Product Type: Nikon digital cameras
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A beautiful camera with unfortunately poor results
Nikon Coolpix S3000
Member Name: Huomenna
Nikon Coolpix S3000
Advantages: lovely design, very compact, quite cheap
Disadvantages: image quality relatively poor
The Nikon coolpix 3000 is a beautifully styled and very sleek, digital compact camera. If I were to award any compact with a 'best looking compact camera of the year award' - this would be the one I'd pick. The camera has a brushed metal body available in a range of colours to suit all tastes (red, green, silver, blue etc.) and has silver coloured buttons. The overall design means that this is currently one of the smallest compacts on the market and will fit into the vast majority of pockets, despite its size though it feels durable and well made.
I could go on singing the praises of the design all day, but let's face it - design is secondary to image quality and useability...
Thankfully the camera is very easy to use - it feels like it has been designed with simplicity in mind and is effectively meant as a simple point and shoot. There are no complicated settings or manual modes - you can select a scene mode or leave the camera on full automatic. The buttons on the top consist of: the power, shutter and zoom, all other buttons are on the back and these are: scene selection, playback, delete, flash, exposure compensation, timer macro and menu. By selecting the menu button there are a number of further adjustments that can be made if you so desire and these are: ISO, white balance, image size, shoot mode, auto focus mode, colour settings eg sepia, language, date (date stamp possible), welcome screen etc.
There is no easy access dial for scene selection - scene mode is chosen through the menu button which is easy enough to do but not the most practical from the concern of speed.
As mentioned above the ISO is adjustable, as standard on most cameras. In the case of the S3000 it is adjustable up to 3200, however if you push it up this far then the results are unuseably grainy, useable at a push at 800 and decent up to 400. Futhermore the auto white balance function is very poor in indoor lighting situations, however this can be combated by selecting one of the preset white balance options although this is a bit of an inconvenience.
There is a smile shutter mode which does work, however there is a slight shutter delay of approximately 1 second which can be annoying - there are other cameras on the market where the smile shutter function is instantaneous.
There is a video option which produces fair quality results - you can zoom while filming and the exposure adjusts itself accordingly. Unfortunately though there is no audio and the video quality is restricted to 'TV' ie. not great and nowhere near HD.
The zoom is a 4 times optical one, which is fair for the size of the camera, but not large in the great scheme of things. That said it should be adequate for the majority of every day shooting situations, however don't expect to be able to take decent wildlife photos with it.
The LCD is of a decent quality - it's easy to see what your taking a photo of and if the camera is properly focused, which is very good as there is no viewfinder (virtually no modern compacts have a viewfinder now). The only problem I found with the LCD is that the light almost seems to pulsate in certain conditions, however this doesn't effect use and is not an issue exclusive to this model, or Nikon in general.
Price wise this camera can be found retailing for the £100 mark and I'd say that the camera is worth this amount but no more. As discussed the build quality is excellent, however the camera is let down by the image quality and lack of sound on the video function. I'd recommend this camera for children as it comes in lots of funky colours, it's durable and cheap, I'd also recommend it if you generally need a cheapish camera and either won't be taking photos indoors/in low light, or aren't too concerned about brilliant quality results. If you're looking to get high quality images from your camera then unfortunately this isn't the one for you - I just wish Nikon had spend as much money on getting high quality results as they did on the design, because if this camera handled as well as it looks then it would be perfect.
Short list of specifications:
- 4x optical zoom
- vibration reduction
- 2.7" LCD
- SD card slot
- lithium ion battery
Summary: I wish I liked this camera more than I do
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