Summary: Overall, the Nikon Coolpix P3 is a competent compact that takes excellent pictures. It is an unobtrusive camera that is easy to use and like. It doesn't look fancy like some of today's ultra-slims or prior "swivel-body" Nikons. Instead, the P3 counts on Nikon quality and some interesting technology to impress.
Pros: 802.11b/g wireless image transfer and printing, Solid, no-nonsense design and construction, Very effective vibration reduction mode, Good balance of automatic and scene modes with manual adjustment
Cons: Relatively large and heavy, No voice recording mode, Fairly basic design and feature set
Conclusion: The Nikon Coolpix P3 has 8 megapixels, a 3.5X optically image stabilized lens, a 2.5 inch LCD, aperture control and WiFi as well. If you've seen the P4, then you've seen the P3 - these twin cameras have everything except WiFi in common. The Nikon Coolpix P3 has good build quality save for the two weak plastic spots.
Pros: 3.5x zoom lens with optical image stabilization, 2.5 inch LCD with average resolution and visibility, Good build quality, Aperture control and some other changeable settings, User-friendly; many scene modes and built-in help, Interval shooting feature can be useful, Built-in WiFi; same price as P4 (At time of writing), Nice VGA movie recording at 30 FPS, Above average, good image quality
Cons: Below average battery life, Not for low-light; fairly weak flash, poor AF in the dark, no ISO 800, Slow performance in almost all aspects, small buffer, No control over shutter speed, no live histogram either, Plastic compartment door and tripod mount, No remote shooting and camera-to-camera transfer, Wireless print adapter will cost you extra
Conclusion: The Coolpix P3 offers a reviewer something of a dilemma; am I to judge it based on its potential to produce superb images in the right hands? Or do I rate it on the fact that not only do the default settings result in images that are way too soft and 'flat' for what we presume to be the target users, but that the autofocus and auto exposure systems often get things wrong too?
Pros: Good resolution, Comprehensive feature set, Vibration Reduction system, Superb build quality and good handling, Excellent macro mode, Subtle, 'unprocessed' results, Excellent flash performance, Unique features such as D-Lighting, Face Priority AF, Red-eye removal, Best Shot Selector, Aperture priority mode, Good movie mode (though see below) and time lapse movie mode, Wi-Fi transfer, Fairly priced
Cons: Some exposure and white balance errors, Focus not very reliable in low light, Some aspects of user-interface are a bit fiddly, Shutter lag longer than most competitors, VR not as effective as some competitors, Noisy at ISO 400, Some focus errors (only in the default auto area AF mode), Soft results, Sound cuts out before the end of movie clips, Limitations to Wi-Fi connectivity (can't do much more than send images to a host PC), Battery life not great, Screen hard to ...
Excerpt: The Coolpix P3 is a compact (not tiny, still small enough for most pockets) rather very solid camera, easy to hold and operate with one hand, made mostly of metal. With Nikon PictureProject, the software that comes with the camera, you can adjust things like brightness, color, and sharpness, or, more advanced features you can use are D-Lighting feature (can be found in playback mode) to brighten up dark areas of your photos auto image enhancement and redeye removal...
Excerpt: The Nikon Coolpix P3 ($449) is a midrange digital camera offering an 8 Megapixel CCD, 3.5X optical zoom lens, optical image stabilization, an 2.5" LCD display, limited manual controls, and Wi-Fi functionality. The P3 shares the spotlight with its twin, the Coolpix P4, which is the same camera except that it's lacking the Wi-Fi feature. The P3's Wi-Fi system lets you transfer photos directly to your computer as soon as you take them.
Pros: Very good image quality, Compact, well put together body (for the most part), Optical image stabilization, Built-in 802.11b/g for wireless photo transfer (though see issues below), Large, high resolution LCD display; screen is visible in low light, Limited manual controls, Tons of scene modes, In-camera help system, Handy D-Lighting and Best Shot Selector features, Nice movie mode (though note the bug below), Time-lapse photo and movie modes
Cons: Images a bit soft for my taste, Redeye, Sound cuts out prematurely in movie mode, Poor low light focusing despite having an AF-assist lamp, No optical viewfinder, Can't e-mail or upload files wirelessly; camera can't be controller wirelessly, Really could've used a shutter priority mode, Not much built-in memory, No USB 2.0 High Speed support, Plastic tripod mount, flimsy cover over battery/memory card compartment
Summary: The Nikon Coolpix P3 is quite a camera,
with a very effective Vibration Reduction (VR)
technology (Nikon speak for Image Stabilization)
and no-hassle Wi-Fi wireless transfer of your
images from camera to PC. Though it does not offer
total exposure flexibility, it does give more
experienced photographers Programmed Auto and
Excerpt: Physical Views The Coolpix P3 compared to a standard CD disc. The Coolpix P3 and the Coolpix P4 which is identical but lacks WiFi capability. Continue to the Features & Controls Page Coolpix P3 Specifications Effective pixels: 8.1 million CCD: 1/1.8-inch high-density CCD (8.3 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 format equivalent to approx.
Summary: Like its older siblings, the P1 and P2, the Nikon Coolpix P3 has a limited Wi-Fi capability and excellent image quality. Better value and quicker performance can be found in the company's nonwireless offerings.
Pros: Wi-Fi file transfer and printing, Excellent image quality, Many photo options
Cons: No Wi-Fi e-mail or Web posting, No remote camera operation using Wi-Fi, No manual exposure control