Nikon Coolpix S9300 review

Great 16MP travel zoom features but several flaws

TODO alt text

As a travel zoom camera, the Nikon Coolpix S9300 offers a very compelling zoom range and many great features, including Full HD video, GPS and speedy autofocus, plus reliable metering and white balance.

However, the camera is afflicted with poor battery life, particularly with GPS on (and why pay for a camera with GPS if you don't use it) and suspect reliability considering the four times it completely froze during a week in our hands.

Furthermore, basic image quality isn't great, the camera isn't quite as user friendly as it could be and it doesn't have any form of manual control.

We liked

The Nikon S9300 sports a huge zoom range with both a usefully wide 25mm wide angle and an impressive 450mm telephoto reach. Autofocus, white balance and metering are all reliable, and the camera benefits from GPS, Full HD video recording and 3D photo capability.

We disliked

The Nikon Coolpix S9300 froze four times during the week we tested it, battery life is poor (especially with GPS activated) and overall image quality isn't as good as it could be. The camera has no manual control, and rival models from other manufacturers seem to offer a more compelling overall package.

Final verdict

These problems, allied with the hefty price of £300/$350, make it hard to recommend the Nikon Coolpix S9300, despite its many strengths.

It's especially hard considering the fact that the Panasonic TZ30 costs just a little more in the UK, and the same in the US. The Panasonic TZ30 is smaller and lighter, has a better battery life, an even wider and longer zoom and more sophisticated video functions.

Or if you don't want to pay the extra money and are happy with a 16x zoom, the Panasonic TZ20 currently sells for about £90/$100 less than the Nikon Coolpix S9300, and has similar features.

Nikon has crammed a wide range of valuable features into the relatively slim body of the Nikon Coolpix S9300. Overall it is an enjoyable camera to use and feels sturdy. However, the underwhelming battery life, imperfect general image quality and questionable reliability make rival models a wiser choice.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Wireless LANNo
Effective Camera Resolution16 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
Product FamilyCoolpix S
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedEye-Fi Card, Secure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom18x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameNikon
FeaturesLive View, Self-timer, Face Detection, Continuous Shooting Mode
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMOV, MPEG-4
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)215 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE
Image Sensor Size1/2.3" (6.16 mm x 4.62 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4608 x 3456
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height62.3 mm
Width108.7 mm
Depth30.6 mm
Product SeriesS
Focal Length4.50 mm to 81 mm
Image FormatsJPEG, MPO
External FlashNo
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerNikon Corporation
Product ModelS9300
Product NameCoolpix S9300 Compact Camera
Product LineCoolpix
Exposure Control

Programmed Auto

Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberVMA923E1
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Behind the slimline body of the COOLPIX S9300 lies a wealth of cutting-edge technology that sets this 16-megapixel camera apart.

The NIKKOR 18x optical super zoom captures distant action or candid close-ups with ease. Lens-shift vibration reduction enables sharp results and a steady image on the LCD screen, so it's easy to frame your shots.

You can record Full HD movies at the touch of a button, and even film separate scenes as one seamless movie. Built-in GPS capability lets you tag your photos at any time, or track your route on the move.

Package Contents
  • Coolpix S9300 Compact Camera
  • Camera Strap
  • Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12 (with Terminal Cover)
  • Charging AC Adapter EH-69P
  • USB Cable UC-E6
  • Audio Video Cable EG-CP16
  • Software Installer CD
  • Reference Manual CD
Limited Warranty1 Year