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494 of 513 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars S8100 was worth the wait!
OK, I was really wanting the RED Nikon S8100 but apparently only black is available unless you buy it directly from Nikon. I decided to go black because I live in Oregon where there is no sales tax, and Nikon was going to tax me and add $10 to the shipping. Black isn't all that bad looking anyway and it matches my Cooler Master HAF-X PC case.

I'm upgrading from...
Published on October 22, 2010 by Mike C. Carlson

versus
325 of 349 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Still photos & features, poor focusing in video & zoom noise
UPDATE: I have returned the camera today after observing two issues that are dealbreaker for me. We finally had a bright sunny day today and I took some videos to compare against my 3 year old Canon Powershot TX1 that shoots 720p. I also received my mini-HDMI cable so I could watch the video on my 42" LCD TV directly without post-processing thru Apple TV box...
Published on October 21, 2010 by Saibal


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494 of 513 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars S8100 was worth the wait!, October 22, 2010
OK, I was really wanting the RED Nikon S8100 but apparently only black is available unless you buy it directly from Nikon. I decided to go black because I live in Oregon where there is no sales tax, and Nikon was going to tax me and add $10 to the shipping. Black isn't all that bad looking anyway and it matches my Cooler Master HAF-X PC case.

I'm upgrading from a Sony DSC-V1. The size of the Nikon is a hair wider, a hair shorter and about half as thick. The DSC-V1 had a po-pup flash in the same area as the S8100 so I was used to holding the camera the correct way already. For those of you that can't think outside the box, the proper way to hold this camera is to make a gun with your left hand, thumb pointing up, then bend your wrist so the gun is pointing to your right, then place the camera in the gun. RTFM. This tip is printed (and pictured) in the quick start booklet that came with the camera. Once you get used to it, you won't mind pop-up flashes at all. The only issue you will have is when your dense friends take pictures of you with it and hold the flash down, not knowing any better.

The downgrade from the S8000's 14 megapixel CCD to the S8100's 12 megapixel CMOS sensor is no downgrade whatsoever. Megapixels are nearly irrelevant to point and shoot cameras above 12 anyway, and the image quality increase, and low light shooting improvements you get with the CMOS sensor EASILY trump a 2 megapixel increase. I am continuing to be surprised how good my pictures keep turning out, in all light levels.

The 10x optical zoom is great, but what is amazing is how clean the digital zoom is beyond that. I am used to fuzzy or blurry shots when using the digital zoom, but this camera somehow gets around that. The placement of the zoom lever forces you to use your right forefinger instead of your thumb which I'm used to. It felt kind of odd at first, but makes complete logical sense from an ergonomic point of view when you are holding the camera properly. On the opposite side, the macro function floored me. For a point and shoot camera, I never expected a macro this good. It macro shoots better than my Cannon DSLR. I can rest the lens up against the object I'm shooting and the image will still focus good.

The LCD screen on the back is a typical 3" screen, but a very untypically high quality resolution. It has the highest resolution screen of any point and shoot I could find. You can really see the detail of what you are about to shoot with it. It's bright and the colors are accurate.

The 1080p video this camera produces is better than I expected. Far better. You can use the zoom feature while rolling AND take stills simultaneously. It also records in stereo sound. Great stuff.

Some people complained that this camera is still a bit too large for their liking. If it was any smaller that it is now, you would not be able to hold it without accidentally pressing a button or something, and it fits in my pocket just fine. Those people must have toothpick fingers or don't realize that size much smaller than the S8100 really isn't much of an advantage unless you are some kind of top secret spy or something.

The camera has all the basic features you would want, and several that are kind of neat. Manual on the fly brightness, hue, and vividness adjustments can be handy, the skin softening feature turns your subjects into super models, and the ISO sensitivity range is above average. It has a wind noise reduction option while taking video, and all the features you would use the most are easily and quickly accessible.

I know I'm sounding like a Nikon fanboy now but I'm just so happy with this camera. The only thing I can think of I don't care for is the rubber stop that plugs the USB port on the bottom of the camera. I prefer a flip door, but this is just my preference.

It comes with surprisingly good full version photo editing software, and even a panoramic stitching program that I've yet to try. The full manual is on a CD that comes with it though I prefer a book to look at. The start-up speed (power on to photo ready) is just under 2 seconds. Holy cow batman!

One feature that I haven't taken advantage of yet but look really useful in action shooting is the high-speed shooting at five full resolution frames at up to 10 frames'per'second, and a pre'shooting cache that records up to two shots before the shutter'release is fully pressed. This will really make it easy to get the action shot you really want. The other feature that I'm very impressed by is the advanced Night Landscape mode which combines a series of five consecutive shots taken at a fast shutter speed into a single image with reduced noise when taking hand held shots. Dark backgrounds turn out very visible without over lighting the subject. Very cool technology idea.

In summery, I feel like the $299 I paid for the Nikon S8100 is very justified. DSLRs should be nervous that these point and shooters will start stealing their market considering the lower price, quality and technology improvements. Nikon has a winner!
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138 of 143 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the Wait, October 24, 2010
By 
steven a. silver (delray beach, fl United States) - See all my reviews
I've been waiting since late summer for the Canon 4500 and the Nikon s8100 to be released. The Canon came out first, about three weeks ago, and I immediately bought one.I played with it for a week and decided it just didn't live up to my expectations (in auto mode: flash too bright and uncontrolable, images NOT razor sharp, 36mm lens too narrow). I returned the Canon 4500 and ordered the Nikon s8100 last week.
What a difference! If picture quality is your main concern (which is, of course, every photographers main concern) this little baby really shines. In auto mode, images are razor sharp and super bright with or without flash and throughout the full range of the zoom. I don't know if it's the Nikor lense or the auto focus system but these pictures are superior to any point and shoot I've ever played with. The Cannons image quality was similar to a lesser priced digital point and shoot. The Nikon is a full step above this.
There are a few small negatives: the worst being the rediculous placement of the pop-up flash. Each time I've attempted to take my first flash picture of the day my finger has been over the flash which prevents it from fully opening. At least a note comes on the monitor which tells you that the flash is not fully up. Once the flash is up it stays up until you manually push it down, so it's not like this problem occurs every time you take a flash photo. I'm sure I'll find a different way to hold the camera to avoid this annoying problem...but it's certainly not a deal breaker.
This camera does not have as many manual controls as the Canon 4500 but if I want to get super creative I'll use my SLR.
It's also a tad thicker than I'd like (about the size of a cigarette pack) but can still fit in your pocket. However, both the lens and the monitor are not recessed or protected in any way and scratches will be hard to avoid. I'm using a soft suede pouch when it's in my pocket to protect it.
Overall, I'm very happy with the Nikon s8100 and highly reccomend it for anyone looking for super high quality photos in an easy to use reasonably priced camera.

UPDATE: Took camera out for first extended shoot on Halloween night. Did not perform as well as I'd hoped for. All pix shot in low lite (outdoors, night) in auto mode with flash. Flash way too bright to the point where some pix were washed out with too much lite. Will try previous commenters suggestion of playing with the limited manual controls to attempt to correct this problem. Images NOT as sharp as day time shots without flash.Will update again very soon as I'm taking out the camera again today for day AND night shots.
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325 of 349 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Still photos & features, poor focusing in video & zoom noise, October 21, 2010
By 
Saibal (Fremont, CA United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
UPDATE: I have returned the camera today after observing two issues that are dealbreaker for me. We finally had a bright sunny day today and I took some videos to compare against my 3 year old Canon Powershot TX1 that shoots 720p. I also received my mini-HDMI cable so I could watch the video on my 42" LCD TV directly without post-processing thru Apple TV box.

ISSUE #1: The video keeps going out of focus while I zoom or pan - whether I set center, weighted focus and/or single AF or continuous AF. The recorded video looks really bad. On the other hand my TX1 stays rock steady with the focus.

ISSUE #2: There is a loud zoom motor noise that gets recorded in the clip. I initially thought that continuous AF or Image Stabilization is causing the noise. I put the camera on a tripod and disabled continuous AF and the noise remained and it was clearly there when I operated the zoom.

The still photography feature of the camera is stunning, but video is important for me as well as I want to carry only one camera on my travels.

I love the 3" LCD on this camera, but the two issues pushed me over the edge.

Original review below:

This is my 1st Nikon. I have always purchased Canon ever since I used a Canon A1 35mm film SLR nearly 30 yrs back. I own a Canon Digital SLR, Canon DV Cam, Canon Powershot TX1. Most of my photography during travel/vacation has been with the TX1 shooting both stills as well as 720p Video which I edit on my Mac and then stream thru my Apple TV.

I have been looking forward to replacing my TX1 with a camera that is:
- compact like TX1
- bigger and better LCD screen (TX1 has very tiny one)
- shoots 1080p with full optical zoom (not handicapped like Canon has done with all their 1080p shooting compact cameras that don't allow optical zooming during video recording)
- good range of optical zoom
- image stabilized lens
- reasonable number of pixels
- better low light shooting
- shoot moving objects
- separate shutter button and video recording buttons - this is very useful when the subject is not waiting for you to fiddle with the rotary selector as with most cameras (except for TX1 which had this feature).

It is important for me give all this preamble to relate to what my expectations were from this camera.

Gave up on Canon finally, looked into Panasonic ZX7 - didn't like the reviews and waited patiently for the release of Nikon S8100. Received it today. Have taken some shots and here is my first impression.

1. I am happy with the image quality of the stills
2. Great quality of 1080p video (haven't tried the 720p mode as yet)
3. Optical zoom is very good (the rate of zooming slows down during video recording)
4. Controls are simple to use
5. Very fast focus response
6. Very fast start time
7. Very good image stabilization
8. Face detection works very well (even on images on TV)
9. Very good build quality (feels robust) - just like my TX1

Only negative: The position of the flash. It is the place where you would normally grip the camera with your left index finger. If the flash wasn't a pop up type, this could have been avoided.

Overall, I am very happy with the camera. Will move on to try the remaining features in the next few days. Have to get hold of the mini-HDMI cable to test the direct to TV playback of 1080p video.
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117 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best camera I've ever own, November 27, 2010
This review is from: Nikon Coolpix S8100 12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 10x Zoom-Nikkor ED Lens and 3.0-Inch LCD (Red) (Electronics)
I usually don't write review. But I'm writing this now because of the unfair reviews due to user errors, not the camera. I was born in a photography family that has been in the business since the 60s. I do know how to work a camera, I know what a correct setting is for different light situations. This is the BEST camera in its category I have ever own, and I've own a lot: Canon, Sony, Pentax, Panasonic, Nikon all in the same category and price range (at the time of its release). Although it's classified as "point & shoot", there are pre-set settings that you have to know when to use them and when NOT to use them. So this is an advance point & shoot camera which requires user's knowledge to fully leverage its features. If you are NOT generally savvy with electronics & computers, don't buy this camera because you don't have the knowledge to leverage its features to your advantage, it would just be a piece of junk & a waste of money for you. But if you are, this is the BEST camera in its category.

I took picture of a small printed picture, inside, no flash, low light, it came out looking almost close to the original. I took pictures during family Thanksgiving dinner, again no flash, normal room light, the pictures came out perfect: clean, clear, vibrant, naturally light as you see with naked eyes. I generally don't like using flash as it doesn't project the real natural light (this include super professional cameras). So I'm extremely excited that this camera can capture indoor low light without flash, looking like what you see with naked eyes. With ALL of my previous cameras, this wasn't possible, the pictures would just come out lacking of color, a lot darker than what you see with naked eyes and grainy.

Out door, the zoom is crisp without sacrificing the quality. The color is rich, clarity is flawless without grain/noise (I do not use digital zoom, only optical zoom for best quality). Object from very far away coming out looking like you are standing right in front of it and take a picture.

I haven't used the video feature because I don't use a picture camera as a video recorder. I have a video recorder and I use it to record video. I expect a camera just to be a perfect camera. It's dumb to expect a camera to perform an exceptional job in video recording.
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86 of 91 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nikon S8100 vs Canon SX210 performance comparison, January 8, 2011
By 
lindguini (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
UPDATED 1/14/11:
I was hoping to find a still/video camera that would give me the low light performance of my Fuji F20 and also allow me to avoid hauling around a separate HD camcorder. My comparisons show that the low light photos from the S8100 handily out perform my Fuji F20 and by a good margin (which is no small feat considering that the 6MP Fuji F20/F30/F40 pretty much set the standard for low light performance in point-and-shoots). If great low light photos are what you're after, the S8100 is very good (but there is a penalty for this performance as I explain below). However, if you also want great low light video, the Nikon does not deliver. In my two weeks of testing, I've determined that the Canon SX210 is the optimum choice if you want the best balance of low light photos and video.

Here are my observations after two weeks of testing:

NIKON S8100 PROS
-Nice build quality and easy-to-handle design. Feels like a pro-sumer $600 camera.
-Outrageous 3-inch, 921K pixel LCD display --excellent clarity and detail.
-Decent HD video in daytime lighting.
-Powerful flash that provides excellent illumination at all zoom settings (no flash shadow at wide angle).
-USB battery charging in camera (can connect to your PC to charge).

NIKON S8100 CONS
-No manual control except for +/-exposure compensation.
-No brightness or white balance settings for video (versus Canon's excellent custom controls).
-Videos are simply too dark in low lighting (the Canon wins by a landslide here)
-Auto white balance is fooled by compact fluorescent lights (Canon's AWB is more reliable).
-Camera prefers low ISO settings even in low light and this can cause motion blur.
-Significant zoom motor noise during videos (versus the nearly silent Canon SX210 zoom)
-Pop-up flash must be pushed back into camera body before stowing camera in case.
-Camera beep and shutter release sound can only be turned on or off (no volume adjustment like Canon)

CANON SX210 PROS
-Very good low light video, video brightness control really boosts low light sensitivity.
-Very good still photos, camera chooses higher ISO settings to reduce motion blur
-Camera displays its ISO choice when you pre-focus (not possible with Nikon)
-Extensive customization settings for every shooting mode (versus limited Nikon settings).
-Widescreen LCD for full frame HD video display
-Very good build quality
-Pop up flash automatically raises or lowers when you power on/off

CANON SX210 CONS
-Body design makes for tricky handling (no rear thumb grip, smooth surfaces)
-LCD is only 230K pixel (compared to the incredible Nikon 921K pixel display)
-Still photo viewing area is much smaller on widescreen display
-Overall still image quality is slightly noisier than Nikon but only if you're pixel peeping
-Some flash shadow at the 28mm wide angle setting (disappears from 30mm on up)

STILL PHOTO QUALITY COMPARISON:
Photos in good lighting are comparable between the Nikon and Canon. The Nikon has the least noise at higher ISO settings. In low light, the Nikon really shines and if you take photos of non-moving subjects, the S8100 is your best choice. However, there's a penalty for this performance: the Nikon chooses very low ISO settings (and therefore low shutter speeds) to achieve low noise photos --not good if your subjects are moving (you'll get blur). At high zoom, both cameras have to use lower shutter speeds and every super zoom camera suffers from this issue --it's the problem most people complain about when they try out their new cameras. The only way to solve this problem is to either use the flash or set high ISO (something the Canon does automatically) in order to force the camera to select a higher shutter speed. There is no other solution and no camera has yet been developed to solve this problem -it's a compromise of light, optics, and sensor sensitivity in compact camera bodies. For all around shooting, the Canon is more reliable since it chooses higher ISO (and hence faster shutter speeds) to capture non-blurry images. The Nikon's lower automatic ISO "choices" will result in more blurry shots indoors unless you use the flash.

HD VIDEO QUALITY:
Both cameras have very good HD video and excellent image stabilization in daytime lighting. As with most super zoom compacts, focus lock in low light is a challenge but the Canon SX210 is better than the Nikon if you want faster focus lock during video. in reality, the Canon operates more like a dedicated camcorder with all the tweaks and settings you can imagine --credit Canon's long history building camcorders. Unfortunately, the Nikon operates as if video was a second thought feature and there's simply no way to improve its performance since there's no manual control. The Canon's low light video brightness, focus speed, and silent zoom motor make for great video under all conditions. Conversely, the Nikon's noisy zoom motor is recorded in videos and the camera simply can't provide bright, usable videos in low indoor lighting. In low light, the Canon is in a league of its own. If you're trying to video children or pets running back and forth quickly at close range to these cameras then you'll be disappointed in ANY super zoom compact camera you try. The fact is the ultimate, magic "focus anywhere instantly" machine has not yet been invented. However, as an alternative to lugging around a dedicated HD camcorder, the Canon SX210 is hard to beat for convenience and consistent HD video quality.

OVERALL:
I really, really wanted to keep the Nikon S8100. It has superb handling quality, great low light still photos and an impressive 921K pixel display. I have owned several Canon and Fuji digital cameras and have never seriously considered Nikon's point-and-shoot offerings until the introduction of the S8100. However, the Nikon is not a well-rounded still/video camera. It does a few things very well but fails at others. The Canon SX210, on the other hand, is a much better performer at each end of the still photo and video spectrum. The Nikon is great camera to hold and operate from a hardware standpoint, but the Canon simply out performs it when it comes to getting the best quality photos and videos under a wide range of shooting conditions. After months of research and camera testing, no single camera does everything perfectly. However, I believe the Canon SX210 provides the best balance of performance among its peers if you're looking for a pocketable, super-zoom camera to provide both good photos and HD video.

UPDATE: SPECIAL NOTE ON POP-UP FLASH
A lot of people complain about the pop-up flash on super-zoom cameras since the flash is usually located on the top left corner of the camera body and occupies the space where you want to hold the camera. Be advised that the pop-up flash is a physical necessity in order to move the flash far enough away from the camera so that the long, super-zoom lens doesn't cast a shadow on your subject when the flash fires. If you really don't like the inconvenience of the pop-up flash then your only choice is a limited (7X or less) zoom camera or a bulkier SLR-type. If you want a pocketable super-zoom, you'll just have to get used to this flash placement. It may be a minor inconvenience at first, but in the end it's a non-issue and should not be the sole reason you give up on the incredible performance that compact, 14X zoom cameras like the SX210 have to offer.
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great zoom, very good Continuous, November 1, 2010
By 
I am primarily a DSLR user, but that is not always practical to carry around. I enjoy skiing and snowmobiling in the winter, and a compact camera is much easier for those activities. Additionally, I always carry a camera in my purse just in case the perfect shot comes up. Almost all of my pictures are either landscape, or action (pets and sports). I was actually researching for a camera as a gift for someone else when I found that there are a few cameras now that provide a large optical zoom capability AND the continuous/burst modes. These 2 features in combination in a compact camera exactly meet my requirements. So far I am very pleased with the pictures from this camera. I've posted several photos at this Amazon camera link for people to view that demonstrate the features most important to me. There are 2 pictures with an Airstream trailer, one at no zoom, the other at 10x zoom. That zoom is amazing. Fantastic clarity and detail (even when I zoom in on my computer). The continuous shooting is not as good as my DSLR, but still very acceptable. I added a couple of photos of my cat and golden retriever taken in the continuous mode (12MP*). These photos demonstrate shots from very slow motion up to very fast motion. I printed a few shots as 8.5 x 11, and the printed pictures came out extremely clear. I'm still testing it out, but so far its definitely a keeper!
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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So far a GOOD solid VERY SMALL (for 10x) Zoom Auto Point and Shoot - But doesn't over come the laws of physics. (Darn!), November 24, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
OK, so I bought this camera from Amazon, great service from them, only had this camera 2 days so this is just a first impression. Usually I wait for the reviews and buy then but the features on this looked good and besides, its Christmas! (almost). This Nikon s8100 a just a little bigger and heavier (10x Zoom) than the Canon IS1100, 1200, 1300, 1400s (3x Zooms), needs a "slightly" bigger case. Camera startup is reasonably speedy, something less than 3 seconds from start/focus/take picture in low light ( faster outside). Good enough for me. Very little shutter lag, comparable or better than other good digitals I've owned (Canon A710, 1100is). Focus is fast and accurate. This is a next gen camera so it should do all of that stuff well and it does. Weight: yes it weighs a little more but feels solid. Guess Nikon hasn't figured out how to make a good 10x zoom lens weigh less than a ¼ gram, darn those guys!. Focusing: yes when I zoom in and try to focus closer than the lens physically can get it won't focus (10x has to be something over 10' or so). Another law of physics Nikon is unable to overcome, darn those guys again! Low light pics: very nice. Low light video also very good, but there is one setting in video the 1080 without the star where the video looks dull. Don't know why, set it on the star 1080(default) and leave it. No manual controls: I didn't buy this for the manual controls (its a point & shoot remember, get your Binford 5000 25pound mucho $$$ rig out for the tricky stuff), I just want to whip it out, take pictures and video, and it does that well. Pictures and video look very good, better than my other cameras. The video focus will hunt a TINY bit when zooming, but, this camera WILL zoom during video, unlike others. Low light video is good but the more you zoom the less light you get (gee! That's like all my other cameras EVER, and its a 10x zoom, not 3x or 4x) So, video works good when you compare zoom distance to light collection. Auto scene mode doesn't pick the right scene indoors in low light (wants to use night landscape), use Regular Auto in that situation. Auto Scene works OK so far otherwise. Flash is good and fairly powerful for a small unit, exposure mostly about right. You just need to hold it differently than other cameras for the flash to pop up on the top left side, one handed pics (for right handers), no problem. Battery life, not as good as others, but OK. Use the USB cable to charge the battery in the camera, 4hrs, OR, get an extra charger and battery and do it that way, you HAVE A CHOICE with the s8100. Oh, BTW, (as others point out) the USB cover FEELs flimsy (I couldn't really care less about this... it works). Haven't found any large flaws yet. Just get out there and take pictures!
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely PHENOMENAL, December 6, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Nikon Coolpix S8100 12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 10x Zoom-Nikkor ED Lens and 3.0-Inch LCD (Red) (Electronics)
I'm not a professional photographer, but I do know my way around a camera. I've never owned a compact camera anywhere near as fantastic as this camera. Every single thing it does is a mini miracle.
The zoom is seamless and it focuses faster and clearer throughout the entire range than many SLR lenses I've used. The new sensor is unbelievable. A sign of a good camera is its capability to take pictures in the dark. That's something I always look for when buying a new camera. This camera has new technology for its "night portrait" mode. It actually takes a picture without flash (so as to capture the light behind you) and then takes a flash picture. It then combines the two shots giving a true to life image of the the person and background. You can't tell that it takes two pictures because it all only takes the time of a normal flash picture. Same goes for "night landscape" mode. I tested it by taking a flash-free picture of my kitchen at night with all of the lights in the house off. In the photo, you can actually see the oven and refrigerator and even read the clock on the oven and microwave. And it's not even noisy (grainy).
It has many advanced features for a compact, such as the ability to view a histogram and to look at the information of pictures you've already taken, like the ISO sensitivity used. Very handy if you like how a picture turned out and want to try to repeat the results.
And then there's the video. While I mainly bought this camera for its photo capabilities, there is no denying that this little guy makes fantastic videos. Extremely clear and realistic. The sound could be a bit better, but it's certainly not bad enough to complain. If you're recording something silent, you can hear the zoom a little, but isn't that true with all video cameras? This camera also has a great feature for slow motion videos. I've never been so amused as I have been while trying to find things to record in slow-mo.
So, in summary. The photos are crystal clear and true to color. The new night shooting capabilities are the absolute best I've seen in a compact camera. It has 10x optical zoom plus around 4x digital. And it records full 1080p HD video. AND it's all in a cute little compact package. How can you beat that?
Oh, and the color of the red camera is the most gorgeous shade of red I've ever seen. The photo here definitely doesn't do it justice.

If you decide to buy one of these cameras, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Little Camera w/Great Potential, November 30, 2010
By 
Loujul (Meadowlands) - See all my reviews
When looking for a camera to replace my old Canon SD870IS, I wanted a camera that would work well in low light. I chose the Nikon Coolpix S8100 and the Canon SD4500IS to compare. It took a lot of research between the two, but finally I went with the Nikon. I'm so happy with my choice. First it's an easy camera to pick up out of the box and use. The dial on top is simply marked and it even has two scene icons, one for those of us who are challenged in selecting what we're actually looking at and one for those who can actually distinguish between people, kids, pets, and landscapes. The video record button is located on the right upper corner of the backside which is a nice feature for instant recording. There are a lot of features available to learn to use and the manual covers all. The test for me was a party in a restaurant which was dimly lighted. I was amazed at how well the photos came, with and without the flash. It certainly passed the lighting test. The only downside for me is the flash is a pop-up on the top of the left side where I always rest my fingers. I have to learn to hold my hand off the flash. I love, love, love this camera.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Point and Shoot, November 28, 2010
I bought this camera for my wife and she's loving it. We were looking for a really good p&s with a great auto mode and we narrowed our choices to the Nikon 8100, Sony HX5V, ZS5 and Canon SX210is. We decided to go with the Nikon because of the 1080p video, cmos chip for lowlight shooting and 914k pixel LCD. The pics come out beautiful but you may need to reshoot sometimes due to flash overexposure or blurriness in low light (pretty standard with these mega zoom compacts). The video is also great just be sure to get a class 6 SDHC card or better and change the options to HQ video and pics(for some reason Nikon defaults to the lower quality). I also recommend not using the continuous AF (you'll hear clicking sounds in the video).

I'm not crazy about Nikon not supplying a battery charger, instead you charge the battery in the camera with the usb cord. Come on Nikon! It also doesn't automatically reposition pics taken in portrait mode (you'll need to put the camera upright to review). Hopefully they fix that with updated firmware. I wish the wide zoom (30mm) was better but it's ok. The menus could be a little more intuitive and a printed manual would have been great (it's on a disk like all other camera's these days). Finally, the software Nikon supplies is lousy. Come to think of it, all photo software from camera manufacturers is lousy. Just go with Picasa for photo organizing and light editing and Photoscape for more robust editing. Both free.

Anyway, it may sound like I'm nitpicking but it is a pretty good p&s. A few firmware fixes will make this camera shine. I recommend it for someone wanting a simple to use camera, great pics, low light, 10x zoom and stereo 1080p video. If you want manual controls look elsewhere.
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