The Nikon Coolpix S6300 gives you some extra zoom power at a lower price. It has 16 megapixels and a 10x zoom lens. It is aimed at someone who is looking for a relatively straightforward, point and shoot camera. It is small enough to fit into most pockets.
Other features that stand out are Full High Definition Movies and stereo sound.
Compared with other digital cameras at this price point the Coolpix S6300 has the following:
One of the biggest attractions of the Coolpix S6300 is the movie mode. There are not many cameras around at this price offering Full HD with stereo sound.
Megapixels and Zoom
The Coolpix S6300 has 16 megapixels and a 10x zoom lens. The focal length of the lens is equivalent to 25 - 250mm in 35mm format. What this means to you is that the camera is capable of squeezing in wide scenes as well as being able to zoom in on more distant subjects.
You can store images on SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards.
A lithium ion battery provides the power. Nikon supplies a battery and charger with the camera. They estimate you should be able to take around 230 shots before the battery runs down.
Movie options are very impressive for a camera at this price point. You can shoot Full High Definition Movies. These have a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The top recording speed is 30 frames per second. Stereo sound can be recorded with your movie clips. You can also shoot movies in iFrame format for playback on Apple products.
The LCD screen is 2.7 inches in size.
Nikon have equipped the Coolpix S6300 with plenty of scene modes. The advantage of using scene modes for your pictures is that they tell the camera the type of picture you are about to take. The camera will then adjust the settings to give you what it considers to be the best result. The scene modes are: Back Light, Beach, Close Up, Copy, Dusk/Dawn, Easy Panorama, Fireworks Show, Food, Landscape, Museum, Night Landscape, Night Portrait, Party/Indoor, Pet Portrait, Portrait, Snow, Sports, Sunset and 3D Photography.
For close up shots the Coolpix S6300 can focus from 10cm away from your subject.
Nikon have added in Image Stabilisation. This compensates for any small movements of the camera while you are taking a picture. This should help you to produce sharper looking images.
If you would like to try something different the Coolpix S6300 has a special mode for producing images in 3D.
Picture Quality Summary
The Coolpix S6300 is not perfect, but most of the issues are fairly minor and will only show up if you make large sized prints.
Outdoor Scenic Shot 1
Looking at the first test shot you can see some subtle differences between the Coolpix S6300 and what is on offer from other brands. To start with the colours are a little softer. Next up this camera does well in the darker and shadier areas of the shot. It manages to show slightly more detail in those areas than a lot of other cameras do. Where it is not quite so strong is in the lightest areas with slightly less detail showing there. It should be pointed out that the differences in the amount of detail you can see are fairly minor and are only like to start showing up in larger prints.
Outdoor Scenic Shot 2
The centre of this shot is in sharp focus, but as you move away from the middle sharpness begins to fall away. Again, this may not be something obvious in smaller prints or if you are sharing photos on the Internet, but if you are planning to make larger prints it could be an issue.
Outdoor Scenic Shot 3
Pushing the lens to the other extreme results in a photo that lacks the extra clarity that the best cameras at this price point manage to produce.
With the lens not being pushed to its limits quality is noticeably better. This shot is sharp from edge to edge. The Coolpix S6300 is able to lock focus onto the building without any problems.
This is a bog standard outdoor portrait. It is quite bright and skin tones look about right. At this distance the Coolpix S6300 is able to focus properly and the result is a sharp looking portrait shot.
Indoor Portrait With Flash
As with other Nikon digital cameras the Coolpix S6300 is able to show some extra colour in the face compared to most digital cameras. This is a big plus point as pictures taken with other digital cameras can look a bit washed out alongside this one.
Indoor Portrait Without Flash
With flash not being used this picture was taken with the room lights switched on. This has left the picture with a slight blue tint as the camera does not quite get to grips with the artificial lighting.
You can see a big difference between this shot and the macro shots taken with other digital cameras. The 10cm focusing distance is a lot farther away that you would be with most cameras. This is not the ideal camera if you are planning to take close up shots. If you are planning to stick more with general snapshots this is unlikely to matter much to you.
Nikon digital cameras tend to produce colours that are somewhat lighter than some other brands. What this means is that the blue skies are not quite as blue as other cameras make them look. You may feel this gives your photos a more natural look or you may prefer colours with more punch to them.
With the Coolpix S6300 performing well in darker and more shady areas you are unlikely to be troubled by noise unless you are in very poor light.
Nikon Coolpix S9300 Rating 86/100
For a camera that is small enough to take anywhere the Nikon Coolpix S9300 has a lot of features packed into it. If you are planning to take a holiday GPS tracking will tell you where you were when a picture was taken. The length of the zoom lens also gives you plenty of scope when it comes to picture opportunities. Although there is plenty of completion in this category the picture quality on offer here combined with the features makes this camera very attractive indeed. Recommended.
Read Review: Nikon Coolpix S9300 Review
Canon Powershot SX260 HS Rating 86/100
The Canon Powershot SX260 HS is one of the very best digital cameras in this category. In fact if you are happy to miss out on features such as 3D photography and 360 degree panoramas it is very hard to beat. It has a great set of features packed into its relatively compact body size and picture quality helps to make it stand out from the competition. Although it is one of the more expensive cameras in this field it still offers good value for money.
Read Review: Canon Powershot SX260 HS Review
Panasonic DMC SZ1 Rating 84/100
If you are looking for a simple, pocket camera that gives you some extra zoom and takes high quality snapshots the Panasonic Lumix DMC SZ1 is a very good choice. Compared to other cameras with similar features available at around the same price this camera has the edge when it comes to picture quality. It takes sharp, colourful photos and offers excellent value for money. Recommended.
Read Review: Panasonic DMC SZ1 Review
Review Date: August 2012
The Nikon Coolpix S6300 is a good choice if you are looking for a straightforward digital camera with a bit of zoom power at a reasonable price. Picture quality is about standard for this type of digital camera. It should be good enough unless you are really picky about the quality of your photos. This camera is one of the best at this price if you are looking for some advanced movie features.
Ease of Use:
Value for Money:
57.7 x 93.6 x 26mm
SD, SDHC, SDXC
Single Shot With Flash:
Five Shots With Flash:
Turn on Time:
The buttons on the back of the camera are fairly small. This gives extra room for placing your thumb. Nikon have created a small, stippled area for the thumb to help with grip. The zoom ring and shutter button are perfectly positioned for easy use.
The flash unit is positioned towards the top right hand corner as you look at the camera. This placement means a little extra care is required to make sure a finger does not block some of the light when you are taking a picture.
LCD Screen Quality
There is not a lot to report about LCD screen quality. As with most digital cameras it is easy enough to see what is showing on the screen as long as it is not in direct sunlight.
Turn on Time and Shutter Delay
Most of the response times were fairly typical for this level of camera. The only timing that stood out was for when multiple shots were taken using flash. This was very slow with the flash unit taking a long time to charge.
Design and Build Quality
The Coolpix S6300 has a rather familiar look to it. It looks very similar to most small digital cameras. Nikon have rounded off the corners to make it look very slightly different to cameras from other brands. This camera feels quite solid in the hand.
On the top of the camera are the on / off button, shutter button and zoom ring.
On the back are buttons for shooting a movie, selecting the shooting mode, reviewing images, accessing the menu and deleting images. The main control section gives you access to flash settings, exposure compensation, macro mode, the self timer and confirming a setting. It also has a small wheel for making selecting menu items faster.