Nikon Coolpix S810c Review

May 21, 2014 | Matt Grayson | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


The Coolpix S810c is Nikon's second Android based smart camera. Boasting a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor with EXPEED C2 processor, 12x optical zoom, built-in wifi and LCD touch-screen, it looks beautiful and seems to have all the equipment for taking and sharing pictures on the go. But how will it cope in our rigorous test? Priced at around £280 / $349.95, the S810c is available in black or white.

Ease of Use

The unassuming exterior of the Nikon Coolpix S810c is a wonderful juxtaposition to the secrets it holds inside. The front is a smooth, glossy face with a slight bulge to house the large 12x optical zoom. The back is equally sparse of features with only three buttons down the right side. If you're unaware of the features that this and the previous model it replaces can do for you, it could take a while to realise that the buttons are similar to those found on a typical Android smart phone.

The Nikon Coolpix S810c is touch screen and even incorporates a touch to shoot system where you press the part of the frame you want the camera to focus on and it will do that before automatically taking a picture for you.

If you're a current Android user, you'll be familiar with many of the features that the camera supports including access to Google Play (the Android app store). You can download any app including social networking and games. The internet access and built-in WiFi make it easier to upload images straight to the internet with only the lack of a 3G signal limiting it's capability. However, the clever boffins at Nikon have considered that and the S810c can connect to a smart device via WiFi. It will transfer images and video to the device where you can then upload top the internet from there.

Nikon Coolpix S810c Nikon Coolpix S810c
Front Rear

There's a ridiculous number of features available and as such, we wouldn't be able to cover them all so instead we'll concentrate on the new features and upgrades from the previous S800c model that the S810c replaces.

External improvements include the 12x optical zoom from 10x on the S800c. On the back there's an ever so slightly larger screen at 3.7 inches. However, not all of the screen is utilised when taking pictures. It does have black bands down either side which are then used for touch-screen menus.

Internally, the memory card has been downsized to the MicroSD card. That may seem like an unusual change to make, but it's perfect for then changing over to a phone and transferring images that way as it saves battery power. The battery has also been upgraded to the new EN-EL23. It can take up to 270 pictures compared to the 140 pictures using the EN-EL12 in the S800c. Shooting settings such as the resolution and ISO sensitivity have remained the same.

There's a great deal to do on the Nikon Coolpix S810c. Shooting alone has many features available. The left side of the screen has quick option buttons such as flash functions, self-timer and exposure compensation. The right side has the shooting and playback buttons as well as an option for adjusting colour vividness. Within the latter button, you can choose from Vividness or RGB filters. While the Vividness slider changes the saturation of the picture, the RGB setting adjusts the hue of the picture.

Nikon Coolpix S810c Nikon Coolpix S810c
Front Top

As well as the typical menu systems available on a normal digital camera, the S810c also has an Android based menu system. It's accessed by pressing the Home button on the right side of the camera. It switches the camera section off and you have to unlock the smart device software by swiping the screen.

Once inside you have a window with half a dozen apps pre-installed. As long as you have internet access, you can treat the camera as a smart device from here. Going into the Play Store will allow you to download apps. Because you should have an account with Google to download the apps, if you have an Android based phone or tablet, you can download the apps you already have registered to your account. The camera has 4Gb of internal storage to cope with this.

The icons to the right will take you back to shooting or playback depending on which way the camera is facing that you touch. The centre circle with dashes inside it takes you into the rest of the pre-installed apps on the camera. You can drag these onto the main window or leave them where they are, the choice is yours depending on your preferred work-flow.

Starting the Nikon Coolpix S810c up and timing how fast it can do it is an unusual event. Starting it up normally can take anything up to five seconds. If you hold the power button down for a moment before switching it off, an option to prepare it for a quick start will pop up. This does cut the time down, but only to around 3.5 secs. That's slow by a long margin and we couldn't cut that time down. We uploaded images to Facebook and were successful. It did take some time, but being out in the countryside while testing, the broadband signal was only around half a meg.

Nikon Coolpix S810c Nikon Coolpix S810c
Apps Memory Card Slot

There are multiple continuous options. The High speed option takes three seconds in a quarter of a second. The downside to this lightning fast speed is that it takes around 30 sec to download the images. You can opt for the slower setting which plods along at around 2fps (frames per second) for three seconds then stops to download. This again takes around 30 seconds.

Once you take a picture, a small thumbnail of the most recent image will be displayed in the bottom right corner.  You can tap that picture to be taken into the playback area. You can swipe through pictures using the touch screen. Pressing the menu button gives you the option for deleting, creating a slide-show, protecting pictures and other features. The buttons on the right of the screen allow you to share images via WiFi with an indicator sat above it, an option to go back to shooting and a Timeline View option. With this, you can choose images you wish to view in a vertical scrolling timeline. A little like how Facebook or Instagram now show images in an album.

As we mentioned earlier, the Nikon Coolpix S810c takes a rechargeable lithium ion battery. The charger is a simple charging unit that plugs into the mains with USA points or you can use the included UK adapter. We find this very useful for when travelling to countries that use this plug type such as USA, Canada, the Caribbean and the Philippines. The USB cable plugs into this and then directly to the camera. The great news is that you can also use a computer to charge, via the USB. This can take longer, though. There's also a wrist strap and a Quick Start Guide to get your camera ready to shoot. If you want more indepth knowledge, you can download the full manual from the Nikon website.

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 5Mb.


As we tested the Nikon Coolpix S810c, we started to get very excited about the results. They looked superb on the monitor, but we did keep in mind that the monitor on the back of a camera and the computer screen give vastly different results. Low ISO settings are very promising with ISO 125 showing fantastic results. There's no noise in any areas while the edges are clean and sharp.

If we were to be pedantic, there's an ever so slight drop in edge definition at ISO 400, but it's very small and only seen on sharp edges at full magnification. It's by no means anything to worry about and, indeed, you don't have to worry at all until ISO 1600 when slight amounts of colour noise start to show through. Image quality drops significantly at ISO 3200, but to keep it in perspective, a similar result on other digital cameras would happen around ISO 800.

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

Focal Range

The focal range of the Nikon Coolpix S810c is 25-300mm in 35mm terms. That's a 12x optical zoom which is a slight improvement on the 10x optical zoom on the S800c predecessor.



focal_range1.jpg focal_range2.jpg


We tried sharpening a couple of images in Adobe Photoshop and while it increased the quality slightly, we don't think there's a distinct need to add any on a regular basis.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

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

Chromatic Aberrations

Chroma is very hard to find on the images from the Nikon Coolpix S810c. We did see it, but it's faint or in very extreme edges of the frame.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg

Chromatic Aberrations 3 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 4 (100% Crop)

chromatic3.jpg chromatic4.jpg


Close focusing is 2cm in macro mode. That's a very close range and will help in a lot of situations. The downside is that the camera suffers from dispersion. Image quality drops very early from the centre of the frame and very fast. The sweet spot only occupies a small percentage of the centre of the frame.


Macro (100% Crop)

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg


Flash on the Nikon Coolpix S810c is intelligent whereby it stabilises the available light without taking over and washing out the natural light. In fact, it's designed to make it look as though you're using natural light. In the red-eye test, we didn't get any on the portraits we took.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (25mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (25mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Flash Off - Telephoto (250mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (250mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are a couple of portrait shots.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
flash_on.jpg flash_on1.jpg

Red Eye Reduction

Red Eye Reduction (100% Crop)

flash_redeye.jpg flash_redeye1.jpg


The Nikon Coolpix S810c has a scene menu and you can select a night landscape when shooting. We actually got a slightly better exposure in auto mode than we did using the scene preset. The camera did select a slower shutter speed and we had the camera set to a third under exposed on the exposure compensation. All other settings were identical in selection by the camera.

Night Auto

Night Auto (100% Crop)

night_auto.jpg night_auto1.jpg

Night Scene

Night Scene (100% Crop)

night_scene.jpg night_scene1.jpg

Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Nikon Coolpix S810c 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 highest quality setting of 1920x1080 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 38 second movie is 77.8Mb in size.

Product Images

Nikon Coolpix S810c

Front of the Nikon Coolpix S810c

Nikon Coolpix S810c

Front of the Nikon Coolpix S810c / Turned On

Nikon Coolpix S810c

Side of the Nikon Coolpix S810c

Nikon Coolpix S810c

Side of the Nikon Coolpix S810c

Nikon Coolpix S810c

Rear of the Nikon Coolpix S810c

Nikon Coolpix S810c

Rear of the Nikon Coolpix S810c / Image Displayed

Nikon Coolpix S810c

Rear of the Nikon Coolpix S810c / Turned On

Nikon Coolpix S810c

Rear of the Nikon Coolpix S810c / Main Menu

Nikon Coolpix S810c

Rear of the Nikon Coolpix S810c / Main Menu


Nikon Coolpix S810c

Rear of the Nikon Coolpix S810c / Main Menu

Nikon Coolpix S810c

Rear of the Nikon Coolpix S810c / Main Menu

Nikon Coolpix S810c

Rear of the Nikon Coolpix S810c / Main Menu

Nikon Coolpix S810c

Rear of the Nikon Coolpix S810c / Main Menu

Nikon Coolpix S810c

Rear of the Nikon Coolpix S810c / Main Menu

Nikon Coolpix S810c

Rear of the Nikon Coolpix S810c / Main Menu

Nikon Coolpix S810c

Rear of the Nikon Coolpix S810c / Main Menu

Nikon Coolpix S810c

Rear of the Nikon Coolpix S810c / Main Menu

Nikon Coolpix S810c

Rear of the Nikon Coolpix S810c / Main Menu

Nikon Coolpix S810c

Top of the Nikon Coolpix S810c

Nikon Coolpix S810c

Bottom of the Nikon Coolpix S810c

Nikon Coolpix S810c

Side of the Nikon Coolpix S810c

Nikon Coolpix S810c

Side of the Nikon Coolpix S810c

Nikon Coolpix S810c

Front of the Nikon Coolpix S810c

Nikon Coolpix S810c

Memory Card Slot


There's been some worry recently and murmurings of smart devices taking over from cameras and compact cameras disappearing entirely. It seems that cameras such as the Nikon Coolpix S810C are designed to give you the feature-set of a smart device with the better image quality of a phone or tablet. It works too, Nikon have given the camera a fantastic sensor and noise reduction facility. It really does help to demonstrate why a larger sensor is better. Being able to browse the web, upload images or play games on a camera are all added bonuses.

Smart device companies will say that you don't need any more than your phone, but most people have a phone and tablet. They all have the same apps which the owners will use separately. So this line of thought is complete rubbish. There is space in your life for the S810c because it takes far superior pictures to anything a smart phone can do. The zoom has more range and the colours are punchier. Most importantly, the images are practically noise free.

Ultimately, for the price, the Nikon Coolpix S810c is an absolute powerhouse of a camera. All the different features fall in together to give you one hell of a camera. It's perfect for travelling thanks to the WiFi compatibility, MicroSD card and USB charging option.

The increased benefit of taking an excellent quality picture then uploading directly to social media will really appeal to the younger, tech savvy generation. While you're at it, why not update your status or get three stars on Angry Birds?

The Nikon Coolpix S810C isn't a camera designed for newcomers to photography or those of you who can't “get” technology because there's a lot of it brimming under the glossy exterior. However, if you're clued up to what gadgets can do for you and you have your finger on the proverbial pulse of electronics, then this is a camera that will appeal to you.

4.5 stars

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

Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Nikon Coolpix S810c.

Google Nexus 5

The new Google Nexus 5 is one of the cheapest flagship smartphones on the market, but also one of the most powerful and full-featured too, running the latest KitKat version of Android. But what kind of experience does it offer photographers? Read our Google Nexus 5 review to find out...

HTC One (M8)

The HTC One (M8) is a new flagship smartphone with not one, but two cameras, using the second one as a depth sensor that allows you to change the point of focus after taking a photo and achieve DSLR-like shallow depth-of field effects. Does this make the HTC One (M8) the best smartphone for avid photographers? Read our HTC One (M8) review to find out..

Nikon Coolpix S800c

The Nikon Coolpix S800c is half compact camera, half smartphone, based upon Android, the world's most popular mobile platform. Featuring a 10x, 25-250mm lens and a 16 megapixel CCD sensor, the S800c also offers a 3.5 inch touch-screen OLED display, 1080p HD movies and wi-fi connectivity. Read our in-depth Nikon Coolpix S800c review now to see if it really can replace your smartphone...

Nokia Lumia 1020

The Nokia Lumia 1020 is a new 41-megapixel smartphone - yes, you read that right, 41 megapixels. The Lumia 1020 also offers built-in optical image stabilisation, a 3x loss-less zoom for stills and 6x for movies, a 26mm fixed lens with fast f/2.2 aperture, and 1080p video at 30fps with stereo sound. Read our Nokia Lumia 1020 review to find out if it can replace a compact camera.

Samsung Galaxy Camera

It's not very often that something entirely new enters the camera market, but the Samsung Galaxy Camera certainly fits that bill. Half travel-zoom camera, half smartphone, with a dash of the Android operating system and a pinch of wi-fi and 3G/4G connectivity, the Galaxy Camera is a very brave attempt to breathe new life into the declining compact camera business. Read our detailed Samsung Galaxy Camera review, complete with 90 full-size sample images, to find out if it's a success or not...

Samsung Galaxy S4

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is one of the most popular flagship smartphones of 2013, but can it replace your compact camera? Read our Samsung Galaxy S4 review to find out...

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom

Introducing the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom. Is it a camera? Is it a phone? No, the Galaxy S4 Zoom is Samsung's attempt to bring both together in one device - but have they succeeded? Read our Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom review to find out...


Image sensor 1/2.3-in. type CMOS; Total pixels: approx. 16.79 million
Lens NIKKOR lens with 12x optical zoom
Focal length 4.5 - 54.0 mm (angle of view equivalent to that of 25–300 mm lens in 35mm [135] format)
f/-number f/3.3–6.3
Lens construction 9 elements in 7 groups (1 ED lens element)
Digital zoom Up to 4x (angle of view equivalent to that of approx. 1200 mm lens in 35mm [135] format)
Vibration reduction Lens-shift and Electronic VR (still pictures), Lens-shift VR (movies)
Motion blur reduction Motion detection (still pictures)
Autofocus Contrast-detect AF
Focus range [W]: Approx. 50 cm (1 ft 8 in.) to infinity, [T]: Approx. 1.5 m (5 ft) to infinity. Macro close-up mode: Approx. 2 cm (0.8 in.) to infinity (wide-angle position). (All distances measured from center of front surface of lens).
Focus-area selection Face priority, auto (9-area automatic selection), center, manual (focus area can be selected using the touch panel), subject tracking, target finding AF
Monitor 9.4 cm (3.7in.) diagonal, widescreen, TFT LCD monitor (touch panel) with anti-reflection coating. Approx. 1229k-dot, 9-level brightness adjustment
Frame coverage (shooting mode) Approx. 98% horizontal and 98% vertical (compared to actual image)
Frame coverage (playback mode) Approx. 100% horizontal and 100% vertical (compared to actual image)
Storage media microSDHC, microSDXC. Internal memory spaces available for saving images: approx. 1.1 GB, available for saving applications: approx. 1 GB (varying depending on the country or region)
File system DCF, Exif 2.3 and DPOF compliant
File formats Still pictures: JPEG. Comments: TXT. Movies: MOV (video: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, audio: LPCM stereo)
Image size (pixels) 16M (high image quality) [4608 x 3456]. 16M [4608 x 3456]. 8M [3264 x 2448]. 4M [2272 x 1704]. 2M [1600 x 1200]. VGA [640 x 480]. 16:9 (12M) [4608 x 2592]. 16:9 (2M) [1920 x 1080]. 1:1 (12M) [3456 x 3456]
ISO sensitivity ISO 125–1600. ISO 3200 (available in auto mode)
Exposure metering Matrix, center-weighted (digital zoom less than 2x), spot (digital zoom 2x or more)
Exposure control Programmed auto exposure and exposure compensation (–2.0 – +2.0 EV in steps of 1/3 EV)
Shutter Mechanical and CMOS electronic shutter
Shutter speed 1/2000-1 s. 1/4000 s (maximum speed during high-speed continuous shooting) 4 s (Fireworks show scene mode)
Self-timer modes Can be selected from 10 and 2 second durations
Aperture Electronically-controlled ND filter (–2 AV) selection
Aperture range 2 steps (f/3.3 and f/6.6 [W])
Flash range (approx.) [W]: 0.5–5.5 m (1 ft 8 in.–18 ft). [T]: 1.0–3.0 m (3 ft 4 in.–9 ft)
Flash control TTL auto flash with monitor preflashes
Interface Hi-Speed USB equivalent
Data Transfer Protocol Mass storage
HDMI output Can be selected from Auto, 480p, 720p, and 1080i
Audio input Stereo mini-pin jack (3.5-mm diameter; plug-in power supported)
Audio output Stereo mini-pin jack (3.5-mm diameter)
GPS Receiver frequency 1575.42 MHz (C/A code), geodetic system WGS 84
I/O terminal Headset connector, Micro-USB connector, HDMI Micro connector (Type D)
Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN) standards IEEE 802.11b/g/n (standard wireless LAN protocol), WPS 2.0 (certified compliant with Wi-Fi Alliance standards), ARIB STD-T66 (standard for low power data communications systems)
Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN) communications protocols IEEE 802.11b: DBPSK, DQPSK, CCK. IEEE 802.11g: OFDM. IEEE 802.11n: OFDM
Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN) operating frequency 2412-2462 MHz (1-11 channels)
Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN) range (line of sight) Approx. 60 m (65 yd)
Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN) data rates (actual measured values) IEEE 802.11b: 5 Mbps. IEEE 802.11g: 20 Mbps. IEEE 802.11n: 25 Mbps
Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN) security WPA/WPA2/WEP
Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN) access protocols Infrastructure
Processor Cortex-A9
Memory Internal storage: Approx. 4 GB. RAM: Approx. 1 GB
Operating system Android 4.2.2
Supported languages Arabic, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (European and Brazilian), Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese
Power sources One Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL23 (included). AC Adapter EH-67A (available separately)
Charging time Approx. 3 hours 45 minutes (with Charging AC Adapter EH-71P when battery is fully discharged)
Battery life¹ Approx. 270 shots when using EN-EL23
Actual battery life for movie recording² Approx. 1 hour 10 minutes when using EN-EL23
Tripod socket 1/4 in. (ISO 1222)
Dimensions (W x H x D) 113 x 63.5 x 27.5 mm (4.5 x 2.5 x 1.1in.) (excluding projections)
Weight Approx. 216g (7.7 oz) (including battery and memory card)
Temperature 0°C – 40°C (32°F – 104°F)
Humidity 85% or less (no condensation)

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