Nikon Coolpix S9100 review

18x superzoom lens, HD video recording and 12.1MP sensor

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Nikon coolpix s9100

For the most part, the Nikon Coolpix S9100 produces sharp images with accurately reproduced colours and contrast, and a large amount of fine detail recorded.

Keeping the pixel count down to a respectable 12.1MP and using back-illuminated CMOS technology has resulted in a camera capable of shooting at higher ISO settings than compact digital cameras could traditionally manage.

Photographs taken at sensitivities of up to ISO 400 show few signs of softening due to noise reduction, retaining fine details and accurate colours well.

Stepping sensitivity up to ISO 800 results in slight softening due to noise reduction, but this is only noticeable on close examination.

Colour saturation and detail are both lost at higher sensitivities, although the performance is still very impressive for a compact camera at ISO 3200, and the images should still make reasonable 9x6-inch photo prints if exposed correctly.

Nikon coolpix s9100

Two metering options are available, and the Matrix option does a good job in a wide range of conditions, although it's easily fooled by strongly backlit subjects and bright, overcast skies. As a result, these types of scenes may require positive exposure compensation to photograph.

A scene mode auto selector function removes the hassle of having to manually change scene modes from photo to photo.

Occasionally this automatic selection may choose an inappropriate scene mode, though. For example, on a dull, overcast day, the scene auto selector will sometimes switch to the night portrait mode, resulting in a long exposure.

Sensor shift image stabilisation mostly works well, although it can occasionally be difficult to achieve satisfactory sharpness at the long end of the zoom, even outdoors, in moderately good light. Due to this, it pays to take extra care when using the telephoto end of the zoom range to ensure there's as little camera movement as possible.

Nikon coolpix s9100

The Nikon Coolpix S9100's auto white balance works well in a wide range of conditions, leaving just enough colour cast to retain the atmosphere of the shot.

A good range of presets are provided for those times where more accurate colour is desirable, and a custom white balance preset can also be taken from a neutral surface.

Distortion can often be a problem with superzoom compact cameras like the Nikon Coolpix S9100. Strong barrel distortion can be seen in straight lines towards the edges of the frame at the wide end of the zoom range, which is quite common. At the telephoto end, there's still a little barrel distortion, although at a much less noticeable level.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution12.1 Megapixel
Wide AngleNo
Product FamilyCoolpix S
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Image StabilizationOptical, Digital
Optical Zoom18x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameNikon
FeaturesManual White Balance, Continuous Shooting Mode, Face Detection
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMPEG-4
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)215.5 g
Image Sensor Size1/2.3" (6.16 mm x 4.62 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4000 x 3000
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height63.5 mm
Width106.7 mm
Depth35.6 mm
Product SeriesS
Focal Length4.50 mm to 81 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerNikon Corporation
Product ModelS9100
Product NameCoolpix S9100 Compact Camera
Product LineCoolpix
Exposure Control

Programmed Auto

Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberVMA772E1
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The new Nikon COOLPIX S9100 is loaded with innovative Nikon technology, like a 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor that assures superb image quality in low-light conditions. Optimized with Nikon's exclusive EXPEED C2 processing engine, you'll capture natural looking pictures with exceptional detail. You'll also love composing images on the large three-inch Clear Color Display. This dazzling 921,000-dot, ultra-high resolution display that makes viewing photos and HD movies instantly gratifying.

Package Contents
  • Coolpix S9100 Compact Camera
  • Strap AN-CP19
  • Audio Video EG-CP16
  • AC Adapter EH-69P
  • Battery EN-EL12
  • CD-ROM
  • USB Cable UC-E6
Limited Warranty1 Year