Nikon Coolpix S3700 Review

Nikon Coolpix S3700 Review - We test the compact, pocket-sized, Nikon Coolpix S3700, with built in Wi-Fi and an 8x optical zoom lens.

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Nikon Coolpix S3700 in Compact Cameras

Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Nikon Coolpix S3700 Blue (4)

The Nikon Coolpix S3700 is a compact digital camera with an 8x optical zoom lens, optical image stabilisation (Vibration Reduction), a 20.1 megapixel CCD sensor and built in Wi-Fi connectivity. The camera is available in a number of colours, including blue as shown here.

Nikon Coolpix S3700 Features

Nikon Coolpix S3700 Blue (3)

The Nikon Coolpix S3700 features a wide-angle 8x optical zoom lens equivalent to 25-200mm in 35mm terms. The lens has built in Vibration Reduction (VR) optical image stabilisation to help keep images steady in low light or when using the optical zoom. The imaging sensor is a 20.1 megapixel CCD unit with an ISO range of ISO80 to ISO3200. 

There are a number of scene modes available, as well as an auto scene selection mode, where the camera will automatically select the best mode detected by the camera, making the camera easy to use. On the rear is a 2.7inch screen with a 230k dot resolution. The camera is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and has a compact and slim metal body that will easily fit into jeans pockets.

The camera records 720p videos with mono sound, and optical zoom is available while recording. 

Nikon Coolpix S3700 Blue (2)

Key Features

  • 20.1 megapixel CCD sensor
  • 8x optical zoom lens, equivalent to 25-200mm
  • Vibration Reduction (VR) optical image stabilisation
  • 2.7inch screen with 230k dots
  • Built in Wi-Fi connectivity
  • 720p video with optical zoom
  • ISO80 to ISO3200
  • 5cm macro focus
  • Backlight scene mode
  • Available in blue, red, black, silver, pink and blue line art

Nikon Coolpix S3700 Handling

Nikon Coolpix S3700 Blue (5)

The Nikon Coolpix S3700 is a compact camera with a metal body, and is available in a number of colours. The back of the camera is made out of plastic, and with little grip, the camera can feel quite slippery in your hand, so the use of the provided handstrap is highly recommended to avoid dropping the camera. The screen on the back is a 2.7inch model, with a low 230k dot resolution and viewing angles aren't particularly good. On top is the on/off button, along with the zoom control, shutter release button, and dedicated Wi-Fi button. The build quality is good, and the buttons on the back of the camera are a good size making the camera easy to use. The camera can be used in Scene (Auto), Scene, Effect, Smart portrait or Auto mode, with the scene auto mode automatically picking the best scene mode for the shot. The smart portrait mode has skin softening, foundation makeup, soft, vividness, brightness (exp), options as well as smile timer and self-collage options.

Nikon Coolpix S3700 Blue (6)

Menus – The S3700 uses Nikon’s tried and tested menu layout split into four main areas, with different sections for photo, video, playback and setup. It’s a simple system that’s easy to learn, especially as the camera limits the available menu options. 

Wi-Fi features - Built in Wi-Fi lets you connect the camera to your smartphone using the Nikon Wireless Mobile Utility available for iOS and Android devices. The app is quite basic, letting you remotely take photos, or view and transfer photos from the smartphone. Unfortunately you can't use the GPS features of your smartphone to tag photos, and options are quite limited. 

Nikon Coolpix S3700 Blue (1)

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 220 shots according to Nikon / CIPA test results, which is average for a compact class of camera, although extended use of Wi-Fi could drain the battery more quickly, and it could be worth getting a spare battery if you wanted to shoot more. 

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 0.25secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.4secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 2.5secs
Shot to Shot without Flash 1.6secs
Shot to Shot with Flash 4.7secs
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
1.6secs
Continuous Shooting - Flash N/A

 

The camera can appear somewhat slow at times, and the large 20.1 megapixel images don't help, as the camera takes time to write images to the memory card. The continuous shooting mode is not particularly quick. 

Nikon Coolpix S3700 Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. 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 S3700 Sample Photos

Sample Photos - Images taken in good light, and outdoors, show good colour with good levels of saturation, and exposure is generally reliable. Despite trying a number of different flash modes and shooting modes, we struggled to get a good portrait photo with the camera, due to most flash photos having an unflattering colour cast. Even using the dedicated portrait mode we were unable to get a good portrait photo with flash. 

Nikon Coolpix S3700 Lens test images

Lens Performance - Soft corners, noise in images, purple fringing, and vignetting, are some of the issues with photos taken with the camera, even when shooting in good light, and at the lowest ISO setting. If you are planning on resizing the images and sharing on social media websites, then this may not be as much of an issue, as colour and exposure are good, although it does make us wonder what purpose having a 20 megapixel sensor there is, when a lower resolution sensor would give better noise results. The macro mode is quite good, with the camera able to focus on subjects close to the front of the lens, albeit rather slowly. You can also use some optical zoom to get even closer and the camera helpfully shows the best zoom position on screen. 

Nikon Coolpix S3700 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Some noise is visible at ISO80, although detail is still good up to and including ISO200. At ISO400 as noise increases, detail drops, although images are still usable. Noise becomes strong at ISO800, and this setting and above are best avoided due to low levels of detail. The ISO3200 image is shot at a reduced resolution. 

Nikon Coolpix S3700 White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well under tungsten lighting, with the tungsten preset giving a good result. AWB performs well under fluorescent lights, with the fluorescent preset giving a magenta colour cast.

Panoramic | 1/200 sec | f/3.7 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80
Panoramic | 1/200 sec | f/3.7 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80

Panorama mode - The camera features a panoramic scene mode, where you press the shutter release button and move the camera from one side to the other, lining up the images as you go. Results are quite reasonable when you correctly line up the images correctly, but this may take a few goes to get it right. 

Nikon Coolpix S3700 Digital filters

Digital Filters - There are a number of digital filters available, with the mirror effect particuarly good and examples can be found above. 

Video - The Nikon Coolpix S3700 records video at 720p (1280x720), with mono sound, at 25fps. There are options for single or continuous AF, movie vibration reduction, and wind noise reduction. You can use the optical zoom while recording video, and quality is reasonable for the occassional video. 

Value For Money

The Nikon Coolpix S3700 is available for £99 which makes it quite good value for money, however, it's worth having a look at some of last years models, as these are often available for around the same price, and a number of them offer additional features including FullHD video recording:

Panasonic Lumix SZ8, 12x optical zoom, Wi-Fi, £80
Sony Cyber-shot WX220, 10x optical zoom, Wi-Fi, FullHD video recording, £109
Nikon Coolpix S5300, 8x optical zoom, Wi-Fi, FullHD video recording, £95
Canon IXUS 265 HS, 12x optical zoom lens, Wi-Fi, FullHD video recording, from £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 S3700 Verdict

The Nikon Coolpix S3700 has a 20.1 megapixel sensor, which is overkill. If you're simply going to be sharing your images to Facebook with the built in Wi-Fi, then a 16 or even 12 megapixel sensor would be much better, and would allow the camera to give lower noise images and quicker performance. The camera is capable of taking bright colourful images with good colour saturation, in good lighting conditions, which will be ideal for sharing to facebook, but for more discerning photographers, the slow focus speeds, image quality issues, as well as slow shot to shot times, and low dynamic range is likely to disappoint. Portraits were also problematic with poor colour when the flash was used, although outdoors in good light without flash, portraits were fine. 

Nikon Coolpix S3700 Pros

Available in a number of colours
Compact metal body
Optical image stabilisation (VR)
Built in Wi-Fi and NFC
8x optical zoom lens

Nikon Coolpix S3700 Cons

Slow continuous shooting
Poor image quality
Short battery life
Poor LCD screen
Basic Wi-Fi app
Noise in images

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

 

 

Nikon Coolpix S3700 Specifications

ManufacturerNikon
Lens
Max Aperturef/3.4 - f/6.4
35mm equivalent25mm - 200mm
Optical Zoom8x
Image Sensor
Pixels20Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)5152
Pixels (H)3864
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 dot
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing
Min Focus5cm
Focusing modes
  • Manual
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest4sec
Bulb modeNo
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Scene modes
  • A
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity80 - 3200
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Flash
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting1.1fps
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
Video FPS30p
Stereo SoundNo
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMINo
USBUSB 2
Wi-FiYes
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium Ion
Battery Life (CIPA rating)220shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsCamera Strap, Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL19 (with battery case), Charging AC Adapter EH-70P, USB Cable UC-E6, ViewNX 2 CD-ROM, Reference Manual (CD-ROM)
Dimensions
Weight129g
Width96.8mm
Height57.8mm
Depth20.5mm

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Photographs taken using the Nikon Coolpix S3700

A typical hotel in Thailand.Greenwich Park IRSt Pauls in InfraredWings ain't what they used to be.

Comments


franken Plus
16 4.7k 4 United Kingdom
16 Mar 2015 10:02AM
When will manufacturers learn that putting a 20.1 megapixel CCD sensor into compact cameras like this is a recipe for noisy and poor image quality.

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josa 6 25 Czech Republic
16 Mar 2015 6:12PM
This is a reason why people buy smart phones!Sad
sasan 5 36 England
17 Mar 2015 7:32AM
20 megapixels of what?
mikesavage 16 299 2 England
17 Mar 2015 5:01PM
I'm surprised that there's much of a market for this type of camera nowadays: smartphones are taking better pictures than ever, while compacts with larger sensors, & CSCs, seem to be dropping in price. The low-end zoom compact seems increasingly redundant.

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