Nikon Coolpix S9700 Review

While the Nikon Coolpix S9700 has a few flaws, this model's strong versatility makes it a great travel camera. The 30X optical zoom lens will give you the option of shooting photos over a variety of distances, which can be handy when you're traveling, because you won't know how close you can get to landmarks ahead of time. And with the Coolpix S9700 only measuring 1.4 inches in thickness, it should fit easily in a carry-on bag, making it easy to travel by air with this camera or to slide it in a pocket while you're seeing the sights.

Nikon Coolpix S9700 Review
Nikon provided the S9700 with built-in Wi-Fi and GPS capabilities, which enhances this model's value as a travel camera. You can identify landmark locations through the built-in GPS, and you can make automatic uploads of your photos as you shoot them through the built-in Wi-Fi, ensuring you have a backup copy available in case your memory card fails while on your trip.

Image quality is pretty good with this model, and its autofocus mechanism is able to achieve very sharp photos throughout the 30X optical zoom range. You will notice some image flaws from time to time, so don't expect to make extremely large prints with the Coolpix S9700's photos.

If you can find the Nikon S9700 at a bargain price of less than $300, this model will provide a really good value along with its strong versatility.

Specifications

    Resolution: 16 megapixels
    Optical zoom: 30X (25-750mm)
    LCD: 3.0-inch, 921,000 pixels
    Maximum image size: 4608 x 3456 pixels
    Battery: Rechargeable Li-Ion
    Dimensions: 2.5 x 4.3 x 1.4 inches
    Weight: 8.2 ounces (with battery and memory card)
    Image sensor: CMOS 1/2.3 in.
    Movie mode: Full HD 1080p

Pros

    Impressive 30X optical zoom lens in a thin camera
    Good mix of automatic and manual control features
    Autofocus mechanism provides very sharp photos
    OLED display provides bright and sharp images
    Battery life is very good

Cons

    Some image quality flaws, such as purple fringing, in tough shooting conditions
    Some noise in low light images
    On-screen interface and menus are a little confusing to use
    Built-in GPS and Wi-Fi features can be a little difficult to set up
    Touch screen display would have been a nice feature

Image Quality

Image quality is a bit of a mixed bag with the Nikon Coolpix S9700, although it's more than adequate for making small prints and for sharing photos over social media networks.

The S9700's strengths in terms of image quality include its ability to shoot extremely sharp photos throughout its optical zoom range, as the autofocus works well. Exposure levels are accurate with this model as well, and its Hybrid Vibration Reduction feature does a good job of preventing camera shake.

But you may notice problems with purple fringing in scenes with high contrast and excessive noise in low light photos, especially if you have to bump the ISO past the 400 setting.

At 16 megapixels of resolution and with a 1/2.3-inch image sensor, the S9700 isn't going to give you top-notch image quality or allow you to create large prints. And it does lag behind some other models in its price range in terms of overall image quality. Still, its image quality is more than good enough for general, everyday photography needs ... like the kind you're probably going to shoot while traveling.

Movie quality is good with the S9700, and you can choose from several different video resolutions.
Performance

The 30X optical zoom lens helps to set the Nikon Coolpix S9700 apart from most other thin cameras. This lens is a really good performer for a thin zoom model, offering sharp images throughout the zoom range.

Nikon gave this camera strong performance levels, allowing you to shoot your first photo only a couple of seconds after pressing the power button. Shutter lag is minimal in good lighting conditions, and the S9700 recovers pretty quickly after you shoot each photo. Shot-to-shot delays are minimal even when you're using the flash.

The Coolpix S9700 has a few different continuous-shot modes, all of which work very well.

Battery life is good with this model, allowing you to shoot most of the day without needing a recharge. However if you choose to use the built-in GPS or Wi-Fi capabilities with the S9700, you can expect the battery life to drain far more quickly.
Design

The biggest design flaw for the Nikon S9700 is its on-screen menus. These menus are not very well organized, and it can be difficult to find the exact camera settings you want to change. This model has no shortcut popup menu to provide quick access to commonly used settings either, which is disappointing.

Nikon did provide a sharp and bright OLED screen with this model, which works well for framing photos even in bright sunlight. The 3.0-inch screen's anti-reflective coating works as advertised. In this price range a touch screen feature would have been nice.

The inclusion of Wi-Fi and GPS capabilities with the Coolpix S9700 represents some of the added price of this model versus similar units. So if  you don't expect that you'll use these two features, you probably can receive a better value by looking elsewhere for a thin zoom camera to meet your needs.

Posted by : Tamara Blezensky // 07:17
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