Nikon Coolpix S30, S3300, S9300 and P510 shown off in video

We met with Nikon to check out the family-friendly Coolpix S30, slim S3300, chunky S9300 and the super-zooming P510.

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Nikon was desperate to show off its range of compact digital cameras it's hoping you'll take on your hols this summer, so we grabbed our nearest cameraperson and rushed along to bring you this video.

First up is the Coolpix S30, which is aimed squarely at families. It offers bright colours and big, easy to jab buttons that together with its stripped-down, point-and-shoot interface helps kids take embarrassing photos of you sunbathing even easier than before.

Its plastic casing felt rather rattly, but Nikon assured us it's drop-proof to 1 metre, so if little Jimmy or his annoying friend Michael do drop it, it might not be permanently damaged. It's also waterproof to 3 metres, so it should make a good snapper for around the pool or at the beach. It's available from March for around £100.

If you want something a tad more stylish for your trip, the Coolpix S3300 offers a 16-megapixel sensor and a 6x optical zoom in a rather slim body. It's only 19.5mm thick, which we found to be easily small enough to slide into our jeans pocket. Sadly, Nikon made us take it out when we left.

It doesn't have the same shock- or waterproofing that the S30 offers, but its aluminium casing felt pretty sturdy in our poking, so we're pretty sure it can take a few knocks.

The S30 doesn't offer much in the way of manual controls, so if you're hoping to get all arty and creative this won't be the camera for you. It's more of a no-nonsense, point-and-shoot snapper that we reckon would suit the festival-goer who needs something to slide into their cagoule summery shorts. It's available towards the end of February for £130.

The Coolpix S9300 is a chunkier chap, but for that extra size you get extra features. An 18x optical zoom, to be specific. We're more used to seeing zooms of this length on much fatter bridge-type cameras such as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ48 , so if you don't fancy being laden down while snooping on people, the S9300 might do the trick.

It also offers a 16-megapixel sensor with Nikon's Expeed C2 image processor, which it claims makes it much better in low-light conditions. We weren't able to test this at the time, so we'll have to reserve judgement for our full review.

Other features include a GPS unit for geo-tagging of photos, various creative scene modes and Full HD video recording. It's available from March for £300.

If the S9300 didn't offer quite enough zoom room for you, the Coolpix P510 might be more up your street -- it packs in a stonking 42x zoom, which we're pretty sure means the only thing stopping your zooming in on things is the natural curvature of the Earth. Nikon has slapped in image stabilisation, which you'll certainly need at that extreme zoom. We weren't able to see just how well this works (as Nikon didn't bring any batteries -- seriously), so we'll leave judgement until we get our hands on it properly.

Of course, with such a big hooter on it, the P150 is much beefier than its comrades, so you might want to invest in a small photo bag if you're planning on heading out on any adventures.

Other features include a 16.1-megapixel sensor, Full HD video and a handy fold-out LCD screen, which should make getting awkward low-down shots a little easier. It's available from March for £400.

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Cameras
About the author

Andrew is a senior editor at CNET and has always been fascinated by tech. When not getting up close and personal with the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.

 

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