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Nikon Coolpix S8200 Digital Compact Camera Review

Daniel Bell takes a look at Nikon's Coolpix S8200 digital camera.

| Nikon Coolpix S8200 in Compact Cameras
BUY NOW NIKON Coolpix S8200

Nikon Coolpix S8200 Digital Compact Camera Review: Nikon Coolpix S8200 Lens Extended With Flash
Nikon Coolpix S8200 Lens Extended With Flash

The Coolpix S8200 is a compact super-zoom digital camera, released by Nikon in August 2011, following the Nikon Coolpix S8100. With more zoom, it comes in four colours; black, red, silver and white with an RRP of £279.99.

Nikon Coolpix S8200 Digital Compact Camera Review: Nikon Coolpix S8200 Front
Nikon Coolpix S8200 Front

Nikon Coolpix S8200 Features

The S8200 has a back illuminated CMOS censor, designed to improve sensitivity and reduce noise for superb performance in any light. The camera has a 14x optical zoom lens with ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass as well as aspherical lens and HRI (High Refractive Index), offering a 35mm equivalent of 25 - 350 mm.

To help take blur free images there is Lens-shift VR (Vibration Reduction), High ISO up to 3200 and Best Shot Selector (BSS) which automatically selects the sharpest of up to 10 sequential shots. There are also some dedicated light modes to take images in low light even without a tripod including Backlight scene mode with Auto HDR, Night Portrait and Night Landscape.

There are 18 scene modes as well as Scene Auto Selector. Other features include high speed shooting (up to 6 fps), Easy Panorama 360°/180°, special effects and filters and smart portrait system with Smile Timer, Skin Softening and in-camera red-eye fix.

Movie recording is in full 1080p HD with stereo sound, optical zoom and autofocus available. You can also take a picture while filming. Other movie options include recording speeds from 15 to 120 fps (VGA). There is also a built-in HDMI connector with HDMI-CEC support for output to an HDTV.

Nikon Coolpix S8200 Digital Compact Camera Review: Nikon Coolpix S8200 Top
Nikon Coolpix S8200 Top

Key Features

  • 14x optical zoom (35mm equiv: 25 - 350mm)
  • Back illuminated 16 megapixel CMOS image sensor
  • Lens-shift VR (Vibration Reduction)
  • ISO 80 - 3200
  • Best Shot Selector (BSS)
  • Backlight scene mode with Auto HDR
  • Night Portrait
  • Night Landscape
  • 3 inch LCD monitor with Nikon’s Clear Colour Display technology
  • Full HD (1080p) movie recording with stereo sound and optical zoom
  • High speed continuous shooting at 6 fps
  • Quick response
  • Easy Panorama 360°/180°
  • Special effects
  • Smart portrait system
  • Smile Timer
  • Blink Proof
  • 18 scene modes
  • Scene Auto Selector
Nikon Coolpix S8200 Digital Compact Camera Review: Nikon Coolpix S8200 Rear
Nikon Coolpix S8200 Rear

Nikon Coolpix S8200 Handling

The S8200 is made of plastic on the rear with a rubber feel to the front of the camera, making it easier to grip, with a plastic strip on the front for even more grip. Although quite heavy for a compact, the camera is easily small enough to carry in your pocket. The tripod socket is made from metal and is placed towards the centre of the bottom of the camera.

As well as some buttons you'd expect to find on a compact camera there is a mode dial on the top. The D-pad on the rear rotates in order to be able to quickly cycle through the menu. The rest of the buttons on the camera are well spaced out and easy to press.

On the rear of the camera is a 3 inch LCD screen, with 921,000 pixels and Nikon’s Clear Color Display technology which minimizes reflections, even in bright sunlight. The camera's flash pops up when required and automatically goes back down when you switch the camera off.

The battery life has a CIPA rating of 250 shots which is good and there was no reason during testing to suggest the battery won't achieve this number of shots regularly. The camera is ready to take pictures within a couple of seconds of switching on and focusing speed is good, although a little slow in low light conditions. Nikon say the camera is capable of producing full sized images at 6 fps in continuous shooting, although during testing it managed a maximum of 4.4 fps. The camera can also shoot VGA sized images at 120 and 60 fps.
Nikon Coolpix S8200 Digital Compact Camera Review: Nikon Coolpix S8200 Battery
Nikon Coolpix S8200 Battery

Nikon Coolpix S8200 Performance

Images produced by the S8200 are generally well exposed with excellent colour reproduction. Detail is good throughout whether shooting wide or with the full optical zoom, although the camera is prone to purple fringing. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of just 1cm which allows you to get really close and take superb macro images.

Nikon Coolpix S8200 Lens test images

There is little noise to be seen at ISO 100, with only a small amount appearing at ISO 200. At ISO 400 there is enough noise to reduce sharpness but it only really effects image quality at ISO 800. Images at ISO 1600 and ISO 3200 do have a substantial amount of noise, meaning the images are soft but colour quality isn't significantly effected.

Nikon Coolpix S8200 ISO test images

From the images below it is clear to see that landscape mode produces images with rich greens and blues especially on bright, clear days. Portrait shots have excellent skin tones with just a touch of red-eye evident.

Nikon Coolpix S8200 Scene modes

Auto white-balance (AWB) performs really well under our studio lighting, with similar images produced using the AWB and incandescent presets under the incandescent lights. Under the fluorescent lights the fluorescent preset produces and image with a magenta cast, with the AWB preset producing good results.

Nikon Coolpix S8200 White-balance test images

Below are example images taken with the creative filters available including soft, nostalgic sepia, high-contrast monochrome, high key, low key and selective colour.

Nikon Coolpix S8200 Digital filters

Video Mode

Below is a video shot at full 1080p HD. Video recording has stereo sound and allows the use of optical zoom, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube page. Other features when recording videos are HS 120 fps VGA (640 x 480), HS 60 fps (720p HD) and HS 15 fps (1080p HD) videos.

Value For Money

The Nikon Coolpix S8200 is available for £219.00. Other cameras with a similar amount of zoom are the Canon PowerShot SX130 IS (12.1 megapixels) priced at £144.99, Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ8 (12.1 megapixels) at £164.00, Canon PowerShot SX150 IS (14.1 megapixels) at £199.00, Canon IXUS 1100 HS (12.1 megapixels) at £349.99 all with 12x and the Canon PowerShot SX220 HS (12.1 megapixels) at £199.95 with 14x optical zoom.

Nikon Coolpix S8200 Verdict

The Coolpix S8200 is a premium Nikon compact camera with a premium price but offers a substantial set of features with excellent handling and image quality to match. Nikon have made the camera small and easy to grip while offering a large 14x optical zoom lens. There are some minor negatives such as occasional purple fringing and the amount of noise at the higher end of the ISO range.

It would be great to see the addition of manual controls but with full HD video recording and other features mentioned already the Nikon Coolpix S8200 is easy to highly recommend.

Nikon Coolpix S8200 Digital Compact Camera Review:
The Nikon Coolpix S8200 has an excellent set of features, handles well and has the image quality to match.

Nikon Coolpix S8200 Pros

Excellent colour reproduction
Rubber front makes camera easy to grip
14x optical zoom packed into a compact body
2 year warranty
Bright, clear LCD screen
Full HD video recording with stereo sound and optical zoom
Minimum focusing distance of just 1cm

Nikon Coolpix S8200 Cons

No manual controls
Occasional purple fringing
Lots of noise at higher ISO settings


Nikon Coolpix S8200 Specifications

Max Aperturef/3.3 - f/5.9
35mm equivalent25mm - 350mm
Optical Zoom14x
Image Sensor
Pixels16.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor Size1/2.3 inch
Sensor Size (width)6.16mm
Sensor Size (height)4.62mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution921k-dot
Touch ScreenNo
Min Focus1cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest4sec
Shutter speeds longest1/4000sec
Bulb modeNo
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Scene modes
  • Centre-weighted - Average
ISO sensitivity100 - 3200
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Flash
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting6fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPS30fps
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeEN-EL12
Battery Life (CIPA rating)250shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsCamera Strap AN-CP19, Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12, Charging AC Adapter EH-69P, UC-E6, EG-CP16, ViewNX 2 CD-ROM

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Photographs taken using the Nikon Coolpix S8200

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RV Avatar
RV 12 1
8 Nov 2011 10:56PM
No manual controls = No buy.
Colin Smale Avatar
Colin Smale 20 580 1 England
14 Nov 2011 10:22AM
I hope that brash label peels off under the Nikon name, looks real tacky.

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