Affinity Photo - professional photo editing with 50% off!

Nikon Coolpix S9900 Review

Reviewed: the Nikon Coolpix S9900 - the travel zoom camera with a 30x optical zoom lens, built in Wi-Fi, GPS and a tilting screen.


|  Nikon Coolpix S9900 in Compact Cameras
 Add Comment

Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Nikon Coolpix S9900 (3)

The Nikon Coolpix S9900 updates the S9700 and is a classicly styled camera designed to be the ideal travel camera, featuring a pocketable body, a 30x optical zoom lens, a vari-angle screen, fullHD video recording, built-in Wi-Fi, NFC, and GPS. The S9900 is available in black, or silver as shown here.

Nikon Coolpix S9900 Features

Nikon Coolpix S9900 (4)

The Nikon Coolpix S9900 features a 30x optical zoom lens with a 25-750mm equivalent range, along with a 16 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor. 5-axis Hybrid VR (Vibration Reduction) enables sharp photos, as well as fullHD video recording with image stabilisation. Pre-AF shortens the autofocus time and is designed to get crisp results even at full zoom or in low light.

Wi-Fi connectivity and NFC is built-in to the camera, and lets you connect to your smart device to use it as a remote control to achieve ideal self-portraits without getting your own arm in shot. Or you can use the smart device connection to upload and instantly share photos with family and friends via email or social media websites. GPS and GLONASS are built-in, and mean that detailed location information can be recorded on each photo. Your travel routes can be logged via the world map function so you’ll never forget where you took the photo.

Scene Auto Selector optimises camera settings, leaving you to focus on framing your photos. Alternatively you can set manual exposure modes (P/S/A/M) and scene modes using the mode dial. Nikon’s Smart Portrait System (with features including Smile Timer, Blink Proof and Red-Eye Fix) is designed to get perfect portraits and reviewing images is easy on the new vari-angle 3inch 921k dots OLED screen. A retouch menu, lets you add effects or applying Glamour Retouch. 

Nikon Coolpix S9900 (1)

Key Features

  • 16 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor
  • 30x optical zoom lens, equivalent to 25-750mm
  • Hybrid VR, optical and electronic image stabilisation
  • 3inch 921k dot OLED vari-angle screen
  • P/A/S/M Manual controls
  • FullHD video recording
  • ISO125 - ISO6400
  • Wi-Fi, NFC and GPS built in
  • 1cm macro mode
  • Easy panoramic mode
  • Time-lapse movies
  • Available in black, and silver

Nikon Coolpix S9900 Handling

Nikon Coolpix S9900 (6)

The S9900 feels well built with a metal body and stylish black grip touches to the rear and front of the camera. Build quality appears to be good with the camera featuring a metal tripod socket, although the location isn't ideal as it's close to the edge of the camera. 

The grip is improved on the S9900 compared to the S9700 and there is a rubber grip on the rear for your thumb. Although we would recommend using the provided wrist strap. On top of the camera is a new command wheel, along with the pop-up flash, on/off button, shutter release button surrounded by the zoom rocker, as well as the mode dial. The mode dial makes it easy to switch modes, and a large video record button on the back makes it easy to quickly start recording. Also on the back is the playback, Wi-Fi, scroll wheel / 4-way controller with middle OK button, menu and delete buttons. The 4-way controller gives access to the self-timer, flash, exposure and macro. 

The screen is a good resolution with 921k dots and is an OLED LCD screen, and the vari-angle screen means the screen is easy to see even outdoors in bright sunlight. 

Nikon Coolpix S9900 (8)

Menus – The menu system is easy to navigate and clearly laid out with clear easy to read text. The options are spread over several sections, including playback, setup, etc.

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. It would be good if there were additional options, as the app can feel quite limited.

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 300 shots according to Nikon / CIPA test results, which is quite good, although extended use of Wi-Fi and GPS is likely to drain the battery more quickly, therefore we would recommend a spare battery if you wish to shoot more, or use GPS and Wi-Fi regularly.

Nikon Coolpix S9900 2 1426255313

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 0.05s
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.125s
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.25s
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 1.7s
Shot to Shot without Flash 1.5s
Shot to Shot with Flash 2.3s
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
7.5fps (5 shots)


Focus and shutter response are both very quick, and the camera has a quick continuous shooting mode, shooting at 7.5fps for 5 shots. 

Nikon Coolpix S9900 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 S9900 Sample Photos

Sample Photos - Exposure is reliable and colours look very good from this camera, with bright saturated colours. Skin tones are good, and portrait photos taken with flash are free of red-eye. The 30x optical zoom range is good for taking photos of wildlife that could otherwise be frightened by getting too close to them.

Nikon Coolpix S9900 Lens test images

Lens Performance - Images have good colour and reliable exposure with reasonable levels of detail into the corners, whether shooting wide-angle or telephoto shots. Dynamic range is quite good, and can be extended by using the D-Lighting option or alternatively you can set the camera to take and combine the images using the backlight / HDR function. Levels of purple fringing and chromatic aberration are kept low, with just a little visible in the far corners of images, or in areas of high contrast. Macro performance is very good with the camera focusing on subjects just 1cm away from the front of the lens. The lens is quite resistant to flare, but some is visible when shooting with a bright light source in the frame, as shown above. Overall images are a little soft, and we would have liked to see more detail. 

Nikon Coolpix S9900 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - ISO125 shows low levels of noise, with ISO200 and ISO400 also showing fairly low levels of noise. Noise is still quite low at ISO800, however detail has dropped at this setting. Noise becomes more obvious at ISO1600, and detail drops again. ISO3200 shows additional noise, and detail drops further, however results may still provide usable if sharing on the web or resizing images. ISO6400 shows the highest level of noise, and this setting is best avoided. 

Nikon Coolpix S9900 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 slight magenta colour cast. 

Panoramic | 1/1250 sec | f/3.7 | 5.2 mm | ISO 125
Panoramic | 1/1250 sec | f/3.7 | 5.2 mm | ISO 125

Panorama mode - 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 S9900 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 - 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 S9900 is available for £279 which makes it slightly more expensive than most of the competition, although the price is likely to drop over time. Alternatives to look at include the following cameras: 

Canon Powershot SX710 HS, 30x optical zoom, Wi-Fi, NFC, £269, or the previous SX700
Sony Cyber-shot HX60, 30x optical zoom, Wi-Fi, NFC, £199, or the HX60V with GPS
Panasonic Lumix TZ70, 30x optical zoom, Wi-Fi, EVF, £330, or the previous TZ60 (with GPS)
Olympus Stylus SH-2, 24x optical zoom, £249

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 S9900 Verdict

The Nikon Coolpix S9900 is the only travel zoom camera available with a vari-angle screen, and one of very few to offer both Wi-Fi and GPS built-in, with the only other cameras being the TZ70 and HX60V. The S9900 has grown in size, due to the vari-angle screen, however the camera now has better handling with an improved front and rear handgrip, which is useful with the long 30x optical zoom lens. High speed shooting is included (although for only 5 shots), and the camera features manual controls as well as fullHD video recording. The Nikon Coolpix S9900 is available for a reasonable price, being priced slightly higher than some of the competition, and is available in a number of colours, including black and silver. Like the S9700, images don't show as much detail as we would have liked to see, but colour and exposure are both good which should make the camera ideal for sharing images on social media websites such as Facebook. 


 
 
  The Nikon Coolpix S9900 offers an improved designed along with features that make it an ideal travel camera, including built-in Wi-Fi and GPS.
   

Nikon Coolpix S9900 Pros

30x optical zoom lens
2 year warranty
Good colour reproduction
Wi-Fi and GPS built in
Full manual controls
Good value for money
Good 3inch screen
1cm macro mode

Nikon Coolpix S9900 Cons

Soft images - detail could be better
Low resolution panoramic photos
Tripod position could be better
The addition of a vari-angle screen has added to the size and weight of the camera
Basic Wi-Fi app - needs improvement

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

 

 

Nikon Coolpix S9900 Specifications

ManufacturerNikon
Lens
Max Aperturef/3.7 - f/6.4
35mm equivalent25mm - 750mm
Optical Zoom30x
Image Sensor
Pixels16Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeBack-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
Sensor Size1/2.3inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution921k
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing
Min Focus1cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • AF Tracking
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest8sec
Bulb modeNo Data
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • Program Variable
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity125 - 6400
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shootingNo Data
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
Video FPSNo Data
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMIYes
USBUSB 2
Wi-FiYes
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeRechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12
Battery Life (CIPA rating)300shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsRechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12, Charging AC Adapter EH-71P4, USB Cable UC-E21, Camera Strap
Dimensions
Weight289g
Width112mm
Height66mm
Depth39.5mm

View Full Product Details

 

 

Support this site by shopping with one of our affiliates: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon CA, ebay UK, Save 10% with Eversure Insurance.
*It doesn't cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.

Used Photography Gear

Cameraworld The offers are provided by the Cameraworld & ePHOTOzine Partnership, see more fantastic Used Photography Gear.

Photographs taken using the Nikon Coolpix S9900

One small leap for mankindSwanHurricane Ant Shadows 1Royal Enfield at the TREVISOchandalierFlowering Cordyline StrictaSunfower Light & Shade 1It's That Time of the Year !!Creatures of the Sea 1Pelicans of MallacootaHotwired !!Anzac Day in Eaglehawk 2018Misty Sunrise on the FleetMorning Vigil

Other articles you might find interesting...

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII Review
Canon Powershot G7 X Mark III Full Review
Leica V-Lux 5 Full Review
Canon Powershot G5 X II Review
Super-Rare Leica M3 Double-Stroke Camera To Be Auctioned In November
Kodak Announce WPZ2 Rugged Waterproof Camera
Canon Powershot G5 X Vs G5 X Mark II Comparison
AGFA Photo Launch Realipix Instant Cameras & Printers In Europe

Comments


SirV 3
22 Jan 2016 12:52PM
You state at the end of this review an alternative is a TZ70 and it has GPS. The TZ70 does not have GPS.

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

joshwa Plus
9 905 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2016 9:11AM
This has been updated, thanks Josh

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.