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Nikon's Coolpix P3 digital camera. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Nikon announces two P-series Coolpix cameras
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, February 21, 2006 - 02:00 EST)

Two new digital camera models today add to Nikon's P-series lineup of digital cameras, the P- designation apparently standing for "performance".

Aimed at photographers who want more control than is offered by many digital cameras, the Coolpix P3 and P4 both offer a sensor resolution of eight megapixels coupled to a 3.5x optical zoom lens with vibration reduction - a useful addition that will make the cameras more versatile in difficult shooting conditions. There's also a sizeable 2.5" LCD display, aperture priority auto mode to help unleash your creative side, and continuous shooting at 1.8 frames per second. The Coolpix P4 offers USB and video connectivity, which the P3 supplements with 802.11b / g compatible wireless LAN connectivity.

Both cameras will ship this March. The Coolpix P4 will cost $399.95, and the wifi-equipped P3 will retail at $449.95.

Nikon Coolpix P4
Nikon's Coolpix P4 digital camera. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
General
Camera Type Compact
Manufacturer Nikon
Model Number P4
Dimensions 3.6 x 2.4 x 1.2"
92.0 x 61.0 x 31.0mm
Weight 170.0 g
5.9 oz
Planned Price $399.95
Planned Availability Mar 2006
Image Capture
Sensor Type 1/1.8" CCD
8.31 megapixels (total)
8.10 megapixels (effective)
Aspect Ratio 3:2
Image Dimensions 8.0 megapixels
5.0 megapixels
3.0 megapixels
Capture Speed Continuous: 1.8 frames per second for 5 frames
Image Quality 3 levels
Image Preview / Review
Viewfinder No
LCD 2.5", 150,000 pixels
Lens
Lens Type Nikkor
3.5x optical zoom
Image Stabilization Yes
Focal Length 7.5 - 26.3mm (actual)
36 - 126mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Range f/2.7 (wide) / f/5.2 (tele) - ???
Focusing System 11 wide-area AF, includes Face Priority AF
Focusing Range Normal: 12" - infinity (30 cm - infinity)
Macro: 1.6" - infinity (4.0 cm - infinity)
Exposure
Exposure Modes Aperture
Metering Modes 256-segment matrix
Internal Flash Modes: Auto, Auto with Red-eye Reduction (In-Camera Red-Eye Fix), Flash Cancel, Anytime Flash, Slow sync
Range: Wide: 1ft4in - 13ft/0.4 - 4.0m; Tele: 1ft4in - 6ft7in/0.4 - 2.0m
Creative
Scene Modes Portrait [Face AF], Portrait, Night Portrait, Landscape, Night landscape, Sunset, Dusk/Dawn, Fireworks show, Close up, Party/Indoor, Panorama assist, Beach/Snow, Back light, Museum, Copy, Sports
Digital Zoom 4x
Self Timer Yes, 3 or 10 seconds
Time Lapse Yes
Storage
Recording Medium SD/MMC, Built-in
Connectivity
Video Yes
Computer USB 1.1
Other DC In
Power
Battery Type Lithium Ion rechargeable
Battery Form Factor Proprietary EN-EL5
Product Bundle
Software PictureProject
Battery / Charger Proprietary EN-EL5 Lithium Ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory 23.0MB built-in memory
Other
PictBridge Compliant Yes
Internal Microphone Yes
More Photos
Nikon's Coolpix P4 digital camera. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's Coolpix P4 digital camera. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's Coolpix P4 digital camera. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's Coolpix P4 digital camera. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's Coolpix P4 digital camera. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's Coolpix P4 digital camera. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's Coolpix P4 digital camera. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's Coolpix P4 digital camera. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's Coolpix P4 digital camera. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's Coolpix P4 digital camera. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's Coolpix P4 digital camera. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
 

Nikon Coolpix P3
Nikon's Coolpix P3 digital camera. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
General
Camera Type Compact
Manufacturer Nikon
Model Number P3
Dimensions 3.6 x 2.4 x 1.2"
92.0 x 61.0 x 31.0mm
Weight 170.0 g
5.9 oz
Planned Price $449.95
Planned Availability Mar 2006
Image Capture
Sensor Type 1/1.8" CCD
8.31 megapixels (total)
8.10 megapixels (effective)
Aspect Ratio 3:2
Capture Speed Continuous: 1.8 frames per second
Image Quality 3 levels
Image Preview / Review
Viewfinder No
LCD 2.5", 150,000 pixels
Lens
Lens Type Nikkor
3.5x optical zoom
Image Stabilization Yes
Focal Length 7.5 - 26.3mm (actual)
36 - 126mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Range f/2.7 (wide) / f/5.2 (tele) - ???
Focusing System 11 wide-area AF, includes Face Priority AF
Focusing Range Normal: 12" - infinity (30 cm - infinity)
Macro: 1.6" - infinity (4.0 cm - infinity)
Exposure
Exposure Modes Aperture
Metering Modes 256-segment matrix
Internal Flash Modes: Auto, Auto with Red-eye Reduction (In-Camera Red-Eye Fix), Flash Cancel, Anytime Flash, Slow sync
Range: Wide: 1ft4in - 13ft/0.4 - 4.0m; Tele: 1ft4in - 6ft7in/0.4 - 2.0m
Creative
Scene Modes Portrait [Face AF], Portrait, Night Portrait, Landscape, Night landscape, Sunset, Dusk/Dawn, Fireworks show, Close up, Party/Indoor, Panorama assist, Beach/Snow, Back light, Museum, Copy, Sports
Digital Zoom 4x
Self Timer Yes, 3 or 10 seconds
Time Lapse Yes
Storage
Recording Medium SD/MMC, Built-in
Connectivity
Video Yes
Computer USB 1.1, WiFi
Other DC In
Power
Battery Type Lithium Ion rechargeable
Battery Form Factor Proprietary EN-EL5
Product Bundle
Software PictureProject
Battery / Charger Proprietary EN-EL5 Lithium Ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory 23.0MB built-in memory
Other
PictBridge Compliant Yes
Internal Microphone Yes
More Photos
Nikon's Coolpix P3 digital camera. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's Coolpix P3 digital camera. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's Coolpix P3 digital camera. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's Coolpix P3 digital camera. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's Coolpix P3 digital camera. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's Coolpix P3 digital camera. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's Coolpix P3 digital camera. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's Coolpix P3 digital camera. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's Coolpix P3 digital camera. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's Coolpix P3 digital camera. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
 

Original Source Press Release:

NEW NIKON COOLPIX P3 AND P4 OFFER POWERFUL PERFORMANCE FOR THE PASSIONATE PHOTOGRAPHER

Nikon Incorporates SLR-Inspired Technology Into a Compact Digital Camera

MELVILLE, NY (February 21, 2006) – Nikon today announced the COOLPIX P3 and P4, an expansion to its more advanced and feature-rich P, or Performance, Series of digital cameras. Designed for the photographer who enjoys a high level of control, advanced imaging technologies and the ability to take creative control of their photography, these two exciting new cameras combine 8.1 effective megapixels with a wide range of advanced in-camera technologies, taking compact digital photography to the next level.

“ The COOLPIX P3 and P4 are the perfect camera for consumers who are looking for a customizable photography experience,” says Bill Giordano, General Manager of Consumer Product Marketing for Nikon, Inc. “These cameras take many technologies first available in Nikon’s SLR line and makes them readily and easily available to consumers looking for a capable, compact digital camera at a very attractive price.”

Nikon has added its Vibration Reduction (VR) system, a feature adapted directly from Nikon’s world-renowned SLR lenses, to the P Series cameras allowing them to capture rock-steady images at shutter speeds of up to three stops slower that could normally be hand held. VR capability is available at the push of a button in two modes (Normal and Active) in order to compensate for camera movement. VR Normal compensates for minor movements, most often associated with handheld shooting, while VR Active compensates for more pronounced movements, such as the vibration of a moving vehicle. An electronic adaptation of Vibration Reduction also applies to movie shooting, allowing for sharp video in low light conditions and keeping subjects clear during panning while helping to support faster framing on the cameras’ incredible, bright 2.5-inch LCD.

COOLPIX P Series digital camera users will enjoy the flexibility of a full array of exposure control settings similar to Nikon’s SLR models. Covering a broader area of the frame, the new 11 wide-area AF achieves better results in more diverse compositions – leaving photographers free to concentrate on the shot while the camera automatically achieves superior, sharp focus almost anywhere in the frame. In addition, there are 17 shooting modes, including nine advanced scene modes that allow photographers to produce pictures better suited to their own personal tastes – through the use of three effects that vary brightness, color intensity, sharpness, noise reduction and more.

To add even greater control, both cameras offer Aperture-priority Auto mode to let photographers benefit from aperture control in 1/3EV steps. Users can select large apertures for attractive background blurring or stop down to small apertures to extend crisp focus into the distance – all while the camera automatically selects the most appropriate shutter speed for optimized exposure.

To help photographers capture the action as it happens, both cameras feature continuous shooting at up to 1.8 frames per second, which is complimented by a five shot buffer that allows users to shoot in a continuous burst, with the camera recording the last five images taken. This speed allows the P Series cameras to be a great companion for SLR shooters looking for a smaller but powerful camera to take anywhere.

An addition to the successful COOLPIX P1 and P2 cameras, the new P3 also comes equipped with the ability to transfer images wirelessly through the camera’s built in Wi-Fi feature. Nikon’s wireless solution is fun and convenient and allows consumers to send their pictures wirelessly to a computer. In addition, pictures can be sent wirelessly to any PictBridge-enabled printer*. The Wi-Fi feature to transfer images to a computer is built into the camera and requires no additional accessories.

Unique to COOLPIX digital cameras, and now for the first time available throughout the line-up, is Nikon’s Exclusive Feature System, which gives users the power to automatically improve recorded images in-camera. This combination of in-camera features provides a quick, easy and seamless answer to underexposed pictures due to excessive backlight or insufficient flash, blurry or out-of-focus shots and red eyes. The system includes:

  • In-Camera Red-Eye Fix™: automatically detects and corrects red eye, a common condition that occurs in flash photography. You may never see red eye again.
  • Face-Priority AF**: automatically finds and focuses on a persons face within the frame, providing sharp focus to produce clear, crisp portraits wherever the subject is positioned in the frame.
  • D-Lighting: selects and creates a copy of images with excessive backlight or insufficient flash illumination, adding light and detail where necessary
  • Blur Warning: alerts the user that a shot has resulted in a blurry picture allowing for it to be retaken before leaving the scene.
  • BSS (Best Shot Selector): automatically identifies and saves the sharpest shot from ten sequential shots.

Additionally, the P Series cameras include handy features such as, TV Quality Move Mode** function (recording movies at up to 30 fps with sound limited only by the available memory, Single and Continuous AF, Choice of White Balance and Noise Reduction to ensure better color reproduction in darker lighting conditions.

The COOLPIX P3 and P4 will be available in March 2006 with a MSRP of $449.95 and $399.95, respectively. The Wireless Print Adaptor (PD-10) is currently available and has an MSRP of $49.95. For more information about these models and other COOLPIX cameras, please visit www.nikondigital.com.

*Requires optionally available Wireless Printer Adapter PD-10.
**Face-recognition capability may be limited in some shooting conditions.

About Nikon
Nikon, At the Heart of the Image™. Nikon Inc. is the world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology and is globally recognized for setting new standards in product design and performance for its award-winning consumer and professional photographic equipment. Nikon Inc. distributes the Nikon Total Imaging System of consumer and professional digital SLR cameras, Nikkor optics, Speedlights and System Accessories; Nikon COOLPIX® compact digital cameras; COOLSCAN® digital film scanners; 35mm film SLR cameras; Nikon software products and Nikon sports and recreational optics. At the heart of every Nikon camera is Nikon’s Exclusive Feature System, making it easy for anyone to take amazing digital pictures. Through the Nikon Spirit Initiative™, the company, plays an active role in supporting aspiring and advanced photographers through a variety of philanthropic organizations, educational programs, events and workshops. For more information, dial (800) NIKON-US or visit www.nikonusa.com, which links all levels of photographers to the web's most comprehensive photo learning and sharing communities.

* Wireless distance will vary based on conditions.
**Without battery or memory card.

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