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Christmas Gift Guide

Compact design

Manual controls

Interface

Thin

Advanced controls

Compensation

The P300 has a basic and functional, compact-but-not-too-small design that should appeal to more-advanced shooters. It includes a wide-angle 4.2x zoom lens with a fast maximum aperture of f1.8.
Caption by / Photo by CNET/Sarah Tew
A generous set of manual controls and stereo microphone are among the P300's relatively high-end feature set.
Caption by / Photo by CNET/Sarah Tew
The interface is pretty straightforward, for both basic and advanced shooting functions, with big, easy-to-read text. The menu and delete buttons feel a little too flat, but otherwise the layout feels and works well.
Caption by / Photo by CNET/Sarah Tew
The P300 strikes a good balance between size and usability; it's not too thin to hold comfortably, and not too big that you'll leave it at home.
Caption by / Photo by CNET/Sarah Tew
You do have to jump into the menus to adjust most of the advanced shooting controls, but the menus are pretty sparse so it's not too onerous. Oddly, the camera lacks a spot metering setting (though it's possible that was just a bug in our preproduction unit).
Caption by / Photo by CNET/Sarah Tew
I don't know why, but I really like this basic interface for adjusting exposure compensation, hue, and vividness.
Caption by / Photo by CNET/Sarah Tew
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