Summary: While image quality is there and controls are very responsive, certain important aspects of the P300 are slow: shot-to-shot speed, autofocus and video-recording start. Battery-life is below average as well.
Pros: Ultra-Bright F/1.8 lens, lowers required ISO, Excellent automatic white-balance, Good image colors, Reliable metering, Uniform brightness, No noticeable distortion, Very responsive controls, Short shutter-lag, Dual-control dials in compact body, Excellent LCD visibility, Easy user interface
Cons: Visible noise at all ISO sensitivities, Slow shot-to-shot speed, Slow startup, Strong corner softness, Blank display during continuous drive, Video-recording delay, Impossible to set up video framing, Not exposure-priority, No histogram in Manual mode, EC, Short battery life
Summary: The P300 is a decent compact that provides a good number of manual shooting controls that place this camera a step above other point and shoots. Unfortunately the absence of RAW capability and over-processing at base ISO prevent this camera from achieving its potential.
Pros: Fast lens on the wide end of the zoom (f/1.8), Very wide 24mm equiv. is great for landscape and indoor shots, AF illuminator effective in low light, Relatively simple operational ergonomics provide high level of manual control, USB charging is convenient (but makes it awkward to keep a second bat...
Cons: No 'quick' menu for commonly-accessed shooting settings, No control over noise reduction/sharpening, At 100%, even low ISO images look 'crunchy' due to noise reduction and sharpening, No direct access to ISO or White Balance (you have to go through the menu system), No RAW capture option, Four-wa...
Excerpt: My first ever camera of any sort was a Nikon CoolPix 800 digicam which I brought along on my honeymoon (this was in the year 2000, by the way) and it’s the camera I credit with getting me hooked on photography.
Pros: wide and fast (f/1.8!) lens, full HD 1080p video with stereo sound, plus the ability to zoom while recording, crisp and sharp LCD display, dedicated Movie button makes it so easy to jump between photo and video coverage, useful creative modes and in-camera postprocessing
Cons: actual sensor size lets down the capabilities of the P300′s lens, battery life passable but not great, control scheme a little fiddly, not as intuitive as some of the competition, very strong competition in this price range
Summary: The Nikon P300, while not quite perfect, delivers a lot of bang for your buck – shooting 1080p video and solid images up to ISO 800. The controls are a bit of mixed bag as they give enthusiasts a serious level of control over their exposures; however, they are forced to dig into the menu system for...
Summary: Despite its £300 RRP, that price point is actually a quarter less than the recommended prices of the Canon PowerShot S95 , Panasonic Lumix LX5 and Olympus XZ-1 . Granted those three models’ prices have come down, but the Nikon price will also see a natural shift after a similar period of time.
Pros: small size, dual rotational wheels for ease of use, bright aperture at wideangle, 1080p HD movie setting
Cons: no hotshoe, standard-sized 1/2.3in compact sensor, lack of control buttons, no manual focus
Conclusion: I love the way the Nikon P300 looks. Its styling is retro, recalling those old famous Leica cameras. That's about all I like about it. Image quality is probably average for a compact with a sensor this size. Video quality is poor, despite the massive full HD-resolution.
Summary: There is much to like about the Nikon Coolpix P300, not least its style, simplicity and fast lens. However, in offering an f/1.8 lens and full manual control it seems an opportunity has been missed by not including raw shooting.
Conclusion: As mentioned in the features section the Nikon Coolpix P300 does not offer quite the same range of features that some advanced compacts offer. When you compare prices though against say the Panasonic Lumix DMC LX5 and the Canon Powershot S95 you will see the Coolpix P300 is a fair bit cheaper.
Pros: Picture quality, features, compact size, value for money