Nikon COOLPIX S6200 Review

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The market is overflowing with hordes of point and shoot cameras. With the increasing number of cameras, it isn't an easy task to distinguish and pick the right one, given that every new addition emerges with slight tweaks, here and there. Augmenting the list, Nikon brought in the new S6200 along with the S6150 in August, this year. The compact camera caters to the budget market, just like its predecessor S6100. The S8150 features almost similar characteristics as the S6100, except for its touchscreen abilities. On the other hand, the S6200 has been ‘considerably’ improved. The highlight of the device is its wide 10x zoom, along with improved attributes like battery life and more internal memory.

Nikon COOLPIX S6200 front

Nikon COOLPIX S6200 front

 

Design and Build quality
The S6200 is a compact camera with similar design elements as the S6150. Although it weighs lesser than both S6100 and S6150, at 160 grams it looks slightly bulky, compared to the sleek cameras that enter the market these days. It is available in vivid colors - blue, pink, white, silver, red and black. We received the blue variant, which wasn't eye appealing to many. The metallic blue look drapes the entire front and edges of the body and the rear portion is black. In fact, at the first glance, the display portion looked, so distinct that one could mistake it for a display that swivels.

Nikon COOLPIX S6200 rear

Nikon COOLPIX S6200 rear

 

It embeds a 2.7-inch display on the right, while the left side embeds a five-way navigation wheel, scene button, playback button, recording button, menu and delete buttons. On the lower side, you’ll find a tripod mount and compartments for the USB/AV out connections, battery and memory card. The front has the flash and AF assist. The main shutter release button is surrounded by a zoom ring, stereo and power buttons on the top edge. Overall, the build quality is sturdy; the compartment flaps can be easily pushed back into place. The plastic buttons are firmly placed with a dedicated area to place your thumb.

Features
The camera equips a 16 megapixel sensor with 10x optical zoom with image stabilization present on the camera. Nikon claims that their EXPEED C2 image processing engine should help users click good photos at high sensitivity sensor settings. Nikons says that their noise reduction feature offers good performance, even at ISO 1600 (using automatic ISO sensitivity adjustment) and ISO 3200 (with manual ISO sensitivity). The user interface is simple and it doesn’t take much time to get the hang of it. The look of the user interface is similar to that found on some of Nikon’s DSLRs, however the ones on this don’t feel as refined. It is a little sluggish as well.

The main menu button takes you directly to the shooting menu. Press the Scene button, and you get 19 scene presets to choose from. The subject tracking feature works, rather well once you lock the target. The ISO sensitivity range start at 80 and go up to 3200. It comes with hand held/tripod night landscape detection function. During hand held shooting, it increases the ISO sensitivity and shutter speed to reduce blur while night shots. On tripod, it automatically decreases ISO settings and shutter for brighter nighttime shots and less noise as possible. This is one of the unique features that we’ve seen on a point and shoot cameras. A set of special effects include Soft, High key, Low key, Nostalgic sepia, High-contrast monochrome and Selective color options, while filter effects, include - Cross screen, Fisheye, Miniature effect, Painting, Soft and Selective. It also supports shooting videos at 720p at a good 30fps. A minute of video takes about 42 MB of space on the memory card. Videos are recorded in the MOV format.

Performance
The design of the Nikon S6200 ensures that there are no accidental button presses and you’ll find the menu and scene buttons slightly raised when compared to delete and playback buttons. The placement of buttons and dedicated thumb space allow holding it easily in your one hand to click images or shoot videos. The manual and auto focusing options are quick enough and the device and the camera sensor start within a couple of seconds. The camera does not support manual exposure, shutter priority and aperture priority.

ISO sensitivity test

ISO Sensitivity Test

 

ISO Sensitivity Test
The COOLPIX S6200 is capable of taking pretty decent images.  At the slowest ISO 80, the pictures are noise free. You will notice slight loss of saturation at ISO 200 at 100 percent magnification, which gets quite obvious at ISO 800 and even more at ISO 1600. Sensor noise at ISO 3200 is bad and should be avoided, unless there’s absolutely little light.

Performance contd.

Zoom Test

Zoom Test

 

Zoom Test
We tested the device at the extreme ends of the lens’ capability. The device handles it pretty well and there’s little blur at the highest zoom settings. The image stabilization does a fair job at the extreme telephoto end of the lens. There isn't a lot of distortion either.

Using the macro mode

Using the macro mode

 

The camera takes decent images indoors as well as outdoors. The lens on the S6200 has a minimum focus range of 10cm, which means you can’t really get very close to the target. Macro photography is therefore not its strongest point. It records videos at 720p at 30fps. You can zoom in and out while recording - the feature is smooth, but slow. While shooting videos, if you move from the bright area to a low light area, the transition doesn't appear smooth.

Verdict
Overall, the COOLPIX S6200 is a good looking camera and splashes in an array of colors to choose from. Nikon claims that the Li-ion battery EN-EL12 enables taking 250 shots at a single charge. The S6200 isn't crafted for camera enthusiasts and is a good option for amateur photographers. Compared to its predecessor, the S6200 comes with some improvements, while you won’t find a marginal difference in their prices.  For the host of features it carries, the Nikon S6200 is a decent buy at Rs.10,950. In the market, you’re likely to find this model for somewhere in the Rs.9,500 range.