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Nikon Coolpix P330 Review

Nikon Coolpix P330 Review - We review the new Nikon Coolpix P330, the camera that wants you to take it seriously.

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Nikon Coolpix P330
Price : £210
Rating :
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Nikon Coolpix P330 Black (1)

The Nikon Coolpix P330 updates the Nikon Coolpix P310 with a new 5x optical zoom lens, new larger backlit 12 megapixel CMOS sensor which is less pixels, and a larger sensor than the predecessor which should give improved image quality. In addition Nikon has added RAW shooting to this camera, a feature normally reserved for the larger P7700 series.

Nikon Coolpix P330 Features

Nikon Coolpix P330 Black (2)

The Nikon Coolpix P330 updates the Nikon Coolpix P310 with an f/1.8 5x optical zoom lens (instead of 4.2x optical zoom on the P310), ultra-wide angle 24mm equivalent at the wide end, and 120mm at the telephoto end, although at a f/5.6 aperture.

Vibration reduction is built in and uses lens-shift which when combined with the f/1.8 lens and backlit CMOS sensor should provide good low-light performance. The camera also promises 10fps continuous shooting, as well as a number of other high speed shooting modes, including 15fps at 3mp, and 60 or 120fps at 1mp. GPS is built in allowing tagging of photos, logging as well as time synchronisation.


Nikon Coolpix P330 Black (3)

Key Features

  • 12.2 megapixel backlit 1/1.7 inch CMOS sensor
  • 5x optical zoom lens, 24-120mm equivalent, f/1.8-f/5.6
  • 3inch screen
  • Built in manual pop-up flash
  • Lens shift vibration reduction
  • RAW (NRW) data processing
  • Manual mode
  • Function button
  • Full HD (1080p/60i) video, at 60, 50, 30 or 25 fps
  • 120 fps high speed video
  • 3cm Macro mode
  • Interval shooting
  • Easy panorama 180°/360°
  • Global Positioning System (GPS)
  • Compatible with the optional Wi-Fi dongle (WU-1a)

Nikon Coolpix P330 Handling

Nikon Coolpix P330 Black (4)

Handling - With a compact square design, you'd be forgiven for thinking little has changed between this new model as the predecessor, the P310. Available in black or white the compact body is made out of metal and feels well built, apart from the battery and memory card compartment which is made out of plastic and does flex. The front features a small textured rubber bar for a front grip, and the rear a reasonable sized rubber area for your thumb. Despite the square design, the camera is compact and fits easily into small pockets, similar in size to the Canon Powershot S100 / S110 cameras.

Near the lens on the front is a Fn (Function) button that can be customised, and a top control wheel lets you quickly alter settings. Surrounding the scroll wheel on the back there is quick access to self-timer, flash, exposure compensation, macro with a middle OK button.

A top mode dial gives easy access to shooting options and the camera features one customisable U:User mode. There's dedicated video and playback buttons on the back for quick and easy access to these modes, as well as a delete button. The menu button takes you into the cameras full settings.

Nikon Coolpix P330 Black (5)

Menus - The camera menus are split into four areas: Shooting menu, video menu, GPs menu, setup menu. ISO options let you set the range you'd like the camera to stick to, and it's also possible to set the minimum shutter speed you want before the camera will increase the ISO setting automatically. The function button can be customised, letting you set: image quality, image size, picture control, white balance, metering, ISO, AF area mode, VR, and ND filter. Continuous shooting mode features high speed shooting, interval timer as well as 120/60fps shooting modes.

There are a number of advanced options in the menus, including exposure brackting, flash exp compensation, noise reduction filter options, (low, normal, high), ND-filter. You can also set the zoom startup position, or whether the camera remembers the previous zoom setting. GPS options include points of interest, log, and the ability to synchronize the camera's time.


Nikon Coolpix P330 Black (6)

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 200 shots according to Nikon / CIPA test results, which is very similar to the battery life of other compact cameras, so a second battery is recommended if you're likely to be away from a charger.

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

  Nikon Coolpix P330 Sony RX100
Shutter Response 0.2 0.0
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.3 0.3
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.9 0.3
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 2.0 2.2
Shot to Shot without Flash 0.7 0.9
Shot to Shot with Flash 2.0 2.1
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
8fps (10 shots) 7fps (speed priority mode, 15 shots)
Continuous Shooting - Flash N/A 1.6s
Continuous Shooting - RAW 8fps (10 shots) 4fps (13 shots)

Shutter response is noticeably slow, at 0.2 seconds, even when using manual focus, which is surprising for a compact camera from Nikon. Thankfully focus is quick at the wide-angle end, although is noticeably slow at the telephoto end. Continuous shooting is good at 8fps at full resolution, with 15fps available with pre-shooting cache with an image size of 3mp, taking 20 shots in total. 120fps and 60fps shooting is available for 1mp images.

RAW files are 24MB in size and take a while to record to the memory card, with 10 photos, taken in High Speed Continuous shooting mode, taking around 1 minute 16 seconds before you can use the camera again. Shooting FINE JPEGs in High Speed Continuous shooting mode, it takes around 22 seconds for the camera to write 10 photos to memory.

Nikon Coolpix P330 Performance

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

Nikon Coolpix P330 Sample Photos


Sample Photos - Colour reproduction and detail are very good, with pleasing colour in photos. Our portrait shot with flash shows some red-eye, but again detail is good.

Nikon Coolpix P330 Lens test images


Lens Performance - The lens performs well at both the wide and telephoto ends, with just a very slight softening of detail in the very far corners when shooting wide. The lens has little barrel and pincushion distortion, and vignetting was not noticed. Purple fringing is quite strong in the shot of the trees above, however it doesn't cause too many problems in everyday shots. Exposure and dynamic range are generally good and can be expanded in a number of ways, either using D-Lighting, auto-exposure bracketing (AEB) or the HDR mode built into the camera.

Macro performance is good with the camera focusing on subjects just 3cm (roughly) from the front of the lens. When switching to macro focus, the camera has an optimum zoom position which is shown with a green arrow on screen helping to get impressive macro photos.

Nikon Coolpix P330 ISO test images


ISO Noise Performance - Noise is low at the lower ISO settings from ISO80 to ISO200, with slight noise appearing in ISO400 shots. Noise increases again at ISO800, however it's at ISO1600 that noise increases noticeably and image quality and detail suffers. At ISO3200 noise is more noticeable, with dots appearing. At ISO6400 colour suffers, as does detail, however results may still be usable with further editing. ISO12800 produces images with excessive noise, and this setting is best avoided.

Nikon Coolpix P330 White-balance test images


White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) gives the option to give warm results under tungsten light or normal, and performs well, with the tungsten preset giving a more nuetral result. AWB performs well under fluorescent light, with the preset giving a magenta cast. Each white balance setting can be adjusted further on a Green, Blue, Amber, Magenta colour table.

Pano DSCN0011 | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 6.0 mm | ISO 80
Pano | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 6.0 mm | ISO 80
Panorama mode - Panoramic mode is available as one of the scene modes, and is easy to use as you simply press the shutter release button and pan the camera around - it automatically stitches the photo together for you and results appear quite good.

Nikon Coolpix P330 Digital filters


Digital Filters - There are a number of digital filters and effects, as well as picture styles letting you customise sharpness, contrast and saturation.

Video - The camera records full HD video with stereo sound, and lets you pause and unpause while recording. Full time AF is available, as well as optical zoom. Other video recording options include 640x480 at 4x high speed (100fps), 720p at 2x high speed (50fps), and 1080 at 0.5x speed (12.5fps). Additional sample videos from the Nikon Coolpix P330 can be found on the ePHOTOzine YouTube channel.


Value For Money

The Nikon Coolpix P330 is available for around £299, with the nearest competitors to the Nikon Coolpix P330 being the Canon Powershot S100 (GPS) / S110 (Wi-Fi) depending on whether you want the camera to feature built in GPS or Wi-Fi, priced at £280 / £339 respectively. Other compact cameras with manual controls and RAW shooting include the Fujifilm XF1 available for £295, and the Olympus XZ-10, which will be available for £349. For additional serious compacts, have a look at our Top 10 Best Serious Compact cameras.

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 P330 Verdict

The Nikon Coolpix P330 updates the previous model with a lower 12.2 megapixel sensor, although with a larger sensor size, image quality is improved and the new 5x optical zoom lens provides a more versatile zoom range, from a wide 24mm equivalent. The camera has a large number of advanced options, and the camera speed is decent, so long as you're not shooting a large number of RAW files, as write times for this are noticeably slow. The relatively low price for this camera, which is likely to drop over time makes this camera an appealing option, particularly as it's capable of delivering good image quality and low noise in a compact package.

 
  The Nikon Coolpix P330 is an impressive update to the P310, offering a wide-angle 5x optical zoom lens and impressive image quality.

Nikon Coolpix P330 Pros

Compact metal body
2 year warranty
f/1.8 5x optical zoom lens
24mm wide-angle equivalent
RAW shooting added
VR built in
Good noise performance
Good macro performance

Nikon Coolpix P330 Cons

Aperture quickly darkens as you zoom
Slow RAW write times
Slow telephoto focus
Short battery life

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

Nikon Coolpix P330 Specifications

ManufacturerNikon
Lens
Max Aperturef/1.8 - f/5.6
35mm equivalent24mm - 120mm
Optical Zoom5x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels12.2Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4000
Pixels (H)3000
Sensor TypeBack-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
Sensor Size1/1.7 inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
  • 3:2
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution921k dot
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing
Min Focus3cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest60sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • Program Variable
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity80 - 12800
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Flash
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shootingNo Data
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
  • 1280x720 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPS1080i 60fps
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMIYes
USBUSB 2
Wi-FiNo
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium-Ion
CIPA Rating200
Box Contents
Box ContentsCamera 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 CD-ROM, Reference Manual (CD-ROM)
Dimensions
Weight200g
Width103mm
Height58.3mm
Depth32mm

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Photographs taken using the Nikon Coolpix P330

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Comments


franken e2
11 3.0k 4 Wales
22 Mar 2013 8:53AM
[quote]RAW files are 24MB in size and take a while to record to the memory card, taking around 1 minute 16 seconds before you can use the camera again. Shooting FINE JPEGs it takes around 22 seconds for the camera to write.

Interesting that as I've just decided to try mine out through a window on a cold and dull morning and I can assure you that it doesn't take that long to shoot Raw. I did about four in less than about 10 seconds.

Ken

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joshwa e2
3 595 United Kingdom
22 Mar 2013 9:05AM
Hi Ken, it shoots 10 photos in roughly 1 second, but this camera then takes 1 min 16 seconds to then write the files to the memory card (before I can then view in playback or take any more photos) - using a Sandisk Extreme Pro card - so perhaps there is something wrong with the camera if it's taking so long. How long before you can take anymore photos? I'll check with Nikon re this camera.
franken e2
11 3.0k 4 Wales
22 Mar 2013 11:26AM
Hi Josh, I've just done a test. I'm using a Samsung 8 gig memory card (one I won from EPZ last year)

The camera is set at 200ASA and I've decided to shoot indoors using the built in flash.

I set a timer and fired the first raw one off (using flash) and I managed four in about twenty two seconds with the flash firing each time.

Ps, I've just shot off 10 individual images using the above in 58 seconds.

I think the difference is I'm shooting them individually?

Ken
franken e2
11 3.0k 4 Wales
22 Mar 2013 11:37AM
Hi Josh, I stand corrected, I've just set it to continuous high and pointed the camera out of the window and it does take the time you stated before you can use it again! Blush

Ken.

ps, excellent camera though!
joshwa e2
3 595 United Kingdom
22 Mar 2013 12:18PM
Thanks for trying out the different modes, cheers, Josh Smile
Manabu 1
23 Mar 2013 6:40PM
In the text isn't clear: the 1 minute 16 seconds is the time of writing 10 RAW files to memory? I'm more interested in what is the time shot to shot/shot to preview using RAW+Jpeg, not in burst mode.

And this camera is advertised with a F/1.8 wide angle, but I still haven't seen ANY photo from this camera using less than F/2.8. Your review isn't an exception. And how the camera performs with F/1.8? What is the lens distortion/corner softness like? The auto mode never selects this lens speed? Is it unusable and only a market gimmick?

And I wanted more information on the movie mode. What are the lens stabilization options? Can you take photos while filming? What kind of manual controls are available? How loud are the camera motors? What are the bitrates used? I can chose NSTC or PAL mode in the menu?

Aside from that, nice review. This seems a real competitor in the (really) pocketable enthusiast camera niche.
24 Mar 2013 2:51PM
By far the first test of the P330. Well done. Some NRW-samples with ISO 1600/3200 would have been nice.
joshwa e2
3 595 United Kingdom
25 Mar 2013 9:43AM

Quote: By far the first test of the P330. Well done. Some NRW-samples with ISO 1600/3200 would have been nice.

Thanks for your comment, we've uploaded more RAW files, and will be updating the text shortly.
joshwa e2
3 595 United Kingdom
25 Mar 2013 10:06AM

Quote: In the text isn't clear: the 1 minute 16 seconds is the time of writing 10 RAW files to memory? I'm more interested in what is the time shot to shot/shot to preview using RAW+Jpeg, not in burst mode.

Updated the text to make it clearer.


Quote: And this camera is advertised with a F/1.8 wide angle, but I still haven't seen ANY photo from this camera using less than F/2.8. Your review isn't an exception. And how the camera performs with F/1.8? What is the lens distortion/corner softness like? The auto mode never selects this lens speed? Is it unusable and only a market gimmick?

I'll have a look through my photos, and upload if I find any.


Quote: And I wanted more information on the movie mode. What are the lens stabilization options? Can you take photos while filming? What kind of manual controls are available? How loud are the camera motors? What are the bitrates used? I can chose NSTC or PAL mode in the menu?

Movies are recorded as: MOV (Video: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, Audio: AAC stereo), bitrate is around 16,000kb/s (25fps) according to VLAN player. You can also choose between 30p or 25p.

Additional sample videos can be viewed here:
http://www.youtube.com/user/ephotozinecom/videos?query=p330


Quote: Aside from that, nice review. This seems a real competitor in the (really) pocketable enthusiast camera niche.

Thanks Smile
25 Mar 2013 9:30PM
I think there are better values out there right now.yes, if the price does drop then that is another story. I think both the Panasonic LX5/7 or the Canon S100/110 make a far better case. I am worried by Nikon's past use of raising the ISO as part of there I.S. routine. Any idea if they are doing that here? I am also unhappy with then distortion I saw in the video as you paned, I know that is characteristic of the wide angle lens but it seems far more pronounced. I also think the slow writing to buffer and focusing would bar this high a rating.

Jerry
I'm looking at this camera now to take on a short summer break. Going light and don't even want to take my Sony NEX5N. Want something to slip in my pocket. I've a Sony HX20V but still can't get used to it's jpeg artifacts. Sounds like I might be disappointed in spite of some rave reviews. Can anybody give me a decent view as to whether this is worth buying. I've tried an S110 briefly and wasn't over impressed with the jpeg quality. Didn't have a chance to try RAW . (Owned an S90 and G9 but both sold.) Thanks in advance.

Alan
sasan 27
22 Jan 2014 10:36AM
If this camera had optical viewfinder it was perfect in this range however now it's almost perfect
22 Jan 2014 1:27PM
I just purchased the Panasonic LF1. My first 100 or so photos just blew me away, the images, even at ISO 800, are fantastic. And the camera even has an electronic viewfinder, not nearly as good as the one on their FZ200, but it makes working in bright light easy to do. The LF1 also has custom settings and panorama mode right on the mode dial. My only negative is it is very small, even with a control dial on the lens,

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