The Nikon Coolpix S800c was announced in August 2012, it is a digital camera with a 16 megapixel sensor and 10x optical zoom, powered by Android. It is available in black or white for £375.00.
Nikon Coolpix S800c Features
The S800c has a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor and 10x optical zoom lens, a 35mm equivalent of 25-250mm. To help take the sharpest pictures possible there is lens-shift vibration reduction, counteracting the effect of camera shake. You can also use a high ISO, up to 3200, to take sharp pictures in low light with motion detection compensating for camera and subject movement.
The most exciting feature on the S800c is that it is powered by Android, this means you can download apps from Google Play, taking advantage of photo apps, social media apps and games. You can also browse the web and check your email when connected to a Wi-Fi network. There is 1.7Gb of internal memory for pictures and movies, with 680Mb for any downloaded apps. If you need more space, the camera is compatible with SD and SDHC memory cards up to 32Gb.
As well as Easy Auto mode there are a number of scene modes including Backlighting HDR and 360°/180° panorama. The S800c can also record at 8.1 fps. Images can be geotagged using the built-in GPS.
Videos are recorded at full 1080p HD with stereo sound and optical zoom available. You can also record high-speed videos at up to 240 fps.
16 megapixel CMOS sensor
10x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 25-250mm)
Lens-shift vibration reduction
3.5 inch OLED 819k dot touch screen
GPS and Wi-Fi
Full 1080p HD video recording
10cm minimum focusing distance
Easy Panorama 360°/180°
8.1 fps continuous shooting
1.7Gb of built in storage
Available in black or white
Nikon Coolpix S800c Handling
The camera isn't as slim as Nikon's other compact zoom cameras such as the S6400, but it is still pocketable. For anyone used to a modern touch screen mobile, particularly the Android operating system, the camera will be extremely intuitive to use. Although one reservation we had was that the shutter release button doesn't automatically take you to the camera, the current app that you are in has to be shutter button aware for this to work.
There is an iOS app (Connect to S800c) which allows you to send pictures to your iPhone, iPad or iPod when you don't have Wi-Fi available. The camera creates a Wi-Fi network, which your iOS device connects to. You follow the instructions on both screens, then you can see your picture on the iOS device. They can then be downloaded, even at full resolution.
The body is solid and made from metal, but there are no rubberised areas to help grip. The 3.5 inch OLED touch screen fills the rear of the camera, it looks very modern and there are very few buttons. There are menu, return and home buttons on the back, with on/off switch, shutter release and zoom rocker on the top.
The battery has a CIPA rating of 140 shots, it was difficult to determine whether it can manage this as using the non-camera functions all add up to a large amount of battery usage. Using the GPS will also run down the battery. It's advisable to recharge the battery on a daily basis.
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 Shooting H
6.7 fps (3 shots)
Continuous Shooting L
Continuous Shooting H: 120 fps
Continuous Shooting H: 60 fps
When switching the camera on, you can take a picture very quickly, but it does take quite a few seconds for you to be able to access the menu system. The menu system is easy to navigate and well laid out. Continuous Shooting H & L both record at full 16 megapixel resolution, with the 120 and 60 fps modes restricted to VGA and 1 megapixel.
Nikon Coolpix S800c 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 S800c Sample Photos
Sample Photos - Images have excellent colour reproduction and are generally well exposed. Portraits have excellent skin tones, with only the slightest hint of red-eye when using the flash. When shooting in Easy Auto Mode we found that it didn't always use the flash automatically, leaving some shots in low light blurry.
Nikon COOLPIX S800c Lens test images
Lens Performance - Detail is decent enough at both ends of the lens, although much softer in the corners. There is a good control over purple fringing, with a little in contrasting areas. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 10cm, which makes it difficult to get close for a well detailed macro shot.
Nikon COOLPIX S800c ISO test images
ISO Noise Performance - Noise is kept low at ISO 125, 200 and 400, with a slight softening appearing at ISO 800. Changing up to ISO 1600 sees a significant drop in image quality, with images becoming very soft, although detail is still pretty good. Further detail is lost at ISO 3200, but overall image quality isn't too bad at this setting, for a compact camera.
Nikon COOLPIX S800c White-balance test images
White Balance Performance - Whether you use AWB or the incandescent preset, images are fine under the incandescent lights. The AWB setting also performs well under our fluorescent lights, with the fluorescent preset giving a slight cast.
Panorama | 1/1250 sec | f/3.3 | 5.2 mm | ISO 125
Panorama mode - Panoramas are really well stitched together, but don't have a particularly high resolution, but detail is OK, fine for sharing on the web, rather than large prints.
Black And White Copy | 1/60 sec | f/3.8 | 7.7 mm | ISO 125
Low Light | 1 sec | f/4.7 | 17.5 mm | ISO 125
Drive | 1/250 sec | f/6.4 | 4.5 mm | ISO 180
Landscape With Building | 1/1600 sec | f/3.3 | 5.2 mm | ISO 125
There is a black and white copy mode to take pictures of documents. The second picture above has been taken in our studio with our lights turned down as low as they will go. The last two pictures show good colour reproduction in beautiful weather.
Nikon COOLPIX S800c Digital filters
Digital Filters - There are a number of Special Effects available to add creativity to your shooting. They are available to use on their own, rather than combined with other scene modes. Of course you can download photo editing apps such as Instagram to edit your pictures. There are also some filter effects, such as miniature and fisheye available in playback.
Video - Below is a video recorded at full 1080p HD with stereo sound. Quality is good, with stabilisation making it possible to take a steady video. Focusing struggled a little when using optical zoom during video recording, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube page.
Value For Money
The Nikon Coolpix S800c is available for £375.00. The only other digital camera powered by android is the Samsung Galaxy Camera, which will be available for £399.99. It has a 21x optical zoom lens, 16 megapixel sensor, 1280×720 4.8 inch HD Super Clear LCD screen, Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity.
A camera running Android sounds like a great idea and the S800c gives a good account of how useful it can be. It's going to appeal to many that a camera with decent image quality will also allow you to share directly to your favourite social networking sites quickly and easily. You can also use a number of apps to edit your pictures other than the options available in camera.
This is a first attempt by Nikon and there are a few niggles which we feel will need ironing out. Firstly, the lack of 3G does limit the possibilities to use the internet, meaning you'll need to be at home or on a public Wi-Fi network to really make the best use of Android. Also, the version of Android is 2.3.3, version 4 is now available, making the S800c feel a little out-of-date already.
Add this in with its hefty price tag and poor battery life, there are too many negatives to be able to recommend the S800c. But, this said, it's an exciting prospect and it's great that Nikon have made this step forward and we'll look forward to seeing how it progresses in the near future.
Nikon Coolpix S800c Pros
Android OS makes the S800c much more than just a camera
Large, easy-to-use touch screen
Decent image quality with good colour reproduction
GPS & Wi-Fi
Good amount of optical zoom
Can connect to an iOS device via Wi-Fi
Nikon Coolpix S800c Cons
Runs an old version of Android (v4 is now available)
Would be much better if it had 3G connectivity
Poor battery life
10cm minimum focusing distance means you can't get really close for macro shots
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