Expert Review of Nikon Coolpix S8100 Point & Shoot Black
Travel zoom is one of the current trends in the camera industry and that is the reason why one of the leading camera manufacturers in the world, Nikon, has decided to succeed its travel zoom range with the launch of Nikon Coolpix S8100. The very second travel zoom device from Nikon comes packed with a big 10x zoom lens with a very appreciable focal length measuring 30mm at wide angle, and 300mm at telephoto end at 35mm equivalent. The device is just 29.9mm in width, making it a very compact portable device. The key features of Nikon Coolpix S8100 include a 12megapixel CMOS sensor, which is back illuminated, a 3inches LCD screen that works at a brilliant resolution, HD movie recording capabilities at 1080p HD accompanied by stereo sound, Vibration Reduction lens-shift, a 1cm macro mode, a shooting mode dial and a really fast and appreciable AF system that is almost “DSLR-like”. The offer on our device, Nikon Coolpix S8100 also includes an in-camera HDR imaging, a highly advanced Night Landscape, and Portrait modes. Nikon Coolpix S8100 is available in three colors that is, Black, Gold and Red.
Design and Build Quality
Nikon Coolpix S8100 brings forth a very high appealing design and still manages to be conservative with it, the metal body of the device is given a highly glossy and shiny coating (in black), and is rubberized very skillfully up front. Considering other cameras with a 10x zoom that we have reviewed earlier, Nikon Coolpix S8100 is surprisingly slim, now the important thing to note here is that our device measures almost 70mm deep when the zoom is extended at the fullest. The curb weight of Nikon Coolpix S8100 is 183grams, and that proves this device to be sort of a featherweight as well, and so the handling is superb, the device fits really well in the palm of your hand or inside the pocket of your shirt. Quite understandably, the lens is what dominates the entire front of Nikon Coolpix S8100, and possesses a rounded at the edge sort of an appearance, which is striking to say the least, it also helps our device to be distinguished from the rivals, and so does, the pop up flash which is fairly neat and appears on top automatically as soon as the flash is turned on. Apart from this, there is nothing extraordinary in the design of Nikon Coolpix S8100, it is very conventional, and won’t surprise anyone who has had an experience of using a camera in the past years, making the device highly user-friendly and good to go in no time at all.
Focus and Face Detection
The Face authority AF feature of Nikon Coolpix S8100 can detect almost up to 12 faces in a given screen, given that the faces are looking directly towards the camera, and in the mean time, the In-Camera Red-Eye reduction feature takes care of automatically removing the red-eye bug of the device. The blink warning feature is enough to inform you if someone has their eyes closed in the picture, and the Smile Timer on the camera automatically takes a picture when a smile is detected on the screen. There is a Skin softening function, which is a delight to all the females, for it makes your subject look almost 10 years younger than the present age just by smoothening out all sorts of imperfections. The creative slider function on the device within no time, adjusts to the brightness of the device, the saturation of it, and the color tone of the image.
Lens and Image Stabilization
Call it a speed monster, for that is the name this device deserves, the Nikon Coolpix S8100 picks up the object tremendously fast when it comes to focusing on your object. As mentioned before, the 10x lens mounted on the device provides a fairly neat focal range measuring 30-300mm, which quite simply is impressive once you present the size of your camera, yes, the lens lacks a little bit at the wide angle view, but at the telephoto end, it excels far beyond the expectations. The maximum aperture size of the lens of Nikon Coolpix S8100 is admirable at the wide-angle end at f/3.5, but disappointed us a little at f/5.6. Well, Nikon Coolpix S8100 is highly efficient in finding the focus of your requirement in the device, and then locks on to your target in less than 0.2seconds, regardless of the lighting conditions that your device has been subjected to. Interesting point to note is, what makes this even more astounding is the fact that Nikon Coolpix S8100 works on a contrast type AF system, which is traditionally slower than what most DSLRs use in the form of a phase detection system. Adding to this, is the subject tracking type scene mode which detects, tracks and focuses on to the main subject of the device and hence makes it immensely easy to capture moving objections with high success rate. Nikon has always been a class apart, when it comes to the Vibration Reduction image stabilisation system, this technology helps to prevent the camera from shaking, and an important feature in today’s market, and Nikon Coolpix S8100 seems to be blessed with exactly that, this can be turned on and off in the main menu of Setup. Well, practically speaking, VR technology does make a visible difference in terms of sharpness of the image as said earlier of Image Quality, but one must definitely not expect very sharp results every time in case of much longer focal length, for effective result, you need to use a fast shutter speed alongside this.
Screen and Menus
As discussed earlier, the screen is one of the highlights of Nikon Coolpix S8100, turn the camera around and you will see probably one of the most traditional screens that you have ever seen in your life, all the controls are very well located on the right hand side of the huge LCD screen. This huge LCD monitor comes packing with great resolution measuring 921,000 dots that results in highly intense and jubilant display that make the traditional 3-inch screens look like sissies.
Thankfully enough, the anti-shake system on the camera does not reduce the battery life too much on the camera and Nikon Coolpix S8100 only manages an average 200 shots or in terms of video, 1 hour 20 minutes of Full HD video with the use of a Li-Ion rechargeable battery. Nikon Coolpix S8100 can be charged by the help of a USB socket on some kind of a computer or simply on the main plug by using an AC adapter.
Now, Nikon Coolpix S8100 can record full HD 1080p 1920 x 1280 resolution movies with stereo sound. Some of the formats available are 1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720 and 640 x 480pixel movies at 30 or 15fps, and 320 x 240pixels at 15fps saved in the QuickTime.mov format. There is moreover, a series of high-speed options existing such as 240, 120, 60 and 15 fps - which provide your movies a slow-motion result.
Sensors are devices that work to change the optical images into electronic signals. A back illuminated 12megapixel CMOS sensor is what powers Nikon Coolpix S8100.
· Macro mode is superb
· Respectable quality photo and colour
· Shooting at 5fps/ High speed shots/ Videography at 240fps
· Highly detailed 3-inch screen
· Full HD Video with stereo sound and optical zoom
· In-built Vibration Reduction
· Does not come through in-camera photos
· Softness on the corner