The Nikon Coolpix S6300 was announced in February 2011, as part of Nikon's Style range of compact cameras. It is available in red, silver, black and blue for £179.00.
Nikon Coolpix S6300 Features
The S6300 has a 16 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor, designed to take clear images in any light. The lens is 10x optical zoom, a 35mm equivalent of 25-250mm. To help keep images as blur free as possible, lens-shift vibration reduction counteracts the effect of camera shake whether taking pictures or shooting movies. The camera can also shoot with a 99 point autofocus system as well as subject tracking autofocus.
As well as Auto Mode there is a range of shooting modes including 19 scene modes, Auto HDR (combining two shots with one press of the shutter), 360°/180° Easy Panorama, high-speed continuous shooting and 3D shooting. There is also Smart Portrait System which includes smile timer, blink proof alert, skin softening and red-eye fix.
Images can be edited in camera through the retouch menu with quick retouch, d-lighting and a range of filter effects, including selective colour, cross screen, fish-eye and miniature.
The S6300 records videos at full 1080p HD with optical zoom and stereo sound. Videos can be paused and continued, with the camera produced one movie file for smooth playback. Videos can be viewed on a HDTV via a HDMI cable.
Back-illuminated 16 megapixel CMOS sensor
10x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 25–250mm)
Lens-shift (VR) vibration reduction
Full 1080p HD movie recording
3D shooting mode
2.7 inch LCD screen
Advanced movie functions
Auto HDR mode
Easy 360°/180° Panorama
High-speed continuous shooting
Smart portrait system
19 scene modes
Fast and accurate AF
Subject Tracking AF
Nikon Coolpix S6300 Handling
The S6300 is an extremely compact camera which is easily kept in your pocket, despite having a 10x optical zoom lens. The body is made from metal with the buttons being well placed and easy to press, except for the power button which does require a good firm press to switch the camera on. This makes it less likely you'll accidentally switch the camera on and waste your battery power. There are dedicated buttons for movie recording and for scene selection. The camera menus are well laid out and easy to navigate.
The 2.7 inch LCD screen is bright, clear and easy to see in most conditions. The battery has a CIPA rating of 230 shots which should be plenty to keep you going for a full day of shooting. We tested the camera's 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.
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 H & L both shoot at full 16 megapixel resolution (maximum of seven shots in H mode). There are 120fps and 60fps modes with image size restricted to VGA and 1 megapixel respectively.
Nikon Coolpix S6300 Performance
Images produced by the S6300 are well exposed with decent colour reproduction. Detail is OK in the centre of the images, with very soft corners and edges, as well as purple fringing in contrasting areas. The lens as a minimum focusing distance of 10cm, this makes it difficult to get a really close-up macro shot.
Nikon Coolpix S6300 Lens test images
When viewing the ISO test charts there is a glow around some of the brighter parts, but this doesn't effect any of the other images, so unless you like to shoot lots of test charts it won't be an issue. The lowest ISO setting is 125, with noise appearing quite significantly at ISO 200. This worsens at ISO 400, with images becoming soft, and even more so at ISO 800. Noise has a strong effect on image quality at the higher ISO ranges of 1600 and 3200, but colour reproduction isn't effected.
Nikon Coolpix S6300 ISO test images
Landscape mode gives good blues and greens in images, with the camera producing excellent skin tones when shooting portraits which are free of red-eye. The S6300 shoots 360° and 180° panoramas, with mixed results, particular when shooting 360° as the stitching of images isn't always seemless.
Nikon Coolpix S6300 Scene modes
180° Panorama | 1/1250 sec | f/3.3 | 5.2 mm | ISO 125
HDR 2 | 1/500 sec | f/3.2 | 4.5 mm | ISO 125
Pet Portrait | 1/250 sec | f/4.7 | 17.5 mm | ISO 250
The auto white-balance (AWB) performs well, particularly under our studio lighting. The incandescent preset takes a near identical image to the AWB setting under the incandescent lights, with the fluorescent preset giving a magenta cast when shooting with the fluorescent lights.
Nikon Coolpix S6300 White-balance test images
There are a number of filters available, with examples of each below.
Nikon Coolpix S6300 Digital filters
Below is a video shot at full 1080p HD, the camera also allows the use of optical zoom during recording, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine YouTube Channel.
The Nikon Coolpix S6300 produced a mixed bag of results, with good colour reproduction and fast high-speed shooting at full resolution. On the downside images start to show significant noise even at ISO 200, the minimum focusing distance of 10cm makes it really hard to take a decent macro shot and on occasion 360° panoramas had clear stitching issues. But for your money, you are getting a camera with a good solid metal build and decent zoom range packed into a perfectly pocketable body.
Nikon Coolpix S6300 Pros
Good amount of zoom
Full 1080p HD movie recording with stereo sound
Compact, metal body
Fast high-speed shooting at full resolution
Nikon Coolpix S6300 Cons
Images are noisy from ISO 200 upwards
Minimum focusing distance of 10cm
Inconsistent results shooting 360° panoramas