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Nikon Coolpix S30 Wet
The Nikon Coolpix S30 is designed as the ideal family camera that anyone in the family can use, from kids to adults, with a large screen, large buttons and waterproof and shock proof body it should survive a little rough treatment, as well as survive trips to the beach or swimming pool.
S30 Front Off
- 10 megapixel sensor
- 3x optical zoom lens, equivalent to 29-87mm
- 3m Waterproof
- Shockproof to 0.8m
- 2.7inch screen
- 720p video
- ISO80 to ISO1600
- 5cm Macro
- Takes 2x AA batteries
- Available in pink, black, blue and white.
Nikon Coolpix S30 Top White
Nikon Coolpix S30 Rear
Handling - The Nikon Coolpix S30 differs from most other compact cameras, in that it has four buttons on the left of the screen - these are used to control most options. The zoom control is on the right, with a middle on/off button on the top and simple to use shutter release and video start buttons either side. The camera is not only shockproof and waterproof, it has some clever design touches such as tiny feet on the screen corners so that if the camera is placed on it's back, the screen should avoid scratches.
Two year old and a five year old children were given the camera and were able to take photos, with the older child being able to easily understand the three top buttons. They were able to take photos, as well as record videos using the camera.
|Nikon Coolpix S30 Photo Mode||Nikon Coolpix S30 Menu|
Menus - The menus are made up of large text, with options selected using the four buttons on the left hand side of the camera. Each button corresponds to a coloured option on the screen, starting with the first option: Change colours, (red), Decorate (yellow), Scene (green), Sounds (blue), scrolling down, the second screens options are: Flash mode, self-timer, image size, movie AF, then the final screen is Setup. Colours lets you change exposure compensation, saturation and hue. Decorate lets you apply 1 of 5 borders. Scene lets you choose from 1 of 10 scene modes. Flash mode (auto or off). Self-timer options are 10s, or smile timer. Size lets you choose: 10m, 4m or 2m. Movies 720p or VGA. Movie AF: Single or Full Time AF. Setup options include electronic VR, date stamp, as well as battery type.
Nikon Coolpix S30 Open
Battery Life - The battery life is rated as 240 shots according to CIPA standards, and using 2 alkaline AA batteries we were able to take over 225 shots before the battery went flat. This is quite good and should mean that you can go a long way without running out of power, with the potential for better battery life with Ni-Mh rechargeable batteries or lithium batteries. Another benefit of AA batteries is that they are readily available worldwide.
Coolpix S30 Battery Compartment
Speed - We tested each camera's performance at focusing, shutter response, shot-to-shot time, continuous shooting etc. and have posted the results below. To test this we took 6 or more shots and calculated the average, so that consistent results were produced.
|Nikon Coolpix S30||Canon IXUS 125 HS|
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response||0.4||0.3|
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response||0.6 - 1.2||0.35|
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo||2.7||2.0|
|Shot to Shot (without flash)||1.5||2.0|
|Shot to Shot with Flash||7.0||3.3|
|Continuous Shooting (JPEG)||0.6s (4 shots before slowdown)||0.6|
|Continuous 4 megapixels||.||5fps (~ shots)|
|Continuous Shooting (with Flash)||N/A||1.3s|
Start up screen was switched off. Focus at the wide-angle end was reasonable at around 0.4 seconds amd shutter response when focused was very quick. Focus at the telephoto end was quite slow with the camera hunting for focus. Shot-to-shot time was reasonable as long as you aren't using flash.
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Nikon Coolpix S30 Sample Photos
Portrait | 1/30 sec | f/4.7 | 7.9 mm | ISO 200
Fountain | 1/800 sec | f/3.7 | 5.2 mm | ISO 80
Blue-skies | 1/500 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 80
Macro | 1/1250 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 80
Sample photos - The is very little red-eye in the portrait flash photo, and reasonable noise performance for a compact camera, although detail could be better. The macro performance of the camera was better than expected, with the camera offering a Close-up / Macro scene mode.
Nikon Coolpix S30 Lens test images
Wide | 1/500 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 80
Zoom | 1/200 sec | f/5.9 | 12.3 mm | ISO 80
Digital-zoom | 1/100 sec | f/5.9 | 49.2 mm | ISO 80
Trees | 1/160 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 80
Lens test images - The images show good colour with reasonable detail at both the wide and telephoto ends of the lens, although the wide-angle shot shows quite soft corners and purple fringing in areas of high contrast. Digital zoom is best avoided and as this camera is designed for use under water it's important to make sure the front of the lens is always clean, as there is no lens protection.
Nikon Coolpix S30 ISO test images
1/25 sec | f/5.9 | 12.3 mm | ISO 400
1 sec | f/5.9 | 12.3 mm | ISO 1600
ISO noise performance - It was more difficult than normal trying to test the camera's noise performance, as the camera does not let you select the ISO setting. This meant we had to alter the lighting in the room to force the camera to alter it's ISO setting. The results aren't especially good, with the ISO200 and ISO400 shots showing lots of noise. However, the shots taken outside in good light (at ISO80) showed fairly low levels of noise apart from in dark blues and in some areas of the sky.
Nikon Coolpix S30 White-balance test images
AWB Tungsten Light 1/30 sec | f/4.2 | 6.4 mm | ISO 320
AWB Fluorescent Light 1/10 sec | f/4.2 | 6.4 mm | ISO 400
White Balance Performance - Similarly the camera lacks any white balance settings, so instead we simply changed the light source and left the camera on it's automatic settings. The camera performed quite well under tungsten lighting, and better under fluorescent lighting.
Nikon Coolpix S30 Digital filters
Colour highlight (Green) | 1/500 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 80
Miniature | 1/500 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 80
Original | 1/25 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 200
Blue mono | 1/25 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 200
Black and White | 1/25 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 200
Sepia | 1/25 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 200
Star-burst | 1/25 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 200
Colour-highlight (Red) | 1/25 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 400
Fish-eye | 1/25 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 200
Frame | 1/25 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 200
Soft | 1/25 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 200
Underwater | 0.8 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 400
Digital filters - There aren't a huge number of effects available when shooting (highlight colours, soft pictures and diorama), however there are a number of frames available, as well as further playback editing options as shown above. A panoramic mode is not included.
Video - 720p, options single AF, or full time AF. Recording video appears to drain the alkaline batteries quite quickly, with the camera reporting empty batteries if video recording is attempted with low battery life. Optical zoom isn't available while recording, but can be set before recording.
Value For MoneyThe Nikon Coolpix S30 is the cheapest waterproof camera available with optical zoom, with the closest competitor being the Olympus Tough TG-320, available for around £20 more. You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.
|Kodak Easyshare Sport C123||3m||-||-||£50.00|
|Nikon Coolpix S30||3m||0.8m||-||£95.00|
|Olympus Tough TG-320||3m||1.5m||-10°C||£119.00|
|Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT10||3m||1.5m||-10°C||£144.00|
|Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT20||5m||1.5m||-10°C||£169.00|
|Fujifilm FinePix XP50||5m||1.5m||-10°C||£189.00|
|Pentax Optio WG-1 / (GPS)||10m||1.5m||-10°C||£204.00 / (219.00)|
|Olympus Tough TG-620||5m||1.5m||-10°C||£214.00|
|Canon PowerShot D10||10m||1.2m||-10°C||£214.99|
|Fujifilm FinePix XP150 GPS||10m||2m||-10°C||£219.00|
|Olympus Tough TG-820||10m||2m||-10°C||£252.00|
|Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT3||12m||2m||-10°C||£259.00|
|Sony Cyber-shot TX10||5m||1.5m||-10°C||£269.00|
|Nikon Coolpix AW100||10m||1.5m||-10°C||£294.95|
|Pentax Optio WG-2 / (GPS)||12m||1.5m||-10°C||£299.00 / (£339.00)|
|Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT4||12m||2m||-10°C||£329.00|
|Canon PowerShot D20||10m||1.5m||-10°C||£349.00|
Nikon Coolpix S30 ProsWaterproof, Shockproof, Family Friendly
Good value for money
Good macro performance
Easy to use
Lacks ISO / WB Control
Nikon Coolpix S30 Cons
Lacks panoramic mode
High noise above ISO100
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Nikon Coolpix S30 Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/3.3 - f/5.9|
|35mm equivalent||29mm - 87mm|
|CCD pixels||10.1Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Size (width)||No Data|
|Sensor Size (height)||No Data|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/2000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||4sec|
|ISO sensitivity||80 - 1600|
|Continuous shooting||No Data|
|Stereo Sound||No Data|
|Optical Zoom with Video||No Data|
|Battery Type||2x AA|
|Box Contents||Camera Strap, LR6/L40 (AA-size) alkaline batteries (x2), USB Cable UC-E16, Brush, ViewNX 2 Installer CD, Reference Manual CD|