- Arts and Design
Awesome Photography With The Nikon Coolpix S9300
a great camera for the photographer on-the-go!
Looking for a new pocket digital camera for either yourself, a friend or loved one ? Please allow me to recommend the Nikon Coolpix S9300. I got this camera in July of 2012 just days before I left on a three week trip to England and France. I shot over 2,000 pictures in those three weeks and in the months since my return have probably shot a few thousand more.
This is the third digital camera I've owned in my life and it's pretty much been in my pocket, in my bag or backpack being carried with me ever since it arrived at my house. As a web writer, photo blogger and person who just loves to take pictures, it's been able to easily satisfy my professional and personal needs. And it really has a lot of features that have made it just plain fun to own too!
I bought the red one because just about everything else I own is black and looking for a black camera inside a black bag can really be a chore. That and it goes with my hair...
The Nikon Coolpix S9300
Some people told me that they would never get a new camera right before starting a trip, but my previous digital camera (an earlier model of Coolpix) starting to die on me right before I was about to leave on my trip, and I knew I'd never forgive myself if the camera gave up the ghost while I was traveling. I found the everyday, constant use to be one of the best techniques for learning how this camera worked. I didn't get hung up about whether I "knew" the camera or not, and adopted the attitude that it was all "playing." I did a lot of experimentation with the different settings and took tons of pictures, knowing I could just delete stuff that didn't turn out. That not only taught me a lot about how the camera really worked but gave me some fantastic pictures that I might not have otherwise captured.
I had a few "musts" when it came to picking a digital camera. It had to be a pocket camera as I'm a person who is a pedestrian/transit-rider who lives out of a backpack both at home and while traveling. It had to function well in low-light situations. It had to do well with close-up photography as I'm constantly taking pictures of tiny details or textures. It had to be able to shoot video. And I wanted a better zoom function than what I had with my last one.
This one had it all.... and more!
Macro Capabilities - getting up-close and personal
I'm one of those people who really likes to take close-up pictures, what is more technically called "macro photography." Sometimes it's things that are really small and sometimes it's to get a texture or detail on something.
Here's my demonstration of the close-up capabilities of the S9300. What you are looking at is my newest tattoo. It's about 10 days old in this picture and is well on it's way towards completing what is commonly called the "saran wrap" stage, when the thin layer of dry skin that is revealed when the scab comes off finally heals. I've been documenting the entire healing process in overly-vivid photographic detail. You can not only see the tattoo, but just how dry the skin is, the healing edges and even the tiny hairs starting to grow back on my ankle.
As you can see, you can get a LOT of detail out of this Nikon.
What do you NEED? What do you LIKE?
When it comes to buying cameras, my #1 guiding decision is "Does this camera do what I want a camera to do?" I make a list of what features I really need, what features I really like (those are sometimes two very different lists) and I make note of anything that I really didn't like about my last camera. I don't worry about pricing until I've found a few cameras that demonstrate they will meet my needs and give me a few wants too.
The camera has a lot of presets which is really helpful if you are taking pictures on the fly or if you don't have much experience. This takes a lot of guesswork out of those situations when you suddenly see something you really want to photograph.
For instance, I was in downtown Seattle with a friend on a beautiful clear night and we were walking around Seattle Center where the Space Needle is located. I just pulled out the camera, flipped it to "night landscape" and snapped the picture. The camera did all the hard work.
iPad Camera Connector - store and preview pictures
When I was in Europe, I wanted to use my iPad as photo storage so that I wouldn't have to pack along a handful of memory chips for my camera. I also wanted to be able to photo blog my trip for some folks back home. This little baby made that possible. I shot over 2,000 pictures in three weeks and never once had to worry about running out of storage space.
Zoom Feature - from here to there
What you see here are two pictures I took in early August 2012. I was in Portland on my way to a five-day camping trip in the woods, and was waiting for a friend to pick me up from the Amtrak station downtown. I just so happened that it was a full moon and a nice clear night. The picture on the left is a regular angle shot, taken while standing outside the station. The picture on the right was taken less than a minute later, standing in the exact same spot, but this time I used the Coolpix S9300's 18x zoom to see how detailed a moon shot I could get.
These pictures have no photo-retouching, no color adjusting, nothing but what was caught by the camera. Pretty cool, huh? Having a better zoom was one of the main features I was after when I started the shopping research that led to this camera and I have to say I've been completely delighted with what I've gotten.
Panorama Feature - taking a look at what's all around you
After having had cameras where I had to shoot a lot of smaller photos and then stitch them together with photo editing software, having a built-in panorama feature has been a true pleasure!
You get options for both horizontal and vertical, and for 180 or 360 degree images. When I try to take 360 degree images, I've found that there's often a teeny part of the image that gets dropped out. I'm not sure if that is due to the actual feature in the camera or if I've just not yet learned how to turn and pan so that it does capture the entire surrounding. I'm still having a lot of fun with the feature anyway and there have been several environments where the resulting images have just been incredible.
Here's a shot I got outside the Louvre Museum in Paris, France during my July 2012 trip.
Compact Camera Tripod - a nice versatile accessory
Small and easy-to-carry, this flexible tripod is nice for using on table tops, for getting a tiny boost when holding your camera overhead and even allows you to attach the camera to unusual spots for when your trying for a funky shot or if you'd like to be in the picture yourself.
A great accessory for when you are using your camera to shoot short "how to" videos at home.
Video Features - for when your pictures just aren't holding still
Here are some videos I've shot with the camera. It does regular or HD video. What you see here is 720HD, which is what I tend to use when shooting silly stuff or random bits. The camera will do 1080pHD for when you get really serious with your video (and have a really big memory chip in the camera).
The first video is from my local garden center, where I filmed their koi pond. I was kneeling down right next to the fish. The second video is a night shoot of the fountain in Seattle Center.
Spectrum Feature - selective color filtering in photosClick thumbnail to view full-size
If you have any questions about this model of camera, please feel welcome to ask me. I'll answer to the best of my ability.
And if you happen to own one of these yourself, how long have you had it and how do you like it?