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Nikon COOLPIX S8100 review
|DATE REVIEWED: 1st Apr 2011||Add Camera To Comparison Chart|
|Camera Type||Compact||Shutter Speeds||4 - 1/4000 sec|
|RRP||£280||ISO Range||160 - 3200|
|Megapixels||12.1||Focal Length||30 - 300mm|
|Weight||209g||Aperture||f3.5 - 5.6|
|Dimensions||104 x 59 x 30mm (WxHxD)||Focus Distance||1cm - inf|
|LCD Size||3 inches||Zoom (Opt)||10x|
|Zoom (Dig)||4x||Storage||SD / SDHC / SDXC|
|Max Resolution||4000 x 3000||Battery Type||Li-Ion|
Nikon’s COOLPIX S8100 sure is a good-looking piece of kit. From the outset, you’ll be impressed with its grippy, yet sleek casing, its metal buttons and excellent build quality. Another great feature is its 3-inch TFT LCD screen with an anti-reflection coating – it’s large enough to view your snapshots clearly.
The praise extends to the tech lurking beneath the beautiful exterior too – the S8100 offers a superb 10x optical zoom, a wide-angle lens and a reasonable 12.1 megapixels. At 209g, it weighs in at a little over what the average casual compact does; then again, the S8100’s offerings are far from average.
A closer look at its test shots show crisp, quality images with excellent colour representation. The Macro function offers up a great depth of field, with no purple fringing lurking on the outer edges. It’s the same for fast sports shots – it handles the subject matter without breaking a sweat and ensures you’ll rarely miss a moment. Equally, portrait and landscape shots beautifully reflect their subject matter.
One feature in particular that Nikon is keen to promote is the S8100’s ‘advanced technologies for beautiful night-time shots.’ When tested, night landscape shots did come out reasonably well; however, as you’d expect with such a scene, there’s nowhere near the level of detail that you’d see with the same shot in daylight. The lighting is well represented, but also bear in mind that there has to be a light source somewhere in the scene – street lamps and so on – in order for this to work. Conversely, the night-time portrait function works very well, with plenty of detail present in the shot. Be prepared to be dazzled, though, as the flash is very bright indeed. Nevertheless, this function is ideal, and arguably necessary, if you’re shooting in the dark at a party or on a night out.
Another feature that will appeal to users is that Nikon’s latest release is very easy to use. While its Auto setting will see you through many photographic situations, it’s simple enough to select the scene mode you’d like. The most commonly used functions are located on the top, so just a twist of this well-made dial will offer up a bit of what you fancy. For those that like to tweak the camera settings, there are a few options, such as ISO, metering, white balance and so on, to play with, which are accessible from the dial on top. It hints at customisation, but doesn’t bamboozle you with loads of choices, and you can always just plump for Auto if you’d prefer to get on with the business of snapping.
Similarly, capturing moving moments is a non-complicated affair – so much so that you can begin proceedings with, quite literally, a click of a button. Record is clearly located on the back; it’s also a little sunken into the case to prevent recording anything by accident. The results are presented to you in 1080p, high-definition quality too, which is a definite bonus.
All these functions are powered by a li-ion battery EN-EL12, which gives the S8100 approximately 210 shots or 80 minutes of HD recording from a full charge. It does let this camera down a little, but it’s certainly not a deal breaker.
One aspect that might be, though, is the price. The COOLPIX retails for around £280, which might be at the top of the budget for many. Nevertheless, what you’ll get for your money is a very capable point-and-click camera that features style and substance. It feels well built and sturdy enough for regular use. Not only that, the images it produces are of a good enough quality to trust it with even the most precious of moments.
The S8100 is an absolute joy to use. It looks fantastic and provides quality, detailed images that don’t disappoint. If your budget can stretch, then it’s a must-have
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|The S8100 is an absolute joy to use. It looks fantastic and provides quality, detailed images that don’t disappoint. If your budget can stretch, then it’s a must-have|
Debbi’s passionate about all things photographic: from the latest digital kit to the greatest techniques to capture a scene. She’s been at the helm of the photography portfolio of magazines, websites and more for three years.
|Total Camera Reviews||137|
|Average Camera Rating||2.4|
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