First Look: Nikon Coolpix S3000
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First Look: Nikon Coolpix S3000

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The Nikon Coolpix S3000 is an attractive inexpensive ultracompact that's a step above your average camera phone.

Hey, I'm Josh Goldman, senior editor for CNET Reviews and this is a look at the Nikon Coolpix S3000. It's an entry-level 12-megapixel ultracompact camera and its only distinguishing features, aside from its size and that it comes in six colors, are that it has a 27-mm equivalent wide angle lens with a 4x zoom and it sells for less than $150. It's also fairly easy to use and has basic controls that should be familiar to anyone that's picked up a digital camera. The S3000 shooting options are standard point-and-shoot fair with a healthy selection of scene modes as well as Nikon's Auto Scene Recognition and Smart Portrait system with things like skin softening and red eye fix and smile and blink detection. And, actually, if you're looking for a simple camera for portraits, this isn't a bad choice. That is as long as your subjects aren't moving as its performance is average for its class, leaning towards slow. Its shutter lag is okay but its shot-to-shot times are long enough to try your patience. Its autofocus system is fairly inconsistent, too, occasionally forcing you to refocus again and again to get a decent shot. Photo quality is good enough for casual photographers who care more about having an attractive inexpensive ultracompact than capturing excellent photos. If you're looking for an entry-level pocket camera and all your shots are destined for online use or 4X6-inch prints or smaller, the S3000's photos are sufficient. I'm Josh Goldman and that's the Nikon Coolpix S3000.

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