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Nikon Coolpix P3 8.1MP Digital Camera
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by Rob Williams on July 20, 2006 in Digital Cameras

If you are looking to spend a little extra money for a camera that provides many features and great image quality, you will want to take a look at the P3. It’s capable of 8.1 megapixel images that are actually quite clear at full resolution. In the arsenal is also VGA video quality, vibration reduction and more.

Introduction

Nikon is known not only for their great cameras, but also their wide selection. This will be the third Nikon review here at Techgage, and it certainly will not be the last. In the past, I took the Coolpix L1 for a spin, but I was not impressed by the overall package. It took good quality pictures for a camera in it’s price-range, but it lacked in a few areas. Just a few weeks ago, I published our Coolpix S4 review, which I enjoyed far more than the L1 due to it’s nice zoom capabilities and macro functions.

Today I will be taking a thorough look at the P3, which is designated as a Performance model. In terms of their basic digital camera selection, the P series are the cream of the crop. L is for lifestyle, which are strictly for the casual user who wants a great point and shoot style camera. S is style, and as we seen in our S4 review, it’s easy to tell why they set that as a special category. So, without a doubt the P3 should prove to be the top Nikon camera we’ve taken a look at, as it should be for a camera in the ~$400 range.

While the P3 looks like a rather generic camera, there’s a lot behind it’s tiny frame. It’s capable of 8.1 megapixels, which results in huge 3624*2448 images. It also includes a rather sharp 3.5x Zoom-Nikkor lens (36mm – 126mm) with a max aperture of f/2.7-5.2. While it doesn’t have a large zoom, especially compared to the S4, the P3 promises to deliver high quality snapshots at equally high resolutions.

Here are some of the official features:

  • 8.1 Megapixels with 3.5x Zoom-Nikkor Glass Lens for stunning prints as large as 20 x 30 inches
  • Incredible, Bright 2.5 inch LCD for easy composing and sharing of pictures
  • Built-in WiFi-Enabled for wireless transfer and printing
  • 10-step Aperture Priority Mode for creative control over depth of field
  • Vibration Reduction minimizes the effects of camera shake, offering equivalent shutter speeds of up to 3 stops faster for more flexibility with handheld shooting
  • Nikon Exclusive Feature System: In-Camera Red-Eye Fix automatically removes most instances of red-eye in the camera; Face-Priority AF, Nikon’s face-finding technology that automatically focuses on faces; D-Lighting lightens dark pictures in-camera for great prints right out of the camera
  • Includes a Rechargeable EN-EL5 Battery and Battery Charger; take up to 200 pictures on a single charge
  • USB and PictBridge Compatible
  • MSRP: $449.95

Now for the in-depth specifications:

  • Effective pixels: 8.1 million
  • CCD: 1/1.8-inch type (8.31 million total pixels)
  • Image modes: 8M (3264), 5M (2592), 3M (2048), PC (1024), TV (640), 3:2 (3264)
  • Lens: 3.5x Zoom-Nikkor; 7.5-26.3mm (35mm [135] format equivalent to 36-126mm); f/2.7-5.2; 7 elements in 6 groups; Digital zoom: up to 4x
  • Focus range: 12.0 in. (30cm) to infinity, 1.6 in. (4cm) to infinity in Macro Mode
  • LCD monitor: 2.5-inch type, 150,000-dot TFT LCD monitor with brightness adjustment
  • Storage media: Internal memory (approx. 23MB), SD memory card
  • Shooting modes: Auto, Programmed Auto, Aperture Priority Auto Mode, 9 Advanced Scene Modes (Portrait [Face AF], Portrait, Night Portrait, Landscape, Night landscape, Sunset, Dusk/Dawn, Fireworks show, Close up), 7 Scene Modes (Party/Indoor, Panorama assist, Beach/Snow, Back light, Museum, Copy, Sports), BSS (Best Shot Selector), Date imprint, Self-timer (3, 10 sec.)
  • Movie: With sound: TV movie (640) at 30fps, Small size (320) at 30fps, Smaller size (160) at 30fps; Without sound: Time-lapse movie at 30fps, lens shift VR (Vibration Reduction) Normal available
  • Capture modes: 1) Single, 2) Continuous H (approx. 1.8fps), 3) Multi-shot 16 (approx 1.7fps, only available at image size 8M), 4) Ultra HS (up to 100 pictures at up to 30fps), 5) 5 Shot Buffer (approx 1.8fps), 6) Interval timer shooting
  • Number of frames (with internal memory): : 8M: Fine: approx. 6, Normal: approx. 12, Basic: approx. 23
  • Built-in flash: Range: 1′ 4″ to 13’/0.4-4.0m (W), 1′ 4″ to 6’7″/0.4-2.0m (T); Flash modes: Auto, Auto with Red-eye Reduction (In-Camera Red-Eye Fix), FlashCancel, Anytime Flash, Slow Sync
  • Interface: IEEE 802.11b/g, USB, Audio Video output
  • Wireless capability: IEEE802.11b/g, wireless range up to 30m (depending on environment)
  • Supported languages: German/ English/ Spanish/ French/ Italian/ Dutch/ Russian/ Swedish/ Japanese/ Simplified Chinese/ Traditional Chinese/ Korean/ Thai/ Portuguese/ Polish/ Indonesian/ Finnish/ Danish/ Norwegian/ Czech selectable in menu display
  • Power Requirements: EN-EL5 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL5 (supplied), EH-62A AC Adapter (optional)
  • Battery Life: Approx 200 shots with EN-EL5 Rechargeable Battery (based on CIPA standard*)
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): Approx. 3.6 x 2.4 x 1.2 in. (92 x 61 x 31mm)
  • Weight: Approx. 5.9 oz. (170g) (without battery and SD memory card)
  • Supplied Accessories: EN-EL5 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery, MH-61 Battery Charger, USB Cable UC-E6, EG-CP14 Audio Video Cable, Strap, PictureProject CD-ROM


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