I bought a Nikon Coolpix S9 on Friday. I wanted a very small camera to carry in my pocket. Though the camera has impressive features, I’m not sure I’m happy with the purchase. Here are a few notes…
First off, the battery only lasted for about 25 shots. Now, in the spirit of disclosure, this it is a new camera for me and I was playing with the menu features quite a bit. I had fully charged the battery on Saturday morning and was conscious throughout the day that I was trying to conserve the battery for a party that night. There was no indication the battery was going low until the display showed the low battery symbol with about 25% remaining. (I can’t imagine why anyone would bother buying a 2 Gb SD card because simply shooting without viewing and editing I couldn’t imagine getting off more than 250 shots. The 2 gig card holds over 2500 full shots.)
Second… SD cards formatted in the camera don’t work in my card reader that I use for all of my memory cards and plugged into Mac’s OS X 10.4.8. Other SD cards (from my Canon Elf and my Canon Elura) do work in the same reader. The Nikon SD formatted card did work when attached directly to the computer inside the camera.
CAN YOU SAY RED EYE? Every single indoor shot had the problem. I don’t want to be spending my editing time after every indoor shoot fixing red eyes. I know sub-compacts have this problem and I understand all of the science of why this happens however my old Canon Elf isn’t that much larger and it does not have the problem.
Fourth – Even in a well lit room, photographing a friend opening presents from a distance of about 12 feet, the pics were horribly lit. Using no flash, the shutter speed was so slow that everything blurred.
Finally, if you hold the camera with one hand, the surface of the camera is so smooth, you almost pinch it out of your finger grip when pressing the button. Holding it with two hands, you need to be very, very careful to not get your left hand in front of the lens because of where it is located on the top front corner of the camera.
It takes video. On my card, it could record almost 2 hours of video and sound.
There is an option for using it as a digital audio recorder too. You can annotate your photos with a voice caption too. (I did not try that).
Overall, and after one full day of use I am not impressed.
On a positive note, it sure it a compact camera! The menus are easy to understand and adjust. It doesn’t have many options, so it isn’t hard to understand. One feature I’d like is to be able to reset to “default” every time you turn it off and back on. It seemed easy to set options and then forget they are on or where to go to change them.
My parents just bought the Nikon Coolpix S7 which is about a half-inch larger and noticeably heavier. I may wait to see how their snaps turn out after their trip to France later this week and consider that upgraded model.
Sample video clip: