Category Archives: Nikon

Nikon Coolpix P520 Low Light Sample Images

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The Nikon Coolpix P520 is a bridge/megazoom digital camera that features a 42x zoom with Nikon’s Vibration Reduction system for steadying shots.  It is built around an 18.1 Megapixel BSI CMOS sensor and allows for full control with PASM modes or full auto modes.

The P520 is popular with people looking for an all-in-one solution that is smaller than a DSLR. The P520 performs well, and higher ISO results are good–certainly capable enough for snapshots.  However, we found the results from Canon’s smaller PowerShot SX280 to do better than the P520 at ISO 1600 and above.  A close inspection (and we mean very close) of shots taken above ISO 1600 with the P520, images begin to degrade and are quite noisy.  Of course if you are looking for snapshots, having the option to shoot at ISO 6400 can come in handy, but do not expect the images to be noise-free or perfectly clear.

Parameters for the sample images are listed below the images.

 

Studio Low Light Sample Images:

Nikon COOLPIX P520 at ISO 100, f/5.1 at 1/2 sec.

Nikon COOLPIX P520 at ISO 100, f/5.1 at 1/2 sec.

 

Nikon COOLPIX P520 at ISO 200, f/5.1 at 1/4 sec.

Nikon COOLPIX P520 at ISO 200, f/5.1 at 1/4 sec.

 

Nikon COOLPIX P520 at ISO 400, f/5.1 at 1/8 sec.

Nikon COOLPIX P520 at ISO 400, f/5.1 at 1/8 sec.

 

Nikon COOLPIX P520 at ISO 800, f/5.1 at 1/15 sec.

Nikon COOLPIX P520 at ISO 800, f/5.1 at 1/15 sec.

 

Nikon COOLPIX P520 at ISO 1600, f/5.1 at 1/30 sec.

Nikon COOLPIX P520 at ISO 1600, f/5.1 at 1/30 sec.

 

Nikon COOLPIX P520 at ISO 3200, f/5.1 at 1/60 sec.

Nikon COOLPIX P520 at ISO 3200, f/5.1 at 1/60 sec.

 

Nikon COOLPIX P520 at ISO 6400, f/5.1 at 1/125 sec.

Nikon COOLPIX P520 at ISO 6400, f/5.1 at 1/125 sec.

 

Photo Parameters:  All photos were shot on a tripod at a 35mm equivalent of approximately 50mm and at an aperture of f/5.1.  We then cropped the images slightly and reduced the image size to 20 inches wide by approximately 13.3 inches high, maintaining a native resolution of 180 pixels / inch.

Pentax MX-1: Hands-On Review and Sample Images


Pentax MX-1: Hands-On Review and Sample Images
Pentax MX-1 Black
The MX-1 in All Black.

Pentax has entered the “serious” high end compact digital camera market with the new MX-1, a retro-styled camera with a fast f/1.8-2.5 zoom and a competitive 12 Megapixel 1/1.7” sensor.  Available in silver and black or all black for $499.95, the MX-1 comes in next to the standout retro designs from Olympus (with its OM-D EM-5 and XZ-series) and FujiFilm (with its X-series).

Specs
The fast SMC f/1.8-2.5 lens includes 4 aspherical elements and covers a strong 28-112mm 35mm-equivalent zoom range.  Rounding out the MX-1’s spec sheet is ISO sensitivity to 12800, a (very bright and crystal clear) 3” 920k tilting LCD, macro shooting to 1cm, “shake reduction,” and, naturally, full HD movie shooting.
Brass Plates
Pentax MX-1 Silver and Black
The MX-1 in Silver & Black; the Silver portions are brass.
The buzz surrounding the camera is its use of brass top and bottom plates, which harken back to Pentax’s tough and reliable (film) SLR’s—and which complement its tough, highly water-resistant DSLR’s.  Indeed, that most reviews must state that Pentax is using “real” or “actual” brass serves to punctuate this unique feature; the spin is that the brass will get “brassy”—show wear—over time, a somewhat odd pitch given the inherent turnover of digital cameras.

The MX-1’s brass plates certainly feel more durable than plastic, aluminum or even some magnesium offerings, and the faux-leather rubber surface is nice and grippy—and it had better be, since there is neither a front nor a rear thumb grip, making the camera feel a bit loose especially considering its size and weight.

In the Field
It seems that the MX-1’s retro-styling comes at a cost, however:  there’s no hot-shoe on the top plate (and the pop-up flash is manually controlled) or options for an electronic viewfinder (EVF), no wheel surrounding the lens for aperture control or manual focusing, and there is only a single dial on the back of the camera for spinning through various settings (so that true manual shooters must use the same dial for speed and aperture controls, although most typically shoot in Aperture Priority (Av)). 

Pentax MX-1 Sample Images
The MX-1 is a capable street shooter with its fast f/1.8-2.5 28-112mm 35mm-equivalent zoom.

Yes, the small buttons on the back of the camera are quite well-spaced and well-designed and an Exposure Compensation dial sits atop the camera, but there is still a feeling of lack of control.  

On the positive side, the LCD is very, very clear and bright, making for easy and accurate review of images.

Image Quality
Ultimately the question should be whether the camera delivers good photos.  And the MX-1 does deliver very good pics—not spectacular, but very good.  Images tend to be very sharp, particularly in close-focusing situations, such as with these oranges.

Pentax MX-1 in Aperture Priority Mode.
Pentax MX-1 in Av Mode, f/4.5 at 1/250 sec, ISO 800.

I would have liked to shoot some portraits with the MX-1, but wasn’t able to get much in the short time I had it.  I did take four pictures of a local fruit seller and was not happy with any of the results.

Here are several other samples taken on a cloudy February day in New York City.  Again, colors tend to be relatively accurate with decent contrast.

Pentax MX-1 Sample Images
Pentax MX-1 in Av Mode, f/4.5 at 1/50 sec, ISO 200, slight cropping.

I would have liked to see slightly faster focusing and much, much faster image processing (the camera often states that images are being processed) and shot-to-shot times.  

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a retro-style camera, I would certainly consider options from Olympus and Fuji along with the MX-1.  The MX-1 stands out in only a few respects, most notably its retro styling and brass plates.  While the macro mode on the MX-1 is excellent, the LCD is clear, focusing is good and the lens is fast, none of these are particularly compelling reasons to pick the MX-1 over, say, the XZ-2 or even the Canon G15.

Additionally, if you’re looking for a great all-around camera, I would consider sticking with the stalwarts from Canon with the PowerShot G15 and Panasonic with the Lumix LX-7.  Indeed, the MX-1 is not a standout by any means, and will likely have a difficult time making its way in this very competitive sector.

Pentax MX-1 Sample Images
Note the purple fringing on the high contrast areas in the coins above.
Pentax MX-1 Sample Images
The MX-1 had some difficulty with reds; these plums were not quite as red/pink as this image portrays.

Pentax MX-1 Sample Images

Pentax MX-1 Sample Images

Pentax MX-1 Sample Images

 

Pentax MX-1 Sample Images

Enthusiast compact camera comparison
Model
Size
Weight
Canon PowerShot G15
4.2 x 3.0 x 1.6 in.
(107 x 76 x 40 mm)
12.4 oz
(352 g)
Nikon Coolpix P7700
4.7 x 2.9 x 2.0 in.
(119 x 73 x 50 mm)
14.0 oz
(397 g)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7
4.4 x 2.6 x 1.8 in.
(111 x 67 x 46 mm)
10.5 oz
(297 g)
Olympus Stylus XZ-2 iHS
4.4 x 2.6 x 1.9 in.
(113 x 65 x 48 mm)
12.2 oz
(346 g)
Pentax MX-1
4.8 x 2.4 x 2.0 in.
(122 x 61 x 51 mm)
13.8 oz
(391 g)

Post-Christmas Sale on Nikon Lenses & Bodies

Post-Christmas Sale on Nikon Nikkor Lenses & DSLR Bodies

Get what you really wanted for Christmas!  The following Nikon gear is ON SALE while supplies last:

LENSES

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Zoom Lens (USA Warranty)

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Zoom Lens (USA Warranty)

  • Regular Price: $399.99    Sale Price: $329.99     SAVE $70!

Product Details

  • Compact 5.5x zoom lens for DX-format D-SLR cameras, with a 35mm equivalent focal length of 82.5-450mm. 
  • An excellent choice for travel, landscapes, portraits, and distant subjects. 
  • Focuses to 4.6′ at every focal length.
  • The VR II image stabilization allows you to handhold the your camera at up to 4 shutter speeds slower than would otherwise be possible, assuring dramatically sharper still images and stable video capture. 
  • Other features include:  Exclusive Nikon Silent Wave Motor (SWM) for quiet accurate autofocusing, and a rounded 9-blade diaphragm that offers stunning out-of-focus highlights (bokeh). The lens elements have been treated with Nikon’s Super Integrated Coating – an optical lens coating process that maximizes light transmission while enhancing clarity and contrast.

Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S ED VR II Zoom Lens (USA)

  • Regular Price: $849.99    Sale Price: $779.99     SAVE $70!

Product Details

  • Remarkable one-lens solution that delivers 11x zoom versatility, for a picture angle equivalent of a 27-300mm lens in 35mm format. 
  • Nikon VR II (Vibration Reduction) image stabilization Vibration Reduction, engineered specifically for each VR Nikkor lens, enables handheld shooting at up to 4 shutter speeds slower than would otherwise be possible.
  • Two Extra-low Dispersion (ED) elements offer superior sharpness and color correction by effectively minimizing chromatic aberration, even at wide aperture settings. Three aspherical lens elements Virtually eliminates coma and other aberrations, even at wide apertures. 
  • Zoom lock switch Secures lens barrel at its minimum length.
  • Other features:  Exclusive Nikon Silent Wave Motor (SWM) for fast, accurate and quiet autofocus; rounded 7-blade diaphragm that renders more natural appearance of out-of-focus image elements; focus to minimum of 20 inches extends versatility.
  • Flower-shaped lens hood Included.

DSLR CAMERAS:

 

Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm NIKKOR VR Lens

  • Regular Price: $599.99    Sale Price: $479.95      

    SAVE $120!

Product Details

  • High-resolution 14-megapixel CMOS DX sensor.
  • High-quality 3x NIKKOR 18-55mm VR image stabilization zoom lens and intuitive onboard assistance including the learn-as-you grow Guide Mode. 
  • Full HD 1080p movies with sound and full-time autofocus. 
  • Easily capture the action other cameras miss with a fast start up time, split-second shutter release, 3 frames per second shooting and 11-point autofocus. 
  • Capture pictures and make movies in near darkness with an ISO range of 100 to 3200 (expandable to 12800-Hi2). 
  • EXPEED 2, Nikon’s new image processing engine, assures breathtakingly rich image quality, managing color, contrast, exposure and noise. 
  • One-touch Live View and movie recording lets you see the action on the 3-inch monitor and the Scene Recognition System automatically chooses the ideal settings.

Nikon D7000 16.2MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) USA

Nikon D7000 16.2MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) USA

 

  • Regular Price: $1199.99    Sale Price: $895.99     

    SAVE $305 !!!

Product Details

  • High-resolution16-megapixel DX-format CMOS image sensor and a powerful EXPEED 2 image processing engine. 
  • Wide ISO range of 100 to 6400 (expandable to 25,600) and its incredibly low levels of noise.
  • 39-point AF and Scene Recognition System using a 2,016-pixel RGB matrix metering sensor. 
  • 6 frames-per-second shooting.
  • Approx. 100% frame coverage viewfinder.
  • Full HD 1080p capture with full-time autofocus and manual exposure. 
  • Magnesium alloy covering the top and rear chassis of a compact body, whose sealing has been severely tested against moisture and dust.

 

Black Friday Extra Special Deals – Nikon Nikkor Lenses

Black Friday Extra Special Deals – Nikon Nikkor Lenses

Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S Nikkor ED VR II Zoom Lens (USA Warranty) 

Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S Nikkor ED VR II Zoom Lens (USA Warranty)
Save $100 on this amazing lens.
  • Retail $849.99Black Friday Sale:  $749.99Save $100.
  • A great one-lens solution, the 18-200mm delivers 11x zoom capacity, with a 35mm equivalent of 27-300mm.
  • The Nikon VR II (Vibration Reduction) image stabilization system enables handheld shooting at up to 4 stops slower than typically possible, allowing for dramatically sharper images.
  • 2 Extra-low Dispersion (ED) elements, 3 Aspherical elements.
  • Zoom lock switch secures lens barrel.
  • Nikon Silent Wave Motor (SWM) makes for fast, accurate and quiet autofocus.
  • Included:
    • 72mm Snap-On Lens Cap
    • LF-1 Rear Lens Cap for F Mount Lenses
    • HB-35 Lens Hood
    • CL-1018 Lens Case

 

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Zoom Lens (USA)

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Zoom Lens (USA)
Save $100 on this long telephoto lens!
  • Retail $399.99Black Friday Sale:  $299.99Save $100.

  • The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Zoom Lens is a compact 5.5x zoom lens for DX-format D-SLR cameras with a 35mm equivalent focal length of 82.5-450mm.
  • The Nikon VR II (Vibration Reduction) image stabilization system allows you to take handheld photos at up to 4 stops slower than typically possible, allowing for dramatically sharper images–a very important feature with long zoom lenses.
  • Nikon Silent Wave Motor (SWM) makes for fast, accurate and quiet autofocus.
  • 1-Year Worldwide Limited Warranty included plus 4- Years Complimentary Extended Service
  • Included:
    • 58mm Snap-On Lens Cap
    • LF-1 Rear Lens Cap
    • HB-57 Snap-on Lens Hood
    • CL-1020 Lens Case

Nikon Coolpix S30 Digital Camera Review, Sample Photos, Videos, Family Camera Testing in NYC

The new Nikon Coolpix S30 digital camera has an enduring simplicity to it that I think many people on the hunt for both a durable but extremely easy to use point and shoot would appreciate. Nikon says this camera is “designed for the family,” and I would have to agree. The Coolpix S30 is waterproof, shockproof, easy to navigate and use while still offering several high-quality features.
Main features of the Nikon Coolpix S30 include a 10.1 megapixel CCD sensor for high-quality photos, a 3x optical zoom wide-angle NIKKOR glass lens, a 2.7 inch bright LCD screen to compose and view your stills/videos and 720p HD movie recording with sound. It is waterproof to up to 3.0m/10ft, which means you can take it underwater whether you are at the beach or poolside (or if you are prone to spills!). It is also shockproof to 0.8m so no need to worry if it gets dropped once or twice and suffers from a few pangs here and there, it won’t break easily!

Additionally, the feel and weight of the camera makes it very easy to hold and shoot with. There is a grip for your thumb on the back of the camera to offer even more easy handling and stability while capturing photos or movies. Its design is pretty basic which makes it simple to understand even at first glance and it comes in 4 cool colors – pink, blue, white or black. It also takes 2x AA batteries.  Another bonus is that this camera is extremely affordable, it is one of the least expensive new point-and-shoots currently on the market.

I’ve tested many budget point-and-shoot digital cameras in the past and never have I seen a menu quite like the one in the Nikon Coolpix S30. When first turning the camera on, you will see 4 color coded icon options on the left hand side with corresponding dedicated buttons on the camera body. These buttons will allow you to access the following menu options Colors, Decorate, Style and Sound. These buttons are used to control most menu options. The zoom control is on the right, with a middle on/off button on the top and simple to use shutter release and video start buttons either side. The camera is not only shockproof and waterproof, it has some clever design touches such as tiny feet on the screen corners so that if the camera is placed on it’s back, the screen should avoid scratches as well.

Wide Angle 3x Optical Zoom NIKKOR Lens
Starting with the first menu option: Change Colors (Red) – Colors lets you change exposure compensation, saturation and hue. The second menu option is Decorate (Yellow) – Decorate lets you apply 1 of 5 decorative borders. The third is Scene (Green) – Scene lets you choose from 1 of 10 scene modes including 5cm Macro Mode (a quality feature for such an inexpensive point and shoot!) The fourth menu option is Sounds (Blue) – which choices of your camera can make while shooting like tweeting birds or a dog barking! When you scrolling down, there is a secondary menu with screen options that are: Flash mode, self-timer, image size, movie AF, then the final screen is Setup. Flash mode (auto or off). Self-timer options are 10s, or smile timer. Size lets you choose: 10m, 4m or 2m. Movies 720p or VGA. Movie AF: Single or Full Time AF. Setup options include electronic VR, date stamp, as well as battery type.

Below are sample images taken with the various menu modes and options:


Point-and-Shoot Style
Change Colors – Selective Color (Green)

Change Color – Red, Black and White, Blue
Decorate Border
Decorate Starburst

Soft Style
Macro Mode IMG01
Macro Mode IMG02

Using 2 alkaline AA batteries I was able to take over 225 shots before the battery went flat. This is quite good and should mean that you can go a long way without running out of power, with the potential for better battery life with Ni-Mh rechargeable batteries or lithium batteries. Another benefit of AA batteries is that they are readily available worldwide.

The Nikon Coolpix S30 is a waterproof camera that is easy to use and designed to survive being dropped and generally treated in a less than ideal way. This makes it ideal for families or those with small children, especially as it’s design makes it very easy to use. The camera is good value for money and while it does not feature many controls, it should keep the point and shoot user happy with bright colorful photos that will be good for web use or prints. Flash performance is good and the camera has a very good macro mode making it worth looking at, particularly if you want to be able to lend your camera to your kids without having to worry about it.

I dipped the camera in the water fountain in  Bryant Park, NYC to test how the camera takes pics underwater. The pictures came out clear and I added a few special effects to some of the photos as well.

Point-and-Shoot Style
Underwater IMG01


Underwater IMG02
Underwater – Blue Color Added Afterwards

Underwater- Fisheye Effect Added Afterwards

I also really like the idea of small children being able to record videos and photos. I think it would be a great starter camera and a cool way to see the world the way your child sees it as well!

The Nikon Coolpix S30 is the cheapest waterproof camera available with optical zoom. If you are interested in purchasing you will need to buy a memory card for it and perhaps a camera bag or case to keep your camera extra safe and protected. 

For pricing and availability, you can go to our online store or visit our retail location in Midtown, Manhattan.

- The Nikon Coolpix S30 Digital Camera

Nikon Coolpix P510 Super-Zoom Digital Camera Review, Photos, Sample Images, Videos Tested in NYC

Compact digital cameras with super-zoom optics are currently the hottest trend in the market. This year’s new releases like the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 which feature impressive optical zoom lens. So you’ll be pleased to know this review will give you the inside scoop along with plenty of photos and sample images of the largest super-zoom digital camera of them all – The new Nikon Coolpix P510 digital camera with a 42x optical zoom lens. Last year’s record for largest super-zoom len s was the Nikon Coolpix P500 with an impressive 23x optical zoom but obviously Nikon took it to the next level this year. And in addition to this record-breaking feature, the new Coolpix P510 also has a new 16.1-megapixel CMOS sensor and GPS capabilities this year as well.  
Design-wise, the Nikon Coolpix P510 is very similar to it’s predecessor. In comparison to the other new super-zoom releases, the P5120 is about the same size as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150, which in terms of size and weight makes the P510 just under an entry level DSLR camera. Thus, the P510 needs a little extra weight on its rear to keep it steady at larger more intimate focal lengths. However, I still found it to be a very comfortable model to hold due to the right grip side and flared rear thumb rest. I also found the fortified four-way directional pad with a spinning control dial this year helpful as well which made adjusting and accessing the shutter and aperture easy. 
The Coolpix P510 also features the same 921,000-pixel 3-inch fold-out LCD display, however although it tilts I wouldn’t call it a vari-angle screen. Unlike Canon’s LCD screens which are true vari-angles because they flip out horizontally and rotate up to 270 degrees for the ultimate in self portrait action, the Nikon Coolpix P510′s LCD screen only folds up and down, not out, preventing the camera from being a serious self-portrait tool. Additionally, there is no microphone jack on the P510, compared to the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150. However, the P510 does imitate the FZ150′s lens barrel-mounted zoom toggle and the camera offers a popup flash with plenty of options like Rear Curtain and Slow Sync. Buttons and controls are plentiful as well, including a Function button, Video Record button and Focus mode shortcut.
The Nikon Coolpix P510′s 42x optical zoom lens is truly this cameras most desirable feature, however, offering a 35mm focal length equivalent of 24-1,000mm. To combat blurring, Nikon equipped the Coolpix P510 with Lens Shift VR, a system that moves the lens in the opposite way of the offending vibration. For taking stills and most videos, I found this new system to work well. One downside was that the mechanical zoom was a tad slow and clunky, in addition to being highly audible during video playback 
The Coolpix P510 also offers a variety of scene modes and special effect filters to enhance your shots and creativity. Some of these include Food Mode, Pet Portrait Mode, Selective Color, Painting, Silhouette and Nostalgic Sepia, but other filters like Miniature and Cross Screen could be applied in Playback mode, right from within the camera. The Autofocus system for still images was great, honing in on multiple panes across the frame, and the P510 had a few excellent Macro modes including a burst Noise Reduction option. ISO this year had been expanded to 6400 (Hi1) and Nikon offered three different Noise Reduction settings to combat grain in low light. As evidenced below, the Noise Reduction system did an impressive job minimizing that muddy, cloudy noise that robs many images of clarity when the lights go down. The Nikon Coolpix P510 also had a robust White Balance mode with two different Auto settings (one for warmer lighting), Exposure Bracketing and Active D Lighting, which boosted the camera’s Dynamic Range. Active D Lighting could be applied in Playback as well.
High Contrast Monochrome

Selective Color – Red

Selective Color – Red

Special Effect – Painting

Special Effect – Painting

Special Effect – Painting

Special Effect – Painting

Selective Color – Blue

Selective Color – Blue

High Contrast Monochrome

High Contrast Monochrome
Macro Mode

Macro Mode
Macro Mode

Macro Mode
Low light quality was not as powerful as I thought it would be. This is partially due to an 8 second max slowest shutter speed with low ISO limitations.Additionally, the Nikon Coolpix P510 lacked manual controls in the video department and suffered from the Full-time AF being poor quality. In nearly all of the sample videos, the focus fades in and out and has a hard time finding a definitive target. However, the Manual focus works well, though the taps of the dial can be heard when using it. I recommend designating the side Zoom toggle to control the Manual Focus and relying on that method for video recording. Otherwise, the Full-time AF is a little useless.
Aside from that, my only other setbacks with the camera were the fact that the Nikon Coolpix P510 had a tendency to be sluggish when loading images in Playback mode.  The camera didn’t even display the shooting modes each picture was taken in, nor did it display GPS coordinate information. All that was given was the shutter speed, aperture, exposure and ISO data. When you compare this menu system to a Panasonic, Canon or Sony, it’s a little embarrassing for Nikon.
If you want to shoot quality still images with the Nikon Coolpix P510, you’ll be happy in bright light and most low light situations. But you might be disappointed if you want a camera with a refined menu system and decent autofocus in Video mode.
Like all the Coolpix models Nikon released this year, the Nikon Coolpix P510 comes equipped with a 16.1 megapixel 1/2.4 inch CMOS sensor. This makes still images in bright light truly brilliant. The wealth of useful scene modes and image effects also made shooting with the P510 exciting and fun.

And the High ISO performance in low light was decent as well, thanks in part to the Noise Reduction system. I was now able to attain a better exposure in low light, also in part to the big ISo jump this year as well.But as I stated earlier, the limited slow shutter speed narrowed the P510′s ability. I’d say low light sensitivity was better this year, but the inability to do any long exposure shooting was a little disappointing. 
The Nikon Coolpix P510 can capture HD videos in a variety of resolutions: 1080P 30fps, 720P 60fps, 720P 30fps, iFrame, VGA and 120fps High-Speed. Bright light quality was impressive, but low light sensitivity was lacking. As stated earlier, the Full-time AF was pretty shabby. For those interested in doing mostly or a lot of video recording, the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 and Canon PowerShot SX40 HS might be a better fit for you in that respect.
As I began testing the Nikon Coolpix P510, I was immediately very impressed. Some small changes I would make here and there but overall I thoroughly enjoyed most of the shooting features and effects as well as its external design.  Where the Nikon Coolpix P510 lacks is in other departments such as an ineffective GPS, lousy focusing Full-time AF in video mode, an outdated menu system and limited low light and video recording options. Despite a few setbacks, if you are looking for the largest new super-zoom on a compact digital camera, you can’t beat that massive 42x optical zoom the Nikon Coolpix P510 digital camera offers.  
For pricing and availability, go to our online store or visit us at our retail location in Manhattan, NYC

Nikon Coolpix L810 Compact Super-Zoom Digital Camera Review, Photos, Video, Sample Images

If you’re in the market for a digital point-and-shoot camera with a lot of zoom and excellent image quality but you can’t afford anything to pricey then the new Nikon Coolpix L810 might be of interest to you. The Nikon L810 is a compact 26x super-zoom digital camera with a 16 megapixel CCD sensor.  The L810 is available in 4 colors – bronze, red, blue, black and can be purchased on our website for less than the average retail price. 
Retail Price: $279.99 
Our Price: $249.99

The Nikon Coolpix L810 comes equipped with a 16 megapixel CCD sensor and 26x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 22.5 – 585mm, ideal for shooting landscapes and close-ups of distant objects. To help take blur free images the camera has lens-shift vibration reduction and motion detection to help compensate for camera and subject movement.

Picture taking is simple with Easy Auto Mode, which automatically chooses the correct setting for the scene. You can have more control by switching to Auto Mode, there are also plenty of scene modes to choose from as well. Also found in the mode menu is Smart Portrait, which includes Smile Timer, Blink Proof, Skin Softening and Red-eye Fix. Photos can also be taken in 3D mode and viewed on a 3D TV.
 

The L810 records 720p HD videos with optical zoom available during recording and the camera can be connected to a HDTV via HDMI.

Below is a quick overview of the Nikon Coolpix L810′s key features:
  • 26x zoom optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 22.5–585mm)
  • Easy Auto mode
  • Side zoom lever
  • 16 megapixel CCD sensor
  • 720p HD video recording
  • 3.0 inch 921k-dot LCD screen
  • Lens shift VR (vibration reduction)
  • ISO 80 – 1600
  • Best shot selector (BSS)
  • 3D shooting mode
  • Smart portrait system
  • 19 scene modes
  • AA-size batteries
  • EXPEED C2 image processing system
As far as looks and feel go, the Nikon L810 has a plastic body but comes with a generous rubber hand grip,  making the camera extremely easy to hold. When switching it on you have to ensure you remove the lens cap beforehand as an error message is displayed otherwise.You don’t have to remove the lens cap or switch the camera on to view your images, simply press and hold the playback button to do so. The 3 inch LCD is bright and is easy to see in all lighting conditions, you can even go into the menu settings and change the LCD’s brightness or keep it on LCD auto mode and the camera will automatically select the best brightness for whatever shooting conditions you may be in. 

The menu system is well laid out and easy to navigate. The buttons are typical for a compact camera, with a dedicated video recording button appearing on the back, as is the scene mode selection button. There is an extra zoom control button place on the lens barrel. The camera takes 4x AA batteries, with life being dependent on the quality of battery used. I am not a fan of the non-rechargeable batteries for digital camera use but some find it convenient especially if they are shooting somewhere for an extended period of time where no outlets or power sources will be available. 

Below are results from testing the L810′s performance at focusing, shutter response, shot-to-shot time, continuous shooting etc. The test was done with 6 or more shots with the calculated average presented below. 
 
Shutter Response   0.15 seconds
Wide – Focus / Shutter Response   0.5 seconds
Full zoom – Focus / Shutter Response   0.5 – 2.5 seconds
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   2.3 seconds
Shot to Shot (without flash)   2.4 seconds
Shot to Shot with Flash   4.5 seconds
Continuous shooting
  0.5 fps

Focusing speed when using the lens at longer lengths proves to be very unpredictable, if you are focusing on the same area all the time it is much quicker, but if you are trying to photograph moving subjects it’s extremely difficult to get a sharp shot. Even if you switch to continuous shooting, 0.5 fps isn’t quick enough to help.
The Coolpix L810 produces images which are well exposed with decent color reproduction, some purple fringing is evident in contrasting areas. Detail is good in the center of images, but around the edges and corners they are clearly softer. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 1cm, meaning you can get close enough to take a well detailed macro shot.
Below are macro photos taken with the Nikon Coolpix L810

 
At ISO 80 images are free of noise but even at ISO 100 there is some starting to appear. Noise progressively increases through ISO 200 and ISO 400, with images produced at ISO 800 have lost their sharpness. Images at ISO 1600 have plenty of noise, with a slight loss of detail, but color reproduction was still good at the highest setting.
On a clear, bright day the landscape mode takes a picture with decent blues and greens. I happened to be shooting with the Nikon L810 on a very bright and sunny summer day.
The auto white-balance (AWB) and incandescent presets both produce an image with an orange cast. The AWB setting proves slightly better under fluorescent lights, with a magenta cast appearing when using the fluorescent preset.
The L810 doesn’t have a range of digital filters, although there are different color modes such as black-and-white, sepia, vivid, and blue which can be chosen, examples below.

There’s no doubting the L810 has a handy amount of optical zoom and is capable of taking a decent picture, but it isn’t great if you are looking for a camera capable of shooting fast moving pictures, such as sports. Focusing just isn’t quick enough and it is sluggish between shots, not even continuous shooting mode is going to help. But if you are looking to take pictures of landscapes and other static objects and are looking for some extra zoom, the new Nikon Coolpix L810 is compact digital camera to consider.
H and B Digital.com is selling the new Nikon Coolpix L810 for below the average price – $249.99 instead of $279.99
For pricing and availability, go to our online store or visit us at our retail location in Manhattan, NYC.

Nikon Coolpix S9300 Review, Photos, Sample Images, Video in NYC

The new Nikon Coolpix S9300 is a slim 18x optical zoom digital compact travel camera. Travel compact cameras typically have a built-in GPS to track and correlate your photos as well as a lengthy optical zoom and wide-angle lens. All of which come equipped with the Nikon Coolpix S9300 but that’s not all. The S9300 also sports a back-illuminated 16 megapixel CCD image sensor for low light photography, lens-shift vibration reduction, full 1080p HD video, a 3.0 inch high resolution (921k dot) LCD screen and a range of special effects/shooting modes that can enhance your shots as well as your creativity. The Nikon Coolpix S9300 also comes in a variety of colors, you can choose from black, silver, red or blue. 
The Nikon Coolpix has a large 18x optical zoom 25mm wide-angle lens on the front and pop-up flash. Images transport to a 16 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor which takes up less battery life as opposed to a CCD sensor which can create sharper images. On the top of the camera, the circular mode dial allows you to choose from 8 different modes including, Auto, Effects, Burst, Smart Portrait, Backlighting, Night Landscape, Scenes and Scene Auto Selector. Scene Auto Selector is a convenient option that will analyze your environment and subject when you compose your shot and then automatically select the best scene mode for that particular setting. To choose different effects from your photos, turn the dial to the Effects mode and then press the menu button. You can choose from many effects including Soft, Nostalgic Sepia, High-contrast Monochrome, High Key, Low Key and Selective Color.
Below are some images I shot using the camera on the various Special Effects Mode options:

On the top middle of the S9300, you’ll see a small raised area where the GPS system is located. GPS enabled cameras correspond the time and date you set for the camera with where the GPS tracking device says the camera was at the time of use. You can upload your images to Google Maps once you are done shooting.This is a convenient tool for travelers who want to share their trip with family and friends or if they would like to remember where they were located at the time of shooting.
On the rear of the Coolpix S9300 you’ll find a wheel to the pad for speedy navigation through the camera’s menu. The wheel is not super speedy but it is faster than if you were to have to press a button to scroll through the menu options. If you want to record full HD videos, simply press the button with the red dot that has an image of a video camera to the left of it. You can press this button to start recording video immediately regardless of whichever mode you have the dial set on. You will also find the standard variety of options on the navigation pad for flash options, macro mode, self timer and exposure compensation.
The Coolpix S9300′s main menu will vary depending on the mode you set the camera dial on. Everything is pretty easy to work through right out of the box. The menu is set into four sections for shooting, video, GPS and set-up. Pressing right will go into the highlighted tab whereas pressing left will go back to the tabs for faster navigation.
Unfortunately, as I’ve experienced with several other Nikon point-and-shoot compact cameras, when using the Nikon Coolpix S9300  for an extended period of time (1 -2 hours) the response time on the camera began to take longer when taking photos, switching from stills to video and when changing between modes or effects. I did periodically shut the camera off when I was not shooting, however, I still experienced some difficulty with it and was forced to keep shutting the camera off and then turning it on again towards the end of my shoot in order for it to stop lagging in response time and to readjust its settings smoothly. Granted the response time from turning the camera’s power on to focusing and then snapping the photo was already pretty slow to begin with, a little over 3 seconds. Perhaps the extra slowness was due to decrease in battery power or it may have been experiencing some overheating. Either way it was annoying but in general, it wasn’t a big deal. Plus, the S9300′s burst mode made up for it anyway, with a burst rate of 7 frames per second, it timed precisely and thus lived up to some of its time expectations. Afterwards, you can go into the playback menu and then apply some in-camera editing options such as D-Lighting, auto quick retouch and filter effects to any of your images shot in burst mode.
The impressive image quality the Coolpix S9300 produces also helps makes up for any glitches experienced in the cameras functionality. The images were sharp, clear and produced vibrant, well-balanced color. In Macro mode, the Coolpix S4300 has a macro focusing distance of 4cm which proved to work well. And of course, the 18x optical zoom lens offered a versatile focal range for shots as well.
Below are sample images I took while using various shooting modes:

Another excellent feature is the Coolpix S9300′s GPS functionality. The GPS menu gives you plenty of options. Once you are in the GPS menu, you’ll be presented with 5 initial options which once accessed will expand to give you even more options. Some of the GPS options include switching the GPS on, synchronizing the camera’s clock, updating the profile, adding Points of Interest, and recording logs of GPS data in 6, 12 and 24 hour periods. The last option places a compass on the screen so you can keep track of the direction you’re traveling in.
The most impressive feature of the Nikon Coolpix S9300 is its focusing system, low-level light performance and high-quality images which are due impart to the camera’s lens as well as its back-illuminated sensor. Additionally, the price for the camera is fair for its large amount of megapixels (16 megapixels), optical zoom capability (18x) and built-in GPS feature.

For pricing and availability:
- Call us at 212-354-1341 if you’re interested in purchasing the new Nikon Coolpix S9300 digital camera (we currently do not have it for sale on our website because we only have a limited amount left in stock!)

Nikon Coolpix P310 Digital Camera Review, Photos, Sample Images, Video Testing in NYC

The Nikon Coolpix P310 is one of the new compact point-and-shoot P-series models released this year. The P310′s claim to fame is it’s bright NIKKOR lens featuring 4.2x optical zoom and a focal range of 24-100mm with a fast maximum aperture of f/1.8 – f/4.9 and lens-shift vibration reduction (VR) technology. 
Other high performance features the Nikon P310 offers include an impressive 16.1 megapixel backside illumination CMOS image sensor that optimizes performance when shooting at night, a sensitivity range of ISO 160 to 6400, various creative shooting modes, PASM full exposure controls, full 1080p HD video recording with stereo sound and slow and fast motion movies, high speed  continuous shots at 7 fps, a 99-point autofocus system and a 3-inch 920,000-dot LCD screen. The Nikon Coolpix P310 is a fast and powerful compact that comes in two classic colors – black and white.
As I mentioned above, one of the most desirable features of this new compact is it’s high-performance NIKKOR glass lens. The P310′s lens minimize blur in both photos and movies and it is ideal for shooting at night, indoors or any low light environment.
In addition to the Nikon Coolpix P310′s lens, another popular feature that improves image quality when shooting in low light is its 16.1 megapixel CMOS sensor and EXPEED C2 image processor. You can feel comfortable shooting with higher ISO settings because you will still achieve impressive results. You can choose to use the cameras Programmed Auto mode which allows the camera to automatically choose the settings for your or if you enjoy having more control over your shots, you can choose to shoot in four different exposure modes: Programmed, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority or Manual.
The Nikon P310 comes with 19 different scene modes and a variety of creative art filters that can add a little spice to your shots and can enhance the overall quality of  your stills and movies.

Below are sample images I shot using the Nikon Coolpix P310 using various shooting modes/creative art filters:

Programmed Auto Mode

Monochrome -  Black and White

Painting Filter

Programmed Auto Mode

Programmed Auto Mode

Programmed Auto Mode

Programmed Auto Mode

Programmed Auto Mode

Macro Mode

Macro Mode

Programmed Auto Mode

Super Macro Mode

Macro Mode

Programmed Auto Mode

Monochrome – Black and White

Programmed Auto Mode


For Pricing and Availability:
- The Nikon Coolpix P310 (Black)

Nikon 1 J1 Digital Camera Review with the Nikon 10-30mm VR Zoom NIKKOR Lens Review, Photos, Sample Images and Video in NYC

Nikon 1 Series 2011 Photo Expo Exhibit
If you’ve followed my blog since last year, you may have read my post on the October 2011 PDN Photo Expo. Unsurprisingly, one of the most impressive booths at the Expo was the Nikon booth featuring hands-on exhibits and a cleverly orchestrated mini fashion show where customers could use the Nikon 1 J1 or V1 to snap shots of the models on stage who were each posing with one of new Nikon 1 series models. Each model wore either a red, black, white or pink dress to represent and match with one of the new Nikon 1 camera’s colors. After taking a few shots with the Nikon 1 J1 mirrorless and interchangeable lens digital camera at the Expo, I couldn’t wait to get a real hands-on test with it. Plus, I’ve tested plenty of new Panasonic and Olympus mirrorless interchangeable lens camera systems so it’s about time I got around to testing the new Nikon 1 J1 mirrorless and interchangeable lens digital camera with the Nikon 10-30mm VR Zoom NIKKOR Lens
 
The Nikon 1 J1 digital camera is compact making it highly portable even with a 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 VR zoom lens attached. It’s mirrorless design allows the camera to not only be extra small in size but also lightweight as well while still incorporating many if not all of the desirable features found in any new mirrored model. In fact, although the J1 is similar in size to the new Panasonic and Olympus models, it does feel more lightweight than the others. The J1 comes equipped with a CX-Format High-Speed AF CMOS Sensor and a EXPEED 3 dual image processor. The sensor allows excellent quality photos even in low light situations and the EXPEED 3 allows for superior system performance, high-speed processing, advanced phase detection autofocus and high-speed data transfer rates. Other J1 key features include 10 fps Continuous Shooting in AF Mode, 73 Point AF Array, 3.0″ 460K-Dot Anti-Glare Color LCD, Full HD (1080p) Movie Record Mode, Motion Snapshot 1-Touch Photo Animation and a Smart Photo Selector, just to name a few.
 

The Nikon 1 J1 that I tested came with a Nikon 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 VR zoom NIKKOR lens which features up to 3x magnification and a silent stepping AF motor(STM). The 10-30mm lens comes standard with the Nikon 1 J1 lens kit. The lens has Vibration Reduction II (VR II) image stabilization technology for reducing the effects of camera shake from hand-held shooting and has a multi-layered coating to help reduce ghosting and flare. The angle of view ranges from 29° 40″ to 77°. The lens’ minimum focus distance is 0.66′ (0.2m and the filter size is 40.5mm.) The 10-30mm lens allows for versatile shots from wide-angle, dynamic scenery to tight portrait shots by applying 3 aspherical lens elements to ensure high quality images even at the widest aperture settings. Additionally, the 10-30mm zoom range can capture fine detain even when you are at a far distance from your subject. The 10-30mm lens has Internal Focusing (IF) technology which allows it to have a closer focusing distance and to have a a compact and lightweight design.

 
As I mentioned earlier, the Nikon 1 J1 has an interchangeable lens system which in addition to the Nikon 10-30mm NIKKOR lens allows you to choose from from 3 optional Nikon 1 NIKKOR lenses. Although I haven’t tested all of the new 1 NIKKOR lenses yet, I read that there is even a new 1 NIKKOR lens that is designed specifically for filming videos. However, while my past experiences with Nikon lenses have been positive, I can’t say I like the idea of having such few options for my interchangeable lens camera. Nikon does not use the four thirds or micro four thirds lens system and when you you compare the options for the J1 with the wide variety of optional lenses available for the new Panasonic and Olympus interchangeable lens system cameras, it is a tad off-putting. Then again, if you wanted a larger array of lens options then your best bet would be to skip these models altogether and just go straight for the DSLR camera instead.

Interestingly enough, the Nikon 1 J1 does not offer the vast amount of lens options as a DSLR would have but similar to a DSLR camera, it does have a rather advanced and complex menu when setting the dial mode to Manual mode. Taking it right out of the box and attempting to use it on Manual Mode immediately was a little frustrating at first because the menu was somewhat challenging to navigate through. However, although the J1 offers an advanced Manual mode option, you can choose to use it as a simple point-and-shoot by setting it to Intelligent Auto (iA) mode. In fact, when using Intelligent Auto Mode the J1 will adjust its settings and change scene modes automatically to give you the best looking shot for whatever environment or subject you are shooting. For example, while shooting in Intelligent Auto Mode, the camera instantly adjusted to Macro Mode simply by placing the camera at a close distance from my subject.

Below are sample images taken with the Nikon 1 J1 with the Nikon 10-30mm lens:

 
 
The Nikon 1 J1 also has a highly responsive autofocus and a fast shooting speed. You can shoot at 10 fps continuous shooting speed in autofocus mode so that your camera won’t lag behind the action. An impressive 73 point AF array gives both stationary or fast-moving subjects impressive clarity. Additionally, the J1 has a 3.0″ LCD color screen with a 460k-dot resolution and an anti-glare coating. When shooting outside, for example, the J1 LCD screen will adjust its brightness automatically so you don’t have to manually adjust it’s white balance when shooting on Intelligent Auto Mode. In general, the Nikon 1 J1 LCD screen appears brighter in comparison to the new Olympus and Panasonic models. The J1 also has a pop-up plastic flash on it’s top right hand side. Honestly, the flash seemed flimsy and I was a sort of paranoid the whole time that I was shooting that I might accidentally snap it off. I mean, at least the Panasonic Lumix GX1 has a flexible pop-up plastic flash that is bendable, the J1 flash just sticks straight up.

The Nikon 1 J1 has a nice one-touch full high definition (1080p) movie record mode which can smoothly and steadily zoom to and from subjects while recording. One of the most desirable features the Nikon 1 J1 offers is the ability to capture still images while recording video simultaneously by switching the dial mode to Photo and Video Mode on the top of the camera. If you want to, you can add a slow-motion effect to your videos for a dramatic feel or you can use Motion Snapshot One-Touch Photo Animation to bring your photos to life. Essentially, this feature creates a picture slideshow where there would otherwise be merely a single image. Thanks to Smart Photo Selector, the J1 chooses the best of the images you’ve taken, so all you have to focus on is getting the shot you want. You can allow the J1 to do the work for you while you do what you love and stay in the moment.


We are currently working on our sample videos taken with the Nikon 1 J1 with the Nikon 10-30mm lens, but check back in a few hours or tomorrow and it will be ready to view!
For pricing and availability:
- The Nikon 1 J1 with Nikon 10-30mm Lens Kit

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