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The Nikon Coolpix S31 is a family friendly waterproof camera, an update of the S30. This new model is even more shockproof and uses a rechargeable Li-Ion battery instead of AA batteries. The S31 is available in blue, pink, white and yellow for £84.99.
Videos are recorded in 720p HD.
- 10 megapixel CCD sensor
- 3x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 29 - 87mm)
- Motion Blur Reduction
- 2.7 inch 230k dot LCD screen
- Waterproof to 5m, shockproof 1.2m and dustproof
- 720p HD video recording
- ISO 80 - 1600
- 5cm minimum focusing distance
- Fun filters
- 1.5 fps continuous shooting
- Available in blue, pink, white and yellow
We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.
|Shutter Response||0.1 secs|
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response||0.8 secs|
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response||1.15 secs|
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo||1.9 secs|
|Shot to Shot without Flash||2.0 secs|
|Shot to Shot with Flash||3.3 secs|
|Continuous Shooting||1.6 fps|
Continuous shooting records in full 10 megapixel resolution, but slows after 6 shots.
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Nikon Coolpix S31 Sample Photos
Flash Portrait | 1/60 sec | f/5.3 | 9.7 mm | ISO 200
Drive | 1/640 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 80
Underwater Goldfish | 1/60 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 80
Standard | 1/1600 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 80
Sample Photos - Images are generally well exposed with good colour reproduction, underwater performance is also good. Skin tones are OK when shooting portraits, but there is red-eye evident when using the flash.
Nikon Coolpix S31 Lens test images
Wide | 1/1250 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 80
Zoom | 1/640 sec | f/5.9 | 12.3 mm | ISO 80
Trees | 1/100 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 80
Macro | 1/250 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 80
Lens Performance - Images have a decent amount of detail at both ends of the lens for a budget camera, with a good control over purple fringing as well. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 5cm, which does allow you to get close enough for decent macro shots.
Nikon Coolpix S31 ISO test images
1/60 sec | f/5.9 | 12.3 mm | ISO 320
1/6 sec | f/5.9 | 12.3 mm | ISO 400
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. Noise is low at ISO 80 and 125, with images remaining fairly sharp at ISO 250. In our test shots, you can see that noise has caused the images to become soft, with some detail lost.
Nikon Coolpix S31 White-balance test images
AWB preset - incandescent lighting | 1/30 sec | f/3.7 | 5.2 mm | ISO 125
AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/13 sec | f/3.7 | 5.2 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 both the tungsten and incandescent lighting.
Nikon Coolpix S31 Digital filters
Focus Effect | 1/1250 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 80
Miniature | 1/1250 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 80
Mirror | 1/2000 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 80
Picture Play - Original | 1/25 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 250
Picture Play - Cyanotype | 1/25 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 250
Picture Play - Fisheye Effect | 1/25 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 250
Picture Play - Highlight Colours | 1/25 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 250
Picture Play - Monochrome | 1/25 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 250
Picture Play - Sepia | 1/25 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 250
Picture Play - Soften Pictures | 1/25 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 250
Picture Play - Starbursts | 1/25 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 250
Picture Play - Toy Camera | 1/25 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 250
Digital Filters - There aren't a huge number of effects available when shooting, however there are a number of frames available, as well as further playback editing filters as shown above.
Video - Below is a video recorded in 720p HD. Optical zoom is not available while recording, and instead we've used digital zoom in the video below.
Value For MoneyThe Nikon Coolpix S31 at £84.99 is the cheapest waterproof camera available with optical zoom. The Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 has a fixed focal length and costs £68.99. Other waterproof cameras with optical zoom include the Sony Cybershot DSC-TF1 at £135.32, Olympus Tough TG-630 at £142.67, Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT25 at £134.99, Pentax WG-10 at £137.00 and Fujifilm FinePix XP60 at £129.99. For more waterproof cameras, have a look at the Top 10 Best Waterproof Cameras.
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.
S30 and is one of the cheapest waterproof cameras on the market, so it's ideal for the kids. It's easy to use and image quality is fairly decent, with good colour reproduction meaning they'll look great when shared on Facebook.
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Nikon Coolpix S31 ProsWaterproof, shockproof, family friendly
Good value for money
Good macro performance
Easy to use
Nikon Coolpix S31 ConsLacks ISO / WB Control
Lacks panoramic mode
Noisy images over ISO 250
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Nikon Coolpix S31 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|
|Optical Zoom with Video||No|
|Battery Type||Lithium Ion|
|Box Contents||Camera Strap, LR6/L40 (AA-size) alkaline batteries (x2), USB Cable UC-E16, Brush, ViewNX 2 Installer CD, Reference Manual CD|