Any DSLR (or Micro Four Thirds) fanatic would know that an ordinary P&S (point-and-shoot) camera has nothing on them. But now, a P&S camera can have a 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor and 1080p HD video recording, and everything changes. Enter the Nikon Coolpix S8100. Read on for the review!
Thanks Nikon for the loaner!
Specs And Design
- 12.1 megapixel CMOS sensor
- 10x digital zoom
- 1080p HD video recording (with a slow motion 240FPS video mode at QVGA)
- Continuous normal shooting for 5 shots at 10fps
- Panorama and macro modes (both work great)
- ISO up to 3200
- EXPEED C2 image processing tech
- Motion detection and image stabilization
- HDMI and AV-out
- Popup flash
- 3-inch screen with a resolution of 921,000-dots
Nikon’s decision on design for the Coolpix S8100 is inspiration from Coolpix and the DSLRs they produce (obviously). The many different angles and buttos on the P&S can allow any hand size to grip it firmly and securely, and buttons placement is simple and easy to understand; like a dedicated 1080p HD (if you’ve set the S8100 by default) record button for fast shooting. It’s very pretty to look at, and considering the $399 price, it should be.
Although there are certain parts that encourages thought and negative comment, is something I stumbled upon while testing the S8100 is that the dial used to switch between auto, continuous, scene, night mode (that one is very useful for quick shots), and etc. modes is that the dial is way too short. It is nearly impossible to grip it without fumbling around, and by that time, you miss that shot you’ve been looking for (it’s happened every time, trust me).
Other than that, that’s the only gripe I’ve seen worth noting. The user interface is easy to understand, and most if not all of it is navigated by the OK buttons and circular dial, which can be pressed in four directions (up, down, left, right) also turn clockwise and counter-clockwise for quicker scrolling and selection.
Very decent, and at times very good (there’s a difference). You’ve got macro, landscape, panorama, museum, portrait, food, and all the other modes typically seen on all high-end/mid-range cameras. A few reviews here have been taken with the S8100, like the Razer Tron mouse and cupcake gumballs, hands-on posts like the LG Quantum and Google Chrome CR-48, and you’ll continue to see that until early next year. I could be a grumpy and tell you to click on all those posts (which I don’t mind), but here are some representations:
Photographs With The S8100
1080p HD Video Test
Conclusion To This Review
There are 2 P&S cameras you should consider — Canon’s S95 offering and the Nikon S8100. It’s mainly just personal preference and price. There’s lots of practicality in the S8100, and great photo-taking ability, along with 1080p HD video recording, and who doesn’t like that? A definite good choice for the holidays.
- Great image quality.
- Dude, did you see the 10x in the 1080p video?
- Easy controls (except that scene knob) and interface.
- Battery life. Using it on and off for posts and regular outings, I’ve only charged the S8100 once this week.
- Good build.
- THAT SHORT SCENE KNOB!
- Occasional (but rare) focusing crap-outs.