CNET First Look
Nikon Coolpix S8100Nikon's addition of a backside-illuminated CMOS sensor makes its Coolpix S8100 compact megazoom a fine choice.
Hi. I'm Josh Goldman, Senior Editor for CNET Reviews. And this is a look at the Nikon Coolpix S8100. It's a compact mega-zoom featuring a 10X zoom lens, goes from a fairly wide angle, 30 mm up to 300 mm It's a 3-inch LCD on back and inside is a 12-megapixel CMOS sensor. Now, that's sensor is what separates it from it's line mate the S8000 which has just a regular CCD sensor. Now that sensor allows it to do a couple of things. For one, it improves low-light photo quality and it also allows for faster shooting performance than most cameras that use this type of sensor, feature multi-shot load where it takes a bunch of shots at once and then powers them up to do things such as remove noise or hand shaking, night scenes or to give a broader dynamic range. This camera includes both those options. And that kinda also uses the high-speed sensor for a burst-mode capable of shooting in 5 frames in about a second with just a single press of the shutter release. Along with that first mode, there's a few others that do things like shoot 1 megapixel photos and up to a 120 frames per second and also capture small high-speed slow motion videos. The rest of the camera's performance is pretty fast for its class as well. It starts up quickly and there's very low shutter leg. And for those that like to get a little more creative with their photos, Nikon froze in its creative controls which is the slider that lets you adjust things such as vividness and hue. Unfortunately, they don't have a manual mode so there is no control over shutter speed or aperture with this camera. As for photo quality the S8100 is very good for its class. Actually, performs pretty well right up to ISO800 so its low-light photos are good. And while one of its key features is its 1080P Video mode, those videos only look good as long as you're not panning the camera otherwise you end up with a lot of jitter. Also, while the zoom is available while shooting videos you will hear it pick up by the stereo, mics on top and the same goes for its auto-focus system. In the end as long as you're not picking up this camera solely for its video quality it's a very good compact mega-zoom, certainly worth considering. I'm Josh Goldman and that's the look at the Nikon Coolpix S8100.