Nikon Coolpix S9900 Review

March 24, 2015 | Mark Goldstein | |

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 16 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 5.5Mb.

The Nikon Coolpix S9900 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 and especially 6400 are even noisier and best avoided altogether.

The Nikon Coolpix S9900 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 fine, with the maximum shutter speed of 8 seconds not limiting too much 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 excellent, allowing you to focus as close as 1cm 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 7 ISO settings available on the Nikon Coolpix S9900. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 125 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso125.jpg iso200.jpg
   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso800.jpg
   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso3200.jpg
   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

 
iso6400.jpg  

Focal Range

The Nikon Coolpix S9900's 30x zoom lens offers a very versatile focal range, as demonstrated by the examples below.

25mm

750mm

focal_range1.jpg focal_range2.jpg

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)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
   
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

File Quality

The Nikon Coolpix S9900 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.

16M Fine (5.3Mb) (100% Crop) 16M Normal (3.00Mb) (100% Crop)
quality_fine.jpg quality_normal.jpg

Chromatic Aberrations

The Nikon Coolpix S9900 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)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg

Macro

The Nikon Coolpix S9900 offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is just 1cm 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)

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg

Flash

The flash settings on the Nikon Coolpix S9900 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 (750mm)

Forced On - Telephoto (750mm)

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)
flash_on.jpg flash_on1.jpg
   

Auto/Red-eye Reduction

Auto/Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

flash_redeye.jpg flash_redeye1.jpg

Night

The Nikon Coolpix S9900's maximum shutter speed is 8 seconds when ISO sensitivity is fixed at ISO 125 or 200 in the S, A, or M modes, which is good news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 8 seconds at ISO 125.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

night_shutter_priority.jpg night_shutter_priority1.jpg