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The Nikon Coolpix S4200 is a compact digital camera, aimed at beginners and those on a budget, with a 3 inch LCD touch screen, 16 megapixel CCD sensor and 6x optical zoom. It is available in black and red for £119.99.
Auto mode changes the camera settings automatically depending on the scene. Other shooting modes include 19 scenes and smart portrait system with smile timer, blink proof, skin softening and red-eye fix. The camera has subject tracking AF and can also be focused by pressing on the 3 inch LCD touch screen, when the shutter will also be released.
Images can be edited after shooting via the retouch menu, which has a range of filter effects. The S4200 shoots videos at 720p but doesn't allow the use of optical zoom during recording.
- 16 megapixel CCD sensor
- 6x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 26-156mm)
- e-VR (electronic vibration reduction)
- 3.0 inch 460k-dot LCD touchscreen
- Smart portrait system
- 720p video recording
- ISO 80-3200
- 5cm minimum focusing distance
- Retouch menu
- Available in black and red
The battery has a CIPA rating of 190 shots, during testing we were able to take over 500 shots without charging. 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||0.4 secs|
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response||1.2 secs|
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo||3.75 secs|
|Shot to Shot (without flash)||2.1 secs|
|Shot to Shot with Flash||4.8 secs|
Continuous shooting mode records images at full 16 megapixel resolution, there is also Best Shot Selector and Multi-shot 16 under the continuous shooting options.
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Nikon Coolpix S4200 Sample Photos
Portrait | 1/60 sec | f/6.6 | 14.5 mm | ISO 320
Landscape | 1/800 sec | f/3.5 | 4.6 mm | ISO 80
Pet Portrait | 1/250 sec | f/3.9 | 6.0 mm | ISO 250
Sport | 1/250 sec | f/5.5 | 21.2 mm | ISO 80
Sample Photos - Portraits have good skin-tones and are free of red-eye when using the flash. Under the very pleasant weather conditions, landscape mode takes an excellent shot with superb blues and greens.
Nikon Coolpix S4200 Lens test images
Wide Angle | 1/1000 sec | f/3.5 | 4.6 mm | ISO 80
Full Optical Zoom | 1/400 sec | f/6.5 | 27.6 mm | ISO 80
Digital Zoom | 1/320 sec | f/6.5 | 110.4 mm | ISO 80
Macro | 1/10 sec | f/3.5 | 4.6 mm | ISO 80
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 S4200 ISO test images
ISO80 | 1/6 sec | f/4.6 | 16.5 mm
ISO100 | 1/8 sec | f/4.6 | 16.5 mm
ISO200 | 1/15 sec | f/4.6 | 16.5 mm
ISO400 | 1/30 sec | f/4.6 | 16.5 mm
ISO800 | 1/60 sec | f/4.6 | 16.5 mm
ISO1600 | 1/125 sec | f/4.6 | 16.5 mm
ISO3200 | 1/250 sec | f/4.6 | 16.5 mm
ISO Noise Performance - Images are free of noise at ISO 80 with a small amount appearing at ISO 100. Again there is an increase at ISO 200, with images losing some sharpness, and again so at ISO 400. Noise causes the S4200 to take very soft images at ISO 800, more so at ISO 1600, with detail lost in places as well. Noise again increases at ISO 3200, but file size is limited to 4 megapixels at this setting.
Nikon Coolpix S4200 White-balance test images
AWB preset - incandescent lighting | 1/6 sec | f/5.2 | 10.0 mm | ISO 80
Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/6 sec | f/5.2 | 10.0 mm | ISO 80
AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 1 sec | f/5.2 | 10.0 mm | ISO 80
Fluorescent preset - fluorescent lighting | 1 sec | f/5.2 | 10.0 mm | ISO 80
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.
Landscape With Building | 1/640 sec | f/4.2 | 6.8 mm | ISO 80
Black And White Copy | 1/1250 sec | f/4.2 | 6.8 mm | ISO 80
Nikon Coolpix S4200 Digital filters
Special Effects - High Contrast Monochrome | 1/13 sec | f/4.6 | 16.5 mm | ISO 400
Special Effects - High Key | 1/13 sec | f/4.6 | 16.5 mm | ISO 400
Special Effects - Low Key | 1/60 sec | f/4.6 | 16.5 mm | ISO 400
Special Effects - Selective Colour | 1/20 sec | f/4.6 | 16.5 mm | ISO 400
Special Effects - Sepia | 1/20 sec | f/4.6 | 16.5 mm | ISO 400
Special Effects - Soft | 1/20 sec | f/4.6 | 16.5 mm | ISO 400
Miniature | 1/500 sec | f/4.8 | 8.8 mm | ISO 80
Painting | 1/60 sec | f/4.6 | 16.5 mm | ISO 400
Pet Portrait Withquick Retouch | 1/160 sec | f/6.6 | 14.5 mm | ISO 400
Digital Filters - The S4200 has a few colour options to add creativity to your pictures. You can also edit images in playback, with Quick Retouch, D-Lighting, Glamour Retouch and Filter Effects available.
Video - Below is a video shot at 720p. Optical zoom isn't also available during recording, but there is digital zoom, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube Page.
Value For MoneyThe Nikon Coolpix S4200 is available for £119.99 and is very similar to the S3300, priced at £99.99. The main difference being the touch screen, which is also slightly larger, on the S4200. Other cameras with a similar set of features include the Fujifilm FinePix AX550 at £77, Canon PowerShot A3300 at £94.00, Nikon Coolpix S6150 at £99.00, Sony Cyber-shot W570 at £99.95, Canon PowerShot A1300 at £109.00 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS45 at £119.95.
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.
Nikon Coolpix S3300, both having 16 megapixels sensors, 6x optical zoom and 720p HD video recording. Where they differ is the 3 inch LCD touch screen which is found on the S4200. When assessing image quality, it is clear that performance is very similar - colour reproduction is good, but detail is poor, particularly if you are shooting at ISO 200 and above, although if you only take pictures to share on social networking sites you shouldn't have too much to be concerned about.
Nikon Coolpix S4200 ProsCompact body
6x optical zoom
Good colour reproduction
Responsive touch screen
Good AWB performance
Nikon Coolpix S4200 ConsPoor noise performance from ISO 400 upwards
Image quality isn't good at all
Low battery life expectancy
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Nikon Coolpix S4200 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||460,000 dots|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/2000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||4sec|
|ISO sensitivity||80 - 3200|
|Continuous shooting||No Data|
|Optical Zoom with Video||No|
|Battery Type||Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL19|
|Box Contents||Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL19, Charging AC Adapter EH-69P, USB Cable UC-E6, Audio Video Cable EG-CP14, Strap, Stylus, ViewNX 2 installer CD|