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
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.
Full HD (1080p/60i) video, at 60, 50, 30 or 25 fps
120 fps high speed video
3cm Macro mode
Easy panorama 180°/360°
Global Positioning System (GPS)
Compatible with the optional Wi-Fi dongle (WU-1a)
Nikon Coolpix P330 Handling
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.
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.
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.
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
8fps (10 shots)
7fps (speed priority mode, 15 shots)
Continuous Shooting - Flash
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 | 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.
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.
Winter days leave us with a shortage of daylight hours for photography but you don't have to venture far to photograph birds during this season, making them a perfect subject choice.
4 Dec 2016 12:10AM