Expert Review of Nikon S1200pj Point & Shoot
The Nikon Coolpix S1200pj is one of the many innovative gadgets in the camera market, which is only the third camera in the world with an integrated projector, that being said, this new genius from Nikon replaces Nikon Coolpix S1100pj, which makes our device’s successor and is continued in the array of Nikon. Talking about the key specifications of Nikon S1200pj, it works on a 40 % brighter projector (internal) and has three times better contrast than Nikon Coolpix S1100pj. All these are due to the latest three lamps namely, Red, Green and Blue LEDs, and with that, the entire SRGB gamut can be reproduced and an efficient contrast ratio of 200:1 can be efficiently brought in. These include the connectivity options to an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch directly via the use of a wired cable, a fairly detailed 3-inch LCD TFT screen working on 460,000 dots, 18 screen modes and a whole bunch of special effects and digital filters to go with it. The Nikon Coolpix S1200pj lens is really modest with 5x zoom and wide angle 28mm to 140mm telephoto at 35mm equivalent that comes with Vibration Reduction features and an aperture range, which measures f/3.9 to f/5.8, while the sensor of the device is the standard for a compact 1/2.3-inch CCD with an increased pixel count of 14.48MP. The Nikon Coolpix S1200pj is made available in India in color combinations of Black and Pink.
Design and Build Quality
There are many similarities once you compare Nikon Coolpix S1200pj with its predecessor when you take design and build quality as criteria. Hence, some of the comments that were made while reviewing the earlier reviewed Nikon Coolpix S1100pj apply here too. In terms of ergonomics, the device measures 107mm x 63.4mm x 22.6mm and has an effective weight of 186grams. As soon as you look at the face of this device you will notice exactly how does it differ from a normal day to day Point and Shoot device and that is because, there are two lenses at the front of Nikon Coolpix S1200pj in which, one works for taking photos and the other works efficiently for projecting the images in front of a wall or a canvas. The former basic lens is mounted proudly on the top right corner of the device when viewed from the front and, is shielded well from the sliding lens as soon as the camera is turned off. The latter, and the lens that most of us are unfamiliar with, attains a more central position and is mounted below the slim line flash unit, and well protected by a vertically sliding switch that has been labelled “Projector” for obvious reasons. Apart from that, in the front, there are two more holes, small ones, on either side of the flash, and they are there for the camera’s speakers, there is an infrared receiver too, which supplies for ML-L4 remote control unit and a self timer/ movie light lamp/ AF assist which is shared.
Focus and Face Detection
The camera has a very efficient AF mode, the device hunts down for any sort of human faces, keeps a real good track of them, and if a smile is detected on the camera, even the shutter is fired off. The Nikon Coolpix S1200pj has the capability to detect three faces but as such, it only focuses on the face nearest to the centre of frame and the shot is taken only when a smile comes on that particular face.
Lens and Image Stabilization
The lens on Nikon Coolpix S1200pj is the same which is mounted on its precursor, which is a 5x zoom of an internal stacked variety, and hence the lens does not extend when you power it up or you employ the zoom function. At 35mm equivalent, the focal range of the device varies from 28mm at wide angle to a very modest 140mm at telephoto end. The device is not significantly fast being f/3.9 at the wide-angle end and a poor f/5.8 at the full telephoto end. Nikon Coolpix S1200pj is sort of a budget compact and hence like any other budget device, lacks iris diaphragm. Well, in order to avoid overexposure, the device employs the in-built neutral density filter, and with that, it still has no effect on the depth of field whatsoever and that happens because the physical size of aperture does not change at all.
Screen and Menus
Leaving the front aside, the rest of the ergonomics of Nikon Coolpix S1200pj looks just like your normal day-to-day compact cameras. Featuring and covering almost the entire rear of Nikon Coolpix S1200pj is a 3-inch TFT LCD screen that comes in to take place of the touch screen that was featured on Nikon Coolpix S1100pj. Still, the resolution of Nikon Coolpix S1200pj is pleasant at 460,000 dots. This is sort of a demotion from its predecessor in the device, and one that we did not expect; going from the advanced all touch interfaces as on Nikon Coolpix S1100pj to the conventional button-driven system is something we definitely do not appreciate. So definitely, there are more buttons than before, and the Movie Record, Shooting Mode and our favourite wheel with the centre OK button joins Playback controls. Also, there is a flash indicator lamp and a second infrared receiver right at the back. More frequently used buttons are illuminated when in the projection mode, and that makes it easier to use them in the dark.
Nikon S1200pj is powered by the same dedicated Li-Ion battery, which obviously powers up the entire device and records images and videos on the conventional SD/ SDHC / SDXC cards. The compartment for battery and card is the same and is found right at the bottom of the device. At an average of 220images captured on a single charge, which is rather disappointing, this may vary according to the usage of flash and zoom.
Disappointingly, Nikon Coolpix S1200pj features just a HD 720p video mode. The features on the video mode are rather basic that is, you can either choose from single AF or full time AF, turn the light on the movie on or off, wind reduction can be turned on or off, enhanced resolution can be turned to Auto or off, and also the video quality can be set to 1280 x 720p, 960 x 540 or 640 x 480, all at 30fps.
Sensor, as mentioned in various reviews before, is a transducer, a device capable of changing one form of energy to the other. In case of photography, in a dedicated camera, sensor turns optical images to electronic signals for further processing. In case of Nikon Coolpix S1200pj, there is a 14.48MP, 1/2.3-inch CCD sensor mounted inside the device.
• Awesome projector for sharing with friends and family
• Easy to use and carry
• Acceptable noise levels from ISO 80-1600
• Captures nice 14-megapixel photos
• High-quality 3.0-inch LCD
• Versatile zoom
• 720p HD video capture
• Lens-Shift Image Stabilization
• Dedicated video recording button allows recording anytime
• No full HD video option
• ISO 3200 and 6400 show a ton of imager noise
• No AV cables
• No external battery charger
• No HDMI outout
• Projector drains battery quickly