A range of decent features including a 12x optical zoom, touch sensitive articulating screen and inbuilt Wi-Fi and NFC are let down by less than fantastic image quality.
Rear stand for shooting hands-free selfies
Front-facing shutter release
Smudgy noise reduction at higher ISOs
Self-timer de-activates after every shot
Poor value for money
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The selfie has become a part of everyday culture these days. Smartphones, with their forward facing cameras, have perhaps facilitated this trend, and it shows no sign of disappearing.
It can be a little more difficult to achieve the same effect with a standard compact camera, as you generally have no way of knowing exactly where you're pointing the lens for framing your best side.
That is, unless you pick up something like the Nikon Coolpix S6900, which has a fully articulating screen which can be flipped round to face forward. What's more, there's also an inbuilt camera stand which means you can prop the camera up to go hands free and banish that pesky arm-in-shot type photo.
Alternatively, you can use Gesture Control to trigger certain operations, including the shutter release.
Designed specifically with parties in mind, other features for the self-snapper include self-wide mode, which combines a sequence of shots to capture group shots, and self-collage, which enables you to combine nine different faces to combine them into a single photo booth style grid.
There's also inbuilt Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity to hook up the camera to your smartphone for quick sharing on social networks and the like.
Of course, you can also use the S6900 as a normal camera. It features a 16 million pixel backlit CMOS sensor, a 12x optical zoom (which gives you 25-300mm in 35mm terms), 20 different scene modes and the ability to add 33 different post-shot image effects.
Full HD video recording is also included.
Build Quality and Handling
The overall body size of the S6900 is bulked out a little by the fully articulating screen on the back of the camera. The screen folds out completely from the body to face forward and downwards to accommodate for a variety of awkward angles. It also folds into the body to protect the screen from damage.
Behind the screen you'll find the arm which can be pulled out to act as a stand – you can either use the stand horizontally, or vertically – this is designed to help with selfies and group pictures. To make it easier still, there's a shutter release button on the front of the camera, but you will need to steady the camera with your hand to use it.
The screen itself is touch sensitive, which means you can use it to trigger the shutter release too. There are no buttons on the back of the camera, with the bulk of operation taking place via the screen. Unfortunately, the screen is not as responsive as it could be, sometimes requiring more than one tap to get the desired effect.
The self-timer mode is useful if you want to take selfies but, annoyingly, you have to activate the self-timer every time you want to use it, meaning if you're taking more than one photo you'll have to keep repeating the process.
On top of the camera you'll find the device's only physical buttons, including an on/off button, a Wi-Fi button, a video record button and the shutter release. Around the shutter release is a rocker switch for zooming the camera's lens. Zooming is pretty quick and fluid, and you can reach the telephoto end pretty quickly.
To change shooting modes, press the green camera icon on the right hand side of the screen, from here you'll be able to choose between scene auto selector, scene mode, special effects, smart portrait and glamour mode.
On the left hand of the screen you'll see of the most commonly used settings – exposure compensation, macro focusing, self-timer and flash. For more advanced settings, you can press the menu icon just above the camera icon. Here you'll be able to change settings such as white balance, ISO (sensitivity), colour options and so on.
To use the Wi-Fi functionality, first you need to press the dedicated Wi-Fi button on top of the camera. From here you'll be prompted to connect your device – a password will be displayed. Once you've connected your device once, it should remember the password. You will also need to download Nikon's free Wireless Mobile Utility. Alternatively, if you have an NFC enabled device, you simply need to touch the two together to form a connection - the first time you do this, you will be prompted by the Google Play store to download the app; after that, the app should load automatically when the two devices are touched.
From the app, you can view the images on the camera's memory card, or take photos remotely, which is another useful option for group shots and selfies. It's worth noting, however, that control is limited to zooming the lens and firing the shutter release – you can't change any other settings.
Amy has been writing about cameras, photography and associated tech since 2009. Amy was once part of the photography testing team for Future Publishing working across TechRadar, Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N Photo and Photography Week. For her photography, she has won awards and has been exhibited. She often partakes in unusual projects - including one intense year where she used a different camera every single day. Amy is currently the Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine, and in her increasingly little spare time works across a number of high-profile publications including Wired, Stuff, Digital Camera World, Expert Reviews, and just a little off-tangent, PetsRadar.
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