Most camera giants in the market are at close competition with each other in their bridge segment compact super-zooms. In a bid to outdo high powered mobile phone cameras, traditional camera manufacturers are flooding the market with products that have incremental and competing features. With the consumer spoilt for choice, I think we are compelled to go back to the basics of optics, handling and day-to-day usability for a critical assessment before zeroing on in anyone model.
CoolPix P530 is Nikon’s newest offering in the compact superzoom segment. As the name suggests, this camera acts as a bridge between a compact point-and-shoot and an interchangable lens DSLR.
When I got the opportunity to review this model, I decided to give it a spin at Delhi’s own archaeological park in good light conditions.
The Nikon Coolpix P530 is a lower priced 16MP alternative to its predecessor, the P520, with the significant improvement of an external microphone socket for recording higher quality audio for movies. Apart from this one improvement, it has only been about compromises in features, specifications and image quality, as far as its notable predecessor is concerned.
The P530 is a solid, chunky camera– something that aids stable handheld shooting at long focal lengths. While many argue that weight is a problem, for practical use, it gives the feel of using an entry-level DSLR, not to mention the fact that it provides the much-needed stability at longer focal lengths.
Furthermore, the exterior of the camera, with its rubberised body and protruded grip makes it very secure in hand.
Having been a Nikon user for almost three years now, I felt at home with the main menu system. The mode dial on the top of the camera made it very easy for me to switch between the different exposure options- Manual, Semi-Automatic and Auto. Like most compact super-zoom cameras, this too has a Scene-Auto selector mode. There is also a dedicated movie record button on the back of the camera.
P530s 42X zoom is its biggest selling point. And I could very easily access it through a lever around its shutter release. Zooming in and out with this lever seemed pretty smooth.
The biggest issue that I have with this model, as far as the design is concerened, is that the camera’s LCD screen does not have an eye-sensor. It was extremely distracting to press a dedicated button on top of the screen, every time I had