07 Jul

Nikon Coolpix S8100 Assess

The Coolpix S8100 compact megazoom is Nikon’s follow-up to the Coolpix S8000. That camera didn’t offer much more than what you could get from other manufacturers–if anything–and produced mean photos and had mean shooting performance. Its point was really the only thing that made it above mean. Nikon quickly went forwards with the S8100, maintenance the prior model’s point for the most part, butadding a high-speed rear-illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor.

S8100These sensors commonly allow for closer shooting performance and better low-light photo feature, and this is the case with the S8100. For the same price as its predecessor you get a lot more camera, better photos, and burst shooting competent of up to 10 frames per following, among other performance gains. There’s still room for enhancement, but overall the S8100 is one of the better compact megazooms I’ve experienced person at its price.

Overall photo feature from the S8100 is very excellent, on par or above other cameras in its class. Even if its sensitivity settings run from ISO 160 to ISO 3,200, the S8100 produces the best consequences at ISO 200. Photos on any side of this sensitivity look soft and subsidy from sharpening with photo-control software. There’s a Fixed Range Auto choice that will limit you to ISO 160-400, which is nice since this is where it performs best. On the other hand, the regular Auto ISO setting only goes up to ISO 800 and since the S8100 does OK there, too, it’s honestly safe to use. The two peak ISOs–1,600 and 3,200–should doubtless only be used in emergencies, primarily since the sign get very washed out and the noise reduction makes subjects grow smeary.

S8100Like most cameras with BSI CMOS sensors, the S8100 has multishot modes for humanizing low-light photos of landscapes and portraits. At a single press of the close relief, the camera takes numerous photos and then combines them to improve blur from hand shake and reduce noise and assess exposure. In all-function, the Night Landscape mode is thriving, even if at full size you will see chroma noise. The Night Likeness mode takes shots with and without flash and combines them into nicely exposed shots. Even if, since of the nature of how these descriptions are produced, these modes cannot be used with tender subjects.

Nikon does an exceptional job of controlling both barrel distortion at the wide end and pincushioning at thetelephoto end of the lens. The lens is honestly sharp in the focal point, but there is noticeable softness at the sides and in the corners when photos are viewed at their full pledge.

Sign produced by the S8100 are excellent up to ISO 800, if not when all’s said and done right (even if that’s mean for midrange point-and-shoots). Exposure is consistently excellent, too, and if you need some help, Nikon’s D-Lighting figure can be used in Playback mode. The auto white weigh under unnatural light tends to be a modest too warm, so it’s best to use the blue-collar white-weigh choice when doable (the presets twisted out a modest green under unnatural lights in my tests).

S8100Despite its 1080p movie capture being a main promotion point, video feature is just on par with a excellent HD sackvideo camera; excellent enough for Web use and nondiscriminating TV viewing. If you plot to do a lot of panning from side to side or shooting quick-tender subjects, there is a lot of judder. That’s honestly run of the mill for point-and-shoots, but it’s really noticeable on the 1080p movies. Also, while the zoom does work when tape, the movement is elected up by the mics on top so you will hear it in your movies. If you use the zoom while tape you’ll want to keep the autofocus set to full time, but unfortunately you will hear the lens focusing in your movies, too. It basically sounds like a continuous clicking sound.


There are two Auto modes on this camera. One is Nikon’s Scene Auto Selector. It adjusts settings appropriately based on six run of the mill scene types. If the scene doesn’t match any of those, it defaults to a all-function-use Auto. Then there is an Auto mode, which is like the curriculum AE modes on other point-and-shoots. You can change ISO, white weigh, and exposure compensation as well as light metering, autofocus area and mode, and continuous shooting modes. For the S8100, Nikon adds some extra control over hue (color tone) and intensity (infiltration), with modifiable sliders. They’re not revolutionary, but if you like to experiment they’ll be welcomed. (Then again, so would semimanual or blue-collar reins.) The slider settings get stored in the camera’s memory for the Auto mode, so they stay even if you power the camera off.

The type of scene you’re shooting may correspond to one of the camera’s 12 selectable scene modes. All of the scenes are principles like Likeness and Landscape, and there is a Panorama Help for lining up a series of shots that can be stitched collectively with the bundled software. Nikon’s Smart Likeness Logic, used in any Likeness or Night Likeness modes, combines blink detection, smile-activated close relief, red-eye fix, skin softening, and Face Priority AF facial appearance into one mode.

S8100There are, as mentioned earlier, multishot modes for humanizing low-light photos as well as an HDR (high dynamic range) mode that combines photos taken at different exposures to help bring out highlight and shadow detail. The high-speed performance of the CMOS sensor gets place to use in burst modes, too. The best one is the Continuous H setting, which lets you shoot at up to 10fps for five photos. The Continuous L mode drops to approximately 1.8fps, but can capture up to 26 photos. The camera also has a 120fps burst capturing up to 54 frames at a press of the close relief. The descriptions are only 1-megapixel pledge and there’s a significant wait while the camera stores all those photos, but if you’re trying to capture a point following in time, this is your best bet with this camera.

The last of the shooting modes is Theme Tracking, and the name pretty much says it all. Place the focus area box at the focal point of the frame on your theme, hit OK, and the camera will go the box with the theme. If the theme moves out of frame, the camera will do its best to pick up the theme when it reenters the frame. The camera can be set to focus once or endlessly and it can prioritize tracking faces, but otherwise all else is handled reluctantly. The mode frequently works as promised, but it should really just be an AF area choice instead of a whole mode.

If you like to shoot close-ups, the S8100 has a few ways to enter Macro mode. It will reluctantly thrash to it if you’re using the Scene Auto Selector mode. You can also select a Close-up mode from the camera’s Scene options. And if you’re in Auto mode, you can thrash to macro focus via the control pad. You can focus as close as 0.4 inch from your theme and the consequences are very excellent.

S8100As for shooting performance, the S8100 is one of the fastest compact megazooms I’ve experienced person. It goes from off to first shot in just over 1 following with a typical shot-to-shot time of 1.5 seconds. Using the flash only bumps that up to 1.8 seconds. Close lag is low in both sharp and dim lighting, 0.4 and 0.7 following, correspondingly. Finally, its full-pledge high-speed continuous mode is competent of 10fps, but again only for five shots.

Aside from all the facial appearance and performance, the camera is nice-looking and simple to use, too. Available in black, red, and gold, the S8100 is compact given its 10x zoom lens, and it’s one of the slimmest in its class. That’s liable since of the smoothly flared lens surround, which is somewhat out of step with the camera’s otherwise boxy point. It’s arresting, even if, and will fit straightforwardly in a pants sack or small handbag. The metal casing makes it feel high-feature, but I wish there was more than a affront ridge on the front of the camera to help with your grip. If there is one huge problem with the point it’s the flash. It pops up from the left side, so it’s straightforwardly blocked by fingers when it rises and then foliage you modest room to grip the camera once it’s up. Opportunely, it only pops up when looked-for.

The reins and menu logic are honestly simple, so out-of-the-box shooting shouldn’t be much of a problem. The menu logic is broken into three tabs: Shooting, Movie, and Setup. The layout keeps you from doing too much hunting through settings. And thankfulness to the high-pledge cover, menus are nice-looking, sharp, and simple to read. The LCD gets practically sharp as well, so you shouldn’t struggle too much when framing shots in sharp supervise over light. It’s fantastic for playback to boot.

A mode dial sits on top for quickly changing your shooting mode. On the back, a large thumb rest separates the cover from a confirmation button for movies; there is no standalone movie mode you have to thrash to in order to shoot video. Below that is a playback button and a four-way control pad/wheel with an OK button in its focal point (Nikon calls it a Gyratory Multi Selector), and then there are Menu and Rub out buttons at the very underside. The control pad is used for menu and image steering as well as setting the self-timer, adjusting flash and exposure compensation, and turning on macro focus. Should you want to go more quickly through menus, descriptions, and videos, you can spin the wheel instead of doing single presses with underlying control pad. Even if it moves straightforwardly, you can feel stops.

The S8100 is powered by a lithium ion rechargeable pack that is rated for a miserable 210 shots; this was supported in hard, even if it was a mix of stills and movies. Plus, the camera doesn’t give you a array life conception until it needs to be rejuvenated. The array is exciting in the camera by concerning via USB to a pad or the included wall adapter. The array and card compartment are on the underside behind a locking door. Next to it is a Mini-USB/AV port. A covered Mini-HDMI port is on the right side of the camera for concerning to an HDTV or monitor; you’ll need to buy a cable, even if.

In the end, I’m considerably more impressed by the S8100 than I was by its predecessor, the S8000. It’s very competitive in price, facial appearance, and performance with other compact megazooms with BSI CMOS sensors, and its low-light photo feature is much improved over the S8000–even if these improvements rely on some high-speed shooting and digital management.

The Nikon Coolpix S8100 excellent:

Exceptional shooting performance; fantastic LCD; stereo mic; 10x zoom in an arresting compact body.

The Nikon Coolpix S8100 terrible:

Soft photos on any side of ISO 200; white weigh is a modest off; no blue-collar or semimanual shooting modes.

The Nikon Coolpix S8100 underside line:

With quick performance, excellent photos, and an exceptional figure-to-price ratio, the Nikon Coolpix S8100 is a compact megazoom worth taking into account.

The Nikon Coolpix S8100 Price: $299.99

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Posted by on July 7, 2011 in cameras


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