The Nikon Coolpix S9100 is a solidly built, automatic camera with a huge 18x zoom lens, and it can produce very good images. Updated, 8 Jun 2011
The sleek S9100 packs in a superb 18x optical zoom equivalent to 25mm to 450mm in 35mm terms. Like the Casio Exilim EX-H30 it’s supported by sensor-shift anti-shake to avoid blur shooting towards maximum zoom and in lower light, and it largely works. Furthermore there’s a rubberised surface to its faceplate to prevent slippage. As with the Canon PowerShot SX220 HS, the Nikon’s imaging sensor is a backlit CMOS chip, here offering 12.1 effective megapixels. The lens is retractable.
An instant record button is provided for shooting video. Matching the Canon, the S9100 offers Full HD clips with stereo sound, though at a marginally smoother 30fps. As with the Olympus SZ-20 and Samsung WB650 models, the battery is charged in camera.
A particular feature that marks out the Nikon’s video capabilities the option to create slow motion video clips (in standard resolution) using the fast capture speed of 240fps. HDMI connectivity skulks beneath a side flap, whilst photos and video are composed via the aid of the 3in screen, which betters all comers via its huge 920k resolution. If we’ve a gripe it’s that video can wander out of focus when zooming in, the camera taking a second or two to catch up.
As on the Casio, shooting modes are located around one of the tiniest dials we’ve seen, part recessed into the right-hand corner of the top plate and ridged for thumb operation. Alongside dedicated scene and subject mode buttons we get a digital ‘special effects’ option - a Nikon first.
Nikon has eschewed wackiness and the options are distinctly sensible: a ‘soft’ effect, nostalgic sepia, distinctive high contrast monochrome, high key, low key and selective colour. Post-capture, fisheye and miniature effect filters can further be applied. Among the scene options an ‘Easy Panorama’ automatically stitches together a single elongated image as the user pans either through 180 or the full 360 degrees. Operation is completely silent.
Next page: Our original review of the Nikon Coolpix S9100, by PC World Australia's Elias Plastiras, from 6 April 2011 >>