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.
Nikon Coolpix S4200 Features
The S4200's body is just 20.8mm deep, meaning you can easily carry it around in your pocket when out and about. There is a 16 megapixel CCD sensor and the 6x optical zoom lens is a 35mm equivalent of 26-156mm. To help counteract camera shake, the S4200 has e-VR (electronic vibration reduction).
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
5cm minimum focusing distance
Available in black and red
Nikon Coolpix S4200 Handling
The S4200 has an extremely compact, metal body, easily small and light enough for you to carry in your pocket when out with friends. To assist with grip, there is a small rubber area for your right thumb on the rear of the camera. The 3 inch touch screen is bright and clear to see in varying lighting conditions and is very responsive when navigating through the menus. There are only a few buttons, with on/off, shutter release and zoom rocker on the top as well as movie record, mode select and playback buttons on the rear.
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.
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
Shot to Shot (without flash)
Shot to Shot with Flash
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.
Nikon Coolpix S4200 Performance
Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review and product ratings.
Nikon Coolpix S4200 Sample Photos
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
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
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
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
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.
When comparing the specifications, the S4200 appears to be a very similar camera to the 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 Pros
6x optical zoom
Good colour reproduction
Responsive touch screen
Good AWB performance
Nikon Coolpix S4200 Cons
Poor noise performance from ISO 400 upwards
Image quality isn't good at all
Low battery life expectancy