Nikon Coolpix P510 review: Hands-on

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The Nikon P510 is the brand's latest superzoom camera, packing a 42x zoom

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Nikon Coolpix P510 Review: A Superzoom camera is part of the brand's range refresh, offering an impressive 42x zoom. We went hands-on

The Nikon Coolpix P510 superzoom heads up the the brand's refreshed range for 2012 and is the successor to the Nikon Coolpix P500, increasing the zoom from 36x to 42x.

We went along for an early look at Nikon's new cam, although the unit that we saw wasn't powered up, as it wasn't the final model.

But even without any juice, the P510 still looks set to be a strong contender in the superzoom sector.

Naturally, we'll update our review with more information and a rating as soon as we can get a mitts on a full working version.

Nikon Coolpix P510: Build

The chassis of the Nikon Coolpix P510 certainly feels sturdy, as you'd expect for a camera costing just under £400.

Weighing in at 555g, it's obviously not as hefty as an SLR, but it's significantly heavier than a compact so that you're unlikely to forget that you're carting it around in your bag.

The grip is suitably comfy while the textured finish provides enough grip to keep the camera safely in your hand.

What's more, the textured thumb rest on the back of the unit is placed in a natural spot that most should find comfy and intuitive.

Nikon Coolpix P510: Controls

The most notable difference when compared with its predecessor is that the effects mode on the P510 has been given its own dedicated spot on the top dial, so that you no longer have to navigate your way through a series of menu screens to find it.

This is a nice touch for those who want to add a few arty touches to their pics, although possibly not so interesting to serious snappers.

Nikon Coolpix P510: Screen

The P510's packs a decent-sized 3-inch, 921k dot LCD screen that can be tilted 80 degrees downwards and 90 degrees upwards.

This is a very handy feature for shooting in awkward places, such as over the top of a crowd, or shooting very low down on the ground.

Unfortunately we weren't able to see the screen powered up, but the tilting mechanism certainly felt reassuringly sturdy and smooth to operate.

Nikon Coolpix P510: Battery

The Nikon Coolpix P510 sports an EN-EL5 rechargable Li-ion battery, and offers a quoted battery life of approximately 240 shots per full charge.

We weren't able to test out the battery life as we were only had a short time with the camera, and more importantly, there was no battery in it, but naturally we'll be giving it a thorough test once we get a full review unit in.

Nikon Coolpix P510: Picture quality

While we can't comment on the P510's picture quality just yet, we can tell you that the camera sports a 16.1 megapixel sensor, along with a focal length of 4.3 - 180mm and a f/3 - 5.9 aperture.

The 510 can also record video up to full HD (1920x1080 pixels) and offers a 3D shooting mode for creating 3D images for viewing on compatible TVs and computers.

It also sports a vibration reduction mode to minimise pesky image blur caused by shaky hands.

There's also a range of filter effects including a nifty selective colour mode that converts your image to monochrome then adds a splash of colour, after you've chosen your specified hue using the dial on the back of the camera and an onscreen colour guage.

Nikon Coolpix P510: Verdict

While we've yet to see the final working version of the Nikon Coolpix P510, our first impressions were certainly good.

The sturdy chassis is comfortable to hold and didn't feel too heavy (although it's worth noting that the unit we saw didn't contain the added weight of a battery).

The screen's tilting mechanism also looks like a good selling point for those shooting in tricky situations, while the arty filters will give the beginners something to play around with.

The 42x zoom is the star of the show here, although we didn't get to try that out for ourselves. Obvisouly we'll bring you a full review as soon as we have our hands on a test sample.

Nikon Coolpix P510: Availability

Nikon Coolpix P510 price: £399.99