Nikon Coolpix P340 Review

4.5
April 3, 2014 | Mark Goldstein |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 12.2 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 4.5Mb.

The Nikon Coolpix P340's image quality is very good for a compact camera thanks to its larger than usual image sensor. The Nikon Coolpix P340's dealt well with noise, which becomes obvious at ISO 800. The noise and loss of detail gets progressively worse as you go from ISO 800 to ISO 3200 and finally the unusable 6400 and 12800 settings.

The Nikon Coolpix P340 handled chromatic aberrations very well with limited purple fringing effects appearing only in high contrast situations. The 12 megapixel images were a little soft straight out of the camera at the default sharpen setting and either require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you should increase the in-camera sharpening level.

The Nikon Coolpix P340's maximum shutter speed is 60 seconds, which is great news for night photography enthusiasts. Macro performance is very good, allowing you to focus as close as 2cms away from the subject. Vibration reduction is a very useful feature that works well when hand-holding the camera in low-light conditions or using the telephoto end of the 5x zoom range. The built-in flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and good overall exposure. The backlighting feature increases detail in both the shadows and highlights, although at the expense of some additional noise and loss of fine detail, while the Picture Controls, Special Effects during shooting and Filter Effects during playback offer a lot of creative control over your images.

Noise

The Nikon Coolpix P340 has 9 sensitivity settings ranging from ISO 80 to ISO 12800 at full resolution.

JPEG RAW

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

Focal Range

The Nikon Coolpix P340's 5x zoom lens provides a focal length of 24-120mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.

24mm

120mm

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops - the right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are slightly soft at the default sharpening setting and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can alternatively change the in-camera sharpening level to suit your tastes.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

File Quality

At full resolution, there are two JPEG quality settings available - Fine and Normal.

Fine (4.55Mb) (100% Crop)

Normal (2.54Mb) (100% Crop)

   

RAW (25.7Mb) (100% Crop)

 
 

Chromatic Aberrations

The Nikon Coolpix P340 shows some purple fringing, with limited effects in areas of high contrast as shown in the examples below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Nikon Coolpix P340 allows you to get as close as 2cms to your subject, in this case a Compact Flash card.

Macro

Macro (100% Crop)

Flash

The flash settings on the Nikon Coolpix P340 are Auto, Auto with Red-eye reduction, Fill Flash, Manual (Full, 1/2, 1/4 1/8, 1/16, 1/32 and 1/64), Slow Sync, Rear-curtain Sync and Flash Off. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m. Some vignetting and barrel distortion is apparent at the 24mm wide-angle setting, irrespective of whether you use the flash or not.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (24mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (24mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (120mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (120mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are a couple of portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Fill Flash or the Auto with Red-eye reduction options caused any amount of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Red Eye Reduction

Red Eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night

The Nikon Coolpix P340's maximum shutter speed is 60 seconds in the Manual mode, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 30 seconds at ISO 80.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

Vibration Reduction

The Nikon Coolpix P340 has an vibration reduction mechanism, which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than other digital cameras. To test this, we took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the lens set to the same focal length and ISO speed. The first shot was taken with vibration reduction turned off, the second with it turned on.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Anti Shake Off (100% Crop)

Anti Shake On (100% Crop)
1/8th sec / 24mm
     
1/5th sec / 120mm

Active D-Lighting

D-lighting is Nikon's dynamic range optimisation tool that attempts to squeeze the full dynamic range of the sensor into JPEGs. The available settings are Off, Low, Medium, and High. The following examples demonstrate the differences between the various settings.

Off

Low
   

Normal

High

Backlighting

In the Backlighting scene mode the Nikon Coolpix P340 captures three consecutive shots at varying exposures and combines them into a single photo with a broader range of tones. Three different levels are available for selection.

Off

Level 1
   

Level 2

Level 3

Picture Controls

The Nikon Coolpix P340 has four different Picture Controls, which can be individually tweaked (sharpening, contrast and saturation) to suit your taste.

Standard

Neutral
   

Vivid

Monochrome

Special Effects

You can apply nine different special effects as you shoot with the Nikon Coolpix P340, with a live preview on the LCD screen showing exactly what the final image will look like.

Soft

Nostalgic Sepia
   

High-contrast Monochrome

High Key

   

Low Key

Selective Colour

   

High ISO Monochrome

Painting

   

Cross Process

 

 

Filter Effects

You can apply nine different filter effects in-camera to photos that you have already taken with the Nikon Coolpix P340.

Soft Portrait

Selective Color
   

Cross Screen

Fisheye

   

Miniature Effect

Painting
   

Vignette

Photo Illustration

   

Portrait (color + B&W)

 
 

Easy Panorama

Easy Panorama allows you to take vertical or horizontal panorama photos simply by moving the camera in the direction of the on-screen guides. Multiple shots are then combined into a single panorama photo. The angle of view can be selected from 180° (normal) and 360° (wide).

Easy Panorama - 180°
 
Easy Panorama - 360°

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