Nikon Coolpix S9300 Review
Body & Design
The Coolpix S9300 is a compact and generally well-designed ultra zoom camera. The body is made mostly of metal, with the front plate having a rubberized coating that makes the camera easier to hold. The only weak spot I could find is the very flimsy door over the battery/memory card compartment. Controls are easy to reach, though I'm not a huge fan of how they're flush with the back of the camera. As with its predecessor, you can pick up the S9300 in three colors: black, silver, and red.
The S9300 is a travelzoom-class camera, which means its lens is one of the big selling points. Naturally, you're going to want an image stabilization system on a a camera with an 18X zoom, and as we've seen in the recently-reviewed P510, Nikon has switched from a hybrid (sensor shift + electronic) system used in the last-generation models to a more 'normal' optical system on the S9300. It'll reduce the risk of blurry photos, and will also smooth out your movies.
Behind the lens is probably the second-biggest new feature on the S9300 (with the GPS being #1): a new 16 Megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor. BSI sensors allow more light to reach the photo sites, which in theory allows for higher sensitivity. We'll see about that when we get to the photo tests.
The main event on the back of the camera is the same 3-inch, 921k pixel LCD display that was found on the S9100. As you might imagine, everything is super-sharp. Outdoor visibility is average, meaning not wonderful. In low light, the screen 'gains up' fairly well, so you can still see the subject you're trying to take a photo of.
|Camera||Dimensions (W x H x D, excluding protrusions)||Volume (bulk)||Mass (empty)|
|Canon PowerShot SX260 HS||4.2 x 2.4 x 1.3 in.||13.1 cu in.||208 g|
|Fujifilm FinePix F770EXR||4.1 x 2.4 x 1.4 in.||13.8 cu in.||209 g|
|Nikon Coolpix S9300||4.3 x 2.5 x 1.3 in.||14 cu in.||215 g|
|Olympus SZ-31MR iHS||4.2 x 2.7 x 1.6 in.||18.1 cu in.||226 g|
|Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20||4.1 x 2.3 x 1.3 in.||12.3 cu in.||185 g|
|Pentax Optio VS20||4.4 x 2.4 x 1.5 in.||15.8 cu in.||213 g|
|Samsung WB850F||4.3 x 2.4 x 1.0 in.||10.3 cu in.||227 g|
|Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V||4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in.||15.1 cu in.||221 g|
The Coolpix S9300 is one of the larger and heavier cameras in the group. That's not to say that it's a large camera - the S9300 will travel in your jeans pocket with ease.
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