Thursday, June 7, 2012

Nikon Coolpix S9300 Review, Photos, Sample Images, Video in NYC

The new Nikon Coolpix S9300 is a slim 18x optical zoom digital compact travel camera. Travel compact cameras typically have a built-in GPS to track and correlate your photos as well as a lengthy optical zoom and wide-angle lens. All of which come equipped with the Nikon Coolpix S9300 but that's not all. The S9300 also sports a back-illuminated 16 megapixel CCD image sensor for low light photography, lens-shift vibration reduction, full 1080p HD video, a 3.0 inch high resolution (921k dot) LCD screen and a range of special effects/shooting modes that can enhance your shots as well as your creativity. The Nikon Coolpix S9300 also comes in a variety of colors, you can choose from black, silver, red or blue. 

The Nikon Coolpix has a large 18x optical zoom 25mm wide-angle lens on the front and pop-up flash. Images transport to a 16 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor which takes up less battery life as opposed to a CCD sensor which can create sharper images. On the top of the camera, the circular mode dial allows you to choose from 8 different modes including, Auto, Effects, Burst, Smart Portrait, Backlighting, Night Landscape, Scenes and Scene Auto Selector. Scene Auto Selector is a convenient option that will analyze your environment and subject when you compose your shot and then automatically select the best scene mode for that particular setting. To choose different effects from your photos, turn the dial to the Effects mode and then press the menu button. You can choose from many effects including Soft, Nostalgic Sepia, High-contrast Monochrome, High Key, Low Key and Selective Color.

Below are some images I shot using the camera on the various Special Effects Mode options:

On the top middle of the S9300, you'll see a small raised area where the GPS system is located. GPS enabled cameras correspond the time and date you set for the camera with where the GPS tracking device says the camera was at the time of use. You can upload your images to Google Maps once you are done shooting.This is a convenient tool for travelers who want to share their trip with family and friends or if they would like to remember where they were located at the time of shooting.

On the rear of the Coolpix S9300 you'll find a wheel to the pad for speedy navigation through the camera's menu. The wheel is not super speedy but it is faster than if you were to have to press a button to scroll through the menu options. If you want to record full HD videos, simply press the button with the red dot that has an image of a video camera to the left of it. You can press this button to start recording video immediately regardless of whichever mode you have the dial set on. You will also find the standard variety of options on the navigation pad for flash options, macro mode, self timer and exposure compensation.

The Coolpix S9300's main menu will vary depending on the mode you set the camera dial on. Everything is pretty easy to work through right out of the box. The menu is set into four sections for shooting, video, GPS and set-up. Pressing right will go into the highlighted tab whereas pressing left will go back to the tabs for faster navigation.

Unfortunately, as I've experienced with several other Nikon point-and-shoot compact cameras, when using the Nikon Coolpix S9300  for an extended period of time (1 -2 hours) the response time on the camera began to take longer when taking photos, switching from stills to video and when changing between modes or effects. I did periodically shut the camera off when I was not shooting, however, I still experienced some difficulty with it and was forced to keep shutting the camera off and then turning it on again towards the end of my shoot in order for it to stop lagging in response time and to readjust its settings smoothly. Granted the response time from turning the camera's power on to focusing and then snapping the photo was already pretty slow to begin with, a little over 3 seconds. Perhaps the extra slowness was due to decrease in battery power or it may have been experiencing some overheating. Either way it was annoying but in general, it wasn't a big deal. Plus, the S9300's burst mode made up for it anyway, with a burst rate of 7 frames per second, it timed precisely and thus lived up to some of its time expectations. Afterwards, you can go into the playback menu and then apply some in-camera editing options such as D-Lighting, auto quick retouch and filter effects to any of your images shot in burst mode.

The impressive image quality the Coolpix S9300 produces also helps makes up for any glitches experienced in the cameras functionality. The images were sharp, clear and produced vibrant, well-balanced color. In Macro mode, the Coolpix S4300 has a macro focusing distance of 4cm which proved to work well. And of course, the 18x optical zoom lens offered a versatile focal range for shots as well.

Below are sample images I took while using various shooting modes:

Another excellent feature is the Coolpix S9300's GPS functionality. The GPS menu gives you plenty of options. Once you are in the GPS menu, you'll be presented with 5 initial options which once accessed will expand to give you even more options. Some of the GPS options include switching the GPS on, synchronizing the camera's clock, updating the profile, adding Points of Interest, and recording logs of GPS data in 6, 12 and 24 hour periods. The last option places a compass on the screen so you can keep track of the direction you're traveling in.

The most impressive feature of the Nikon Coolpix S9300 is its focusing system, low-level light performance and high-quality images which are due impart to the camera's lens as well as its back-illuminated sensor. Additionally, the price for the camera is fair for its large amount of megapixels (16 megapixels), optical zoom capability (18x) and built-in GPS feature.

For pricing and availability:

- Call us at 212-354-1341 if you're interested in purchasing the new Nikon Coolpix S9300 digital camera (we currently do not have it for sale on our website because we only have a limited amount left in stock!)

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