Nikon Coolpix S1200pj review

Nikon's new 14.1MP projector camera features iPhone & iPad compatibility

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Nikon coolpix s1200pj

As promised, the enhanced Digital Light Processing (DLP) projector makes stills and video clips more vibrant on the Nikon Coolpix S1200pj than on previous versions. The built-in speaker is predictably tinny, and the battery's only rated for up to one hour in projector mode - typical for a battery-powered pocket projector - so don't expect to kick back and enjoy Avatar any time soon.

However, once the lamp warms up, images are bright, colours are decent and contrast levels are well maintained. The projected image starts to appear dull and 'thin' once you move five or so feet from the surface you're projecting onto, but the picture's much livelier close-up.

How does it fare as a camera? Operationally, it's fine when treated as a point-and-shoot. The move away from a touchscreen is a welcome one - we've yet to see this implemented effectively in a Nikon compact - but there's still little in the way of manual controls. Changing ISO, white balance, flash settings and adding exposure compensation is about the sum of it. Even then, only the latter is available in all auto modes. There's also relatively little shooting information presented during playback as well, which can be problematic when trying to judge exposures.

Nikon coolpix s1200pj review

The options are equally as limited when shooting movies with the Nikon Coolpix S1200pj. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though, because the results are pretty good without the need for manual intervention.

Full-time autofocus (AF) is offered, and in decent light there are only slight dropouts in focus as you zoom. Single AF is recommended for quieter filming locations, since the stereo microphones can pick up clicking and whirring sounds from the S1200pj's autofocus system and capture them on video (the focus motor is noisy, even when shooting stills).

The zoom is smooth, but tends to drift beyond the point where you stop adjusting the zoom ring - you'll need to bear this in mind when you're framing start and stop points.

Sensitivity runs from ISO 80-6400. There's also an Auto ISO setting and a two-tier Fixed Range Auto option, where you can restrict the camera to choosing from either ISO 80-200 or ISO 80-400. The reason that ISO 200 tops out the former setting becomes clear when you start analysing results at 100%. As you'd expect, ISO 80 and 100 offer sharply defined images. At even ISO 200, noise and softening is noticeable, and at ISO 400 edges deteriorate, textures start to look processed and fine detail becomes lost.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Effective Camera Resolution14.1 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
Product FamilyCoolpix
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Image StabilizationOptical, Digital
Optical Zoom5x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameNikon
FeaturesSelf-timer, Continuous Shooting Mode, Face Detection, Blink Detection, Smile Detection
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsQuickTime MOV, MPEG-4
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)186 g
Image Sensor Size1/2.3" (6.16 mm x 4.62 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4320 x 3240
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height63.4 mm
Width107 mm
Depth22.6 mm
Focal Length5 mm to 25 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Focus ModesAuto
ManufacturerNikon Corporation
Product ModelS1200pj
Product NameCoolpix S1200pj Compact Camera
Product LineCoolpix
Exposure Control

Program AE

Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberVMA880E1
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Shooting and sharing superb images is easy with the versatile Coolpix S1200pj. Equipped with a built-in iPhone and PC compatible projector, it lets you project photos, movies stored on your camera, iPhone or computer onto any flat surface.

Package Contents
  • Coolpix S1200pj Compact Camera
  • Camera Strap AN-CP19
  • Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12
  • Charging AC Adapter EH-69P
  • USB Cable UC-E6
  • Software CD-ROM
  • PC-PJ Transfer & Document-JPEG Converter CD-ROM
Limited Warranty1 Year