Nikon Coolpix S3000 Review

3.5
September 8, 2010 | Mark Goldstein |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 12 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 4Mb.

The Nikon Coolpix S3000 produced images of average quality during the review period. Noise and loss of fine detail becomes obvious at the relatively slow speed of ISO 400 and then progressively worse at the faster settings of 800 and 1600. The fastest setting of 3200 is only to be used as a last resort. Chromatic aberrations were fairly well controlled, with limited purple fringing effects appearing in high contrast situations. The 12 megapixel images were a little soft straight out of the camera at the default sharpen setting and require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, as you can't change the in-camera sharpening level. Macro performance is poor, only allowing you to focus as close as 8cms away from the subject. The built-in flash worked fairly well indoors, with little red-eye and adequate overall exposure,a lthough it did suffer from inconsistent white balance. The maximum shutter speed of 2 seconds isn't long enough to allow the camera to capture enough light for most after-dark situations.

Noise

The Nikon Coolpix S3000 has sensitivity settings ranging from ISO 80 to ISO 3200 at full resolution.

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 3200 (100% Crop)

 
 

Focal Range

The Nikon Coolpix S3000's 4x zoom lens provides a focal length of 27-108mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.

27mm

108mm

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops - he right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are slightly soft at the default sharpening setting and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can't change the in-camera sharpening level to suit your tastes.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

File Quality

At full resolution, there are two JPEG quality settings available including Normal and Fine, with the latter being marked with a star in the menu.

Fine (4.86Mb) (100% Crop)

Normal (2.69Mb) (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations

The Nikon Coolpix S3000 shows little purple fringing, although you can find examples of it in areas of high contrast as shown in the examples below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Example 2 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Nikon Coolpix S3000 allows you to get as close as 8cms to your subject, in this case a Compact Flash card.

Macro Shot

100% Crop

Flash

Vignetting is not a major issue with the Nikon Coolpix S3000, irrespective of whether you use the flash or not.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (27mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (27mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (108mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (108mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are a couple of portrait shots. Flash exposures produced by the S3000 exhibited white balance inconsistencies as clearly shown below, but red-eye wasn't a major problem.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Red Eye Reduction

Red Eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night

The Nikon Coolpix S3000 is hardly the ideal tool for night photography, as the longest shutter speed is 2 seconds and you cannot set it manually. The shot below was captured at a shutter speed of 1 second at ISO 80.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Entry Tags

compact, 12 megapixel, nikon, beginner, video, coolpix, 2.7 inch, VGA, entry, 640x480, s3000, Nikon Coolpix S3000 Review, nikon s3000