Generally, we're very impressed with the quality of the images this versatile camera can produce. With such a wide focal range on the Nikon Coolpix S8200, you get the barrel and pincushion distortion at the wide and telephoto ends that you'd expect. There's also evidence of chromatic aberration between areas of high contrast in some scenes, but these are not atypical of a high-zoom compact at this price point, so we can hardly complain.
Colours are rich without being oversaturated, and the level of detail captured by the BSI 16MP sensor is good, albeit with some (again, not unexpected) loss of sharpness at the far end of the focal range. The camera's macro mode - which enables you to focus down to 1cm from your subject - is particularly impressive, producing pleasingly punchy images with plenty of sharp detail.
Also worth a mention is the Nikon Coolpix S8200's Easy Panorama mode, which simply requires you to frame your starting shot, then hold down the shutter release while panning across the scene. The camera fires of a ream of shots in quick succession and stitches them together automatically, with excellent results in all of our tests.
All of the exposure modes on offer are geared towards avid point-and-shoot photographers: there's limited scope for adjusting settings such as the ISO, white balance and metering in Auto mode, but otherwise you simply get a comprehensive range of fully automatic scene modes and presets to cover just about every photographic situation.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the Nikon Coolpix S8200's performance, however, is its speed of operation. The camera is ready to shoot almost instantly, and the autofocus system is quick and precise, with the wide coverage over the frame making it simple to track and photograph off-centre and moving subjects in particular.