Nikon's 2010 Coolpix digital cameras: 1080p video, compact megazooms, and more

This week's bombardment of pre-PMA 2010 product announcements wasn't only about Fujifilm FinePix and Olympus cameras; Nikon also joined the fray with seven new Nikon Coolpix digital cameras.
Written by Janice Chen, Inactive on

This week's bombardment of pre-PMA 2010 product announcements wasn't only about Fujifilm FinePix and Olympus cameras; Nikon also joined the fray with seven new Nikon Coolpix digital cameras.  Nothing earth-shattering, but there were some interesting developments like 1080p HD video recording in a 26x wide-angle megazoom (the Nikon Coolpix P100) and a super-thin, wide-angle megazoom (the Nikon Coolpix S8000) among others.  Here's a rundown of the new lineup:

Nikon Coolpix P100

At the top end of the 2010 Coolpix Performance Series is this 10.3-megapixel megazoom, with a wide angle (27-678mm equivalent) 26x optical zoom lens. Like the Fujifilm FinePix HS10 30x megazoom announced the same day, the P100 uses a backside illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor to enable high-speed continuous shooting and better low-light performance. As with the HS10 (which is $100 more), the P100 records 1080p HD movies with stereo sound and offers HDMI connectivity. The camera will be available in March for $399.95.

Style Series

Nikon also announced four cameras in its Style Series of ultra-slim cameras, most notably, the Nikon Coolpix S8000, which it was touting as the slimmest camera of its class (not knowing that Fujifilm would also be announcing the even slimmer FinePix JZ500). Similar to the JZ500 (which lists for $50 less), the S8000 is a 14.2-megapixel compact megazoom that offers 720p HD movie recording (and unlike the JZ500, it offers HDMI connectivity). Though I prefer the wider angle of the Fujifilm's 10x optical zoom lens to the S8000's 30-300mm equivalent 10x lens, the S8000's 3.0-inch, 921,000-dot LCD outshines the JZ500's 2.7-inch, 230,000-dot model.  The S8000 will be available in black, red, silver, or bronze when it ships this month for $299.95.

Moving down the line from there is the Nikon Coolpix S6000, a 14.2-megapixel shooter with a wide-angle (28-196mm equivalent) 7x optical zoom and 2.7-inch LCD.  It also shoots 720p HD movies and offers HDMI connectivity and will be available in the same four colors for $249.95 when it ships in March.

TheNikon Coolpix S4000bumps resolution down to 12 megapixels, and optical zoom down to 4x (27-108mm equivalent) but serves up a 3.0-inch, 460,000-dot touch-screen LCD and 720p HD movie recording.  pictures. As with many of the touch-screen cameras we've already seen, the S4000 allows you to select your subject by touching the screen, adjust focus and exposure, and then automatically release the shutter. The camera also features Subject Tracking, which allows you to automatically follow and focus on a subject selected by touching the screen. The S4000 will be offered in silver, black, red, pink, or plum and ships for $199.95 in March.

And at the low end of the Style series is the Nikon Coolpix S3000, a 12-megapixel model with a wide-angle (27-108mm) 4x optical zoom and 2.7-inch LCD.  Highlights include sensitivity range up to ISO 3200 and a four-way image stabilization system. The camera is just 19mm thick and will come in plum, black, blue, silver, green, and orange and will sell for $149.95 when it ships in March.

Life Series

The last two cameras are new additions to Nikon's Life Series of cameras focusing on ease-of-use. The new Nikon Coolpix L110is a 12.1-megapixel wide-angle (28-420mm equivalent) 15x megazoom, that offers up a 3.0-inch, 460,000-dot LCD and shoots 720p HD movies with stereo sound and HDMI output, as well as high-speed shooting at about 11.1 fps (at 3 megapixels) for up to 20 images.  The L110 uses AA batteries and Nikon estimates it will shoot approximately 840 stills or seven hours of HD video on the set of four AA Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries that are included in the package.  The camera will ship this month in black or red for $279.95.

Finally, the new entry-level Nikon Coolpix L22is a budget friendly 12-megapixel shooter with a 37-134mm equivalent 3.6x optical zoom lens.  Despite its $129.95 price tag, the L22 offers up a large 3.0-inch LCD as well as three-way image stabilization and ISO 1600 capability.  There's an Easy Auto mode with an automatic scene selector (with only six scene modes), and the camera is also powered by AA batteries, which are not included.  The L22 will ship this month in red, black, blue, or silver.

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