Great Pictures / Firmware needs Update for Video
This camera does take great images that are sharp and vibrant in color. The pictures that I took outdoors on a cloudy day were very sharp and bright (as if it were a sunny day). Indoor shots were great too. I have noticed that on indoor flash shots if you are close to the subject that the flash can be a bit too powerful; however, there are white balance and exposure controls that you can manually change that can tweak that if you need too. The zoom is really good too and the camera has a robust feel and look to it. My only issue (which I have contacted customer support about and they said they would pass this on to their development department for a firmware update) is playing back the video on Windows XP. The videos will freeze at times on play choppy on Windows XP. They will play just fine on Windows 7. This is obviously a software compatibility issue that they need to address in their firmware (and I believe that they will). Since it says on the box under "System Requirements" that it will work with Windows XP Home or Professional, Vista, and Windows 7, Nikon needs to ensure that their product meets up to the advertising; again I think they will take care of this with a future firmware update. I would have given 5 stars if I hadn't had the video freezes in Windows XP. If you experience this too, I would encourage you to document it in the form of a question to Nikon to help expedite the firmware update release. I hope it will be soon. In the mean time, I would still highly recommend this camera for the beautiful images that you will capture. I think this is a high-quality camera that will be even better with the future firmware releases. For the price and the image quality its the best bang for your buck!!!
December 22, 2010
I have had many cameras in the past but this is by far the best. Now that I have had it I have been taking it with me everywhere. I would definitely recommend it. The only problem I am having with it is finding a HDMI cable that fits because one was not included. I already have an extra one for my TV, but it is too big. Other than that, this is the best compact camera I have had.
December 19, 2010
the good and the not so good attributes.
To unpack this Camera was quite a chore. The little cardboard or paper tag that is glued on the flash unit popped off, but after getting it all out and reattaching the tag, everything went smoothly. The main feature I like, is the 10X OPTICAL zoom and the glass lenses(s). The worst is the location of the flash. I hope to have a lot of good pictures in the future. I do wish you would consider a black and white mode as my wife is a portrait artist in graphite, and it is hard to get a good white balance. The good far outweighs the not so good. Thanks.
December 18, 2010
could be great with firmware update
The camera takes great pictures of anything that is not moving very much. Having no full resolution "action" mode or any direct control over shutter speed will probably result in me trading this camera in on some other model unless this is fixed with an update. Video focus is also pretty bad. I can live with this as I don't video very often, but it needs to be fixed as well.
December 18, 2010
Overall great camera
As a photograper I have owned many film and digital slr cameras. I have purchased several point an shoot cameras for my wife and kids. This is the best point and shoot I have seen so far. The only things that I don't like about it are the following:
1. The camera only ships with the ac charger for the battery. This means you must plug a usb cable into the camera out in order to charge it. This makes it easy to set it on a table and have someone knock it off by accident. You can buy an additional charger that you can just put the battery in and plug it in the wall keeping the camera safe. Every other camera I have bought comes with this type of charger. The nikon offers it as an accessory to purchase. I would recommend that you buy one and use it.
2. The camera has a very cheap cover for the usb charging port. If you don't buy the optional charger I'm sure that it will off in a very short time if you use the USB charger.
December 16, 2010
Best Compact Yet
Only had one day so have not even come close to using it's many features and settings. Although this camera has no manual settings ( i wish it did) you can manipulate a lot of the many scene variations and presets and come away with some good flexibility. This camera has the specs to deliver anything which for its size is amazing.
No focusing problems yet. Sometimes on the screen it goes in and out when you are framing shots but when I push the shutter the shot comes out sharp as a tack. Color and detail are superb on everything I took. Video is fantastic, cant wait to try more. Start up and setting changes are very fast. Processing the shots is also super quick. I am using a class 10 card which may help. In outdoor settings did not hear the zoom motor when shooting video as enough ambient noise covered it. Stereo sound also a big plus and high quality. Did some very late dusk sunset shots and they came out great. Used a few settings and all worked well with no focus problems and it was almost dark. Did a panorama stitch with 3 shots. Didnt understand how it worked and I way overlapped the first two shots more than they needed to be. The software provided worked perfect on my mac. Easy and fast and lined things up for a great shot. Yes the sony hxv5 does this in camera but I would rather do it on my computer. And no compatability issues using a mac computer at all. Plug and play. Took some continuous shots of a marching band and they were perfect focus and no action blur and that was in normal mode, not sports mode and I was moving. Again , I'm not sure how in full auto mode the camera will handle the different shooting conditions but today it seemed pretty good. Also the low light shooting is the best I have ever had. Very minimal noise with dark living room with no flash. Wow, this sensor is great. I think this camera is basically the same as the p7000 but without all the manual controls and a longer lens. Also the screen is the best ever. I was in very bright outdoor light today and could see it all and from lots of angles as I was holding the camera up paparazi style at the parade.
Yes the flash popping up can be annoying but after some use, you learn to keep your fingers clear. You can also program the flash to stay down if you keep the camera in that particular mode. And when you turn it on again it remembers. There really is a LOT of programing options on this camera. Many people dont bother to read the manual and so they get annoyed by things that they CAN adjust if they knew how.
Now the bad. Charging connector cover is flimsy and for sure will break before to long. Nikon, really !! This connector is used for both charging and for computer connection. Also dont like the battery meter only coming on when the battery is almost dead. I like to be able to see a few steps. Dont know what "almost dead" means when it does come on. 10 shots left, 20? Manual doesnt say. If on vacation or out for the day this could be a problem. Nikon if you are reading this I would think a simple firmware update could then give you the option for a battery meter when you select it from the menu at a minimum. Please!!
I'm sure I will come up with many other things I love and things I dont love as I use the camera more. Looking for some of the in depth reviews on the big review sites, as they often find more good and bad things. If you are someone who likes to use manual control then of course, dont buy this camera. But if you like to take creative photos, you can do some amazing things with this with quality that can withstand the highest scrutiny at any photo show , imo. ( and manipulate on the computer if needed.) Great photography is not always about manipulating the camera like crazy. Its about capturing the moment, framing, and clarity. And this camera can give you all that and more.
All told for day 1 , I am quite impressed with the photo quality, video quality and feature set on this camera. And now the price is already down to 220 bucks at Walmart so for this price ( or near it) it is a true bargain.
December 13, 2010
Great for moving kids!
In the past 4 months I have purchased and returned 3 other brands of digetal cameras. This Nikon is the best purchase for my fast moving children. The anti-vibration and face detection are wonderful. I also like the auto-correcting color.
Thank you Nikon for the wonderful future photos of my children!
December 11, 2010
Nikon , Please fix the problems
I like the feature set and the big LCD. Photos taken in daylight are usually good although shots taken with a Canon and a Casio are focused more reliably. Low light images are bright but often out of focus. Video is very good in bright light but focus and exposure are the worst that I have seen in any camera when the light is dim. I will be returning this, my second, dS8100, back unless Nikon soon releases a firmware fix for the focus and exposure problems.
December 6, 2010
Sublime, easy to operate, just great.
I bought in 2000 a Coolpix 990 and enjoyed many years of satisfaction. In 2007, i acquired a D80, another great pleasure to operate but heavy on my bike or when practicing sport. This S8100 is compact, has all new features and is a very nice camera.
December 6, 2010
It is a camera that does it all by itself (e.g. it has no MANUAL mode, or Aperture priority). This is not at all good if you are an experienced photographer and you know what you are doing or also if you are a begginer and you want to experience more. It is good if you just hope the camera will guess what you want from that picture.
Most of the times it takes good pictures, though.
I am pleased around 75%. If Aperture mode would be added I would be 99% pleased.
December 5, 2010
I just bought the s8100 yesterday. The first photo I took I noticed the flash is in a bad place. Did the designer of this camera ever try it before it went into production? I am also annoyed that I have to go on the computer to figure out how to use it? Do they expect I will retain everything in one reading?
I'll be back in a few weeks witha more in depth review.
December 4, 2010
It's a great camera, intuitive to use, only concern - flash washes out the picture.
December 4, 2010
S8100 over exposed pics
I heard a lot of great reviews about the Nikon S8100. I own a Nikon D50 and was looking for a smaller camera with video. I like the camera overall but it's so frustrating that the flash sometimes over exposes my pictures on auto.
November 29, 2010
Great little camera!
I have a D50, D90, and now this little gem, S8100. I needed a p&s and didn't want to spend a fortune on one. I thought about the P7000 but i didn't like the size, too bulky. This little baby fits in your pocket, and the image quality is awesome! It fits my needs perfect.
November 22, 2010
Where's the "high-speed shutter" preset?
I really want to like this camera. I really do. It's a replacement travel camera for my aging Sony DSC-T30 subcompact that's exhibiting dust bunnies on the sensor (and I've grown tired of correcting those in PP). My everyday photo gear is my terrific Nikon D90 and lenses.
This camera is up to the usual Nikon high standards. Great form factor, long-reach (for a P&S) 10x optical zoom, minimal barrel distortion in wide-angle, a very inclusive "Auto" mode, plus enough menu options and scene presets for almost every photo situation.
Unfortunately, there's no "high-speed shutter" scene/preset. For me, when I use a travel camera, I'm often photographing from a moving ship/boat/plane/vehicle, which requires more stop-motion help than the internal VR provided. You can delve into the menus and set an artificially-high ISO (and then remember to set ISO back to normal afterwards), or try "Motion Detection" (although that is disabled for any ISO other than "Auto"), or even "Burst" mode (which reduces file sizes to 1M or 5M depending on which continuous option you choose), but those alternatives all seem a bit cumbersome for a P&S at this price point. (On the other hand, there's a "Food" preset, which must be used by more photographers than I realize).
If you're standing on solid ground, the S8100 will be a terrific choice. It's one of the best of the P&S cameras available today.
November 21, 2010
Don't Drop it
I too dropped mine around Halloween. After having it for two weeks. It busted open so fast. I was able to get it back together but it doesn't work right. I have dropped other nikon's with no damage but this one couldn't hang with those. I am now forced to find another Brand because I can't pay the 300.00 for another one. I am a mom of two and I think this one was maybe a little bigger then I should have gotten. It is bigger then the other Nikon I have and doesn't fit in my pocket so I was holding it when my son grabbed my hand and down it went. It was a good camera for the amount of time I got to use it.
November 19, 2010
Just purchased this camera. Very well designed, combining function and simplicity.
Intuitive operation. Good quality pictures and movies. Very flexible operation. Don't particularly like the location of the flash, but this can be worked around.
November 11, 2010
I am bewildered by the service or lack of. You ask for much information but don't give me simple answers to simple questions. The camera seems good but I don't really know until I can download my pictures and edit them and can also read the manual to find out what I can and cannot do with the camera.
November 11, 2010
Quality product with awesome features
We just purchased this for my wife and I can say. WOW. Photo quality is super and it is easy to use. I am a professional photographer and I am very impressed,but then I am not surprised because its a Nikon
November 8, 2010
Buggy Video on my PC
I really wanted to like this camera - the still picture quality was excellent- but unfortunately I couldn't get the video to display correctly on my PC. I run Windows XP and maybe it is on my end- but after waiting for 3 weeks for an answer from Nikon's Tech Support (with no solution) I returned my Nikon S8100 for another brand. The video runs fine on my PC using a different camera brand. Another downer was the flash popping up right where my left finger was holding the camera. I got used it quickly- but whenever I handed the camera to someone else to take our picture the flash always got blocked down my their left finger- even after I warned them...
I hope the camera works out for others!
November 7, 2010
I do believe for this money I should not have to read the manual on the computer.
November 7, 2010
The most impressive feature on this camera to me is the optical zoom. To be able to zoom that far without loss of image quality is outstanding. The quality of the images themselves are crisp with great color. The focus is excellent and I never have blurry pictures. Even pictures taken in completely darkness come out looking focused, sharp, and well-lit. My only complaints would be the pop-up flash being in an inconvenient spot, and the USB port rubber cover being held on by a flimsy rubber connection. I could see this breaking off easily if you aren't super careful with it.
November 4, 2010
Would Definitely Buy Another One!
I received my Coolpix S8100 on October 14 and was so excited! I loved it! 16 days later, on October 29 while taking Halloween pictures, my granddaughter dropped the camera, lense down, on our tile floor. It totally broke the lens, lens cover, and the zoom control. I also have a Nikon DSLR that my 5 year old grandchildren often use and are getting very good at using. I have dropped the DSLR a couple of times, once on a sidewalk, and it was fine both times. I love the S8100 but I was shocked at the amount of damage done to the S8100. DON'T DROP IT AND DON'T LET YOUR SMALL CHILDREN/GRANDCHILDREN USE IT! Nevertheless, I am getting ready to buy my 2nd one in 18 days as soon as I finish this review! The zoom on the S8100 compared to the 200mm zoom on my Nikon DSLR is unbelievable! (I can't afford the 300mm zoom lens for my DSLR) Let me also add in all fairness to Nikon, the S8100 was so broken I did not even go to Nikon to request any kind of help or any repair from them - I just want a new one - but that was my choice.
November 1, 2010
Just purchased the S8100 and read through the manual. I really like some of the features and the ease of use. Bought this camera to take on our trip to the Grand Canyon. I am sure I will not be disappointed.
October 31, 2010
This is an excellent camera
Over all i can just say that every thing you need in a camera is here in this product. Perfect shots, clarity and the movies are awesome 1080p HD love it.
October 31, 2010
Never needs a Flash
Everything about this camera is excellent. The pictures, the speed by which it is ready to go, and the 10x zoom. I was amazed at the ability to shoot pictures in the dark without a flash and have them come out with clarity. I turned the flash off all together. My only grip is that you can record movies at full HD 1080P but only play them back to a full HD 1080P TV at 1080I. But the movies are outstanding and the zooming capability is very smooth.
October 27, 2010
It's worth the price...
The features in this camera are really superb...from a 12.1 megapixel up to capability of HD movie recording at 1080p plus it can take 5 pictures per second and take good pictures even in low-light situations... I will really recommend this product...
October 24, 2010
For $300, It's Almost Perfect
I just received the Coolpix S8100 after waiting months for the red model for my wife. (She said she loves it, so I'm now a fan.) The black model is easier to find than red or gold right now, but (knowing Nikon) I am sure that this limitation will improve soon. I'm a 40+ year Nikon-only advanced amateur user, but the S8100 doesn't disappoint even a photographer as critical as I am.
First off, the S8100 is smaller than an iPhone, although twice as thick. Its playback monitor is large, bright (backlit CMOS), and very sharp. The camera starts quickly and quietly, which helps you get those spur-of-the-moment shots of the sleeping baby or of your fave Hollywood celeb.
The pre-programmed scene modes work exactly as described. But, just in case, there are manual overrides plus "Favorite Scene" to save a custom mode. The pre-programmed S8100 modes make it handy for tougher shots like fireworks, museums, food (really!), dusk/dawn, and objects in motion. I tried fooling it, but it's quite smarter than I am. Face detection is amazing. No more fuzzy or overexposed smiles, but you also have a portrait mode that's foolproof. The best programmed feature is the Night Portrait mode. Perfect exposure of your friends in the foreground without over/underexposing the Eiffel Tower in the background.
Picture quality overall is very true-to-life. Backlighting is handled well. The Continuous Shot, Blink Detection and Best Shot options work very well. Almost eerie. Not only does this Coolpix almost guarantee a great shot, these features will also help save on memory card storage plus deleting unwanted photos before downloading them to your computer. Just be sure to buy at least a 4gb card and at least Class 6 if you want to take HD video.
Once I figured out that the 8100's video factory presets were incorrect (switch to 1080p and deselect HS), I found the 1080p HD video playback quality to be as good as my Sony HD Camcorder. Although the Coolpix does not have the number of video controls, its playback quality is amazing. The continuous zoom works nicely, although if overused the autofocus lags. (If you overuse the zoom on any video recorder, you'll make your audience seasick anyway.) The S8100 starts out with optical zoom and as you push the lens past the basic telephoto (T) setting, it goes into interpolative digital mode. It was so good that I was able to zoom in on a power pole transformer 1/4 mile away with ease.
I have not tried the S8100 yet in outdoor fast action in either photo or video mode, but it did a great job with usually tricky indoor cheerleading practice last night.
The only improvements I would make (so far) is the location of the pop-up flash being in the top left corner where your forefinger normally rests while holding the camera. It would be better in the center or left front, but I am sure that over time you can get used to it. And although it has left and right mics, it would be nice to have a jack for an external mic. Likewise, being able to use a Nikon strobe would simply put the icing on this near-perfect cake.
Overall, for the money, the Coolpix S8100 is by far the most advanced, yet simple enough for a beginner, high quality photo and video compact camera on the market today for less than $300. Like the original Nikon Ashton Kutcher-cam, run out to buy this camera before everyone catches on and they're all gone.
October 23, 2010
Incredible, worth the buy
I just got this camera and it is incredible and by far the best point and shoot I've ever own. This is my first Nikon, my mom and I have always been a canon fan but recently canon has made bad quality cameras on the other side my dad is always been a Nikon fan, and let me tell you my dad proved us wrong. I'm very, very satisfied with the quality of the picture, amazing pictures! Amazing little camera! Totally in love with it.
October 22, 2010
This camera is great !
Have had this camera less than a day. It is doing
great & I am glad I bought it !
October 20, 2010