Expert Review of Nikon Coolpix S8200 Point & Shoot Digital Camera Black
Nikon Coolpix S8200 is one of the best models launched under Nikon Coolpix S series from Nikon till date, it is in many ways the elder brother of Nikon Coolpix S6200 and flaunts a versatile focal range varying from a minimum of 25mm to a maximum of 350mm and the headline feature, a 14x optical zoom lens. Nikon Coolpix S8200 is just 32.7 mm thick, which makes it a slim compact despite being a superzoom. The heavy features of Nikon Coolpix S8200 include a 16.1 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor, high resolution 3 inch LCD screen, full 1080p high-definition movies with stereo sound, lens-shift Vibration Reduction, 1cm macro mode, shooting mode dial and a fast auto-focus system, shutter-lag and startup time. Apart from these standard features Nikon Coolpix S8200 also offers some extra-features which enhance the picture quality drastically, these include auto-focus mode, Easy Panoramas, 6fps continuous shooting at full resolution, in-camera HDR imaging, a variety of special effects and superior Night Landscape and Portrait modes. As such, Nikon Coolpix S8200 is available in three colors which are Black, Red and Gold. The 6 frames per second continuous shooting at full resolution and the auto-focus mode which are used in targer finding are both really excellent additions to the already brilliant performing Nikon Coolpix S8200.
Design and Build Quality
When it comes to design and build quality, Nikon Coolpix S8200 is really identical to Coolpix S8100 and the already reviewed Nikon Coolpix 6200 which is like a younger brother of this device. The designing of Nikon Coolpix S8200 is really conventional and still manages to appear out sexy, the body, unlike Nikon Coolpix S6200 is made of metal and the glossy texture adds to the royalty of the look. The glossy coating has been smartly rubberised on the front half, which aids the grip of the camera. Although the device is considerably thinner than Nikon Coolpix S8100, the body is still very slim for a camera mounting a 14x zoom lens, also note that camera also measures over 70mm deep when the zoom is fully out. At 213 grams, it is not really a featherweight but still is a semi-light camera which is very easy to handle and effortlessly fits in both the palm of your hand and the pockets of your shirts.
Focus and Face Detection
The Auto focus of Nikon Coolpix S8200 can detect up to 12 faces in a shot just so long as they're looking directly at the camera, whilst In-Camera Red-Eye Fix automatically processes the picture to remove red-eye. Blink Warning alerts you if someone in the frame had their eyes closed, and the Smile Timer automatically takes the picture when a smile is detected. The focusing capabilities range from Approx. 50 cm (1 ft. 6 in.) to infinity (at wide-angle setting) and approx. 1 m (3 ft. 3 in.) to infinity (at telephoto setting) while in Macro mode it ranges from approx. 1 cm (0.4 in.) to infinity (at wide-angle setting).
Lens and Image Stabilization
Most of the front is completely dominated by the unbranded lens mounted on the body of Nikon Coolpix S8200 which has a really catchy rounded appearance which is enough to distinguish it from the rival devices, also does the decent pop-flash which automatically appears whenever a flash mode is selected. Otherwise the design is pretty conventional, with nothing to surprise or scare anyone who has used a digital camera in the last five years, making it easy to get up and running in no time at all. That's certainly helped by Nikon Coolpix S8200's lightening fast reflexes. Start-up time is almost instant, with the camera ready to go in less than half a second, making it one of the faster compacts that we've tested recently. Nikon Coolpix S8200 also is something of a speed demon when it comes to focusing on your subject. The 14x zoom lens provides a resourceful focal range of 25-350mm, impressive given the overall size of the camera, and is wide enough for landscapes and has more than enough reach for candid portraits.
Screen and Menus
The large 3 inch LCD monitor of Nikon Coolpix S8200 has an excellent resolution of 921k dots, resulting in a detailed and vibrant display that puts standard LCD screens to shame. It also offers five levels of brightness, an anti-reflection coating and a wide viewing angle. There is a round navigation wheel and a central OK button to the right, surrounded by two buttons above and two below. The navigation wheel is a nice touch that can be used to scroll through menu settings and pictures, but doesn't really serve any other purpose. The four corners of the wheel also double up to access the flash, exposure compensation, macro and self-timer settings.
Nikon Coolpix S8200 works under Li-Ion rechargeable batteries which according to CIPA is good enough to flaunt over 250 shots. Nikon Coolpix S8200 can be charged using USB socket on a computer or via the main power which includes AC adapter. The anti-shake system really unexpectedly does not reduce the battery life to a high extent.
Nikon Coolpix S8200 can record full 1080p HD quality video complete with stereo sound. It offers 1920x1080, 1280x720 and 640x480 pixel movies at 30 or 15fps, and 320x240 pixels at 15fps saved in the Quicktime .mov format. There's also a range of high-speed options available - 120, 60 and 15 fps - which give your movies a slow-motion effect. An HDMI Mini port allows the S8200 to be easily connected to a HDTV, although no suitable cable is supplied in the box. You can also use the 14x optical zoom lens during recording, complete with the optical vibration reduction system and autofocusing, also the lens is painfully slow in operation, presumably to avoid recording the noise of the zoom mechanism.
Sensor is the device that converts optical images to electronic signals and is somehow the heart of the camera. In Nikon Coolpix S8200 there is a 1/2.3 inch RGB CMOS sensor which works on 16.1 megapixels.
1. Useful big zoom lens
2. Vibration Reduction
3. Great build quality
4. Responsive AF system
5. Full HD movies
1. No GPS
2. No manual exposure modes
3. Occasionally overexposes bright detail
4. AF less reliable at telephoto focal lengths