesson, but nobody thinks it's an acronym, but just as file discriptors like JPEG, TIFF, are often written in upper case, so can the word RAW. You don't write nef, orf, cr2, pef, dng, etc, in lower case, why write raw that way?

2 upvotes
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (Jun 23, 2012)

NEF, ORF, CR2, DNG are acronyms. Raw is not.

2 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Jun 23, 2012)

RAW is spelled RAW in every camera manual and spec sheet from every brand. The RAW file format they use is their own, so if they wan't to call it RAW I will type it RAW.

1 upvote
swhs
By swhs (Jun 24, 2012)

> Thanks for the lesson, but nobody thinks it's an acronym, but just as file discriptors like JPEG, TIFF, are often written in upper case, so can the word RAW.

Apparantly you need the lesson, because JPEG and TIFF are acronyms, not 'file descriptors', whatever that is...

Raw files are raw, not RAW, therefore uppercase is inappropriate.

1 upvote
Dougbm_2
By Dougbm_2 (Jun 25, 2012)

I like my sushi RAW!

0 upvotes
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (Jun 22, 2012)

People who don't want raw can just not use it. Leaving it out is marketing being stupid.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Jun 22, 2012)

I think if the P310 was just a little bit more slim (lens flush with body) and a hair less expensive (say $250) it would be a lot more exciting.

It's still not a bad "cheap" alternative to the S100. You get the same lens specs and great image quality. Yes the S100 is a little better in just about every way, and shoots RAW, but it is also about 35% more money. RAW would be nice, but lets be honest, RAW doesn't really provide much latitude on small sensors.

1 upvote
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (Jun 23, 2012)

1/1.7 is already a small sensor. How much less highlight recovery and shadow detail are we talking about relative to 1/1.7" cameras?

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Jun 23, 2012)

I don't see much benefit shooting RAW with my LX5, so I'd have to say the bar is already low.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Jun 22, 2012)

While this is probably an adequate camera I wonder if they realize that over time, this long string of mediocre cameras could hurt Nikon's good name. If they don't have the size and manufacturing efficiencies that Canon and Fuji have they should concentrate on what they do well.

1 upvote
Guidenet
By Guidenet (Jun 22, 2012)

Nikon just doesn't understand the buyers of this kind of camera, I think. Why no RAW? Why such a small sensor? Do they really think we can't see how slow this lens gets so fast? I love Nikon and have been a user of Nikon gear since 1968. I have LF Nikon lenses and enlarger lenses. I wouldn't own a CoolPix on a bargain. I do own a Canon S95 however.

Nikon ought to have two branches. They need the entry level guys who take care of most Coolpix and SLR models from D3200 to D7000. Then the other team manages high end point and shoots and D300s class and better SLRs. The high end point and shoots would get a different name. The Nikon One is in the entry level class because of it's controls. A better balanced Nikon One might get marketed by the high end group later.

I can't imagine a person who'd own a D300s or D800 who would consider a compact that couldn't store RAW files. I just don't know what's wrong with them sometimes. What would it take to store RAW files? Software!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
8 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Jun 22, 2012)

Remember how slow the P7000 was dealing with RAW? Maybe they don't have the cpu power to handle it.

Also, I would imaging the noise is pretty bad at RAW level as well as the vignetting and distortion.

1 upvote
happypoppeye
By happypoppeye (Jun 23, 2012)

If I want to take shots in RAW, well, I would use my D700 or D800...???... leave it out, make it cheaper.

1 upvote
davebot900
By davebot900 (Jun 23, 2012)

I don't quite get how allowing RAW shooting would cost more CPU power or raise the cost of the camera. It already shoots RAW anyway, all you'd be doing is removing the JPEG conversion, or am I missing something?

4 upvotes
happypoppeye
By happypoppeye (Jun 23, 2012)

davebot900 ...not sure if your missing anything but if you are check under the couch cushions or under the seat in your car ...thats where I usually find missing items ;)

0 upvotes
Guidenet
By Guidenet (Jun 24, 2012)

Davebot is right. All cameras shoot RAW. That's all they can do. Software in the camera converts it to a Jpeg. Storing the RAW for those who'd prefer to do the conversion and editing in a computer seems trivial to me. It is trivial, for heaven's sake.

I"d also bet that people who don't understand this probably don't shoot RAW in their D700 or D800. It's a pity the cameras are wasted so, IMO.

There really is no excuse I can think of except a purposeful marketing department. As far as noise is concerned, you can't see a RAW file. It's not an image. It's just the storage of the red, green and blue dots from the sensor. Anything the camera can do as far a noise reduction can be done in software out of the camera. It's trivial.

0 upvotes
rpm40
By rpm40 (Jun 22, 2012)

With the smaller sensor and no Raw, this thing would have struggled against the competition before. Following the RX-100, it's DOA.

4 upvotes
ybizzle
By ybizzle (Jun 22, 2012)

RX-100 is 2x the price though!

2 upvotes
Dianoda
By Dianoda (Jun 22, 2012)

Err, the RX-100 has a $650 price tag, not really fair to compare it to a camera that's selling for around $280. Better comparison is to the Canon S100 - and by shelling out the extra $90 for the S100 you get quite a bit more in the IQ department (better looking JPEGs, RAW output, and much better at High ISO). The XZ-1 output looks quite a bit better, too (really great looking ISO100 RAWs from the XZ-1).

2 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Jun 22, 2012)

Not even in the same category, bro.

0 upvotes
rpm40
By rpm40 (Jun 24, 2012)

I'm not saying they're comparable. In fact- I'm saying they're not. The Nikon is stuck in no man's land. The average consumer won't buy it because it's too expensive, "only 4x zoom", "not enough megapixels", and so on. On the other hand, informed shoppers who want a capable compact will usually be smart enough to choose one of the better alternatives, like the xz-1 or s100 (or maybe spring for the rx100).

The market is very competitive right now, and there just isn't much room for a camera that is class-lagging in many respects. Hence, DOA.

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Rachotilko
By Rachotilko (Jun 22, 2012)

What's up with the lens ? And why has the reviewer not mentioned that ?

0 upvotes
Sad Joe
By Sad Joe (Jun 22, 2012)

Can't understand why Nikon have never been successful at doing an S90/S95/S100 style model - despite all the help they are now able to access from Sony. Of course the Canon S90 & S95 both use Sony sensors, the new Sony DSC RX100 is the most interesting new camera I've seen from Sony in a age ( I don't like their DSLRs, nor their NEX models) so how about it Nikon?

3 upvotes
Sad Joe
By Sad Joe (Jun 22, 2012)

Sorry Nikon still not a Canon S series camera beater

0 upvotes
ianimal
By ianimal (Jun 22, 2012)

Not to be to critical about a camera like this with small sensor. But there looks to be fog in the studio. I don't know why they include ISO 6400 when the quality is like this. A bit more noise reduction and the complete image would look like abstract art, maybe in the color of grey.

Yes, let's see a review of the Sony RX100 as soon as possible.

Comment edited 55 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
AkinaC
By AkinaC (Jun 22, 2012)

As a P300 user who just brought P300 just before P310 released, I'm glad I brought this rather than the P310 because the sensor has no improvement (except pixels). And after I read this review I'm sure I didn't made a mistake. (btw I can't believe the P310 has less good optics, this seems the the in the S95 and S100 situation as well)
Looking forward to see how the RX100 do.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 156
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