The compact Nikon Coolpix S9600 features Wi-Fi, a wide-angle 22x optical zoom lens, full HD video and is designed to be an easy to use and pocketable travel zoom camera. The S9600 is available in black, red and white.
Nikon Coolpix S9600 Features
The Nikon Coolpix S9600 features a 16 megapixel backlit CMOS image sensor designed for low light conditions. Built-in Wi-Fi lets you transfer photos easily to a smart device to share them instantly on social networks or via email. Alternatively, use it to turn your smart device into a remote control.
Hybrid VR (vibration reduction) combines Lens Shift and Electronic VR for highly effective countering of camera shake, reducing blur and creating sharper images, even when shooting a movie while walking, or when shooting stills images. The 3inch screen features an anti-reflection coating for clear visibility in bright sunlight.
Pause and record the action as a still image while shooting movies in crisp Full HD with the advanced movie function mode. Meanwhile, face priority identifies your subject automatically, resulting in clear and accurate focus. The camera features Advanced Glamour Retouch, where you can whiten teeth, brighten eyes or even add make-up.
Easy Panorama and High Speed continuous shooting offer a great range of shooting variations and the Smart Portrait System ensures your pictures feature the best smiles, and are free from red eye.
16 megapixel Back illuminated CMOS image sensor
22x optical zoom, equivalent to 25-550mm
Combination of lens-shift and electronic VR (Vibration Reduction)
Scene auto selector, Pre AF
Full HD 1080/60i movie recording with 5-Axis Hybrid VR
Advanced Glamour retouch, Quick effects and Special effects
Red-eye correction for people and pets
High-speed battery charging with ability to shoot while charging
1cm Macro shooting
Record pause function
Save still images during movie recording
Consecutive shot combining tech (Night landscape, Night portrait, Backlight, Easy panorama)
Available in black, white and red
Nikon Coolpix S9600 Handling
The S9600 has a compact and lightweight body, considering it has a long lens, and Wi-Fi, as these features tend to add considerable weight to a camera. It has a metal body, a groove on the front to aid grip and a dotted section on the rear where your thumb sits.
To select your desired shooting mode there is a mode dial on the top, this sits alongside the shutter release, zoom rocker and on / off switch. Buttons on the rear include movie record, playback, menu and delete. There is also a rotating wheel which can also be pressed to give access to the self-timer, flash, exposure compensation and macro mode.
Also on the rear is the 3 inch screen, which has a reasonable resolution of 460k dots and is bright and clear. The menu system is easy to navigate and clearly laid out.
To make use of the Wi-Fi you need to download the Wireless Mobile Utility app to your smartphone or tablet (iOS or Android). This allows you to use your mobile device to download pictures from the camera to edit and share them. You can also use it as a remote release. A preview appears on your mobile device, you can control the zoom or set a timer. Other information appears on the screen, such as shutter speed, aperture, number of shots left and battery life.
- Battery life is rated at 290 shots according to Nikon / CIPA test results, which is reasonably good, although we would recommend a spare battery if you plan on shooting more. Charging is via a MicroUSB cable and AC adapter.
- 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.
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 - JPEG
(shots before stopping)
8.8fps (5 shots)
Focus and shutter response is very quick with the camera offering a very quick continuous shooting mode, shooting at 8.8fps for 5 shots.
Nikon Coolpix S9600 Performance
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Nikon Coolpix S9600 Sample Photos
- Photos taken with flash have little to no red-eye and good skin tones. Colour and exposure are both very good with the camera delivering pleasing results, although fine detail is lacking in shots, particularly in areas with lots of grass or leaves.
Nikon Coolpix S9600 Lens test images
- There is slight vignetting and corner softness when shooting wide-angle shots. The camera has good macro performance, with the camera focusing on subjects just 1cm away from the front of the lens. Purple fringing and chromatic aberrations are well controlled, with some appearing at the very far edges and corners of the frame. Dynamic range is quite good, and the camera can help expand this by using either D-Lighting, or the backlit / HDR mode.
Nikon Coolpix S9600 ISO test images
ISO Noise Performance
- ISO125, ISO200 and ISO400 show relatively low levels of noise, and reasonable levels of detail. ISO800 shows little increase in noise, but a noticeable decrease in the level of detail recorded. ISO1600 shows a slight increase in noise, but a further decrease in detail, although results may still be usable for sharing on the web. ISO3200 shows more noise and less detail, although, again results may still be usable. ISO6400 shows the highest level of noise and is best avoided.
Nikon Coolpix S9600 White-balance test images
White Balance Performance
- Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well under tungsten light with a slightly warm result. The tungsten preset gives a more accurate result, and AWB performs well under fluorescent lighting. The fluorescent preset gives a magenta/orange colour cast.
Panoramic | 1/400 sec | f/7.2 | 5.1 mm | ISO 125
- The camera features an automatic panoramic mode, where you simply press the shutter release button and pan the camera from one side to the other. Results are reasonably good, and well stitched together, although the resolution is low.
Nikon Coolpix S9600 Digital filters
Digital Filters -
There are a large number of different effects available from the "Effects" option on the mode dial, with examples shown above. The effects are available in playback editing as well.
- Video quality is good with the camera recording full HD video at 30 or 25fps, with stereo sound and optical zoom. Some wind noise is picked up by the camera, as well as lens noise when using the optical zoom.
Value For Money
The Nikon Coolpix S9600 is available for £199 which makes it quite good value for money, offering slightly more optical zoom than most of the competition in this price range. The following cameras are its nearest competition:
Canon Powershot SX600 HS
, 18x optical zoom, Wi-Fi, NFC, £173
Sony Cyber-shot WX350
, 20x optical zoom, Wi-Fi, NFC, £199
Canon Powershot SX280 HS
, 20x optical zoom, GPS, Wi-Fi, £179
Panasonic Lumix TZ55
, 20x optical zoom, Wi-Fi, £199
Olympus Stylus SH-50
, 24x optical zoom, £180
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 S9600 Verdict
The Nikon Coolpix S9600 offers a 22x optical zoom lens, a 3inch screen and built-in Wi-Fi for sharing images with your smartphone. The camera has a stylish metal body, with high speed continuous shooting and an impressive 1cm macro mode. While images aren't as detailed as we would have liked to see and do suffer from some corner softness, we think this camera would make a useful pocket camera, particularly if you want to share your images via your smartphone. The camera also offers quite good value for money and is available in a number of colours.
The Nikon Coolpix S9600 offers a 22x optical zoom lens and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity making it great for sharing images to social network sites.
Nikon Coolpix S9600 Pros
22x optical zoom lens
2 year warranty
8.8fps continuous shooting
1cm macro mode
Nikon Coolpix S9600 Cons
Awkward tripod socket position
Soft images, more detail expected
VALUE FOR MONEY
Nikon Coolpix S9600 Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/3.4 - f/6.3|
|35mm equivalent||25mm - 550mm|
|Sensor Size (width)||No Data|
|Sensor Size (height)||No Data|
- Face Detection
- AF Tracking
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/4000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||4sec|
- Centre-weighted - Average
- Multi Pattern
|ISO sensitivity||125 - 6400|
|Video FPS||30p, 25p|
|Stereo Sound||No Data|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Battery Type||One Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12|
|Box Contents||Camera Strap, Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12, Charging AC Adapter EH-71P, USB Cable UC-E21|
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