Nikon Coolpix P610

Nikon’s new­est all-in-one ‘bridge’ cam­era com­bines D-SLR-like han­dling with a mon­ster zoom range

NPhoto - - Test Team -

Nikon Coolpix P610

£340, $497

www.nikon.com

he P610 looks ev­ery inch a D-SLR, but has the built-in, non-in­ter­change­able lens of a com­pact cam­era. Whether that’s the best or worst of both worlds is a mat­ter of opin­ion. The chunky styling means there’s no real sav­ing in size, and only a lit­tle weight re­duc­tion com­pared with the D3300 and D5500 with their 18-55mm kit lenses fit­ted. On the other hand, you don’t need to carry mul­ti­ple lenses with you, while still hav­ing ac­cess to a mon­strous 60x op­ti­cal zoom range, equiv­a­lent to a whop­ping 24-1440mm.

Un­like the S9900 and all three Nikon 1 cam­eras, the P610 has a built-in viewfinder based on an elec­tronic screen that has a rea­son­ably ad­e­quate 921,000-pixel res­o­lu­tion.

TWhile the zoom range is enor­mous, the image sensor is rel­a­tively small. In­deed, the 16-megapixel CMOS, 1/2.3-inch for­mat sen­sors of this cam­era and the Coolpix S9900 are phys­i­cally the joint small­est in the group. Both cam­eras also fea­ture the same EXPEED C2 image pro­ces­sor and fast seven frames-per-sec­ond con­tin­u­ous drive rate.

Per­for­mance

Another sim­i­lar­ity be­tween this cam­era and the S9900 is that they’re the only ones in the group that can’t shoot in RAW. It’s more of a prob­lem in the P610 be­cause, in our tests, it proved to be more prone to auto white bal­ance er­rors, of­ten gen­er­at­ing a no­tice­ably warm colour cast. Its aut­o­fo­cus­ing is slower as well, with a ten­dency to hunt back and forth in less than favourable con­di­tions, and to ‘achieve’ fo­cus at the wrong dis­tance. Again, image noise can be clearly vis­i­ble even when shoot­ing at fairly low ISOs un­der dull light­ing.

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