"The S3000 is pretty good for a cheap point-and-shoot camera, as long as you keep photo quality expectations in check," says Alexandra Savvides of CNET Asia. The Nikon Coolpix S3000, which comes in six stylish colors, boasts a compact design, 12-megapixel sensor, 4x zoom lens and 2.7-inch LCD, but no optical viewfinder. In addition to 16 scene modes, the camera has a shot selector that snaps 10 photos in a row and saves the best one. Jeff Keller at DCReview.com praises the "decent" 27 mm wide-angle lens, while Jack Schofield at British newspaper The Guardian praises the bright auto-assist lamp for low-light focusing, a feature missing on the Casio Exilim Z550 (*Est. $135). However, critics pan Nikon's electronic (as opposed to optical) image stabilization, and editors at Which? magazine say the lack of HD video puts the S3000 "at odds" with newer models.
Compared to its predecessor -- the Nikon Coolpix S220 (*Est. $200) -- the S3000 is a better performer "by a mile," although it's just "passable" for the price, says Schofield. The 2.4-second start-up time is "relatively slow" for even basic models, says Savvides, and the 220-shot battery life hovers at the "bottom of the pack" in Keller's group test. Image quality pleases most users at Amazon.com, but experts are less impressed; "it's point and pray" indoors, says Liam McCabe at DigitalCamera-HQ.com, and Savvides deems video merely "acceptable" for upload to the web. For faster performance and better photo quality, the Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS (*Est. $170) nabs higher grades in expert tests, and critics applaud the feature-loaded Casio Exilim Z550 for its 39 best scene modes and HD video.
DCResource.com looks at how the Nikon Coolpix S3000 stacks up in a group test with other budget cameras, and the ratings chart at Which? magazine shows how the camera fares next to a wide variety of digital cameras. Test-based reviews from DigitalCamera-HQ.com and CNET Asia cover features and performance, while user reviews from Amazon.com help to show problems that pop up with long-term use.
The Nikon Coolpix S3000 goes head-to-head with seven market leaders in Jeff Keller's budget camera group test. It's the most compact of the group, has lots of features and is the only camera available in lime green, but performance is a "mixed bag."
Review: DCRP Review: 2010 Budget Camera Shootout, Jeff Keller, June 27, 2010
2. Which? magazine
As a simple point-and-shoot camera, the Nikon Coolpix S3000 is "great if you're not looking for complex features," say editors at Which? magazine. They appreciate the wide-angle lens, given the camera's small stature, but shots are "prone to blurring" becasue the S3000 doesn't have optical image stabilization.
Review: Digital Cameras: Compare Features & Prices, Editors of Which? magazine, As of August 2010
3. CNET (Asia)
Editor Alexandra Savvides compares the Nikon Coolpix S3000 with the Canon IXUS 105 (PowerShot SD1300 IS in the U.S.), and says the latter delivers better image quality. Nevertheless, the S3000 still has a pleasing design with an "incredibly slim and compact" build, she says, and it's a solid budget camera.
Review: Nikon Coolpix S3000, Alexandra Savvides, June 30, 2010
4. The Guardian (U.K.)
Jack Schofield is more critical of the Nikon Coolpix S3000 than most. While image quality doesn't hold up next to his older Nikon cameras, the S3000 is easy to use, and it also has a bright focus assist lamp and a flash that successfully avoids "red-eye" effect.
Review: Nikon Coolpix S3000, Jack Schofield, May 18, 2010
Although the Nikon Coolpix S3000 is an improvement over its predecessor, Liam McCabe says it's still "a mediocre camera." He gives the nod to Canon's budget models for image quality that's "a step above" and suggests that prospective buyers compare his sample images to those taken on their cell phone cameras to see if the S3000 is worth the investment.
Review: Nikon S3000 Hands-On Review, Liam McCabe, May 25, 2010
Most owners of the Nikon Coolpix S3000 appreciate the camera's simplicity and small size, and are pleased with the performance relative to its budget price point. Complaints are few, but one owner finds the build quality cheap, while another is frustrated with having to charge the battery in the camera.
Review: Nikon Coolpix S3000 12 MP Digital Camera, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of August 2010