Snapshot Voyager is about my own personal photography journey. I am always looking to try something new, inquisitive as to how it works, and to the end results I might achieve.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Nikon Coolpix P330 - a mini mini review

Like my father in law, I was also tasked with getting my mother in law a new camera.  She wanted a compact that would take nice photos and go in her purse, so a Sony NEX wasn't going to work.  All she knew was it had to have a zoom (the Fuji XF1 manual zoom was no good) and it had to be very easy to use.  I wanted to make sure it had good low light capabilities so she could take nice photos indoors without flash, and be responsive enough to shoot antsy grand children.  Of course the best camera available for this would be a Sony RX100, but it was more than double her budget.

After a bit of research and looking around, I decided on the Nikon Coolpix P330.  It has the best image quality of any camera with a 1/1.7" sensor, has a good zoom range (equivalent to 24-120mm), a fast aperture f1.8 lens at 24mm, Vibration Reduction and a lovely 900,000 dot 3" screen.  It's also very pocketable (though not the smallest), and has almost all the features of Nikon's flagship compact the P7700.
My job was to get the camera ready for her.  So I bought a 8 GB card, charged the battery and looked at the menus to make sure it was suitable for her.  Principally, I changed the auto ISO range from 100-400, to 100-1600 to make sure she was able to use it in all lighting conditions.

Before I gave it to her I decided to try it out.  It certainly isn't as responsive a DSLR, or even a mirrorless, but it still works well.  ISO performance reminds me of my old D2X. The images at low ISO (ie 100-400) are excellent. At ISO 800 quality drops, while ISO 3200 and above is really for last resort only.   There's lots of smudging of details and noise apparent, and really not that usable.

The 3" screen is lovely, and great for both shooting and reviewing photos, while auto mode captures almost everything correctly, except white balance under tungsten lighting is sometimes a challenge.
The lens is sharp and I particularly like the 24mm equiv wide angle.  At the 120mm tele end, the lens darkens significantly to f5.6 and macro mode is no longer available.

All in all, a nice fun to use camera that has good image quality and is very compact.  I liked it.

Note:  All shots done with the Nikon Coolpix P330 at f1.8 at 24mm in macro mode.

No comments:

Post a Comment