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Nikon Coolpix P310

16.1-megapixel f/1.8 digital camera with 4.2X optical zoom

1 Review

Item # 054P310

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Our take on the Nikon Coolpix P310

The Nikon Coolpix P310 is a compact camera that's easy to take along wherever you go. But unlike most point-and-shoot cameras, this pocket-friendly Nikon is outfitted with many of the hands-on settings and controls you'd expect in a larger SLR camera.

The Nikon Coolpix P310 is a compact camera that's easy to take along wherever you go. But unlike most point-and-shoot cameras, this pocket-friendly Nikon is outfitted with many of the hands-on settings and controls you'd expect in a larger SLR camera.

Illuminate the shadows

Beautiful photographs start with light. But what if you're out at night, recording the life of a city that never sleeps? If you want crisp, detailed photos that glow even in the dark, take along the P310. The camera has a super-wide angle lens that opens up to an aperture of f/1.8. All that light gives you sharp, detailed photos in dimly lit settings. The lens also lets you create a shallow depth of field, which is good for taking portraits of your subject against a softly blurred background.

Dial in just the right look
Today's cameras all feature goof-proof automatic shooting, but this Nikon really shines when you switch it over to manual mode for composing more advanced shots. You can choose the aperture, shutter speed, ISO sensitivity, and focus settings to give your images the exact look you want. The P310 puts those important controls at your fingertips — on the outside of the camera — where you can make adjustments quickly and efficiently. You'll spend less time wading through the menu, and more time capturing those once-in-a-lifetime moments.

Fun features for better photos
Along with precise control and responsive handling, the P310 gives you plenty of other helpful features, too. Its wide-angle field of view lets you easily capture expansive landscapes or large crowds in a single frame. Sweep panorama mode lets you move the camera across the landscape, then the P310 stitches the images together into one shot. The 3" high-res LCD offers a bright, super-detailed view when evaluating your shots, or just sharing the fun with others. High-speed capture mode snaps blur-free full-resolution photos of your subject in motion at up to 7 frames per second. For a change of pace, you can switch to 1080p HD movie mode and shoot a video instead. Or even try out the 3D mode to add a new dimension to your photographs.


  • 16.1-megapixel effective recording
  • high-resolution 3" LCD screen (921,000 dots)
  • f/1.8 maximum aperture lens
  • 4.2X optical zoom (2X digital/8.4X total zoom)
  • records photos and video onto optional SD, SDHC, or SDXC memory cards
  • 35mm equivalent lens focal length: 24-100mm
Special Features:
  • optical image stabilization to counteract camera shake
  • high-definition movie mode (up to 1080p resolution)
  • advanced CMOS sensor for sharp photos even in low light
  • high-speed shooting mode (up to 7 frames/second)
  • manual, aperture-priority, and shutter-priority exposure modes
  • Nikon's EXPEED C2 image processor delivers superior image quality and fast camera response
  • face detection automatically sets focus, exposure, flash, and white balance for better portraits
  • variable ISO (film speed equivalent) settings, including a high sensitivity setting for better low-light shooting
  • custom white balance settings
  • sweep panorama mode
  • 90MB internal memory
Connections and Dimensions:
  • mini HDMI output (HDMI cable not included)
  • high-speed USB interface
  • 4-3/16"W x 2-7/16"H x 1-1/4"D
  • weight: 6.9 oz. (with battery and media)
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Supplied Accessories:
  • rechargeable lithium ion battery (EN-EL12)
  • AC adapter/charger
  • A/V and USB cables
  • neck strap
  • software CD-ROM

Great quality pictures

Anonymous, NEW YORK.NY

What's in the Box:

  • Digital camera (black)
  • EN-EL12 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (3.7 V/1050 mAh/3.9 Wh) with plastic terminal cap
  • EH-69P AC adapter (DC Output: 5V/0.55A)
  • Wrist strap
  • 59" USB cable (with Type A USB connector on one end and a proprietary connector on the other end)
  • 48" A/V cable (with proprietary connector on one end and 3 RCA plugs--composite video and stereo audio--on the other end)
  • ViewNX2 CD-ROM
  • Reference Manual CD-ROM
  • Quick Start Guide (Eng / Span / Fren / Port)
  • Warranty Programs sheet
  • sheet
  • For Your Safety sheet
  • Caution for Viewing 3D Pictures

Nikon Coolpix P310 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(1 Review)

Nikon Coolpix P310

Anonymous from NEW YORK.NY on 4/29/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great quality pictures




Hands-on research

Features and Specs

LCD Screen Size 3"
Adjustable-angle LCD No
Wi-Fi No
Touchscreen No
Waterproof No
GPS-enabled No
Lens 35mm Equivalent 24-100mm
Optical Zoom 4.2x
Digital Zoom 2x
Filter Diameter N/A
Manual Focusing Yes
Manual Exposure Yes
Built-in Flash Yes
HDMI Output Mini
Internal Memory 90 MB
Memory Media SD/SDHC/SDXC
Sensor Size 1/2.3" CMOS
Megapixels 16.1
Image Stabilization Optical
Highest Resolution 4608 x 3456
4K Video No
Video Resolution 1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720
Width (inches) 4-3/16
Height (inches) 2-7/16
Depth (inches) 1-5/16
Weight With Battery (ounces) 6.9
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research

Recording Features
Play, Edit and Print Functions
Battery Information
Inputs and Outputs Notes
Supplied Software

Recording Features

3" LCD Monitor: The Nikon Coolpix P310 has a 3" Ultra-High resolution LCD monitor featuring approximately 921,000 dots, an anti-reflection coating and a five-level brightness adjustment. The LCD monitor has approximately 100% horizontal and vertical coverage in both shooting and playback modes.

Note: The P310 does not have a separate viewfinder.

Image Sensor/Processor: The Coolpix P310 features a 1/2.3" CMOS image sensor with approximately 16.79-million total pixels and 16.1-million effective pixels. The EXPEED C2 Image Processing engine delivers high-quality, natural-looking pictures with stunning color and sharpness.

Optics: The Coolpix P310 digital camera uses a 4.2x Zoom-NIKKOR glass lens for superb image quality. Every aspect of the lens manufacturing process is controlled by Nikon. The Zoom-NIKKOR lens is designed for the specific camera and image sensor combination. The lens has a focal length of 4.3-17.9mm that is equivalent to a 24-100mm lens in 35mm photography. Coupled with the 2x digital zoom, the camera's total zoom capability is 8.4x. The angle of view is equivalent up to a 200mm lens (35mm format).

Zoom Memory: When the zoom control is operated, the zoom stops at the following preset focal lengths: 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 70mm, 85mm, and 100mm. The function is similar to having 7 different prime lenses on a D-SLR camera. You can select any or all of the presets in the menu. (Zoom Memory is only available in the P, S, A, or M shooting modes.) You can set the camera to a specific Startup Zoom Position in advance.

Vibration Reduction: The Coolpix P310 offers Vibration Reduction (VR) image stabilization to reduce blurring caused by camera shake when shooting. The camera automatically detects the panning direction (horizontally or vertically) and compensates for camera shake by shifting the lens.

Motion Detection: Motion Detection automatically detects moving subjects and adjusts the shutter speed and the ISO setting to compensate for camera shake and subject movement.

Best Shot Selector (BSS): Nikon's Best Shot Selector (BSS) automatically takes up to 10 shots while the shutter is pressed, and then saves the sharpest image.

File Formats: The Coolpix P310 records still images in JPEG format. 3D photos are stored in MPO format. HD and SD movies are recorded in MOV format (Video: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, Audio: AAC stereo). You can choose from three compression ratios for each image size: Fine (1:4), Normal (1:8), or Basic (1:16). There are nine still image size options and five movie options:

  • Still Images:
    • 16M: 4608 x 3456
    • 8M: 3264 x 2448
    • 4M: 2272 x 1704
    • 2M: 1600 x 1200
    • VGA: 640 x 480
    • 16:9 12M: 4608 x 2592
    • 16:9 2M: 1920 x 1080
    • 3:2: 4608 x 3072
    • 1:1: 3456 x 3456
  • Movies (Frame Rate 30 fps):
    • HD 1080p: 1920 x 1080 (Bit rate: 18.8 Mbps)
    • HD 1080p: 1920 x 1080 (Bit rate: 12.6 Mbps)
    • HD 720p: 1280 x 720 (Bit rate: 8.4 Mbps)
    • iFrame 540: 960 x 540 (Bit rate: 20.8 Mbps)
    • VGA: 640 x 480 (Bit rate: 2.9 Mbps)

Note: The maximum movie length for a single movie is 29 minutes, or 4 GB file size.

3D Photography: The Coolpix P310 can record 3D pictures viewable on a 3D-compatible TV or monitor. The camera takes one picture for each eye to simulate a three-dimensional image. After the first picture is taken using the shutter release, you must move the camera horizontally to the right and align it with the guide on the monitor. The camera then takes the second picture automatically. Pictures taken in this mode are saved in MPO format with Normal image compression, and 1920 x 1080 image size.

High Speed Movies: In addition to standard movies, you can record movies at higher and lower frame rates that, when played back, become slow motion or fast motion movies. There are three HS Movie options:

  • HS 120 fps (640 x 480): 1/4-speed slow motion movies with a 4:3 aspect ratio. Recording is up to 7 min 15 sec and plays back up to 29 minutes.
  • HS 60 fps (1280 x 720): 1/2-speed slow motion movies with a 16:9 aspect ratio. Recording is up to 14 min 30 sec, and plays back up to 29 minutes.
  • HS 15 fps (1920 x 1080): 2x speed fast motion movies with a 16:9 aspect ratio. Recording is up to 29 minutes and plays back up to 14 min 30 seconds.

Built-in Memory: The camera has a built-in 90 MB internal memory for storing still images and movies with sound.

Recording Media: In addition to the built-in memory, images can be recorded onto SD, SDHC, or SDXC Memory cards. When an SD Memory card is inserted in the camera, the images are automatically recorded onto the card. When no card is inserted, the images automatically record to the internal memory. The camera can support 2 GB SD cards, SDHC cards from 4 GB to 32 GB, and SDXC cards of 48 GB to 128 GB. In addition, the camera is compatible with Eye-Fi cards.

Shooting Modes: Using the top-mounted Mode Dial, you can choose one of the following shooting modes:

  • Auto Mode: This is an automatic "point-and-shoot" mode recommended for first-time users of digital cameras.
  • Programmed Auto Mode: The Programmed Auto Mode is a simple point-and-shoot mode in which the majority of camera settings are controlled by the camera. The camera will automatically set the shutter speed and aperture. This mode is recommended for most situations.
  • Shutter-Priority Auto Mode: The Shutter-Priority Auto Mode allows you to choose the shutter speed and lets the camera select the aperture value for best results when freezing or blurring motion.
  • Aperture-Priority Auto Mode: The Aperture-Priority Auto Mode allows you to choose the aperture value and lets the camera select shutter speed for best results when using to blur background or bring both foreground and background into focus.
  • Manual Mode: The Manual Mode allows you to control exposure by adjusting the shutter speed and aperture manually. You can set the camera's shutter speed from 1/2,000 to 8 seconds and adjust the aperture value between f/1.8 and f/8.0 (W) and f/4.9 and f/7.8 (T).
  • User Setting Mode: Settings that are frequently used for P, S, A, and M shooting modes can be saved in the User Setting Mode. The saved settings can be immediately retrieved for shooting by simply rotating the mode dial to "U".
  • Night Landscape: For capturing the atmosphere of night landscapes.
  • Scene Mode: You can manually or automatically select one of 18 scene modes with settings optimized for the shooting situation. Available scene modes include: Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Night Portrait, Party/indoor, Beach, Snow, Sunset, Dusk/dawn, Close-up, Food, Museum, Fireworks show, Black and white copy, Backlighting, Panorama, Pet portrait, Special effects, 3D photography, and Scene Auto Selector.

Continuous Shooting: In the P, S, A, or M shooting modes, you can select in the menu from the following single or continuous shooting options:

  • Single: One image is shot each time the shutter-release button is pressed.
  • Continuous H: Up to 5 pictures are shot at a rate of about 7 frames per second each time the shutter button is held down. Image size is set to 16M: 4608 x 3456 pixels.
  • Continuous L: Up to 30 pictures are shot at a rate of about 1 frame per second each time the shutter button is held down. Image size is set to 16M: 4608 x 3456 pixels.
  • Pre-shooting Cache: To avoid missing a shot, the pre-shooting cache begins when the shutter-release button is pressed halfway, and continues when the button is pressed all the way. Up to 20 frames are captured, including up to 5 frames captured in the pre-shooting cache. Image size is fixed at 3M: 2048 x 1536.
  • Continuous H 120 fps: Each time the shutter-release button, 60 frames are captured at a speed of about 1/125 sec or faster. Image size is fixed at VGA 640 x 480.
  • Continuous H 60 fps: Each time the shutter-release button, 60 frames are captured at a speed of about 1/60 sec or faster. Image size is fixed at 1M 1280 x 960.
  • Best Shot Selector: Camera captures up to 10 images while the shutter release is held down, and the sharpest image in the series is selected and saved.
  • Multi-shot 16: Camera takes 16 shots at about 30 fps and arranges them in a single image of 5M: 2560 x 1920.
  • Interval Shooting: The camera shoots still images automatically at a set interval. The maximum number of frames that can be taken depends upon the length of the interval:
Interval Images
30 seconds 600
1 minute 300
5 minutes 60
10 minutes 30
  • Movies: Shooting HD, SD, and iFrame movies at 30 frames per second.

Self-timer: The camera is equipped with a 10 second and 2 second timer for self-portraits. In addition, the camera can use face detection to detect human faces, and automatically release the shutter when a smile is detected (Smile Timer).

AF Area Mode: You can select between the following AF Area Modes to determine how the camera selects the focus area for Auto Focus:

  • Face Priority: When the camera recognizes a face (front view only), the camera will focus on the face automatically.
  • Auto: The camera automatically selects the focus area (up to 9) containing the subject closest to the camera.
  • Manual: You can manually select one of 99 focus areas in the monitor. This method is handy when the intended subject is not positioned in the center of the frame, and is relatively still.
  • Center: The camera focuses on the subject in the center of the frame.
  • Subject Tracking: Once you select a subject to focus on, the focus area will move and follow the subject.

Focus Modes: You can choose a focus mode according to the subject and composition. The choices include:

  • Auto Focus: Camera automatically adjusts the focus. Focusing distances: 1' to infinity (W), 2' to infinity (T).
  • Macro Closeup: Macro mode is used for taking pictures of objects as close as 0.8"
  • Infinity: For use when shooting distant scenes through window glass or when shooting landscapes.
  • Manual Focus: The focus can be adjusted for any subject 0.8" to infinity from the lens. The rotary multi-selector is used to adjust the focus while viewing the image on the monitor. (Only available in certain shooting modes.)

Focus Lock: The Focus Lock feature is used to focus on off-centered subjects in the frame while shooting in Center AF mode.

AF-Assist Illuminator: If lighting is poor, the AF-assist illuminator may light to assist the focus operation when the shutter-release button is pressed halfway. The illuminator has a range of about 17' at the maximum wide-angle position and 6'-2" at the maximum telephoto position. You can turn this function on or off.

Blink Warning Function: The Blink Warning function is available when you are shooting in Face Priority mode. When the camera detects that one or more human subjects may have blinked, the blink warning screen is displayed. The subject is framed by a yellow border, allowing you to check the picture and decide whether or not to take another picture.

Exposure Compensation: You can alter the exposure from the value suggested by the camera, making pictures brighter or darker. You can adjust the exposure from -2.0 to +2.0 EV in 1/3 EV steps, using a rotary dial on the top of the camera.

ISO Settings: Sensitivity is the measure of how quickly the camera reacts to light. The higher the sensitivity, the less light needed to make an exposure. The camera features the following ISO settings:

  • Auto: Sensitivity is set to ISO 100 when there is sufficient lighting, and raises the sensitivity to a maximum of ISO 1600 when lighting is dim.
  • Fixed Range Auto: Select from two ranges in which the camera automatically sets the sensitivity: ISO 100-400 or ISO 100-800.
  • Manual: Sensitivity is locked at the set value: ISO 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, or Hi 1 (equivalent to ISO 6400).

White Balance: You can set the White Balance to Auto Normal, Auto Warm, Daylight, Incandescent, Fluorescent (FL1 to FL3), Cloudy, or Flash. You can also choose Preset Manual and use a neutral-colored object as a reference to set the white balance under unusual lighting conditions. Up to three preset values can be saved in Pre1, Pre2, or Pre3.

Built-in Flash: The Coolpix P310 has a built-in flash with a range of 1'-8" to 21' (Wide angle) and 1'-8" to 8'-2" (Telephoto). You can choose from the following flash modes:

  • Auto: Flash fires automatically when lighting is poor.
  • Auto with Red-eye Reduction: Pre-flash fires before main flash to reduce red-eye effect.
  • Flash Off: Flash will not fire, even when lighting is poor.
  • Fill Flash: Flash will fire whenever a picture is taken.
  • Slow Sync: Auto flash combined with slow shutter speeds.
  • Rear Curtain Sync: Fill flash fires just before the shutter closes, creating the effect of a stream of light behind moving objects.

In-Camera Red-Eye Fix: If the camera detects red-eye after the pre-flash has fired, advanced red-eye reduction processing is used to further reduce red-eye, slightly increasing the time required before the next picture can be taken.

AF Modes: When shooting still images or movies you can choose between two auto-focus modes:

  • Single AF: The camera focuses when the shutter-release button is pressed halfway and locks at this position during recording.
  • Full-time AF: The camera constantly adjusts focus, even when the shutter-release button is not pressed.

Voice Recording: Audio voice memos for pictures can be recorded over the camera's built-in microphone and played back over the unit's built-in speaker. Memos can be up to 20 seconds in length. Memos are saved as WAV files.

Play, Edit and Print Functions

Slide Show Playback: View pictures in the internal memory or on the memory card in an automatic slide show with 2, 3, 5, or 10 seconds between pictures. If desired, you can loop the slideshow so it will continuously play. Maximum slide show duration is 30 minutes without operation.

Thumbnail Playback: During playback, you can view multiple thumbnail images (4, 9, 16, or 72) at a time. While these "contact sheets" are displayed, you can use the multi-selector to highlight individual pictures. Highlighted pictures can be deleted, if desired.

Calendar Display: This feature displays a calendar allowing you to select and view pictures taken on the same date.

Playback Zoom: During playback, you can enlarge a still image up to 10x. Once the image is zoomed, you can use the multi-selector to scroll around to non-visible portions of the image. You can record a new picture of the cropped image by pressing the shutter button.

Rotate Image: Recorded pictures can be rotated 90-degrees clockwise or counter-clockwise on the unit's LCD screen.

Editing Picture: You can use the Coolpix P310 to edit recorded pictures in-camera and store them as separate files. You can choose from the following editing functions:

  • Quick Retouch: Quick Retouch can be used to easily create retouched copies in which contrast and saturation have been enhanced.
  • D-Lighting: D-Lighting can be used to brighten dark or backlit subjects. While playing back an image, you can select the D-Lighting function, apply it, and save the corrected image without harming the properly exposed areas of the image.
  • Skin Softening: The camera recognizes faces in pictures and creates a copy with softer facial skin tones.
  • Filter Effects: You can apply the following digital filter effects: Soft, Selective Color, Cross Screen, Fisheye, Miniature Effect, or Painting.
  • Resizing Pictures (Small Picture): You can create a small copy of a recorded image. The copy will be stored as a JPEG file with a compression ratio of 1:16. You can choose from the following sizes: 640 x 480 (suited to television playback), 320 x 240 (suited to display on web pages), or 160 x 120 (suitable for email attachments).
  • Black Border: Allows you to add a black frame around the picture.
  • Crop: Creates a copy containing only a portion visible on the monitor.

Multi-Language Menu: You can choose from 29 different menu display languages including English, Spanish or French.

Printing Pictures: You can print pictures stored in the internal memory or on the memory card by using the Print Set option in the playback menu. Using DPOF (Digital Print Order Form), you can designate which images to print, and how many copies to print. Pictures can be printed as followed:

  • Printer or Photo Lab: insert the memory card into a printer, or take the memory card to a digital photo lab (images stored in the internal memory need to be transferred to a memory card prior to printing).
  • PictBridge-compatible Printer: connect the camera to a PictBridge-compatible printer via USB cable
  • Transferring to Computer: transfer the images to a computer before printing them via USB

Battery Information

Power Requirements: The Coolpix P310 is powered by a supplied rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery (EN-EL12). The battery is charged using the supplied EH-69P Charging AC adapter. The supplied rechargeable battery will last up to approximately 230 shots or 1 hour 5 minutes of HD movie recording on one charge. A fully-exhausted battery charges in about 4 hours using the supplied EH-69P Charging AC Adapter, or 2.5 hours using the optional MH-65 Battery Charger. You can also charge the battery in the camera when it is connected to a computer via USB.

Auto Off: When the camera is operated on battery power, the Auto Off mode will automatically turn off the monitor to reduce the drain on the batteries if no operations are performed for the length of time specified in the Auto Off menu. The time limit for the Auto Off mode can be set to 30 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes or 30 minutes.

Inputs and Outputs Notes

HDMI: The Coolpix P310 is equipped with a mini-HDMI (Type C) output, allowing you to connect the camera to an HDTV. An optional mini-HDMI-to-HDMI cable is required. The camera's HDMI output can be set to Auto, 480p, 720p or 1080i.

USB/Audio-Video Output: The camera features a single proprietary jack on the bottom of the camera for connecting the supplied AV (EG-CP16) cable or USB cable (UC-E6). This one output allows you to download your photos to your computer or printer via USB using the supplied USB cable, or view your photos on a TV using the supplied AV cable. The USB interface is USB 2.0 Hi-Speed compatible. The video output is NTSC or PAL compatible.

Supplied Software

ViewNX 2 Software CD-ROM: The supplied ViewNX 2 CD-ROM contains the following modules:

  • Nikon Transfer 2: to copy (transfer) pictures from the camera to the computer
  • ViewNX 2: for viewing, editing, and printing your transferred images
  • Nikon Movie Editor: for basic editing of transferred movies
  • Panorama Maker 6: for creating a single panoramic image from a series of images shot in panorama assist scene mode

System Requirements: The supplied software will work with the following Operating Systems:

  • Windows 7 (SP1): Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate
  • Windows Vista (SP2): Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise, Ultimate
  • Windows XP (SP3): Home Edition, Professional
  • Mac: OS X version 10.5.8, 10.6.8, 10.7.2

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Staff Reviews

Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs

Crisp, clean display

Written by Ralph Graves, Staff Writer - Creative, on 7/25/2012 1:57:00 PM

When I turned on the Coolpix P310, the first thing I noticed was the display. Not only is the screen fairly large, but it shows a finely detailed image. That can be helpful when planning out shots — especially shooting high-resolution images.

I also liked the overall menu functions. Selecting an option, such as "Scene" called up a half-circle of further options on the display. It was easy to maneuver around in, and because it was off the the side, it only covered up part of the image on the display. That meant that as I tried different settings, I could immediately see how they would affect the picture.

What are the Labs?