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Nikon Coolpix S4300 Review

Nikon Coolpix S4300 Review - Daniel Bell tests the Nikon Coolpix S4300, a compact camera with a 16 megapixel sensor, 6x optical zoom and a 3 inch LCD touch screen.

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Nikon Coolpix S4300
Price : £100
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification
Nikon Coolpix S4300

The Nikon Coolpix S4300 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, silver, white and red for around £110.

Nikon Coolpix S4300

Nikon Coolpix S4300 Features

The S4300'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 S4300 has Lens shift VR (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 S4300 shoots videos at 720p but doesn't allow the use of optical zoom during recording.

Nikon Coolpix S4300

Key Features

  • 16 megapixel CCD sensor
  • 6x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 26-156mm)
  • Lens shift VR (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, silver, white and red
Nikon Coolpix S4300

Nikon Coolpix S4300 Handling

The S4300 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 groove 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 283 shots on one charge. 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   0.2 secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response   0.6 secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response   0.9 secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   2.5 secs
Shot to Shot (without flash)   2.4 secs
Shot to Shot with Flash   5.6 secs
Continuous Shooting   1.2 fps

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 S4300

Nikon Coolpix S4300 Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Nikon Coolpix S4300 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 S4300 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 S4300 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 S4300 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 S4300 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.

Nikon Coolpix S4300 Digital filters


Digital Filters - The S4300 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 available during recording, but there is digital zoom.



Value For Money

The Nikon Coolpix S4300 is available for £110.00 and is very similar to the S4200 that we reviewed earlier in the year. There are a number of similar cameras available, with a handful of the ones we have reviewed below. You may also like to take a look at our top 10 best budget compact cameras.

Canon PowerShot A2400 IS Pentax Optio LS465 Fujifilm FinePix T400 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS45 Olympus VH-410
£69.95 £74.99 £77.90 £92.77 £119.99

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 S4300 Verdict

When comparing the specifications, the S4300 appears to be a very similar camera to the Nikon Coolpix S4200, both having 16 megapixels sensors, 6x optical zoom and 720p HD video recording, the S4300 has Lens shift VR rather than the eVR found on the S4200. When taking a closer look it clear that performance is also 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 S4300 Pros

Compact body
6x optical zoom
Good colour reproduction
Responsive touch screen
Good AWB performance

Nikon Coolpix S4300 Cons

Poor noise performance from ISO 400 upwards
Image quality isn't good at all
Low battery life expectancy

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

Nikon Coolpix S4300 Specifications

ManufacturerNikon
Lens
Max Aperturef/3.5 - f/6.5
35mm equivalent26mm - 156mm
Optical Zoom6x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels16Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeCCD
Sensor Size1/2.3 inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution460k dot
Touch ScreenYes
Focusing
Min Focus5cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest4sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Scene modes
  • A
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Spot
  • M
ISO sensitivity80 - 3200
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Flash
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting1.3fps
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1280x720 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
  • 320x240 QVGA
Video FPS30
Stereo SoundNo
Optical Zoom with VideoNo
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMINo
USBUSB 2
Wi-FiNo
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium Ion
CIPA Rating180
Box Contents
Box ContentsCamera Strap, Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL19 (with battery case), Stylus TP-1, Charging AC Adapter EH-69P, USB Cable UC-E6, Audio Video Cable EG-CP14, ViewNX 2 Installer CD, Reference Manual CD
Dimensions
Weight139g
Width95.5mm
Height58.9mm
Depth20.8mm

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    Photographs taken using the Nikon Coolpix S4300

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