nikon s8000

The S8000 handles nicely. The bulge around the lens means there's plenty to hold on to, and zooming in and out doesn't change the camera's centre of gravity too much.

The all-metal construction feels fairly tough and accident-resistant, if not quite as bulletproof as the Canon G11.

The 3-inch screen on the back works beautifully - it's easy to read, even in direct sunlight, and is crisp and bright. The high resolution means that zooming in and checking an image's focus is straightforward.

s8000

With no manual mode there are only a few controls, and while we'd prefer that the buttons were a little larger and more pronounced from the body for ease of access, as you don't change too many settings between shots life isn't made too complicated.

s8000

That isn't much use if something happens in front of you and you want your camera ready to go quickly.

The standard continuous mode performed at 0.8fps in our tests, while the sports continuous mode shot at a more impressive 3.6fps – over half a frame per second quicker than Nikon's claim.

That's great for creating action sequences for the web or smaller prints, but otherwise you might find that the 3-megapixel limit in this mode, creating 2,048 x 1,536 pixel prints, is a bit restrictive.