Nikon Coolpix P510 Review
Video with stereo sound, albeit without an external microphone, can be recorded in full 1920 x 1080p or 1280 x 720, iFrame at 960 x 540, or 640 x 480 all at 30fps. The P510 also offers high speed and slow motion video options, which are fun to use, although small file sizes are best for Web and computer viewing. Zoom is enabled during video capture although you may hear the lens movement. It's easier and quieter to use the slower-moving zoom lever on the lens barrel although ambient noise will often mask the sound of the lens motor.
Video quality is pretty good for casual viewing and auto white balance and auto exposure worked quite well outdoors in sunlight and shadow. Test footage was clear and nicely saturated although the autofocus can take a little while to catch up when using full-time AF. Occasionally, however, the lens simply refused to focus when zooming in on a subject, and its attempts to refocus can be distracting, as you can see from the first clip, below.
|The P510 features a built-in stereo microphone, the apertures for which are positioned on either side of the flash housing.||Movie recording is initiated using this button, positioned on the rear of the camera within easy reach of the thumb.|
Sample Video 1
The P510 doesn't have a problem with capturing video footage of fast-moving subjects, as this clip shows. Notice some pretty severe fringing though, around the lights in the ceiling of this subway station - something that the camera does a much better job of dealing with in still images. If you listen very carefully to the soundtrack of this clip you can here a muffled scraping noise, caused by the photgrapher's hands shifting position on the camera.
|1920 x 1080 30p, 22.8MB, MOV, 10 sec. Click here to download original file|
Sample Video 2
The P510's stereo microphone apertures are well-separated, on opposite sides of the flash/EVF housing. As a consequence, although L-R separation isn't fantastic, it's a lot better than we've seen from many compact cameras that record stereo sound. In this clip, notice how the P510 loses and re-aquires focus several times as its lens is zoomed during recording.
|1920 x 1080 30p, 49.6MB, MOV, 21 sec. Click here to download original file|
Sample Video 3
Smooth motion and plenty of detail in this clip, but again, as the zoom is activated and the camera panned, AF 'hunts' distractingly a couple of times. The P510's optical vibration reduction system does a good job of keeping footage stable at the long end of the zoom, though.
|1920 x 1080 30p, 53.3MB, MOV, 23 sec. Click here to download original file|