Nikon Coolpix P510 Review
6 Conclusion & Samples
Conclusion - Pros:
- Extremely powerful 42x (24-1000mm equivalent) zoom lens
- Very capable optical image stabilization system
- Effective automatic CA/fringing correction
- PASM shooting modes
- Good image quality at low ISOs
- Good performance
- Continuous shooting up to 7fps (but only for 5 frames)
- 100% coverage for EVF and LCD
- Sharp, tiltable 3-inch LCD at 921,000 dot resolution
Conclusion - Cons:
- Small, pokey electronic viewfinder
- EVF/LCD switch is manual, not automatic
- Slow f/3-f/5.9 lens
- Occasional focus hunting at telephoto settings
- Noise levels increase noticeably at ISO 800 and above
- No RAW option
Typically, with 'superzoom' cameras like the Coolpix P510, which offer extreme zoom ranges, we'd expect image quality to take a back seat to versatility. A focal range of 24-1000mm covers pretty much any shooting situation we can think of, and although it comes with caveats (the P510's AF system isn't up to action photogrphy and atmospheric haze will take a huge bite out of sharpness and resolution if you're taking pictures of far-away objects on a sunny day, for instance) it's pretty impressive how few sacrifices we found ourselves making when shooting with the P510. As we'd expect from this sensor, based on our experience with the P310, things start to look rather muddy above ISO 800, but between ISO 100-400 the P510 delivers nice, detailed pictures. Judged purely by its image quality though, the P510 does sit towards the bottom end of the current superzoom field, something which is especially obvious at its higher ISO settings.
A long zoom is about more than bringing distant objects closer, on a camera with such a small sensor it can also be very useful for isolating more close-range subjects against their background, as a way of controlling depth of field. The P510 is a very useful portrait camera towards the long end of its zoom, but naturally, in less than perfect light, going long on a relatively slow telephoto means that you may need to raise ISO sensitivity more than you might like.
In other respects the P510 is a perfectly respectable and agreeable camera, considering its pricepoint. There are enough manual controls and bells and whistles to keep 'hands-on' photographers happy and occupied if they choose to move outside of the boundaries (and simplicity) of automatic and scene modes. The built-in GPS is great for travelers, while some of the extras like slow motion video, interval timer and photo effects will appeal to those seeking something a little different. We wish the P510 had some sort of 'quick menu' of the sort that has become all but standard on cameras in this class, but this is a relatively minor criticism.
Ultimately, the P510 surprised us. It's not perfect, but it did exceed our expectations in some important respects. If you don't need the incredibly long reach of the P510's 24-1000mm zoom, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 is arguably a better buy (it offers superior high-ISO image quality and has the distinction of offering Raw capture) but if you want a small, portable, affordable super-zoom for travelling and everyday photography, and you don't mind being limited to JPEG capture, the Nikon Coolpix P510 should be high on your shortlist.
Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category.
Click here to learn about the changes to our scoring system and what these numbers mean.
Nikon Coolpix P510
Category: Super-zoom Compact Camera
Ergonomics & handling
Exposure and focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Movie / video mode
The P510 is a well-featured little camera built around an incredible 42X zoom lens. The lens is the P510's main selling point and anyone looking for a go-everywhere camera for travel or general-purpose photography will be impressed by its versatility. Only sub-par image quality at high ISOs and slightly plasticky construction let the P510 down.
There are 37 images in this review samples gallery. Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter / magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review), we do so in good faith, please don't abuse it. Unless otherwise noted images taken with no particular settings at full resolution. Because our review images are now hosted on the 'galleries' section of dpreview.com, you can enjoy all of the new galleries functionality when browsing these samples.
|Nikon Coolpix P510 Samples Gallery (37 images) - Posted July 2012|
Jul 5, 2012
Feb 1, 2012
Jul 3, 2015
Jun 30, 2015
|Steamin' Mad by ahrensjt|
from Angered Subjects (Street Photography)
|Smile by Olymguy|
from Ultra Asian Indian Female Faces
|Space Shuttle Cockpit- by vbuhay|
from Aircraft Control Stick
If you're thinking of using Canon's sports glass on the Sony a9, think again. The ultra-fast camera slows way down when you attach off-brand glass.
The Polish town of Katowice is not known as an area of beauty, but as all photographers know, that doesn't mean that beauty can't be found if you know where to look. Mariusz Pietranek used a drone to look down on the colorful sedimentation tanks at an ironworks.
New York Times video journalist Ben Solomon spent a harrowing three weeks accompanying Iraqi Major Sajjad al-Hour as he and his men fought to retake Mosul from I.S. forces.
The 3D VR camera launched through a crowdfunding campaign in 2015 goes on sale beginning June 26.
Noctilucent clouds, a crescent moon and Venus were visible in the pre-dawn sky over Budapest yesterday. Photographer György Soponyai captured NASA's astronomy picture of the day.
Squirming pets won't sit still for photos? A Kickstarter campaign is looking to help.
Find out how Chris Burkard shifted from editorial photography to his true passions: landscapes, conservation and, of course, surfing.
The updated EyeEm app scans your camera roll and picks images that are composed particularly well, have the best quality, or highest chance of selling on EyeEm Market.
It's three years old but still a solid option for a Micro Four Thirds shooter looking for a high-quality, fast, wide-angle prime. Take a look at how we got along with it.
Tamron has announced the longest all-in-one zoom lens currently available, the 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD. Designed for Canon and Nikon crop-sensor cameras, the lens will be available in July.
When you're ready to step-up to full-frame from an entry-level or midrange camera, the choices can be overwhelming. Find out which models came out on top in our $1200-2000 enthusiast ILC roundup.
Just a guy wearing a VR headset, smashing invisible Goombas in Central Park.
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this gorgeous aerial photo of the Martian landscape. And if you look really close, you can actually see the Mars Curiosity rover in the very middle.
The city of Laguna Beach, California has provided some clarification around the kinds of photography permits it offers.
Later this year, a VR180 camera will be Joining Yi's Halo and 360 VR cameras, which will offer stereo 3D capture, yet be as easy to use and compact as a 2D camera.
Caltech researchers have developed an 'optical phased array' chip that uses time delays instead of a lens to focus the incoming light.
Pricing and shipping have finally been revealed for two highly anticipated lenses from Sigma, announced in February.
These macro photos of clouds of paint billowing through clear water might look like high-quality CGI, but they're real photographs. And photographer Alberto Seveso told us how they were made.
Facebook is testing a feature that prevents people from saving, sharing, or even taking a screenshot of your profile picture.
We've reshot the Sony a9 in our studio. The short story: it's sharper! The long story... well you can read it all here.
The collection will be officially launched during the Europeana Transcribathon Campus Berlin 2017 crowdsourcing event which will be held on 22 and 23 June at the Berlin State Library.
Light gives us some insight into the preparations for the launch of the pre-order shipments of its much anticipated L16 multi-lens camera.
OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has confirmed in a tweet that the second lens on the back of the OnePlus 5 uses a 1.6x optical zoom and that digital zoom is used to reach the claimed 2x zoom factor.
Fujifilm recently unveiled the second in its series of affordable cine lenses, the MK50-135mm T2.9. We got our hands on it for a couple days and took it for a spin.
Leica's first attempt at an M-series digital rangefinder was rough around the edges, but set a pattern for all of the cameras that came after it. In this week's Throwback Thursday article, Barney remembers the M8.
No stranger to extreme situations, legendary climber and filmmaker Jimmy Chin talks to Outside Magazine about his career, and the challenge of filming Alex Honnold's rope-free solo climb of El Capitain.
A company backed by Android co-founder Andy Rubin is attempting to make video conferencing less terrible.
Rangefinder magazine asked five professional portrait and wedding photographers about posting on Instagram; no surprise, they got five different answers.
This captivating stop motion film was created by stripping away one layer of wood at a time. It's hard to look away.
It will enable users to simulate the presence of the sun, moon and Milky Way and see how they interact with an area's topography.