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The Nikon Coolpix S3200 is a compact camera with a 16 megapixel sensor and 6x optical zoom. It is available in black, red and blue for around £70.00. Its slim body and low price make it an ideal camera for the casual user who likes to take pictures when out with friends and family.
As well as auto mode there are 18 scene modes. There is a smart portrait mode which includes smile timer, blink proof, skin softening and red-eye fix. The S3200 has a 99 point autofocus system and subject tracking AF to keep your subject in focus even when it is moving about. When you have finished shooting you can edit your pictures in the retouch menu which has a range of filter effects, including selective colour, fisheye and miniature.
Videos can be recorded in 720p HD.
- 16 megapixel CCD sensor
- 6x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 26-156mm)
- e-VR (electronic vibration reduction)
- 2.7 inch 230k dot LCD screen
- Smart portrait system
- 720p HD video recording
- ISO 80-3200
- 5cm minimum focusing distance
- Retouch menu
- Available in black, red and blue
The menu system on the S3200 is easy to understand and navigate. The battery has a CIPA rating of 220 shots, we were able to take well in excess of this amount on one charge during testing. We tested the cameras 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.
|Shutter Response||0.175 secs|
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response||0.5 secs|
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response||0.7 secs|
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo||2.1 secs|
|Shot to Shot without Flash||1.3 secs|
|Shot to Shot with Flash||4.7 secs|
|Continuous Shooting||1.3 fps|
Continuous shooting mode records images at full 16 megapixel resolution.
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Nikon Coolpix S3200 Sample Photos
Portrait | 1/60 sec | f/5.6 | 11.3 mm | ISO 200
Landscape | 1/400 sec | f/3.5 | 4.6 mm | ISO 80
Sport Mode | 1/250 sec | f/5.0 | 18.7 mm | ISO 160
Pet Portrait | 1/250 sec | f/6.0 | 12.8 mm | ISO 400
Low Light | 1 sec | f/4.6 | 16.5 mm | ISO 100
Drive | 1/200 sec | f/3.5 | 4.6 mm | ISO 80
Sample Photos - Portraits have good skin-tones and are free of red-eye when using the flash. Landscape mode takes pictures with excellent blues and greens when shooting in clear conditions, there are also example images using pet and sport scene modes.
Nikon Coolpix S3200 Lens test images
Wide Angle | 1/640 sec | f/3.5 | 4.6 mm | ISO 100
Some Optical Zoom | 1/400 sec | f/6.0 | 12.8 mm | ISO 100
Full Optical Zoom | 1/320 sec | f/6.5 | 27.6 mm | ISO 100
Macro | 1/25 sec | f/3.5 | 4.6 mm | ISO 100
Lens Performance - Images are well exposed with good colour reproduction, but detail is pretty poor, especially in the corners of the images. There is also quite a lot of purple fringing and chromatic aberration. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 5cm, but macro shots aren't particularly good.
Nikon Coolpix S3200 ISO test images
ISO 80 | 1/8 sec | f/6.6 | 14.5 mm
ISO 100 | 1/10 sec | f/6.6 | 14.5 mm
ISO 200 | 1/20 sec | f/6.6 | 14.5 mm
ISO 400 | 1/40 sec | f/6.6 | 14.5 mm
ISO 800 | 1/80 sec | f/6.6 | 14.5 mm
ISO 1600 | 1/160 sec | f/6.6 | 14.5 mm
ISO 3200 | 1/320 sec | f/6.6 | 14.5 mm
ISO Noise Performance - Images are free of noise at ISO 80 and 100, with a small amount appearing at ISO 200. Again there is an increase at ISO 400, with images losing some sharpness, and again so at ISO 800. Noise causes the S3200 to take a very soft image at ISO 1600, with a substantial amount of detail lost in places. Noise again increases at ISO 3200, but file size is limited to 4 megapixels at this setting.
Nikon Coolpix S3200 White-balance test images
AWB preset - incandescent lighting | 1/10 sec | f/4.2 | 6.8 mm | ISO 100
Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/10 sec | f/4.2 | 6.8 mm | ISO 100
AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 0.5 sec | f/4.2 | 6.8 mm | ISO 100
Fluorescent preset - fluorescent lighting | 0.5 sec | f/4.2 | 6.8 mm | ISO 100
White Balance Performance - Auto white-balance (AWB) copes really well, under the incandescent lights, very similar shots were produced, with a slight green cast when using the incandescent preset. Under the fluorescent lights, the AWB setting performed well, with a magenta cast appearing when using the fluorescent preset.
Nikon Coolpix S3200 Digital filters
Colour Options - Black And White | 0.5 sec | f/6.5 | 27.6 mm | ISO 80
Colour Options - Cyanotype | 0.5 sec | f/6.5 | 27.6 mm | ISO 80
Colour Options - Sepia | 0.5 sec | f/6.5 | 27.6 mm | ISO 80
Colour Options - Standard Colour | 0.5 sec | f/6.5 | 27.6 mm | ISO 80
Colour Options - Vivid Colour | 0.5 sec | f/6.5 | 27.6 mm | ISO 80
High Contrast Monochrome | 1/6 sec | f/6.5 | 27.6 mm | ISO 400
High Key | 1/6 sec | f/6.5 | 27.6 mm | ISO 400
Low Key | 1/30 sec | f/6.5 | 27.6 mm | ISO 400
Selective Colour | 1/10 sec | f/6.5 | 27.6 mm | ISO 400
Soft | 1/10 sec | f/6.5 | 27.6 mm | ISO 400
Digital Filters - The S3200 has a few colour options to add creativity to your pictures. You can also edit images in playback, with D-Lighting, Glamour Retouch and Filter Effects available.
Video - Below is a video shot at 720p. The optical zoom cannot be used during video recording.
Value For MoneyThe Nikon Coolpix S3200 is available for around £70.00. Other similar cameras to consider are the Olympus VG-170 at £66.95, Fujifilm FinePix T400 at £68.67, Pentax Optio LS465 at £58.00 and Canon PowerShot A1300 at £59.00. There is also the Nikon Coolpix S3300 which is very similar to the S3200 but has optical image stabilisation, priced at £74.40. You might also like to look at our best budget cameras article.
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.
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Nikon Coolpix S3200 ProsCompact body
6x optical zoom
Good colour reproduction
Available at a reasonable price
Good AWB performance
Nikon Coolpix S3200 ConsSymbols on buttons hard to read in low light
Poor noise performance from ISO 400 upwards
Image quality isn't good at all
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Nikon Coolpix S3200 Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/3.5 - f/6.5|
|35mm equivalent||26mm - 156mm|
|CCD pixels||16Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Size||1/2.3 inch|
|Sensor Size (width)||No Data|
|Sensor Size (height)||No Data|
|Screen resolution||230,000 dots|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/2000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||4sec|
|ISO sensitivity||80 - 3200|
|Optical Zoom with Video||No|
|Battery Type||One Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL19|
|Box Contents||Camera Strap, Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL19 (with battery case), Charging AC Adapter EH-69P, USB Cable UC-E6, Audio Video Cable EG-CP14, ViewNX 2 Installer CD, Reference Manual CD|