Nikon Coolpix S1100pj Review

4.0
October 29, 2010 | Mark Goldstein |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 14 megapixel High JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 5.5Mb.

The Nikon Coolpix S1100pj produced images of above average quality during the review period. The 1/2.33 inch, 14 megapixel sensor used in the S1100pj suffers from noisy images even at the relatively slow speed of ISO 200. ISO 400 exhibits quite visible noise and colour desaturation, and ISO 800 is even noisier, although still usable for small prints. ISO 1600 is best avoided altogether, while the fastest settings of ISO 3200 and 6400 are reduced to just 3 megapixels.

The Coolpix S1100pj dealt fairly well with chromatic aberrations, with some purple fringing effects appearing mostly in high contrast situations. The flash worked fairly well indoors, with a little red-eye and adequate exposure, except in the corners of the frame at the wide-angle setting. The night photograph was poor, with the maximum shutter speed of 4 seconds not allowing you to capture enough light.

Macro performance is very good, only allowing you to focus as close as 3cms away from the subject. The images were a little soft straight out of the camera at the default sharpening setting and ideally require further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, as you can't change the in-camera setting if you don't like the default results. Anti-shake is a feature that works very well when hand-holding the camera in low-light conditions or when using the telephoto end of the zoom range.

Noise

At full resolution, there are 8 ISO settings available on the Nikon Coolpix S1100pj.  Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting. Note that ISO 3200 and ISO 6400 are only available at a reduced resolution of 3 megapixels.

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 320 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

Focal Range

The Nikon Coolpix S1100pj's 5x zoom lens offers a versatile focal range, as illustrated by these examples:

28mm

140mm

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting. You can't change the in-camera sharpening level if you don't like the default look.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

File Quality

There are two JPEG quality settings available at full resolution, Normal and High. On the camera, the latter is denoted with an asterisk next to the megapixel count. The Coolpix S1100pj doesn't shoot RAW. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options.

14M High (100% Crop) 14M Normal (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations

For a camera with an internally stacked zoom, the Nikon Coolpix S1100pj handled chromatic aberrations well. Here are a couple of 100% crops that show what you can expect in the worst case.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Example 2 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Nikon Coolpix S1100pj has a very good macro mode. The minimum focus distance is 3cm, and optimum results are achieved with the lens zoomed in a little. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject. The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

100% Crop

Flash

The flash settings on the Nikon Coolpix S1100pj are Auto, Flash On, Red-eye Reduction, Slow Synchro and Off. These shots of a white ceiling were taken at a subject distance of 1.5m. It is obvious that the flash struggles to evenly illuminate the entire subject at the wide end of the zoom range, but the flash coverage issue is much less severe at the maximum telephoto setting. In the photos taken without flash, we can also see a bit of light fall-off in the corners.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (28mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (28mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (140mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (140mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. The flash has a red-eye reduction setting, though in this test there was not much of a redeye effect to begin with.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night

The slowest shutter speed of the Nikon Coolpix S100pj is 4 seconds in the Fireworks show scene mode, and even less in the other shooting modes, which is disappointing news if you are seriously interested in night photography. The following example was taken at a shutter speed of 1 second at ISO 80. We have included a 100% crop to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Vibration Reduction

Vibration Reduction is Nikon's name for anti-shake, which in the Coolpix S1100pj works via a sensor-shift mechanism. To test this, I took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the same settings. The first shot was taken with anti shake turned off, the second with it turned on. Here are some 100% crops of the images to show the results. As you can see, with anti shake turned on, the images are much sharper than with anti shake turned off. This feature really does seem to make a difference and could mean capturing a successful, sharp shot or missing the opportunity altogether.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Anti Shake Off (100% Crop)

Anti Shake On (100% Crop)

1/3rd / 28mm
     
0.7 sec / 140mm

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, 720p, hdmi, nikon, 14 megapixel, 5x zoom, touch-screen, coolpix, touchscreen, touch screen, projector, slide, slide show, s1100pj, Nikon Coolpix S1100pj Review

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