Login or Join Now

Upload your photos, chat, win prizes and much more

Username:
Password:
Remember Me

Can't Access your Account?

New to ePHOTOzine? Join ePHOTOzine for free!

Nikon Coolpix P310 Digital Compact Camera Review

Join Now

Join ePHOTOzine, the friendliest photography community.

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more for free!

50% OFF new PortraitPro 12, plus EXTRA 5% OFF code EPHZROS414
Category: Compact Cameras
Product: Nikon Coolpix P310
Price: £195.17
Rating: 4.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 5

Nikon Coolpix P310 Digital Compact Camera Review - Daniel Bell reviews the Nikon Coolpix P310, a premium compact which has replaced the P300.

Posted:
Print Article Add Comment Add CommentJargon Buster: Off Jargon Buster: Off
Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Nikon Coolpix P310 Front Lens Extended

The Nikon Coolpix P310 was announced in February as the upgrade to the P300. It has recently won a Red Dot Award and is available in either black or white for £234.95.

Nikon Coolpix P310 Front Flash Up

Nikon Coolpix P310 Features

The P310 has a back-illuminated CMOS sensor with a bright f/1.8 4.2x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 24-100mm. To help reduce the effects of camera shake there is advanced lens-shift Vibration Reduction VR. Nikon's EXPEED C2 image processing system is designed to provide high-speed operation, enhanced movie recording, high-sensitivity performance and maximum image quality.

You can shoot in auto mode, where the camera will determine the correct settings based on the scene. Other shooting modes include auto HDR mode, Easy Panorama 360°/180° and 3D. To gain even more control there is full manual controls, including P, S, M and A modes as you would find on a DSLR. User mode will also remember your preferred camera settings. Continuous shooting mode shoots up to five full resolution shots at 6 fps or up to 30 full resolution shots at 1 fps.

After you have taken your pictures you can edit them in the Retouch menu with a range of filter effects including Selective Colour and Cross Screen.

Videos are recorded in full 1080p HD with both stereo sound, optical zoom and autofocus. The P310 can also record in slow or fast mode at up to 120 fps and can be connected to a HD TV via a HDMI cable.

Nikon Coolpix P310 Top

Key Features

  • Back-illuminated 16 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • 4.2x optical zoom f/1.8 lens (35mm equiv: 24-100mm)
  • Advanced lens-shift vibration reduction
  • 3 inch 921k dot LCD screen
  • Mode dial with manual exposure modes (P/S/A/M)
  • Full 1080p HD video recording with stereo sound and optical zoom
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • 2cm minimum focusing distance in Macro mode
  • Auto HDR mode
  • Easy Panorama 360°/180°
  • High-speed 6 fps continuous shooting
  • Available in black or white
Nikon Coolpix P310 Rear

Nikon Coolpix P310 Handling

The P310 has a solid metal body and a rubber grip for your right thumb on the rear and a thin one running down the front. Also on the front of the camera is an fn button which can be set to change a particular setting of your choice from image size, picture control, white balance, metering, continuous shooting, ISO and AF area mode. There is a dedicated movie record button as well as a rotating d-pad on the rear and mode dial on the top of the camera.

The menus are easy to navigate, pressing the menu button takes you to the setting which you can change, dependent on the mode you are shooting in. Other general settings can be change by pressing left on the d-pad. The tripod socket is metal and is near the middle of the camera. The rear of the camera hosts the 3 inch, 921k dot, LCD screen which is easy to see in bright sunlight or low light conditions and has an anti-reflective coating.

The battery has a CIPA rating of 230 shots, and during testing it proved capable of achieving this amount. We tested each camera's performance at focusing, shutter response, shot-to-shot time, continuous shooting etc. and have posted the results below. To test this we took 6 or more shots and calculated the average, so that consistent results were produced.

Shutter Response   0.15 secs
Wide - Focus and Shutter Response Average   0.5 secs
Full zoom - Focus and Shutter Response Average   0.8 secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   1.8 secs
Shot to Shot (without flash)   1.9 secs
Shot to Shot with Flash   2.4 secs
Continuous Shooting H (at full resolution)   5 fps
Continuous Shooting L (at full resolution)   1 fps

Other continuous shooting modes include Continuous H 120 fps and 60 fps, although these modes have a limited file size, VGA and 1 megapixels respectively.

Nikon Coolpix P310 Battery And Memory Card 3

Nikon Coolpix P310 Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review and product ratings.

Nikon Coolpix P310 Sample Photos

Landscape | 1/1000 sec | f/2.8 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100

Landscape | 1/1000 sec | f/2.8 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Pet Portrait | 1/200 sec | f/4.2 | 13.8 mm | ISO 100

Pet Portrait | 1/200 sec | f/4.2 | 13.8 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Portrait | 1/60 sec | f/4.2 | 11.1 mm | ISO 200

Portrait | 1/60 sec | f/4.2 | 11.1 mm | ISO 200
High-Res

HDR | 1/640 sec | f/3.5 | 8.1 mm | ISO 100

HDR | 1/640 sec | f/3.5 | 8.1 mm | ISO 100
High-Res


Sample Photos - Images are well exposed with good colour reproduction. Portraits have pleasing skin tones with no sign of red-eye. When switching to backlighting mode you can select three levels of HDR, with the example above taken using the lowest possible setting, which tends to fix shadows rather than highlights, making skies look worse than without the HDR switched on.

Nikon Coolpix P310 Lens test images

Wide Angle | 1/1000 sec | f/2.8 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100

Wide Angle | 1/1000 sec | f/2.8 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Full Optical Zoom | 1/640 sec | f/5.5 | 17.9 mm | ISO 100

Full Optical Zoom | 1/640 sec | f/5.5 | 17.9 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Digital Zoom | 1/640 sec | f/5.5 | 35.8 mm | ISO 100

Digital Zoom | 1/640 sec | f/5.5 | 35.8 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Macro | 1/13 sec | f/2.8 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100

Macro | 1/13 sec | f/2.8 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res


Lens Performance - Detail is good throughout the images whether you are shooting wide or with full optical zoom and purple fringing is kept to a minimum. With a minimum focusing distance of just 2cm the P310 is capable of an excellent macro shot.

Nikon Coolpix P310 ISO test images

ISO100 | 1/8 sec | f/4.2 | 13.8 mm

ISO100 | 1/8 sec | f/4.2 | 13.8 mm
High-Res

ISO200 | 1/13 sec | f/4.7 | 13.8 mm

ISO200 | 1/13 sec | f/4.7 | 13.8 mm
High-Res

ISO400 | 1/25 sec | f/4.7 | 13.8 mm

ISO400 | 1/25 sec | f/4.7 | 13.8 mm
High-Res

ISO800 | 1/50 sec | f/4.7 | 13.8 mm

ISO800 | 1/50 sec | f/4.7 | 13.8 mm
High-Res

ISO1600 | 1/100 sec | f/4.7 | 13.8 mm

ISO1600 | 1/100 sec | f/4.7 | 13.8 mm
High-Res

ISO3200 | 1/200 sec | f/4.7 | 13.8 mm

ISO3200 | 1/200 sec | f/4.7 | 13.8 mm
High-Res

ISO Hi1 6400 | 1/400 sec | f/4.7 | 13.8 mm

ISO Hi1 6400 | 1/400 sec | f/4.7 | 13.8 mm
High-Res


ISO Noise Performance - Images are noise free at ISO 100, with a steady increase as you go through the lowest settings of ISO 200 and 400. At ISO 800 noise causes a very slight loss in sharpness, with this becoming more significant at ISO 1600. Again, ISO 3200 has a significant amount of noise, with Hi1, equivalent to ISO 6400, having lots of noise and is more suitable for smaller sized images rather than large prints.

Nikon Coolpix P310 White-balance test images

AWB normal preset - incandescent lighting | 1/20 sec | f/3.5 | 8.1 mm | ISO 100

AWB normal preset - incandescent lighting | 1/20 sec | f/3.5 | 8.1 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

AWB warm lighting preset - incandescent lighting | 1/20 sec | f/3.5 | 8.1 mm | ISO 100

AWB warm lighting preset - incandescent lighting | 1/20 sec | f/3.5 | 8.1 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Incandescent preset - incandescent | 1/20 sec | f/3.5 | 8.1 mm | ISO 100

Incandescent preset - incandescent | 1/20 sec | f/3.5 | 8.1 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

AWB normal - fluorescent lighting | 1/5 sec | f/2.8 | 8.1 mm | ISO 100

AWB normal - fluorescent lighting | 1/5 sec | f/2.8 | 8.1 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

AWB warm lighting - fluorescent lighting | 1/5 sec | f/2.8 | 8.1 mm | ISO 100

AWB warm lighting - fluorescent lighting | 1/5 sec | f/2.8 | 8.1 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Fluorescent preset 1 - fluorescent lighting | 1/5 sec | f/2.8 | 8.1 mm | ISO 100

Fluorescent preset 1 - fluorescent lighting | 1/5 sec | f/2.8 | 8.1 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Fluorescent preset 2 - fluorescent lighting | 1/5 sec | f/2.8 | 8.1 mm | ISO 100

Fluorescent preset 2 - fluorescent lighting | 1/5 sec | f/2.8 | 8.1 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Fluorescent preset 3 - fluorescent lighting | 1/5 sec | f/2.8 | 8.1 mm | ISO 100

Fluorescent preset 3 - fluorescent lighting | 1/5 sec | f/2.8 | 8.1 mm | ISO 100
High-Res


White Balance Performance - There are two AWB settings on the P310, normal and warm lighting. Under the incandescent lights the normal setting takes the best picture, which is bettered by the incandescent preset. Performance under the fluorescent lights is good under both AWB settings, with all three available fluorescent presets giving a cast in the image.

Panorama mode - The P310 takes 360° and 180° panoramic images, which look impressive, with no signs of stitching.

180 Panorama | 1/640 sec | f/3.5 | 5.0 mm | ISO 100
180 Panorama | 1/640 sec | f/3.5 | 5.0 mm | ISO 100

360 Panorama | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 5.0 mm | ISO 100
360 Panorama | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 5.0 mm | ISO 100

Digital Filters - To add creativity to your shots, the P310 has a range of special effects and picture control modes, with examples of each below.

Nikon Coolpix P310 Digital filters

Special Effects High Contrast Monochrome | 1/25 sec | f/5.0 | 15.2 mm | ISO 500

Special Effects High Contrast Monochrome | 1/25 sec | f/5.0 | 15.2 mm | ISO 500
High-Res

Special Effects High Key | 1/25 sec | f/5.0 | 15.2 mm | ISO 800

Special Effects High Key | 1/25 sec | f/5.0 | 15.2 mm | ISO 800
High-Res

Special Effects Low Key | 1/80 sec | f/5.0 | 15.2 mm | ISO 400

Special Effects Low Key | 1/80 sec | f/5.0 | 15.2 mm | ISO 400
High-Res

Special Effects Nostalgic Sepia | 1/25 sec | f/5.0 | 15.2 mm | ISO 500

Special Effects Nostalgic Sepia | 1/25 sec | f/5.0 | 15.2 mm | ISO 500
High-Res

Special Effects Painting | 1/25 sec | f/5.0 | 15.2 mm | ISO 500

Special Effects Painting | 1/25 sec | f/5.0 | 15.2 mm | ISO 500
High-Res

Special Effects Selective Colour | 1/25 sec | f/5.0 | 15.2 mm | ISO 500

Special Effects Selective Colour | 1/25 sec | f/5.0 | 15.2 mm | ISO 500
High-Res

Special Effects Silhouette | 1/40 sec | f/5.0 | 15.2 mm | ISO 400

Special Effects Silhouette | 1/40 sec | f/5.0 | 15.2 mm | ISO 400
High-Res

Special Effects Soft | 1/25 sec | f/5.0 | 15.2 mm | ISO 500

Special Effects Soft | 1/25 sec | f/5.0 | 15.2 mm | ISO 500
High-Res

Picture Control Monochrome | 1/5 sec | f/4.5 | 15.2 mm | ISO 100

Picture Control Monochrome | 1/5 sec | f/4.5 | 15.2 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Picture Control Neutral | 1/6 sec | f/4.5 | 15.2 mm | ISO 100

Picture Control Neutral | 1/6 sec | f/4.5 | 15.2 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Picture Control Standard | 1/5 sec | f/4.5 | 15.2 mm | ISO 100

Picture Control Standard | 1/5 sec | f/4.5 | 15.2 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Picture Control Vivid | 1/5 sec | f/4.5 | 15.2 mm | ISO 100

Picture Control Vivid | 1/5 sec | f/4.5 | 15.2 mm | ISO 100
High-Res


Video - Below is a video shot at full 1080p HD. Optical zoom can be used during recording, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube Page. While there you can also see a video shot using the 120 fps High Speed video mode.



Value For Money

The Nikon Coolpix P310, from £234.95, compares well to other serious compact cameras, such as the Panasonic Lumix LX5 (around £349), Canon Powershot S100 (around £359) and larger Olympus XZ-1 (£309). The other cameras in this category are much larger such as the Nikon Coolpix P7100 (£349.95) and Canon Powershot G12 (£357).

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Nikon Coolpix P310 Verdict

The Nikon Coolpix P310 is an extremely versatile camera which packs a lot of features in to a body small enough to fit in your pocket. There is very little to fault, the 4.2x optical zoom lens being quite limited given there are now cameras with a massive 42x optical zoom. There isn't the option to shoot in RAW either, but there are full manual controls, the f/1.8 maximum aperture lens and full 1080p HD video recording. Add this to the fantastic image quality and extremely competitive price, it is easy for us to Highly Recommend the P310.

 
  The Nikon Coolpix P310 offers a large range of filters, fantastic image quality and is available at a very decent price.

Nikon Coolpix P310 Pros

Feature packed
Excellent value for money
Full manual controls
Fantastic image quality
Full 1080p HD video recording with optical zoom and stereo sound
Fast f/1.8 lens

Nikon Coolpix P310 Cons

Battery life is fairly short at 240 shots
Limited zoom range
No RAW shooting

FEATURES
HANDLING
PERFORMANCE
VALUE FOR MONEY
VERDICT

Nikon Coolpix P310 Specifications

ManufacturerNikon
Lens
Max Aperture f/1.8 - f/4.9
35mm equivalent 24mm - 100mm
Optical Zoom 4.2x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels 16.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W) 4608
Pixels (H) 3456
Sensor Type Back-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
Sensor Size 1/2.3 inch
Sensor Size (width) No Data
Sensor Size (height) No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor 3in
Screen resolution 921,000
Touch Screen No
Focusing
Min Focus 2cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest 1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest 4sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity 100 - 6400
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Flash
Exposure Comp +/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting 6fps
Video
Movie mode Yes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
  • 1280x720 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPS 30
Stereo Sound Yes
Optical Zoom with Video Yes
Other Features
Image Stabilisation Yes
Interface
HDMI Yes
USB USB 2
Wi-Fi No
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery Type EN-EL12
CIPA Rating 230
Box Contents
Box Contents Camera Strap, Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12 (with terminal cover), Charging AC Adapter EH-69P, USB Cable UC-E6, Audio Video Cable EG-CP16, ViewNX 2 Installer CD, Reference Manual CD
Dimensions
Weight 194g
Width 103mm
Height 58.3mm
Depth 32mm

View Full Product Details




Explore More

Nikon Coolpix S5300 Review

Nikon Coolpix S5300 Review

Daniel Bell reviews the Nikon Coolpix S5300, a compact camer...

Nikon Coolpix S6800 Review

Nikon Coolpix S6800 Review

Daniel Bell reviews the Nikon Coolpix S6800, a compact camer...

Nikon Coolpix P600 Review

Nikon Coolpix P600 Review

The Nikon Coolpix P600 is a feature packed bridge camera - i...

Join ePHOTOzine and remove these ads.

Comments

callancool
callancool  10
25 Apr 2012 - 7:36 PM

Just looked at three reviews, the pentax vs20, the GE G100 and this one. It staggers me that camera with the best images gets the worst review, the GE G 100.

Sponsored Links
Sponsored Links 
1 Apr 2013 - 6:43 AM

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

RobertC
RobertC  1 United States
1 Apr 2013 - 6:43 AM

Nikon is just now discounting the P310 now that the P330 is out. I am very happy with this purchase of the P310 at $179 USD. It is not a $300 camera but a great low light camera at this price point.

- Original Poster Comments
- Your Posts

Add a Comment

You must be a member to leave a comment

Username:
Password:
Remember me:
Un-tick this box if you want to login each time you visit.