Nikon Coolpix S4300 review

The ultra-compact S4300 boasts a great 3-inch high resolution touchscreen

Nikon Coolpix S4300
The responsive touchscreen is the Nikon S4300's main selling point

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The point and shoot Nikon Coolpix S4300 benefits from a slim body and responsive 3-inch touchscreen.

The camera is well built and nicely designed, with a well integrated touchscreen. Using the touchscreen to focus and activate the shutter is intuitive, and performance is adequate. The camera also boasts a useful zoom range and effective vibration reduction.

We liked

The Nikon Coolpix S4300 is an enjoyable camera to use, with a responsive touchscreen and an attractive, petite body. White balance, metering and autofocus are all reliable, and the camera features effective vibration reduction. There is also a raft of automatic modes that make taking photos very simple.

We disliked

Image and video quality are both disappointing, with significant levels of noise, smeared details and blown highlights featuring quite heavily. Unless you really value touchscreen operation, similar image quality can be had for half the price. The camera also has no manual controls to offer more advanced photographers.

Final verdict

The Nikon S4300 is an easy to use camera that will make novice photographers feel at home, thanks to the many automatic modes. However, the absence of any manual control also alienates those who want more control over images.

Furthermore, image quality is hit and miss, with reliable metering, white balance and autofocus on one hand and significant noise, smeared details, blown highlights and poor telephoto performance on the other. Video quality is also disappointing and the lens isn't very bright.

Overall, the Nikon Coolpix S4300 feels like a basic camera with a touchscreen grafted on. Those who are most concerned with absolute image quality should look elsewhere, and if you're not impressed by the touchscreen operation you can get similar image quality from the cheaper Olympus VG-170.

However, if you value a responsive touchscreen and easy to use controls above everything else, the Nikon Coolpix S4300 will serve you well. However, if you want the best image or video quality for your money, other cameras would suit you better.