Traveler’s cameras has been a hit in the digital compact camera market since its first debut in 2006 and with ‘Nikon S9300’ the camera giant Nikon has released a fierce competitor in this booming market. Nikon is known for creating designer and functioning digital slim cameras and S9300 packs a lot of handy features including 16 megapixels in a slim design. The camera replaces its predecessor S9100 to compete with its arch rival Panasonic TZ 30 and Canon Powershot SX260 HS. Does it do better than its rivals? Let’s find out.
Body and design
The camera has a sleeker design for accommodating an 18X zoom lens and measures 4.3X2.5X1.3 inches. Nikon Coolpix S9300 comes in vivid colors like silver, glossy red and black and has a total weight of 7.6 ounces (214 gm) including battery and storage media. It sports 3 inches LCD with impressive 921 K pixels display which is good coverage in its class.
There is a dedicated button for video recording which comes handy in urgent situations. Situated in the back is a four way controller that lets you change the hue, set self timer, use the flash and alter other features of the camera. The camera has ports for USB, Mini HDMI cable and + A/V forconnecting the device to any other supported electronic equipment.
In built memory:
It has a close to none in-built memory that offers merely 26 MB storage in total that means it can store upto 2 photos utmost. Nikon Coolpix S9300 continues to go down in this quality as its predecessor S 9100 offered a better choice with 76 MB of in built memory. Not amazed by this feature as decreasing in-built memory is not something one would like to see in a newer version.
The camera uses same EN EL12 lithium ion battery as its predecessor but has a lower battery life as it offers 200 shots compare to 270 shots battery life in S9100. Clearly Nikon Coolpix S9300 fail to impress in the battery test as most of its competitors from Canon and Sony offer better battery life that goes up to 300 snaps.
Geo tagging feature:
Adding fun to photography the camera features a built in GPS for geo tagging but it doesn’t work as good as the higher end models of the company. However added GPs remains second largest selling point of the camera you are planning to use the GPS make sure to fully charge the battery as the feature tend to use a lot of battery. So if you are planning to buy the Nikon Coolpix S9300 for geo tagging the camera is not a smart choice.
The biggest selling point of the camera is its 18X zoom lens which is impressive in the compact travel camera category. Certainly the camera packs a modest zoom lens for a rather sleeker body ideal for a point and shoot camera. The featured zoom goes extra miles while clicking instant quality photos during traveling .
The ISO sensitivity of the camera ranges from 125- 3200 although it is better to use the ranges below 400 because the photo quality really suffers as you higher in ISO. So to make the most out of 16 megapixels and to achieve true colors click the photographs keeping the ISO setting within 125 to 400. Overall the camera delivers great snapshots in bright light good enough to make a medium size print out of it.
Great thing about the camera is that it lets you to shoot videos in several effect modes including selective color and delivers quality video in bright light. Sadly if you use the zoom while recording it affects the video quality and panning during recording also influence picture quality. Otherwise 1080 p HD quality videos are good for web use, TV and laptop viewing. However low light videos are a different story as the camera capture mediocre to poor videos in such conditions.
Pop Up flash
The camera has a pop flash located on the top of right corner of the camera. The flash functions in auto ISO and ranges from 0.5-5 m at wide angel and 1.5 to 3.0 at telephoto length. Similar to comparable cameras of the compact camera category S9300 too does not support an external flash. The performance of the pop up flash is mediocre and it takes a while to charge while its competitors sport better performance in the same category.
No Manual control:
Designed for snap shooters the camera does not offer any manual control to change shutter speed and aperture while shooting. One the other hand Nikon Coolpix S9300 sports 16 shooting modes including panorama mode, night landscape mode, smart portrait mode, backlight mode, burst mode and effect mode with selective color option which are notable features.
The night mode allows you to take good pictures withought using the pop up flash. The portrait mode sports smile and blink detection and there is also a skin softening feature to avoid burning images while shooting in the sun. Most of these modes have semi auto control that means you can alter ISO, do white balance and change other details in many scene modes.
The best part of buying a point and shoot camera is you can click urgent photographs and this is exactly what this camera fails to deliver. It takes good 5-6 seconds to boot up and if you are using a high storage media then storing pictures would also take long time. The video button is handy but the camera works really slowly to capture the video and zooming in and out too is not fast enough. Clearly the speed of the camera suffers badly by added extra zoom and extra features.
The camera checks more red marks than green to pass the taste for a recommended one. Its rivals Panasonic TZ 30, Canon Powershot SX260 HS and Sony Cyber-shot DSC HX 20 V deliver much faster performance and captures better shots. If you thinking to buy the camera for featured GPS sadly it is not reliable and does not work efficiently outdoors.
Suggested retail price of the camera is USD 349.95 which is close to its competitors but despite its style and 18 X zoom the camera fail to impress overall. Certainly its opponents are a better bet and stands out compare to Nikon Coolpix S9300.