Nikon Coolpix S4300 review

The ultra-compact S4300 boasts a great 3-inch high resolution touchscreen

TODO alt text

While not the speediest model to use, the Nikon Coolpix S4300 presents functions clearly and simply, so that even novices will find it easy to use.

The S4300 is generally responsive in use, with quiet and accurate autofocus. However, autofocus can become a little slow on telephoto shots and in low light, when it occasionally fails to focus.

Both metering and white balance systems prove very reliable, with the automatic metering only tripping up on backlit portrait shots in our testing. The white balance was similarly dependable, maintaining accurate colour balance in a variety of conditions.

Nikon Coolpix S4300 review

The camera also captures realistic colours with a nice level of saturation, although in dull light, colours can look slightly drab. This is worsened by high levels of noise and the noise reduction system the Nikon Coolpix S4300 employs to reduce it.

When viewing daytime images at full size (100%), noise is visible at ISO 125, and even ISO 80 images suffer from a mottled texture and smeared fine detail. This is so obvious in some images that it's hard to differentiate between separate trees in some landscape scenes.

Nikon Coolpix S4300 review

Noise is evident in daylight ISO 800 images even when viewed at 25 per cent, and the maximum sensitivity of ISO 1600 is only usable for very small images. This is compounded by the lens's narrow aperture; the maximum aperture of f/6.5 at full zoom in our testing necessitated use of ISO 1000 even in daylight with the flash on.

However, the Night Landscape setting produces fair night shots that maintain reasonable detail and noise levels.

Nikon Coolpix S4300 review

Other image quality issues include noticeable chromatic aberration, easily blown highlights and extremely soft telephoto images. The corners of images also show a distinct drop in sharpness.

While the LCD screen benefits from a high resolution, its image quality isn't great, and it can be hard to judge absolute image quality on the screen. But the touchscreen works very well in use.

Nikon Coolpix S4300 review

Touch shooting is responsive and effective, enabling you to select where to focus by tapping the screen. Touch subject tracking and touch auto exposure/autofocus also work relatively well.

Sadly, although the camera can record HD video, quality is fairly low. While metering is reliable and sound is OK, noise is very evident and optical zooming isn't possible while filming.

Nikon Coolpix S4300 review

The camera also offers a host of scene modes and even a Scene Auto Selector, which recognises the type of photo being taken and adjusts settings accordingly. These modes work effectively and make the camera foolproof, as does the Smart Portrait mode, which features a smile timer and blink warning.

During testing, the battery lasted for around 275 shots, which is thankfully way above Nikon's meagre 180 shot claim. Nikon's vibration reduction system also did an effective job of limiting camera shake, and while there was slight barrel distortion at wide angle settings, this was rarely obvious.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Wireless LANNo
Effective Camera Resolution16 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
Product FamilyCoolpix S
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Eye-Fi Card
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom6x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameNikon
FeaturesSelf-timer, Blink Detection, Face Detection, Smile Detection, Continuous Shooting Mode
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMotion JPEG (AVI), MPEG-4
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)139 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE
Image Sensor Size1/2.3" (6.16 mm x 4.62 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4608 x 3456
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height58.9 mm
Width95.5 mm
Depth20.8 mm
Product SeriesS
Focal Length4.60 mm to 27.60 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
External FlashNo
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerNikon Corporation
Product ModelS4300
Product NameCoolpix S4300 Compact Camera
Product LineCoolpix
Exposure Control

Programmed Auto Exposure

Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberVMA942E1
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The pocket-size 16-megapixel COOLPIX S4300 keeps you ready to capture the next magic moment at a touch.

The rapid menu system and high-resolution touchscreen let you focus and shoot with one-touch simplicity, or switch between functions with ease. The NIKKOR 6x optical zoom makes group shots or close-ups easy, and fun filter effects let you enhance photos on the spot.

When the moment warrants filming, you can switch to record crisp video clips instantly with the dedicated button.

Package Contents
  • Coolpix S4300 Compact Camera
  • Camera Strap
  • Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL19 (with Battery Case)
  • Stylus TP-1
  • Charging AC Adapter EH-69P
  • USB Cable UC-E6
  • Audio Video Cable EG-CP14
  • Software Installer CD
  • Reference Manual CD
Limited Warranty1 Year