Nikon Coolpix S9300 Review

Mid Zoom Digital Cameras

16 Megapixels    18x Zoom

Dimensions: 62.3 x 108.7 x 30.6mm    Weight: 215g

Good Points: Picture quality, features, value for money

Bad Points: No manual exposure controls, slows down when taking multiple pictures with flash

Nikon Coolpix S9300 Shutter Lag Rating fast Ease of Use par Camera Name Rating


The Nikon Coolpix S9300 gives you a lot of zoom power in a camera that is small enough to slip into a good sized pocket. It has plenty of features if you are looking for that little bit extra in a digital camera.

Some of the big attractions of the Coolpix S9300 are 16 megapixels, 18x zoom, Full High Definition Movies with stereo sound, GPS tracking and a high resolution LCD screen.

Other features you may be interested in include 3D photos and 360 degree panoramas.

Compared with other digital cameras with this length of lens the Coolpix S9300 has the following:

Plus Points

  • GPS
  • Full HD movies
  • iFrame movies
  • Image Stabilisation for video and stills
  • Stereo sound
  • High resolution (921,000 pixel) LCD screen
  • 7 frames per second
  • 360 degree panoramas
  • 3D shooting mode
  • Slow motion and fast motion shooting available

Negative Points

  • No manual exposure controls

Why Buy the Nikon Coolpix S9300

The Coolpix S9300 has a lot going for it. It has a good balance of features, takes excellent snapshots and is fairly easy to use.


Megapixels and Zoom

The Coolpix S9300 has 16 megapixels and an 18x zoom lens. The lens has a focal length equivalent to 25 - 540mm in 35mm format. This amount of zoom gives you plenty of flexibility. You should be able to capture more or less any typical photo opportunity.

Memory Cards

Images can be stored on SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards.


Power is supplied by a lithium ion battery. Nikon suggests you should be able to take around 200 shots before the battery needs to be recharged.

Movie Mode

There are a wide range of movie options available to you. To start with 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 is recorded with your movie clips.

Additional movie options include iFrame movies as well as being able to capture slow motion and fast motion.

LCD Screen

The LCD screen is 3 inches in size.

Scene Modes

Nikon have included a range of scene modes. When you use a scene mode, the camera knows the type of photo you are about to take. It will then select what it considers to be the best settings for the shot. The scene modes available are: Beach, Close Up, Copy, Dusk/Dawn, Easy Panorama, Fireworks Show, Food, Landscape, Museum, Night Portrait, Party/Indoor, Pet Portrait, Portrait, Snow, Sports, Sunset and 3D Photography.

Macro Mode

For close up work the Coolpix S9300 can focus from 4cm away from your subject.


For logging where you are in the world when taking a picture Nikon have equipped the Coolpix S9300 with GPS tagging. There is also an electronic compass available.

Colours and Effects

A number of different colours and effects are available when you want to give your photos a different look. These include monochrome, sepia, high key, low key, selected colour and fisheye.

360 Degree Panoramas

You can create either 180 degree or 360 degree panoramas. After selecting the panorama mode all you need to do is press down the shutter button and pan the camera round in an arc or circle.

3D Shooting

There is a special mode that allows you to produce pictures in 3D.

Image Stabilisation

Image Stabilisation is available for both still photography and videos. It should help to ensure sharp, blur free photos and movies.

Burst Mode

When you turn on the burst mode the camera is capable of taking up to 7 shots in one second. This can be a big help if you are photographing fast moving action.

Image Quality

Picture Quality Summary

Picture quality compares very well with rival cameras. In fact the sharpness and the brightness the Coolpix S9300 is capable of producing make this one of the best cameras in the category when it comes to picture quality.

Outdoor Scenic Shot 1

There are two points that stand out in this test shot. The first is the edge to edge sharpness of the shot. The second is the level of detail the Coolpix S9300 manages to show in the shady areas of the scene. In both cases the camera performs a long way above average. With strong sunlight shining directly onto the boats it also does about as well as can be expected in showing detail in the lightest areas of the scene.

Outdoor Scenic Shot 2

Zooming the lens all the way out is a tough challenge for all digital cameras. Many cameras find it hard to produce a photo that is in sharp focus. In this case the Coolpix S9300 rises to the challenge well. As is normal the levels of sharpness do not match the levels seen in the first photo owing to the distance covered in the scene. Even so sharpness is better than most cameras produce.

Outdoor Scenic Shot 3

This is another good effort. The camera has produced another sharp photo. Plenty of detail is picked up. This is also true for the more difficult areas where there is not a great deal of difference in colour.

Outdoor Building

With the lens not being pushed to its extremes the Coolpix S9300 is on top form. The clarity in the photo, that can be seen towards the edges and down into the corners of the shot is hard to beat.

Outdoor Portrait

One of the biggest differences between this shot and similar shots taken with other cameras is how bright the photo is. The higher brightness levels give the shot a lift. You should be able to take plenty of pleasing portrait snapshots.

Indoor Portrait With Flash

For a photo taken using flash the levels of sharpness, lighting and colour produced by the Coolpix S9300 are close to being perfect. Perhaps the one point that makes this shot stand out from other portrait tests taken using flash is the amount of skin colour that is shown. The amount of light produced by the flash is just enough to reach the corners and light darker areas such as the hair.

Indoor Portrait Without Flash

As with the outdoor portrait shot this photo is brighter than most cameras manage. The level of detail and definition are far better than standard. This suggests you should be able to keep going with the Coolpix S9300 in conditions that are darker than most compact digital cameras can cope with.


Even looking at a small version of the macro shot there is something about it that marks it out as outstanding. It has a level of sharpness that is rare with a compact digital camera. The colours it produces are vivid too.


It is not only the macro shot where the colours are vivid. Two of the strengths of Nikon digital cameras are the power of the colours and the brightness levels of the pictures.


Noise levels are controlled well. You should not see noise showing in shots taken in good light. Even in fading light this camera is likely to keep any noise to a minimum.

Top Rated Cameras in this Category

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

Related Pages

Nikon Coolpix S9300 Specification

Nikon Coolpix S9300 Sample Images

Digital Camera Reviews

Nikon Digital Cameras

Review Date

Review Date: August 2012


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.


Ease of Use:
Movie Mode:
Build Quality:


Photo Quality:
Value for Money:




Main Features

LCD Screen:
HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Memory Cards:

3 inches
62.3 x 108.7 x 30.6mm
Lithium Ion

Shutter Lag Times

Single Shot:
Five Shots:
Single Shot With Flash:
Five Shots With Flash:
Turn on Time:

0.26 seconds
8.91 seconds
0.36 seconds
19.65 seconds
3.19 seconds

Shutter Lag Table


General Handling

There is plenty of room to get a good hold of the Coolpix S9300, especially when the flash unit is not in use. It is a bit longer than a lot of digital cameras. This creates extra space on the back to fit in the control buttons while still leaving room for your thumb. Nikon have added a textured, rubber strip on the back for a better grip.

Flash Positioning

The flash unit pops up on the top of the camera. This makes it easy to keep your fingers from blocking out light, but a little trickier to hold the camera.

LCD Screen Quality

LCD screen quality is very good. Nikon have used 921,000 pixels as opposed to the more standard 230,000 pixels. This helps to give you greater viewing clarity.

Turn on Time and Shutter Delay

Response times were very good apart from when multiple shots with flash were being taken. It outperforms most cameras for single photos.

Design and Build Quality

As mentioned above the Coolpix S9300 is quite a long looking camera. It has quite a plain design. It has a bit of weight to it and this helps to give the impression of a well made camera.

Camera Controls

On the top of the camera are buttons for turning the camera on and off and taking a picture. There is also a ring for controlling zoom and a control dial for selecting the shooting mode.

On the back of the camera are four buttons plus a control area. The four buttons are for shooting a movie, reviewing images, accessing the menu system and deleting unwanted images. The control area gives you access to flash settings, exposure compensation, macro mode, the self timer and confirming a setting. It also has a selection wheel to speed up selecting settings.

Product Shots

Front View

Nikon Coolpix S9300 Front View

Back View

Nikon Coolpix S9300 Back View

Top View

Nikon Coolpix S9300 Top View

Sample Menus

menu 1 menu 2

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