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on March 2, 2013
I have had a Nikon Coolpix S600 for 5-6 years now and it has been my go to camera to have around because of it's handy size and it has never let me down, except that recently the zoom function is intermittently working. So, I decided to replace it with the S9500 and just got it this past week and really wanted to put it through the paces a bit to see how functional it would be around town and in the field.

The wi-if transfer is really handy when your out and about and want to transfer photos to a cell phone or tablet that has data capability so they can be uploaded to a website or to just back them up on another device. I used my iPad and the free app from Nikon called Wireless Mobile Utility (WMU) which can be found in the App Store, it's really quick and easy to use. It also allows you to setup your camera and remotely take pictures with the app, I found that I could only be about 30 feet away from the camera with my iPad before the wi-if signal was lost so it has range limitations.

The 22x zoom is fantastic for this size of a camera, it takes really nice clear photos even zoomed all the way out. The anti vibration works well also if you al moving about and taking action shots.

One big complaint I have so far is the placement of the record button for starting video recording. I have hit this button numerous times on accident and there is no way to disable the video record function, it's always at the ready when you are in photo mode.
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on May 18, 2013
In the couple of weeks I've had the camera, I've really enjoyed it. In good light, it takes great pictures with vibrant colors and the flash works very well. The menu system is well designed which provides easy access to all of the camera's functions. I especially like the GPS features and panorama and 3D modes. Of course, the 22x zoom is great.

One big problem however is the cameras operation in even moderately low light situations. There are times when it refuses to focus even in normal indoor lighting especially when the zoom is being used. This prevents even taking a flash photo. It's especially frustrating since it seems to start out with a good focus and then veers away from it when it locks in. I'm hoping this is just a bug that could be fixed in firmware. My son's camera from a competitor works perfectly every time in identical situations.

The omission of an AC adaptor that allows operation of the camera (in addition to charging) is baffling. The cumbersome battery substitute adaptor is a poor alternative to this obvious feature. Not a deal breaker though.

Most importantly, certain basic functions are missing from the firmware. It's as if a marketing guy told the engineers to get rid of every extra item that could confuse a user rather than sensibly tucking them away into a separate area for when the user gains more experience. Here is a list of seemingly simple changes that I hope find their way into a firmware update before I have to decide whether to return the camera:

1. Get rid of the GPS log warning when powering down or at least let the user dismiss it. Waiting 10 seconds before you can put it back in your pocket gets annoying very quickly.
2. Provide basic shutter and aperture priority modes. The camera often makes wrong decisions, especially in dim light, and this would provide a fallback.
3. Provide additional focus modes for infinity (without having to be limited to a landscape scene) and maybe a distance focus control for situations where the automatic modes don't work. This may not be necessary if the engineers can get the low light focusing to work properly.
4. Allow control over how long the preview shows after taking a picture.
5. Allow edited images (zoomed, softened, etc) to be transferred via wifi. The instructions don't say they can't be transferred but they are disabled with an X through them on my iPhone with the Nikon app.
6. Allow full res images to be transferred to a smart phone via wifi.

There are probably more missing basic features but these are the ones I noticed right away. The first three especially are reason enough to return the camera if they are not fixed. It would be a shame for such a great camera to be hobbled by substandard firmware. Since I generally enjoy using the camera, I really hope Nikon is listening and has the technical skills to fix the problems.
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on March 24, 2013
I will probably update after more use (especially in low light situations), but so far this camera is great for what I will use it for. I love concerts so that is my main point of having a camera and then for family/friend get togethers. I love the zoom on this camera and the many functions it comes with. I can easily and quickly touch up photos right on the camera, which is a great function. The GPS is there too, if needed, but I haven't really had the need to test that out. It powers on quick, there are several settings to choose from, the look and feel of the camera is great! I'm not too fond of where the flash is because I always end up putting my finger there to take a picture and have to remove it for the flash to come up, but that's just a habit I'll have to start putting my finger elsewhere!

I originally went in to buy the Nikon P510 because I heard that was great in low light and has amazing zoom, but it was just too big for me at this time. Maybe down the road I'll go toward that size, but it's not for me right now and was informed the S9500 had really good zoom and low light qualities as well.

Two reasons for the 4 stars are:

You have to charge the battery IN the camera. The camera doesn't come with an external battery charger. I had to buy an external charger (another $20) that plugs directly into the wall without the cord to charge the battery outside of the camera. Nikon does sell an external batter charger for this but it's a charger that has a 4 ft cord that plugs into the wall case that came with the camera, again, not very functional unless you don't mind a long cord to charge your battery. The cord for me would have sufficed if I couldn't find a different charger, but I did. This comes in a few days so if it works, great! If not, then I will go back and get the corded charger.

The second reason is the WiFi. Not a deal breaker for me, but it seems to be a bit finicky and doesn't stay connected very long. The app needed for the WiFi isn't the greatest and the functions are very limited and you will need to set the settings on your camera to where they need to be before connecting WiFi because once WiFi is on, you cannot change settings on your camera (unless I'm missing something), only through your phone and those functions are limited to zooming in and out and is not quick at all. It also took me some time to get the WiFi to connect, but I think this was because the instructions on it weren't the clearest.

Overall, great camera for what I will use it for and the WiFi and battery aren't deal breakers for me. I will update later once I put it to test in a concert setting.

Update 4/28/13: I took this camera to a concert last night and was rather impressed. It took great pictures in the low light and the zoom is awesome! I didn't zoom to the fullest as it wasn't needed, but am impressed. And my battery was hardly used at all and I took about 100 pictures within a matter of a few hours.
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on July 14, 2013
Love this camera right out of the box. It is replacing a Coolpix S8000 (the lens got scratched) which takes amazing pictures. The S9500 does everything the 8000 did and has a few new features that just make it so much fun! If you are used to a Nikon you will find it very easy to navigate. As a point and shoot camera it is a wonderful compliment to a DSLR (I shoot with a D300s). Sometimes you just want to travel light with a small camera that still allows you some control and flexibility. This camera also has a terrific wide angle to zoom lens which allows you to get the shot where ever you go. I haven't used the wifi feature yet but did want to share my enthusiasm for this camera!
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on July 29, 2013
I had the S9100 camera, and this one is even better. Easy enough to use for a complete noob, but with enough features that a somewhat advanced hobbiest can play with a lot of functionality.

My level is wanting a great shot (often from a great distance) without having to carry around a giant bag of lenses and such.

We took our S9100 on vacation to Alaska, and all the people with their $1000+ cameras were getting no better shots than we were, and we didn't have to change lenses, so didn't miss shots up-close or far-distant. In addition, we got HD video of the trip as good as fancy video cams! (Just remember to change the video focus mode to continuous so that you can zoom in and out while taking video and the focus will adjust as you zoom.) The dedicated video record button is a huge bonus, because it means you don't have to switch modes or dials or menu options to go straight from snapping a photo to recording a video. We caught wildlife views that no one else could by one quick button press to record video.

The S9500 is all this and more, with GPS tagging and increased Zoom to 22x.

Bonus for me is that it takes the same EN-EL12 batteries as my S9100 took, so the extra batteries that I have fit it perfectly.

My recommendation... get this camera...
Get the Square Trade Accident Protection Plan
purchase about 6 extra EN-EL12 batteries
get a Universal Digital Camera Charger for Li-Ion Batteries (charges many types of camera batteries with a wall plug and car plug included)
get 5 to 10 SDHC 8gb (or 16gb) "Class 10" (this allows high speed video to record longer) cards
a good quick access camera case
and "GGS Optical Glass LCD Screen Protector 3 inches for Digital Cameras" to protect the LCD

So what happened to my S9100? It slipped out of my hand and hit the pavement on the only unprotected corner that my camera case didn't cover. After getting a refund because they couldn't fix it from a big-box electronics store (after almost a year of them having my camera), I chose Amazon to buy the S9500 because the Square Trade Accident plan would have had my camera back or money to me in a very short time, and the Accident plan is much better than I could find anywhere else.
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on October 5, 2013
I bought this as a replacement camera for my wife's. She rarely uses a camera, but her previous one would keep a charge for multiple weeks. With this one, the battery ran out in a matter of hours. By the time I realized there was a problem (it took multiple weeks, and then further weeks for me to act on it), it was too late to return it to Amazon, and I had to deal with Nikon support... Here is the transcript below. For those who don't want to bother read it all, it basically says: "tough luck you received a bad battery, just buy a new one".

Customer via Web 09/29/2013
I have hardly been able to take any pictures due to the fact the battery runs out in a matter of hours after full charge. I use the camera very seldom (I have it with me in my bag to snap pictures of the kids every now and then) and every time I have wanted to use it, the battery has run out. This is not hapenning with any other camera I have (including my Nikon D80).

Response Christine C. via Email 10/01/2013
Hello Mr. xx,

Thank you for contacting Nikon Customer Support. It sounds to me that the battery is exhausted and needs to be replaced. I would recommend purchasing a new approved battery for your S9500 and the issue should be resolved.

Answer Title: Battery, Charger and AC Adapter Compatibility
Answer Link: [...]
Please click on the link above with Nikons contact information, if you have any further question.


Customer via Web 10/02/2013
Don't you think you should send me a new battery? This problem has occurred since day one, and I hope I am not expected to purchase a new battery with a brand new camera?


Response Christine C. via Email 10/02/2013
Hello Mr. xx,

Thank you for contacting Nikon Customer Support. Batteries are not covered under the one year manufacture warranty but if you feel the battery is defective you can send it in for service to be evaluated.

All Nikon cameras(Chargers) come with a one year manufacturers warranty and Nikkor lenses have a 5 year warranty that covers manufacturing issues only. Any issue caused by physical, sand, or liquid damage is not covered as these occurrences void the warranty. All Nikon digital products sold by Nikon Inc. have a standard one year warranty from the date of original purchase. Please keep your original proof of purchase or an alternate form of documentation that validates your purchase for warranty consideration.

Once we receive your equipment it goes though a preliminary inspection process that is done by one of our technicians. Once this process is completed, we register your equipment in our system and we send you a notification to the email address provided and a physical letter to the mailing address provided. This email and letter will include the list of accessories we received along with the product, it also includes information stating if your repair will be covered under your one year warranty or whether an estimate will have to approved in order to complete the repair. Repairs generally take 7-10 business days to complete as long as all parts necessary for the repair are available. Next the product will undergo a quality check that can take a couple of days then it will be shipped back to you via UPS.

If your warranty has expired or the warranty was voided and you’d like to inquire about repair pricing, the online service page provides initial estimates based upon your description of the problem with your equipment. This price is an estimate and is subject to change. The price does not reflect the shipping cost and taxes as required by local, state and federal governments or applicable discounts.

We apologize for the inconvenience and will do everything we can to repair your Nikon camera as quickly as possible. After sending your product into service, we will mail your service order number after your product has been logged into our system.

Repair information:

Please click on the link above with Nikons contact information, if you have any further question.

Nikon Technical Support


Sending it back to Nikon for "evaluation" sounds like a hassle. At this point I am giving up (too easilly?) and just purchased a replacement battery. But clearly I am disappointed that a 250$ camera doesn't come with some kind of guarantee for the battery.
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on June 25, 2013
First S9500 went back before we could even use it. The battery wouldn't hold a charge longer than a day. We thought, and still think it was a problem with the charging cord.
Got a second one and took that S9500 on a two week trip. We used it constantly so had a good opportunity to see results under repeated use. Although this second one did much better on the battery charge, occasionally, it would register low or no battery and then turn off when it should have been charged. Maybe this was a charging cord issue again (?)
Sometimes too, we would have the opposite problem where it wouldn't turn off and we would have to turn it over and remove the battery to get it to turn off.
The round dial on the top next to the shutter button that allows you to change the settings ie. portrait, landscape etc. was a constant source of problems as well. Ultra sensitive, putting it in and pulling it out of the case or handing it to another person could easily change the setting and we have lots of blurry pictures from the settings dial moving without our notice.
With the exception of dial setting errors, pictures from the trip are crystal clear, the slim, lightweight design of the camera made it easy to tote around and pull out when needed. The display monitor was great and the camera had more functions than I could ever begin to use but in the end, we weren't willing to put up with the little annoyances so it went back.
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on September 11, 2013
The camera battery will not stay charged. Put it into the camera and it looks as if it is fully charged and within 10 photos it dies. I ordered 2 additional batteries and they do the same things. Very disappointed.
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on March 3, 2013
I have had the camera for about 5 days, using it every day with great results. I would second all the positive things the posters above have said. But today, the WiFi stopped working. If I take out the battery and put it back in, it works again, but only for a few seconds. I took 2 stars away for the hassle of having to send it back and wait for a new one. I hope this is not a recurring problem.
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on September 1, 2013
I already Nikon Coolpix s 6500 12 x wide fullHD. With wi fi.
But s9500 is a miracle. If you like travelling, taking a lot of photos then forget where you had taken them, then this is the camera you need. Thanks to the GPS feature, you keep track of your own trip with date and time.
If you are planning to purchase a camera, go for it. You wont regret!
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