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Nikon S9100 Review

Updated on June 9, 2011

The Nikon S9100 is currently the best price per feature compact camera in the market right now. Its features include a 12.1 megapixel sensor, 1080p video recording capabilities and 18x digital zoom.

Product Features

  • 18x Wide-Angle Optical Zoom-NIKKOR ED Glass Lens.
  • 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor for high-speed operation and exceptional low-light performance.
  • 3-inch Ultra-High Resolution VGA (921,000-dot) Clear Color Display
  • Capture 5 shots per second at full resolution
  • 5-way VR Image Stabilization System

Technical Details

  • Brand Name: Nikon
  • Model: S9100 Black
  • Optical Sensor Resolution: 12.1 MP
  • Optical zoom: 18 x
  • Display Size: 3.000 inches
  • Width: 2.5 inches
  • Height: 1.4 inches
  • Weight: 0.5 pounds


The Nikon Coolpix S9100 is the perfect size for pocket/compact cameras. While it may seem like it's all plastic material, the kind of quality makes it feel like one of the best compact cameras made this year. Turning on the camera takes about a second and going from minimum to maximum zoom takes two seconds. Image quality is very good for the sensor used but certain fine details like hair would be a bit smeared. This is due to the noise software filter in the camera which cannot be disabled. If the sensor was bigger, the quality would be better but you have to sacrifice some quality for size.

Testing the video on the highest quality (1920x1080p) setting, there was not any clear clarity over using something like the iPhone4 HD video. It's weird cause the iPhone video had a much bigger filesize for the same length yet the Nikon S9100 had a a smaller filesize. Even with an efficient compression filter, it shouldn't be that much smaller then a 720p video (and this was recording using 1080p). In any case, the quality is still pretty decent. One thing to note though, you would have to get a tripod if you plan on recording using maximum zoom due to the sensitivity of the camera when zoomed in that much. Other then that, it's pretty good.

The menu system and controls of the camera are typical compared to every other compact camera in the market. The Nikon S9100 does pack a separate video button which helps for those moments when you need to switch quickly to capture something.

Battery life is also about average for a camera, ranging from two to three hours depending on the use. Even if you do not take many photos, keeping the camera on the whole time will drain the battery due to the screen, image stabilizer and other features enabled when the camera is on. Because of that, I usually keep a spare battery pack so if it ever runs out, I have a backup.

While the Nikon S9100 is a good camera for its price point, it stills lacks in some area. I'd imagine Nikon will make the future revision of the Nikon S9100 much better, learning from it's mistakes.


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