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Nikon Coolpix S6800 Review

Daniel Bell reviews the Nikon Coolpix S6800, a compact camera with a 16 megapixel sensor, 12x optical zoom and built-in Wi-Fi.

| Nikon Coolpix S6800 in Compact Cameras
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Nikon Coolpix S6800 Review: Nikon Coolpix S6800 Red (2)

The Nikon Coolpix S6800 was announced in January 2014 and is a Wi-Fi enabled compact camera which also features a 16 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor and a 12x optical zoom lens. It is available in either red, black, white or pink and costs around £172.

Nikon Coolpix S6800 Review: Nikon Coolpix S6800 Red (3)

Nikon Coolpix S6800 Features

The Nikon Coolpix S6800 has a 16.0 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor and a 12x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 25-300mm. There is hybrid image stabilisation, combining Lens Shift VR and Electronic VR, to help reduce blur and camera shake, the lens has a minimum focusing distance of just 2cm for macro shots and the S6800 can shoot full resolution images at 8.4 fps for up to 7 shots.
The S6800 has an auto mode which adjusts the settings automatically for the detected scene, with the camera choosing from 18 scenes. There is the Smart Portrait System which includes Smile Timer, Blink Proof alerting and Red-Eye Fix. After shooting your portraits they can be enhanced using Advanced Glamour Retouch, which includes 12 retouch effects such as add make-up and hide eye-bags. You can also edit your images via the Retouch menu with 32 quick effects, which includes Selective Colour. The Easy Panorama mode shoots 360° and 180° panoramas by simply panning the camera.
The S6800 has built-in Wi-Fi allowing you to use a smartphone or tablet as a remote control or so you can edit and share your images. You can also use the GPS from your mobile device to geotag images. Images can be edited via playback using the retouch menu where there are a number of effects such as soft portrait and photo illustration.
Videos are recorded in full 1080p HD with stereo sound and optical zoom available.

Nikon Coolpix S6800 Review: Nikon Coolpix S6800 Red (5)

Key Features

  • 16 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor
  • 12x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 25-300mm)
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • 3.0 inch 460k dot LCD screen
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Full 1080p HD video recording
  • ISO 125-6400
  • 2cm minimum focusing distance
  • Easy panorama mode
  • 8.4 fps continuous shooting
  • Available in red, black, white or pink
Nikon Coolpix S6800 Review: Nikon Coolpix S6800 Red (6)

Nikon Coolpix S6800 Handling

The Nikon Coolpix S6800 has a compact, pocketable body with a metal front. To aid grip there is a number of dots on the rear where your right hand thumb sits. On top of the camera is the on / off button, alongside the zoom rocker and shutter release. On the rear are movie record, mode, playback, menu and delete buttons as well as a d-pad for cycling through the menus. The d-pad also gives quick access to the flash, exposure compensation, macro and self-timer.

Also on the rear is the 3.0 inch screen which has a decent 460k dot resolution, but does have an anti-reflective coating, making it easy to see even in bright sunlight. The menu system is simple and easy to navigate. Each time you take a shot you are given the option to add a quick filter, although this can be turned off if you prefer.

Connecting to the Wi-Fi is easy. There is a Wi-Fi section within the menu, the first option is to connect to a smart device. Hit this and connect to the Wi-Fi using your smartphone or tablet - you then need to open the Nikon Wireless Mobile Utility app. You can then either take or view photos.

Nikon Coolpix S6800 Review: Nikon Coolpix S6800 App Screenshot 1 Nikon Coolpix S6800 Review: Nikon Coolpix S6800 App Screenshot 2 Nikon Coolpix S6800 Review: Nikon Coolpix S6800 App Screenshot 4

Battery life is rated at 170 shots according to Nikon / CIPA standards, which is poor, even for a compact camera. 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   0.09 secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response   0.45 secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response   0.75 secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   1.4 secs
Shot to Shot without Flash   1.8 secs
Shot to Shot with Flash   3.6 secs
Continuous Shooting H   8.2 fps
Continuous Shooting L   1.5 fps
Continuous Shooting H: 120 fps   122.5 fps
Continuous Shooting H: 60 fps   55.4 fps

The continuous H & L modes both record in full 16 megapixel resolution, whereas the 120 fps and 60 fps modes record VGA and 1 megapixel images respectively.

Nikon Coolpix S6800 Review: Nikon Coolpix S6800 Red (8)

Nikon Coolpix S6800 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 S6800 Sample Photos

Sample Photos - The Nikon Coolpix S6800 takes pictures that are well exposed with good colour reproduction, although performance in low light is a little disappointing. Portraits have good, soft skin tones which are free of red-eye when using the flash.

Nikon Coolpix S6800 Lens test images

Lens Performance - Images have a decent amount of detail when shooting wide, but there is a noticeable reduction in image quality when fully zoomed in. There is a little purple fringing, but it is kept very low. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of just 2cm which allows for a good macro shot.

Nikon Coolpix S6800 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Images are noise free at ISO 125 and 200. Although there is a little appearing at ISO 400 and 800, the images remain sharp with plenty of detail. The camera is working hard at ISO 1600 to maintain sharpness and does a reasonable job, although there is clearly softness in places. Quite a lot of detail is missing at ISO 3200, with poor image quality at ISO 6400.

Nikon Coolpix S6800 White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Under the incandescent lights, the Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well, although there is a slight colour cast. Better results are achieved using the incandescent preset. The AWB performs well when shooting under the fluorescent lights, the fluorescent preset takes a picture with a strong magenta cast.

Nikon Coolpix S6800 Review: Panorama 180 | 1/1600 sec | f/3.5 | 5.0 mm | ISO 125
Panorama 180 | 1/1600 sec | f/3.5 | 5.0 mm | ISO 125

Nikon Coolpix S6800 Review: Panorama 360 | 1/2500 sec | f/3.5 | 5.0 mm | ISO 125
Panorama 360 | 1/2500 sec | f/3.5 | 5.0 mm | ISO 125

Panorama mode - Panoramas have a reasonable amount of detail - they are also well exposed with a constant exposure throughout. 360° panoramas tended to finish too early, leaving a black block on one end, although this can be easily cropped out.

Nikon Coolpix S6800 Digital filters

Digital Filters - There are a number of colour modes and even more filters to choose from to make your picture taking unique - we've included a number of examples above.

Video - Below is a video recorded in full 1080p HD - quality is good and the focusing is quick to react when zooming.

Value For Money

The Nikon Coolpix S6800 is available for around £172. Other cameras with the same amount of optical zoom include the Fujifilm FinePix T500 (without Wi-Fi) at £75, Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ8 at £139, Canon IXUS 265 HS at £159, and Samsung WB50F at £179. With a little more zoom is the Ricoh HZ15, which is available for £88, although lacks Wi-Fi.

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 S6800 Verdict

The Nikon Coolpix S6800 has plenty of useful features for what looks like a fairly standard, point-and-shoot camera. It has a decent zoom range, optical image stabilisation, fast continuous shooting and built-in Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi makes it easy for you to transfer images to a smartphone or tablet for editing and sharing - you can also use your mobile device for remote shooting.

You'll have to be careful with the battery though - it has a CIPA rating of just 170 shots and using the Wi-Fi will see the battery run down even quicker - we'd recommend carrying a spare if you intend using the camera frequently between charges. Image quality suffers when zooming in, but for users who are making full use of the Wi-Fi to share images on the web, you'll not even notice, but if you are looking for large prints, it may present an issue.


Nikon Coolpix S6800 Pros

Images have good colour reproduction
Full HD video recording
Fast continuous shooting speed at full resolution
12x optical zoom lens
Built-in Wi-Fi
Compact body

Nikon Coolpix S6800 Cons

Image quality reduces when zooming in
360 panoramas quite often finish too early
Poor battery life


Nikon Coolpix S6800 Specifications

Max Aperturef/3.1 - f/6.5
35mm equivalent25mm - 300mm
Optical Zoom12x
Image Sensor
Pixels16Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeBack-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
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 resolution460,000 dots
Touch ScreenNo
Min Focus8cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest4sec
Bulb modeNo Data
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Scene modes
  • A
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Spot
  • M
ISO sensitivity125 - 3200
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting8.4fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
Video FPS30
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeRechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL19
Battery Life (CIPA rating)170shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsCamera Strap, Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL19, Charging AC Adapter EH-71P, USB Cable UC-E21

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Photographs taken using the Nikon Coolpix S6800

Walk in the woodsLeafy reflectionsChessie

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