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Nikon Coolpix S3300 Digital Compact Camera Review

The Nikon Coolpix S3300 is an update to the S3100, now featuring a 6x optical zoom lens and 16 megapixel sensor.

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Nikon Coolpix S3300 Lens Extended

The Nikon Coolpix S3300 was announced in February 2012 as a replacement of the S3200. It is a budget compact camera which has a 16 megapixel sensor, 6x optical zoom and is available in black, blue, purple, red, green pink and silver for £99.99. Its slim body and low price make it an ideal camera for the casual user who likes to take pictures when out with friends and family.

Nikon Coolpix S3300 Front 2

Nikon Coolpix S3300 Features

The S3300's body is just 19.5mm 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 S3300 has lens-shift vibration reduction (VR).

Auto mode changes the camera settings automatically depending on the scene. Other shooting modes include 18 scenes and smart portrait system with smile timer, blink proof, skin softening and red-eye fix. The camera has a 99-point autofocus system and subject tracking AF.

Images can be edited after shooting via the retouch menu, which has a range of filter effects. The S3300 shoots videos at 720p which also allows the use of optical zoom during recording.

Nikon Coolpix S3300 Top

Key Features

  • 16 megapixel CCD sensor
  • 6x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 26-156mm)
  • Lens-shift Vibration Reduction (VR)
  • 2.7 inch LCD screen
  • Slim 19.5 mm body
  • 720p video recording
  • ISO 80 - 3200
  • 5cm minimum focusing distance
  • 18 scene modes
  • Smart portrait system
  • Available in black, blue, purple, red, green pink and silver
Nikon Coolpix S3300 Rear

Nikon Coolpix S3300 Handling

The S3300 has an extremely compact, metal body, easily small and light enough for you to carry in your pocket when out with friends. Nikon have managed to increase the optical zoom while not increasing the size of the camera by much. It doesn't offer much in the way of a grip, although there is a dotted area for your right thumb. Although small, the 2.7 inch is bright and clear to see in varying lighting conditions. The buttons are typical for a compact camera, with a dedicated video record button featuring on the rear of the camera. One downside with the buttons is that the symbols and writing is engraved on rather than printed in another colour and therefore it's difficult to see in the dark.

The menu system on the S3300 is easy to understand and navigate. The battery has a CIPA rating of 210 shots, we were able to take well in excess of this amount on one charge during testing. 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 seconds
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response   0.4 seconds
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response   0.7 seconds
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   2.0 seconds
Shot to Shot (without flash)   2.8 seconds
Shot to Shot with Flash   4.6 seconds
Continuous shooting   1.2 fps

Continuous shooting mode records images at full 16 megapixel resolution. The S3300 is slow from shot-to-shot.
Nikon Coolpix S3300 Battery And Memory Card

Nikon Coolpix S3300 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 S3300 Sample Photos

Sample Photos - Portraits have good skin-tones and are free of red-eye when using the flash. Landscape mode has struggled under fairly cloudy conditions, there are also example images using pet and sport scene modes.

Nikon Coolpix S3300 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 S3300 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Images are free of noise at ISO 80 and 100, with a small amount appearing at ISO 200. Again there is an increase at ISO 400, with images losing some sharpness, and again so at ISO 800. Noise causes the S3300 to take a very soft image 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 S3300 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 S3300 Other sample images

Nikon Coolpix S3300 Digital filters

Digital Filters - The S3300 has a few colour options to add creativity to your pictures. You can also edit images in playback, with D-Lighting, Glamour Retouch and Filter Effects available.

Video - Below is a video shot at 720p. Optical zoom is also available during recording, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube Page.

Value For Money

The Nikon Coolpix S3300 is available for £99.99. 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 Verdict

Having been impressed with previous models (S3000 and S3100) we were looking forward to seeing how the S3300 would perform. Sadly we feel a bit let down. The S3300 continues to offer good colour reproduction in a compact body available in a range of colours. Sadly, image quality 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. What is really surprising is that Nikon have other compacts (S4150 and S6150) that offer more for around the same price.

Nikon Coolpix S3300 Pros

Compact body
6x optical zoom
Good colour reproduction
Available at a reasonable price
Good AWB performance
Camera comes in lots of different colours

Nikon Coolpix S3300 Cons

Symbols on buttons hard to read in low light
Poor noise performance from ISO 400 upwards
Image quality isn't good at all


Nikon Coolpix S3300 Specifications

Max Aperturef/3.5 - f/6.5
35mm equivalent26mm - 156mm
Optical Zoom6x
Image Sensor
Pixels16Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)No Data
Pixels (H)No Data
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 Monitor2.7in
Screen resolution230k dots
Touch ScreenNo
Min Focus5cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest4sec
Bulb modeNo Data
Exp modes
  • Scene modes
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity80 - 3200
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Flash
Exposure CompNo Data
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting1.3fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
  • 320x240 QVGA
Video FPS30fps
Stereo SoundNo
Optical Zoom with VideoNo
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium Ion
Battery Life (CIPA rating)210shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsCamera Strap, Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL19 (with battery case), Charging AC Adapter EH-69P, USB Cable UC-E6, Audio Video Cable EG-CP14, ViewNX 2 Installer CD, Reference Manual CD

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Photographs taken using the Nikon Coolpix S3300

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