"NICE SMALL CAMERA"on by S-Greene
Pros Impressed image quality.
Screen is nice and bright.
Stabilisation works well.
Menu system is comprehensive and easy to use.
Flash is very intense and quick.
Well designed and feels quite solidly built.
Cons on/off button is very small .
Lack of a stand alone battery charger.
UI can appear sluggish at times as well.
Summary I have carried out a fair amount of research re the type of camera I wanted, small, GPS, HDR, and most of all capable of taking decent photos. I've even tried out some of the possible models I identified and then rejected to make sure money not spent in vain.
Although I have, and have had, quite a number of digital cameras in my time I have to say that this is my first Nikon and I'm very impressed. It's small enough to slip into a shirt pocket, the photo's in both JPEG and Raw are certainly as good as one could expect from a small (1.1/7") size sensor. Though I have to say that as someone who normally uses Canon cameras, both the JPEG and Raw pictures are slightly darker than those I am used to. The stabilisation works well, even at night hand held.
The menu system is comprehensive and easy to use, press the menu button and you are there. The menu changes depending upon whether or not one is taking photos or viewing them. But for either there are a lot of parameters than can be set to suit one's style of photography.
There is a scene mode to suit every occasion, even in museums, or you can let the camera chose the correct scene for you - I've yet to catch it out It also has PSAM for those of a more adventurous mindset. Personally I usually use 'P' and have found it takes pretty good photos most of the time, you can alter some of the parameters if required. I have not tried 'M' mode, if I think I might need that I cart a DSLR out, but the Nikon does have it. There is also a 'U' mode so the various parameters that you use most can be locked in and accessible at the turn of a dial (the one on top). The other rotary dial is used to change the various settings as required e.g f functions.
Focus is quick, I tried the camera on the same subject in the same lighting conditions against an LX3, G12, 20D, 550D and a G400. The Nikon seem to focus faster than all except the 20D and 550D (as one would expect as they are DSLR's). Unscientific I know but.................
The movie mode provides various options re movie size and speed, it allows zoom while filming and constantly focuses, pretty much all one could ask for in movie mode I believe.
I haven't made much use of GPS yet, but intend to. Signal acquisition is quick and the camera appears to hold the signal even in a car. I've taken several photo's through a car window when being driven around and the GPS data was there. Bear in mind that even when the camera is switched off the GPS system is still working if it has been enabled in the menu so it's still drawing power from the battery. It has to be switched off via the menu. There is also the option to d/l a GPS signal update file with the camera, this seems to work well and the file is available via the Nikon web site.
Zoom, standard is x5 which with the 20x and more available on some cameras some may find limiting. There is a x2 digital zoom available to boost this - and it's not too bad actually, but if your style of photography requires lots of zoom then this camera does not have it.
On the physical side the camera body feel fairly substantial and made of good material, the various knobs and dials seem fairly robust. Nothing feels cheap or that it's going to fall off. However, there are two potential problem areas. One, the door at the base of the camera for the battery and sd card is certainly plastic, don't feel like it's going to fall off but not that robust either. Two, the flash which has a bit of an odd folding back in mechanism which I suggest is treated carefully when putting back down after use or I can see it being broken.
Con's : charging is in camera, I used to like that with a Canon G2 (which I occasionally still use) but it's a bit of a pain here, probably because I take a lot more photos now. The 'door' over the charging input is rubber and does take a little juggling to reseat correctly after use, the cable is standard USB at one end and micro USB at the other. Because the charger is built into the camera which means the camera is effectively out of use during charging, to get round this one either has to buy a separate battery charger (there are some on Amazon) or a spare battery. My suggestion is to get both then power should not be an issue.
The on/off button is very small and does not protrude from the top of the case. I find that I have to be precise when pressing it or nothing happens, annoying if it's a quick shot one wants to take. Also the button presses down into the case and, presumably electronics to activate the camera, which does not sound like a recipe for longevity in the case of a rubber button. I think a slide switch like the Panasonic's might have been a better idea
Overall, a nice, small camera which takes very good photos, colour balance is almost spot on, the photos are enlargeable without masses of smearing or waterfall effect (there are limits to pixel peeping though, it's a fairly small sensor after all), movie mode functions well, though sound could be a little better, and it fits nicely in a range of pockets. Battery good for about 200 or so pics, but less if use made of GPS, probably need to get a spare batt for a full days photography.
Comes with some basic Nikon software and an ARC suit of pic manipulation programmes as well as a quick start guide. There is a fairly comprehensive manual available on the Nikon web site.
One tip for what it's worth, by chance I had a case (Sony LCSCSQ Soft Carrying case) for a Sony Cybershot DSC-HX20 I bought recently, I subsequently sent the camera back but kept the case. Lo and behold the case fits the Nikon beautifully, not too tight that it's difficult to get out and not too lose so that it rattles about, just right really, and before you will buy this camera, I suggest you have to check for best deal at: Cameras-shot.blogspot.com/p/nikon-coolpix-p330.html
Thank for reading and I hope my review is helpful.