Nikon Coolpix S8200, S6200 pocket zooms arrive

More zoom! More megapixels! More problems?

Nikon

All the money is in megazooms these days. While there are still plenty of people buying 3x-5x zoom pocket cameras, the more-popular models are the ones with 10x zooms or longer. And, of course, smaller is better.

In line with that, Nikon increased the zoom ranges on two of its S-series models--the 10x S8100 and 7x S6100--to get the 14x Coolpix S8200 and 10x S6200 for 2011. The S8200 seems to be just a shrunken-down version of the 18x Coolpix S9100, with most if not all of the same shooting features, including full HD movie capture. However, it uses a 16-megapixel backside-illuminated CMOS sensor compared to the S9100's more sane 12-megapixel one. Of course the lens is different, too; the S8200 packs a 14x f3.3-5.9 25-350mm lens in a camera body 1.3-inches thick.

The S6200 replaces the S6100 from earlier this year. The new one is smaller and lighter while having a longer, wider lens (25-250mm compared to 28-196mm). But I guess to do this, Nikon had to get rid of the S6100's high-res 3-inch LCD for a 230K-dot-resolution 2.7-inch display. (Win some, lose some.)

The Coolpix S8200 comes in black, silver, and red and sells for $329.95; the S6200 is available for $229.95 in red, black, silver, blue, and pink.

The S8100 was an easy recommendation for people looking for a pocket point-and-shoot with a long zoom lens. Nikon keeps its S-series cameras very automatic and user friendly, which is not easy to find these days without losing a lot of other features. Here's hoping that the S8200's lens and 16-megapixel sensor (ugh) don't muck things up.

About the author

Joshua Goldman is a senior editor for CNET Reviews, covering cameras, camcorders, and related accessories. He has been writing about and reviewing consumer technology and software since 2000.

 

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