Most helpful critical review
586 of 614 people found the following review helpful
Nice Pictures, Poor Video
on March 25, 2012
I have had the Nikon P510 for a week now and have been comparing it to a Panasonic FZ150 that I am also testing.
The P510 is a very nice looking camera that has a quality look and feel. It has a nice textured rubberized material on the hand grip and it has a solid feel.
The camera powers on quickly. I took both indoor and outdoor pictures and I was happy with the results. The shot to shot speed is slower than the FZ150 and overall it does not feel as fast or snappy as the FZ150 in everyday use.
The 42X zoom is incredible but it was slow to focus, or would not focus at all sometimes with the zoom at it's outer reaches.
Overall I slightly preferred the picture quality on the FZ150 and had more keepers with the FZ150 due to its faster and more accurate auto focus. But if I wasn't doing a side by side comparison I would be happy with the picture quality on the Nikon.
The biggest problem I have with the P510 is it's video performance. The actual video image quality is excellent. In fact the low light video quality is impressive and considerably better than the FZ150. There are, however, three big problems.
1)Inability to focus at extended zoom range. After you zoom about two thirds of the range it is unable to auto focus. So while it has an incredible 42X zoom, it is not usable with video. And it's not like you know when it will loose focus so you just end up with a video scene that suddenly turns blurry as you zoom.
2)It refocuses every time you touch the zoom control. Even if you just slightly zoom, the camera looses focus for about one second before locking in again. You end up with a video clip that has multiple one second blurry segments intermixed within an otherwise clear video.
3)The sound of the lens zooming is picked up while recording. This is not just heard during very quiet scenes, it is heard all the time. I was surprised how loud it was when playing back a video.
If video performance is not important to you, the Nikon is a really nice camera. I am looking for a camera does well at both photos and video and therefore will be returning this camera.