Nikon Packs a Whole Lot into the P300 but Leaves Out RAW

Nikon announced the high-end compact P300 today to compete against the likes of Canon’s popular S95 and Olympus’ XZ-1. First, the good things — the 12 megapixel camera has a sweet f/1.8 24-100mm equivalent lens that should perform quite nicely in low light situations (especially with an ISO that can be boosted up to 3200). It can also record HD video at 1080p and 30fps, and has a 3-inch LCD that’s easy on the eyes.

On the flip side, Nikon decided for some reason to leave RAW shooting out, making this an extremely expensive, high-quality JPEG shooter, something that isn’t going to satisfy more serious photographers who want a smaller compact that still allows serious post-production work. You can find some comparison tables showing this camera stacked up against competition over on CNET and on Nikon Rumors. It’ll be available in March 2011 for $330.

  • Campbell Simpson

    It’s also a 1/2.33″ sensor – significantly smaller than its chief rivals.

  • Anonymous

    This is polarizing news – while a lot of us were hoping for a fast Nikon pocketable shooter, I’m actually kind of relieved they left out RAW capability to help keep the price attractive (who really needs RAW in a point and shoot anyway?). One thing I was hoping for was manual focus, though seems kind of useless in a point and shoot.

    The smaller sensor size does seem to be a waste on the f1.8 and like the Samsung EX1 I’m expecting not too much bokeh given the dof between lens and sensor. Really looking forward to see how this camera performs.

  • Salvador D

    @OllieOh I love RAW on my Canon Powershot G12, I use it all the time and am continually amazed at what that little camera can do.

  • Bret Edge

    No RAW? That’s just silly. I use the Canon S95, exclusively in RAW, and love it. This camera could have been a contender but the exclusion of RAW capture causes it to fall short. Boo, Nikon!

  • Pete Boyd

    “a 3-inch LCD that’s easy on the eyes” – ‘easy on the eyes’ tells us nothing, what do you really mean?

  • brb

    how does leaving RAW out save on costs? RAW is exactly what the sensor captures. If anything, leaving JPG out would probably have simplified the camera