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Nikon refreshes Coolpix S series with 16MP CMOS and CCD cameras

By dpreview staff on Feb 1, 2012 at 04:01 GMT

Nikon has refreshed its line of S series style compact cameras, which ranges from $140 6x zoom models through to bells-and-whistles-including 18x compact superzoom. The range is topped by the S9300 which offers that 18x, 25mm-450mm equiv. stabilized lens, 16MP back-lit CMOS sensor, 1080p30 with stereo sound recording and built-in GPS. The S6300 is a slim, 10x 25-250mm equiv camera built around the same sensor. The S4300 and S3300 are more modest, CCD-based affairs with 6x, 26-156mm equivalent zooms.

It's the S6300 that looks interesting to us. The S8300 is a continuation of a likeable enough family of models but the S6300 is able to offer the same sensor with a still useful zoom range for a lot less money. The inexpensive compact superzoom has been something of a trend in the past few months, as camera makers try to offer capabilities that smartphones can't match. At a list price of around $199.95 the S6300 loses the S8300's high-res screen (making do with 230k dots rather than 920k) and stereo recording, as well as some zoom range. But it's also a lot less expensive than the S8300, which will sell for around $349.95.

The S4300 and S3300 will sell for around $169.95 and $139.95 respectively, with the extra money buying you a 460k dot touch-sensitive screen. Their 16MP CCD chips limit them to 720p video.

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Press Release:

NIKON'S NEW S-SERIES COOLPIX CAMERAS ARE THE SLIM, STYLISH AND SMART WAY TO CAPTURE LIFE'S GREAT MOMENTS

Nikon Coolpix P8300

With Super-Zoom Capabilities and Compact Design, New COOLPIX Cameras are User-Friendly and Feature Technologies to Inspire Creativity

MELVILLE, NY (Jan. 31, 2012) – Today, Nikon Inc. introduced four new digital cameras to the COOLPIX S-series lineup to give consumers new ways to go super-zoom or super chic. These new cameras deliver on Nikon's rich optical heritage and benefit from new technologies poised to create an amazing camera experience for any user, such as GPS and enhanced resolution.

The Spring 2012 line of Nikon COOLPIX cameras help capture memories with advanced features including extraordinary low-light capabilities, powerful optics and HD video recording with full stereo sound. Added features such as the built-in GPS of the COOLPIX S9300 and Easy Panorama mode of the COOLPIX S6300 bolster the S-series lineup, in addition to the easy-to-use, slim and stylish COOLPIX S4300 and S3300. These cameras also include Nikon core technologies for amazing photos, including Nikon's Smart Portrait System for flattering portraits and HD video capability across the line.

"The new COOLPIX S-series cameras are super slim and easy to carry around for all of those special 'can't miss' moments that matter in a person's life," said Bo Kajiwara, director of marketing, Nikon Inc. "These cameras complement a personal style while providing amazing image and video quality easily."

The Ultra-Zoom That Fits in a Carry-on

The COOLPIX S9300 is deceptively slim (approximately 1.5-inch body), but hides a super-zoom secret with an outstanding 18x optical Zoom-NIKKOR ED glass lens (25mm-450mm). Vibration Reduction (VR) image stabilization lets users capture far-off horizons or up-close action, making the COOLPIX S9300 a packing priority for any trip. The camera features a 16.0-megapixel Backside Illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor for capturing low-light images with stunning clarity and sharpness. Nikon's BSI sensor technology increases the flow of light to the sensor's surface, which improves image quality and reduces noise. Whether traveling around the globe or enjoying a night out on the town, users can also record Full HD (1080p) movies with full stereo sound and enjoy high speed frame rates for slow and fast motion effects. Further adding to the COOLPIX S9300's credibility as the ultimate travel camera, built-in GPS has been added to provide the user with accurate geotag data of adventures and even displays a map as to where the user has been.

The Super-Zoom Goes Super Thin

The slim COOLPIX S6300 bundles a 10x optical zoom with a compact body and VR technology, so users can quickly zoom in to the action without worrying about blurry photos. A 16.0-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor captures fast action and scenarios in challenging lighting, such as faces around a dimly-lit birthday cake or sun soaked days at the lake. The COOLPIX S6300 also records full HD (1080p) movies for memorable moments without missing a beat. Additionally, 180º and 360º views of the world, including stunning landscapes or amazing interiors, are simple to create and share with the Easy Panorama mode. Creative color options let the user add their own personal touch in-camera with effects like Low key, High key, Nostalgia Sepia, and even Selective Color, putting a little punch to images and movies.

The Touch Screen to Set Trends

For those looking for a no-frills touch screen camera that captures amazing photos and HD video, the 16.0-megapixel COOLPIX S4300 is the camera that fits the bill. It features a wide-angle 6x (26mm-156mm) optical Zoom-NIKKOR glass lens, plus VR image stabilization for maximum versatility. The 3-inch touch screen LCD makes it easy to compose, focus and capture moments quickly, and subjects come alive with 460,000-dot detail. Additionally, multiple Scene Modes immediately adjust settings for optimum results, while the Auto Scene Selector can identify scenes automatically and set the camera accordingly. The COOLPIX S4300 also features Nikon's Smart Portrait System, which includes the intelligent Smile Shutter function that automatically recognizes when a subject is smiling and releases the shutter for picture-perfect results every time. The Face-Priority AF can find and focus up to 12 faces, making the COOLPIX S4300 the ultimate party accessory

A Fashionable Zoom for Any Occasion

The Nikon COOLPIX S3300 answers the call for a cost-efficient 16.0-megapixel camera with a 6x (26mm-156mm) optical Zoom-NIKKOR glass lens for near or far photos on any occasion. The slim design of the camera makes it effortless for traveling, while the easy-to-use interface is always ready to capture photos and video. The camera has 19 Scene Modes, including the Scene Auto Selector which analyzes a scene and automatically selects from one of six scene modes. With the COOLPIX S3300, the party can be relived in glorious HD with 720p movie recording, while optical VR minimizes the effects of camera shake for sharp, high-quality images.

Nikon Coolpix S9300, S6300, S4300 and S3300 specifications

 Nikon Coolpix S9300Nikon Coolpix S6300Nikon Coolpix S4300Nikon Coolpix S3300
Body type
Body typeCompact
Sensor
Max resolution4608 x 3456
Other resolutions4608 x 2592, 3264 x 2448 , 1600 X 1200, 640 x 480
Image ratio w:h4:3, 16:9
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors17 megapixels16 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOSCCD
Image
ISOAuto, 125, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationOpticalSensor-shiftOptical
Uncompressed formatNo
JPEG quality levelsFine, Normal, Basic
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)25–450 mm25–250 mm26–156 mm
Optical zoom18×10×6×
Maximum apertureF3.5 - F5.9F3.2 - F5.8F3.5 - F6.5
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Tracking
  • Face Detection
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Tracking
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Tracking
  • Face Detection
Digital zoomYes (4x)
Manual focusNoYes
Normal focus range50 cm (19.69)
Macro focus range4 cm (1.57)10 cm (3.94)5 cm (1.97)1 cm (0.39)
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size32.732.7
Screen dots921,000230,000460,000230,000
Touch screenNoYesNo
Screen typeTFT-LCD with Anti-reflection coating
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeNone
Photography features
Built-in flashYes (Pop-up)Yes
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow-sync
Self-timerYes
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
  • Spot AF-area
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
WB BracketingNo
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (30fps), 1280 x 720p (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30fps)1280 x 720p (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30fps)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264MPEG-4
MicrophoneStereoMono
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage included26 MB74 MB42 MB
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (Mini Connector)No
Remote controlNo
Physical
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionNikon EN-EL12 Lithium-Ion batteryNikon EN-EL19 Lithium-Ion battery
Battery Life (CIPA)200230180
Weight (inc. batteries)215 g (0.47 lb / 7.58 oz)160 g (0.35 lb / 5.64 oz)139 g (0.31 lb / 4.90 oz)128 g (0.28 lb / 4.52 oz)
Dimensions109 x 62 x 31 mm (4.29 x 2.44 x 1.22)94 x 58 x 26 mm (3.7 x 2.28 x 1.02)96 x 59 x 21 mm (3.78 x 2.32 x 0.83)95 x 58 x 19 mm (3.74 x 2.28 x 0.75)
Other features
Timelapse recordingNo
GPSBuiltInNone

Additional images

Nikon Coolpix S6300
Nikon Coolpix S4300
Nikon Coolpix S3300
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Comments

Total comments: 7
xXposedXx
By xXposedXx (Aug 30, 2012)

For those looking for a super compact - dimensions are astonishing that I feel a little embarrassed to be using this for traveller shots and portability where SLR is an over-burden of space and weight.

Am currently experimenting with some of the 6300's more detailed design in camera usefulness and will post images to let others decide for themselves. This is the first Coolpix I've had and am not an advocate for any brand, only look for quality of build and what can be expected. The rest comes from your own ability to learn and adapt skill where needed.

Bought this last week ($148) over a number of others including the recent introduced touch sceen which are more power hungry and don't pack much better in detail.

I certainly don't want more optical than X10 (28-240) as SLR can't be beaten using pro lens (100-400).Don't use digital zoom - useless for quality.

Wont bust your budget from a price point.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Feb 3, 2012)

Wow, other than the top-notch S9300, these new cameras from Nikon are SMALLER in size than my L22. Ergonomics on these new S-series models look compromised compared to the L20/22 layout.

Re. the "MP War" -- all of these low priced pocketable cameras by all camera mfrs offer 16MPs on a 1/2.3-inch sensor today. We might as well get cozy and comfortable with this sad fact, as it's obviously not going away soon.

0 upvotes
Gil2281l
By Gil2281l (Feb 2, 2012)

The specs above show the VR as sensor stabilization for the S9300 while the spec on the Nikon site has lens stabilization. I wonder which it really is. There is no comment on their site about any upgrades to the CMOS so will the picure quality be the same or worse because they are cramming more MPs ona small chip?

0 upvotes
johnparas11zenfoliodotcom
By johnparas11zenfoliodotcom (Feb 1, 2012)

On some video on nikonrumors they show a nikon S2600?

0 upvotes
Helena777
By Helena777 (Feb 1, 2012)

And the MP war goes on...pfff

0 upvotes
caissam
By caissam (Feb 1, 2012)

No P/A/S/M?
Looks like the ZS Panasonic has the edge again for me...

What a pity thats none of the new superzoomer offers raw :(

0 upvotes
IcyVeins
By IcyVeins (Feb 1, 2012)

So this is just an S8200 with 100mm more zoom? Yawn.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 7