Nikon Coolpix S6300 Review

August 27, 2012 | Matt Grayson | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Nikon Coolpix S6300 is a digital compact camera designed to “make life more colourful”. The S6300 features a 10x optical zoom lens, 16 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor, Full 1080p HD and 3D recording, 2.7 inch LCD screen, 6fps burst shooting, plus Auto HDR and Easy Panorama modes. The Nikon Coolpix S6300 is available in Pink, Blue, Champagne Gold, Black, Silver or Red and costs around £179.99 / €209.00 / $199.95.

Ease of Use

Nikon seem to have gone off at a bit of a tangent with the release of this new range of digital compact cameras. Take the S6300, for example. Nikon usually make good looking cameras for the S (stands for Style) range and this is no exception. It's curvy in the right places with sharp angles on the edges. But Nikon have taken the seriousness out of their cameras. Where there was once a picture taking machine, now stands a bubbly little camera with fun options and a rainbow of colour options.

Saying that, looking at the S6300's specification shows a side to the camera that Nikon are keeping hidden. Underneath the body is a multitude of features aimed at making sure that any pictures you take will be the best they can be. Features such as the 10x optical zoom, which has ED glass for sharper images straight from the camera and Vibration Reduction technology to keep pesky moving objects as still as possible. This also works wonders for using the macro feature at full telephoto. It throws the background completely out of focus and thanks to the VR, it's nice and sharp. Take a look at the sample pictures for proof.

The zoom doesn't quite fit into the Nikon Coolpix S6300's slim body because the front curves out slightly to meet the lens bezel. A small flash sits over the lens towards the left of the camera. On the top, the power button is small, sits flush to the body and is colour coded. A small blue light circles it when powered on so you can see it in the dark. Located next to that is the shutter release which has the zoom ring wrapped around it. The blue light also makes sure you don't press the power button instead of taking a picture.

Nikon Coolpix S6300 Nikon Coolpix S6300
Front Rear

The back and bottom of the Nikon Coolpix S6300 give a slight indication of the price range that it's been placed in. On the back, the screen is large but not flush to the body indicating a lower quality screen. To the bottom, the plastic tripod mount shows a drop in build quality. Let's face it, if you're looking to buy a camera at this price, you're unlikely to be too bothered about these two points, and why should you? You'll probably use the tripod mount rarely and the screen still does the same job but keeps the price of the camera down. Expect to pay twice as much for a flush screen.

The S6300 is a little noisy when it's switched on. However, it's fast which will be great for family shots of the kids. To the right of the screen are the control buttons. At the top is a direct video record button. You can shoot video without coming out of a photographic mode first. Directly below that are the scene mode and playback buttons. The navigation pad is also a snazzy wheel for speedy navigation of the menus or scrolling through the pictures you've already taken. At the bottom, the last two buttons give access to the main menu or deleting pictures you don't want.

In the hands, the Nikon Coolpix S6300 has a bit of weight to it and it feels nicely balanced. This is a camera that's currently running at around £140 so don't expect miracles. It has a plastic tripod socket but the other areas that make a camera vulnerable are quite well protected. The HDMI slot has a plastic cover instead of a rubber one. The battery door could do with a separate lock but at least it has some reinforcement.  Other areas of the camera seem well built. Although the lens is noisy when zooming in and out (which may cause issues during video recording), it's smooth and there's virtually no play in it when extended.

Nikon Coolpix S6300 Nikon Coolpix S6300
Side Front

The menu system is the typical dark grey background with a lighter grey menu and yellow highlighter. It's very easy to use. The tabs on the left can be used by pressing left to choose between shooting, video and set-up. Alternatively, the wheel can be used to scroll through the options available.

A Scene menu has been placed separately which can be accessed by pressing the green camera button. This allows you to select different modes to put the camera into such as Auto, various Scenes, Digital Filters (Soft, Sepia, High Contrast Mono, High Key, Low Key and Selective Colour), Smart Portrait and Subject Tracking. Amusingly, the latter option is ideal for taking pictures of kids and is signified by a target icon.

If you're in a rush, the Nikon Coolpix S6300 can start up from cold and take a picture in around 2.5 seconds. However, our tests proved that the camera wasn't always hitting focus during that time. To ensure a sharp picture, you have to wait anything up to 3.5 seconds.

Nikon Coolpix S6300 Nikon Coolpix S6300
Memory Card Slot Battery Compartment

The S6300 has a number of continuous shooting modes. The High speed continuous takes a stream of pictures recording seven full size images in 1 second (7fps). The Low speed continuous mode will plod along steadily at around 2fps (frames per second) until the five second mark when it slows down to around 0.5fps. Pre-shoot Cache takes a couple of shots in advance so that you don't miss the vital moment. There's also a couple of ultra high speed continuous modes. One records at 120fps in VGA mode (usually around 300,000 pixels) while the other records at 60fps. The file size for that is 1 megapixel.

Playback can be accessed either with the Nikon Coolpix S6300 on or off. If the camera is off, simply hold the playback button down and the pictures you've taken will come onto the screen. Interestingly, there's no option to rotate through the viewing options. Generally, a camera will have more than one option for viewing the pictures, for example: Information, No information and/or Histogram. So with the S6300 there's one way to view the pictures which also displays the file name, date/time, image number, resolution and battery life. There are four stages to zoom out. The first three will change the display to a thumbnail gallery from a slide show and will display more thumbnails per row with each stage. The final setting uses a calendar to flick through pictures taken.

In the box there's a video cable, USB cable that connects to the charger unit to plug into the wall.  You can use this to plug it straight into a computer at an internet cafe to upload your pictures (with permission, obviously). There's a full reference manual, View NX2 image software and a multi-lingual Quick Start guide accompanying the camera in the box along with the rechargeable battery.

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 6Mb.


Images taken at the lowest setting of ISO 125 are beautifully noise free. Pictures are ultra clean, with no colour distortion and nice, crisp lines. At ISO 200, there are ever so faint traces of colour starting to appear when viewed at full magnification, but we'd be unfair if we marked them down for it. It's still perfectly acceptable and at normal viewing size, you wouldn't know it was there.

The noise does become noticeable at ISO 400 with an extremely slight yellowing of colour over the entire picture. It's down to some colour noise poking through which is seen easier at full magnification. Edge definition is still very good at this stage. The noise problem exacerbates at ISO 800 with the colour becoming big enough to see at normal viewing size. It's still a very good performance for a camera at this level.

Noise reduction software starts to throw it's weight around at ISO 1600 and the sharp edges begin to disintegrate. Overall image quality looks ok from a normal viewing distance but don't expect any fine detail. The final setting has been desaturated by the noise reduction to try and control colour noise. It still manages to get through and only primary colours have any kind of presence. In  very dark pictures, there wouldn't be much to look at. The best option would be to switch the flash on and reduce the ISO setting.

There are 6 ISO settings available on the Nikon Coolpix S6300. 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)

File Quality

The Nikon Coolpix S6300 has 2 different image quality settings available, with High 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.

High (100% Crop) Normal (100% Crop)


We're satisfied with the sharpness of the Nikon Coolpix S6300's lens as long as it's in the centre of the frame. We put a couple of images through the standard sharpening in Adobe Photoshop CS4 and there's a definite improvement but without it, the pictures still look good enough.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)


Chromatic Aberrations

The lens on the Nikon Coolpix S6300 appears to manage chroma quite well. It's still present but we had to hunt for it. On our examples, it's only faint. There are occasions when we thought we found it and it was actually lens flare, so that's something to be aware of.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)


The Nikon Coolpix S6300 doesn't have much of a macro facility. You can't get very close to subjects. It also highlights the image drop off towards the edges which is definitely noticeable.


Macro (100% Crop)


Without flash there's a definite vignette around the corners of the frame. This is removed using flash regardless of the zoom setting. Light is balanced with no obvious preference to the centre of the frame.

Forced Off - Wide Angle (25mm)

Forced On - Wide Angle (25mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Forced Off - Telephoto (250mm)

Forced On - Telephoto (250mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Red-eye reduction is software based – it locates the redness in eyes and removes it using software – over a more popular hardware based preflash. It works very well and it's a good job because we got terrible red-eye in our test shot.


On (100% Crop)

Auto/Red-eye Reduction

Auto/Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)


Our test at night showed the Nikon Coolpix S6300 used a slightly longer shutter speed in night scene mode to get more light in but it still used a low ISO 125 setting to retain as much detail as possible.

Night Auto

Night Auto (100% Crop)


Night Scene

Night Scene (100% Crop)

Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Nikon Coolpix S6300 camera, which were all taken using the 16 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample movie at the quality setting of 1920x1080 at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 29 second movie is 53Mb in size.

Product Images

Nikon Coolpix S6300

Front of the Camera

Nikon Coolpix S6300

Front of the Camera / Lens Extended

Nikon Coolpix S6300

Isometric View

Nikon Coolpix S6300

Isometric View

Nikon Coolpix S6300

Isometric View

Nikon Coolpix S6300

Rear of the Camera

Nikon Coolpix S6300

Rear of the Camera / Image Displayed

Nikon Coolpix S6300

Rear of the Camera / Turned On

Nikon Coolpix S6300

Rear of the Camera / Shooting Menu


Nikon Coolpix S6300

Rear of the Camera / Movie Menu

Nikon Coolpix S6300

Rear of the Camera / Playback Menu

Nikon Coolpix S6300

Rear of the Camera / Scene Mode Menu

Nikon Coolpix S6300

Rear of the Camera / Effects Menu

Nikon Coolpix S6300

Top of the Camera

Nikon Coolpix S6300

Side of the Camera

Nikon Coolpix S6300

Side of the Camera

Nikon Coolpix S6300

Memory Card Slot

Nikon Coolpix S6300

Battery Compartment


The Nikon Coolpix S6300 is a thoroughly pleasant camera to use. It's geared for the happy snappers who want something easy and cheerful to take pictures with. This is the camera for such a task. It's not going to change the world; there's no new technology built in. The controls are laid out in a logical fashion, the features will appeal to the market it's aimed at and it looks good. Even just small things such as the colour-coded shutter release button and low profile zoom rocker will make it stand out more than other cameras at a similar price.

The build quality is good enough for the use the Nikon Coolpix S6300 will see. It's not going to cope with extreme weather, or rough play from the kids, but it feels solid enough. A lock would be nice on the battery cover but you can't have everything. The lens quality is good, it produces sharp enough images and although chroma is present, it's quite low.

Image quality is good too. We like the colours and the sharpness of the pictures. Noise is controlled well for a camera of this classification and we're happy with the noise pictures all the way to the end of the scale.

The Nikon Coolpix S6300 sits in the £100-150 bracket which makes it good value for money. It's easy enough that the whole family will be able to use and the features should be able to cope with whatever situation you find yourself in. It's small and light enough for travelling students to take with them. The long zoom makes it ideal for bird watchers or if you're simply too lazy to walk to what you're taking a picture of.

If you're looking for a compact digital camera that has a decent zoom, performs well in all situations and is keenly priced, then take a look at the Nikon Coolpix S6300.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 3.5
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4
Value for money 4.5

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Nikon Coolpix S6300 from around the web. »

The Nikon Coolpix S6300 was announced in February 2011, as part of Nikon's Style range of compact cameras. It is available in red, silver, black and blue for £179.00.
Read the full review » »

Opt for a truly pocket-friendly point-and-shoot camera and you’re often settling for a compromise: small size for zoom ability. But Nikon has successfully avoided this with the Coolpix S6300, which will slip into your jeans - even those of the pornographically skinny hipster variety - easily, yet packs an impressive 10x optical zoom lens.
Read the full review » »

Nikon recently announced nine new Coolpix cameras, four of which are members of their super slim S-series. The S6300 costs about $150 less than the flagship S9300, but other than the zoom length and GPS capabilities, the two cameras are very similar.
Read the full review »


Product name COOLPIX S6300
Type Compact digital camera
Effective pixels 16.0 million
Image sensor 1/2.3-in. type CMOS; approx. 16.79 million total pixels
Lens 10x optical zoom, NIKKOR lens
Focal length 4.5-45.0mm (angle of view equivalent to that of 25-250 mm lens in 35mm [135] format)
f/-number f/3.2-5.8
Construction 8 elements in 8 groups (1 ED lens element)
Digital zoom Up to 4x (angle of view equivalent to that of approx. 1000 mm lens in 35mm [135] format)
Vibration reduction Lens shift
Autofocus (AF) Contrast-detect AF
Focus range (from lens) [W]: Approx. 50 cm (1 ft 8 in.) to infinity, [T]: Approx. 1 m (3 ft 4 in.) to infinity Macro mode: Approx. 10 cm (4 in.) to infinity (wide-angle position)
Focus-area selection Face priority, auto (9-area automatic selection), manual with 99 focus areas, center, subject tracking
Monitor 6.7-cm (2.7-in.), approx. 230k-dot, TFT LCD with anti-reflection coating and 5-level brightness adjustment
Frame coverage (shooting mode) Approx. 98% horizontal and 98% vertical
Frame coverage (playback mode) Approx. 100% horizontal and 100% vertical
Media Internal memory (approx. 25 MB), SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card
File system DCF, Exif 2.3, DPOF, and MPF compliant
File formats Still pictures: JPEG 3D images: MPO Sound files (Voice Memo): WAV Movies: MOV (Video: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, Audio: AAC stereo)
Image size (pixels) 16M (High) [4608 x 3456(fine)] 16M [4608 x 3456] 8M [3264 x 2448] 4M [2272 x 1704] 2M [1600 x 1200] VGA [640 x 480] 16:9 [4608 x 2592]
Shooting Modes Auto, Scene (Scene auto selector, Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Night portrait, Party/indoor, Beach, Snow, Sunset, Dusk/dawn, Night landscape, Close-up, Food, Museum, Fireworks show, Black and white copy, Backlighting, Easy panorama, Pet portrait, 3D photography), Special effects, Smart portrait, Subject tracking
Continuous Shooting Single (default setting), Continuous H (Images are captured continuously at about 6 fps), Continuous L (Up to 6 images at about 1.9 fps), Pre-shooting cache (Up to 5 frames at up to 10.6 fps), Continuous H: 120 fps (50 frames at about 1/120 s or faster), Continuous H: 60 fps (25 frames at about 1/60 s or faster), BSS (Best Shot Selector), Multi-shot 16
Movie HD 1080p(fine) (default setting): 1920 x 1080/approx. 30 fps, HD 1080p: 1920 x 1080/approx. 30 fps, HD 720p: 1280 x 720/approx. 30 fps, iFrame 540: 960 x 540/approx. 30 fps, VGA: 640 x 480/approx. 30 fps, HS 120 fps: 640 x 480, HS 60 fps: 1280 x 720, HS 15 fps: 1920 x 1080
ISO sensitivity (Standard output sensitivity) ISO 125, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 Auto (auto gain from ISO 125 to 1600) Fixed range auto (ISO 125 to 400, 125 to 800)
Metering 256-segment matrix, center-weighted (digital zoom less than 2x), spot (digital zoom 2x or more)
Exposure control Programmed auto exposure with motion detection and exposure compensation (-2.0 to +2.0 EV in steps of 1/3 EV)
Shutter Mechanical and CMOS electronic shutter
Speed 1/2000-1 s 1/4000-1/120 s (Continuous H: 120 fps) 1/4000-1/60 s (Continuous H: 60 fps) 4 s (Fireworks show scene mode)
Aperture Electronically-controlled ND filter (-2.0 EV) selection
Range 2 steps (f/3.2 and f/6.4 [W])
Self-timer Can be selected from 10 s and 2 s
Range (approx.) (ISO sensitivity: Auto) [W]: 0.5 to 5.6m (1 ft 8 in. to 18 ft) [T]: 1.0 to 3.1 m (3 ft 4 in. to 10 ft)
Flash control TTL auto flash with monitor preflashes
Interface Hi-Speed USB
Data Transfer Protocol MTP, PTP
Video output Can be selected from NTSC and PAL
HDMI output Can be selected from Auto, 480p, 720p, and 1080i
I/O terminal Audio/video (A/V) output; digital I/O (USB) HDMI mini connector (Type C) (HDMI output)
Supported languages Arabic, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (European and Brazilian), Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese
Power sources One Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12 (included) AC Adapter EH-62F (available separately)
Charging time Approx. 3 h and 50 min (when using Charging AC Adapter EH-69P and when no charge remains)
Battery life (EN-EL12) Still pictures*: Approx. 230 shots Movies: Approx. 1 h (HD 1080p(fine) (1920x1080)), the maximum file size for a single movie is 4 GB and the maximum movie length for a single movie is 29 minutes, even when there is sufficient free space on the memory card for longer recording. * Unless otherwise stated, all figures are for a camera with a fully-charged Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12 operated at an ambient temperature of 25°C (77°F).
Tripod socket 1/4 (ISO 1222)
Dimensions (W x H x D) Approx. 93.6 x 57.7 x 26.0 mm (3.7 x 2.3 x 1.1 in.) (excluding projections)
Weight Approx. 160 g (5.7 oz) (including battery and SD memory card)
Temperature 0°C to 40°C (32°F to 104°F)
Humidity Less than 85% (no condensation)
Supplied accessories Camera Strap, Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12 (with terminal cover), Charging AC Adapter EH-69P, USB Cable UC-E6, Audio Video Cable EG-CP16, ViewNX 2 Installer CD, Reference Manual CD
Optional accessories Battery Charger MH-65, AC Adapter EH-62F

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