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Nikon Coolpix S6300 Digital Camera Review$199.95
Lens & Sensor
The S6300's lens offers a useful 10x zoom range, similar to 25-250mm in film terms. It has a relatively narrow aperture, meaning pretty much everything will be in focus all the time. The lens does feature vibration reduction, which will help counteract camera shake and prevent blurred images when shooting at low shutter speeds.
The sensor is a 16-megapixel backside-illuminated model, though it's just 1/2.3 inches on the diagonal. That makes it one of the smallest sensors out there today, and makes packing 16 megapixels a dicey proposition with regard to image noise.
At 2.7 inches on the diagonal and a display resolution of 230,000 dots, the S6300's LCD is a pretty weak effort. The low resolution makes it difficult to determine the sharpness of your shots, or the exact area in focus, though as we've suggested pretty much everything will be in focus with this sensor/lens combo. The screen is bright enough, but it's difficult to see in bright outdoor light, and in dimmer lighting it tends to struggle to keep up with motion.
The built-in flash is a tiny, weak unit, but it should nevertheless be good enough for party snaps. Nikon claims the flash should cover everything from about 1.5 feet to 18 feet on the wide end and just over 3 feet to 10 feet on the telephoto, and in our experience that was pretty much correct.
Unexpectedly for a bargain basement camera, the S6300 includes both USB and mini-HDMI ports, meaning you can play video clips directly to your HDTV or computer monitor (assuming it, too, has HDMI input). A mini-HDMI cable is not included, so be sure to pick one up if you're interested in making use of the port.
The S6300 uses a proprietary lithium ion battery pack: model number EN-EL12. This cell is compatible with many of Nikon's current and past Coolpix models, so if you're upgrading from an earlier Nikon, you might want to check out their compatibility page. You might just have an extra battery already!
Like most digital cameras these days, the S6300 is compatible with SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards. It does not ship with one (though it does have a measly 25mb of internal memory), so be sure to order one or pick it up in-store when you get the camera.