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Nikon Coolpix S9600 Review

Nikon Coolpix S9600 Review - The Nikon Coolpix S9600 offers a 22x optical zoom lens and built-in Wi-Fi. Find out how it performs in our review.

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Nikon Coolpix S9600
Price : £199
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Nikon Coolpix S9600 Black (2)

The compact Nikon Coolpix S9600 features Wi-Fi, a wide-angle 22x optical zoom lens, full HD video and is designed to be an easy to use and pocketable travel zoom camera. The S9600 is available in black, red and white.

Nikon Coolpix S9600 Features

Nikon Coolpix S9600 Black (3)


The Nikon Coolpix S9600 features a 16 megapixel backlit CMOS image sensor designed for low light conditions. Built-in Wi-Fi lets you transfer photos easily to a smart device to share them instantly on social networks or via email. Alternatively, use it to turn your smart device into a remote control.

Hybrid VR (vibration reduction) combines Lens Shift and Electronic VR for highly effective countering of camera shake, reducing blur and creating sharper images, even when shooting a movie while walking, or when shooting stills images. The 3inch screen features an anti-reflection coating for clear visibility in bright sunlight.

Pause and record the action as a still image while shooting movies in crisp Full HD with the advanced movie function mode. Meanwhile, face priority identifies your subject automatically, resulting in clear and accurate focus. The camera features Advanced Glamour Retouch, where you can whiten teeth, brighten eyes or even add make-up.

Easy Panorama and High Speed continuous shooting offer a great range of shooting variations and the Smart Portrait System ensures your pictures feature the best smiles, and are free from red eye.

Nikon Coolpix S9600 Black (4)

Key Features

  • 16 megapixel Back illuminated CMOS image sensor 
  • 22x optical zoom, equivalent to 25-550mm
  • Combination of lens-shift and electronic VR (Vibration Reduction)
  • Scene auto selector, Pre AF
  • Full HD 1080/60i movie recording with 5-Axis Hybrid VR
  • Advanced Glamour retouch, Quick effects and Special effects
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Red-eye correction for people and pets
  • High-speed battery charging with ability to shoot while charging
  • 1cm Macro shooting 
  • Record pause function
  • Save still images during movie recording
  • Consecutive shot combining tech (Night landscape, Night portrait, Backlight, Easy panorama)
  • Available in black, white and red

Nikon Coolpix S9600 Handling

Nikon Coolpix S9600 Black (5)

The S9600 has a compact and lightweight body, considering it has a long lens, and Wi-Fi, as these features tend to add considerable weight to a camera. It has a metal body, a groove on the front to aid grip and a dotted section on the rear where your thumb sits.

To select your desired shooting mode there is a mode dial on the top, this sits alongside the shutter release, zoom rocker and on / off switch. Buttons on the rear include movie record, playback, menu and delete. There is also a rotating wheel which can also be pressed to give access to the self-timer, flash, exposure compensation and macro mode.

Also on the rear is the 3 inch screen, which has a reasonable resolution of 460k dots and is bright and clear. The menu system is easy to navigate and clearly laid out.

To make use of the Wi-Fi you need to download the Wireless Mobile Utility app to your smartphone or tablet (iOS or Android). This allows you to use your mobile device to download pictures from the camera to edit and share them. You can also use it as a remote release. A preview appears on your mobile device, you can control the zoom or set a timer. Other information appears on the screen, such as shutter speed, aperture, number of shots left and battery life.

Nikon Coolpix S9600 Black (6)


Battery life - Battery life is rated at 290 shots according to Nikon / CIPA test results, which is reasonably good, although we would recommend a spare battery if you plan on shooting more. Charging is via a MicroUSB cable and AC adapter.

Nikon Coolpix S9600 Black (8)

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response 0.05secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.15secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.3secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 1.6secs
Shot to Shot without Flash 0.9secs
Shot to Shot with Flash 1.2secs
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before stopping)
8.8fps (5 shots)

Focus and shutter response is very quick with the camera offering a very quick continuous shooting mode, shooting at 8.8fps for 5 shots. 

Nikon Coolpix S9600 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 S9600 Sample Photos


Sample Photos - Photos taken with flash have little to no red-eye and good skin tones. Colour and exposure are both very good with the camera delivering pleasing results, although fine detail is lacking in shots, particularly in areas with lots of grass or leaves. 

Nikon Coolpix S9600 Lens test images


Lens Performance - There is slight vignetting and corner softness when shooting wide-angle shots. The camera has good macro performance, with the camera focusing on subjects just 1cm away from the front of the lens. Purple fringing and chromatic aberrations are well controlled, with some appearing at the very far edges and corners of the frame. Dynamic range is quite good, and the camera can help expand this by using either D-Lighting, or the backlit / HDR mode. 

Nikon Coolpix S9600 ISO test images


ISO Noise Performance - ISO125, ISO200 and ISO400 show relatively low levels of noise, and reasonable levels of detail. ISO800 shows little increase in noise, but a noticeable decrease in the level of detail recorded. ISO1600 shows a slight increase in noise, but a further decrease in detail, although results may still be usable for sharing on the web. ISO3200 shows more noise and less detail, although, again results may still be usable. ISO6400 shows the highest level of noise and is best avoided. 

Nikon Coolpix S9600 White-balance test images


White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well under tungsten light with a slightly warm result. The tungsten preset gives a more accurate result, and AWB performs well under fluorescent lighting. The fluorescent preset gives a magenta/orange colour cast. 

Panoramic | 1/400 sec | f/7.2 | 5.1 mm | ISO 125
Panoramic | 1/400 sec | f/7.2 | 5.1 mm | ISO 125

Panorama mode - The camera features an automatic panoramic mode, where you simply press the shutter release button and pan the camera from one side to the other. Results are reasonably good, and well stitched together, although the resolution is low.

Nikon Coolpix S9600 Digital filters


Digital Filters - There are a large number of different effects available from the "Effects" option on the mode dial, with examples shown above. The effects are available in playback editing as well. 

Video - Video quality is good with the camera recording full HD video at 30 or 25fps, with stereo sound and optical zoom. Some wind noise is picked up by the camera, as well as lens noise when using the optical zoom. 


Value For Money

The Nikon Coolpix S9600 is available for £199 which makes it quite good value for money, offering slightly more optical zoom than most of the competition in this price range. The following cameras are its nearest competition:

Canon Powershot SX600 HS, 18x optical zoom, Wi-Fi, NFC, £173
Sony Cyber-shot WX350, 20x optical zoom, Wi-Fi, NFC, £199
Canon Powershot SX280 HS, 20x optical zoom, GPS, Wi-Fi, £179
Panasonic Lumix TZ55, 20x optical zoom, Wi-Fi, £199
Olympus Stylus SH-50, 24x optical zoom, £180

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 S9600 Verdict

The Nikon Coolpix S9600 offers a 22x optical zoom lens, a 3inch screen and built-in Wi-Fi for sharing images with your smartphone. The camera has a stylish metal body, with high speed continuous shooting and an impressive 1cm macro mode. While images aren't as detailed as we would have liked to see and do suffer from some corner softness, we think this camera would make a useful pocket camera, particularly if you want to share your images via your smartphone. The camera also offers quite good value for money and is available in a number of colours. 


 
 
  The Nikon Coolpix S9600 offers a 22x optical zoom lens and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity making it great for sharing images to social network sites. 
 

Nikon Coolpix S9600 Pros

22x optical zoom lens
Good colour
Wi-Fi connectivity
Metal body
2 year warranty
8.8fps continuous shooting
1cm macro mode

Nikon Coolpix S9600 Cons

Awkward tripod socket position
Soft images, more detail expected
Soft corners

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

Nikon Coolpix S9600 Specifications

ManufacturerNikon
Lens
Max Aperturef/3.4 - f/6.3
35mm equivalent25mm - 550mm
Optical Zoom22x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels16Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor Size1/2.3inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution460k
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing
Min Focus1cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest4sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Scene modes
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity125 - 6400
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Flash
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting6.7fps
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
Video FPS30p, 25p
Stereo SoundNo Data
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMIYes
USBUSB 2
Wi-FiYes
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeOne Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12
CIPA Rating290
Box Contents
Box ContentsCamera Strap, Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12, Charging AC Adapter EH-71P, USB Cable UC-E21
Dimensions
Weight206g
Width108.6mm
Height61mm
Depth31.6mm

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