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Nikon Coolpix S3100 - Test shots: Detail and Lens Performance

By Gavin Stoker

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

A more general selection of test shots are revealed on this page and next to act as an evaluation of the Nikon S3100 in a variety of shooting conditions.

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This extreme wide angle composition, shot at 26mm equivalent, shows how much can be shoehored into frame with the S3100. If we're being picky there is some softening of detail towards the corners and also some pixel fringing noticeable in the top left hand corner of the frame where the tree branches meet the sky - but neither are surprises on snapshot model.

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A second image taken from the same vantage point but now at the telephoto end of the zoom (130mm equivalent) to display the breadth of the focal range on offer in practical terms. This shot is a little softer overall and we struggled on occasion to get pin sharp images shooting handheld at this setting, whereupon camera shake became a problem, even in broad daylight.

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Our standardised rusty gate shot taken at the telephoto end of the zoom. There's sufficient detail here to display the flaky paint and rusting metal, but again we would have preferred a sharper image overall.

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Not the most visually arresting of subjects but a good example of the level of detail that can be captured by the S3100's lens and sensor combo. Like our initial wide angle shot at the top of the page, what's centre of frame is sharper than toward the edges, but it seems churlish to grumble that a £100 camera doesn't perform quite as well as one three times the price. For the money, this is a good performance.

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Dinty

December 22, 2011, 3:34 am

I bought my Nikon S3100 because I was impressed with its slim dimensions, and its wide angle zoom lens. However I only owned it for 6 days. During that time it seemed to be incapable of getting much more than 50% of the pictures I took in focus. This was despite my trying all the different autofocus modes, and being careful to hold the camera as steady as possible. When the S3100 got a picture in focus the quality was pretty good, but I found I couldn't trust it. I have been dabbling in photography for 55 years and can't remember owning a camera as disappointing as this Nikon. I am prepared to accept that I got a duff one, but I didn't want to take the risk of trying another S3100 and finding that to be duff also, so when I returned the S3100 to the shop I bought a Fuji model instead which I have found to be absolutely first class.

GerryL

March 18, 2013, 3:04 am

You had a bad one. My wife got one a year ago and it is an absolute delight. $69 at Costco didn't hurt either.

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