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73 of 73 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great zoom, quirky flash.
The Nikon S9100 is a perfect half-way house for those looking for a bit more from their compact camera without making the jump to a bulky DSLR.

It combines an excellent 18x optical zoom with a large, crisp and bright LCD. The camera is fast to respond to most commands, and the vast range of different pre-set shooting scenes will enable you to ensure the camera...
Published on 13 May 2011 by Ash

versus
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars defective
I have had to return this camera twice - both had a defective internal lense making it produce a colourless circle on image - what a disappointment all round. Good camera but how can Nikon produce a defective product like that. Now I am left with trying to get another one. Amazon was good overall in the returns but still left with an upset daughter with no birthday...
Published on 17 Oct 2011 by Jack


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73 of 73 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great zoom, quirky flash., 13 May 2011
By 
Ash (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Nikon COOLPIX S9100 Compact Digital Camera - Silver (12.1MP, 18x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Nikon S9100 is a perfect half-way house for those looking for a bit more from their compact camera without making the jump to a bulky DSLR.

It combines an excellent 18x optical zoom with a large, crisp and bright LCD. The camera is fast to respond to most commands, and the vast range of different pre-set shooting scenes will enable you to ensure the camera is making the most of whatever you are photographing. It is of average thickness and somewhat unremarkable build, but feels solid and weighty in the hand. It comes with a bespoke lithium battery which holds its charge brilliantly - I used it frequently over a long bank holiday and the charge still showed as full! There is also a wrist strap included, though no case, which is standard but would have been nice at this price.

Now for the weaknesses. My biggest gripe is with the flash. Most digitial cameras have a built in flash which you can turn on or off using the little directional pad. The S9100 features this too, but even if you have the flash turned on you need to MANUALLY pop up the little flash. The camera tells you to do so in big letters, but if you are trying to take a picture in a hurry this is an annoyance, especially as the button to pop it up is quite small and fiddly. I don't understand why there isn't an automatic release for the flash when surely most people will be taking pictures in the dark WITH a flash, not without. The flash can also be quite slow to fire, as it fires off some smaller flashes to avoid red eye before the picture is taken - though I haven't fiddled with it enough yet to find out if you can remedy this using the settings. Luckily the S9100 performs excellently under low-light conditions, meaning these issues are only a problem when in proper darkness.

The zoom can be a little slow and is a bit jerkier than I'd like, making it difficult to frame a picture in the way you'd like sometimes. It's also quite loud on video capture.

Finally, the 'D' pad also doubles as a wheel for scrolling through settings, pictures etc. This is a great feature and is preferable to having to click through, but it is a little loose and too easily turned. It needs to be stiffened up a bit.

Those issues are insignificant when you consider the great quality pictures this camera can produce. I particularly enjoy using the panoramic function, which is excellent and can be used over 180 or 360 degrees (or in any direction you wish to get some really cool effects!). The camera also comes with software to create panoramas from individual photos - I used it to create a panorama from some pictures I took on a different camera and it did it quickly and flawlessly.

In short, a slightly flawed but generally excellent camera.
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109 of 110 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but worth the price tag?, 2 May 2011
By 
Amazon Customer "Dinah93" (Cleveland,UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Nikon COOLPIX S9100 Compact Digital Camera - Silver (12.1MP, 18x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My usual pocket digital camera is a Panasonic Lumix, a fairly basic model available for half the price of this camera. For the purposes of this review this is my base to compare it to.

I've had a pocket camera with a similar size zoom about 2 years ago, and the first thing that strikes me with this one is how light it is. The camera is also fairly slimline. While I wouldn't comfortably put it in my pocket, it's small enough to keep in a handbag or beach bag. The zoom adds little to the bulk of the camera, but is quite easy to use. Unfortunately it's not very sensitive and I did find it quite hard to get it as I wanted, always going too far or not far enough. I also found it a lot harder to zoom in close to take photos for example nature photos. I did feel this was something of a let down for this camera, as it can not find the focus with a depth range of less than about 20cm.

The big plus point is the images are sharp, very sharp. The camera also automatically adjusts the light levels, which creates nicely balanced photos, but zooming in and out can create a completely different balance of colours and tone. I do think the picture quality on this is superb.

The screen is huge, and you can zoom clearly into elements of the photo. There are a lot of nice features on this camera, the ability to take 360 panoramic photos for example (but where do you get them printed?!) and taking full videos as you would with a camcorder.

Overall while this is a very impressive little camera, and if you want the long zoom I would thoroughly recommend it, for an every day pocket camera I don't think it justifies the price tag.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent walk-around companion!, 29 Jun 2011
By 
E. Schilling (Norfolk, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I am a DSLRs user and decided I needed a proper pocket camera (i.e.: no more flimsy mobile phone cameras) for those cases where is not practical having a DSLR and still be able to get decent quality pictures; and this camera delivers dutifully.

If you have a similar profile then chances are you already looked at all the plethora of cameras available today and may have narrowed your list down to: Canon SX220 HD, Panasonic DMC-TZ20, Sony DSC-HX9V and obviously this Nikon Coolpix S9100.

Give or take some figures all these cameras have very similar specs. I tried them hands-on at the local shop and the final decision for me was between Canon and Nikon. The Canon is better looking, more ergonomic, has manual functions and slips nicely in your pocket; the Nikon is a bit bulkier but still fits in your pocket. I really wanted to buy the Canon, but: a) it has an awkward wide-screen 3inch display, which means normal pictures look smaller than on the Nikon 3inch display. b) menus and commands are much simpler and intuitive on the Nikon, by miles! and c) The Nikon features a very clever Easy Panoramic stitching function which I tend to use often when hiking or cycling to scenic places (Canon's panoramic version is very poor, almost unusable.

So, two weeks on and I am very happy with my purchase. Images are coming out very sharp, very low noise, well illuminated and with good white balance. True, auto-focus in macro can be improved but there are easy ways around it, the same way that you have to learn setting Scenes to shoot what you are imagining, which I find good fun.

I would have given it 5 stars had it included an external battery charger (not the USB in-camera charging which is rather restricting).
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Camera, 5 May 2011
By 
Lincs Reader (Lincolnshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Nikon COOLPIX S9100 Compact Digital Camera - Silver (12.1MP, 18x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I really am your typical amateur photographer, point and shoot is as much as I really want to do, but I also want something that is stylish, small and light and makes my photography skills look better than they are!
This camera is perfect for me. It's small and sleek, very compact and above all, very easy to use.
The lens is an 18x zoom which means that although I may be far far away from what I want to photograph, the results can be really stunning. I tried the camera out at a visit to a wildlife park. The lions were a fair distance away, but with this zoom I was able to take great photos that appear to be very close up - none of the detail is lost, the colour is great.
Another advantage of this camera is that you can play about with the effects - so I have very blue bluebells against a black and white background - it's great fun and makes for some effective and quite different shots.
For a novice like me, this is a great camera. I'm very pleased with it.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nikon S9100, 28 Sep 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This would be an almost 5 star review apart from the fact that the first camera I received had to be returned due to the faulty focus system mentioned by several others. Less than 50% of the photos taken with that camera were in focus no matter what settings were used. Amazon replaced the camera quickly and efficiently.

The replacement works well - only a couple of shots, in difficult lighting conditions, have been anything other than sharp. This shows that the focus issue is/was(?) probably a problem with a batch of cameras and explains why the majority of reviews are 5 star.

The camera does deserve almost 5 stars. It has an amazing zoom for its size and I've taken pin sharp hand held shots at the maximum zoom setting. The focusing screen is superb - it's the same one as on my Nikon D90 SLR and allows zooming in to view fine detail in images. Many reviews point out that there are no manual controls on this camera and, being a keen photographer, this made me think hard before buying it. So far I haven't missed these controls. The camera has easily accessible exposure compensation, which can also adjust hue and vividness, selectable white balance and manual iso. The various scene modes also seem to work as intended, adjusting settings to suit the specific subject. The one slight shortcoming I think it has, and hence the "almost 5 stars" comment, is its aperture control method. It doesn't have a conventional iris type aperture and instead uses an electronic neutral density filter. This means that the lens is basically wide open all the time with the filter providing a single two stop adjustment. In wide angle mode the lens is at either f/3.5 or f/7 and exposure is mainly controlled by a combination of shutter speed and iso setting. In practice this means that depth of field can sometimes be very shallow and there's little room for error in getting the focus point exactly right.

As long as you get a unit which can focus correctly, this is a great compact travel camera which can't be beaten for the price.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes a camera-woman out of a klutz!, 8 July 2011
By 
C. A. Austin "chezza99" (England, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Nikon COOLPIX S9100 Compact Digital Camera - Silver (12.1MP, 18x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I am a lousy photographer. I've been on courses, I've tried grown-up SLR cameras and idiot-proof compacts; no joy. My photos are bad and my videos worse.

This camera fixed me! I totally love it. For such a light little smart-cam, it packs a heck of a punch. You get a massive amount of zoom, you can do rapid-fire movement shots, panoramas and videos, portraits, landscapes, the lot ... And they all turn out GOOD! I've got no idea how Nikon did it - the camera works just the same as any compact, the controls are familiar, but the results are a hundred percent better than anything else.

The viewing screen is huge (for the camera size) and very clear. On auto-focus, a cluster of little squares appear so you can decide which parts of the picture you want in sharp focus. This has yet to fail me and - bonus! - as you move the camera around, you can select several objects for focus at once. The camera also has a 'find faces' setting that works, unlike some cheaper models, alongside the usual facilities such as backlight compensation and close-ups.

Picture quality is incredible. I've used some of my stills in detailed digital artwork, with no pixel loss at all, and the videos are HD quality with good directional sound.

I've only two complaints: you have to manually engage the flash, which means you might miss the exact moment you wanted if it's dark; video mode can take a second to find focus so you need to start filming a little bit early. Those factors are minor compared to the overall brilliance of this little camera, though.

The camera lets you shoot with visual effects (like the ones you can apply with an editing program), which might appeal to more arty users. An editing suite is also included on disc; it's a bit basic compared to most, but works straight from your camera and is easy to use.

It's not the cheapest on the market but, my goodness, it's well worth the price.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars defective, 17 Oct 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have had to return this camera twice - both had a defective internal lense making it produce a colourless circle on image - what a disappointment all round. Good camera but how can Nikon produce a defective product like that. Now I am left with trying to get another one. Amazon was good overall in the returns but still left with an upset daughter with no birthday present.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Likable Little Thing, 15 Sep 2011
By 
pjr (London, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Nikon COOLPIX S9100 Compact Digital Camera - Silver (12.1MP, 18x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Nikon S9100 Coolpix is a nice little camera. It is simple to use and loads up quickly. The menus take a little bit of working out but once this is done it is very easy to use. The zoom is good and the in camera zoom focuses in well on photos stored in the memory. It has good battery life too.

I also own a Lumix camera and am using this as my starting point. The in camera edits and zooms on the Nikon really are better. You can focus in on the smallest of details - should you wish to do so. Additionally, I found the video function on this model very satisfying indeed. The quality of both sound and picture are very good indeed and the zoom is smooth and easy to handle.

It does have some downsides though. The flash is bright but you have to flick it up to get it to operate. Without this you have no flash. It does make what should be a very modern piece of equipemnt feel rather old fashioned. The other downside (when compared to my Lumix) is the battery. This is fixed in the camera itself - unlike the removable one on the Lumix - and it does make the camera a little cumbersome to charge. The charging too seems a little slow - although this may be down to my impatience.

Picture quality is good and video quality is very impressive. The only other downside is that it does have a habit of freezing. This has lead to it now being sent back for repair as I couldn't find a way to undo this aspect. This other little thing aside it's a pretty decent camera, functionwise. Recommended, with a few small reservations.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It ticked all my boxes!, 7 Sep 2011
By 
G. Wylie "george11171" (Scottish Highlands) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I started out wanting a quality lightweight point and shoot digital compact camera from a good maker in order to satisfy my varied hobby interests. It had to have an excellent lens which would bring things closer to me or let me get closer to them. The camera had to be fast, simple to use and allow me to shoot in poor light. It needed a good and easy to use focus system and a vibration reduction system which would help with camera shake. It had to have the capability to start up fast and let me capture action shots in rapid bursts. It also needed a good sized monitor screen with high resolution to let me quickly review my shots. A range of video capability was also a necessity. A seemingly impossible task to find such a camera? Not really! After doing my homework, I decided upon the Nikon Coolpix S9100. It more than met my requirements.

There were some features missing from the camera which also went some way in finalizing my choice. Firstly, there were no manual controls which I feel inhibit point and shoot, although it has several good automatic assistants. It does not capture RAW images. I prefer fine JPEG images and rarely use RAW on my SLR as it is extremely storage space consuming. It does not have GPS which gobbles up batteries. If you must have these features, there are other good cameras which supply them. I personally did not want any of them.

I just wanted a point and shoot camera which would encourage me to shoot more pictures and consider the Coolpix S9100 to be probably the best available at the moment to fulfil my demands. It is a brilliant little camera and, at the excellent price offered by Amazon, it must surely be the steal of the year!

Anyone who buys it must get an SD storage card. I bought a SanDisk 16GB SDHC card from Amazon for under 13. Once fitted, the camera informed me that I could take over 5,100 pictures with it! Perhaps a bit overkill?

You will also look for a case to protect your new buy. I opted for Amazon's own brand basic one. I found it to be ideal. Good fit and well made.

I ordered an additional battery and an external battery charger. Nikon suggests you will get approximately 250 pictures per battery charge. If you shoot a lot a spare battery will be handy. The external charger still lets you use the camera while you are charging another battery. I would suggest both should eventually be seriously considered as optional extras.

Furthermore, I got a small card reader for a few pounds through Amazon. This makes for easy download of your pictures to your computer. You have to remove your card from the camera in order to do so, but, if anything goes wrong, it is much easier, and far cheaper, to renew the card or reader than to replace the camera.

Finally, I would like to add that I am puzzled at reviews criticising poor focussing. I suspect that this is due to operator error as, so far, I can only drool over the results provided by this small gem.

Carpe Diem!
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79 of 84 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Generally good but..., 1 Oct 2011
After trying similar superzoom cameras (Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ20, Sony Cyber-Shot DMC-HX9V, Canon Powershot SX220HS etc.) I have to say that this camera can do a lot for the point and shoot photographer but has some serious issues that made me return the item. In short, here are the pros and cons of this camera:

+ Design
+ Flash performance when shooting scenes
+ Zoom length
+ Battery life
+ Display
+ Basic but drastic photo settings while in auto mode
+ Video quality

- Bad choice of image stabilisation system (sensor shift). The IS system is completely useless from around 10x and more. The worst I've seen at full zoom and probably the dealbreaker for me. Pictures almost always come out blurry. Other cameras (HX9V, TZ20, SX220HS) have successfuly solved this problem.
- Bad low-light performance. Noise is horrendous and obvious
- Not good portrait images even without flash
- Flash takes around 5 seconds to recharge
- PC connection/charger input at the bottom. This forces you to place the camera with its face or display down, thus its easy to get them scratched
- No memory slots for predefined settings
- Pictures are of average quality even in good light conditions (low ISO). They also lack detail and sharpness.
- No reading of what zoom ratio you are shooting at.
- Bad choice of tripod socket (its at the side and not at the center).
- No seperate wall charger. You have to charge the battery in-camera.

If you want a camera with enormous zoom and quite acceptable image quality then go get it. You could also have a look at Olympus SZ-30MR (24x zoom with slightly better but still average image quality). You can also check the S9100's image qualities by visiting an on-line compareometer.
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