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Ilse Jurriën : February 21th 2006 - 07:00 CET updated

Nikon Coolpix P3

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NikonNikon Coolpix P3 : Nikon Corporation has further expanded its family of compact digital cameras with the introduction of the Nikon Coolpix P3 model. The Nikon P3 combines an exceptional 8.1 Megapixels of resolution with an array of advanced features, marking a leap forward in picture-taking enjoyment. The Nikon Coolpix P3 features a 1/1.8-inch CCD and, because the Nikon S3 offers 8.1 effective Megapixels of image resolution, the camera delivers outstanding imaging power that's not only enough to show beautiful skin texture and capture the myriad colours of the human eye. It also means shots stay breathtakingly clear even when significantly enlarged. The Nikon Coolpix P3 camera is scheduled for release in February 2006.
Nikon Coolpix P3Nikon P3 - Vibration reduction
The Coolpix P3 incorporates a high-quality 3.5x Zoom-Nikkor lens with a focal range of a 36-126mm lens (equiv. 35mm format. This enables to zoom in for close compositions, zoom and even enjoy macro shooting from as close as 4cm. Additionally the Nikon Coolpix P3 incorporates Nikon's innovative VR (Vibration Reduction) capability. Originally developed for Nikon SLRs, lens shift VR capability is available in two modes that compensate for camera movement to realize a shooting experience akin to shooting at shutter speeds three stops faster.

Nikon Coolpix P3 camera - Macro shooting and LCD
VR Normal compensates for the minor movements that can happen all too easily during handheld shooting, while VR Active compensates for more pronounced movements, so you can even achieve rock-steady results while shooting from a moving vehicle, for example. Allowing photographers to shoot without blurring in lower light or when taking handheld macro shots, VR also extends to movie shooting ,and even helps support faster framing on the large 2.5-inch 150,000-dot LCD.

Nikon Coolpix P3 digital camera - Wireless and PictBridge
Delivering further photographic fun and freedom through built-in Wi-Fi capability, the Nikon Coolpix P3 offers IEEE 802.11b/g LAN support. Surprisingly easy to set up and use, it lets users send images instantly to a selected computer as soon as they're taken, or alternately send all images stored on memory to a computer in one go. Wireless freedom also extends to printing too, so users can carry out cable-free printing to PictBridge-compatible printers (requires optionally available Wireless Printer Adapter PD-10).

Nikon P3 camera - Wide auto focus
A range of advanced imaging features make the Nikon Coolpix P3 stands out from other compact digital cameras, giving photographers greater control to produce shots that match their discreet personal tastes. The 11 wide-area AF delivers more accurate autofocus by analysing a larger area of the frame so photographers can experiment with more imaginative compositions. For example, with main subjects positioned away from the centre or with multiple subjects, they can still be assured of crisp, sharp results.

Nikon P3 digital camera - Aperture and Histogram
The Nikon P3 offers Aperture-priority Auto mode to let photographers benefit from aperture control in 1/3EV steps, so they can select large apertures for attractive background blurring or stop down to small apertures to extend crisp focus into the distance, all while the camera automatically selects the most appropriate shutter speed for optimized exposure. For all kinds of shooting, an on-screen histogram provides analytical assistance for exposure. Surprisingly easy to understand, it displays shadow levels on the left and highlight levels on the right of the large LCD, so users can avoid under- and overexposure before they even press the shutter.

Nikon Coolpix digital camera - Scene and Video
There's also a range of Advanced Scene modes (9 Advanced Scene modes; 7 Scene modes) that help photographers capture a single scene with entirely different moods through the use of three effects that vary brightness, colour intensity, sharpness, noise reduction and more. The Nikon Coolpix P3 makes it easy to shoot movies with sound, with a choice of three modes offering up to 30fps performance. There's also a Time-lapse movie mode that uses pictures shot with the Interval timer shooting function to create a movie in which the action appears speeded up.

Nikon Coolpix P3 - Continue shooting
Helping photographers capture the action as it happens, the Nikon P3 also features continuous shooting at up to 1.8 frames per second. This capability is also complemented by 5-shot buffer shooting that allows users to keep shooting in a continuous burst and have the camera record the last five images taken. Such functionality can be great when trying to capture an event that could happen imminently.

Nikon Coolpix P3 compact camera - Intelligent software
Images can even be improved in-camera through the use of three innovative Nikon functions. Face-priority AF cleverly detects people's faces to achieve sharp focus on them, no matter where they happen to be located in the frame. In-Camera Red-Eye Fix helps users make red-eye a thing of the past by detecting the annoying red-eye effect that can sometimes occur in flash photography and providing automatic compensation for more flattering, natural-looking portraits in low light. There's also Nikon's unique D-Lighting function, available in playback mode, which can improve underexposed images or shots taken with too much back light by creating a copy of an image with added light and detail wherever necessary, leaving well-exposed areas exactly as they were.

Nikon P3 compact digital camera - Operation and Design
Operation of the Nikon Coolpix P3 is exceptionally smooth and user-friendly. Icons are clearer and have optimal proportions, users can opt to select functions by either name or icon, and all menus and icons have been created with a new colour scheme that's easier on the eye. Design-wise, the Nikon Coolpix P3 has been made even more desirable with exterior lines that convey a distinct air of simplicity and quality, yet which feel comfortable in the hand. The use of aluminum throughout the exterior builds on this sense of quality, while the lens and grip sections have been given a flatter, space-efficient form. Furthermore, various different materials have been incorporated into the design to provide visually appealing contrast.

Nikon Coolpix P3 - Software
Like all Coolpix cameras, the Nikon P3 comes bundled with Nikon's complimentary and exclusive PictureProject software. Now featuring easy-to-use Wireless Camera Setup Utility, which uses a simple Wizard that will configure the cameras for wireless operation for use with the Nikon Coolpix P3, PictureProject adds even more possibilities to digital photography. Complete with an interface that is as elegant as it is simple, it makes for simple image editing and supports easy image organization and sharing, while compatibility with a range of plug-ins lets users add exciting new capabilities on demand.

Nikon Coolpix P3 features
• Highly compact dimensions of (W x H x D) 92 x 61 x 31mm (3.6 x 2.4 x 1.2 in.)
• Weight of approx. 170g (5.6 oz.) (without battery and SD memory card)
• USB connectivity enables fast data transfer to computers and other peripherals
• Battery Charger MH-61 supplied
• Ample 23MB (approx.) of internal memory, SD Card compatibility
• Best Shot Selector identifies and saves the sharpest image from ten sequential shots
• Date Search function makes it easy to locate a desired shot
• Menu available in a choice of 20 languages
• Rechargeable EN-EL5 Li-ion Battery (supplied) can shoot approx. 200 shots
• Direct printing with PictBridge-compatible printers via USB cable
• Macro Mode lets users compose as close as 4cm from the subject
• Noise Reduction produces better results when shooting in low light
• Time zone function enables the camera clock to be set to local time
• 4x digital zoom extends compositional freedom
• Continuous shooting at up to 1.8fps
• Auto whit balance with TTL control, 7-mode manual
• Voice memo appends 20 seconds of audio to a selected photograph

Vibration Reduction System
The Nikon Coolpix P3 features the VR (Vibration Reduction) system originally developed for Nikon SLR cameras. Comprising two modes, it allows selection of VR Normal mode that compensates for the minor camera movement commonly encountered when taking handheld shots, and VR Active mode that compensates for more pronounced movements, such as when shooting from a moving vehicle. Providing a shooting experience akin to shooting at shutter speeds three stops faster, it enables photographers to shoot without blurring in lower light, keeps subjects clear when panning, and also helps support faster framing on the LCD. What's more, the benefits of VR (Normal mode) assurance also extend to movie shooting so users can capture action with welcome stability.

Nikon Coolpix software - Image correction
The Nikon Coolpix P3 features a selection of three Nikon innovations that give the photographer the ability to actually improve the quality of images in-camera. The Face-priority AF function has the ability to cleverly locate the presence of human faces in the frame and then provide optimized focus accordingly for sharper portraits time after time. In-Camera Red-Eye Fix helps to eradicate the annoying red-eye effect that can sometimes be encountered during flash photography by detecting red eyes in the shot and compensating automatically. There's also D-Lighting, which can improve underexposed images or shots taken with too much back light by creating a copy of a selected image with light and detail automatically added wherever necessary and well-exposed areas left exactly as they are.

Nikon Coolpix P3 camera - Settings
The Nikon P3 offers a range of imaging capabilities extending beyond the norm. Covering a broader area of the frame, 11 wide-area AF achieves better results in more diverse compositions, leaving photographers free to concentrate on the shot while the camera automatically achieves superior, sharp focus. Advanced Scene modes allow photographers to produce pictures better suited to their own personal tastes, offering a choice of three effects that vary brightness, color intensity, sharpness, noise reduction and more so that the same scene can be captured to convey entirely different moods. The Nikon Coolpix P3 also offers the versatility of Aperture-priority Auto mode, which gives photographers control over aperture while the camera automatically selects the optimal corresponding shutter speeds, so users can choose larger apertures to achieve attractive background blur, for example, or select a smaller aperture to extend sharp detail into the distance.

   Nikon Coolpix P3 specification
   Nikon Coolpix P3 user review
   Nikon Coolpix digital cameras
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