Nikon Coolpix P510 Review: Bigger Gets Better

by Reads (232)
  • Editor's Rating

    Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

      • Image/Video Quality
      • 9
      • Features
      • 9
      • Design / Ease of Use
      • 9
      • Performance
      • 8
      • Expandability
      • 9
      • Total Score:
      • 8.80
      • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10
  • Pros

    • Big 42x optical zoom
    • 1080p HD movie
    • EVF and articulated, hi-res 3.0-inch monitor
  • Cons

    • Expensive
    • Long video start delay
    • Somewhat bulky

Quick Take

The Nikon Coolpix P510 is nothing short of impressive. It boasts a sharp zoom lens with a telephoto equivalent of 1000mm and produces some very good images for its class.

The Nikon Coolpix P510 pulls of a very challenging engineering trick – it offers a fixed 42x optical zoom lens. That\’s an equivalent range starting at a wide 24mm and stretching out to an unheard of 1000mm. Such a wide zoom range in a relatively small package presents some problems. First, keeping images at the long end of that zoom free of blur demands a solid image stabilization system.

And as compact lenses grow more complex, generally they tend to decline in quality, introducing unwanted distortions and a lack of sharpness. The Nikon Coolpix P510 does an impressive job of overcoming all of these potential pitfalls. It\’s more than worthy of a second look if it\’s a lot of zoom you\’re after.

\"NikonOverall, the Nikon Coolpix P510 is similar to another recent Nikon release, the P310, even though they look nothing alike (the P310 is a small pocket camera). Both have the same GPS system, EXPEED C2 image processers, 16-megapixel CMOS sensors, VR systems, and three-inch LCD monitors. In fact, the only real differences are the sizes and zoom lenses.

And it\’s the zoom that sells the P510. As DigitalCameraReview notes, \”a DSLR shooter would need a camera bag full of very expensive lenses to cover the same range as that 42x zoom.\” Unfortunately, the P510 is marred by a \”ludicrous\” viewfinder blackout and full second recording start delay. Those are relatively minor gripes however, and the traveler on a budget looking for a tough digicam with \”lots of reach\” will find the P510 to be an excellent choice.


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