Nikon S3000 review

Full review: Stylish and simple sub £100 compact

Image 1 of 3 Nikon S3000 top
Nikon S3000 top
Image 2 of 3 Nikon Coolpix S3000 front
Nikon Coolpix S3000 front
Image 3 of 3 Nikon Coolpix S3000 back
Nikon Coolpix S3000 back

Affordable and stylish, a great beginners compact

It's not that often we see a chic looking superslim compact for around £100, so the Nikon Coolpix S3000 caught our eye. Successor to the popular and also great value S220, we have high hopes...

The Nikon Coolpix S3000 is a good looking little camera. And we do mean little – it's just 19mm thick, so pretty much as compact as they come. It's stylish looks don't hint at it being a budget job at all. However the back buttons - which are bigger and more spaced out than is average for ease of use - feel cheap, as does the zoom button on the top. Other than this complaint, build quality is good and the camera feels comfortable in the hands.

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As well as the bigger, more spaced-out buttons, which really do make using a camera easier, commanding the menu system on the Nikon Coolpix S3000 is child’s play. It couldn’t get much simpler; whether you’re changing image size, white balance, ISO setting, drive mode, autofocus mode and area, which (along with a few colour options) are all the adjustments you have available. This is great for those who really do want to take photos and not think about it, yet totally unsuitable for anyone who wants to get creative.

Nikon Coolpix S3000: Features

The 12-megapixel Nikon Coolpix S3000 features a 4x zoom wideangle Nikkor lens and 2.7-inch LCD. As mentioned above, there are no manual controls, which is just what you’d expect at this price point; instead features have been optimised to make taking photos as easy as possible.

Portraits have certainly been prioritised with face-priority AF; skin softening giving you really pleasing people shots, with great skin tones. There's also a Smile Timer which detects when the main subject smiles and Blink Proof function which shoots two frames, saving the one with open eyes and even 'warning' you if the saved shot still has closed eyes.

What is the Nikon Coolpix S3000 missing? There's no HD video here, instead it's back to 640 x 480 VGA resolution at 30fps with mono audio and the quality of this is poor – still for the money something has to give. Image stabilisation is basic too, using digital stabilisation and higher ISOs instead of mechanical image stabilisation. However, this shouldn't prove problematic as the zoom is only 4x optical, and our test pictures were sharp.

Nikon Coolpix S3000: Picture quality

Colour reproduction is very natural and as mentioned before it does a great job with skin tones. Noise is handled very well and you can get perfectly printable results at ISO 800. Sharpness is good but pictures do suffer from some barrel distortion. Overall, image quality is good, not brilliant, but very good for the price point.

Link: Nikon

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SPECIFICATIONS
Sensor: 12 megapixels
Lens: 4x optical zoom NIKKOR f/3.5 – 5.9
Screen (size and res): 2.7-inch, 230,000 dots
Viewfinder (type)r: LCD
Stabilisation (type): Digital
Video: 640x480 VGA at 30fps
Storage (card and internal): 47 MB internal memory, SD memory card slot
Connections: Hi-Speed USB
Battery life: Approx 220 shots
Weight/size: 94x56x19mm, 116 g

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