A Bit Too Simple

Nandagopal Rajan        Print Edition: October 2012

NIKON COOLPIX S9300
Price: Rs 18,950


Specs:
16MP CMOS; 4.5-81.0mm lens, 1/2000-1 sec shutter; ISO 3200, 1920x1080p/30fps, SDHC/SDXC cards, GPS.


The Nikon Coolpix S9300 looks and feels like as compact point-and-shoot, which it is to the core, for this camera is all about automatic modes and ease of use. Built a bit like the body of the Nikon 1 J1, the camera has a matt finish body with glossy buttons.

There is a prominent GPS hump on top, which we first mistook for the hiding ground of a pop-up flash. And you don't have to take the battery out to charge, which we thought was a good feature.

At times the S9300 seems like an over simplification, a point-and-shoot for dummies, as there are no manual or programme modes. The preset modes include scene and effect modes with multiple options. The scene mode has some interesting options like a 3D photo - a very demanding one-and a pet portrait mode.

The effects are mostly limited to sepia, B/W, soft focus and selective colour option. But we didn't like that you had to go to menu to see and change the options. The continuous mode is fast, though it take a while for the pictures to save even with a Class 10 card.

Smart portrait, backlighting and night landscapes are options on the dial itself, a rarity in any camera. Did Nikon do this because these three are the most used preset options? One thing is clear, though, night shot is a strong point of this camera. Low-light pictures are sharp while maintaining their tones. And like all new cameras of the compact breed, this one has a 18x optical zoom which works well.

BAG IT OR JUNK IT?
Simple and amazing low-light results.

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