At just 18.4mm thick with the lens retracted the Coolpix S3100 is slim enough to fit almost any pocket and it's smart metal trim and sleek lines are very stylish, so you won't be shy of using it social gatherings.

Though it's only tiny there's just enough room between the few controls on the S3100's back for you to fit your thumb. Because it's a lightweight 118g (including battery and SD card) the six raised dots on the thumb rest provide just enough grip. Nevertheless, it's advisable to use the supplied wrist to give the reassurance that the camera is safe.

Not surprisingly, given its billing as a simple to use camera, the S3100 isn't littered with control buttons or dials. In fact the rear of the camera has just six responsive buttons plus a four-way navigation controller that also provides a route to the exposure compensation, macro AF, self-timer and flash options. The menu system is also simple and brief.

Although it has just 230,000 dots, the 2.7in LCD provides a clear view of the scene (there's no viewfinder), however, it has a fairly narrow viewing angle, so if you like shooting from ground-level you'll have to get your knees dirty to see the composition.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Head of Testing, Cameras

Angela (Twitter, Google+, website) is head of testing for Future's photography portfolio, writing and overseeing reviews of photographic equipment for Digital Camera, Photography Week, PhotoPlus, NPhoto and Practical Photoshop as well as TechRadar's cameras channel. Angela has a degree in photography and multimedia and prior to joining Future in October 2010 was Amateur Photographer magazine's technical editor.