Great take-along camera
First thing to know: I received this camera from my wife for my birthday. She went to the store to purchase a full sized digital camera for my many photo "needs". I had planted hundreds of subliminal messages directing her to get me something like a Nikon D7000 with Nikkor lenses. The salesman helping her, after effective inquiries, convinced her I'd use the S9100 more. He was right. I'll bet the store's owner would not agree, but I do.
So, after 6 weeks of very heavy use, here's what I think about the CoolPix S9100:
The versatility and convenient carry size of the Coolpix S9100 combine with excellent quality to provide surprising value. It is easy to use, requiring for me just a few weeks of daily practice. The user manual is an essential element in this process.
My opinion; camera company product development teams should ensure their collateral materials (especially user manuals) are as robust and user friendly as the primary product.
Video quality is good. Sound quality is adequate for all my needs. I am particularly pleased the zoom features can be operated while shooting videos.
Panorama features are excellent. The "assist" setting makes shooting panorama absolutely simple - even without a tripod. I'm eager to get a print made and see the results of this excellent feature.
The HDR feature (high dynamic range) is terrific. The manual says very little about it or the way it works. It should. It is a good feature.
I tried to determine, before first use, if this camera had automatic exposure bracketing. The reason for that inquiry was simply to ensure I could use the HDR software on my computer to create better photos. (one needs about 6 shots at various exposures) Imagine my surprise when I discovered the S9100 used software inside itself to make HDR photo for me. Now, that's something folks should know.
The flash location and functions are good. Backlighting features are very good.
"Scene" settings are good. It takes more than 6 weeks to really test them all thoroughly so for now I can only say, "my limited use seems to indicate these factory settings are good".
Macro hasn't been as easy for me to use because the camera is very small and more difficult to hold than a larger bodied camera. I think it would be wise, if the user can manage it, to use a tripod with Macro.
The size of the camera is one of its features. It is also one of its shortcomings. I have large hands. I found the addition of a pocket sized tripod gave me something to hold and helped me produce better shots. My mini tripod is about 4 inches long with legs like a "snake light". I leave it on the camera all the time.
The view screen is terrific. However, like all screens, outdoor viewing can be tough and glare can be a real problem. I am going to test the anti - glare screen protectors sold for cell phones and PDA's. That may help.
Recharging is a snap using the USB / 120v adapter with long wire. I prefer to recharge small batteries by removing them from the camera and placing them in a dedicated charging dock. That allows me to put the camera body back in its case (for safety) while the battery is charging, but I've adjusted to the S9100 system and have no complaints. I just have to be more careful.
Overall, after 6 weeks of use, the salesman was right, my wife bought a great product, and I'm pleased with the pictures I'm creating.
Compact digital cameras tend to be point and shoot devices for an audience that frankly doesn't require much else. But Nikon did right by their brand with the S9100. It's a whale of nice little camera.
Of course, I doubt the D7000 would have disappointed me - but don't tell my wife.
May 30, 2011
I have owned at least 8 - 10 Nikon cameras. This is the best one yet. The photos are of great quality. I usually "fix" all of my photos in Paint Shop Pro. The first 51 photos (of a wedding) required NO fixing. That's a first for me. The only downside I encountered was you BETTER use the Sports scene mode if the subjects are moving. A great camera.
May 24, 2011
Excellent all around camera!
If you decide to buy this camera, you will not be sorry, especially if you read the manual before using it.
The zoom is great! It works will for pictures and is especially adept at zooming during video shooting. Pictures at all distances appear sharp & crisp with a quality I'd rate between very good and excellent.
Battery life is quite good, although I'd still suggest buying the accessory charger and an extra battery, especially if you intend to shoot lots of video.
The video quality is amazing and the camera focuses when zooming, basically the same way that my D7000 works. I was pretty amazed to find such a great feature on a Coolpix. Very cool!
My only complaint is the battery compartment door. It's simply too easy to open and it often does. Generally, it's not a big deal to close, but I'm concerned about accidentally breaking the mechanism. This is definitely something Nikon should address if they decide to update the camera.
Bottom line: I love this camera!
May 24, 2011
the camera takes great photos with the auto settings, but I am somewhat intimidated by the 236 page instruction manual. There are too many options to remember
May 24, 2011
A digital camera that finaly does the job!
Other reviews I have seen (not many out there yet it hasn't been out for more then a week) are just not accurate. I have gone from camera exchange to camera exchange trying to find a camera that produces crisp clean photos. With this camera when you zoom in on a picture you have taken, the edges of let's say letters are sharp. Pictures are very natural it let's the picture taker receive the credit for picking just the right scene. Stability control is good. I can take a picture inside at night with just a few lights on inside without flash and it's amazingly bright. Just go to the store and take a picture with the Nikon s9100 and compare it to the others by taking the same shot. You'll like the s9100. I have no problem recommending this camera. :)
March 8, 2011
fair camera with good features but some problems
picture quality is good but sometimes images are blur(for those who say most images are blur they should learn photography)full hd quality is average not good.It gives very blur images at night(when zoomed at a subjet which is dark)zoom is great.
April 13, 2012
Average pictures, not reliable
I looked forward to the 18x zoom, but the steadyness while holding the camera produced blurry pictures. Recently, just before the holiday Season,it failed to open, Lens Failure is the readout and there is no cure for me except too send it in for repair.
December 12, 2011
This product has great zoom capabilities
I am very disappointed with this camera. We had it 5 days before it stopped working with a "lens error" with absolutely no damage done to the camera. The camera is great when it is working!
November 29, 2011
Will not select Nikon next time.
The camera is about 5 months old, rarely used due me being unhappy with the Autofocusing. Camera has been already repaired once, and will have to bring it in again. Does not 'track' focus in Video, and fails focusing for zooming over like 4-5x. Expected also little more from the flash.
November 29, 2011
Great features poor reliability
We bought was we thought was the top of the line compact but after 90 days are faced with the same problem others are having which is lock up at power on. We now have to send it in and to be honest we are concerned about what to do after the warranty runs out. If nikon would let us trade it in on a more expensive SLR we would even though we paid a small fortune for this one. We had a Sony compact that worked flawlessly for 8 years before we splurged on this. I have yet to figure out how to lock the shutter speed as I don't think you can. Pics and zoom are outstanding but blurs with motion due to shutter speed mentioned. Size, battery, effects are all great. Now will you take a trade Nikon?
November 28, 2011
Poor movie capability
Overall picture taking is good, but even with a class 10 card the videos when played back are always jerky, stopping and starting and therefore poor movie quality. I bought it because it was supposed to take high def videos and I can't even watch any movies taken. Plus when the camera was only one month old, it just quit working. I sent it in to the repair facility at my cost and was informed that it would take 6 weeks to repair and this was due to having to wait for parts. I would not buy this camera or any nikon ever again.
October 24, 2011
Excellent Photos - poor reliability
From July 23 - Oct 8 we were thrilled with this camera - one of the best we have ever used that is a point and shoot (no focus, no F stop control etc). But on Oct 9 it failed completely - no response to buttons, cannot take pictures, cannot turn off without removing battery and re-inserting to reset the lens to stored position.
Had to return the camera to Nikon after less than 90 days with no abuse and very careful care. We really liked the quality and ease of use - only wished the focus was better in lower light conditions - need a very steady hand or tripod to be sure of focus and lack of blurring. That is understandable to some extent. If this camera had not gone belly up in such a short time I would be giving high praise.
October 17, 2011
I purchased the camera at the end of May and started using the camera in June. The photos are amazing. I would suggest reading the owners manual to get familiar with all the wonderful, easy to use tools that are available. Within 90 days of getting the camera I am now having to send it in for service however. After reading multiple reviews it seems this is a fairly regular occurence. I turn the power on, the lens comes out and power is on but no buttons respond and power will not go off. The camera begins to make a clicking noise. To get the power off and the lens to go pack into the closed position the battery had to be removed and then put back in place. I am hoping this is just a random issue that can be fixed because the pictures and performance otherwise has been amazing. The camera broke on the first day of my family vacation so we missed taking pictures of most of our entire trip.
September 13, 2011
I loved this camera right up until it died
I bought this camera (a brand new model) 5 months ago and LOVED it, right up until the point it mysteriously stopped working (it would turn on but then not respond to any button-pushing. I had to remove the battery to turn it back off). It's currently en route to the service department so we'll see how that goes.
Prior to that, my images looked great, I loved the HD video capabilities, the zoom was fun and the out of the box video transfer software was actually pretty decent.
Hopefully this will be an easy fix under warranty.
August 15, 2011
Overall a great Point and Shoot. It was great for a recent trip across Europe, when I didn't want to lug my bigger camera.
However, I am experiencing 2 issues. First, it locks up. Most days, it never happens. Other days, it might happen every 5th photo. Fixing isn't hard... just pop out the battery and reinsert it. With practice (which I have plenty of!), it only takes several seconds. I am not alone in this issue, as I just discovered with a bit of research.
Second problem is that the lens barrel seems to be developing a rattle, and it is getting worse. Almost like it is getting looser with time. I'm worried that it will eventually impact the quality of my photos.
I plan on returning the camera to the local store where I purchased it. I hope they are willing to take it back.
August 8, 2011
Still image blurr captured at night/with low light
Purchased this product hardly 1 week back. Taken lots of pictures of Niagara fall in night and in day with low light also. But the picture quality is not that good. Spent almost 330 $. But picture quality is not great.
August 2, 2011
S9100 Nikon broke 2nd day of my vacation.
The s9100 Nikon broke the 2nd day of my vacation, just 45 days after purchase. I had a lens error and the camera would not work at all.
Sent it back to Nikon at my shipping expense.
I don't think this is a all Nikon product, as my daughters Sony looks very similar!
July 25, 2011
Update to my previous 1 * review
I managed to convince [PlaceOfPurchase] to allow me to return the camera and get a new replacement - just in time for vacation. I've now taken over 500 images with the new camera and it mostly works great, but there were a few issues.
Issue #1 - It did the same "lock up" on me as the previous camera did after charging it from the wall. Exactly the same symptoms - powers on, controls aren't responsive, and will not power off until battery is removed. I was seriously angry about it, but after about 10 minutes of messing with it, it started working again. I think it's something to do with the rotary mode selector. After that one time, it hasn't happened since *knock on wood*
Issue #2 - One time, the camera refused to focus properly. I turned it off, waited a few seconds and turned it back on and it started working correctly again.
Other than these two issues, I've been very happy with the quality of the pictures and the video capabilities of the camera. However, with the intermittent issues I experienced, I worry about how reliable the camera will be in the long run.
July 21, 2011
LCD Issue Fix for Newbie
Camera has a mechanical problem
July 11, 2011
Location Los Angeles, CA
RoleOccasional user, memory keeper
This is my first Nikon. The picture quality is very good. My problem is the monitor frequently goes black when being rotated from the horizontal to the vertical position outdoors, which means you cannot shoot pictures holding the camera in a vertical position. Camera was returned to Nikon after 2 months of usage, but they could not find the problem.}
*****Solution: If you have (Polarized Sunglasses) on while using the camera, and you turn it vertically to shoot and the screen goes black it is because of the Polarized Sunglasses. Take them off the glasses and try to shoot with camers in a vertical position, usually this is the issue.
July 15, 2011
Pictures are washed out
As far as point and shoots are concerned, this camera is not cheap, but I bought it because I had read the response time in taking pictures was fast and it is, that aspect is perfect.
What I'm disappointed at is the quality of the pictures, they appear cold and washed out, I'm sure there is a technical phrase to explain what I'm saying, but bottom line they don't look warm, this is especially apparent when using the flash. With this camera primarily used for people photo's most often with the flash, this is a serious problem. I have contacted Nikon support and am awaiting a response. Hopefully they can resolve the problem so I don't have to return the camera. Did I say the response time is great and the zoom remarkable, well they are
June 24, 2011
It's a pretty good camera...
I love my Nikon S9100 from the time I got it... It takes pretty good photos. The one thing that I don't like it that moving pictures don't come out so well. The picture show up well when I upload but when I print them out it was a poor quality picture.
My camera actually started going bad after only having it less than a month the shutter was slow and then it just stop completely working. I sent it in hopefully it can be fixed... Will update later on how this situation was handled.
June 23, 2011
Great Camera In Low Lighting Conditions
The camera works great in low lighting conditions. However, in bright daylights the pictures seem a little washed out and overexposed. The camera freezes constantly while using the zoom to the max. The battery needs to be removed to reset the camera after freezing.
June 2, 2011
Decided to replace my Canon SX210 with the Nikon. Picture quality was about the same but I prefer the features and stabilization of the Canon. Video shooting stabilization seemed to be non existent and the videos are unusable. If you don't take videos, it's not a bad camera. I ended up returning the Nikon and bought the Canon SX 230 and I'm much happier with it.
May 23, 2011
Needs an upgrade to the features
I am disappointed that this particular Coolpix (S9100) does not have the Auto Rotate feature like the previous models of Coolpix cameras do. And for some reason when I put the camera in the camera case (it is turned off) and squeeze the lens when I hold it, or even put pressure in the lens area after it is in the case the camera turns on and sometimes gives me the "lens error" screen. I also would like to have a viewfinder when composing photos, it certainly makes it easier to compose in bright sunshine and brightly lit places, this model does not have a viewfinder.
May 23, 2011
Flash too powerful
I liked this camera but didn't like pitcures taken indoor with auto-flash at distance of 7-10 feets. They get over exposed and you cannot see colors. I had to return it.
April 30, 2011
Great Features, Bad Design!
Nikon proves again and again how they excel at bringing zoom options in a compact design.
Unfortunately there are still design flaws which upset me everytime. When you have a rechargeable battery DO NOT put the connector on the bottom of the camera that makes me have to place the camera on the screen or on the lens in order to charge it.
Also everytime you create a new camera you still have yet to make a Burst (Continuous) Mode that makes a click noise for every shot taken I enjoy that feature in all other competitive companies cameras. I just want to hear CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK. Its that easy!!
Besides those 2 flaws Excellent Camera, Love the 18X Digital Zoom!!
March 6, 2011
me ha defraudado
no he logrado sacar fotografias nitidas, soy un usuario comun que usará esta camara para las fiestas y viajes pero siento la necesidad de un tripode para las fotos. casi todas salen borrosas cuando tomas sujetando con tus manos. He buscado en foros buscando consejos y no encuentro como hacerlo sin él.
September 9, 2012
Battery goes dead too fast after displayed on monitor
I always had canon camera's but figured the nikon name would be a good try. I actually started using my old canon again, its more reliable and user friendly. The battery on the nikon goes quickly if you take a video, what's up with that? And the camera wasn't cheap either. I guess I'll stick with what works for me and thats Canon. Sorry
June 23, 2012
I read all the great reviews but not for me..
I have only used Canon and love canon however I decided to go with Nikkon this time becuase this camera got great reviews and it was a great deal plus the store manager recommended it. There are a lot of features I do like about it such as the zoom. Canon does not have a camera in this size with this zoom. So big plus on this camera. I also like that I was able to figure out the special effects quite easily. I never quite got it with canon had to go through many menus. However, sometimes if I don't have the flash up the picture comes out blurry some pictures are not taken as I point and shoot it seems like it's a delayed picture that ends up coming out blurry and if I want to shoot a lot of images back to back I get blurry images as well I don't know if it's to slow. I'm not technologically savvy so maybe there's something I'm missing or have not adjusted but I'm not all that thrilled about that. I've missed many great moments because of this camera and waiting for it to be ready to take the shot.
May 30, 2012
Camera freezes often. I have to remove the battery to reset and turn on again only to have it to freeze again will not allow me to turn off or any thing until I remove and replace the battery again.
May 23, 2012