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I just received the Nikon S9100 as a christmas present. I had been comparing it to the Sony and Canon equivalents but the longer zoom on the Nikon was a tipping point. All in all I am not disappointed at all.
The camera works very well, as I expected. There are a few small glitches - it has a hard time autofocusing in higher tele values and the photos at longer zoom values tend to have a little softness towards the edges. These were the only drawbacks I could find. The positive points more than compensate for these small flaws - lots of programs to choose from, auto mode is more than adequate for 95% of the situations. The camera responds very fast (turning on/off, changing programs,...). I was particularly impressed with the quality of the photos in low light. I rarely pop up the flash.
All in all, this camera is a great substitute for my aging Canon Ixus S800.
We recently took advantage of the great sales and bought ourself a new digitalcamera. We had had one of the little Sony's for about 3 years now and the motor was going on it meaning that it kept shaking and giving me blurry photos so we needed one desperately with a new baby to take photos of. We decided upon the Nikon S9100 as it was originally priced at £349.99 down to £199 so we thought that was quite a good bargain to begin with. We already have one of the big Nikon with the big zoom lens at the front which you manually adjust and I love it as it gives really great photos but I wanted just a little camera that I could put in my handbag and take out with me to get shots of the kids whenever we went someone and this fit the bill perfectly.
We got a black version of the camera which looks very sleek to me but I believe it also comes in silver and red. In the box with the camera you also get a camera strap, a rechargeable Li-ion battery, a charging AC adapter, a USB cable, an audio video cable and a users manual which is on disc.To get everything set up we needed to put it together and then charge the battery but this did not take long and we were soon on our way.Unfortunately the camera does not come with a memory card so you have to purchase one of your own but we already had lots of these at home from our other Nikon camera so it was not a problem.
The camera is a digital camera with a screen on the back. The screen is a three inch screen so it's large enough to se your image before and after you take a picture and to be sure that you got a good shot. There are various modes on which you can take a photo. The mode dial is located at the top right hand of the camera and turns to set it to which mode you desire. The little green camera icon is what I generally take all my photos on as this is the automatic mode and it will focus it for you are pretty much do everything for you. If you are after just a point and shoot camera then this mode is perfect for that.
The other modes you can take a photo in are portrait, night landscape, night portrait, backlighting, continuous shots and special effects. The continuous shot function is perfect for me as someone with kids. Often you need to take about a hundred photos to get one nice one when they are in focus or not running out of shot and so to be able to hit the button once and have lots of shots take then this is a really good function. I have used this a number of times and there is always a good shot in there somewhere.
The panorama option is great, especially when you are taking scenery shots rather than people shots. It will take 360° and 180° photos and does this by help of a sensor that takes a rapid burst of frames which are mergedinstantly to create a beautiful panorama.
When you press the on/off button the lens will come out of the front of the camera. The lens is really a plus point on this camera for me as its really quite powerful and small at the same time.The zoom is a 18x zoom and as I don't really know what most of the technical stuff means I will just add the measurements from the user guide. They are given as a NIKKOR ED glass lens that provides a focal range of 25 mm wide-angle to 450 mm super-telephoto coverage (35 mm format equivalent). All I know is that you can zoom in really close to you image as I like to do with my kids to capture their beautiful soft skin and I can get such a clear crisp photo that way. I also zooms out well. If you want to zoom all you do is move the little zoom control button on the front that is a little dial you can just move with your finger whilst you are setting up your shot.
Erasing a photo with this camera is very easy and it actually has a number of steps you need to go through which I like as its kind of a safeguard to stop you from erasing all your saved photos with just one click of a button. On the bottom right hand corner there is a dustbin icon that you press. This then asks you if you want to erase current image, erase selected image or all images. If you highlight just current image and press ok it will then ask you yes or no and no is always highlighted first so you actually have to select yes which I like as it stops you making mistakes and erasing the wrong photo.
To view the photos you have just taken that are stored on your memory card you just have to push the playback button located next to the screen. This gives you a really clear crisp image and lets you know if you like the shot you have taken. In order to scroll through your photos on your memory card quickly you can move the rotary multi selector and this is a really nice new function on a camera for me.
You can also record video on this camera. It's extremely simple. There is a movie record button on the computer indicated by a camcorder icon which you basically just press and it will start recording. To play your video back you again go through the playback button and then can view it from there. I have been really impressed with the quality of the videos I have taken so far.
There is a manual flash on this camera which I haven't had in the past and it does take some getting used to. If you need a flash the camera will tell you when you need to lift up the manual flash button which is a little annoying but there is such good backlight on this camera that you don't often need a flash in situations where you would do with another type of camera.
All in all I am extremely satisfied so far with this camera, it has some great features, is simple to use and has taken some awesome photos of my little boy and girl.