New Nikon Coolpix P310 aims to take on Canon PowerShot S100

Nikon announced the 16.1MP COOLPIX P310 today — 1 February 2012 — which is the successor to the P300. The Canon PowerShot S95 and more recently the S100 are the benchmarks for pocket-size, high quality cameras offering extensive manual control, but the P310 is a very compelling option priced a full $100 cheaper than the S100.

Similar to the P300, the P310 has an ISO of up to 3200 and a lens that offers the same fast maximum aperture of f/1.8. New features include a lens-shift vibration reduction (VR) function which offers camera shake compensation equivalent to a four-step increase in shutter speed, a custom function button on the front of the camera that will help the user access presets quickly, and new onboard software for editing the camera’s 1080p/30-fps videos.

In addition to full manual, aperture-priority, and shutter-priority modes, the Coolpix P310 has a number of low-light modes that make the most of its f/1.8 lens and backside illumination CMOS sensor. As with the P300, recording movies happens at 1080p and the same 3-inch high, 921,000-dot LCD is on board.

As the P310 definitely looks a lot like Canon’s S100, it’s clear that Nikon is trying its damnedest to focus attention away from Canon and with its aggressive $329.95 pricing, it might just do that. For more information check out the full press release.

Here’s what Nikon wants you to know about the P310:

  • Backside illumination CMOS sensor with an effective pixel count of 16.1-million pixels enables capture of images exhibiting little noise at the high sensitivities required for night landscapes and pictures taken indoors under dim lighting
  • Lens-shift vibration reduction (VR) function that effectively reduces the effects of camera shake
  • COOLPIX Picture Control for optimizing images prior to shooting
  • Four Picture Controls
  • Options for fine tuning Picture Controls
  • Recording of full-HD movies for which exposure and color settings, as well as optical zoom, can be applied
  • 3-inch, approximately 921k-dot TFT LCD monitor with wide viewing angle offers bright display under sunny skies and clear viewing indoors
  • Nikon optical technologies for stunning landscapes and night landscapes
  • NIKKOR lens with fast maximum aperture of f/1.8
  • High refractive-index lens for a more compact body
  • 4.2x optical zoom lens with built-in lens-shift vibration reduction (VR)
  • A variety of shooting functions that enable the capture of photos as intended
  • 9 Special Effects that can be applied prior to shooting
  • 5 Filter Effects for editing photos after they’ve been taken
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