Best Nikon Coolpix 2013: top cameras reviewed
6th Feb 2013 | 15:27
Find the best Nikon Coolpix camera for you
Updated: Now with the latest Nikon Coolpix models, listed by market price for UK, US and Australia.
Nikon's Coolpix range of compact cameras is broken up into four segments: Performance, for serious amateurs looking to elevate snapshot photography to the next level; Style, for the trend-conscious consumer looking for a small-format fashion statement; Life, for beginners and those with less experience simply looking for a no-frills option; and All Weather, a rugged line for adventurers.
Today the range includes a number of models with the most recent backlit sensor technology, as well as enthusiast cameras to rival compact system camera (CSC) alternatives.
But with an ever growing number of models in the current range, how do you know which one to go for?
The following guide examines all of the highest rated Nikon Coolpix offerings, in current market price order, so that you can find the best Coolpix camera to suit both your budget and your requirements.
Nikon Coolpix S6300
Specs: 16MP, 1080p video
The Nikon Coolpix S6300's headline feature is its 10x optical zoom lens, which gives a range of 25-250mm in 35mm equivalent terms. There's also a 4x digital zoom option available, which theoretically boosts its capability up to 1000mm in 35mm equivalent terms. That's quite a lot of bang for your buck, and should make this an ideal travelling companion for the casual photographer.
Pushing aside a few minor niggles, mainly to do with options such as the panorama mode, the Nikon Coolpix S6300 is a solid performing compact camera that will please consumers. Images are generally well exposed, have natural colours straight from the camera and there's little sign of noise.
Read our Nikon Coolpix S6300 review
Nikon Coolpix S6400
Specs: 16MP CMOS sensor, Full HD video
The Nikon Coolpix S6400 appears to have just about everything you want from a digital compact camera of its class. With a 12x optical zoom, 3-inch 460,000-dot touchscreen, 16 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor, Full HD video recording, a host of direct controls, 20 scene modes, small, lightweight body and a modest price tag, what more could you ask for?
The Nikon S6400 does a number of things pretty well and offers a lot of flexibility, from its wide range of creative filters to its responsive touchscreen, accurate AF system on down to the all-important thing: great image quality.
Read our Nikon Coolpix S6400 review
Nikon Coolpix S1200pj
Price: £200/US$250 (around AU$305)
Specs: 14.1MP, HD video: 720p
The projector-equipped Nikon's Coolpix S1200pj has compatibility with Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod products as its headline improvement. As such, it can project images and videos stored on these devices, as well as those found online, including those on YouTube.
Nikon has also revamped the projector to now offer VGA-quality projections at up to 60 inches and a contrast ratio of 1:200, although the core of a 14.1MP sensor and 28-140mm zoom lens remain from the S1100pj it replaces.
Read our Nikon Coolpix S1200pj review
Nikon Coolpix AW100
Specs: 16MP, HD video: 1080p
Nikon's first foray into the rugged compact sector, the AW100 is replete with technology that places it in direct competition with the likes of Panasonic's acclaimed FT3.
It's waterproof down to 10m and can be taken down to temperatures as low as -10C, as well as being drop-proof from a height of 1.5m. On the inside Nikon has equipped the model with a GPS system, compass and even a world map, while a 16MP back-illuminated sensor is on hand for both high-resolution stills and Full HD video capture.
Read our Nikon Coolpix AW100 review
Nikon Coolpix P7100
Specs: 10.1MP, HD video: 720p
More a gentle refresh of the Nikon P7000 than a radical improvement, the Nikon P7100's headline improvement is an articulating LCD screen that maintains the same 3-inch dimensions and 921,000 dot resolution as before.
Nikon has also made space on the front for a new control dial, and has included a handful of new effect options for instant image treatments. The company has also improved write speeds for raw files and both the speed and accuracy of its AF system. The model further impressed us with both its image quality and the direct control offered through its multitude of physical controls.
Read our Nikon Coolpix P7100 review
Nikon Coolpix P7700
Specs: 12MP, 1080p video
The Nikon P7700 is a marked improvement over previous P series cameras, especially in terms of aesthetics and design. Now a camera that is much more pocketable, it still retains all the mode dials and manual controls that appeal to the more advanced photographer, plus an articulating screen and a hotshoe for adding accessories.
With a raft of premium compact cameras flooding the market, Nikon has produced a camera with a large 1/1.7-inch 12 million pixel CMOS sensor and a 7.1x optical zoom lens that is very likeable in many respects.
Read our Nikon P7700 review
Nikon Coolpix P510
Specs: 16MP, 1080p video
Trumping its wimpy-by-comparison 36x optical zoom predecessor the Nikon P500 with its new improved 42x zoom, the Nikon P510 is an amateur paparazzi's dream, courtesy of an ultra-wide 24-1000mm equivalent focal length. The build is 'DSLR lite', the zoom supported by lens-shift rather than sensor-shift image stabilisation, while a 16 megapixel 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor lies at its core. Performance is enhanced by an Expeed C2 image processor.
Slightly more exciting is a 3-inch 921k dot tilting LCD screen, which can be angled up or down but not swung out parallel to the body. Naturally Full HD video shooting is also included, and a GPS antenna sits over the lens barrel and pop-up flash. For sports fans, continuous burst shooting of up to 7fps is offered, which is better than most entry-level DSLRs at its price.
Read about the Nikon Coolpix P510