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Nikon hits 36x in zoom bragging rights battle

March 9, 2011: Nikon has announced two new cameras in its high-performance P series range, and supplied local RRPs for other previously-announced new models.

The P300 and P500 are both equipped with (unfortunately-named but effective) backside illumination CMOS sensor technology (12 megapixels, 8.8 x 6.6mm – or in the jargon, 1 over 2/3-inch), for improved performance in low light situations.

(Backside illumination was developed by Sony, and delivers a genuine improvement in sensor performance.)

The P500 replaces the P100 in the Nikon line-up and carries an astounding 36x zoom Nikkor lens – another nail in the coffin of the consumer camcorder!

Other features of the ultra-zoom P500 include:
– Full HD movie recording function with stereo sound. HD movies recorded with the camera can be played back on a TV with an HDMI connector using the TV’s remote control;
– P, A, S and M exposure modes;
– 8 frames per second continuous shooting at maximum image size;
– Cross Screen, Fisheye, Miniature Effect and Painting filter options;
– An Easy Panorama function for capturing horizontal or vertical panorama photos.;
– 3-inch, approximately 921k-dot tilting TFT LCD monitor with wide viewing angle;
– By positioning the side zoom control on the side of the lens, the camera can be held more
securely, effectively reducing blur.

Key features of the P300 are much the same excluding that long zoom, and include:
– Fast f1.8, 4.2x zoom lens (24 – 100mm) which Nikon claims is the ‘fastest lens available with a compact digital camera.’ 
Nikon says the lens enables sharper rendering for higher contrast throughout the entire frame
– Built-in VR function reduces blur with hand-held shooting and shooting at high sensitivities
– Night Landscape mode: When Night Landscape scene mode is selected, the camera automatically captures several shots at a fast shutter speed and then combines the shots to create a single optimised photo without using a tripod
– Backlighting mode: When the HDR (high dynamic range) setting is enabled in Backlighting mode, the camera captures three consecutive shots at varying exposure and combines the three for a single photo with no loss of detail in highlights or shadows, and a broader range of tones. Three HDR settings are available;
– P, A, S and M exposure modes, 8-fps high-speed continuous shooting at the maximum image size
– Soft, High Key, Low Key, Nostalgic Sepia and High-contrast Monochrome in addition to Cross Screen, Fisheye, Miniature Effect and Painting options;
– An Easy Panorama function;
– 3-inch, 921k-LCDscreen with anti-reflection coating;
– Recording of full HD movies with stereo sound.

The two new cameras join the P7000 (released in September 2010) in the Nikon range.

Both are available in black, with the P300 at an RRP of $499 and the P500 at $599.

RRPs for the S series (click here for other details) are:

S2500 – $139.00
S3100 – $179.00
S4100 – $229.00
S6100 – $249.00
S9100 – $449.00

Details of the L series, including RRPs, were previously reported here.

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