In the meat of Nikon’s COOLPIX P310 sits a 16MP CMOS sensor and 4.2x optical zoom. The zoom itself covers a 35mm equivalent focal range of 24-100mm, although the main draw is really its fast maximum aperture. At the wide end of the focal range this equates to a maximum aperture of f/1.8, making it capable of capturing extra shallow depth of field. This maximum aperture isn’t available throughout the full focal range, however, and decreases to f/4.9 at the tele end of the zoom.
Another welcome factor regarding the lens is the addition of Nikon’s advanced lens-shift Vibration Reduction system. The system is in its second generation and, Nikon claims, lets you use shutter speeds of up to four stops slower than you would conventionally be able to shoot.
As aforementioned, the P310 features a 1/2.3in, 16MP CMOS sensor – the sensor is of the backlit variety, meaning that it should perform better in low light conditions and at high ISO settings, while the on-board EXPEED processor also promises to aid this process.
The native ISO sensitivity of the Nikon P310’s sensor ranges between ISO 100 and 3200. The sensor also features two extendable settings labelled Hi 1 and Hi 2, which allow the photographer to shoot at ISO settings of 6400 and 12800 at full resolution.
As you would expect from a camera which has an eye-catching large aperture lens, the P310 allows you to control said aperture manually. The P310 features program, aperture priority, shutter priority and manual modes. This isn’t to say that the camera is solely aimed at the advanced shooter though, as the P310 also features an Auto shooting mode and, as is becoming standard on compact cameras these days, a Scene auto selector shooting mode as well.
One shooting mode which is also becoming more common is 3D image capture, and this had made an appearance on the P310. The camera’s 3D capture mode combines two separate image taken from different positions through one lens, allowing images to be displayed on 3D TVs, although this is reasonably considered to be the lesser of the 3D capture modes.
The high-end feature set initiated in the P310’s sensor and lens continues on the back of the camera. The model features a striking 3in, 921k-dot LCD screen complete with anti-reflective coating, the resolution of which places it right towards the high-end of the market.