Saturday, Oct 25, 2014

Nikon Coolpix P340 review: Perfect for night photography

NIKON-1 Nikon Coolpix P340 (Source: Abhimanyu Chakravorty, Indian Express)
Written by Abhimanyu Chakravorty | New Delhi | Posted: June 26, 2014 1:53 pm | Updated: June 28, 2014 2:57 pm

The Nikon Coolpix P340 is an absolute delight for enthusiasts who are looking for a pocket-sized travel camera for everyday use. It does outdo many of its competitors on the price front while also offering solid features to lure photographers. There might be barely any difference between the P340 and its predecessor the P330, but with some tweaks such as an added Wi-Fi and a headline-grabbing 24-120mm f/ 1.8-5.6 zoom lens, makes it a great piece of equipment.

We tested the Coolpix and here’s what we found:

DESIGN AND EASE OF USE

The camera proportions don’t lie. In pictures as in real life, it’s quite compact (103 x 58 x 32mm) and lightweight (194g) enough for you to carry it around in your trouser or shirt pocket without discomfort. But that said, the design is very blocky. When you hold the Coolpix P340, it might feel flimsy but its build quality is almost at par with Nikon’s more expensive cameras. It’s solid yet lightweight with a magnesium alloy chassis.

A very nifty feature that might help a lot of users is the small, but helpful rubber grip on the top right corner, big enough for a thumb to fit. I am a stickler for detail even when I upload pictures on Instagram. So I always carry my smartphone along with a compact camera at all times. This I do to minimise/compensate bad shots taken from a smartphone. There’s only so much a smartphone can do really.

NIKON COOLPIX P340 GALLERY: Once you activate the Vibration Reduction (VR) Mode, the Coolpix takes sharp images without a hassle. 

Besides, the camera fires up in 1/2 second and is ready to shoot. The camera grip is also very handy: it allows you to get a secure grip for a great picture even if you use it one-handed. As for instant upload, its Wi-Fi feature will allow you to transfer photos to a smartphone using the Nikon app. This is good news for travel enthusiasts who itch to share photos onto social media without having to return to their dusty desktops to edit and upload them. The camera also has a physical mode dial and front function button which are both great additions. We would have also loved a touchscreen interface. But then that would only jack up the price.

PERFORMANCE

The camera fires up in ½ a second which is great. But when you start to switch between settings in the menu, you notice the laziness. A lot of thinking has gone behind this camera no doubt, but the whole menu operation seems to lack the immediacy people would expect from a high-end camera of this sort.

Nikon Coolpix P340 (Source: Abhimanyu Chakravorty, Indian Express) Nikon Coolpix P340 (Source: Abhimanyu Chakravorty, Indian Express)

But that isn’t the case with the P340’s autofocus system. The autofocus is prompt in choosing continued…

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