Coolpox P330: A slightly more enthusiast-friendly compact camera

March 4, 2013 8:01 PM PST / Updated: March 4, 2013 8:01 PM PST

Nikon

When Nikon announced in 2011 its "enthusiast compact," the Coolpix P300 , groans were heard 'round the Web when the company unveiled the 1/2.3-inch sensor -- smaller than that found in most cameras considered serious compacts. Two generations later, Nikon seems to have finally rethought that decision; the Coolpix P330 incorporates a bigger 1/1.7-inch sensor, though now it's of the backside-illuminated type that I find doesn't generally deliver top-notch photo quality. Nikon also added raw support to the line, another essential for advanced shooters.

Now the P330 seems like a stripped-down version of the P7700 ; although it retains the GPS capability of the P310 (which Nikon says will remain on the market), the P7700's lens has better specs and it has an articulated LCD. The P330's lens starts out with a fast aperture but I'm betting it hits f5.6 pretty quickly, which would be frustrating. That said, it's coming in at an interestingly aggressive price, which looks like the tradeoff for the slow lens.

Here's where it sits relative to relevant Nikon models:

  Nikon Coolpix P310 Nikon Coolpix P330 Nikon P7700
Sensor (effective resolution) 16.1MP CMOS 12.2MP BSI CMOS 12.2MP BSI CMOS
1/2.3-inch 1/1.7-inch 1/1.7-inch
Sensitivity range ISO 100 - ISO 3200/6400 (exp) ISO 80 - ISO 3200/12800 (exp) ISO 80 - ISO 3200/ 6400 (exp)
Lens 24-100mm
f1.8-4.9
4.2x
24-120mm
f1.8-5.6
5x
28 - 200mm
f2-4
7.1x
Closest focus (inches) 0.8 1.2 0.8
Continuous shooting 7fps
5 JPEG
10fps
10 JPEG
8fps
6 JPEG/ 6 raw
Viewfinder None None None
Autofocus 99-area
Contrast AF
99-area
Contrast AF
n/a
Contrast AF
Metering 224-segment n/a n/a
Shutter 4 - 1/2,000 sec 60 - 1/4,000 sec n/a
Flash Yes Yes Yes
Hot shoe No No Yes
LCD 3-inch fixed
921,000 dots
3-inch fixed
921,000 dots
3-inch articulated
921,000 dots
Image stabilization Optical Optical Optical
Video
(best quality)
1080/30p H.264 Quicktime MOV 1080/60i/50i/ 30p/25p/24p
H.264 Quicktime MOV
1080/30p
H.264 QuickTime MOV
Stereo
Manual iris and shutter in video No n/a Yes
Optical zoom while recording Yes n/a Yes
(Auto only)
External mic support No n/a Yes
Wireless connectivity None Optional
(with WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter)
None
Battery life (CIPA rating) 230 shots 200 shots 330 shots
Dimensions (WHD, inches) 4.1 x 2.3 x 1.3 4.1 x 2.3 x 1.3 4.7 x 2.9 x 2
Weight (ounces) 6.9 (est) 7.1 (est) 13.8
Mfr. price $329.95 $379.95 $499.95
Availability February 2012 March 2013 September 2012

And here's how it stacks up against some relevant competitors:

  Canon PowerShot S110 Nikon Coolpix P330 Olympus Stylus XZ-2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Samsung EX2F Sony Cyber- shot DSC- RX100
Sensor (effective resolution) 12.1MP CMOS 12.2MP BSI CMOS 10MP BSI CMOS 10.1MP MOS 12.4MP BSI CMOS 20.2MP Exmor CMOS
1/1.7-inch 1/1.7-inch 1/1.7-inch 1/1.7-inch
1/1.7-inch 1-inch
(13.2 x 8.8mm)
Sensitivity range ISO 80 - 6400 ISO 80 - ISO 3200/ 12800 (exp) ISO 100 - ISO 12800 ISO 80 - ISO 6400 ISO 80 - ISO 3200/ 12800 (expanded) ISO 100 - ISO 25600
Lens 24-120mm
f2-5.9
5x
24-120mm
f1.8-5.6
5x
28-112mm
f1.8-2.5
4x
24-90mm
f1.4-2.3
3.8x
24-80mm
f1.4-2.7
3.3x
28-100mm
f1.8-4.9
3.6x
Closest focus (inches) 1.2 1.2 0.4 0.4 0.4 1.9
Continuous shooting 10fps
10 frames
10fps
10JPEG
5 fps
n/a
5 fps
12 JPEG/ n/a raw
(11fps without tracking AF)
n/a 2.5fps
(10fps with fixed exposure)
n/a
Viewfinder None None Optional EVF Optional EVF None None
Autofocus n/a
Contrast AF
99 area
Contrast AF
35 area
Contrast AF
23-area
Contrast AF
n/a
Contrast AF
25-area Contrast AF
Metering n/a n/a 324 area n/a
n/a n/a
Shutter 15 - 1/2000 sec 60 - 1/4000 sec 60-1/2000 sec; bulb to 30 min 60-1/4000 sec 30-1/2000 sec 30-1/2000 sec; bulb
Flash Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hot shoe No No Yes Yes Yes No
LCD 3-inch fixed touch screen
461,000 dots
3-inch fixed
921,000 dots
3-inch tilting touch screen
920,000 dots
3-inch fixed
920,000 dots
3-inch articulated AMOLED
614,000 dots
3-inch fixed
921,600 dots
Image stabilization Optical Optical Sensor shift Optical Optical Optical
Video
(best quality)
1080/24p
H.264 QuickTime MOV
Stereo
1080/60i/ 50i/30p/ 25p/24p
H.264 Quicktime MOV
1080p
frame rate n/a
H.264 QuickTime MOV
1080/60p AVCHD @ 28, Mbps; 1080/60p QuickTime MOV @ 28 Mbps
Stereo
1080/30p
H.264 MP4
Stereo
1080/60p/ 50p
AVCHD Stereo
Manual iris and shutter in video Yes n/a n/a n/a n/a Yes
Optical zoom while recording Yes n/a n/a n/a Yes n/a
External mic support No n/a Yes No Yes No
Wireless connectivity Wi-Fi Optional
(with WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter)
Optional Bluetooth None Wi-Fi None
Battery life (CIPA rating) 200 shots 200 shots 310 shots 330 shots n/a 330 shots
Dimensions (WHD, inches) 3.9 x 2.3 x 1.1 4.1 x 2.3 x 1.3 4.4 x 2.6 x 1.9 4.4 x 2.6 x 1.8 4.4 x 2.4 x 1.1 4.0 x 2.4 x 1.4
Weight (ounces) 7 (est) 7.1 (est) 12.2 (est) 10.6 (est) 11.4 (est) 8.5
Mfr. price $449.99 $379.95 $599.99 $499 $499.99 $649.99
Availability October 2012 March 2013 November 2012 August 2012 August 2012 July 2012

Nikon

The P330 looks like a formidable competitor for the more expensive Canon PowerShot S110, with its similarly weak lens, unless you're wedded to Wi-Fi and a touch screen. The rest of its competitors, while more expensive (a gap which isn't as big for street prices), have better lens specs, and in the case of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC- RX100 , likely a much better sensor.

Don't Miss

 

ARTICLE DISCUSSION

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Quick Specifications See All

  • Digital camera type Ultracompact
  • Optical Zoom 5 x
  • Optical Sensor Type BSI-CMOS
  • Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixel
  • Image Stabilizer optical
  • Optical Sensor Size 1/1.7"
About The Author

Lori Grunin is a senior editor for CNET Reviews, covering cameras, camcorders, and related accessories. She's been writing about and reviewing consumer technology and software since 1988.