Nikon S3100 review

A great little compact camera with 5x zoom and HD video

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We shoot a specially designed chart in carefully controlled conditions and the resulting images are analysed using the DXO Analyzer software to generate the data to produce the graphs below.

A high signal to noise ratio (SNR) indicates a cleaner and better quality image.

For more more details on how to interpret our test data, check out our full explanation of our noise and dynamic range tests.

The Nikon S3100 is compared with the Pentax Optio RS1500, Canon PowerShot A800 and the Nikon Coolpix S8200 which are in teh same price bracket.

Nikon Coolpix S3100 Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR)

Nikon coolpix s3100 review signal to noise ratio
Nikon coolpix s3100 review: signal to noise ratio

The Nikon S3100 compares well with the Pentax Optio RS1500, Canon PowerShot A800 and Nikon Coolpix S8200 at the lowest sensitivity (ISO) settings.

All three cameras have the same sized sensor (1/2.3in), but while the S3100 and Pentax RS1500 have a pixel count of 14 million, the Canon A800 has 10 million pixels and the Nikon Coolpix S8200 16.79. Nevertheless, the Nikon S8200 rules the roost in the middle of the sensitivity range, while Pentax RS15 produces the cleanest images at the highest sensitivity settings.

Nikon Coolpix S3100 Dynamic Range

A high dynamic range indicates a better ability to reproduce a wide range of tones. These cameras do not produce raw files, only JPEGs which are automatically processed in-camera to produce the best image possible in the view of the manufacturer.

Nikon coolpix s3100 review dynamic range
Nikon coolpix s3100 review: dynamic range

Although the S3100 performs well, it cannot quite match the dynamic range of the Canon PowerShot A800 and Nikon Coolpix S8200 when sensitivity is pushed beyond ISO 200.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Effective Camera Resolution14 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 StabilizationDigital
Optical Zoom5x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameNikon
FeaturesContinuous Shooting Mode, Smile Detection
Screen Size6.9 cm (2.7")
Video FormatsAVI
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)118 g
Image Sensor Size1/2.3" (6.16 mm x 4.62 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4320 x 3240
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height57.5 mm
Width93.5 mm
Depth18.4 mm
Product SeriesS
Focal Length4.60 mm to 23 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Focus ModesAuto
ManufacturerNikon Corporation
Product ModelS3100
Product NameCoolpix S3100 Compact Camera
Product LineCoolpix
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberVMA715E1
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Slim enough to slip into any pocket, the slender COOLPIX S3100 is the perfect way to capture photos and high-definition movie clips in style.

Dedicated movie-record button makes it easy to begin filming the action and Nikon's Smart Portrait system ensures perfect portrait photos every time. Complete with a range of easy-to-apply filter effects, this compact even makes it simple to get creative with images in-camera.

Package Contents
  • Coolpix S3100 Compact Camera
  • Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery EN-EL19
  • Charging AC Adapter EH-69P
  • USB Cable UC-E6
  • Audio Video Cable EG-CP14
  • Camera strap AN-CP19
  • CD-ROM
Limited Warranty1 Year