Nikon Coolpix S9500 Review

4.0
August 2, 2013 | Mark Goldstein |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 18 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 6.5Mb.

The Nikon Coolpix S9500 produced images of good quality during the review period. Images are noise free at ISO 125-400, with limited noise and colour desaturation starting to appear at ISO 800. ISO 1600 exhibits quite visible noise, smearing of fine detail and colour desaturation, and the fastest settings of ISO 3200 is even noisier and best avoided altogether.

The Nikon Coolpix S9500 dealt quite well with chromatic aberrations, with purple fringing effects appearing only in high contrast situations. The built-in flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and adequate exposure. The night photograph was poor, with the maximum shutter speed of 4 seconds limiting what you can capture after-dark. Image stabilisation 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.

Macro performance is fine, allowing you to focus as close as 4cm 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, or you can change the in-camera setting if you don't like the default results.

Noise

There are 6 ISO settings available on the Nikon Coolpix S9500. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 125 (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 S9500's 22x zoom lens offers a very versatile focal range, as demonstrated by the examples below.

25mm

550mm

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 soft at the default sharpening setting and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. Unfortunately you can't change the in-camera sharpening level.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

File Quality

The Nikon Coolpix S9500 has 2 different image quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

18M Fine (7.33Mb) (100% Crop) 18M Normal (3.68Mb) (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations

The Nikon Coolpix S9500 handled chromatic aberrations fairly well during the review, with some purple fringing present around the edges of objects in certain high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Nikon Coolpix S9500 offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 4cms away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro

Macro (100% Crop)

Flash

The flash settings on the Nikon Coolpix S9500 are Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Off, On and Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Forced Off - Wide Angle (25mm)

Forced On - Wide Angle (25mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Forced Off - Telephoto (550mm)

Forced On - Telephoto (550mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the On or the Auto/Red-eye Reduction settings caused any significant red-eye.

On

On (100% Crop)
   

Auto/Red-eye Reduction

Auto/Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night

The Nikon Coolpix S9500's maximum shutter speed is 4 seconds in the Fireworks scene mode, which is not great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 1 second at ISO 800.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

Vibration Reduction

Vibration Reduction is Nikon's name for anti-shake, which in the S9500 works via a lens-shift mechanism. To test this, we 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.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Anti Shake Off (100% Crop)

Anti Shake On (100% Crop)

1/25th / 25mm
     
1/6th / 550mm

Special Effects

The Nikon Coolpix S9500 offers a number of special effects that you can preview before taking the shot.

Off

Soft

   

Nostalgic Sepia

High-contrast Monochrome

   

High Key

Low Key

   

Selective Color

 
 

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, compact, review, 1080p, hdmi, nikon, full hd, wi-fi, wireless, travel-zoom, travel, coolpix, wifi, travel zoom, 18 megapixel, gps, OLED, 3 inch OLED, 22x zoom, Nikon Coolpix S9500 Review, 25-550mm, s9500

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