I am a keen amateur photographer who owns Nikon DSLR's and lenses for doing my more serious stuff and a Panasonic Lumix digital compact that I can put in my pocket for days out when I dont want an expensive and heavy SLR hanging round my neck.
I have a holiday coming up where I do not want to take my SLR's but I want something a bit more versatile and better quality than my digital compact, for this the P510 is the perfect compromise.
I chose the Nikon because the superior quality in every Nikon other product I have bought has always been immedeatly apparent and the P510 does not dissapoint, I have the vibration reduction (VR) function on some of my SLR lenses so I was already aware of its advantages photographing at extreme zoom ranges.
16 megapixels? well theres all sorts of ideas upon how many megapixels you may need, personally for normal photoraphs I think 12 megapixels is loads, trouble is you pay for extra megapixels in storage space, but worse still in processing time, 16mp pictures are noticably slower to send to my printer than 12mp.
I found the eyepiece small and difficult to use and instantly missed my SLR, if you are looking at this camera rather than a compact then you probably take your photography a bit more seriously than most and I would urge you to look at an entry level Nikon SLR above this, it will cost a little more but you will find it more comfortable, faster and easy to use, dont forget SLR's have a fully automatic mode too!
If you are looking at this camera for the same reasons as me then go for it! early results are impressive, it is not as fast and comfortable to use as an SLR but it will be perfect for my forthcoming holiday.
Some of the critics mention shortcomings in its performance at extreme zoom ranges, seems OK to me, if you are taking photo's with this camera, chances are they are for the family album and they will look great, if you are taking photo's for publishing in a magazine where slight imperfections matter then you probably wont be using a camera like this anyway.
UPDATE 5th AUGUST 2012
Just come back from the holiday for which this camera was bought, I am even more impressed with it than I was before, the results in auto mode are incredible, using the effects mode for sunsets captured some amazing pictures, the best photo's I have taken this year have been with this camera.
What I cannot get my head around is it's 1000mm equivalent optical zoom, to achieve this with an SLR you would have to spend around £5000-00p, yet here it is for £400-00p???? and the results are really good, I took a photo of a Sparrow at 1000mm, without a tripod, it was good enough for printing at A3 and easily as good as some of the photo's you might see in the text books, (even if I do say so myself!!).
The ONLY downside of this camera is it does not have a 'burst' mode, it would be no good for photographing fast moving objects, it is slower to react than my SLR's, you would really struggle to capture fast moving objects and despite my successful Sparrow photograph, capturing moving wildlife is not easy.
There is nothing quite like putting my D7000 into 'machine gun' mode and firing off 6 frames per second for capturing fast jets or racing cars, the SLR eyepiece is far superior too, making moving objects easier to follow, having said that the P510 has made me wonder if I really do need the new Nikon D800?
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