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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Nikon once again proves that high-end compact/point and shoot cameras are best left to others.

There is a category of small, compact cameras sometimes known as "Point and Shoot" but appeal more to the enthusiast, giving features formerly limited to SLRs' like full manual controls and the ability to provide what is called a RAW file, which is a completely unprocessed file allowing for a huge range of adjustment and manipulation. As it was once said to me by a great photographer: "The difference between a Jpeg and a RAW file is the difference between a nice snapshot and a pay day."

Some of the cameras fitting the category I've mentioned are: The Panasonic Lumix LX5, Canon Powershot G12 and S95, Olympus XZ-1 and at the high end- The Leica D-Lux 5. All these cameras are at the top of their category where they not only can be used as your basic point and shoots', but also give a full range of manual controls as well as the option of a RAW file output. The G12, LX5, XZ-1 and D-Lux 5 also give the nice feature of an optional external flash, and the G12 also offers a cool options of a twist/swing out LCD display AND an optical viewfinder. The LX5 and D-Lux 5 Offer an option electronic viewfinder as well.

Now along comes the Nikon Coolpix P300. Supposedly positioned to go up against Canon's S95 and Olympus XZ-1. Excerpted from Nikon's press release: "Created for the photo enthusiast who seeks creative control but will not compromise image quality for portability, the versatile P300 features manual controls, Optical Vibration Reduction (VR) technology, and ISO sensitivity up to 3200. These features help create low noise images and faster shutter speeds, which minimize motion blur in low-light conditions like night portraits, even when handheld."

Guess what? No RAW file. For me, and anybody else interested in a camera like this- Its useless.

Nice going Nikon. Who would have thought that the manufacturer of some of the finest Digital SLRs' and optics on the market could continually screw up something your competitors have been getting right for years.

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