For users that don’t like using DSLRs (maybe it’s the price or the lack of confidence), you have the Nikon Coolpix P510 as your digital camera alternative. It’s a non-DSLR camera with quality glass, advance optics and it can shoot from great distances.

The Nikon Coolpix is the Japanese brand’s flagship camera. It features an astounding 42x optical zoom lens (that’s 1000mm zoom using a 35mm camera).

Since you’re zooming to quite a distance, Nikon includes an Advance Optical Vibration Reduction image stabilization technology. The Nikon Coolpix P510 employs a 16.1 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor and it’s powered by the Nikon EXPEED C2 image processors.


The Nikon Coolpix P510 is the ultimate super-zoom camera with its 42x optical zoom which ranges from 24mm to 1000mm. That’s great lens for a non-DSLR camera.

The camera and its 16 megapixel Backside Illuminated CMOS imaging sensor, Lens Shift VR Image Stabilization, Built-in GPS, a 921,000-dot Vari-Angle Clear Color Display are also equally impressive.

The camera has 1080p HD video and it captures stereo sound.

The Nikon Coolpix P510 is a mix of fully automatic and full manually modes. It has scene modes including the trendy 3D shooting, HDR and Easy Panorama for 180 degree and 360 degree seamless images.


The Nikon Coolpix P510’s handling and built is actually easy and comfortable and you hold. It’s built like a DSLR and it has well-placed controls. When you use the longer end of the zoom, you would need to hold the camera by both hands for added stability. Using its full zoom means that any slight movement can be magnified in the image. There is a Lens Shift VR but that feature has its limits.

When you combine the camera’s electronic viewfinder with the zoom lens, the camera feels like a real DSLR camera. The camera also has a 3 inch LCD screen to view photos.


The outdoor sample shows that the Nikon Coolpix P510 handles exposure well and it renders decent colors on both sunny and overcast days. Bright and sunny days create more vivid colors.
Slight overexposure is seen in overcast days.

Composing photos using the zoom range is great, however using the full zoom-in range can cause blurry images, especially when hand-held. Indoor images show average noise in ISOs ranging from 100-8000. However, these photos are still good for small prints.

Auto Selectors

The Scene Auto Selector and Portrait mode turn the face detection of the Nikon camera automatically. In a group shot, faces will be detected and focused. The mode also sets the Focus, Exposure, White Balance which is great.

Easy Panorama and 3D

You can actually create special images with these modes and unlike the SLR, you don’t have to work hard to achieve the shots. Easy Panorama mode allows you to take a panorama image just by panning the camera. The P510 has settings for 180° and 360° images.

The 3D mode is not true 3D because the camera doesn’t have dual lenses. Instead once you shoot an image, you have to pan to the right ever so slightly so until you see the image aligned on the screen. The camera will automatically capture the next image and create the 3D .mpo (3D image) file as well as saving a .jpg of the image.

Bottom Line: We like the CoolPix P510. It has amazing zoom and really good glass. The Panorama and 3D modes are fun to use. The performance is good and the high speed burst allows to capture movement. For a $280 price tag, this is quite a great gadget.
Main Features
Full HD (1080p) Movies with Stereo Sound
GPS record location information of your pictures and movies
42x Zoom-NIKKOR ED glass lens
3-inch Ultra-high-resolution (921,000 Dot) LCD,Self Timer: 10 Sec, 2 Sec
16.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor
GPS record location information of your pictures and movies
Full HD (1080p) Movies with Stereo Sound
3-inch Ultra-high-resolution (921,000 Dot) LCD
42x Zoom-NIKKOR ED glass lens
16.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor
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