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Nikon Coolpix S3100
Available in seven colours, the Coolpix S3100 is just 18.4mm thick and has few controls

Predictably with 14 million effective pixels on a 1/2.3 in CCD sensor, the loss of the detail at the highest setting means ISO 3200 is best avoided, but the camera does not disgrace itself at all. In fact, even though the impact of the noise reduction algorithm is clearly visible in ISO 400 images when they are viewed at 100% on the computer screen, at more sensible printing sizes, the results look very good.

At the lower settings the images make superb A3 prints, though some details occasionally look a little oversharpened.

In good light the lens focuses quickly and the Subject Tracking system does a good job of following moving subjects, provided they don't move too quickly. The macro facility is a little disappointing with a closest focus of 10cm, so this isn't the camera for snapping small details. As light levels fall the AF system starts to struggle a little, especially with subjects close to or within the macro range.

While there is a selection of white balance options, the auto mode does an excellent job in a range of conditions, though it can make images a little warm in direct sunlight, and images from the S3100 are vibrant and attractive.