The Good Excellent LCD screen. Good low-light images. A staggering amount of shooting options to choose from.
The Bad Average HD video quality. Some digital noise at full magnification. Burst shooting buffer not as fast as others.
The Bottom Line Offering a whole heap of shooting modes and generally good image quality, the S8100 is a tempting proposition for those looking for a 10x optical zoom compact.
Nikon Coolpix S8100
The S8100 is a refined update to the earlier, equally zoomycamera. It's a slick-looking camera, with a soft-touch casing around the front and a 3-inch screen at the back. At the top is a mode dial with full automatic mode, plus a myriad of scene modes, backlighting mode and a continuous shooting mode. There's also two dedicated night modes on the dial, for portraits and landscapes taken under the cover of darkness. An instant-on video record button is provided around the back.
Improvements over the older model include a new backlit CMOS sensor and the inclusion of full HD video recording. The sensor allows the camera to take a quick succession of shots at 10 frames per second and like other backlit CMOS sensors, is designed to be better at taking clear night images. The sensor also allows the S8100 to take videos at different frame rates, including slow motion at 240fps or 120fps (there's also 60fps or 15fps options). An in-camera HDR mode is provided, too.
Nikon bails on advanced compacts and that's not good
Opinion: The company announced that it was dropping the attempt to produce its ill-fated series of enthusiast-targeted fixed-lens models and it doesn't sound like it plans to try again.