The Nikon Coolpix P340 is Nikon's compact, but serious camera, with a bright f/1.8 5x optical zoom lens, manual controls and is an updated Wi-Fi version of the Nikon Coolpix P330
. The Nikon Coolpix P340 adds an 'Effects' position on the mode dial, as well as promising quicker operation.
Nikon Coolpix P340 Features
The lens on the P340 is a wide-angle 5x optical zoom lens, equivalent to 24-120mm, with a bright f/1.8 aperture at the wide-angle end of the lens and an f/5.6 aperture at the telephoto end. The camera features a back illuminated 12.2 megapixel 1/1.7inch CMOS sensor which provides high speed shooting as well as full HD video recording. The camera also features a number of high speed video modes, at 120 and 60fps.
Surrounding the lens is a functional lens ring, letting you quickly set options, including ISO, manual focus, and other camera settings including shutter and aperture speeds when in the relevant manual modes such as A,S,M. Focus peaking is built in to aid manual focusing, and the camera shoots RAW as well as JPEG.
Easy Wi-Fi sharing is possible when connected to a compatible Android or iOS device, with the Nikon Wireless Mobile Utility available in the Android and iOS app stores.
12.2 megapixel backlit 1/1.7 inch CMOS sensor
5x optical zoom lens, 24-120mm equivalent, f/1.8-f/5.6
VR Vibration reduction optical image stabilisation
3inch 921k dot screen
Full HD video recording with stereo sound, 30/25fps
High speed video: 720p, 60fps, 480, 120fps
ISO80 - ISO12800 (extends to ISO25600 in special mode)
Built in manual pop-up flash
RAW (NRW) data processing
Manual / A / S / P modes
Easy panorama 180° / 360°
Customisable Function (Fn) button
2cm Macro mode
20GB free space on Nikon Image Space
Nikon Coolpix P340 Handling
With a compact square design, 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 S120
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, and 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. The 3inch screen on the back has a good resolution with 921k dots, and is bright and clear making it easy to use in a variety of conditions.
Wi-Fi connectivity lets you quickly and easily transfer photos to your smartphone, where you can then share directly to your favourite social websites, email or backup photos. This is great when you're out and about as you can quickly share photos while travelling without having to go back to a computer to edit and upload photos. You can also use the Nikon Wireless Mobile Utility app to remotely control the camera to take photos and set the amount of zoom, however beyond that there are very few options other than self-timer.
The camera menus are split into four areas: Shooting menu, video menu, Wi-Fi 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 bracketing, 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.
- Battery life is rated at 220 shots according to Nikon / CIPA test results, which is average for a compact camera and extended use of Wi-Fi will reduce the number of shots possible.
- 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 P340
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
Shot to Shot without Flash
Shot to Shot with Flash
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
8fps (10 shots)
Continuous Shooting - Flash
Continuous Shooting - RAW
8fps (10 shots)
Shutter response is improved over the previous model and is very quick, as is focus at the wide end of the lens, although focus at the telephoto is quite slow, although thankfully quicker than the P330.
Continuous shooting is good at 8fps at full resolution. 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 26 seconds before you can use the camera again. Shooting FINE JPEGs in High Speed Continuous shooting mode, it takes around 20 seconds for the camera to write 10 photos to memory.
Nikon Coolpix P340 Performance
Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database
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Nikon Coolpix P340 Sample Photos
- Images have good colour reproduction, with bright saturated colours straight from the camera. Skin tones are good, and the portrait photo taken with flash is free of red-eye. The camera is also capable of taking an impressive night shot. The camera has reliable exposure, and there are a number of ways to expand dynamic range, with examples shown below.
Nikon Coolpix P340 Lens test images
- The lens performs well with good levels of detail when shooting at the wide-angle end of the lens, although does give slightly softer results at the telephoto end. Macro performance is good with the camera letting you focus on a subject that is just 2cm away from the front of the lens, and the camera shows on screen how much optical zoom to use to get the best results. The lens shows some barrel distortion at the wide-angle end of the lens, as well as some vignetting, although for most shots this shouldn't be too concerning, and there is little pincushion distortion at the telephoto end. Purple fringing is relatively well controlled, only becoming an issue in areas of high contrast.
Nikon Coolpix P340 ISO test images
ISO Noise Performance
- Noise is low at ISO80, ISO100, and through to ISO200, with some noise starting to appear at ISO400, although detail is still good even at ISO800. At ISO1600 levels of detail drops, as noise increases although results still look usable. Detail drops again at ISO3200, although results should still be usable. ISO6400 and above is probably best avoided as detail and colour saturation drop noticeably. Hi 2 (equivalent to ISO 25600) is available when using High ISO monochrome in the special effects mode.
Nikon Coolpix P340 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 neutral 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.
Dubai Mall Fountains | 1/500 sec | f/5.0 | 6.0 mm | ISO 80
- The camera has an automatic panoramic mode that will stitch together the photos as you pan the camera from one side to another. Results are good, although the resolution is quite low, at 4800x920 pixels.
Nikon Coolpix P340 Outdoor images
To expand dynamic range, the camera features D-Lighting, and the scene mode has a backlighting option, as well as a HDR option, with three levels. The HDR mode takes a number of shots at different exposures and combines them to create a single photo with expanded dynamic range.
Nikon Coolpix P340 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. You can also apply a number of effects from the playback menu on photos you've already taken.
- The camera records full HD video with stereo sound, and optical zoom is available while recording although some noise is picked up by the camera when using optical zoom. There are a number of high speed video modes, including 720p at 60fps and 640x480 at 120fps. Additional videos
can be seen on the ePHOTOzine YouTube Channel, including a time-lapse video
Value For Money
The Nikon Coolpix P340 is available for £349 which makes it reasonable value for money, although we would expect the price to drop over time and the camera is up against the following alternatives:
Canon Powershot S120
, with Wi-Fi, Touch-screen, £360
Panasonic Lumix LF1
, with EVF, Wi-Fi, £285
Olympus Stylus XZ-10
, with Touch-screen, £179
, Wi-Fi, £289
Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II
, Wi-Fi, Hot-shoe, £539
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
. For additional serious compacts, have a look at our Top 10 Best Serious Compact cameras
Nikon Coolpix P340 Verdict
The Nikon Coolpix P340 is a fairly plain looking compact digital camera, however, over the various updates it has improved each time, and the camera is capable of delivering some impressive images. With built in Wi-Fi it makes it a good choice for anyone who likes to keep mobile, but also connected, as it's possible to quickly transfer images to your smartphone and then upload them to the social network websites.
The camera is compact, has a bright lens at the wide-angle end, which is an impressive 24mm equivalent giving a good wide-angle shot, and the camera fits neatly into trouser pockets. For those that want to play with images, the camera shoots raw, and with full manual controls you can experiment with creative shots. The camera has a wide variety of creative features, including time-lapse photography, although the short battery life can be limiting in this area. The lens also becomes much darker as you zoom in, however the good noise performance and built in vibration reduction does help here.
Nikon Coolpix P340 Pros
Impressive image quality
Compact metal body
24mm wide-angle equivalent
Good noise performance
Good macro performance
f/1.8 5x optical zoom lens with VR
2 year warranty
Time-lapse shooting mode
Nikon Coolpix P340 Cons
Aperture quickly darkens as you zoom
Slightly slow telephoto focus
Short battery life
Lacks orientation sensor - doesn't automatically rotate images
VALUE FOR MONEY
Nikon Coolpix P340 Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/1.8 - f/5.6|
|35mm equivalent||24mm - 120mm|
|CCD pixels||12.2Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Type||Back-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)|
|Sensor Size (width)||No Data|
|Sensor Size (height)||No Data|
- Face Detection
- AF Tracking
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/4000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||60sec|
- Scene modes
- Program Variable
- Centre-weighted - Average
- Multi Pattern
|ISO sensitivity||80 - 12800|
|Video FPS||30, 25fps|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Battery Type||Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12|
|Box Contents||Camera Strap, Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12, Charging AC Adapter EH-71P, USB Cable UC-E21, ViewNX 2 CD|
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