Top positive review
440 people found this helpful
Great little Point-and-shooter
on April 1, 2010
I was initially hesitant to buy this camera since there were ZERO reviews to be found, either here at Amazon, or elsewhere on the internet. But, since I've owned two previous Nikon Coolpix cameras (an old 4 MP camera, and a really old 2 MP camera) and both were great, I wasn't too worried. And I was right to buy it: it is working great and taking great photos, after several days of playing around with it.
First of all, it is very user-friendly. The menus and controls are completely intuitive, and make sense even if you have not cracked open the manual. ("cracked open" being a bit of a misnomer, since the manual is electronic only; the paper manual that comes with it is just a "quick start guide")
Second of all, it is a gorgeous piece of machinery; cute and cuddly and shiny and impressive. I'm afraid my girlfriend is going to try to steal it, it is so cute. I may have to buy her one to preemptively stop that from happening.
But, most of all, it takes great pictures. I walked all over town the first day, putting it through its paces, and scrutinized the photos on my computer when I got back home. If I was going to have to return it, I wanted to do so quickly, but I don't need to. The photos are great.
It is a point-and-shoot, which means that you don't have direct control over shutter speed, aperture, etc. But, you do have a dozen or so "scene modes" including Beach, Museum, Sunset, Panorama, Action, etc. These are very handy. I haven't tried them all yet, but they seem to be well designed.
The second day, I put the camera through its paces inside the house. No problems; it takes great indoor shots, providing excellent exposures both with natural light and with the flash. The wide-angle 4.9 mm lens (equivalent angle of view to a 27 mm lens in a 35mm format camera) was especially nice: you can stand in a corner of a room, and get the entire room into the photo! Nothing left out. That is pretty unusual in an inexpensive fixed-lens camera.
My third day test was to take the camera to the beach on a bright, contrasty day. It performed admirably, maintaining both shadow and highlight details, and rendering the deep blues of the sky and water, as well as the bright sand, equally well. This one's a keeper, folks!
Another nice plus: there is a "16x9" mode available in the "shooting mode" options. This doesn't quite use all 4000x3000 pixels; it only uses 3968x2232 of them. But the images are perfect "HD" format, and completely fill up a typical wide-screen monitor without any stretching. Somehow, they look all the more impressive on a computer screen than the typical 4x3 ratio.
Final tidbit: I bought the camera from Amazon, which was $10 cheaper than the local big-box store, had no sales tax, AND allowed me a 30 day return period with no restocking fee (which would have been 14 days AND a restocking fee at the local store; they need to get a clue).
Anyway, as an overall impression, five stars easily for the Nikon Coolpix S3000........JC