Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - TEST BENCH -

The Nikon Coolpix S9300 looks and feels like as com­pact point-and-shoot, which it is to the core, for this cam­era is all about au­to­matic modes and ease of use. Built a bit like the body of the Nikon 1 J1, the cam­era has a matt fin­ish body with glossy but­tons. There is a prom­i­nent GPS hump on top, which we first mis­took for the hid­ing ground of a pop-up flash. And you don’t have to take the bat­tery out to charge, which we thought was a good fea­ture.

At times the S9300 seems like an over sim­pli­fi­ca­tion, a point-and-shoot for dum­mies, as there are no man­ual or pro­gramme modes. The pre­set modes in­clude scene and ef­fect modes with mul­ti­ple op­tions. The scene mode has some in­ter­est­ing op­tions like a 3D photo— a very de­mand­ing one—and a pet por­trait mode. The ef­fects are mostly lim­ited to sepia, B/W, soft fo­cus and se­lec­tive colour op­tion. But we didn’t like that you had to go to menu to see and change the op­tions. The con­tin­u­ous mode is fast, though it take a while for the pic­tures to save even with a Class 10 card.

Smart por­trait, back­light­ing and night land­scapes are op­tions on the dial it­self, a rar­ity in any cam­era. Did Nikon do this be­cause these three are the most used pre­set op­tions? One thing is clear, though, night shot is a strong point of this cam­era. Low-light pic­tures are sharp while main­tain­ing their tones. And like all new cam­eras of the com­pact breed, this one has a 18x op­ti­cal zoom which works well.

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