Nikon P300: A Light-Swallowing, 1080p-Shooting Pocket Monster

Illustration for article titled Nikon P300: A Light-Swallowing, 1080p-Shooting Pocket Monster

This is Nikon's answer to the Canon S95 pocket dynamo. The P300 pairs a 12.1-megapixel backside-illuminated CMOS image sensor (which picks up more light than a standard CMOS sensor) with a fast f1.8 lens. Max ISO is 3200. And it shoots 1080p video at 30fps.

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Illustration for article titled Nikon P300: A Light-Swallowing, 1080p-Shooting Pocket Monster

It's also got a new easy panorama mode seemingly borrowed from Sony's pocketcams, creative filters like faux fisheye and a built-in HDR mode that combines multiple shots at different exposures in camera to create HDR shots. (Click to embiggen the specs box.)

The P300's a little fatter than the S95, but if the photos deliver what's promised on paper, it's some extra bulge I can definitely handle. Other downside? No RAW photos, unlike its pro point-and-shoot competition. I'm guessing that's where they shaved off the feature set to keep it down to $330, around $70 cheaper than the S95.

Illustration for article titled Nikon P300: A Light-Swallowing, 1080p-Shooting Pocket Monster

Also neat and sorta wild: The S9100 here uses a pretty similar 12.1-megapixel, 1080p-shooting image sensor and is almost as pocketable, but has a giant 18x zoom lens (25-450mm) stuffed inside its body. It has basically the same creature comforts as the P300, like an HDR mode and creative filters, and runs $330 too.

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[Nikon, Nikon]

DISCUSSION

deejayqueue
DeeJayQueue

For all the people squawking about the lack of RAW support. Stuff it. Every pro shooter I talk to says the same thing. The only time you'd ever need RAW is if you're a complete idiot and can't figure out how the aperture and shutter speed settings on your camera work, but your ego's too big to leave it on Auto or one of the scene modes.

"Oh but 16 bit color!" ...that you can only view in Photoshop, but then you have to save it as 8bit for anyone else in the world to do anything with it.

"Oh HDR" ...what is this trendytime on Flickr? really? How very five years ago.

"Oh Editing After the Fact" ...makes you lazy and makes your pictures boring. Work out your muscles for doing it right on-site and you won't ever have to worry about changing it after the fact. Be a better photographer, don't lean on crutches.

high-end jpeg is plenty good enough for most pros, semi-pros, and hobbyists. It's good enough for someone with a P&S. Get off it.