updated 11:30 pm EST, Tue January 31, 2012
Nikon P510 and P310 push long zooms
Nikon led a slew of Coolpix camera launches Tuesday night with two models straddling the line between pro and amateur shooting. The P510 has one of the longest zooms ever on a non-removable lens camera and can shoot at 42X (24-1,000mm equivalent) with a purportedly more aggressive image stabilization engine. A 16.1-megapixel, backside-illuminated CMOS sensor helps combat shake along with helping in low light and improving autofocus speed.
The camera as a high-end shooter can record 1080p video and has a sharp three-inch, 921,000-pixel swiveling LCD for previews. Manual control is an option, and the lens has a motorized zoom on the side of the barrel to keep it steady during extended zooms.
Photographers picking the P310 instead get an upgraded alternative to cameras like the Canon S100. Its 4.2X lens is defined by a wide f1.8 aperture, which both helps for shallow depth-of-field effects and for shooting low-light shots at minimum zoom. The compact shares the sensor from the P510 and has special night and dynamic range modes to take advantage of the sensitivity.
Like its sibling, the P310 shoots 1080p video and has a similar display, albeit fixed in place.
Both cameras are due in February at prices of $330 for the P310 and $430 for the P510.