Nikon Coolpix S8200 Review - Digital Photography School

Nikon Coolpix S8200 Review

]This camera seems to tick quite a few boxes: the CMOS sensor captures an effective 16.1 million pixels; the Nikkor lens has a 14x range, equating to 25-350mm in a 35 SLR lens; it’s very compact and pocketable, at only 33mm depth with lens withdrawn.

Nikon Coolpix S8200 Review Harbour Bridge and city full wide.jpg

Nikon Coolpix S8200 Review Harbour Bridge and city full tele.jpg

The maximum image size is 4608×3456 pixels or, 39x29cm as a print. Movies can be shot at Full HD res of 1920×1080.

Differing to the Nikon P7100, there is a dedicated red button to fire off movie recording, which happens with smooth AF and exposure correction throughout the zoom range. Maximum movie length is 25 seconds; and you cannot shoot stills while recording video.

While you have only the option of Program AE exposure control there are a few ‘sweeties’ to glam up the package.

Nikon Coolpix S8200 Review front.jpg

Nikon Coolpix S8200 Features

Turn on the camera and the default Target finding AF kicks in and focuses on the main subject. If the camera does not find a main subject it then relies on a range of areas (up to nine) that contain a focusable item.

Nikon Coolpix S8200 Review Child on bungee 2.JPG

Smile Timer: for happy people snaps. When the S8200 detects a smiling face it automatically releases the shutter; in continuous mode a series of up to five images is captured at a rate of 3fps.

Nikon Coolpix S8200 Review flash.jpg

There is a tiny, retractable flash cell that is claimed to illuminate out to 5.5 metres with the ISO setting on auto. This should help with most happy snap photography.

From the mode dial you can choose from any of 15 scene modes (sports, beach etc) as well as special effects (soft, sepia etc), night landscapes, backlighting and even pet photography (face detection swings in) plus continuous shooting.

The camera’s continuous shooting rate is admirable: from six (4608×3456) to 60 (1280×960) or 120 (640×480) shots with a shutter speed of 1/120 sec or faster. There is also a pre-capture mode where the camera records the action in five shots prior the shutter being pressed. Now you can’t ask for more!

Nikon Coolpix S8200 Review Towers reflection 1.JPG

There is even an HDR mode which rapidly shoots a series of shots, then saves a single merged image with optimum contrast. While you have to keep the camera steady with this approach it’s perfect for heavily backlit subjects. There three levels of control.

Nikon Coolpix S8200 Review pano.jpg

Panoramas? Yes, the S8200 can shoot a series of shots that can encompass a 180 or 360 degree view. The supplied Panorama Maker stitching software will combine these into a single, wide image.

Nikon Coolpix S8200 Review menu.jpg

Startup

After power up, it took about two seconds before I could fire the first shot, follow-ons about a second apart.

Distortion

The lens is an above average performer: no sign of any distortion at either end of the zoom.

Nikon Coolpix S8200 ISO Tests

Nikon S8200 ISO 100.JPG

Nikon S8200 ISO 400.JPG

Nikon S8200 ISO 800.JPG

Nikon S8200 ISO 1600.JPG

Nikon S8200 ISO 3200.JPG

Noise began to appear at ISO 1600, then increased — bot not alarmingly so — at ISO 3200.

Nikon Coolpix S8200 Verdict

Why you’d buy the S8200: you want it in black or red; you’ve fallen in love with its high speed continuous specs.

Why you wouldn’t: Program AE is insufficient exposure control for your needs.

On the face of it, the S8200 seems to be little more than a point-and-shooter, but features such as the longish zoom range, HDR and its continuous shooting ability take it to another level.

It should sell in your market for a hell of a good price!

One downer: the battery has to be charged while in the camera. This means you can’t go shooting while you leave a second battery on charge at home.

Nikon Coolpix S8200 Specifications

Image Sensor: 16.1 million effective pixels.
Lens: Nikkor f3.5-5.9/xxxxx mm (25-350mm as 35 SLR equivalent).
Effective Sensor Size: 11mm CMOS.
Metering: 224 segment matrix centre-weighted.
Exposure Modes: Program AE.
Shutter Speed: 60-1/1500 second.
Continuous Shooting: 10 fps.
Memory: SD/SDHC/SDXC cards plus 89MB internal memory.
Image Sizes (pixels): Stills: 4608×3456 to 640×480.
Movies: 1920x1080p 30fps; 1280x720p 30fps, 960×540 30fps, 640×480 30fps.
Viewfinder: 7.5cm LCD screen (921,000 pixels).
File Formats: JPEG, MPEG4.
ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 100 to 3200.
Interface: USB 2.0, AV, HDMI mini.
Power: Rechargeable lithium ion battery, DC input.
Dimensions: 103.7×59.3×32.7WHDmm.
Weight: 213 g (battery and card).
Price: Get a price on the Nikon COOLPIX S8200 at Amazon. Also get it in Red and Silver.

Summary
Reviewer
Barrie Smith
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Nikon Coolpix S8200
Author Rating
3

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like...

Read more from our Cameras & Equipment category.

Barrie Smith is an experienced writer/photographer currently published in Australian Macworld, Auscam and other magazines in Australia and overseas.

  • http://www.GaryBaird.com Gary

    The battery can only be charged in the camera? That’s a ‘deal killer’.

  • raghavendra

    Every camera has its good and bad!

    http://raghavendra-mobilephotography.blogspot.com/

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Malsev-Photography/332687200090665 Malene

    I’d love a simple, red snapshot camera, and this one doesn’t seem to bad. And the HDR seems interesting, and I’m curious as to how well it works. Never tried an automatic version of that. The solution of charging the battery in camera is not pleasing though.

  • http://www.picasaweb.com/timspirations Tim Schaeffer

    Just purchased this little gem to go along with my D5100. One major negative: once the flash pops up, you cannot put it back down unless you turn the camera off. What was Nikon thinking?

  • Cassie

    Doesnt prevent you having charged a 2nd battery overnight before you go out !
    But it would be somewhat of an inconvenience for sure…

  • CWA

    I agree that the battery charging design is ridiculous. But I did just find a separate charger on Amazon for $13 plus shipping. And there are others out there too.

  • Andy

    I brought this camera while on a trip in Japan. My previous camera just couldn’t live up to my expectations so I decided to get a new one and a new brand. I have to say this is an amazing camera. I love it so much! The trip was fantastic but the photos I took just put the cherry on the cake for me. I’m not a photography enthusiast so I will probably still be using this camera 10 years down the line. PS: This camera is super at taking night shots. All the neon lights and street lights light up in rich colours.

    Gary – you can buy a seperate charger (original Nikon) which costs around 2500 yen

    I’d recommend buying a second battery

    I agree with Tim. There isn’t an option to remove the flash unless you power off the camera

  • Wayne

    AC charger is small, also charges off USB, good large battery.
    When flash pops finger can locate behind, as flash is forward on the body.
    Flash will park in 3 seconds, camera off to on, only retracts with power cycle.
    Colors are great, macro is great, red eye reduction great, stabilizing great, low light great.
    This is not a $1000 dollar camera. I compared Sony and Cannon same price range, clearly better.
    Good luck getting a better camera for $250.

  • malcolm

    I bought this camera in Argos because my daughter decided to keep my small canon.I have a500d and a5d mk11 for my hobby. A point and shoot is usefull to carry around and i am very impressed with the nikon.

    The battery issue is not really a problem

  • Atindra

    Bought the S8200 today….did some homework on it first….pros n cons about right…however….
    was attempting to put battery in to take photo to send daughter in email….and battery clip/tab does not close and battery springs back up again….defective. I don’t like not having 2 camera strap rings, one on each side.
    Yea, and need to power off to close flash….will really never know if it was a worthwhile buy. Taking it back in morning and get refund….defective batter door sealed the return and not replace. Will now google for anther model and see what comes close?
    Sincerely sad and glad. Sad it did not work out. Glad it only took unloading, putting in battery and card….taking out battery (only once) to read specs on battery for more battery purchases.
    Ah, life….we move along…no hurry, no worry.
    Atindra

  • Nicole

    Just bought the camera.Can’t figure out how to turn the sound on for recording.It shows an H and and an L and stereo written near turn on button but nothing to press on .Any advice?When I put battery in it pops up.Would that stop the camera from taking good photos? Amateur photographer wanting to take good pics outside at night and record some events during day and night.Should I return camera? If so which camera would you suggest?Thanks.Need your help you pros out there.Just email me petsonally.Thanks.

  • Mike Bo

    FYI… I have a Nikon S8200 and it’s a great point-and-shoot camera when you don’t want to haul your larger rigs. The images produced by this little camera are great!

    You can purchase a Nikon-brand MH-65 external charger for these EN-EL12 batteries on eBay for under $30, or pay $80 for the same thing at a camera store. Dar… I bought TWO extra batteries, and have yet to run one down on a typical day of shooting. These tiny 1Ah Lithium Ion batteries are great… so unless you’re planning to shoot over 250-300 pictures, you only need a single back-up battery.

    I have NOT been able to figure out to do “in camera panoramas”. Using the included PC software to stitch the images together is NOT equivalent to the operation being performed “in camera” as advertised. The included manual is worthless and only covers the basics a typical 7 year-old could figure out on their own.

    I agree there should be two strap rings on this camera, but the flash popping up (and staying up) doesn’t really bother me as much as I thought. I certainly would not avoid the camera for that reason.

  • http://2mopaul.com Paul Twomo

    Nicole, I think you might have figured out the no sound on video problem by now. For some reason, the initial setting on video is 15 fps. When playing back those videos on camera they are at double speed with no sound. Just use any 30 fps setting and the sound will be there. I almost brought my camera back when I first got it thinking the mikes somehow were disconnected.
    This camera takes unbelievable pictures. I have 2 Canons SLR’s (D20 and T1i) and it rivals those in picture quality. The night shots are exceptional even handheld. For the price you won’t get better pictures.
    Pros: Unbelievable zoom for such a small camera, HDR landscape a great setting if no one is moving. Blink detection works great. Red eye reduction very good. Burst shooting fast.
    Cons: Only charges in Camera with USB. Does not recognize all USB chargers. Without extra battery you are stuck because it won’t take pictures when plugged in and won’t show slideshow while plugged in. Battery will die on a long day of shooting (esp. video).
    Battery indicator show full charge until a few minutes before it says the battery is dead. Finally the lack on manual settings. This might be a Pro for people who are not that familiar manually setting their cameras.

  • Jaykay

    I purchased the S8200 in Oct2012 and have shot over 8,000 pics with it. I purchased 2 extra batteries (I need another 3) and simply practice a routine of immediately downloading the days’ shots, then recharging each exhausted battery.

    You can recharge in tha camera or via a typical stand alone recharger noted in posts above. The camera can also recharge via your computer USB port if desired.

    Glorious shots from this camera, which if you can suffer digital zoom (we focus on a single point in the center of the pic anyway) you can reach 700mm with no lenses attached! Wow.

    A typical outing for us (wife & I) typically ranges in the 500 – 1200 pic range. As Calvin & Hobbs used to say: TREASURE, TREASURE EVERYWHERE! We focus on architecture, residential landscaping, botanical gardens, nurseries, arboretums and the great outdoors.

    To top this wonderful camera, we are intending to seriously check-out the Nikon 800(?) which was just released with 36MP and broadcast quality audio/video. My mouth is salivating right now.

    Cheers

  • Benju

    Good article but I am sorry that there is no removable battery can’t charge outside the camera. You just need to buy a separate charger.

  • Sudhir

    is there any attachable Lens available for this camera

  • Matt

    Um, 25 sec movie length? Yes, IF you are running on the 89MB internal memory with the highest quality.
    With an SD card, individual movies are limited to 4GB due to FAT32 formatting on the memory cards, as is pretty much standard with digital cameras. That can give you up to 3 hours (in VGA) or 40 minutes in 1080p.

    BTW, LOVING my S8200!

Some older comments

  • Benju

    May 17, 2013 05:53 pm

    Good article but I am sorry that there is no removable battery can't charge outside the camera. You just need to buy a separate charger.

  • Jaykay

    May 21, 2012 11:35 pm

    I purchased the S8200 in Oct2012 and have shot over 8,000 pics with it. I purchased 2 extra batteries (I need another 3) and simply practice a routine of immediately downloading the days' shots, then recharging each exhausted battery.

    You can recharge in tha camera or via a typical stand alone recharger noted in posts above. The camera can also recharge via your computer USB port if desired.

    Glorious shots from this camera, which if you can suffer digital zoom (we focus on a single point in the center of the pic anyway) you can reach 700mm with no lenses attached! Wow.

    A typical outing for us (wife & I) typically ranges in the 500 - 1200 pic range. As Calvin & Hobbs used to say: TREASURE, TREASURE EVERYWHERE! We focus on architecture, residential landscaping, botanical gardens, nurseries, arboretums and the great outdoors.

    To top this wonderful camera, we are intending to seriously check-out the Nikon 800(?) which was just released with 36MP and broadcast quality audio/video. My mouth is salivating right now.

    Cheers

  • Paul Twomo

    April 24, 2012 04:13 am

    Nicole, I think you might have figured out the no sound on video problem by now. For some reason, the initial setting on video is 15 fps. When playing back those videos on camera they are at double speed with no sound. Just use any 30 fps setting and the sound will be there. I almost brought my camera back when I first got it thinking the mikes somehow were disconnected.
    This camera takes unbelievable pictures. I have 2 Canons SLR's (D20 and T1i) and it rivals those in picture quality. The night shots are exceptional even handheld. For the price you won't get better pictures.
    Pros: Unbelievable zoom for such a small camera, HDR landscape a great setting if no one is moving. Blink detection works great. Red eye reduction very good. Burst shooting fast.
    Cons: Only charges in Camera with USB. Does not recognize all USB chargers. Without extra battery you are stuck because it won't take pictures when plugged in and won't show slideshow while plugged in. Battery will die on a long day of shooting (esp. video).
    Battery indicator show full charge until a few minutes before it says the battery is dead. Finally the lack on manual settings. This might be a Pro for people who are not that familiar manually setting their cameras.

  • Mike Bo

    April 11, 2012 03:02 am

    FYI... I have a Nikon S8200 and it's a great point-and-shoot camera when you don't want to haul your larger rigs. The images produced by this little camera are great!

    You can purchase a Nikon-brand MH-65 external charger for these EN-EL12 batteries on eBay for under $30, or pay $80 for the same thing at a camera store. Dar... I bought TWO extra batteries, and have yet to run one down on a typical day of shooting. These tiny 1Ah Lithium Ion batteries are great... so unless you're planning to shoot over 250-300 pictures, you only need a single back-up battery.

    I have NOT been able to figure out to do "in camera panoramas". Using the included PC software to stitch the images together is NOT equivalent to the operation being performed "in camera" as advertised. The included manual is worthless and only covers the basics a typical 7 year-old could figure out on their own.

    I agree there should be two strap rings on this camera, but the flash popping up (and staying up) doesn't really bother me as much as I thought. I certainly would not avoid the camera for that reason.

  • Nicole

    March 19, 2012 12:30 pm

    Just bought the camera.Can't figure out how to turn the sound on for recording.It shows an H and and an L and stereo written near turn on button but nothing to press on .Any advice?When I put battery in it pops up.Would that stop the camera from taking good photos? Amateur photographer wanting to take good pics outside at night and record some events during day and night.Should I return camera? If so which camera would you suggest?Thanks.Need your help you pros out there.Just email me petsonally.Thanks.

  • Atindra

    March 11, 2012 05:05 pm

    Bought the S8200 today....did some homework on it first....pros n cons about right...however....
    was attempting to put battery in to take photo to send daughter in email....and battery clip/tab does not close and battery springs back up again....defective. I don't like not having 2 camera strap rings, one on each side.
    Yea, and need to power off to close flash....will really never know if it was a worthwhile buy. Taking it back in morning and get refund....defective batter door sealed the return and not replace. Will now google for anther model and see what comes close?
    Sincerely sad and glad. Sad it did not work out. Glad it only took unloading, putting in battery and card....taking out battery (only once) to read specs on battery for more battery purchases.
    Ah, life....we move along...no hurry, no worry.
    Atindra

  • malcolm

    February 21, 2012 08:40 pm

    I bought this camera in Argos because my daughter decided to keep my small canon.I have a500d and a5d mk11 for my hobby. A point and shoot is usefull to carry around and i am very impressed with the nikon.

    The battery issue is not really a problem

  • Wayne

    February 17, 2012 10:23 am

    AC charger is small, also charges off USB, good large battery.
    When flash pops finger can locate behind, as flash is forward on the body.
    Flash will park in 3 seconds, camera off to on, only retracts with power cycle.
    Colors are great, macro is great, red eye reduction great, stabilizing great, low light great.
    This is not a $1000 dollar camera. I compared Sony and Cannon same price range, clearly better.
    Good luck getting a better camera for $250.

  • Andy

    January 12, 2012 08:48 pm

    I brought this camera while on a trip in Japan. My previous camera just couldn't live up to my expectations so I decided to get a new one and a new brand. I have to say this is an amazing camera. I love it so much! The trip was fantastic but the photos I took just put the cherry on the cake for me. I'm not a photography enthusiast so I will probably still be using this camera 10 years down the line. PS: This camera is super at taking night shots. All the neon lights and street lights light up in rich colours.

    Gary - you can buy a seperate charger (original Nikon) which costs around 2500 yen

    I'd recommend buying a second battery

    I agree with Tim. There isn't an option to remove the flash unless you power off the camera

  • CWA

    December 26, 2011 06:30 am

    I agree that the battery charging design is ridiculous. But I did just find a separate charger on Amazon for $13 plus shipping. And there are others out there too.

  • Cassie

    December 23, 2011 11:21 pm

    Doesnt prevent you having charged a 2nd battery overnight before you go out !
    But it would be somewhat of an inconvenience for sure...

  • Tim Schaeffer

    December 23, 2011 10:20 pm

    Just purchased this little gem to go along with my D5100. One major negative: once the flash pops up, you cannot put it back down unless you turn the camera off. What was Nikon thinking?

  • Malene

    December 23, 2011 09:11 pm

    I'd love a simple, red snapshot camera, and this one doesn't seem to bad. And the HDR seems interesting, and I'm curious as to how well it works. Never tried an automatic version of that. The solution of charging the battery in camera is not pleasing though.

  • raghavendra

    December 23, 2011 08:21 pm

    Every camera has its good and bad!

    http://raghavendra-mobilephotography.blogspot.com/

  • Gary

    December 23, 2011 11:19 am

    The battery can only be charged in the camera? That's a 'deal killer'.

Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

Sign up to the free DPS PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

GET DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS Feed

Sign up to the free

DPS PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

GET DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS Feed

Sign up to the free

DPS PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download
Today’s Deal: 100 professional Lightroom presets for $10!BUY NOW
DPS NEWSLETTER
DPS NEWSLETTER
DPS NEWSLETTER

DPS offers a free weekly newsletter with: 
1. new photography tutorials and tips
2. latest photography assignments
3. photo competitions and prizes

Enter your email below to subscribe.
Email:
 
 
Get DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS feed