Nikon Coolpix P330 pictures and hands-on

Nikon Coolpix is all change. Not only have we seen and played with the new Nikon Coolpix A - the company's first APS-C sensor compact camera - we've also had our mitts on the latest high-end consumer compact, the Nikon Coolpix P330.

This update to the P310 might look rather similar to its predecessor at first glance, but Nikon has finally managed to squeeze in a larger sensor size to a body that's barely any bigger than before. Yup, the P330 pinches the very same 1/1.7-inch sensor as found in the Nikon Coolpix P7700.

READ: Nikon Coolpix P7700

In the hand it's the small size that's one of the important factors as the P330 really isn't much larger than the P310 was - only in its lens extension - and it's far smaller than the chunky P7700 model. Although it's small, the P330 is still sizeable enough to get to grips with and use with ease. It's got a rear thumbwheel and top mode dial that will tick boxes for advanced users and are well placed for practical use.

The P330's small size is all the more impressive considering the now-longer 5x optical zoom which equates to a 24-120mm f/1.8-5.6 zoom. The aperture remains bright too, even if it's not quite up to, say, Olympus XZ-2 standard. The Coolpix's zoom is controlled via a toggle around the shutter button much like any standard compact camera which is swift and smooth in use.

READ: Olympus XZ-2 review

Autofocus remains the same as the previous P310 model, which means it's fast and comes in plenty of flavours: face priority; auto area; manual for user-defined positioning (99-areas); centre; subject tracking with face priority; and manual focus (controlled via the rear d-pad).

Control-wise the P330 doesn't add any new revelations as such, but we're happy with that. A manual focus ring may still remain on the wishlist, but such a feature would add to the overall cost, we're sure. There is now Wi-Fi functionality when using the optional WU-1a wireless adaptor, but you'll need to fork out an extra £55 for the pleasure.

But otherwise it's the price that will really help shift the P330. It's set to be listed at £350 when it launches this month - that's a whole lot less than the near-£500 of many competitors and ought to match it side by side with the Canon PowerShot S110. 

READ: Canon PowerShot S110 review

The Nikon may not have a metal body or a truly high-end finish as some of the more luxury compacts out there, but it's sturdy enough and will more than do the job. Give it a little extra time on the shelves and we're sure that the price will dip yet further. P7700-esque image quality in a trim body at a fair price - sounds like a definite winner to us and a sizeable leap for this particular P-series.