We all loved, and still do love, the Nikon Coolpix P500 for being one of the pioneers and long-standing leaders among the bridge camera series. For the longest time, it was one of the best cameras you could pick up if you were looking for something that could perform far better than an ordinary point-and-shoot, but be easier to handle and cheaper than a DSLR.
I came across the concept of the bridge cameras when the Nikon L110 a couple of years ago, when I was looking to change my sturdy Canon camera, and wanted to invest in a camera which could do more for me than just sit tight in my purse. I came across the ad for the L110 and literally fell in love at first sight. It was the ideal kind of camera I had been looking for – with a super-zoom and a solid form factor, it felt perfect in my hands. I loved photography, but I was not too sure of just how much of an enthusiast I was. As a result, I did not want to waste precious money on a DSLR without being sure of how much I would be able to use it. The bridge camera has been the perfect option for a photography amateur like me who would use the camera sparingly, but whenever I use the camera, I love that I can click semi-pro photos with it.
The coolest features: Nikon recently launched the P510 as a suitable replacement to its extremely popular P500 bridge camera. You might find this piece a little biased, but once you learn more about the P510, you too can’t help but become a loyal fan of Nikon. The best thing about the P510 is its absolutely brilliant 42X wide optical zoom, a significant improvement from the P500’s 36X zoom which lets you get an even better view of your subjects from a distance. The P510 comes with a 16.1 mega-pixel CMOS sensor as well as GPS capabilities that lets you geotag your images on the go with the corresponding latitude and longitude of the location. The GPS system also allows you to record your route when the camera is not being used to take pictures.
The finer details for still clicks: For the novice, the P510 has 16 scene modes that automatically adjust camera settings appropriately so you can click the best possible pictures in any condition. For the more experienced photographer, the P510 comes with full manual exposure modes so that you can tweak the camera settings on your own for the perfect capture. Other modes include auto HDR, easy panorama 180°/360°, 3D shooting, high-speed continuous, manual focus and subject tracking autofocus. You can even edit your pictures as soon as you click them using the inbuilt retouch options which include a range of filter effects, selective color and cross screen.
Video capabilities: The P510 lets you record full HD (1080p) movies with stereo sound using a dedicated video-record button to start filming. You can also use the optical zoom along with the autofocus feature while recording, and choose between slow or fast motion recording with speeds up to 120 frames per second. Record your movies in iFrame format and connect your camera directly to an HD TV using the built-in HDMI connector to view your videos.
The price: You can pick up a Nikon Coolpix P510 for a little over Rs. 23, 000 from camera stores around the country or leading online shopping websites. Not too steep a price for all the features it packs in!