Nikon S3100 review

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

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Although it's uncomplicated and simple to use the Coolpix S3100 produces impressive images that can make great A3 prints. Using the lower sensitivity settings ensures image have plenty of detail and noise isn't a major issue.

Automation is the order of the day and options such as Best Shot Selector can help novice photographers get great results. Experienced photographers may find the lack of control a bit limiting, but most users will be happy to use the Auto exposure mode and exposure compensation facility for the odd occasions when the exposure needs a tweak.

We like

Point and shoot simplicity and cracking image quality.

We dislike

High sensitivity (ISO) images look a little soft and mushy at 100% on the computer screen which means you can't make huge prints or dramatic selective crops of these shots. The LCD screen also has a failry narrow viewing angle.

Final verdict

Nikon's S3100 is great choice for those who want a simple, stylish point-and-shoot compact camera. It's a good camera to slip in your pocket and carry everyday, or to take to social gatherings. Nikon expects it to be its best selling camera for 2011 and it's easy to see why.


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.